Where is that strange humming noise coming from…

Categories: Miscellaneous 534 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. “


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534 comments on this post

  1. B. says:

    i live on Vancouver island in Canada, I also hear this low humming noise. It starts and stops no set pattern or times. I live off the power grid and can hear it at all times of the day?? It can be heard from all around my property and other surrounding areas where I have camped. In some areas yes this sound can be attributed to electricity ( as I here electricity in the city’s humming through the lines) but not at my home. It is strange and can be annoying at times, wondering what makes this noise??

  2. Jim Termini says:

    I have been hearing this hum (in the 60 Hz range) for several weeks. Not so sure whether I am hearing the hum directly or whether, whatever it is, it is syncopating with the pipes in the walls or something else in my house structure and I am hearing that secondary hum instead. Years ago I heard something similar, then read on the internet that low frequency signals were being generated for some sort of submarine location experiment. This time it is different. It pulsates around 80 times per minute. It is generally easy to ignore, but at other times it can be very distracting. Interestingly, my son had not heard it till I pointed it out to him. He hears a steady tone as compared to my detection of a pulsating tone.

  3. Bert says:

    We have narrowed it down to seemingly several sources where we live. Also, we’ve had similar happen wherein people have not noticed it until mentioned to them. It is generally subtle here and we only hear it on occasion.

    Here are some sources we think the hum originates from where we live. It is generally around 50-80hz or so and is directional. One can turn their head slightly and hear it and then move some and not hear it.

    1. Deep wells used for irrigation. Every house has one for the lawn.

    2. Air conditioner compressors resting on the bed rock. The houses are built on land that has deep limestone starting a foot or two underground and all houses are built on concrete slabs.

    3. Some underground AC power distribution lines.

    4. Boats running their engines at night in the waterways.

    5. We also think it is sometimes from some type of underwater testing in the ocean.

  4. Alex says:

    I have heard this sound since 7 years ago at the Madrid (Spain) SouthWest place where I live now. I think it cannot be the wells at point 1. because these do not exists in my country, neither boats because there are not boats near from here more than 450 Km. (I’ve been living at Spain coast and I identity perfectly the sounds of big ship motors that you can hear from distances of 20 Km or more., but they are characteristic, you can feel the movement of the ship and the characteristic change of “beating” (I don’t know how to express it at English) as result of differences between phase sync of resonant frequencies.)

    I think, after reading about the locations so disperse where people has described the phenomenon, and the extension where it occurs can be more nearly underground AC power distribution lines or transforming units as you comment at point 3. or Air conditioner compressors that works (except the new ones with inverter modules) at the same frequency and may be it adds a resonant vibration that can be transmitted by solid structures of buildings and underground cavities at the cities. Here in Spain, the frequency of AC power is 50 Hz. Or maybe can be explained as the result from another event global at the planet, just like the known underwater tests that confuse the poor cetacean.

    I agree with the directionality described (its intensity varies with orientation) and with commentaries of another people that describes it as a resonant sound. In my house it sounds with more intensity in some places of the rooms, for example the corners and at specifics distances from the floor or the top of the room.

  5. Dougie ,McAree says:

    I have just begun hearing this low frequency hum. It’s 2am and I’m in Glasgow, Southside Quite strange that I haven’t heard it before and not sure whether to divulge this to anyone else. It seems to be louder in my right ear although it’s audible in both ears.

  6. Sue says:

    Hello Doug I live in Midlothian just south of Edinburgh and the noise was very bad from just before 9am this morning.

  7. Sue says:

    Richard, do you have a wire detector? The sort which beeps when you run it along the chimney breast so you don’t accidentally drill into a live wire.

    If it were me, I would have opened up the chimney to find out what it is!

  8. Carol says:

    Dougie, I too am in Glasgow south side and have been hearing a low rumbling hum practically every day for a good while now.
    Had spells of silence but this episode has been since 18th April, day and night. Trying to trace the source. Suspects are electricity, gas, water, neighbours… The constant tone of it makes me crazy(ier)!!
    Environmental health are investigating, slowly.
    What kind of property do you live in?

  9. Dee says:

    Hi Sue i live in West Edinburgh near Calder road the noise was really bad all night on the 17th right through the day.. I have to get moved out of this house.. but i dont now where to move to to get away from this problem…

  10. Chris says:

    Ok,I’m so happy I’ve found this post because I’ve been literally driven mad by this humming noise on & off for the last few months.
    It’s always at night,after midnight but usually more like 1-2 am. However today I’ve just been outside to put wheelie bins out for the morning & it is really loud at 8 pm. It almost appears to be coming from a house opposite me & as I know the residents I went & asked them what they made of it. To my astonishment they could not even hear it! I am now even more freaked out than I usually am when it starts up at 2am. I know today is midsummer eve & a lot of freaky stuff goes on but this one’s got me feeling seriously uncomfortable.
    After speaking with my neighbour earlier I decided to Google ‘weird humming noise coming from neighbouring house’ which led me to your site & reading through some of the comments on here at least stops me feeling mad!

  11. Sue says:

    No, you are not mad. It’s common that other people do not hear it. You need to keep a diary of when and where you hear it and the effect it has on you eg making me dizzy, filling my head can hear it over the tv, anything you feel.

    I am suspecting that this thick heavy instrusive sound is actually electricity so you need to see what transformers are near you. Where I am, it depends on the switching operations; let me konw how you get on please.

  12. Sue says:

    Sorry to hear. We need a clever person to design a website where we can enter the time date and location of the noise. The more we can record it globally the more we can build up a picture of where it is happening. ANy ideas?

