The Resident Poltergeist

Author’s note: The original post was written last week and mysteriously disappeared. I could be my inept computer skills or Gracie’s roll on the keyboard (she likes to do that because it creates magic). I’m thinking that it was our resident poltergeist being playful. Here is what I remember.

The great thing about having pets is that you can blame everything on them. Weird noise in the middle of the night? Must be the cats. Mysterious carpet movement? Cats. Barf puddle? Cats. Just about anything – cats!

Back a decade, for a short period of time I had only two cats. (I know! What was I thinking!) Both got sick and were kept in the vet’s hospital for a week. Without a cat in the house, all the noise was amplified. I was amazed at how much house noise there is at 3 a.m. Without cats. Heating systems kicking on, then off. Gurgles from who knows what. Scrambling noises on the roof.

Fast forward to present time. On some nights there is a weird sound coming from a corner in our house. It’s along the wall we share with our neighbor. I only notice it at 11 p.m. when I’m too tired to do an extensive search but it kept gnawing at me.

Armed with a flashlight I checked everything. Behind and underneath the TV cabinet (whoa where did all those dust bunnies come from and do they make noise?) under all the furniture, all the faucets in the bathroom. Nada. It sounds like a dripping pipe but it’s not a regular beat like water or a mouse scooting around. Neither are good.

Since it has no rhythm and water drips do, I ruled that out. With four cats there better not be mice in my bedroom. Reluctantly, I ruled out that. That left…nothing.

I checked the clock radios in the bedroom. Then the TV connection. Maybe it’s an electronics noise. Static or something.

In the end I went to bed. If something happens, I’ll deal with it then. It was gone the next morning and for the next few days. Today I heard it again. The “mouse” is back. (Truly it’s not a mouse as Morgan would pick up on that.)


I don’t know what pet-less people do about strange noises. I’m convinced that we have a poltergeist that occasionally visits us between trips to warmer climates. This week he or she is at a tiki bar in the Bahamas socializing with my Muse who seems to be spending more time there lately. Wish they’d send me a plane ticket so I could join them!

53 thoughts on “The Resident Poltergeist

    • Sasha is my alerter of interlopers (as she likes to put it). She can tell when a stranger steps foot on our lawn. She is under the bed in a flash! That starts the scrambling fervor of the other 3 although none of them fear guests. It was amazing at the old house because our driveway was over 100 foot long and she could tell when someone turned in. She’s a totally indoor cat.

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  1. Oh yes, dust bunnies indeed do make noise especially when they gallup across hardwood floors. LOL

    Actually if you have hot water heat like I do, sometimes a bubble in the line will sound like dripping and it’s only noticeable late at night. But it’s easily rectified and only requires a valid credit card (or small box of cash) and time to wait for the next available date on the plumber’s calendar (unless you know how to bleed the lines). And you’re 100% correct-smoke alarms seem to be deliberately programmed to go off in the middle of the night. I’ve never had one go off during daylight hours, even when something got burnt in the oven! Funny how you can always blame the cats for anything that goes wrong, Elsa does the same thing and we don’t have a cat 😆

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  2. >or Gracie’s roll on the keyboard (she likes to do that because it creates magic)

    You’d be surprised at how many times while working in live chat we get messages from customers that look something like: laksdfhasdklfhja;sdf adskjfha

    Then the next response is: “Sorry, that was my cat.”

    Always makes me laugh. Love it! Maybe Gracie stole your Muse?

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    • The other side of the wall is a dining room. It sounds more like it’s in the room than the wall. I haven’t heard it all week. Maybe it’s weather related in some way — expansion contraction.


  3. I so get this. When I’m in one part of our house I randomly hear a thud, the exact sound a cat makes jumping off a table or counter onto the floor. I look around and see both my cats sitting next to me and I always wonder what the heck is making that noise. It still boggles my mind and I have no idea. It occurs regularly but not in a timed manner. I’m thinking it’s the ghost of a previous owner’s cat. Now, I guess my cats can blame everything on him.

