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Old 20th August 2007, 07:04 PM   #1
JP1283
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Rapping/tapping on walls

One of the last threads that I started was about a friend who I thought that, because of a dream that she and another friend had, was going to die. That friend lived, proving the entire thing false. This site was a help to me through that time, and helped me to not take it too seriously (even though I was pretty scared).

I have started other threads about weird things that have happened to me, but I recently went through something that brought back a memory of something that happened when I was in high school.

During my senior year of high school, I would often hear tapping/rapping noises on the wall above my bed. They were always in the same spot, and would start out small, and gradually get louder until I sometimes had to try and drown out the sound with my television. These happened repeatedly for a long time.

One morning, when my dad came in to wake me up, the tapping started again, although it was very faint. I made my dad and stop and listen, and finally someone else heard the noise too. Then my dad got my stepmom, but it had stopped by the time she came in.

I don't really remember when the tapping activity stopped; I moved out of my dad's house in November of 2002. I had spent the night there on and off until they moved out earlier this year, and I don't remember the activity ever happening anymore.

However, a few months ago, something happened that reminded me of the tapping that had occurred at my dad's house. I was living by myself in a studio (I now live in a different apartment with a roommate) and I was laying in bed reading my book, when I heard a faint tapping sound on the ceiling of the kitchen. I listened as the sound made its way from the kitchen into my living room/bedroom, and the tapping got a bit louder and tapped about every other second. The tapping continued across the ceiling of the room until it reached the wall where my head was, and traveled down behind my head and continued on down the wall until it became distant and I couldn't hear it anymore. I'm thinking it was some sort of animal inside the building, possibly crawling along or something, but the outside walls of the building were brick, so I'm not sure if it was an animal or not.

I don't know what the tapping sounds were, but today I've been thinking about them constantly. This, added to the other strange things that have happened to me, hinder my ability to be a full-blown skeptic. I've been trying to find skeptical reviews of stories of rapping on walls, but I haven't had much luck.

I also have many religious fears; from what I've researched on the internet, the Bible pretty much says that any ghost is a demon (Ecclesiastes 9:5 states "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.") So, biblically speaking, anything not alive that is causing such activity must be demonic. Which is not helping my religious issues out at all...it's not fun worrying that demons might possibly be after me.

What would a skeptic think of this occurrence if it happened to him/her repeatedly, on the same wall, in the same spot for a long time? I'm looking for an explanation so that I won't dwell on this anymore. Thanks for reading.

JP
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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I don't think demons are after you. Sounds like a mouse or some other varmint in the walls. It doesn't matter if the outside walls are brick. Brick structures are still veneers and there's plenty of space for something to crawl in.

Or it could be a raven -" nevermore!"
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:12 PM   #3
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Same advice as last time: be sure to keep taking your meds.

Why do you worry so much about a single verse from Ecclesiastes when there are a hell of a lot more frightening things than that in the Bible?
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:15 PM   #4
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Could be mice... could have been a water pipe (water hammer)... there's any number of perfectly logical answers.

Why didn't you tell your dad?

I know I'd want my son to tell me (so I can fix the problem!)
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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I know you said the apartment building was brick, but was there any wood on your father's house? Because in my parents house, I used to be woken up some mornings by a tapping that always seemed to be coming from the bottom corner of the room. It took me a while to figure out, but in the end we found out a woodpecker was attacking the wood under the eaves outside of the house, which because of the way the house is built, would be right under that corner of my room.

Other than that idea, I agree with the others who suggest pipes or pests.
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:27 PM   #6
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I just had the same sort of problem last night. It started when the air conditioner shut off and stopped when it started again. Then repeated. Lots of humidity and rain around here recently.
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
What would a skeptic think of this occurrence if it happened to him/her repeatedly, on the same wall, in the same spot for a long time? I'm looking for an explanation so that I won't dwell on this anymore.
I would probably think, "There's a sound I can hear though I don't know what's causing it. I can either check it out to determine what's causing it, or I can just forget it, since it's faint and really doesn't bother me."

