The Click Haunting
Is it a beetle is it a drip is it an electrical problem that will burn my house down or is it a portal to hell
Welcome to a story where I am nonstop tortured by sounds.
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This saga … along with many other things I’ve been fielding for the past few weeks (and months/years) are… kind of a …casual portrait of a woman going mad. Or being driven mad. That’s what my friend told me, anyway, when I explained my newest saga: a house filled with inexplicable sounds that could not be tracked down.
This story begins on Wednesday, a humid, rainy day. I had the guys who redid my bathroom and “un-finished” my basement, back at my house to fix and finish a few last things before the job was complete.
Their last task was to patch up the ceiling from last week’s leak, and while they were finishing up, and running the fan and vacuum, I started hearing a really loud beeping sound. After a few minutes, I eventually asked them what it was. They had assumed it was one of my appliances, I assumed it was one of theirs.
It was intermittent, and sounded like it was coming from different areas of the house. Was it in the front? The back? Upstairs? Downstairs? I’d hear it by the front and run to the front of my house, then hear it again by the back of the house. They couldn’t find it either, not that they looked hard. They still assumed it was something of mine that had a dying battery. I still hoped it was something of theirs that they would soon take with them, and that they didn’t accidentally seal it up in my ceiling.
The beeps were sporadic. Sometimes happening a few times in a row, and then they’d stop for ten minutes. Then there’d be an isolated beep. Then it would stop again. It was impossible to chase the beeps down, because they kept stopping, with no guarantee of when they’d come back. But it was loud. It wasn’t an ignorable beep.
They left, and the beeping continued.
And I started to lose my mind.
I took down all the smoke detectors and laid them in front of me. And then I heard a beep from the other side of the house. Then I ran towards the beep and heard another from the side where I just was.
Then I ran around my house taking down the door sensors from the alarm system. Maybe that’s why they’re coming from all over… they’re coming from different sensors at different times???
I held them in my hands, and then heard a beep in another area of my house. Ohhhhhhhh MyGod.
I heard it 4 times in one minute, and still couldn’t tell what floor it was coming from. So I went up to sit on my stairs and wait for another beep. Maybe that would help me know whether it was on the second floor or not.
I sat there for a half hour. No beep.
I felt like I was in the chamber of secrets, and a sound that only I could hear was tormenting me through the walls.
While I waited on the steps, I posted about it on instagram.
After many theories were sent back to me, someone in my DMs asked me if it was my sump pump…
Now, if you’re like me one year ago, and don’t know what a sump pump is, let me tell you: It is a pit in your basement, that gathers groundwater, and pumps it out when it reaches a certain level, so your basement doesn’t flood. Terrifying. I know. What if it fails? Well! It did on the previous owners. And they decided to “redo” the basement with a carpet anyway. So, part of the basement project I did, was to remove the carpet, in case my sump pump also fails one day. And also because the carpet was moldy.
It also means that the “water table” around my house is like…. 1.5 feet below the basement floor.
Honestly, I may have bought a different home if I had let myself think long and hard about my house that’s essentially built on a creek.
My mom has asked me if I should turn my basement into a pond. Or a root cellar over a cool stream? I asked her if she was joking, and she never confirmed.
Ok back to the beeps. I ran down to the basement. It was the sump pump.
They guys had plugged in the wrong appliance (my old dehumidifier) …after fixing the sump pump cover, and left the sump pump unplugged.
The fail safe? Loud loud beeps. Beeps that bounced through my house. Beeps that bounced through my ducts, like a snake luring me down to the sump pump of secrets
I plugged it in and immediately the pump went off, pumping water out of the pit and out of my house.
Ok… ok. Ok.
Sound Haunting #2
I was victorious, so I made myself some dinner, and settled into the couch to stare at my phone, and I saw that someone sent me an article about a creepy guy who had been “prowling” at the campus next to my house. He had been caught taking pictures of girls in their dorm rooms, and was caught at the dorms that are directly behind my house, last semester. Like, we are talking, a literal stone’s throw away from me, right over my fence. And was not in jail, so the news article was warning the students and surrounding neighbors. Fantastic.
Before the past few years of bingeing true crime podcasts, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice. “Eh, so there’s a creep. Whatever.” But no, NOW I knew that “peeping Toms” usually escalated their crimes. They started as prowlers. Then started breaking in. Then may escalate to rape and murder. The Golden State Killer? He started as a prowler.
And it’d been 6 months! “Plenty of time to escalate!” I thought
I closed all of my curtains, and when I let me dog out to pee later that night, I brought a bright blue cuisinart knife out with me. It was from a multi-colored knife kit I bought for a white elephant gift for Christmas that I decided to keep for myself. I needed new knives. And this blue one? It had never been used before.
I also own a gun, but only as of Winter 2022, and I’ve only been to the gun range twice so far: once with the gun safety class I took, and once by myself. And… I would need to refresh some of the safety lessons, and reteach myself some things… so I settled for the knife.
I wasn’t terrified, but I was just … spooked. The knife helped —and also felt absurd to be carrying around. I went up to bed, put the knife next to my mattress, and fell asleep pretty quickly.
And then, at 2 am, I was startled awake by a loud sound, and my dog started barking in reaction.
I was exhausted, and I eventually yelled down for my dog to stop. She did. And I fell back to sleep.
A few minutes later I was startled awake again by another loud sound. And my dog went ballistic again, and this time wouldn’t stop barking. Oh god.
I got up and looked out my bedroom blinds. Nothing.
I went downstairs to see my dog sitting fully upright, terrified. I peeked out some of the downstairs windows and saw nothing. I checked the doors again. Locked.
Ok. We’re ok.
Molly wanted to come upstairs with me, so I put aside the
baby dog gate, and she ran up and hopped on my bed. She was calm, and fell right to sleep beside me. I almost fell to sleep too. Then I started hearing noises in my house.
They stopped. Ok. Ok.
Then they started again.
I opened my eyes and my entire body filled with adrenaline. WTF.
Ugh, I should have never run a quick errand with my door unlocked yesterday!!!!?!?!? How stupid am I?!?! I probably have the prowler living in my attic, and now I’m going to have to kill him with my blue knife!
The clicks kept going. A few clicks every ten seconds or so, then they would stop.
What the HELL is that?
After a half hour, my rational brain realized that these were not the sounds of a person creaking around my house. They were something else. So I let the panic of an intruder subside, and I started panicking that I had a huge leak in my attic. It had been POURING for the past two days. It HAD to be a leak.
I put the fan on. I’ll deal with the leak in the morning.
The clicks stopped. But then they came back, and the sound was piercing through the fan. And they were LOUD. I couldn’t ignore them. AGHHHHHHHH. ARE YOU KIDDING. WHY HAVE THEIR BEEN TWO MADDENING MYSTERY SOUNDS IN ONE DAY.
I tore out of bed and started checking all my faucets. All my ceilings. My fireplace (that used to have a loud leak when I moved in, but I had the chimneys redone recently.) Nothing.
Ugh it’s gotta be in the attic.
I wasn’t going up there now. I didn’t want to get dusty and then climb back into bed. I had to just… try to fall asleep and deal with it in the morning.
The clicks kept coming. The fan was doing nothing to block them out. And every time they did, they startled me and flooded me with adrenaline. I knew I wasn’t about to die anymore, but my body seemingly did not.
I was up all night, almost falling asleep then being JOLTED awake by clicks.
Finally I fell to sleep as the sun started to rise, and then, at 8 am, I jolted awake to another click.
That morning, I climbed up into my attic and looked around from the ladder for a few minutes. First, there was no intruder. Thank god. But I also didn’t see any water. And I didn’t hear any clicks.
I have… no idea what this sound is.
That morning when I let Molly out to poop, I saw lots of little poop pellets. Deer poop? Until last year I was a city girl so I don’t actually know what deer poop looks like, so I posted it on instagram with a poop identification poll. Deer poop won but it feels inconclusive. Lots of votes for rabbit too.
