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A Strange Ticking Noise


A Strange Ticking Noise

Hello. This is my first story. I hope you like it. I am from a big family of 8 children. We lived in a 3 bedroom house, so over time there was lots of bedroom sharing and changing. For a couple of years I slept alone in the smallest bedroom aka the box room.

During my time there I often awoke during the night to hear a loud ticking noise coming from the other side of the room. But whenever I opened my eyes it would stop. I passed it off as some kind of weird recurring dream based on this. Usually when I'd wake up I'd be lying on my left hand side facing the source direction of the noise, but one night, however, circumstances were different.

I awoke (eyes closed) to the same noise again, and thought to myself, "OK it stops when I open my eyes" so I did that. But this time I found myself lying on my right side, facing away from the source and for the first time the noise continued while my eyes were open.

I turned onto my back, facing the ceiling... The noise continued.

I sat up facing the end of the bed, rubbed my eyes to make sure I was actually awake... The noise continued.

I quickly jerked my head to the left (towards the source)...and the noise instantly stopped.

I talked to 2 of my sisters about it a while later, both of whom had previously slept in that room on different occasions, and they each said that they too had heard it and described it the same as me, as in it stops when you look at it.

Just wondering has anybody else ever come across anything similar, or can offer an explanation. I have been told about a certain insect that lives in dry wall that makes a similar sound. While that would certainly explain the noise, it doesn't explain why it stopped whenever I looked towards it though.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, johntravis28, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

GreenGho5t (1 posts)
1 year ago (2020-04-18)
I have had this exact experience, although the sound eventually disappeared as I aged I hear it randomly from time to time, the reason I started looking online again for some explanation is I heard it again just prior to this pandemic taking hold of the country - coincidence? 🤔
Hyper00sonic (1 posts)
3 years ago (2019-02-26)
Im also hearing some sort of Ticking Noise and I can't sleep. I don't know who behind this ticking noise. I'm wondering if this some sort of wireless radio telecommunication or scanner? I want to sue them for this act and but them in jail and request large some of cash as compensation.
Silverhalo (1 posts)
3 years ago (2019-02-22)
Hello I live in Kilsyth near Glasgow but was brought up in the east end of Glasgow in a Tenament building... Ever since I was around 3 or 4 years old I would hear a ticking sound around me in my home. Not directly from within the walls but as if it was hanging in the air. Anytime I put my hand near the sound it would stop and manifest itself somewhere in the room but always close by... For years I never said to my mum or dad and in fact it wasn't until we moved house when I was 15 and the ticking moved with us that I mentioned it to my older brother who had moved out a few years earlier... My brother told me he used to hear it but it only appeared after I was born and when he left for his new home he never heard it again... I could go into this in depth about how I interacted with this sound but I am at work just now... Suffice to say I am 55 in a few weeks and the ticking has all but stopped, though it did carry with me through 3 homes. In that time I have never had any explanation to why it follows me and it's purpose... To the sceptics I can say this. This was no clock or watch in a drawer or a neighbours clock. It also wasn't a death watch beetle or some sort of insect or house defect. Actually sometimes at night I would sleep listening to music because the ticking would appear right at my ear. It may not have meant to be menacing but as a youngster it was hard for it not to be... I do now have my thoughts on what or who it could be.
Drih (1 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-05)
About 20 -25 years ago (I'm now 40), in a house & bedroom I had lived in for many years, I was drifting off to sleep when I heard a tapping noise coming from directly above my head. It sounded like someone tapping a fingernail on the rendered wall at my bedhead.

The tapping had no order to it... Fast & slow... It would start off slow & suddenly get faster only to slow down again.
The strange thing was, as soon as I opened my eyes it stopped.

The first time this happened I thought it must be a tree branch brushing up against my window (also located above my bed). I went outside & checked. The tree branches were not touching my window at all.
I then thought it must be my cane bedhead somehow rattling on the wall (although I had never noticed it before).
So I took the cane bedhead out of my room completely.