Why does everything seem to frighten you all of proportion to any real risk? Do you talk with your doctor or counselor about this?

About the demons--do you really believe there are demons in walls meant to do harm to people? Last time you said you don't really believe (in the psychic dreams), but it frightened you anyway. These two assertions are at odds with each other. If you didn't believe there is a danger, there would be no need to be frightened.
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:53 PM   #8
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I'm not exactly sure why I didn't tell my dad...I remembered that I told my mom once, who said that it was probably some sort of pest in the walls. His house was made of wood, like any other conventional house, so a mouse or something else could have gotten in there. It would only happen at night though, after everyone had gone to sleep. I never heard it during the day; the time that my dad heard it was a rarity, as it was in the morning around 6ish (when he used to wake me up) and not in the middle of the night. However, the sound was very faint when he heard it, and not loud and strong when I regularly heard it.
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Old 20th August 2007, 07:59 PM   #9
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Is there a line between fearing something to be true and believing it to be true? If there is, that's where I'm at on this issue, and others I've discussed on this forum. I guess I'm stuck where the fearing ends and the believing begins...when something weird happens to me (which something does, all the time it seems) I automatically default to it possibly being some sort of supernatural sign, and so the fear begins. Because this has continually happened over the course of the past few years, it's hard to ignore it when something odd happens. On the flip side, the rational part of me says "No, this cannot be real," and so the two sides duke it out because one side says, "Well look at the way this happened, at exactly the right time, under these circumstances..." while the other side says, "Stop obsessing over these things because they aren't real."

I guess I feel bad because I've gone through some very weird stuff, head-trippy stuff. I get jealous of those around me sometimes because they have fun, are seemingly care-free (they're care-free of the kinds of weird problems that I have at least) and can still live their day-to-day life somewhat happily, while I have something weird happen to me all the time, hindering me from such happiness and causing me to obsess and analyze over and over until I've got a headache (as I do now.)
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
One of the last threads that I started was about a friend who I thought that, because of a dream that she and another friend had, was going to die. That friend lived, proving the entire thing false. This site was a help to me through that time, and helped me to not take it too seriously (even though I was pretty scared).
There are a bunch of teen-oriented horror films popular right now that use a similar premise: a group of friends are doomed to die horrible deaths and one of them discovers it (via dreams or visions) but is unable to stop it. Horror films are designed to exploit people's irrational fears and unreasonable superstitions, and they do a good job being scary. But just because you are scared of something, it doesn't mean that something is real.

Quote:
I have started other threads about weird things that have happened to me, but I recently went through something that brought back a memory of something that happened when I was in high school.

During my senior year of high school, I would often hear tapping/rapping noises on the wall above my bed. They were always in the same spot, and would start out small, and gradually get louder until I sometimes had to try and drown out the sound with my television. These happened repeatedly for a long time.

One morning, when my dad came in to wake me up, the tapping started again, although it was very faint. I made my dad and stop and listen, and finally someone else heard the noise too. Then my dad got my stepmom, but it had stopped by the time she came in.

I don't really remember when the tapping activity stopped; I moved out of my dad's house in November of 2002. I had spent the night there on and off until they moved out earlier this year, and I don't remember the activity ever happening anymore.
Houses have noises. There's nothing supernatural about it. Depending on the climate and construction, houses expand, contract, and settle at various times of day and night. Pipes sometimes move when water flows through them. Critters nest in out of the way places and can move around, enter or exit the house, making taps and thuds.

Quote:
However, a few months ago, something happened that reminded me of the tapping that had occurred at my dad's house. I was living by myself in a studio (I now live in a different apartment with a roommate) and I was laying in bed reading my book, when I heard a faint tapping sound on the ceiling of the kitchen. I listened as the sound made its way from the kitchen into my living room/bedroom, and the tapping got a bit louder and tapped about every other second. The tapping continued across the ceiling of the room until it reached the wall where my head was, and traveled down behind my head and continued on down the wall until it became distant and I couldn't hear it anymore. I'm thinking it was some sort of animal inside the building, possibly crawling along or something, but the outside walls of the building were brick, so I'm not sure if it was an animal or not.

I don't know what the tapping sounds were, but today I've been thinking about them constantly. This, added to the other strange things that have happened to me, hinder my ability to be a full-blown skeptic. I've been trying to find skeptical reviews of stories of rapping on walls, but I haven't had much luck.
You need to become your own "skeptical review".

http://www.csicop.org/si/9012/critical-thinking.html

Quote:
I also have many religious fears; from what I've researched on the internet, the Bible pretty much says that any ghost is a demon (Ecclesiastes 9:5 states "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.") So, biblically speaking, anything not alive that is causing such activity must be demonic. Which is not helping my religious issues out at all...it's not fun worrying that demons might possibly be after me.
You're giving The Bible too much credit. It's just a collection stories created and written by people who really felt strongly that they had all the answers to life. They had no evidence for these "answers" other than their own belief in them.

Quote:
What would a skeptic think of this occurrence if it happened to him/her repeatedly, on the same wall, in the same spot for a long time?
Tapping in the wall? Depends on the loudness and location of the tapping. My first suspicion would be an animal. Pigeon, squirrel, bat, rat, raccoon, etc. I live in a large city, yet possums and raccoons wander about at night. When I hear things crashing around in the shrubbery outside or thumping along the roof, I don't think, "Holy Crap! Demons!". If the wall noise was annoying and long-term, I'd locate it, then go into the attic and do some fishing down through the wall with a plumbers snake in order to "discourage" whatever it is that's nesting there.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
when something weird happens to me (which something does, all the time it seems)
No it doesn't. People saying they have precognitive dreams, hearing sounds in the house--these are not "weird" events.

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I automatically default to it possibly being some sort of supernatural sign, and so the fear begins.
Yes--this is the problem. The problem is that you believe in all sorts of supernatural rubbish. I guarantee you won't make any headway until you at least 'fess up that you do believe in this stuff.

I suggest you find out why you believe these things.

Why, for example, do you think a passage written in some Hebrew text a few thousand years ago is anything to take seriously? (As I mentioned, if it is, you're in for a world of fear if you read a lot of that stuff. And not just in the Judeo-Christian tradition either.)

What makes you think a sound in the wall is something supernatural? There has been no verifiable instance EVER of a sound emanating from supernatural sources. Sound is caused by minute changes in air pressure. You hear it when it is conducted into the cochlea and causes movement of the cilia on specialized "hair cells" there. These receptors cause action potentials in the auditory nerve which go back to the primary auditory cortex (and other places) in the brain. We know a lot about it. No ghosts or demons are necessary to explain it these days.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
Is there a line between fearing something to be true and believing it to be true? If there is, that's where I'm at on this issue, and others I've discussed on this forum. I guess I'm stuck where the fearing ends and the believing begins...when something weird happens to me (which something does, all the time it seems) I automatically default to it possibly being some sort of supernatural sign, and so the fear begins. Because this has continually happened over the course of the past few years, it's hard to ignore it when something odd happens. On the flip side, the rational part of me says "No, this cannot be real," and so the two sides duke it out because one side says, "Well look at the way this happened, at exactly the right time, under these circumstances..." while the other side says, "Stop obsessing over these things because they aren't real."

I guess I feel bad because I've gone through some very weird stuff, head-trippy stuff. I get jealous of those around me sometimes because they have fun, are seemingly care-free (they're care-free of the kinds of weird problems that I have at least) and can still live their day-to-day life somewhat happily, while I have something weird happen to me all the time, hindering me from such happiness and causing me to obsess and analyze over and over until I've got a headache (as I do now.)
In a battle of will power vs. imagination, imagination will usually win. Some people have especially active imaginations. Imagination is normal, natural and good, and it can be harnessed to work for you rather than against you. Imagination is like a powerful computer, feed garbage in and you get garbage out. Your imagination doesn't know any better. Make it your servant instead. Give it an assignment to work on. Find something you're passionately interested in, some project that will require you to use every inch of your imagination in a positive way. Give yourself the long-term task of producing that something, and then get to it. I would be very surprised if your obsession with the supernatural didn't begin to quickly fade.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
from what I've researched on the internet, the Bible pretty much says that any ghost is a demon (Ecclesiastes 9:5 states "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.") So, biblically speaking, anything not alive that is causing such activity must be demonic.
Well, see, that's what you get for relying on the random hits from Google for your answers, instead of consulting people who actually know something about it.

