It’s late at night. You should be asleep, but you’re far away from the land of nod. Then you hear it: a creak, a squeak, a rattling – any noise that has no obvious explanation. Everyone is in bed, so where is it coming from?
There’s only one possible conclusion: the house is haunted.
The bizarre thing is that you can convince yourself of this even if you don’t believe in ghosts. There’s something in us all that has a tendency to flit to the nearest form of panic and irrational explanation. It’s the gut reaction, one that we can’t necessarily get a grip on when we try and be rational about it.
Here’s the thing: your house isn’t haunted. There’s still pretty much no evidence at all that hauntings exist, beyond personal experiences that have never been replicated in scientific conditions. So what’s going on?
It Might Be… The House
Houses have a tendency to make all kinds of noise, even when they are in good repair. These happen during the day when we’re busy, to the point we don’t notice or focus on them. A rattling sound when we’re in the kitchen making dinner doesn’t seem like a big deal – but it sure does at 2am when everything is quiet!
Noise has an unusual impact on our brains. Most specifically, lack of noise – when there is silence, our minds have a tendency to magnify any sound that we hear. Couple that with the darkness and stillness of late night, and you’ve got a rational person convinced their house is possessed.
While these noises are usually nothing, there is a chance what you’re hearing is some part of your house suffering an issue. It’s not unknown for a house that is experiencing subsidence to make a few odd noises that aren’t just part of the usual fabric of a house settling.
If you’re concerned by sudden noises you have never noticed before, then it might be worth consulting this expert guide to RICS home surveys to see if a report on the structural integrity could be valuable. Usually this kind of assessment is done when buying or selling your home, but it can also help identify issues in the moment.
It Might Be… Pests
No one likes to think of their home being invaded by pests, but it does happen – and it’s rarely noiseless. In the middle of the night panic, you might think the scrabbling at the walls is the sound of a furious ghost trying to break in. In daylight, it’s probably got a much more mundane cause: mice.
Even if you can’t see any direct signs of an infestation, you’re not necessarily free and clear. There’s plenty of ways a rodent can run around your house without you even noticing. If you’re hearing scratching sounds, then it’s worth setting up a few humane traps to see if you have a four-legged visitor rather than a supernatural entity invading!
Still Not Convinced?
There’s a few other signs of a haunted house, though how much credence you give to them depends on your existing beliefs. It’s worth checking out though, if only to settle your mind once and for all!