I then went back to bed.
A few seconds after shutting my eyes the tapping started up again. I laid there very still, listening... Then opened my eyes & it stopped. I closed my eyes & it started again. I did this a few times to be sure that that my eyes opening & closing was coinciding with the tapping starting/stopping & then became so freaked out that I ran into my mothers bedroom & climbed into bed with her.

The tapping happened very frequently over years & I guess I got used to it or was so tired when going to bed I just somehow fell asleep. I used to think to myself when it was tapping away that if my grandparents & friends that had died could hear me they would protect me from whatever this tapping noise was.
I also thought I had slept in that bedroom for 6-10 years & always felt safe in there so if it was a 'ghost' it should be a nice one?

I tried tapping one of my fingernails on the wall & it made the exact same sound.
Why would it stop & start when I opened & closed my eyes?

My friends, sisters & I used to try & have seances when we were younger (years before the tapping) & did have one in my bedroom & the glass said it was the devil. Now I don't know if anyone pushed the glass in any of these seances so not sure if we really did contact the devil or any other 'spirit' but I have wondered if that had something to do with it. Then again, I never felt threatened, just freaked out!

Interesting to read other people's accounts of a very similar occurrence!

I'm sure no one in my family really believed me as no one else heard it.

I may have heard it at another home I lived in years later but only the once.
maxzdz (1 posts)
6 years ago (2015-06-08)
Alright this is amazing I only made an account because I read this and I've never met anyone who has had the same experience as me.
I have had an almost identical experience although I would describe the noise as a tapping as someone else already stated. It always happens late at night when I'm about to sleep and as I'm a very light sleeper it keeps me awake unless I find the source.
I also find that when I concentrate on the source or move quickly or look right at it the tapping suddenly stops. However I've spent the early hours of the morning slowly tracking it down a few times.
I've had this experience possibly four or five times a year for the past five years or so and I've tracked down the source maybe three times and each time the exact same tapping noise was originating from a completely random inanimate object in my bedroom and it immediately stops once I move the object.
The first time it came from an old money box that I got as a child and it stopped as soon as I brought it into bed with me. The second time I found it it was coming from an old dusty art folder that was about a decade old on the top of my wardrobe a good 8 foot off the ground and finally it came from an old phone charger on a shelf in my room.
It doesn't frighten me whatsoever I actually find it pretty cool but it's nice to know I'm not the only one who experiences it.
I've tried to decipher what it means before checking to see if it was morse or binary or something similar but to no avail.
Manafon (4 stories) (74 posts)
6 years ago (2015-04-24)
I tried to email you about this subject but it didn't work for whatever reason. I too have experienced the type of ticking you experienced (my story is on this site under the title An Invisible Clock Ticking). I had a guy from New Zealand contact me (after reading my account) who has experienced this ticking many, many times. He once asked the ticking, "how many of there are you here",and suddenly two seperate tickings started. He has been successful in recording this phenomenon. In my case, the ticking was a one off (so far) experience that I believe was my deceased mother making contact with me. Like the guy from NZ, it seems as if some spirits make contact through this ticking noise instead of speaking because it is a much less potentially alarming form of communication. A didembodied voice in a darkened room versus a ticking sound. The guy from New Zealand told me that his ticking has escalated to rappings, knockings and other phenomenon. Someone else speculated that the ticking is a warning of impending disaster but my experience was a very comforting and life affirming one. I do find it very interesting that this ticking noise has been experienced by a number of people. For some spirits it does seem to be a way of communication or a way of drawing ones attention to its presence.
SailorStretch (1 posts)
6 years ago (2015-04-24)
I just heard the ticking sound last night for the first time last night, but for me, I would call it a tapping. I work on a ship, and the thing is, I really wanted to attribute the sound to something on the vessel movement. I have been sailing for 10 years and know every sound the ship makes and don't get disturbed by noises and can identify every single type of sound that could be considered creepy or otherwise to other people.

This tapping on sheet metal sound gave me chills. It had no distinct rhythm, would stop when I stood up, and would appear to move to different areas as I investigated my stateroom. I was compelled to kneel and pray. I won't get into the details of that, but let me just say that I've had some things weighing on my heart, things I regret, things I want to do, things I feel I should have done.