Conservative Protestant (American) Sunday School teacher (Kindergarten/First Grade) for the last 14 years. Please allow me to address this issue.

Short version: the Bible does NOT say that "any ghost is a demon". This passage from Ecclesiastes states merely that "the dead"--which in this passage means "dead people", that is, formerly alive human beings, and NOT supernatural beings such as fairies, demons, etc.--know nothing at all; that although living people know that they are going to die, dead people don't know anything at all, that is, they are no longer active in this world.

But your extrapolation that "because the Bible says that dead people are no longer active in this world must mean that the Bible decrees that any supernatural activity must be due to demonic activity" is incorrect. The Bible itself acknowledges human ghosts; it does not say, "Anything that isn't a live person must be a demon."

When Jesus appears to the disciples after his resurrection, they think it must be a ghost.

Matthew 14:26.
Mark 6:49.
Luke 24:37.
And in Luke 24:39, Jesus himself tells them, "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

Notice that he doesn't say, "You stupids! There are no such things as ghosts!" No, he says, "I am not a ghost."

If you have "religious fears", I strongly suggest you go seek out some real answers from real people. No matter where you live, there are sincere practitioners of any faith you desire. And they can give you tons more information, not to mention useful one-on-one feedback to your specific questions, than any number of randomly chosen Internet websites.

If your slant is towards Christianity, I would suggest that you consult the nearest Salvation Army. Yes, that's right, the people who run the used clothing store actually have "saving souls" as their prime directive; selling used clothing is just their "day job".

The advantages of looking for answers at the Salvation Army are that, first, they are non-denominational, so you'll avoid the pitfalls of having to work your way through the various obscure doctrinal differences between the various sects of Christianity.

Second, they are completely used to having nameless seekers walk in off the street. They won't quiz you about your background, or even your name. You can be as anonymous as you like.

Third, the church itself (or "community center") is generally open early in the morning until late at night, seven days a week, because they also cater to homeless people, so you don't have to wait until Sunday morning to talk to someone.

And fourth, they will help you with no strings attached. They won't nag you to join their church, or pester you to put money in the offering plate.

ETA: The Salvation Army in Reno.

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Old 20th August 2007, 08:44 PM   #14
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I am not a particularly superstitious person, but I have been in the situation of hearing creepy noises.

The first time, I was a little girl, and there was a creepy ticking noise emanating from my bedroom window one night after lights-out. My little sister and I were both quickly weirded out, and we hollered for Daddy. A few moments of detective work, and he established that the big Christmas-tree light bulbs that had been wound into a wreath and hung in our window were ticking as they cooled off, touching the glass window, after having been unplugged for bedtime.

The second time was a few months ago, as a now fifty-something part-time Walgreens cashier. It was just me and the assistant manager in the store, long after closing time. She was locked in the office counting money, and I was doing things like emptying wastebaskets. I was back in the stockroom, which in Walgreens runs the entire length of the store in the back. And there was this absolutely scary series of thumps and creaks and little running thuds coming from 30 feet above me, on the roof, or in the roof, or something. It's basically a flat steel roof, with the trusses visible in the stockroom, and with lots of ductwork and stuff disappearing into the shadows up there.

And of course, my first thought was, "Squirrels." But then I realized, how would squirrels get up there, on the Walgreens roof? We're surrounded by parking lots, four-lane streets, and pavement on all four sides. Our neighbors have no trees on their lot, either, and the nearest trees would have been in residential neighborhoods across the various streets. It beggars the imagination to think that squirrels would have crossed a four-lane on two sides, or a sea of pavement on the other two sides, and then somehow climbed up (how?) onto our roof, 50 feet above the ground. Not only "how, but "why"? Why would squirrels do that?

