Where is that strange humming noise coming from…

Categories: Miscellaneous 336 Comments


People all across the planet have reported hearing a strange humming/droning noise at the dead of night usually in their bedrooms like my wife and myself heard last evening.

This is a bit off topic but as I am in an industry that makes a living out of recording sound and vision I feel obliged to report this weird phenomena that has occurred a second time over the last two years.

I was in the edit suite which is right next door to our bed room when my wife came in and asked me what the humming noise was, it was about 1.30am. I switched off all the equipment and could still faintly hear a low, almost mains hum in our bedroom, it is officially reported to be between 40-80 Hz.

I decided to see if the noise was only in the house or outside so we drove round the local area in Burnside, Rutherglen stopping and listening, strangely the noise could also be heard a quarter of a mile up the hill from my house facing south but going the same distance north, nothing.

I looked for the obvious train line maintenance or any kind of construction but once again nothing, the same happened about a year and a half ago and we went through the same exercise.

This strange low frequency hum has also been reported from Canada and England all with the same story only noticeable at night, we don’t have any overhead pylons anywhere near us so it remains a mystery.

Is mother earth being mined under our very feet ?

A recent question… “Anyone have any ideas why it’s mostly heard at night and in the bedroom?”

Editor : Night time is simple…a lot less noise from cars, birds etc its probably in every room but you are more in tune with your bedroom as you spend a third of your life in it and more importantly in the same place i.e.. your position in your bed remains a constant so your ears are highly tuned to that particular space.

“The Hum is a mysterious and untraceable sound that is heard in certain locations around the world by two to ten percent of the population. Historically, the area that has been most affected by the Hum is the United Kingdom, where reports have been frequent since the early 1970s. In the United States, Hum reports date from the early 1990s, with the two most publicized locations being Taos, New Mexico, and Kokomo, Indiana. The source of the Hum has never been located. The Hum does not appear to be a form of tinnitus and may not be an acoustic sound. More than just a noise, the Hum is also capable of manifesting as vibrations felt throughout the body and is often accompanied by a suite of physical symptoms that includes headaches, nausea, and pain in the ears. Analysis of the largely anecdotal data that are available at the present time suggests that the most probable explanation is that some people have the capability to interpret radio transmissions at certain wavelengths as sound. It is well established in the scientific literature that people can hear electromagnetic energy at certain frequencies and peak power levels. Previous studies have found that a subset of the population has an electromagnetic sensitivity that is significantly greater than the mean. Several hypotheses are considered and discussed as possible sources of the Hum. These include cellular telephone transmissions, LORAN, HAARP, and the TACAMO aircraft operated by the US Navy for the purpose of submarine communications. “


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

336 comments on this post

  1. Terri says:

    Hi guys. Just been reading your comments following my multi posts from 7 September. Sorry to bombard but was (1) happy to find this site with people experiencing the same and (2) because I’m not a techno person I wanted to throw out some ideas. Clocked the Hum at 6.30am again this morning and clocked it yesterday at 4.45pm but funnily it didn’t last long. John – I agree that when at it’s loudest it seems extremely loud (that’s when it bugs me the most) but then it will settle down and almost briefly disappear so you lay there hoping it’s gone and then it builds up again!! Also thanks for following up with info responding to my possible thoughts on frequencies (Mosquito etc). As for the comments re certain rooms. I never hear it in the bathroom which seems to have good acoustics (I know because I sing in the shower!!) and never in the kitchen. It seems to be worse in my bedroom and the lounge room. These two rooms are at the front of a ground floor flat. Yesterday I put my ear to the wall and can it hear it albeit not with such clarity at its peak. Oh, and also I have to note that I have been here 4.5 years and it hasn’t been here that whole time – or maybe my hearing has changed! Does anyone have any idea if it’s possible to be able in any way to record this or a maybe a meter that would be able to register the level of the frequency? (told you I wasn’t a techno).

