You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Apparitions / Voices / Touches :: Sounds Of Cutting Wood After Midnight

Real Ghost Stories

Sounds Of Cutting Wood After Midnight


I will try to be as specific as possible writing down this story, although being new to this kind of thing, I do not specifically know what details are important and which ones aren't, so excuse me if it's too long.

I live in a very old house - originally built somewhere at the end of the 1800s. The house has been renovated since and two new rooms were added in addition to the original house that had only one room. That one room, the oldest one, is now my bedroom, and it used to belong to my great grandparents. We have a front and a back porch, as well as a pretty big vegetable garden surrounding the house. My grandparents use to have pigs, chickens and rabbits, and behind the house there is a big shed for animals and housework that needed to be done outside, tools etc.

I remember that a couple of years ago my father got some firewood for a very cheap price, and decided to convert the fireplace in his and my mother's bedroom into a wood burning fireplace. That wasn't very practical as it somehow made too much smoke, but that winter they still used up the wood. My father used to always chop the tree stumps he had into smaller pieces, for firewood, behind the house. He had an old looking, bigger stump, on which he placed the wood to be chopped. So the sound of chopping pieces of wood that are placed on another piece of wood is somehow distinctly in my memory.

A couple of months, maybe half a year ago, I started staying up until late at night/early in the morning to study for my finals. On one occasion, after midnight (not right after, I do not recall checking the time, but it was really late) I heard a couple of knocks that seemed to be coming from outside, as I was typing away on my computer. The typing also makes a kind of knocking sound, so I wasn't sure that I actually heard something or not, so I stopped typing and heard it again, a couple of times. It reminded me of the noise I heard when my father used that stump to chop wood. The knocks weren't loud but you could hear them, and they were coming from the direction of my window, which is right next to our backyard and the shed. The knocks lasted for about 10-20 seconds, approx. 2 seconds apart from each other (the pause between each was pretty much the same on every occasion, similar to a clock, but the pause lasted 3, maybe 4 seconds). I don't recall this happening every night, but I also very often spend a couple of nights at my boyfriend's place, so I am not home every night; however, I do recall hearing this repeatedly, maybe 5 or 6 times (on different days), and no, I never opened the window because it's dark and there is no light there (so couldn't see anything anyway) and I was kind of scared.

Since then I read somewhere that there's this thing called residual haunting, where the repeated actions of a deceased person somehow stay in the home, and others can see or hear them - I have no idea whether this is true at all or true in my case, I just thought since my great grandfather, great grandma and my grandfather (all 3 of them dead) were all basically farmers that chopped wood on a regular basis, it is a plausible explanation.

Hope you could understand this. I am happy to answer additional questions if you have any, and I would really love some more insight on this!

Hauntings with similar titles

Comments about this paranormal experience

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, viciousdelicious, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Xtharnagrll (1 posts)
3 years ago (2020-04-14)
I experienced something similar before: My old school has a custom of sending Yr 4s to Ilam Hall every year for a three day two night residential.
The first night in our dorms I heard knocking- it was short like two or three knocks then silence. This kept happening. At first I thought it was the teacher reminding us to actually sleep because we were seriously loud- but then I got irritated that we were quiet already and still they knocked. Even when everyone was asleep, there were still knocks. I have trouble sleeping immediately so I was the only one awake (yes I prodded my friend multiple times to check).
A knock again. This really annoyed me because having a teacher burst in is surprising. Another flipping knock. At the brink of losing it- I solved it by opening the dorm door- there were no knocks after.
The next morning everyone was talking about the mysterious knocks throughout the night. Asking around showed that everyone experienced it. I totally forgot I heard any (they were too annoying and I was sleepy). Later most of the year made a big topic of it and the teachers said it was people walking down the corridor that did it.
The knocking happened the next night as well- people in my dorm didn't let me open the door when I explained what I did.
Most of that night we were too loud to hear anything- but other people did.
We tried knocking on the dorm door with our knuckles but it was too high-pitched to sound like the mysterious knocking. We (kids) asked if there were any building going on but they weren't. When the residential finished, some of us researched about it and came across rumours that claimed Ilam Hall was haunted but had no details.
I'm sorry I don't remember much- it happened many many years ago and it was as a periodical craze to a Year four- like a quick fashion.
viciousdelicious (1 stories) (3 posts)
9 years ago (2014-09-06)
elnoraemily, my grandparents and ancestors used to have farm animals, but we don't have any. The place where the animals were was converted to a patio since then. We do own a dog, a german sheperd. I'm definitely not saying that this had to have been some kind of residual thing, but again, the sound of chopping wood is just so specific, I don't know how a dog can make that same sound. Also, during the night he always sleeps next to our front door, on the porch, so it is unlikely for him to be at that spot in the backyard. This happened in November btw.
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
9 years ago (2014-07-23)
This is really interesting.

