One night about three years ago, I woke up to find myself alone in my bedroom with the master bathroom's light very slowly cycling on and off. This had never happened before. My husband had stayed up late to read in the living room so as not to disturb my sleeping.
I went into the bathroom and tried to shut off the light, but it didn't respond. The light switch is a dimmer switch of the type that doesn't have a moveable switch, but instead responds by touch. If you touch the bar, it will either turn the light on or off, depending on what it did last. In other words, if the light is off and you touch the switch quickly once, it turns the light on. The brightness of the light when it turns on is where it was when you last used the light. To dim the light, you have to keep your finger on the bar instead of quickly removing it when you tap it. The amount of time you touch corresponds to light brightness. One other feature of this switch: if you slide your finger along the bar while touching it, the speed at which the light changes intensity increases. Faster sliding gives a faster intensity change. You can't slow the dimming speed to a rate slower than what it is when you just keep your finger still on the switch. The rate at which the light was cycling when I woke up was about three times slower than this, a speed impossible to achieve manually.
Since I couldn't affect the light by touching it, no matter how I tried to move my finger along the bar or tap the bar, I thought maybe we were having some power problems, so I went out of the bedroom to investigate. The first thing I noticed when I opened the bedroom door was a steady faint light coming from the living room. No oscillating lights out there. So I thought I'd get my husband to come and check the bathroom light out. As I got to the living room, I saw that he had fallen asleep on the couch while reading. I noticed also that I could see the light from the bedroom bathroom pouring down the hall and it seemed much brighter than I thought it should.
I tried to wake up my husband but he was really groggy and difficult to get through to. The light was definitely brighter when on the bright cycle, so now I was starting to get worried that the light fixtures were going to get too hot and that the house was going to catch on fire. The lights were still dimming up and down in intensity, but it was faster than when it woke me up. I could feel myself start to panic a bit. I was starting to get forceful with my husband to wake him and the lights started to oscillate faster and faster, which started me panicking more. I finally got my husband to his feet, and the lights were cycling on and off so quickly and brightly that it was literally like a strobe light. It was hurting my eyes and making a clicking sound quite loudly every time the light went bright. It was going through the full cycle at least once every half second.
Just when my husband was upright and aware of what was going on and we took ONE step towards the bedroom, the light just stopped and it was dark. We went into the bathroom and the light switch and lights were working fine. None of the bulbs were damaged either. I haven't had any issues with that switch since that one time. The strangest thing to me was how the rate and brightness seemed to correlate to my level of panic.
I'm usually not afraid of the dark, and in fact prefer total darkness when I sleep, but this situation unnerved me and I had to sleep the rest of the night with my bedside lamp on.