  13. Dee says:

    Welcome on board Chris :)

  14. Sue says:

    Hello Chris
    Bit of a faff, but can you get a 24 hour chart and mark daily when you hear it? Mark when where and the volume of noise. I am hoping eventually that some bright spark will design a website we can all log on to and put in our individual information. I am thinking ahead and we will not only get a world map (there is one in existence) but a more detailed recording of the sound. You can get an app for your Android phone which measures the decibels and Hertz of the sound. My particular sound is 50hz which is the signature of electricity and sometimes I get dizzy, sick and of course the sleep disturbance. I am in Roslin, just south of Edinburgh UK.

  15. Dee says:

    Will get my thinking hat on and will start to record again when noise is bad..i have to leave my house EVERY night now and go either to sleep at a friends or sisters to get some sleep..it is a nightmare :(

  16. Sue says:

    Sorry to hear, Dee. I, too , have been driven to book into a hotel at 2am just to get some sleep and peace. :((( Get the andoid app… system analyzer see what the decibel and hz readings are. 50hz is electricity. Where are you again?

  17. Dee says:

    Hi Sue i live just down from the Calder Road west

  18. carol says:

    I am being driven to despair. I can’t cope with it anymore – it is hideous. I tell myself it is just a noise and won’t do me any harm but the constant tone of it is like torture. I will have to move house and it is unbearable and making me depressed, angry, ratty and a bad mother. I can’t concentrate on anything or enjoy my home or company of my family. I always feel I have to escape. Make it stop!

  19. colin says:

    hi, glad to see others from midlothian, scotland. ive been hearing this hum for years here and lately it has been more intense, last september was the last time it become so loud. yesterday it was so intense it began bothering me in the daytime when there is normally enough going on to distract me from it. last night was heavy going trying to get to sleep, it vibrates my head when it is like that. will try this android app, thanks for the tip

  20. Dave B says:

    I am in Norfolk UK, heard this noise at 3am 25th June 2015

  21. Chris says:

    Hi thanks for support I feel ever so slightly less mad now!.. I omitted to say in my original post I’m in the UK, close to Watford in Hertfordshire. If there’s anyone close by I’ve not seen them yet as there’s a lot of comments to get through & I’m tending to read the more recent ones at present. Last night was particularly bad, maybe due to warm evening & having lots of Windows open & combination of my wakefulness. Who knows…

  22. Sue says:

    Hello Dee if you look at the maps and google eart youwill see that there is a main electricity line from the East right across teh country from Edinburgh to Glasgow and down to Carlisle. You can also look on your google earth and see if there are transformers around your area which are the most likely source. They are upgrading the line to Carlisle to carry 400,000 volts. I noticed that switching operations at my local sub station Kaimes resulted in periods of complete silence as they moved from bit to bit of equipment. Please email me for details of who to contact. Sue

  23. Sue says:

    Dave, have a look on Google earth and follow the electricity pylons and see where the nearest substation is to you. That is the likely source of any deep hummingnoise. You can get a system analyzer app for your android phone and see if the Hz is 50 which is the sound of electricity.

  24. Sue says:

    Dave, have a look on GGle earth and follow the electricity pylons and see where the nearest substation is to you. That is the likely source of any deep hummingnoise. You can get a system analyzer app for your android phone and see if the Hz is 50 which is the sound of electricity.

  25. Sue says:

    Colin you are likely to find a substation near you which is causing it.

  26. Sue says:

    O know exactly how you feel Carol it is a nightmare. Makes you feel sick inside if you go out then come home to it.

  27. Alex says:

    Carol, I feel just like you. I don’t know what more to say…

  28. Chris says:

    Hi , i have been hearing this on and off for 2 years now, i have made a few posts here before, it has been especially more prevalent over the past 10 days or so here in west Yorkshire,

    Thanks, Chris.

  29. Lynda Mountfort says:

    I can hear the desparation in your comment and really feel for you. I have put a comment on in the last month about something that really helped me sleep and am now repeating it for anyone who didn’t see it. I had 12 months of the Hum and it was driving me to distration also. I read that Tart Cherry juice contains (naturally occuring) phytomelatonin and helps support a good nights sleep. Check it out. I’ve been taking it since mid March this year (2015) and IT REALLY WORKS. I sleep normally now – amazing. Clearly the Hum interrups our sleep pattern in such a way that our normal release of this important hormone. Good luck!

  30. Pat Barton says:

    Hi Iam in New zealand- North isalnd -Is there any one who has this trouble in Nz too.
    Humming into the night some days worse than othere’s. I hae now got an MP4 player this helps, even to listern to in bed. Also a noise machine to countrack this noise with a pleasant one. I prefer the sound of rain. I have to learn to live with it go to the beach during the day if I can!!!

  31. Sue says:

    Dear Carol et al
    Practical help is those soft orange squashy earplugs. They deaden the sound a bit. You can then put your large headphones on with quiet music or as Pat says the sound of rain.
    You might try stopping your aspartame intake (sweetener in food and drink products) as that can induce tinnitus. You can also have a hearing test to confirm to yourself that you do not have problems with your ears. The systems analyzer for your phone will tell you how loud and what Hz you are experiencing. You can complain to your local council who should come out and record the noise for you. That should help define it. For me, it is definitley the pylons and substation which has hopefully been resolved. It could be different for you. Hope this helps. Sue

  32. Lynda Mountfort says:

    See my entry above yours. I am in Upper Hutt, north of Wellington.

  33. Pat. Easterling says:

    Just flew back home and dismayed to wake the last two nights around 2am with slowly pulsating hum, about 4 seconds loud to soft. Yippee. Probably electrical. Previously I could hear neighbors’ sub woofer during action movies but that would end by midnight. Tonight went around the house and it’s from the East.u

  34. Sue says:

    30/6/2015 at 21:20pm Midlothian Scotland. Very deep loud permeating hum. Can’t get away from it, all around no particular direction. Please make it stop! Anyone else hear it?

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