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  4. I realized after Zena left us how even though she was very hard of hearing, she did sense other critters and I didn’t have to pay too much attention to strange sounds, other than to watch her for cues. If she sensed something, then it was worth my attention. I lost my beacon! It sounds like your poltergeist is perhaps playful. As long as it remains immaterial, I think you’re okay! 🙂

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  5. I hate creaks and cracks, especially in the middle of the night! The first day of the Bomb Cyclone with its brutal temps, I was in the kitchen and heard a peeping noise. I knew it wasn’t the smoke alarm as I’d just changed the battery, ran downstairs to rule out the C02 alarm … nope. And no oddball computer noises, but it was something electronic making that noise which eventually stopped and I never determined the origin.

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  6. One of my former students is a well-known and respected physical medium. She says when she is called in to investigate a haunting the first thing she does is find out if there are cats in residence.

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  7. Houses can be noisy for no apparent reason. I close the kitchen door to shut out the ticking of the wall clock. The heating kicks in at 6am and Maya raises her head. I tell her to go back to sleep, sometimes she does. She also snores, whistles and runs in her sleep. The running I had to stop because she’s pounding against the wardrobe doors.
    We had some interesting noises on the boat too…… a rat a tat tat tat style knocking in the early hours. Turned out to be ducks cleaning the hull. We had an annoying rattle which turned out to be the zips of the helm cover banging against the metal. Got round that by making little sleeves for them out of garden hose.

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  8. Since it’s the wall you share with the neighbor, maybe it’s something on their end? 🤷‍♀️ Another thing to blame noises on, anyway.
    Each time we were in between dogs, I heard all those same amplified noises. Noises seem to like pet-less homes. That’s why everyone should have a pet. 😉

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  9. I blame every little noise on Teddy……back when we first moved into this brand new house it didn’t take bats long to discover that the idiot builder had not put a screen over the attic vent. Now that was noise! Fortunately for the most part it’s peaceful and quiet here – and if I DO hear something I just tell my husband to remember they built our house on an Indian burial ground (not true but he prefers thinking that than mice).


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  10. We are without pets but we have ME! I stick with it until I figure it out… it’s a challenge, it drives me crazy! At the condo before we bought the house we had what sounded like a drip. I thought it was coming from our air handler in the closet in our bedroom. Dripping water is a worry! It was the smoke alarm in the condo under us. We listened to that thing for two months until the people under us finally showed up for the season. I thought for sure it would die but it didn’t.

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  11. I’m with you, always trying to figure out what is making a noise. Except sometimes, animals don’t make noise. There was a rat or two in our crawlspace, but I only knew because the cat kept sniffing at the vents…and the dog kept trying to dig up the floor.

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  12. I forgot all about having the cats to blame odd noises on – and also to reassure me that if that odd noise was inside the house they would let me know. Zoe, at least, would stare in abject horror down the hallway at whatever wasn’t there. I do so love that look of horror and I’ve gone to check it out more times than I want to admit.

    In Shell Knob, I had my dad. He made noises getting up and down, moving around the floor above me. Those noises also assured me he was still alive. After he went into care, the noises continued which was not at all assuring since his cat came to live with use downstairs.

    I already live with ghost kitty. I do not need other things to scare me in the middle of the night. She I get a mysterious poltergeist do you mind if I sent him to you?

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  13. My muse has been vacationing lately too. Every day I think I should post something, but somehow it doesn’t happen. Maybe today…or tomorrow…we shall see! Hope my muse is enjoying her time off.

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  14. Hilarious, Kate! I am in total awe of your brain to come up with so many non-answers.

    When I hear an odd noise at night, I tell myself that I will look tomorrow. That happened just the past week, and I saw the bottle I’d turned upside down had fallen over. Most often I never see what caused the noise, and the auto-forgetter takes care of it.

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