Anyway, I decided to chalk it up to "expansion and contraction of the steel roof" from daytime heating, although it had been a chilly spring day and I wouldn't have thought there was that much heating going on up there all day. And although it had been a quite definite pattern of running footstep thuds.

And I finished up my job in the stock room real quick and joined the manager in the office, fairly weirded out.

And after I got home and thought about it for a while, in the light of day, pondering about critters, it came to me--rats. Rats are excellent climbers and bold explorers, they are omnivorous foragers, and goodness knows our dumpster is probably a happy hunting ground. And our store is in a low-income neighborhood, which probably provides a fertile breeding ground for rats in the area.

So yeah, I figure that I heard rats, up there on the roof, running around.

The point is, when you hear spooky noises, you can choose to believe that it's something supernatural, or you can choose to believe that it's something natural, that has a logical explanation that at the moment happens to escape you.

Rhythmic tapping noises outside the window sound to me like a power line banging, which is what we get outside our bathroom window every so often when the wind is right. Pretty spooky, until I figured out what it was, precisely, that was going "bang!" intermittently on stormy nights. There's a tag end that loops down, hanging there, and a gust of wind occasionally sends it into the siding.

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Old 20th August 2007, 08:51 PM   #15
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I think you're presenting a bit of a false dichotomy. You don't have to either 1)find a mundane explanation for every sound you hear or 2)accept a supernatural explanation for it.

It's similar to UFOs as space aliens. Just because we can't explain everything everyone sees or thinks they see in the sky, doesn't add ANY support whatsoever to the notion that aliens are visiting us.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:54 PM   #16
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Rats, mice, squirrells, birds living in the attic. You won't believe the sounds rats and mice make.

Could also be condensation, a leak, drainage from rain gutters.

Houses make all kinds of noises.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:55 PM   #17
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What is interesting is my own reaction to something like this. Other people wonder what it might be,or if it could have a supernatural origin. I personally wonder if it is something alive, possibly dangerous, and whether or not I have the sort of weapons required to kill it.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Goshawk View Post
The point is, when you hear spooky noises, you can choose to believe that it's something supernatural, or you can choose to believe that it's something natural, that has a logical explanation that at the moment happens to escape you.
Well said.

I'd even stop first and wonder why a noise is "spooky"? Sounds like just that judgment is already a start on the way to choosing the ghost explanation.
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Old 20th August 2007, 08:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
Well said.

I'd even stop first and wonder why a noise is "spooky"? Sounds like just that judgment is already a start on the way to choosing the ghost explanation.
I think the whole "spooky" thing is natural and instinctive. Even I feel it, and I believe in absolutely nothing.

I think that everyone is wired to feel that sensation of "spookiness"... but, you can either deal with it rationally, or not.
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Old 20th August 2007, 09:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JoeEllison View Post
I think the whole "spooky" thing is natural and instinctive. Even I feel it, and I believe in absolutely nothing.

I think that everyone is wired to feel that sensation of "spookiness"... but, you can either deal with it rationally, or not.
Exactly. Strange noises, especially at night, bring out our very primal fight or flight nature. We're going to be alert, have a rush of adrenaline and be "creeped out" if we are not accustomed to the noise. Quite natural.

How we discern what the noise is and how we choose to process it...that's up to us.
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Old 20th August 2007, 09:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
I think you're presenting a bit of a false dichotomy. You don't have to either 1)find a mundane explanation for every sound you hear or 2)accept a supernatural explanation for it.

It's similar to UFOs as space aliens. Just because we can't explain everything everyone sees or thinks they see in the sky, doesn't add ANY support whatsoever to the notion that aliens are visiting us.

Well, I think it's just human nature to need explanations for things. And when we can't immediately think of a natural explanation, we tend to cast about for a supernatural one--anything, so long as we have *some* kind of explanation, even if the explanation is only "the ghost of my Aunt Martha trapped in the linen closet". As a species, I think we dislike loose ends.

And a noise that isn't immediately recognizable--at night--immediately gets tagged as "spooky". This is because we are a diurnal species, and are very uncomfortable in the dark, when we can't see. Carl Sagan says something like, "A toddler is afraid of the dark, and of the monsters in it, because she is hardwired to know there are monsters, i.e. predators, in the dark, out beyond the circle of firelight."

