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Sound Imitations


This happened when I was in my early twenties, maybe five or six years ago? I was living by myself in an apartment in Montreal. A boyfriend had recently broken up with me. It had been a rather short relationship but I was pretty bummed out about it.

Anyway, I had moved into the apartment in July. Sometimes I would hear the sound that my cell phone would make when I had a text message, but when I checked there was no message. It didn't seem like a huge deal to me and I just brushed it off.

The guy I mentioned in the first paragraph broke up with me in October, so I got a pair of finches. They really liked Ella Fitzgerald and the Beatles and they didn't care for Nirvana.

One day I had let them out of their cage and I was sitting on my bed and they were also sitting on my bed. I was playing my guitar and singing. The song was one I had written called "the ghost in the wall," which was a metaphor. It was actually about another relationship that had ended before the most recent one (although I did get back together with the guy that the song was about later on. We had an off-again on-again relationship for two years.) Anyway, when I was with the most recent boyfriend, who probably didn't know what the song was about, I would play this song and he would accompany me by whistling. Anyway, I was sitting on my bed with my finches playing this song when all of a sudden someone or something started whistling along with me just like my ex-boyfriend had always done when we were together.

The whistling really gave me a start. I stopped playing my guitar immediately and just looked at the finches. They were just staring at me like, "Hi, we're finches," and not whistling. The whistling that I had heard didn't even sound like my birds, it was too human. One of the birds had a really chirpy sound and the other had more of a prehistoric sounding squawk. They didn't sound the same as a person whistling at all. I wondered if maybe my ex was visiting one of my neighbours (he was friends with several of them which is how I met him) and maybe heard me playing and started whistling along to freak me out; however, it hadn't sounded like it was coming from another apartment, it hadn't even sounded like it was coming from another room. It had sounded like it was in my room. My windows weren't open because it was cold, and I don't think I would have been able to hear it that clearly if it were coming from outside.

I was a bit wary after this because I couldn't come up with an explanation. I don't know if I just started paying attention more or what, but after this I started to hear a buzzing sound at night while I was lying in bed. One night I realized that it was coming from my bedroom walls. When I put my ear up to the wall, I could hear music. If any of you are familiar with Mars Volta, it was like the music at the end of the song "the Widow." A friend in Vancouver had sent me a mix CD about a year before this with that song on it. For those of you haven't heard it, the end of the song is like this experimental electronic-type stuff. I had been listening to this song a lot lately, but the experimental stuff at the end went on for a long time and I usually changed songs rather than listen to the whole thing. The music in the wall was like this experimental stuff.

At this point I discussed all of this with a friend who I knew would believe me. There was a wood panel screwed onto one of my walls and I wanted to see what was behind it, but I didn't want to be by myself when I looked so this particular friend came over to my apartment. I have read too many ghost stories and mysteries in my life and I was expecting to find a box of old photographs or a diary or something, haha. I just thought that the panel had to be there for a reason. We found pipes and cobwebs and probably the reason why it was there was because it was the only way to access the pipes going to the bathroom since the bathroom was very small and cramped.

Anyway, once the "investigation" was complete my friend and I heard the buzzing noise again. She put her ear up against the wall (it wasn't the same wall with the panel and the pipes) and listened for a few seconds before gasping and jumping away from the wall. Her reaction freaked me out a little bit and I said, "What's wrong?" She said, "Just listen." I put my ear to the wall and heard the Mars Volta music. As I listened, I started to hear someone breathing right in my ear. I put my hand over my mouth and jerked away from the wall looking at my friend, who said, "Yeah."

I wanted to get out of my room at that point and we were standing in my hallway right outside my bedroom door discussing where the noise could be coming from. My friend thought that I could have a neighbour with sleep apnea and maybe that's what we were hearing. The wall that we had been listening at was one that I shared with a neighbour, and it was probably his bedroom wall too because the apartments were all set up pretty much the same. She also thought that there was a possibility that it was paranormal or that I was creating this without knowing it. As we were talking outside the bedroom door, the buzzing noise started getting louder like it was trying to draw us back in to listen to the wall again.

My friend has had a lot of experience with the paranormal and she had brought some sage with her just in case it turned out that I wanted to use it. We smudged the apartment and nothing ever happened there again. I lived there for a couple of years, had my son while living there, and moved when he was nine months old.

I don't really know what it was or why it stopped. Maybe it was the smudging that stopped it or maybe it was me doing it as my friend suggested and I stopped it once I was aware of that possibility. Another theory that I had was that it was my upstairs neighbour. He was an elderly gentleman who I wasn't very comfortable with. Shortly after I moved in I was walking out of the building one day and he started yelling at me from his balcony in French. I had only been living in Quebec for about two years at this point and my French was awful (it's still not perfect.) I couldn't understand a word that he was saying so I have no idea why he was mad at me. Before the phantom whistling and the buzzing, I saw him get taken into an ambulance on a stretcher. He came home from the hospital shortly after my friend and I smudged the apartment and the sounds stopped. Maybe he was in a coma and just wanted to come home? He would have heard me playing the guitar with my ex-boyfriend numerous times so he certainly would have been able to imitate the tune that ex would always whistle when I played that song. The cell phone noise started before he was in the hospital though, so I don't know.

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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, raccoonbonapart, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

halfchewed (1 stories) (2 posts)
10 years ago (2012-01-18)
Are you sure your friend didn't say "Eh", instead of "Yeah". HaHa, just a joke from a neighbor to your South. Great Story. Thanks.
raccoonbonapart (1 stories) (21 posts)
10 years ago (2012-01-13)
I thought that it might be the pipes too, but the wall that we were listening to didn't have pipes behind it. Maybe the vibrations from the pipes could move to the other walls in the room? I think that the most unexplainable sound was the whistling. Thanks for your comment!:)
BlueTurtle (3 stories) (176 posts)
10 years ago (2012-01-13)
At this point, who can say what it was for sure? Since you mentioned pipes behind the wall, I thought that's what it was. But the breathing and the buzzing is curious too. If there was anything paranormal linked to that room, I'm sure the smudging did the job. Glad to hear everything's ok now!

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