Things that go bump, clang, bump, BUMP, in the Night

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I will openly admit that I’m a huge baby when it comes to being awoken by unknown sounds in the middle of the night. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I’m frought with worry that replays over and over in my mind: what it is and where it’s coming from? And try as I may, I can’t go back to sleep. Have I a seen too many horror flicks? Yes. Do I have a vivid and over-active imagination? Guilty.  

Last night I heard a solid, bumping sound that pulled me from the depths of REM. Wiping the sleep from my eyes I laid in bed with furrow brow and listened to the rythmic thump. I didn’t immediately go into ghost investigative mode, because my first thought was, ”was my neighbor having a late night, turn up the bass party?“ My head tilted up from the pillow, so I could listen harder. Nope, that didn’t seem to be it, because there was also an occassional clatter and clang along with the repetitive bump. Paloma, my gray and white female stirred and bumped my nose with her head, which rustled the covers, so I couldn’t hear as clearly. Reluctantly, I gently nudged three sleeping kitties away from my legs and the left and right sides of me, before pulling back the covers and investigate this strange sound.

The cold air shreaked across my sleepy, warm skin, so I crossed my arms across my body, hoping to hold onto some of the resonating heat from my warm, bed. My bare feet shuffled to the window, pulled open the curtain and I peered outside. The snow covered driveway looked blankly up at from below, before offering a shrug to say, “I don’t know where it’s coming from.” The bumping continued. I walked into the hallway and towards the staircase. I bravely went downstairs; clutching blindly onto the banister, because I didn’t think to turn on the hallway light. I wasn’t carrying a baseball bat for protection, like it’s advised in many horror films, because you never know when you might run into a monster once you’re standing in your living room. I did however realize I’d set the alarm system, so the shrieking of sounds of a tripped alarm would have surely awoken me earlier than this fatal bumping noises. The thumping was quieter downstairs and thank gods for that, because it was much colder down there. The clock that hangs on the dining room wall registered 1:30am.  I turned and faced the thumping music and climbed back upstairs.

THUMP, clang, thump, thump, thump, THUMP-THUMP-THUMP. It was louder now once I reached the top of the stairs. My mind raced, “What the hell?” ”What and where is that bumping/thumping sound coming from?” Ten round, fully awoken feline eyes, blinked back at me. They probably thought it was far too early for breakfast and they didn’t seem to know where the sound was coming from either, nor did they seem to care. It appeared no one but me was bothered in the least by this unidentified sound, but I felt I must carry on and learn of its origin.

After ducking into the laundry room; placing my ear against the outside walls a few times and going into the bathroom and standing on the cold, tile floor - listening to the continued bump, thump, clang, thump, trying to figure out where it was strongest. I went back into the hallway and finally realized the sound was coming from, the attic. The sickening feeling encroached upon my stomach like a bad egg salad sandwich. The attic is never good. It’s never good in horror films and it’s no good in this situation either. The attic in my house is a scary place, filled with a lot messy insulation stuff that spills out occasionally onto the golden hardwood floors below it. The only light that comes from the attic, is what’s provided naturally and it was pitch black at the moment. The only way into the attic is through a very small door in the ceiling, that pushes back to one side on hinges. The door is heavy and I have to use a ladder; climb up each scary rung and then stand on my tip-toes, let go of the ladder and push, push, push with two hands to get the attic door to open. The very few times I’ve braved looking into the attic was in broad daylight and contrators were showing me the fancy new vents they installed to pull the hot air out for the whole house fan. “Thankyouverymuch, we can close this door up now.” Was my response after quickly viewing the small, scary place.

I stood below and looked up at the ominious attic door, THUMP-THUMP-BUMP-CLANG-BUMP. I realized I wasn’t brave enough to go searching up there at this hour, so I resolved myself to get back into bed; pull the covers up over my head and try like hell to tune it out.

I laid in bed for what seemed liked hours, while the thumping and bumping and clanging continued. It was taunting me. It was relentless. It was cruel.

I must have finally fallen back asleep, because when I awoke, I could see the sunlight peeking through the drawn curtains next to my bed. The thumping was queiter now too, but still present. I did pull the ladder out from the basement and even thought about climbing up the rungs and peering into, the attic. I thought it best to call someone I know and offer to pay them to pretty, pretty please come at their earliest convenience and identify the attic ruckus.

Not a thump was heard all day today, but to reassure my weary mind, my friend Tim was kind enough to come over and climb up the ladder, push back the hinged-heavy attic door and open the mouth of where the thumping sound echoed in the wee hours of the morning. Tim having no fear of ladders, or attics, brought his trusty light to help search for the thumping culprit. Minutes ticked by as I stood on the solid, safe ground below waiting to hear the verdict on his findings. I wondered if he might find an animal that had gotten trapped up there. I also wondered if he might come down fully covered in green slime from a pesky ghost that was living up there. I wasn’t sure what to expect really.  

In the corner of where the noise was the loudest, Tim found a large, metal object, which he dusted off and removed from above. Tim thinks the wind blowing through the vents caused the metal to move and bump up against the house. He mentioned he saw a couple 2X4′s and thought the metal may have rattled against those as well. Of coure, he has no real proof, but did mention it was rather windy last night. He saw no animals, nor any ghosts.

Relieved to hear this good news, we closed up the scary attic again and I bid farewell to the metal, clanger-banger-thumper once and for all! I have to mention, my imagination is still highly suspicious though and will keep my eyes and ears open for any monsters or ghosts.

Neve Black

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