  2. Joe says:

    I keep thinking of different things we tried….we put a bowl of water on the floor of where we heard the humming the loudest with no results. A plunber said the noise came from the ground and was transmitted through the plumbing and we needed a flexible coupling before the pipe entered the house. That didn’t work but I believe it changed the sound some. He installed air traps…still no help. I have since moved 1,000 miles away and I’m sure I hear it from time to time…seems to be coming from the wall between the garage and the inside of the house. It only comes like 1:00am to maybe 3:00 am and only sporatically. I know there is nothing in the wall as I built this house from the ground up.

  3. AH says:

    I am in Sydney, Australia and this hum is driving me crazy. I have lived in about four different places in Sydney since it started and I have noticed it in varying degrees in all of them. This place is the worst. It is exactly as some people above have described: it’s worst at night, although I can hear it in some rooms during the day if it is quiet. At night, it is like a humming/buzzing noise with a slight vibration which is the worst part. My husband who sleeps next to me can’t hear a thing. If I move my head slightly, it stops, then resumes again after a couple of seconds. I have Tesla plates to eliminate EMFs and EMRs but this doesn’t seem to affect it (before or after getting them). If I use earplugs it helps a bit, so it is definitely external, not tinnitus.

  4. Cathy says:

    I live in Shillington, Bedfordshire and I’ve heard the hum for about a month here, not every night though, although last night was the worst, I noticed start around 6pm and it’s gone on all night and I can still here it now at 9.30 am.
    It’s a constant humming sound but goes in and out. I have told my council who have asked me to keep a diary of events. They will investigate it eventually but they are at a loss to know what is causing it. I’ve lived in the same house for 14 years and have only heard it this year. It’s driving me insane, it’s outside and inside and in the dead of night it’s awful and frightening too

  5. Lynda Mountfort says:

    I am in the lower North Island of New Zealand, and have commented previously that I have been hearing it since March this year (having been in this flat for 11 years without it). Has anyone drawn up a map of worldwide locations from comments sent in?

  6. Kathy Morris says:

    I live in Rockport Massachusetts USA. It woke me up this morning around 5am. And now as I read in bed at 9 pm it is very łoud and whirring. I’ve turned on a fan but can still hear it over the fan. It is very annoying. If this is a natural phenomena then I am very concerned it won’t go away! any advice???

  7. Bert says:

    I’ve often wondered if there is a resonant frequency of sorts setup by underground power lines. When I’ve noticed it in the states, it’s around 60 cps with a beat frequency causing it to fade in and out setting up standing waves of sorts. I’ve noticed here it seems to travel underground.

    It seems to also have a component of an Extremely low frequency (ELF) and/or an Ultra low frequency (ULF).

    I find it’s also very positional … being, one can move a few feet one way or another and it will fade, but move a few more feet and/or a turn of the head and one can hear it again. That’s why I think it is, perhaps, some type of standing wave pattern, but propagating underground. I have heard it in the house, but when I go outside I cannot find the source. It is almost like the house is acting as a sounding board, for example, as on a piano.

    I also live right on the coastal water. Some have sometimes thought it might be underwater testing of sorts. In the states there have been cases of the Navy doing underwater sonar testing of sorts causing loud booms.

    Sometimes I wonder if we hear it when one of these ships is near, or perhaps a submarine doing testing, or if there is some type of underwater surveillance/monitoring system sending out waves to monitor ships in the ocean, etc. as coastal defense which is turned on and off. I have no idea, but just thinking out loud.

    Whatever, it is very real and I do not have hearing problems. When it does occur, quite infrequently here, others have heard it too when I get them to stop making stupid jokes and to listen carefully. It is highly positional here, so one can hear it and another might not even in the same room until they move around … thus, bringing back my idea of standing wave propagation and it being highly positional/directional and the house acting as a sounding board of sorts.

  8. Sue says:

    Good idea. I am no good at websites, or anything technical but feel sure there is someone out there with the Know how to set up a website with places on a map and the ability to input times dates and level of noise. All that can be plotted on a graph which shows peak times and areas. Any takers??

