April 10, 2011

Things that go Bump in the Night

Ghosts and poltergeists are not normally something I think about. I am considered by most people, myself included, to be quite the sceptic where claims of a paranormal nature are concerned. My usual reaction upon hearing a strange story for the first time is one of disbelief and annoyance. Disbelief, because upon further investigation most of these stories turn out to be either fake, or at the very least, just normal events embellished with hyperbole and drama. I also feel annoyance, because there are just so many of these stories.

How ironic then, that a confirmed sceptic such as myself is adding to that pile of strange stories and anecdotes.

The following account is a description of events at my house as they happened over the course of a few weeks during the summer of 2008.

Bumps in the Night

The house in question is a three bedroom terrace, which I share with my fiancé Kayleigh and three young children. At the time of these events in May and June of 2008, our two young daughters, Charlie (2) and Holly (1), both slept in the largest bedroom at the back of the house.

Quite often, whenever the girls were asleep upstairs, we would be sitting downstairs watching television and we’d suddenly hear the sound of someone running around in the girls’ room upstairs.

That wasn’t exactly unusual in itself, because Charlie would often get out of bed to go and get a toy or a book. However, this would happen a couple of hours after they had been in bed, a time when they were normally sound asleep.

The first few times this happened, I went upstairs to check on them and to admonish Charlie for making such a racket, but whenever I’d walk into the room, Holly was asleep in her cot and Charlie appeared to be sound asleep in her bed.

Because someone clearly was running around in the room, we decided that it must have been Charlie and that she was doing a very good job of pretending to be asleep each time we checked. I had my doubts, but it was the only obvious conclusion.

A Bang without a Cause

The sound of running happened most nights, but usually only once and not for very long. It got to the point where we didn’t even check anymore. It was only when it started happening more often, usually very late at night and when Kayleigh was already in bed, that I really began to wonder just what was going on.

There was no doubt that the noises were coming from the girls’ bedroom.

One night, I was at the back of the living room closing the blinds, and the sound of running around started from directly overhead once again. I didn’t check that time, but then a couple of nights later I heard a loud bang, followed immediately by running sounds that eventually went directly outside the bedroom door.

I raced upstairs, thinking that I’d definitely catch her this time. I could still hear the stamping of feet on the floor inside the room as I reached the door. I flung it open and there she was – fast asleep in bed.

I turned on the light and looked around the room. Charlie was lightly snoring and obviously not playacting. There was no way she could have made it into her bed before I opened the door.

I was dumbfounded, both at the fact they hadn’t been woken up by the noise, but more so by the fact that there was absolutely nothing or no one in that room that could have made the noise.

The only other logical candidate I could come up with was that maybe one of our two cats was making the noise.  However, neither of them was in the room that night. In fact, they were both outside, but allowing for the possibility made me feel better.

I decided to keep this to myself. I wasn’t particularly frightened by the goings-on, but I knew that the girls’ mother would think very differently about it.

Interacting with the Phenomenon

The next night, Thursday the 12th of May in 2008, things started to get just a little weirder.

I was upstairs in my computer room and the noises started up again. I ignored them at first, hoping they would only last a minute and then stop. They seemed to be getting louder though, so in frustration I sighed and whispered under my breath, Will you please stop?

To my great surprise, the noise ceased immediately.

Naturally, that wasn’t the result I expected. I hadn’t spoken very loudly, so it wasn’t as if Charlie could have heard me (still thinking logically).

Now, I’m not normally given to talking to myself late at night, but this time, as a little test, I made an exception.

Make another noise, had the immediate effect of the noises starting up again. Stop! was followed by silence.

Great, not only was I hearing noises, I was also now talking to them.

The Experiment

I decided to Skype my RU co-founder Ryan Dube and get his take on things. By this time it was very late at night/early morning, but this was a normal state of affairs for us, bearing in mind the five hour time difference we were both used to working with. I told him about everything that had happened, including the part about me seemingly having some kind of interaction with whatever it was.

We came to an agreement that I should try and record the sounds, so I went downstairs to retrieve my Sony Handycam (DCR-DVD92E) in order to do so. Whilst downstairs, I rather sheepishly began asking whatever it was if it wouldn’t mind making the noises again so I could record them for my colleague in the US. I didn’t expect anything to happen, because under normal circumstances I am a very logical, think-things-through type of person. Ghosts just don’t exist except in the mind of those who see them. That’s what I have always thought, anyway.

Still downstairs, I turned on the camera to make sure that the battery was charged and then decided to start recording right there and then. What happened next is contained in the video below. I apologize in advance for the bad language.

The loud crashing noise seemed to occur inside my ear, it felt so close. As you can see in the video, I didn’t wait around for any other surprises. There is nothing at the back of the living room that could have made such a noise, and when I looked in the morning, everything appeared as it should.

Upon hearing the recording, Ryan wanted (quite rightly) to plan for a proper investigation and had some good ideas on how we could proceed. However, events later that day were to scupper any idea of an investigation.

Friday the 13th and the Shaking Wardrobe

Disney WardrobeThe next morning, on Friday, June 13th, I was still deeply perplexed at what had happened the night before, and was wrestling with the thought of telling Kayleigh.

In the end, I decided it was best to tell her everything that had happened up to and including the recording.

Her initial reaction surprised me. The first thing she told me was it would explain why Charlie was always waking up in the middle of the night and coming into our room. I pointed out that she was always asleep when the noises were occurring, but she would come into our room a few hours later than that. Because it was always her mum who woke when she came in, I didn’t know that Charlie refused to go back into her room because she said she was scared. Like me, Kayleigh assumed it was just a phase she was going through and would grow out of.

I asked Charlie if she liked her room, and without looking up from playing with her toys, she said no, it’s scary.

Later that morning, one of Kayleigh’s friends came around after hearing about the story. After listening to the video, they both went upstairs so her friend could have a look in the girl’s bedroom. I stayed downstairs with the girls. We had been careful to make sure that Charlie wouldn’t hear anything about what we were talking about so as not to frighten her.

Not long after they had gone upstairs, Kayleigh shouted for me to come upstairs, quickly.

I did, and as I entered through the door I could see what they were looking at. Look at that. I looked at the Disney Princess canvas wardrobe, which was on the wall next to the door, and it was rippling. The whole thing was shaking slightly and the canvas doors were rippling as if being moved by a breeze.

Being in an upstairs bedroom with the windows closed, there was of course no breeze. As I looked at it, wondering if the effect could have been caused by vibrations or something similar, both Kayleigh and her friend pushed past me and ran downstairs. Nothing else in the room appeared to be moving, though I was loathe to take my eyes off what I was seeing.

I must have stood there for at least a minute watching the material move, before I was snapped out of it by Kayleigh who shouted up, asking me what it was doing. Moving I thought, as if it was a perfectly normal thing for it to be doing.

I realised I needed to go and get the video camera, but when I returned just a few seconds later the movement had stopped. I placed the camera on the chest of drawers opposite the Wardrobe and pressed the record button, but there was no more movement.

The Exorcism

Whatever was causing the strange vibrations would never have an opportunity to show itself. Both Kayleigh and her friend came back upstairs, and Kayleigh immediately started removing Charlie’s clothes from the wardrobe.

We’re not having any ghosts in this house! She said. I said we don’t know if it is a ghost, that it might be something perfectly normal and we should try and record it, but she wasn’t having any of it. The clothes came out and the material was removed from the hollow poles that held the wardrobe together. She then gathered everything together and put them in the trash bin outside.

With a steely look in her eyes, she told me that Charlie’s night time problems, and indeed the noises themselves, had started not long after buying the wardrobe from an EBay auction.

Being the rational and logical person that I am, I remain convinced that there should be a logical explanation for everything that has happened. Maybe Charlie really was running around the bedroom, or maybe it was one of the cats? Maybe the wardrobe was rippling because there was a breeze, or vibrations from elsewhere in the building?

I don’t actually know what could have made the loud crashing noise, but at least I know it wasn’t in my imagination.

One thing we do know for sure, since getting rid of the wardrobe, there have been no more noises and Charlie sleeps soundly in her bed at night.

Ghosts? I don’t really believe in them…   Do you?


Link to original video files (15mb zip archive)

Discuss this and more in the Reality Uncovered Forums or leave a comment below.