And noises that aren't immediately recognizable when we're alone also get tagged as "spooky". They generally take place "when I was alone in the warehouse" or "at home". This is because we're social animals, and there is safety in numbers, and when we experience something strange, our first reaction is to grab someone and go, "Did you hear that?" And if we can't, it heightens our sense of strangeness, because we can't get reassurance or validation from another human.

Notice how many of the "I heard a weird tapping noise and it was spooky" stories don't take place at midday in the lunch hour cafeteria. If there's a weird noise during lunch rush, everybody turns to their neighbor and goes, "What was THAT?" and eventually a consensus is reached--"Sonic boom", "plane crash", whatever. But the consensus is never, "Ghosts", because it isn't dark, and we aren't alone.
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Old 20th August 2007, 09:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Miss Anthrope View Post
Exactly. Strange noises, especially at night, bring out our very primal fight or flight nature. We're going to be alert, have a rush of adrenaline and be "creeped out" if we are not accustomed to the noise. Quite natural.

How we discern what the noise is and how we choose to process it...that's up to us.
This evening, for instance, I saw a light flashing near my mailbox. I felt seriously creeped out by it. I assumed that it was someone walking and lighting up a cigarette, and related it to the truck parked in the swale near my house. Since there's a slim chance that something negative is afoot, I made sure my front door was locked. I didn't assume it was a ghost or a UFO.
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Old 20th August 2007, 09:20 PM   #23
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I remember something that Dr. Dean Edell says on his radio program that fits this situation.

He said that when you are walking down a lonely street at night and you hear hooves behind you. Think horses not zebras.

This concept is called Occum's Razor. The idea is that Usually the simplest solution is the correct one. Do not complicate something that isn't complicated. Why think it is demons or ghosts or whatever that are trying to get a hold of you. Why are you so special that they are tapping on your wall trying to tell you ....what?

When I read your OP (and follow-up post) I was struck by how many times you used words like "fear", "scared", "weird", "dwell", "obsess" and terms like these. Personally you sound a lot like many of the Catholic kids who I grew up with, (accept you didn't use "guilt" once).

I don't understand why you are so obsessed with this noise stuff, why even give it a second thought? There are so many other amazing and wonderful things to think about in life. Do you obsess about other things like, germs, chemicals, washing, or counting?

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Old 20th August 2007, 09:28 PM   #24
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Personally I don't like noises at night. My husband left me 5 years ago and sometimes he would take the kids for the weekend. So I went from being a wife with a husband and two kids always with someone around, to a single woman with no kids around. Talk about some spooky nights.

What I found really helpful was having my cats with me. I made sure everything was locked up real good around the house. And then kept my cats with me. If I heard a noise and they reacted to the noise also then I might be concerned. If they could care less about the noise then I was able to relax.

It also helped to have motion lights put up all around the place.

Now I have a live-in boyfriend (a bigish burly man, thank you very much) both my kids never visit their dad, and my elderly mom just moved in. I'm lucky now if I ever hear a strange noise a night.

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Old 21st August 2007, 01:25 AM   #25
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Even the hardest sceptic gets shivers down his spine sometimes. Human nervous systems evolved to make us react to potential threats by paying attention. Trouble is, we also have imagination. Paying attention to an unknown phenomenon and allowing the imagination full reign, can be scary.
(Also very creative, for witers and such).

For some years when I was a kid, I used to be awakened at night by what sounded like fingernails, scratching my ceiling. This sort of thing can be pretty disturbing when it's dark. Now I could have imagined myself into a state of funk, but what use would that be? Instead, I tried to localise the sounds, by standing on a chair with a steel rod in one ear pressed to the ceiling. (Must have looked the total idiot). I even managed to record the noises. I realised they tended to be nearest the gable end of the house and finally tracked them down to sparrows sheltering under the weatherboards.

That was a brick cavity wall, by the way. All houses have vents; small birds bats and mice can get through them.

