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Hearing footsteps at night


PrairieSong
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That one time we had an earthquake here (it's only happened like three time in my life), it was at night, when we were all asleep. Just before the quake, I was awakened by what I swear was the sound of an explosion. I thought it was the transformer outside out house going, "PTTTTTEEEEEEWWWWWWW!" It sounded like an electrical zap, a super-power surge. Immediately followed by the sound of rumbling earth and my wall-mounted TV shaking all to heck. Which was when I understood it to be an earthquake. But I never did figure out the source of that power-surge sound I *swear* I heard just before the quake. dH didn't hear it and there was no evidence that anything like that had occurred.

 

I still wonder what that was, which is not to say I thought it was anything paranormal, just that I would like to know...did I dream it? Was it a sound that actually was related to the quake? Did the TV actually make that sound, though I perceived it to be outside the window? I don't know.

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Here it is. That was a creepy story and no, we never found out the ending.

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/209350-someone-please-toss-me-a-virtual-brown-bag-im-hyperventilating/

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

See, now that just reminded me of Calico Cat, who is another poster I have not seen in a long time.

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Aren’t ears and brains fascinating? Sometimes our brain will detect a sound wave, but not quite have all the information, so it will fill in the blanks with what it already knows and we will hear something that isn’t there.

 

For example, once I was sitting in my room and I distinctly heard squirrels in the attic. I had had squirrels in a previous house so I knew exactly what it sounded like. I could follow their movement across the ceiling. But we lived in an area without squirrels when I heard it this time. I figured it must be some other critter up there, maybe bats. We checked the attic and there was no sign. I heard it again another day and KNEW we must have some infestation. But a little later I noticed a cable cord chewed up by the puppy outside the room where I kept hearing squirrels. The next time I heard the noise I could tell it was really the sound of the puppy chewing up the cord, and the cord jiggling in the walls. After another time of hearing it, it sounded barley like critters, and I wondered how I had ever mistaken the sound.

 

Our brains make mistakes with sound all the time. Here is a cool video that explains it a bit. (I love Vi Hart videos, so I couldn’t resist posting).

 

So for the OP, and all you others with unexplainable experiences, I second the advice to investigate!

 

You could find out (most likely) that it was caused by something completely different and your brain interpreted it the only way it knew how from the experience it had.

 

You could find out that you need to call the police about intruders (less likely, but still possible, and something very necessary if this is the problem).

 

Or if you manage to prove paranormal existence, I bet these folks would give you a million dollars, so it’s totally worth conquering your fears to find out. (It looks like the rules for the Million Dollar Challenge recently changed, but it's still worth a shot.)

 

So there is every reason to figure out what the sound is. And no reason (except possible entertainment value if you like a mystery) to not find out.

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Couldn't stop thinking about this thread the other night when I was sitting in here and the lights were going on and off. This house has terrible wiring, though. I've complained to maintenance before about wiring but they brush it off. We've had light bulbs burst and they burn out quickly. Might be some of the ceiling fixtures. I feel better using our lamps.

 

^^^ When I was about 8 or 9, I would have sworn to god that I heard Santa's reindeer hooves on my roof late xmas eve night. I tried counting them but they were too fast. 

 

When dh was young his father sprayed the hose across the roof while the kids were inside and they were told it was the reindeer.

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Sounds at night do tend to be very strange.  Rats are a possibility - they can really sound like people walking, because they often kind of jump along.

 

When I'm feeling creeped out, I never think of ghosts - my mind always goes right to aliens.  My mother and sister both say they have seen ghosts, which is a bit odd to me as they are not really very inclined to flights of fancy.  My sister actually saw a person where no -ne could be.  In any case, I don't dismiss the possibility, but I think most often there is a mundane explanation.  THat's my experience in any case, but of course that is filtered through my way of looking at things.  What's a ghost anyway?  Often people seem to have a fairly generalized idea when they suspect a ghost, not something specific.

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In the middle of the night I scared the crap out of myself. After already stubbing my toe on a toy and making a racket I was trying my best to not wake the baby as I returned to bed after using the restroom and putting the toy away. Just enough light from the computer room illuminated the hallway wall so that my body cast a shadow on the wall. I saw the figure on the wall and screamed and smacked the wall LOL. Don't ask me what I was thinking... I guess I was trying to determine if that was a ghost or a person?? before realizing it was my own shadow. 

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I never get creeped out by ghosts or aliens or anything make believe.  I get creeped out by actual murderers.  But then again I used to work for the public defenders office, death penalty defense, so I got a very close up and real exposure to murder.  There are murderers out there and they will break into your home and murder you.  Just in case you hadn't considered that. . . . 