Filed under: Weird — Tags: , , — Stephen Broadbent @ 9:48 pm


  1. avatar

    Interesting story….probably not a ghost…just an interdimentional smart rock.

    Comment by Andy — April 10, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

  2. avatar

    That is really creepy, do you know who the previous owner of the wardrobe was? Is it possible to contact them via eBay to see if they could give any background on it?

    Comment by Harmony — April 10, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

  3. avatar

    It would be interesting to know, if one of the former owners was somehow connected or interacting with the occult. I have heard of objects being affected.
    I don’t believe in ghosts.

    Evil and evil spirits, I have been aware of.

    Comment by Etherian — April 10, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

  4. avatar

    Hmm.. interesting that this started in 2008. Our family experienced a series of odd stuff in our house begining spring of 2008, including the lights slowly blinking on and off in the bathroom; weird sounds upstairs after kids put to bed; our deck pulled away from our house. I’ve always been intrigued by the phenomenon when it happens to others but never believed it meant anything when it happened to our family. It has since stopped.

    Comment by sneakymeme — April 11, 2011 @ 3:56 am

  5. avatar

    Woodworm, mate.

    Comment by Westhullonian — April 11, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  6. avatar

    You legging it up the stairs, Steve, had me in stitches :-)…

    I had a similar one when we were living in Scotland around 1996. We kept hearing someone stomping around the spare bedroom in the evenings. My ex blamed my daughter – until it happened several times when we were all sitting together in the living room.

    When my daughter and I left the bangs allegedly got so bad that my ex slept in the living room until he managed to find somewhere else to live.

    I don’t have any conclusive explanation for this kind of thing but having experienced similar a few times over the years, I can only say, they remain an interesting enigma for me.

    Comment by Caryn — April 11, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

  7. avatar

    We had the EBay details of the former owners and I toyed with the idea of getting in touch with them. I decided against it because I tried to put myself in their position and I’m not sure I would have reacted well to someone asking me strange questions about an item I’d sold them!

    Not one of my finest moments Caryn 😉

    I think the interdimensional rock or woodworm is the best explanation so far :)

    Comment by Stephen Broadbent — April 11, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  8. avatar

    Sounds like spiritual attachment. I’ve heard many similar stories from reputable people over the years. The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. If it weren’t for a lot of stupid people turning parapsychology into a joke (ala UFOlogy) more serious attention may be paid to an otherwise compelling (and IMHO, real) phenomena.


    Comment by the|exx — April 12, 2011 @ 4:23 am

  9. avatar

    hi steve.

    you maybe interested in this article from cracked.com :

    now im not suggesting this caused the crashing noise but maybe this explains the rest and the crashing noise was a coincidence of something falling over that you didn’t notice had moved.



    Comment by RICH-ENGLAND — April 12, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  10. avatar

    This is a wind up.

    Your story appears to be just that – a story. It lacks all the idiosyncrasies of someone recalling real events. There’s a uniform level of detail and a regular rhythm to the timing of events/your actions that are typical of *ahem* creative license.

    Then there’s this continuity error…..

    You describe events on the 12th May. You then decide to contact Ryan. This is described as if it’s night of the 12th May. You decide to try filming. You make your film and then decide on a proper investigation. All in the space of one night. But, to quote, ‘….events later that day were to scupper any idea of an investigation’. Oddly enough the next day in the story is 13th June. Hmm…..

    As for the video…..

    You stand in a darkened room waiting for a noise. You then run out. All the while keeping the camera to your eye until you sit down in front of your PC. That’s not the action of someone running away from something. It is the action of someone filming something fictional purporting to be reality though. Al a Blair Witch etc. You also appear to laugh just after the noise.

    Titling one the sections ‘The Experiment’ is a bit of a give away. As is a picture of a pink Disney Wardrobe. It wouldn’t be there if you wanted the story to have any serious credibility.


    Comment by Tim — April 13, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  11. avatar

    Hi Tim, firstly thanks for your comments. The 12th May date is an error, it should read 12th June so I will correct that. Thanks for pointing it out.
    This is a wind up.
    In your position I would probably think the same thing. However, I assure you it is not.