So… was THAT the sound that made molly bark? Deer jumping over my fence? One mystery solved, another clicking mystery remained unsolved.
Later that morning while I was trying to figure out what that click sound was, I thought… I wonder if… bugs can click?
I googled: clicking bugs.
And “click beetle” came up.
I SWEAR I saw that kind of beetle in the door frame of my exterior sliding door the day before.
Oh my god. I HOPE it is a click beetle. I hope.
I spent all day googling click beetles, and … there’s not much on them on the internet. I couldn’t confirm if the sound was exactly the same. I couldn’t confirm if it would click the way it was, that often, if it wasn’t in danger or stuck on it’s back. And I couldn’t confirm that it would click that loud, and at that interval, so I googled some more.
“Clicking in walls or ceiling.”
This is what it could be: “pests” (does not sound like anything that scurries or scratches), ducts, pipes, beams… (it really didn’t sound or seem like any of these) or electrical. Oh god. My house DOES need all new wiring! The electrician told me that when he redid my porch light wiring! I just have been putting it off…
I decided… it was either click beetles, or electrical.
Then I decided… it was the click beetle. It must be. I couldn’t handle it being electrical, so I decided: no.
And thinking back, it wasn’t THAT loud. So, I’d just wait til the click beetle died.
That night I went up to bed and realized: ohhhh. Ok never mind it’s … SO loud.
But I was so tired from the night before, that I slept alright anyway. I’d wake up and hear it and think ‘well, it’ll stop for a bit soon.’ The sound gets louder sometimes. Then softer. Sometimes it sounds like it’s far away, but then it’ll get louder and closer again. Then it’ll disappear for a bit.
The next night — the same thing. Damn it gets so loud. Then I slept… ok. Not great.
Then the next day, I was lying in bed at 6 pm, reading my gardening book. And I heard it again.
I put out my phone to record a voice memo. I was just going to leave it recording until another click happened, and send it to my friend who had been trying to help me figure out what it was (by doing his own googling).
Here is the sound of the click… (I also had a fan on):
I started panicking again that it was electrical. Do I call an electrician!? What are they going to do? Open my entire ceiling?!?!
I decided I should text the contractors again. Maybe it was something to do with the work they did? The electrical they ran for the bathroom?
He called me back and asked me a million questions about it, and said he sent the sound recording to his brother who did the electrical on the bathroom, and they discussed it before calling me back.
He said it really didn’t sound electrical UNLESS it was a “relay” - something clicking “on.” But we couldn’t figure out what it would be.
There are no water pipes above my room, it’s not a drip from a pipe. It’s not a drip from the roof. Was it settlement? Was it expanding and contracting beams? It’s not, thankfully, electrical? I do not have ANY appliances in my attic, except the attic fan, which, I guess it COULD be? But if so, it just started happening 4 days ago. And up the attic, I hear no clicking at all. All of my clicky appliances are downstairs, not in the ceiling above my room.
So… what the hell is it. Hell?
Someone DMd me that night, that some supernatural ghost hunting show called “the portals of hell” picks up that sound when they’re recording haunted locations.
I tried to sleep that night, Saturday, the 4th night of clickgate, and kept being woken up by the click beetle / portal to hell.
Now here I am the next morning, and I feel like hell. I am so tired. And I’m so tired of this.
What the hell is going on in my life? Like, really?
I realized that in the very least, I should be “saging” my house. I never did when I moved in last year. So, lacking any sage on hand, I ‘palo santo’d’ my house this morning, asking God again to rebuke any curses, cleanse my house, and please, if you can, help me figure out this click.
“I’m so sorry God, I know I keep forgetting about you, but I’m back, again, and this is a time of great need, however mundane and strange.”
I googled how long click beetles live and it said: 1 or many years, depending on the species.
So… I wasn’t sure how much longer I had left, of the little sanity I had left.
Yesterday afternoon, I lay in bed for an hour, exhausted from my disrupted sleep the night before, and heard… no clicks.
Was it a demon I exorcised with palo santo?
Or was it a nocturnal click beetle?