My wife wants me to stop Chewing tobacco and constantly pesters me and I felt like someone told me to stop after I went back in bed, not audibly mind you, but it wasn't my thought. I took all the tobacco I had and threw it away. The tapping slowed and then stopped. I also felt like someone tugged on my arm at one point.

Today, I have a sore spot near my jaw under my mouth, by my lymph nodes. After searching the web for similar experiences there seems to be a constant theme of warning in these series of posts, and I'm afraid now that I may have stopped too late and this sore sport could be something more, or maybe its just part of the whole experience. Either way, there's no way I'm chewing or smoking again, I don't even have the desire (even though it hasn't been a long time yet).

I'm curious if the tapping will continue for me. I'm setting up a doctors appointment to get checked out when I get home in a couple weeks. Even if I feel better by then.

Thank you to everyone on here that has shared their experiences.

ImmortalLight (1 posts)
8 years ago (2013-10-23)
Hi! I just had to join this site after reading your story, as I've been experiencing a similar occurrence. For the past couple of months, I've been hearing an inconsistent ticking sound in my bedroom. It sounds quite similar to the ticking of a clock, but much more erratic, and there are periods of silence between the clicks/ticks. I do not have a clock in my bedroom, and to my knowledge, this is not being caused by an insect either. At first I thought it was coming from my computer, or monitor, but the sound persisted even after I shut it down. It doesn't happen every night, and some times the ticks/clicks are louder and more insistent than others. Like you, when I focus on the area which I believe is the source of the sound, it stops, only to start up again when I lie down. The strange thing is; I've also begun to experience it at my mum's place also, but this is a recent thing. It all seems very strange. BTW, I live in an apartment building which was built about ten years ago, so it isn't a case of the house settling, as often is the cause of strange sounds in older buildings. I also live in Ireland.
CorkIrelandGuy (1 posts)
8 years ago (2013-08-04)
The ticking noise is a warning sign. It is a warning of approaching adversary, treachery, or an opponent. My ticking noise appeared when a legal dispute arose and by the time it got to court, the noise was louder than ever. It is most certainly not a beetle in my opinion of any kind. I live in Ireland and we don't have anything like a death watch beetle. "DestiNova" discussed getting a ticket and the sign was indeed an augur. There is a parallel here with me on legal matters. Every time I hear it I keep my whit's about me. Even when I wrote a letter to a newspaper and another person wrote back berating me for writing it, the sign would warn me. Forget all about beetles! This is a real warning sign from nature and if it gets very loud... Obey and keep clear.
Annie13 (1 posts)
9 years ago (2013-02-13)
When I was 8yrs old my family had seances (unwise I now realize) and during one we heard a ticking noise, like a quiet and fast ticking clock. We have had this distinct ticking noise ever since - even in a small tent one night. When I was 12 my friend and I had some seances and the ticking remained in my room for months - its presence very strong. I'm 45 years old now and the ticking has been in every house I've ever lived in (and I've shifted many times) plus it has been with me when I've stayed in friend's houses. It moves around the room when I try to move close to it, sometimes I wake in the night and it is ticking right next to my ear. It starts in all parts of the house. Personally I don't like it, I find it spooky.
Jamie55 (1 posts)
9 years ago (2012-05-22)
I can relate to the stories so well because I too, have heard the ticking noises for at least 11 years and have learnt to be comfortable with it over time.

It all started in the mid 90s after a close friend committed suicide - my then partner & I first heard it coming from a room where the only clock we could find was clearly disconnected from any power source and also had no batteries.

At first, I was scared witless however, in the following years the ticking seemed to follow me around where ever I went, starting up mostly as I was settling into sleep or at odd times during the day when I was alone. When my son was small he also heard it as did my Mother when she was staying over on a visit. The direction of the noise would shift whenever I moved toward it. I noticed that it would suddenly start up from another area in the room or seem to 'float' around the ceiling.

Over the years, I have noticed several patterns. The ticking begins whenever I am worried about something or feeling insecure and/or slightly depressed when things don't go my way, it also starts as if to pre-warn me about a situation that will occur in the near future that will upset me and/or may be unpleasant. It let's me know that whatever the outcome, I will be ok.

