Where is that strange humming noise coming from…

Categories: Miscellaneous 377 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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377 comments on this post

  1. Richard says:

    Hi Sue,

    Nothing electrical though the sound comes from a point just above a dual mains socket.

    Remember that the sound remained even with the mains switched off. It was also very easy to pinpoint the source within a few inches radius and it could not be heard elsewhere. Weird.

  2. Teresa says:

    I’ve heard this noise for a while now in various areas of Houston Pa (U.S.). I’ve always had a ceiling fan and assumed it was the fan needing tightened, like it was wobbling. But as I lay here in bed at 130 in the am I notice that familiar sound. The difference this time? I don’t have a ceiling fan…

  3. Sue says:

    Hello Richard
    I am wondering if the wire is old or worn… have you considered changing the wire and socket? It may be a DIY project, but you need to consider the cost if you get an electrician in. It depends on whether you think it will solve the problem. Good luck. Unfortunately, my noise is all around in the air and ground at times, makes the cottage vibrate and is unbearable to hear. Mine is definitely electricity based. Very best, Sue

  4. Sue says:

    I would still report it to the council. If they don’t know about it, they can’t do anything about it. If enough people report hearing this hum, then they have to do something about it. Ask around, ask people you meet, good place is at the chemist as people complain of headaches and are looking for aspirin and the like. Ask at the receptionist at the doctors. In particular ask old ladies in the street or at the old people’s clubs as they seem to hear it more than most. Not only will you get information, you will cheer them all up by chatting about other things!

  5. Richard says:

    No, it isn’t the wiring, Sue. As I say, it was there with the mains off.

    I have my suspicions, though.

    Do you live in a rural area (“cottage”) with no mains drainage?

  6. Dee says:

    Thank you Steve im in process of looking for another flat …in meantime having to sleep at friends or family for the time being ….
    I still think it has something to do with all the SKY dishes and i have a sky box in the loft above my bedroom feeding all the flats in the building i am in….My sis got sky fitted a few months ago and she has the same noise now but to a much lower level. Her dish is on her roof outside….

  7. Bert says:

    To me, I think it sometimes radiates within the earth itself. I have tried shutting off the mains here when I’ve heard it in another house and it made no difference. I’ve read also it could be due to stresses within the earth.

    I think for auditory sources from the earth the house acts as a sounding board of sorts as in a piano.

    Some have also felt it is quite electromagnetic in nature and more than just auditory. I think sometimes it’s due to various reasons, in some cases due to electromagnetic radiation from the mains, etc. but in other cases from other sources. I think that’s what makes it so hard to source.

    I also lived once in a place where the turbine heaters used in huge coal fired furnaces in a hospital set up very low frequency ground vibrations that affected only various houses blocks away as a function of the structure of the soil carrying the low frequencies. The hospital tried to measure it at my house with decibel meters, but really, it was a ground vibration, so those were worthless to me.

    Then, here on the coast, I heard it several times and it turned out it was a pleasure boat running their generators at night in a nearby waterway.

    It’s horrible when it happens, it permeates the entire body.

  8. Emma says:

    Hi all,
    I last posted my initial comment back in April/May of this year and have been following all your comments/views/thoughts/suggestions since that time with great interest!
    I would like to share with you my experience with a homeopathic remedy – no I’m not crazy, I was very skeptical at first, but I tried this as a last resort, as the Hum was having such a detrimental impact upon my health and life in general. Briefly, by way of background I have been hearing the Hum on and off since 2012. My boyfriend and neighbours cannot hear anything. I am now 44. I live in a semi rural area surrounded by RAF air bases and a few wind turbines (but not many). The growing intensity reached fever pitch in April 2014 whereupon I made an appointment at the doctors to have my ears checked, they found nothing unusual and referred me to the hospital for an audiology test. All was pretty normal, except that my left ear was slightly down (not that I have ever noticed), nor did it explain my hearing the Hum when others cannot! The hospital suggested I have an MRI IAM scan which particularly looks at the inner ear and blood tests. The MRI came back clear, as did the bloods. So I KNOW there is nothing ‘medically’ wrong with my hearing! During these months of medical investigation I sourced (upon recommendation) a homeopathic lady who basically did some simple, non-intrusive tests and told me that I was really quite sensitive to Electro Magnetic Radiowaves. In homeopathic terms, I am what is called a ‘pulsar’ which has something to do with electromagnetic radiation – yikes! This is not something that you contract overnight but something that builds and builds over time. She prescribed me a remedy, 5 drops of Algin twice a day and a small pulsar tablet twice a week for a month. Other advice given was to give myself a break from the computer/phone/ipad etc, which I do, unplugging devices from time to time. Essentially though the remedy prescribed should ‘detox’ me. I had nothing to lose and I was at my wits end with the goddamn Hum so I thought I might as well try it. Honestly and to my absolute shock after one week I could not hear the Hum. I dared not say anything to my boyfriend for fear I jinxed it but thought I’d sit out the month. I went back to see the homeopathic lady, she reduced my remedy for a further two months. Silence is golden! I am now 3½ months clean of the blasted Hum. I can sleep at nights, I have my mojo back, I’ve the energy to go running again, it is quite unbelievable! I am definitely a convert to this type of therapy! It is not expensive, it only cost me £13.35 for the first month’s remedy and subsequently £13.35 for the second remedy but as the prescription reduces this is lasting me two months. I am told that I may not have to take the remedy for the rest of my life, I may never have to take it again or I may find I need to every year or so – every individual will be different. Just had to share this with you, I’m over the moon I feel cured. I may never find the source of the Hum but I believe that as we are surrounded these days by high levels of technology which is developing all the time that an amalgamation of all these EMRs will only get worse, hence more and more people across the globe are ‘tuning in’ to them. So I know some of you have quite drastically taken the decision to move house, I believe that if you are as sensitive to EMRs as I am then there will be very few places on earth to move to. Please try the homeopathic route – it just might help. It works for me!!

  9. chris says:

    hey emma, thank you so much for sharing your story and the homeopath information! congratulations on beating this thing! you give the rest of us hope. :) i’d like to try that homeopathic remedy as well – sure couldn’t hurt! what is the “small pulsar tablet?”

  10. Richard says:

    Humans cannot hear EMR.

    Emma’s “remedy” is almost certainly because she believes it or the internal problem she had has gone. The “advice” she was given is dubious to say the least. But hey, she’s hum free and that’s what counts.

    I agree with Bert: where many people can hear it the sound is most likely mechanical and is being transmitted by certain geological structures. Electrial currents in the earth are so minute as to be irrelevant.

    In our case we could pinpoint the “source” within a few inches and hear it go on and off. It is external and transmitted underground from nearby, we think.

  11. Kirstie says:

    Hi Emma
    I too would be interested in the remedy you were provided so I can see a naturopath here is Australia as well.

  12. Kirstie says:

    Hi Emma
    I too would be interested in the remedy as well so I can visit a naturopath here in Australia

  13. Richard says:

    Be careful!

    Homeopathy is a thoroughly discredited art (it is ot a science) as I can testify from my own experience.

    Googling for this pulsar tablet is fruitless which furher raises suspicions of quackery.

  14. Sue says:

    I certainly wouldn’t take anything I bought off the internet, especially tablets. It is not regulated or certified, you just have to take their word for it. Unless you are a chemist and can analyse the contents, I would avoid!

    This is a physical sensory problem, caused by noise. Homeopathy is unlikely to make it go away!

  15. Richard says:

    Well said, Sue.

    Homeopathy does not and cannot work anyway but the placebo effect has to be taken into account.

  16. Sue says:

    Rural, yes, mnain drain yes, also a high voltage cable running under teh road outside the cottage.

  17. Bert says:

    Well, the darn hum just started back up here on the coast. I heard it last night, then it seemed to go away today, now as dusk approaches I can hear it now. I just went out and walked the perimeter of the entire house. I could hear nothing, came back inside and I hear it in the bedroom. I can feel it in the cement floor, it is a slab on the ground. It sounds like a diesel truck idling in the distance, but there is nothing like that here. It could be a pleasure boast that pulled into one of the canals. I haven’t checked that out yet, but it seems way too full throated a noise this time to be from a boat idling the engines.