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I never get creeped out by ghosts or aliens or anything make believe.  I get creeped out by actual murderers.  But then again I used to work for the public defenders office, death penalty defense, so I got a very close up and real exposure to murder.  There are murderers out there and they will break into your home and murder you.  Just in case you hadn't considered that. . . . 

 

Well that is NOT comforting!

 

:mellow:

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I never get creeped out by ghosts or aliens or anything make believe.  I get creeped out by actual murderers.  But then again I used to work for the public defenders office, death penalty defense, so I got a very close up and real exposure to murder.  There are murderers out there and they will break into your home and murder you.  Just in case you hadn't considered that. . . . 

 

LOL!  Similar situation here, thankfully long ago in the past.  I'd had a roommate, moved out on my own. I would close my eyes and see those awful crime scene pics of women murdered in their beds.  :( 

 

 

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Shhhh. No one listen to this poster. The ghosts are real. They've been talking to me, too. They want you to send money to me and they'll go away. They promise. But only if you send money first. Otherwise, they'll keep teasing you, and do little mysterious things like take a sock out of the dryer before you can pair it with its mate, move your glasses to the other table where you won't think to look first, make the toilet run in the bathroom farthest away from you, and fill your mailbox with extra flyers and useless coupons for 5 piece furniture at AMAZING PRICES!

 

 

:laugh:

 

 

Case in point, with regard to the details of the claim. How do blessings work? Exactly? What elements make them work, and what variables thwart those workings? Can you identify them? Can you isolate them? Can you repeat the procedure with predictable results? In what way can the mechanics of a blessing be understood and manipulated? If you (or your priest or bishop) can answer these questions (they can't), then you'll have the answer to why your previous blessing didn't take.

 

But if you think about it in broader terms, think about all the mysteries in life that people have experienced that have been answered. We understand now why the sun is sometimes blocked by the moon. We understand why the stars move about the ways in which they do. We understand why some years there's more rain and some years there's less. We understand how conception works, and how to prevent infection when pulling a tooth, or how to address it in those uncommon times infection arises. We understand how to prevent polio, how to harness the energy from nuclear fission (we're working on harnessing energy from nuclear fusion, how cool is that?). The thing is, with every mystery we've ever solved (why do babies have their daddy's smile and their mommy's eyes, why is there so much snow this year, what happened to that missing jet over Malaysia?), the answer has never been supernatural. Ever. What are the chances that all the discoveries made thus far, all the interesting mysteries unlocked, all the answers that have been found and point to natural means, ghosts clomping around in a person's house is the one exception to everything we know?

Yes, these things are amazing and no, I have not jumped to the conclusion that a ghost was walking around in my house. It was weird noises. That's all I really know about them. As to the above, none of that explains where it all came from. How the Big Bang happened, how it started, where the matter came from. Everything we observe has a cause. Can causes go back infinitely, or must there be a First Cause, something not contingent upon anything else? You and I would likely give different answers.

 

Also, you seem to be saying that scientific knowledge is the only knowledge, or perhaps the only knowledge that really matters, but that all rests upon presuppositions, philosophical ones, that we take for granted so much so that we rarely think about them. We are presupposing that there is a physical universe outside ourselves, that this universe is understandable, that our minds are capable of understanding it and that our minds are trustworthy. These are presuppositions that cannot be scientifically proven, and yet science relies upon them. We just all accept them. Those are just ones off the top of my head. I am no philosopher. I'm sure there are more.

 

I'm not really interested in an argument going in circles. I've seen many of those here. People talking past one another. If that is what you want though, I suggest starting another thread and those interested may join you there. I have much to do here at home and then we are leaving.

 

Oh, and I won't be sending you any money. Sorry. :-)

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My sister kept hearing creepy noises and then one day discovered a homeless lady was living in her basement!  

 

 

This happened to us when I was a teenager. We lived in the top floor apartment and could hear footsteps in the attic at night. My mom finally went upstairs to see what it was and it turned out one of the neighbors let a homeless man up there at night.

 

 

I had a friend in highschool who discovered a homeless man living in their attached garage, which they actually used. Apparently, he snuck in when they were already in the house and the garage door was going down. He would come into the house, because they didnt lock the door leading to the garage, late at night when everyone was sleeping to get food. They had 5 people living at the house so everyone just assumed it was someone else getting a late night snack. He lived in the garage for about a month before she discovered his nest in a corner of the garage hidden by their junk. They estimate he was there for a month because of when the first person in the house noticed specific foods had been eaten in the middle of the night.

 

 

:svengo: :svengo: :svengo:

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Two nights ago I had a strange experience. Our house is one level, with a basement. 16yo ds is the only kid at home and his bedroom is in the basement. Dh and ds had both gone to bed. I was in the bedroom next to ours reading, so I wouldn't disturb dh with the light. It was a little past midnight and I heard definite footsteps walking across our wood floors. It sounded like it was in the living room going into the dining room. My bedroom door was open and these rooms are very close. I immediately got up, turned on the light, and looked in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway. Nobody there, nothing out of place. Weird. I went back to my reading and a few minutes later I heard footsteps again. It sounded exactly like when my dh walks across the wood floors with his shoes on. I got up right away and looked again, but saw nothing. Dh was in bed. I went downstairs to ds's room. It was dark and he was in bed, and said he hadn't been upstairs recently.

 

I never heard any outside doors open or close, and I would have if anyone had gone in or out. My bedroom door was open and there were no other doors between me and the front and back doors. Anyway, they were locked.

 

The next morning I told dh about it and he said he had heard footsteps too. That freaked me out. But maybe he heard my footsteps when I got up to check on things.

 

It was just very odd.

 

FWIW, I'm pretty intuitive.  I think your husband's (dead or dreaming) dad, grandfather, or great-grandfather came to visit. But your house isn't haunted, and this person isn't normally there.

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It could have been in your brain.  I remember once reading a Stephen King book while on an air mattress in my new house with no furniture.  I was extremely happy.   I heard a voice really close to me saying the exact phrase I was reading.  It was a crappy book from when King was hitting bottom with drugs, but the phrase was absolutely exactly what that character would have said in that situation.  The voice came from about 2 feet above and behind me.  It was extremely scary and realistic.  I heard that voice as clearly as I hear real people.  The only reason I didn't call 911 was that the voice would have been extremely muffled if it were real because it would have been coming from inside the garage and through an insulated wall.  Also, it exactly matched the words in the book.  But, it was so realistic I had a huge adrenaline rush and I had to talk myself down.  

 

My theory is that I had fallen so completely into the book and I was so happy, that my brain forgot there for a moment what was from the book and what was real, and crossed some circuits.  

 

I do something very similar to myself all the time when I read in bed right before falling asleep. I continue a paragraph I've just read as a dialogue in my mind, and the story usually takes a sudden and dramatic change. Often I wake up right away and think, "I'm pretty sure the story isn't going to go in THAT direction!" 

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I noticed that someone mentioned furnace noises, which I agree, can sound like footsteps.  Another thing is drain noises.  Sometimes a little while after I've run some water in the sink, I'll hear thump thump thump coming from the tub.  It might sound like footsteps if I was trying to fall asleep in another room.  It could also be snow or ice melting somewhere.  Or even a car cooling down in the garage.

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Whoa, Prairie, you're reading WAY more into my post than even I did!

 

:laugh:

Ok, lol. You were talking about mysteries always having a scientific explanation and that got me thinking about all the presuppositions we make to even get to the science. Anyway, I haven't heard any more unexplained footsteps in the house. Or Santa's reindeer on the roof either.

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I never get creeped out by ghosts or aliens or anything make believe. I get creeped out by actual murderers. But then again I used to work for the public defenders office, death penalty defense, so I got a very close up and real exposure to murder. There are murderers out there and they will break into your home and murder you. Just in case you hadn't considered that. . . .

Quite a few years ago there was an extremely dangerous person on the loose in our general area. I would lie in bed listening to dogs barking and leaves rustling and wonder if he was out there. My husband scoffed at my fears and told me to go to sleep. Everyone was very relieved when they caught him.

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Thought I could get my dose of hair raising scary stories before heading to bed...   but looks like no new ones tonight unless posts that came in while I was typing do it.

 

Wonder what the attraction of scary stories, ghost stories around the campfire etc. is?

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Ok, lol. You were talking about mysteries always having a scientific explanation and that got me thinking about all the presuppositions we make to even get to the science. Anyway, I haven't heard any more unexplained footsteps in the house. Or Santa's reindeer on the roof either.

 

Bummer. How boring.  Maybe you'll hear something tonight.  :-)

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I never get creeped out by ghosts or aliens or anything make believe. I get creeped out by actual murderers. But then again I used to work for the public defenders office, death penalty defense, so I got a very close up and real exposure to murder. There are murderers out there and they will break into your home and murder you. Just in case you hadn't considered that. . . .

This is the best thing I've read all day.

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In college, I knew a guy who lived in an off campus apartment or house.  He woke up one night to find a man praying over him.  Like leaning over his bed and praying.  My friend jumped up and yelled something like, "What are you doing in here?" and they guy sort of muttered and stumbled out.  That was creepy.

 

 

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Quite a few years ago there was an extremely dangerous person on the loose in our general area. I would lie in bed listening to dogs barking and leaves rustling and wonder if he was out there. My husband scoffed at my fears and told me to go to sleep. Everyone was very relieved when they caught him.

Out here when they are chasing someone dangerous a low flying helicopter circles, shining a spotlight on the ground below.  Some nights the helicopters drones on for hours.  We check the locks, and try to figure out what they are looking for.  It's a little anxiety-provoking.

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Out here when they are chasing someone dangerous a low flying helicopter circles, shining a spotlight on the ground below.  Some nights the helicopters drones on for hours.  We check the locks, and try to figure out what they are looking for.  It's a little anxiety-provoking.

Drat, and now the helicopter is circling within earshot.  Ugh ugh ugh.

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Drat, and now the helicopter is circling within earshot. Ugh ugh ugh.

This happened to me once when I was about 10. I was staying with my grandma and they were circling over her neighborhood. Of course she slept with the police scanner on at night so I knew exactly what was going on. It didn't really make me feel better.

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Since I am sitting here, listening to unmanned footsteps, I also thought I would add another possibility.

 

The sound of the curtain, softly hitting the sliding glass door, sounds like someone walking barefoot on the hard wood in my entryway. When the furnace starts to blow air, the air will catch the curtain. We have a vent cover that directs the air outward, but if it gets moved, the air blows against the curtain instead.  It will softly tap, in a slow rhythm on the window.  The pattern  sounds just like someone walking in the hallway.

 

 

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Since I am sitting here, listening to unmanned footsteps, I also thought I would add another possibility.

 

The sound of the curtain, softly hitting the sliding glass door, sounds like someone walking barefoot on the hard wood in my entryway. When the furnace starts to blow air, the air will catch the curtain. We have a vent cover that directs the air outward, but if it gets moved, the air blows against the curtain instead.  It will softly tap, in a slow rhythm on the window.  The pattern  sounds just like someone walking in the hallway.

 

That may be all rational 'n stuff, but it still sounds creepy coming from someone called Tap.  :huh:

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Dogs aren't always a great idea. When my oldest was a baby he was sleeping in his room and we were in our room with the baby monitor on. This baby monitor would light up when a sound was picked up. As we're getting settled in bed we hear what sounds like an old man voice coming from my son's room. I look at the monitor and it isn't picking up the sound. The monitor is really sensitive so I started getting creeped out so the dogs and I went in ds's and he was sound asleep. Came back in my room and we a few minutes later heard it again. It took awhile to figure it out but it was our new dog snoring. She still snores like that. It is creepy and sounds like an old man is talking to you in a whisper. It messes with my dreams too.

On a creepier note wasn't there a story a while ago where someone actually hacked the wifi monitor and started talking through it?

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Of course it's only the solved mysteries that have natural explanations. I'm not a huge ghost person but I guess if something paranormal happened it would always remain an unsolved mystery because how would you actually prove it and even if you somehow did people wouldn't believe it. It would just always fall in to one of the unsolved things.

 

I used to be very dismissive of intuition etc but I think at times people pick up on subtle cues and don't realise they've picked them up and form some kind of semi accurate impression.

 

I find it fascinating how brain interprets sounds. Our dishwasher used to have a certain phase that would have me running to check the baby every time. If I actually listened it didn't sound like a baby crying but somehow it triggered the baby response. Our hills hoist spinning sounds a lot like dh's pager and it would send me running.

 

We went to a cool science show a while back called spooky science which talked about a lot of this stuff. Also why we like spooky stuff because our brain likes that emotion/endorphin release that happens when we realise it wasn't really happening to us right now.

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I once had an experience where I was sleeping on the bed in my dorm room, in the dark, at about 8:30 in the evening.  I was in a deep sleep but was positive I heard the window, which was open a crack, slide up and then I felt a breeze on my face.  I totally paniced and dragged myself awake and turned on the light.  But I didn't see anything.

 

I am still dead sure, though I know it could have been a dream, that it wasn't.  There was something about the quality of the experience that did not at all feel like a dream.  The solution I've come to is that it may have been some students (or weirdos) playing a joke - I was on the first floor though on that side of the building they would have needed to boost someone up or use a step-ladder.  But that would be a very student type thing to do.

 

But it's very difficult to argue with that qualitative sense of difference when you experience it. 

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