For the past few years, I have communicated and sent a prayer of thanks to the entity obviously watching over me whenever it starts. I havnt heard it lately and think that my life has finally taken a turn for the better!
johntravis28 (guest)
10 years ago (2011-06-09)
Hi boost addict. That is pretty much what I experienced too. Kind of like a clock, but a little too fast. Did you find out what was causing it at all?
DestiNova (3 posts)
10 years ago (2011-06-08)
Ive heard the ticking noise ever since my father died. Then my friend died and made two distinct ticking noises. Then another family member died and made three distinct ticking noises, and as you might guess another relative died and now its like a freaking band. Anyway the ticking noise is electromagnetic energy from the other dimension (quantum theory). The spirits can see us only we can't see them that's why the ticking noise stops (as does for me and ticks at irregular patterns). Has anyone tried counting the ticks... Yep just like a clock. Starts out slow (winding the electricity) then ticks like crazy then stops. My ticking is an early warning sign. If I'm going to get a ticket or something like that the ticking starts and gives me exactly 7 days. On the 7th day usually something happens. The ticking also puts me in another time frame to (dictate my move/presence) like wow I just missed that car wreck lucky for me I just spent half an our listening to the ticking trying to count the ticks and write them down on a lotto ticket (hey why not). Never ever worked and I bought lots of tickets. And for this I'm turning my ticking in to the higher ticking commission (joke) ha ha. Any way I love it and can't wait to tick myself.
Boost_Addict_88 (1 stories) (1 posts)
10 years ago (2011-06-03)
I have a similar experience, except that the ticking is "inconsistant" when it ticks (almost sounds like a clock, but with time being messed up). It usually does it 4x a week, at night, and stops after a few minutes.
QuantumFoundation (2 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-22)
This is rather interesting. I am a Paranormal Investigator from NZ and have just recently had a client complaining of exactly the same type of ticking noise - no it's definitely not a boiler, it's been happening for 18 years in 4 (memory) different houses. I find it a coincidence that it could be the commonly referred to 'Death Beetle' in as many different houses. And said client & members of her family have also witnessed a jug cord being pulled out of the wall socket before their eyes as well as many other common paranormal activity. I am at a loss as to what to think. Looking forward to the investigation to see what can be ascertained and ruled out. Thanks for posting!:D
Imarealghost (2 stories) (39 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-20)
I agree with lou. The whole point of a site like this is not only to share experiences but to try and find some kind of explanation. I always prefer when all rational explanations are explored before any conclusions are made in favour of paranormal. So, IMO you shouldn't feel silly.
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-19)
You don't need to feel the least bit silly about posting a story that may or may not be a paranormal event. Sometimes it takes several sets of "eyes" to look at something and figure it out...
Devious Angel's theory is a sound one and needs to be considered... It may or may not be the source of the noise... Something paranormal could still exist. If it is indeed an insect, I would like to know how it would know you are looking at it... Pretty sure they don't react to eye contact.
Succubussed... (sigh)...for the record, JohnTravis wasn't touching himself either, move along.

johntravis28 (guest)
10 years ago (2011-05-19)
Thanks all for opinions. I'll try and answer each one:

Louise21: The house was built in the 60s and originally had a central heating unit where we burned fuel and wood to heat the whole house. Years later we installed oil fired radiators for which the boiler needs to be outside because of carbon monoxide ommissions

Deviousangel: I accept the theory that it was some kind of insect. Maybe I was more hoping it was paranormal 😁 However it remains strange that the noise which sounded more like a clock would continue no matter how much noise I made moving, and would only stop when I looked that direction

Succubussed: No touching at all. Just the noise. I didn't feel any kind of presence either. No fear

Lilady: always good to read your comments. Seems most people are in agreement that it is an insect of some description, which tbh makes me feel a bit silly for posting it on a haunting site when it belongs more on a nature site 😁 but would these beetles really make a regular clicking like to sound like a clock?
Lilady4 (7 stories) (427 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-19)
What a interesting story here, johntravis28. I'm sorry but I can't really explain what it could be. But, I am in agreement with DeviousAngel on this one being beetles (click beetles). You could have just disturbed them in your sleep.
Then again, it could be paranormal, who really knows without doing some investigating?
Love & Light, Rachel ❤
suucubussed2 (7 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
Johntravis, your experience may have absolutely nothing to do with what I myself and other people that I have spoken with experience, but the primary phenomenon that you mention seems very familiar to me. Excuse me for this, because it might be totally unrelated, but I have to ask. You see, my experiences have included sexual touching from an invisible Being.