Is there any way that it could have been one of the animals doing something or was it just your grandparents that had the animals?

The rhythm you mentioned definitely reminds me of wood being chopped. Was it cold outside when these things happened? There is a fascinating theory on residual haunting that has to do with time/weather/ect.

Best wishes and good luck on your out of country studies!
viciousdelicious (1 stories) (3 posts)
9 years ago (2014-03-29)
Hey everyone, thank you for the feedback! Sorry to respond so late but my e-mail got hacked and couldn't get into my account until now. Lady-glow, believe me, I don't jump to conclusions easily - I tried to go over every logical explanation. I have 3 neighbors living close to me, one on each side of our house and one behind us. None of them have gardens, garden sheds or any reason to chop wood, especially after midnight. Also: our windows are very thickly insulated, and kind of soundproof. If I was able to hear the noise faintly in my room, it would have meant that it was coming from somewhere near my window, where our shed and the tree stump is. I remember my grandpa using the same stump, not sure if his parents did though. I'm currently in another country on a scholarship, I'm curious if I'll hear it again when I go back home:)
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
9 years ago (2014-02-07)
Sounds like splitting wood with a maul and heavy wooden mallet... More swings per piece, 2- 3 seconds a swing would not be unreasonable. Get all the way through, pause... Set a new piece to split. (can you tell what kind of chores I got to do lol?) It does sound residual, I understand you haven't heard it lately but maybe have a recorder near your bed in case you do hear it again. Good suggestions by all, thanks for the story!
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
9 years ago (2014-02-06)
I'm sorry to say but Wood Peckers do not make the noise like the thud thud of chopping wood it's more like a rat a tat tat and and are more active morning through the day and bed down for the night in early evening, Good thought though
AzraelX (8 stories) (115 posts)
9 years ago (2014-02-06)
Have you checked whether the area you stay in has birds - especially woodpeckers or so?
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
9 years ago (2014-02-06)
Hi viciousdelicious welcome to YGS.
To answer your question yes there is such a thing as residual haunting, the other type is intelligent haunting where the spirits are aware of us.
I would do as lady-glow suggests and look for other reasons for this. If you can't discount or debunk it you have a residual haunting which is nothing to be afraid of. You will probably hear this only certain times such as fall or winter.
Vonboeckmann (guest)
9 years ago (2014-02-04)
Hi.yes lady-glow has a good practical suggestion... However I do know my past family are around (my brother and myself with a few cousins and old uncle remain out of 6 generations) the past members are there at times to give support and comfort. Perhaps it was because of your exams and father was giving encouragement in his way. Good luck J.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2989 posts)
9 years ago (2014-02-03)
Welcome to YGS. I love your user name!
Before thinking that what you hear is a residual haunting you should look for some logical and mundane explanations as the cause to this sound.
How far away do your neighbors live? Would it be possible that what you hear is the echo of some body else chopping wood?
It could even be the wind moving something outside in a regular patern.
It would be a good idea to walk around the property during the day checking for possible sources of the sound.
On the other hand it could be a residual haunting from one of your hardworking ancestors, in such case I would suggest to ask your father if he knows if his forefathers used the same stump to chop wood.
Thanks for sharing this interesting story with us.

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: