It Was Coming From Within The Walls…- Monday October 31st

Sunday night I laid on the couch watching “Disappeared” on the ID Channel. It’s a sort of true crime show about people who disappear and despite all kinds of valiant efforts by police and family, they’re never found. Tom G was studying downstairs next to the room where my parents were watching TV. The house was quiet and a slow autumn drizzle had just begun.

The friend of the victim on “Disappeared” had just finished describing how eerily quiet it was in the victim’s home when she went to check on her…like she had just left. I was gazing at the TV screen, breathing out of my mouth, when from within the wall came a BOOM!

I sat straight up (not an easy feat for a fat pregnant lady). I stared at the wall, just feet from my head, and squeaked in fear when it came again: BOOM. Then again: BOOM. The sounds was so deep, it was visceral. In fact it was much more of a physical experience than an auditory one. BOOM!



I willed myself off the couch and to the edge of the stairs. I wondered if everyone downstairs had disappeared at the hands of a supernatural being or serial killer, whose presence was announced by a splanchnic thud. “Tom?” I called “Um, could you come up here?”

“Sure” he said and I heard him walking towards the stairs.

“Are you making a big noise?” I asked hopeful.

“What? Did you ask-”

But his response was drowned out by the next BOOM! By the time he made his way up the stairs, his eyes were wide with puzzlement. We looked at each other for the next few BOOMS.

BOOM “Is it coming from outside?”

BOOM “No I don’t think so, it sounds like the attic”

BOOM “Want me to go up there and check?”

BOOM “I think that’s how horror movies begin”

BOOM “Nah, I’ll check upstairs”

Tom pulled down the ladder and walked halfway up before realizing the attic light was burnt out. “I’ll get a flashlight” He said brightly.

BOOM “Oh god, don’t get your head lopped off by a killer!”

One non-murderous trip to the attic later, it was determined that the sound wasn’t coming from the attic, and that it was very muffled up there. It was loudest in the bedroom We checked the other rooms upstairs, the other closets, we went outside and looked at the mystery wall from the front lawn. No clues were revealed.

Naturally, we called my mom upstairs.

“Now don’t worry,” my mom said with a tender voice that bordered on patronizing, “I’ll stay up here until I hear the-” BOOM

Her eyes and mouth formed into small oh’s of surprise. “You didn’t believe me!” I said triumphantly. BOOM. The fear the the noise had inspired did not trump the indignity of being doubted. Being believed did nothing to diminish the fear.

“What could that be?” She said anxiously. We checked the attic again, the closets, walked outside with my mom, came back upstairs and stared at the wall. BOOM…BOOM… We discussed why it couldn’t be an animal, although I pointed out that it could easily be a psychotic hobo or a ghost. Someone had the idea to time it. The noise came every 15.3 seconds. We considered calling the police and the family handy man. The wall continued to BOOM. It came relentlessly, each time your brain tried to convince you that it was the last time until your heart felt like it would jump out of your chest a the the next BOOM!

“Should we call Tommy?” my mother asked. Tommy, my oldest brother, has a knack for problem solving and logical responses to emergency situations. We all looked at each other and nodded. “Yea, call Tommy” we agreed. BOOM…BOOM… We needed a fresher, smarter pair of ears on the case. My mom argued briefly in favor of inviting my brother’s dog over as well, in case Ramona Quimby (the dog) wasn’t pulling her weight in the sniffing-out-wall-animals-or-ghosts department. BOOM. Her rationale was met with jeers and the idea was quickly abandoned. Tommy was called. BOOM…BOOM…BOOM… He arrived in super hero speed with his girlfriend Amy in tow. They both wore good natured smiles but cracked Ghostbuster jokes under their breath as they came up the stairs. My mom, Tom G and I stood huddled in the room, watching the wall as if it was going to crumble open and reveal the origin of the BOOM any minute.

The new-comers walked in, greeting us excitedly for 15 seconds. Then: BOOM

“Whoah” they said in unison.

We went through the rounds again- attic, closets, outside. BOOM…BOOM… Tommy dragged a ladder into the closet and shut the door behind him. He pushed the door open again with his foot to report that the noise was indeed coming from the wall. We discussed calling the police again, but I was afraid they’d come in with sledge hammers. BOOM…BOOM… We tittered nervous jokes and wild theories (raccoons, woodpeckers, HVAC problems, I still insisted the psycho hobo theory be kept alive). My mom buckled and called the handy man. She held the phone against the wall: BOOM…BOOM…BOOM…

“I can hear it!” the handyman shouted through the phone. We looked at each other with some relief- at least some one else has validated the noise. Every BOOM rattled our bones, our nerves were starting to wear thin. I wondered if I could get a good rate at the James Hotel for a few nights, just until the hobo moved on.

My mom and the handyman discussed the BOOM over the phone, Tommy went back in the closet with the ladder, and Tom G, Amy and I stood clumped together. Amy sat down on a low ottoman across from the desk and looked thoughtfully at our computer.

“You know,” she said slowly. “Something like this happened once- it was a different sound- but something like this happened to us once and it was the speakers-”

“Oh shit.” I said. I knew what the noise was as I watched the word “speaker” form in her mouth. Everyone turned their heads as I hunkered my way down to all fours and crawled towards the small rectangular speaker underneath the desk. My belly swung dangerously low to the ground but everyone was too curious to protest.

“It’s the subwoofer”

An uproar followed as I pushed the cords more firmly into the back of the subwoofer and the BOOM stopped. We were all laughing and retelling the story and slapping each other on the back as if a real live mystery had been solved. Amy’s face reddened in humble triumph as we gathered around her cheering. I wanted to hoist her on my shoulders to show my appreciation for her keeping us from having to stay in a luxury hotel until the subwoofer finally shorted out. We cheered and tumbled downstairs, admitting that some of us had begun to consider the possibility of a haunting, or at least a murderer.

Eventually the festivities quieted down, and we all went our own ways to contemplate the near miss of a Halloween Eve spent watching the local cops smash open our wall with a sledge hammer.

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  1. Joe Y says:

    I am glad that everyone is ok! It must have been nerve-racking to say the least.

    P.S. I like reading about your take on the everyday occurrences, as well as the insight you can give to the difficulties of pre-term labor.

    Thank you

  2. Leslie Ann says:

    Oh the suspense of it all!!! Good account of how it all went down during those scary moments!!! (I’m still here cheering you on!!! xoxoxo)

  3. Maggie says:

    That was a good story! I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Good writin’!

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