  18. Lynda Mountfort says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience and (hopeful) solution. I live in an area about 20kms north of Wellington in New Zealand and have only been hearing/feeling the Hum since March this year, so am a relative newbie to this experience. My experience of it is like the majority of people’s. Sometimes it’s so bad I just want to scream. Interestingly last night is the first night I didn’t hear it when I went to bed and it didn’t wake me during the night AND I didn’t hear it when I awoke. Wow, I felt good after a proper night’s sleep; makes a huge difference to your energy levels. I will definitely check out your homeopathic remedy; we have a very reputable homeopathic chemist in the area and I will check things out with them. I wish you continued relief from the dreaded hum. Best wishes. Lynda

  19. Richard says:

    Sue, the mains cable is a suspect.

    Is everyone on mains drainage near you if not someone may be using a Klargester sewage system.

  20. Emma says:

    Hi All,
    Still reading your comments with interest and have made some observations which I think need clearing up. Some of you have clearly jumped to some bizarre conclusions? Maybe you are suffering from the ‘Hum’ more than you think?!

    Richard: I don’t recall anywhere in my post stating that I thought I/humans can hear EMR. What I stated was, I was hearing the Hum. Nor did I state that I had an “internal problem”? I merely took the decision to visit my GP/referral for an MRI IAM scan purely to rule out the ‘possibility’ of a medical issue. I never actually ever believed there was anything wrong with me ‘internally’ as I believe (like many others) the Hum is very much an external noise.

    Sue: I don’t recall stating anywhere in my comments posted on 24 Oct that I had purchased anything “especially tablets” off the internet? This was not the case at all.

    I appreciate that everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but the above described comments you made were purely fabricated on your part.

    Particularly for me, living with the awful Hum for two years motivated me to either find the source or attempt to deal with the symptoms I was experiencing. I have not yet found a scientific conclusion to eliminating the Hum nor have I found a medical conclusion, hence I sought ‘alternative therapy’. At this point, I was willing to try anything, instead of just complaining about it.

    I wish to clarify therefore how I think I may just have found my ideal for eliminating the Hum from my life. I telephoned the homeopathy lady to arrange a consultation. I attended the appointment in her own home. We chatted, I explained my symptoms and we went through lots of things in my life generally including my family/medical history, anything of that nature really (nothing particularly outstanding there!). I guess she has to build up a picture of who you are, what you are like etc, as in effect, I am a stranger to her. She then conducted a simple non-intrusive, non-painful test in which she attempted to define what toxins have built up in the body (only she exactly understands how this works having practised for over 20 years, I personally cannot explain this to you). The conclusion to this test was that I had gradually built up toxins in the body emitted from EMR mostly (you all already know many of the possible kinds of things these come from as you discuss them on this website). The end result of this was hearing the Hum, and sometimes feeling the vibrations too.

    As I stated previously, I was very skeptical initially about this therapy. I am neither naive nor easily manipulated, but I was willing to be open-minded about it, especially since I had found no answers elsewhere (i.e. scientifically or medically).

    Moving on to the remedy prescribed, the Algin comes in the form of drops, are placed on the tongue, it doesn’t particularly taste of anything and the pulsar is what may best be described as a small white ball about the size of a stud earring, again is placed on or under the tongue to melt. I wish to apologise for my previous description of this, I believe I described it as a tablet when it is not actually a tablet. My sincerest apologies if this description was misleading in any way.

    I reiterate that having regular breaks from my PC/iPhone/iPad was also advised. I unplug and switch off these devices from time to time, especially overnight. (My job requires me to sit at my PC all day and into the early evenings sometimes). I was also advised to look into the quartz phoneShield and the quartz wi-fiShield. These two devices have been scientifically designed to alleviate the harmful effects of EMR. They have been developed in the UK where they are manufactured. The technology has been tested under UK laboratory conditions by eminent scientist, Roger Coghill, and certified to be effective in mitigating the detrimental biological effects of cell phone radiation and thus affords significant protection.