  9. Joe says:

    There is a map on a site called the hum. It has worldwide locations. If you go to the site just click on the map.

  10. Sue says:

    Hello Joe,
    I think what would be very helpful is a site with a map where people can input where and when they hear the sound which is bothering them. The data can then be collected and analysed so eg if the sound starts in the UK at 6am it can be tracked across the planet when it reaches other people who can hear it then they input their times and date.

  11. Terri says:

    Hi all. Totally agree with the comments (Lynda and Sue) about mapping and collecting data. This site is great for our comments but I am sure we all agree that it won’t get us anywhere unless we take it further. An overall visual with data would be the best way forward to pinpoint links etc. I have a little computer knowledge but there must be some pc guru out there (including those that run this site) who could help.

    For info. The hum that has plauged me for the last couple of months starting at 6.24am precisely has changed. For the past week it still starts at the same time (been awake this morning so can confirm it yet again by the clock on my pc) but lasts less than 2 minutes. This coincides with me suddenly sleeping heavier and longer.

    As per Berts comments, I live very close to docks and naval facilities with regular movement of traffic but the fact that the hum isn’t constant in my case it seems unlikely that it is related. However, we have an Oceanography Centre just a couple of miles away on the waterside – not sure what happens there with sonar etc.

    All I know is that the sound has now eased and my life for the time being is much improved. I will look at the possibility of website for analysing and mapping what is obviously something that is a blight on our health and lives. Will keep you posted.


  12. Hi guys firstly I found this forum very interesting secondly I’ve moved clear across the world from Perth Western Australia to Yorkshire England I experienced this sound phenomena in Perth for about two years after building a new home from scratch on a 5 acre property so had very little influence from neighbours this noise nearly drove me crazy I now live in the UK in the 1920s home and this year the sound has returned it disturbs my sleep from about 10pm on and off all night. It is now 8am and I can stil hear this droning low frequency up and down sound, and yes for me it’s much more noticeable at night and in my bedroom, I don’t notice it so much out side. I now find the only way I can drown it out is sleep with earplugs in.

  13. Joe says:

    Hi Sue, Yes it would be interesting to be able to connect the dots. When I was living up north, I’m sure the noise was in the air, as the sound varied with the direction of the TV antenna. Where I’m at now, which is the second place I have lived in Florida, the noise seems to be coming from the ground. I could be wrong.

  14. Lynda Mountfort says:

    Thanks so much for your acknowledgement and comments Terri.

  15. Steve says:

    North East England, hum has been around for around 3 years, Moved from my previous house to try and get away. Old place it was so intense I couldn’t concentrate, think, sleep, or relax, it really was hell. Turned off all electrical appliances, checked when we had a power cut, checked when water was turned off up street, Noise still present (24 hours – though less noticeable through the day). New place there has been a very slight (almost unnoticeable) hum and life feels SO much better. However. 21st Sept 2014 there was a noticeable increase in volume, have been falling asleep wearing headphones (I didn’t think I needed the earplugs anymore). Then, on the 27th (PM) there was a much more noticeable increase i nthe amplitude. Must get some more earplugs today. I too am coastal area, but have heard this in some inland places – plus no hum in some areas near coast. What we do have here are hundreds of wind turbines – and as I found out recently some ‘secret’ fracking going on some 12 miles or so away (which apparently has been going on almost 3 years – coincidence?). Apparently their fracking contract is coming to an end so maybe will get some peace soon? One of these latter two are the cause, and if not, then it’s something far more sinister. Sound seems to come from the ground/walls – can be ‘felt’ not just heard. My old place there was also (outside) a consistent whitenoise/hiss sound in the air on a night time.

  16. Hi everyone, I have been looking around the internet to find others who have heard this noise! Last night I was woken up by such a weird sound that I literally could not place to anything!! It was a very low and deep hum, which I could hear in my bedroom, and strangely could hear even clearer when I put my pillow to my ear. It was definitely coming from inside the flat, but when I looked outside there was nothing there! It was so strange. I’m pleased to find that others have heard the same sound. I’m 33 and this is the first time I’ve ever heard it.

  17. Sue says:

    Hello all
    Steve has said it has got worse since 27 sept 2014 and I have noticed it much worse this week, it was quiet over the summer. Any more ideas from the clever people who could design a website to input our times and dates? We need to encourage people to ask their councils for low frequency recording equipment to get levels on the noise at their properties to make sure it is the same noise. Mine turns out to be 50hz the signal of electricity. Very best, Sue

  18. Sue says:

    Hello Joe
    The sound is transmitted via air and ground so it appears to be coming from everywhere. If you can imagine a *dome* which expands from the source, it encompasses everything. A bit like the protection dome on Star Wars in the war with Ja Ja Binks in it… not very technical but describes the effect perfectly! Sound is transmitted through rocks and air and very low frequencies travel for miles. A bitlike the rumbling that elephants make. Apparently elephants can detect thunderstorms through their feet. Recent research shows this is how they head towards the rain.

  19. Sue says:

    Hello Terri
    That mapping website sounds wonderful. I’d encourage everyone to ask their councils to record the sound (you can have equipment set up in your house and you press the record button when you hear it) and also have written notes as to exact time and duration of the sound. It helps to also write down how the sound affects you, if it makes your head ring, sick or dizzy or if it is bearable and covered over by TV radio or music. The noise wakes me at night or early morning (this morning at 0420 am) and is horrible. Very best Sue

  20. Sue says:

    Hello Pauline
    Yes, it does feel like you are going nuts. No one else appears to hear it and it fills your head so it feels like it is bursting when it is really loud. Absolutely horrible. PLEASE contact your local council and ask for the noise to be recorded. They will need special low noise equipment which you start when you hear it. For me, it was quietish all summer and has started up in earnest this week. I describe the sound as very loud and very *thick* at its worst it makes me sick and dizzy and the house vibrates. A bit similar to the way your stomach vibrates at a rock concert. The sound signature will probably 50hz which is the noise electricity makes. Very best Sue

  21. Joe says:

    I don’t have any pets but a neighbor does and they went on an emergency overnight trip this past weekend. I kept their dog and put his bed in the laundry room which is next to my room. Minutes after I heard the hum, the dog got restless and came into my room. I put him back in his bed and he stayed there but he kept taking deep breaths and exhaling very loudly. Eventually we all went to sleep but the next night he refused to stay in his bed so I moved it by the front door and he was fine after that.

  22. Sue says:

    Hello Joe
    Do you have a sonic mouse/pest deterrent? They really make dogs upset they cant bear the high pitched sounds.
    I am now worried that my poor dogs are going through hell with this damn hum…. its bad enough for me, their hearing is much more senstitive….

  23. Sue says:

    Finally found out what it IS although not where it is coming from. The sound has been tested in my house, it is 50hz with harmonics of 100hz. This is the signature of electricity and is a common problem with transformers and power stations. If you can, please ask your local council to record the sound using low frequency noise microphones and equipment. Once you know that it is definitely 50hz, check for transformers or power stations anything up to 30miles away from your area. I am hoping that someone on here is clever enough to design a website where we canput in our postcode/ZIP/Location and the time and dates we hear it. That way we can monitor the hum and have the data analysed. An indication of the sound level perhaps 1-10 will give an indication of volume. Anyone out there who can do this??? PLEASE???

  24. Terri says:

    Hi all. Well lucky old me the droning sound has started at 6.28am approximately again this morning but just fades out within 2 minutes – it’s an unbelievable relief but as I know from experience it will probably come back at some point. The fact that the time is spot on the same every day is weird. The sounds in the evening have gone completely!!! I was looking at a completely unrelated item on You Tube today and came across stories that have been covered by US news channels of the same sort of sound coming out of the new One World Trade Centre site and is apparently driving locals wild. Sounds dramatic but believe me check it out yourselves and it will prove that this problem is wide spread. Also You Tube has examples of recorded sounds of various frequencies that you can listen to so you can check if its the same as what you’re hearing – put in a search for the hum. As always with the internet, I am not sure how many are genuine but it’s worth checking out. Still looking into the mapping and tracking website – will let you know. After all – we can’t all be wrong!!

  25. Sue says:

    Hello. I am trying another angle with a LIVE map of power cuts in scotland
    I will compare with my written records of silence to see if these power cuts correspond with the silence I hear. With a bit of luck, I can pinpoint times and dates and WHERE the outage occurs and see if that has anything to do with the noise. Wish me luck!

  26. This hum is driving me mad. I can hear it all day, but it gets much worse at night. Earplugs do not work and I am seriously thinking of selling the house. Others can hear it in the property, but I seem especially to tune in. I am in West Yorkshire. Who do we contact to help? The local council came over but 2 people who came said they could not hear it… COP OUT?? Any advice most welcome.

  27. Joe says:

    I have come to the realization the noise is definately coming from the ground and carried into the house through the plumbing. This was suggested years ago by a plumber who said it was common and we tried several things to solve it without results. Since I built my house, and I can narrow the noise to one wall, it’s the wall where the water pipe comes into the house. There is a shut off just outside the wall so last night when the hum started I took the cover off and listened. It sounded like the hum came from the shut off box. I made sure the pump was not running and mid day today there was no noise in the house or the shut off box. I will check again several more times.

  28. Sue says:

    Dear Denise
    The council have a special microphone which records Low Frequency Noise. Pester them until they put it in your house for a few days. You press the record button when you hear the noise particularly loudly, ususal hum and when it is quiet so they get samples of everything you hear. You keep written notes of time and date you press record, saying what you hear and how it is affecting you. You will probably find out it is electrical. Things you can do yourself is walk around with earplugs in outside and see if you can find out where it is coming from, big local installations, factories, hospitals etc to pinpoint it. You can also hear it in the car quite well, if it is the same noise. Ask other people as you meet them, see if they can hear it. I certainly have been having this thick loud humming which turns out to be electricity. Am speaking to the local MP and the power company at the moment. Press on and be persistent with the council. Very best Sue

  29. Richard says:

    Yesterday we discovered almost exactly the same thing.

    In one spot, near a mains socket and a chimney breast in an upstairs bedroom, an intermittent hum can be heard. It is not loud but is very obvious when your head is close. The hum can be heard nowhere else not even in the room next door (stud wall) or immediately below.

    It might have been a fridge (we have 3, one freezer is in the garage next door but on far wall). This morning my wife turned them all off and the hum remained (no other appliances on).

    I just turned off the house supply at the main fuse box and – the hum was still there! It went a few minutes after I reconnected the supply and will, no doubt, return.

    It is definitely 50Hz mains hum with harmonics.

    It is nowhere near the water main riser.

    We have a grid transformer near the house and a neighbour has just placed a large static home on his land but some way away from us.

    All suggestions welcomed!

  30. Humbug says:

    In w herts, 3am the most common time, isn’t always, does seem to happen more in winter, fog etc. Internal, horrible sonic throb that awakens. Open a window, and it sounds more like a distant slow train, complete with brakes being slightly applied. Or a giant car being jetwashed. It’s not in the head, but until u hear it at its loudest you can think it is. I do suffer with tinnitus at times but that’s not it. Sounds industrial. The inside/outside sound is very different, but u get the inside one, and sure enough the outside sound is there.

  31. Joe says:

    As I was sitting in my office which is on the one side of the wall where the noise seems the loudest about 4:30 in the afternoon, I was dozing off, and as I was waking up, the noise seemed to be much faster or higher pitch than at night, but then returned to the normal hum. I’m almost never in the office during the day. For the first time my daughter could hear it. It was so strange…as the pitch changed, she always looked at me. When I asked her why she looked, she said for no reason. So I think she can hear it but maybe she doesn’t conciencely notice a difference in sound.