    Your story appears to be just that – a story. It lacks all the idiosyncrasies of someone recalling real events. There’s a uniform level of detail and a regular rhythm to the timing of events/your actions that are typical of *ahem* creative license.
    The presence of the video should suggest to you this is not something that was entirely invented in my head, therefore it was indeed part of a real event.
    The uniform level of detail and regular rhythm to the timing of events/my actions is perhaps down to this being a written account and not part of a conversation I’m having with someone. In an article, you are afforded the opportunity to at least try and get the details right, in a conversation “idiosyncrasies” can occur because there is no edit function and you have to remember everything in one go. If I’d told you this story exactly as it is written down, I would understand your point.

    You decide to try filming. You make your film and then decide on a proper investigation. All in the space of one night. But, to quote, ‘….events later that day were to scupper any idea of an investigation’. Oddly enough the next day in the story is 13th June. Hmm…..
    Not only all in the space of one night, it was more like all in the space of one hour. Ryan suggested – at a time when these noises were getting stronger and more frequent – that I should try and record them. I went downstairs to get my camera and thought I’d turn it on there and then, not expecting to hear anything downstairs because the noises had all been happening upstairs. I was going to walk up the stairs and wait outside the bedroom for a little while and hope to record the noises as soon as they started again. Obviously, the noise downstairs changed all that. Shortly after this, we both agreed we (I) should do a proper investigation. It made sense to me at the time and it still does. Events later that day were just that; later that day.

    You stand in a darkened room waiting for a noise. You then run out. All the while keeping the camera to your eye until you sit down in front of your PC.
    I wasn’t waiting for a noise at all, I was trying to provide a running commentary to what I was doing. I also didn’t have the camera “to my eye” at any point whatsoever. The camera (look it up) has an excellent viewscreen, considering I was trying to record sounds I wasn’t particularly bothered about what was on the screen. If I was, I would have been sure to tidy my computer room first. The fact that the camera was pointing at the floor all the way up the stairs is also a bit of a giveaway as to where the camera was…

    You also appear to laugh just after the noise.
    I do? I don’t on mine.

    Titling one the sections ‘The Experiment’ is a bit of a give away
    I didn’t give any of the sections a title (apart from the main title). I passed the article to Ryan for review and he added those in.

    As is a picture of a pink Disney Wardrobe. It wouldn’t be there if you wanted the story to have any serious credibility.
    If I left out the pink Disney Wardrobe, I would be leaving out an integral part of the events as they happened. It’s a girls room, they like pink and they love Disney which is why the wardrobe was perfect for them. What am I supposed to do, change it to a plain wooden one in order to make the events more plausible? If I did that, I wouldn’t be recalling real events.


    Comment by Stephen Broadbent — April 13, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  12. avatar

    Excellent rebuttal, Stephen. My curiosity would never have let me drop the whole thing without investigation of the wardrobe, but I see your point.

    Comment by Tara — April 18, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  13. avatar

    In my childhood home along the Saw Mill River in Westchester County, NY, an old glacier-scoured broad valley, we had a wardrobe standing in the upstairs hall into which all the bedroom doors opened. One year (I was about 14) I recall waking several times after midnight to hear the tap-tap-tap of some sort of rattle in the wardrobe. I thought it was creepy but I old enough to shrug it off as ‘one of those weirdies’. Still, I was curious. A few weeks later, during a particularly warm spell, we had all the upstairs windows open. The rattle began again, and I heaved myself up onto my elbows in bed to listen extra carefully. The rattle eased off and stopped. Silence. Then — in the far distance, from down along the river, I heard the drawn out whistle of the night freight headed south to Grand Central Station. Somehow, I figured, the train’s vibration had passed unheard through a buried rock layer and coupled into our basement, and found something loose in one piece of furniture. The folowing morning I shoved my shoulder against the wardrobe on the way out, nudging it. I never recalled hearing a rattle again, even when on occasion I heard that freight train’s whistle. That was the same year I saw my first UFO. Fifteen minutes later, I solved my first UFO by triangulating it with a line-of-sight vector from a friend in a neighboring town and determining it was floating peacefully at about 60,000 ft until sunset at that altitude dimmed it to red and then full dark.

    Comment by Jim Oberg — April 29, 2011 @ 5:12 am

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