Try to shift your baseline POV. Instead of suspecting an inexplicable source, assume the mundane and eliminate the likely causes first. You seem prone to interpreting natural events as having a personal significance , which they actually do not have. This is something everyone does to some extent, but when overdone it becomes a problem. In extreme cases it might be symptomatic of paranoid schizophrenia- but you don't seem to be that way at all. You just take stuff a bit too seriously.

My advice is to chill a bit. If the noises persist, investigate them rationally out of interest, but do so with the base assumption that houses make noises for all sorts of reasons and you notice them because that's where you live. (Imagine living in a tent in the forest! You'ld never get any sleep).

The chance of this being an angel / demon / god trying to get to you by tapping is pretty small. And if it IS a spirit, you have a $1,000,000 bucks on the way, which can't be bad!

Keep thinking and stop worrying. It's more fun and more productive.

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Old 21st August 2007, 01:51 AM   #26
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I wonder if you have ever considered whether you have some form of obsessive compulsive disorder? You sound very like a friend of mine, who, especially when he is feeling stressed, will start to obsess about certain things. Even though his rational mind tells him these things are not true, he can't stop thinking about them. Indeed he feels like he has to over think about them in order to prove them absolutely untrue, making the problem worse. He was diagnosed with a mild form of OCD and a low dose of an SSRI has helped him considerably and he is also thinking of having cognitive therapy.

I have no idea if you have this problem, but it might be worth looking into.
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Old 21st August 2007, 02:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Goshawk View Post
*snip*
And there was this absolutely scary series of thumps and creaks and little running thuds coming from 30 feet above me, on the roof, or in the roof, or something.*snip*

So yeah, I figure that I heard rats, up there on the roof, running around.*snip*
Birds, more likely. We have that sound occasionally in my home, you know: Bump, bump, bump, trip, trip, trip, trip, bump, scratch, bump, trip, trip, trip. I have several times gone outside to investigate, and invariably a bird, crow, rook, pigeon, or magpie, hurriedly takes off, whereafter the sounds are gone as well.

When they land and hop around on the TV aereal, the sounds become booming.

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Old 21st August 2007, 02:28 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JoeEllison View Post
This evening, for instance, I saw a light flashing near my mailbox. I felt seriously creeped out by it. I assumed that it was someone walking and lighting up a cigarette, and related it to the truck parked in the swale near my house. Since there's a slim chance that something negative is afoot, I made sure my front door was locked. I didn't assume it was a ghost or a UFO.
Yeah, had that one evening: We have a cupboard with glass doors, and suddenly a yellow blinking light appeared in one of them. I looked out the window behind me, but that is just a yard with a driveway and a large apartment building. Nothing there. Now, I'm rarely freaked by things, but but I AM an investigation freak; I want to know why. So, I got up, went to the cupboard where the light was, and turned around to look for the source. .. A working truck of some kind, with a yellow rotating warning light was on the road on the other side of that apartment building, shining in through a window, through the apartment there, and out another window, across the yard, through my window and hitting the cupboard window, where it was reflected towards me. Only visible exactly in that direction.

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Old 21st August 2007, 03:05 AM   #29
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Let's get this straight. While you nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at your chamber door? `'Tis some visitor,' most likely, `tapping at your chamber door - Only this, and nothing more.'
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Old 21st August 2007, 06:47 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
Let's get this straight. While you nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at your chamber door? `'Tis some visitor,' most likely, `tapping at your chamber door - Only this, and nothing more.'
And he was reading Ecclesiastes. Could there be a quainter volume of forgotten lore?
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Old 21st August 2007, 06:54 AM   #31
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I've been hearing a lot of banging and footsteps on the ceiling of my new apartment. I wondered if it could be ghosts. Then I remembered there is a townhouse above my flat. (a bad joke)

You shouldn't think automatically that unexplained noises are paranormal, there are tons of natural explanations that are far more likely to be causing them. I really don't understand why people think that ghosts and demons are more believable than bad pipes or rats or woodpeckers, or just plain house groans.
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Old 21st August 2007, 06:57 AM   #32
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JP1283 - I have to say, "demons" would have been my last thought; as others have suggested, odds are you had a little critter (mouse for example) that found a way into the various spaces that exist in houses.