    Testimonials confirm that people have achieved immediate relief from health conditions associated with mobile phones and wi-fi which are believed to be symptomatic of early EMR effects. Some of the less serious complaints reported are: (a) sleep disorders (b) tiredness, fatigue and muscle weakness (c) reduced concentration and memory loss and (d) headaches, nausea and disturbed vision. For more info: http://www.phoneshield.co.uk

    I was also advised that quartz is especially good to have around as quartz acts like a sponge absorbing EMR.

    All I know is, that I can no longer hear the Hum. However, it is obviously still out there because you are all still hearing it, living with it and suffering because of it.

    I believe that the ‘remedy’ that was prescribed for me has detoxed my body of these particular toxins such that I am no longer ‘tuning in’ to the Hum.

    I must admit, initially, after the first week of taking the remedy, it crossed my mind that it could be placebo, hence I remained silent on my results at first, and in the meantime I strained to listen out for the Hum, especially late at night and in the early hours when it was mostly at its peak (I still do it now). But you know what, I cannot hear it any more, I am now almost 4 months free of the Hum – it’s exhilarating really!

    It is important to note that my homeopathy lady did not promise anything, she did not provide any guarantees. All I can say is that I am cured and the alternative therapy route gave me the results I was searching for. I continue to hope that this remains the case forever but I shall update if anything changes.

    I did source my local homeopathy lady via the internet but she was also recommended to me by one of my best friends who suffered with hayfever year on year. It has to be said that none of the available (and expensive) ‘medications/drugs’ (that have many side effects) seemed to work for her so she tried ‘alternative therapy’ – it worked for her too! But I digress…

    The rationale behind my posting the comments I made on 24 Oct and today was to share my experience and hopefully, if just one of you took up an opportunity to ‘try’ an ‘alternative therapy’ and it worked for you too, then I have helped one Hum sufferer at least!

    Best regards to all.

  21. Richard says:

    Emma, whether or not you believe you do not have the placebo effect this is the most likely cause. No matter, this is good for you.

    Homeopathy has been conclusively scientifically debunked so this can be ruled out along with algin (kelp extract). The “pulsar” is more quackery: ask what the contents are.

    Alternative medicine sellers (yes, it’s a business) always claim that our bodies are full of toxins but again this is untrue.

    As for alginates preventing radiation effects this is impossible and again has been thoroughly discredited.

    If anything, quartz can create EMR not sponge it up: quartz does not work in this way, it is inert until “driven” by an external, usually electrical, stimulus as in a watch. Anyway, unless you live on top of a powerful source (which noone does) EMR is at such a low level it has no effect on humans.

    Glad you no longer hear a hum but maybe the source has gone.

  22. Richard says:

    Emma, phoneshield is another example of quackery based on the false claims of one man. Far from being eminent n the accepted sense, Coghill is a very strange bloke whose ideas have been thoroughly discredited and whose understanding of EMR etc has been shown to be tenuous to say the least. He is not reliable.

  23. Kirstie says:

    Emma, great to hear of your experience. I think that natural therapies are a good alternative in dealing with the side effects of exposure to the Hum and I am an advocate of trying it. So for me, I will certainly be seeking homeopathics and natural remedies in helping me deal with it. I understand what others are saying, that we need to deal with the underlying issues and the cause, but sheesh the sleep deprivation for me at present is a priority.

  24. Sue says:

    Mains drainage as well. All goes down to the sewage farm at the bottom of the glen. I have been down there several times when the hum is bad to see if I can hear anything and it is all quiet down there.

  25. Richard says:

    Interesting, Sue. Does everyone else hear it?

    Presumably, if you leave home the hum goes?

    There has to be a physical reason.

  26. Bert says:

    When I heard the hum again the other night I could not hear anything around the perimeter of the house, but I did notice the power transformers up on the electrical pole were humming very loudly, I guess because of the increased load at night with lights and all on in the community. I never hear that during the day, but it did not seem to be the source of the hum I was hearing which I am sure radiates from the earth.

  27. Sue says:

    The hum is easily heard by me in Longniddry and in the West End of Edinburgh when I am either in peoples’ houses or in the car when the engine is switched off. Others have heard it as well. I have had the noise recorded in my cottage as 50hz with harmonics of 100hz, the signature of electricity.

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