I have been in touch with many others who experience this as well, and although there are some commonalities that occur for all of us, the one thing--and it seems to be the oddest thing, since there doesn't seem to be any connection--is that when we are being touched, we all hear a noise that sounds like snapping wood. Like a pencil or a chopstick breaking.

Did you feel anything touching you when this happened?
aiafaith1 (guest)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
I honestly don't think this is anything paranormal. Don't take this the wrong way. 😊 It could just be a noise in the house. It is odd that it stops when you open your eyes though. Thanks for sharing anyway. 😆
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
The family Elateridae is commonly called click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them from the related Cerophytidae and Eucnemidae), elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles or "skipjacks".

DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
Thank you for sharing your story. I have actually had a little experience with a type of beetle that used to live and thrive in the yard area around my old house. They were very small, slender-bodied brown and gray insects with a hard exoskeletal shell and a softer underbody. They made the sound by clicking their wings against their bodies. I'm not sure where I read it, but I believe this type of beetle makes that sound during the mating season (which I THINK is spring, not sure if the timeline with your story coincides) and if they are asserting dominance in a particular area. I wish I knew the name of them, but I do not.

Just another theory, insects in particular are amazing at picking up the most infinitessimal vibrations. The action of you moving or shifting may have alerted it to your presence, which may have caused it to stop.
Louise21 (3 stories) (33 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
yes I was suggesting coincidence. Maybe your thinking too much about the noise and it stops because your expecting it to. More importantly, why would you have the back boiler in the shed...? Houses are not built with them in them anymore and they are major money savers.!
johntravis28 (guest)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
Hi Louise21... Thanks for your suggestion. We do have a boiler, but it is in a shed out the back garden. That also wouldn't explain why it stopped evertime I looked at it... Unless you are suggesting mere coincidence?
Louise21 (3 stories) (33 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
If you have a back boiler I promise you its the heating.! I experianced the exact same thing until my dad showed me exactly where the noise came from.
johntravis28 (guest)
10 years ago (2011-05-18)
Thank you all for your comments and theorys

[at] Joojoodolly: There were always small things happening... Cutlery rattling, things falling off shelves... The usual. I don't know if there are still instances as we have the house rented out to a family now

[at] Happyspirit: That is certainly an interesting theory. Do you reckon they would be so perceptive as to notice when I jus open my eyes?

[at] Kristy_glick: My mother did die around that time coming to think of it. It was about 10 years ago though so I couldn't be sure as to the timescale of when I heard the noise
HappySpirit (187 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-17)
I'd go with the explantion of an insect, with one additional piece. Lower life forms in general are much more aware of their environment than humans, perceiving prey or predators through senses we have closed off. Even if they can't see a predator, they can sense it looking in their direction. This is what might be happening with the insect in the wall. In this case the perceived danger would arise not from someone lisening to its sounds but actually looking in its direction, which is a more intense form of attention. At that point, the inscect would fall silent. This is admitedly stretching it a bit with biological/physical explanations, but I feel that the whole world of animal perception is so much vaster than we understand. I am constantly reading on ghost story websites of people's pets that bark and hiss when the family ghost makes its appearance.
Kristy_Glick (3 stories) (29 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-17)
I remember something like this happening in 'Tom Sawyer': Tom said it was a death clock and meant someone in the house was going to die. I'm sure Mark Twain was referencing old southern folklore, but I can't seem to locate any information about it.

More likely than not it is either an insect, as you suggested, or a spirit that's just playing with you.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
10 years ago (2011-05-17)
Good story! I can't help you with the insect but I have had instances when wood rats (ewww) have come up through the wall and made all sort of sounds! It was pretty obvious what was making the sounds though. Finally got the little pests. ❤

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