Cuddles - Nicely done
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Old 21st August 2007, 07:02 AM   #33
JoeTheJuggler
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Originally Posted by JoeEllison View Post
I think the whole "spooky" thing is natural and instinctive. Even I feel it, and I believe in absolutely nothing.
For JP, as evidenced by several threads he's started, just about everything is spooky.

In this case, he even admits that the sound was barely audible. I doubt very much that's the sort of thing that causes the instinctive, hair-raising response in most people.
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Old 21st August 2007, 08:10 AM   #34
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maybe you could kind of test the source of the tapping, by asking "it" to tap out several different numbers you give it, with gaps in between
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Old 21st August 2007, 08:21 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by plumjam View Post
maybe you could kind of test the source of the tapping, by asking "it" to tap out several different numbers you give it, with gaps in between
What conclusion should he draw when the air pockets in the water pipes make faint enough sounds that he can ignore any taps that do not answer his questions?

Isn't confusing someone to believe that something impossible is real immoral? On the other hands, playing with the minds of others is awfully fun...
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Old 21st August 2007, 08:59 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by strathmeyer View Post
What conclusion should he draw when the air pockets in the water pipes make faint enough sounds that he can ignore any taps that do not answer his questions?

Isn't confusing someone to believe that something impossible is real immoral? On the other hands, playing with the minds of others is awfully fun...
he could turn the water off, bleed the system.. and try again
i don't see how i was confusing someone into believing that something is possible, i was just offering one way to test it out
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Old 21st August 2007, 09:06 AM   #37
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I once investigated exactly this sort of noise, coming from a suspended ceiling. I popped my head up through a tile and retrieved a 3-foot snake. Of course, it may have been an evil snake....
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Old 21st August 2007, 09:29 AM   #38
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JP, I'm not sure if this is a comfort for you but I also had a similar experience, though in my case I'm positive it was just a rat trying to get in. In my old apartment I lived on the second floor. There was a opening on the ceiling in my bedroom that was covered by two pieces of wood. I'm not sure what it was for (I was never curious enough to stick my head through, if only because I figure it'd be a dusty mess up there), but it appeared to lead to the roof. One time during a rainy winter (a rarity in Southern California) I began hearing a very aggressive attempt at trying to break through this opening. It sounded like chewing and tapping and I was afraid but only because I felt it was a rat trying to get in. It would only happen at night and it only occured a few times for several days in a row. Fortunately whatever it was never got through.

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Old 21st August 2007, 10:15 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Meri View Post
I know you said the apartment building was brick, but was there any wood on your father's house? Because in my parents house, I used to be woken up some mornings by a tapping that always seemed to be coming from the bottom corner of the room. It took me a while to figure out, but in the end we found out a woodpecker was attacking the wood under the eaves outside of the house, which because of the way the house is built, would be right under that corner of my room.

Other than that idea, I agree with the others who suggest pipes or pests.
Hey, I had the exact same problem. Tapping noises at my bedroom wall, precisely at level with my head when I was lying in bed. It woke me up every morning at a MUCH too early hour, for days . Turned out to be a persistant woodpecker who was quite the "early bird"
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Old 21st August 2007, 12:24 PM   #40
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JP I'm glad you came here to get help and advice. Like you I used to be weirded out by such stuff and the shame is it took me so long to become skeptical enough to mostly shrug it off now. Of course I still get weirded out now and again but not so much as I used to. Back when I used to believe in god and spirits and such I was so much more susceptible and would sometimes get downright frightened at such little things as sounds at night. Now I live so much more in the real world and it is wonderful to not jump and start at every little sound.
Of course once in awhile I'm acutally disappointed that noises have rational explanations instead of cool ghostly ones, but mainly I'm just glad there I don't have to worry about demons and ghoulies and "dark entities" and such.
As a poster above said, having a pet also helps. Not only are you not by yourself but if said pet doesn't react to a noise why should you?
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