If it is a beetle, I cannot find it in my attic, because it would be between the plywood floor and the ceiling of my second floor. There is insulation. There is dust. There might be ghosts. There is nothing to be done in my attic.
Right now, my theory is that it’s a click beetle in my metal ducts, or crawling on my ducts, and every time it does its little click, it amplifies through the metal. Sometimes it clicks while crawling on the wood, and maybe that’s when it’s softer. Just a theory.
I really really really do not know.
Last night I went up to bed, bracing myself for another night of metal amplified clicks in my ceiling and…… nothing.
Occasionally a soft click, far far away.
Had the beetle moved on? To another ceiling? To another floor?
I slept hard, and woke up to my alarm waking me up before an HVAC guy arrived to fix a vent (ironically) (unrelated to the clicks) (can you search in there for the beetle please?!?!!)
Now it’s Tuesday.
Yesterday, during the day I heard a loud CLICK in the basement. Did the beetle migrate down there? Then a little later, a softer click in the walls of my kitchen.
Then, last night, I heard no clicks near my bedroom while I was falling asleep. However, I slept really poorly last night, due to waves of stress that I don’t usually get in the middle of the night.
And as I lay there at 4:45 am, I heard one LOUD CLICK in the ceiling above my head.
Then two softer clicks, farther away, a little later on.
I had to take progesterone and melatonin at 5:30 am to force myself to sleep. Was it the leftover stress of being click accosted? I don’t know.
So… what do I think the clicks were???
Conclusion: What Was It?
There are a few options for what the clicks were/are.
One that I haven’t mentioned much: beams. Beams… expanding and contracting and rubbing up on each other or something. Someone DMd me that their house sounds like mine (they heard the audio I shared above) and that for them: it’s BEAMS expanding and contracting. Tbh, I think they may be incorrect, and they have a click beetle infestation… but I entertained the possibility of clicking beams anyway. I thought… hmmmmm, it WAS incredibly humid the day it started, and overnight it became really dry, and was dry for the following days when I was being click tortured. Maybe everything was contracting? And when the sounds went away the other night, it had become really humid again… BUT… it simply doesn’t sound like “wood creaking” it SOUNDS like wood POPPING and CRACKING and BREAKING... The sound is LOUD and dramatic. Nothing about that CLICK/POP sound, sounds like wood rubbing up on itself to me. So, though it’s still a possibility, it is not really what I think has been happening. No. I think it is:
A click beetle. Possibly click beetles. But, I’m thinking it’s a lone lil guy who is running around IN or ON my metal ducts. At one point I thought maybe he was stuck in a spider web, hence the clicking in the one spot. Hey, maybe he was. Maybe he died, and now his brother / sister / wife / child is running around now, clicking in other parts of the house. I’m not sure if this is an isolated incident, or something that I am going to need to poison myself and my house over, but honestly, realizing it’s probably a little harmless but annoying beetle, and not an electrical wire about to kill me, is wonderful. However maddening when the click dancing is happening right above my head. Edited to add: I know this sounds insane, I forgot to mention how strange it still is to me… though I’ve been processing this reality for a good few days now. But MANY people have DMd me to tell me that yes, they too had a click beetle, and it was crazy maddeningly loud, sporadic like mine, and mostly nocturnal. So, that is why I am more open to this click beetle theory.
A curse. Half joke. It’s not lost on me that after I did my palo santo ceremony/prayer, the clicking stopped/greatly lessened.
If it IS a curse, it’s more likely a combo of: a curse & a click beetle. The click beetle was merely the vessel for the curse to act through. Once I rebuked the curse, the click beetle was free to click in other areas of the house, and not exclusively above my head, all night long. Again, this is a… half joke. Who TF knows.
(EDITED TO ADD, FALL 2023, ONE YEAR LATER: YES, IT WAS, IN FACT, A CLICK BEETLE INFESTATION. THE CLICKS COME EVERY AUGUST. THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.)
2nd Conclusion: Chaos
Am I attracting this chaos somehow? This second conclusion is beyond the paywall.