  32. mel says:

    Experienced this for the first time last night. Googled it straight away and discovered I am not the only one to endure the awful sound and feeling from it. I’m in Cheshire and wondering what it is. Astounded by the fact it is worldwide and scientists have tried in vain to discover what is the cause. I first became aware of the ‘hum’ at 11:30 pm when it was a low pitch/frequency. I listened to it in other rooms of the house where it was at different volumes. I even checked outside where it was just as audible. Best description is an aeroplanes’ engine in the distance. After finally falling back to sleep, I awoke again at 2:30 am. This time the pitch was much higher and louder, then I heard the pitch drop a tone. Half an hour later it dropped to its original low hum. Baffled and tired!

  33. june says:

    I am also hearng a pitch change over the last 6 weeks , as though there is a minute change of pressure in th flat..split second, then back to usual hum which is worse than it was i.n the summer..so very sck and tired of it Good wishes to all June

  34. Andrew says:

    I live in Connecticut in America and have been hear this hum for 9 years. My wife connot hear this noise and ive asked her many times.
    Its a sort of pulsating hum and without any set beat or patern.
    Cannot find the location its coming from as its basically the same in every room in our house.
    Not only have I heard it in our home but have heard it in several others around new england.
    I hear this hum all through the colder months. In summer it tends to go away for the most part.
    I always have a TV or radio on to mask this hum and at night we sleep with a fan on.
    The sound I hear is like their is somone, in a house near by, playing an electric bass and there is feed back in their amp. Or the sound of a diesel engine running outside.
    I have noticed that the sound can be altered if I thump my finger down on a table. It makes this low bass hum go higher pitch for a few seconds. Discoverd this one day while I was typing on my computer. Each time my fingers hit a key, the hum would change pitch.
    Its important to note here that after all these years of hearing this hum, I only just looked it up on the internet and found that I was not the only one hearing it. In fact it was just two days ago.
    I read that some people actually feel vibrations in their bodies when hearing the HUM. But fortunetly this is not the case for me.
    But if this Hum is causing issues for some people around the world, it my feeling that we need to figure out what it is.

  35. Tarit says:

    Hi everyone. I live in India ( Mumbai ). I and my wife too hear the same humming sound or buzzing sound in our ears at night. The time may be any where between 12 and 3am when there is no external noise or sound. This sound seems like the tunning fork sound used by the ENT and it hits the ears and head and we are unable to sleep. We on both our AC and ceiling fan. The funny thing is that the noise becomes very low when we switch off the ceiling fan but the AC remains on. During the day time also the same sound can be heard in the room if the fan is on. Hope this helps.

  36. Bert says:

    I’ve always thought this is related to Telluric Currents in the earth and hence induced eddy currents causing a vibration at low frequencies in the earth’s crust. See the following for a synopsis. I included the first paragraph.


    “Telluric currents are phenomena observed in the Earth’s crust and mantle. In September 1862, an experiment to specifically address Earth currents was carried out in the Munich Alps (Lamont, 1862).[2] The currents are primarily geomagnetically induced currents, which are induced by changes in the outer part of the Earth’s magnetic field, which are usually caused by interactions between the solar wind and the magnetosphere or solar radiation effects on the ionosphere. Telluric currents flow in the surface layers of the earth. The electric potential on the Earth’s surface can be measured at different points, enabling the calculation of the magnitudes and directions of the telluric currents and hence the Earth’s conductance. These currents are known to have diurnal characteristics wherein the general direction of flow is towards the sun.[3][4] Telluric currents will move between each half of the terrestrial globe at all times. Telluric currents move equator-ward (daytime – facing the sun) and pole-ward (nighttime – facing away from the sun).”

Post Comment

Please note: all comments are moderated by an Admin.

%d bloggers like this: