Noises in the Night

I am the biggest chicken in the whole world!  When it gets dark, I’m afraid of my own shadow.  Nothing’s ever happened that made me afraid . . I’m just scared!  When I was growing up, we lived in a very safe little town (except for my sister and her crazy friends!).  We would leave the keys in our cars during the day time and they had a house key on them.  I never went to bed early and about midnight, I would remember that my keys were in the car.  Of course, the car was about 2 steps from the door but I’d wake my dad up, make him come “watch me” while I went out and got my keys!  Even now, I make Vince get up and “watch me” if Speck has to go out in the middle of the night.  I know . . he should just go out with him and let me sleep but that doesn’t happen.

Outside this house are some round vent opening type things on the sides.  I know critters can get through there!

The side by the kitchen has a screen over the opening.  The side by the bedrooms does not!

In the master bedroom closest, there’s an attic access.  Every night just about the time I almost fall asleep, I hear this loud thump!   The first couple of nights, it scared me half to death.  The next few nights, I lay in bed waiting for it and yes, it always happens, just like clockwork, right before I go to sleep.  Of course, Vince is snoring to beat the band and he hears nothing.

The other night on the news, they were talking about a rabid raccoon.  Last night when I heard the thump . . you know what went through my mind!  A rabid raccoon has climbed up the side of my house, gone through the opening, into my attic and has fallen into my closet.  I said to Vince “There could be a raccoon in the closet!”  Huh?  “Really, would you get up and look?”  No!  He would not get up and look.  This morning I never thought about it and he uses a different closet.

Thank goodness, I had clothes in the laundry room this morning or I’m not sure what I would have worn to the dentist because I am not opening that closet til he gets home.

What if there is a rabid raccoon and he falls down into my closet every night and then climbs back up in the morning and does it again every night? Otherwise, what is that sound I’m hearing every night?


  1. 1


    methinks a rabid animal is not getting in your closet, so there must be another reason for the thump. Are you using an attic fan? When you turn them off they can make a thump noise when they close up. Is the thump really coming from the attic? Maybe the refrigerator ice is dumping into the container? During the day you might not hear it because of other noise.. Maybe a neighbor is coming home at the same time every night and you are hearing the door slam shut?

    Or maybe there IS a rabid animal living in your closet…what do i know? LOL

  2. 2


    I doubt the raccoon is climbing up the siding on the house…go look!!! See if there are scratch marks! I know all about a wild imagination!! One time my husband was out of town, and my kids were very small. One night I heard “babies crying”. Babies crying LOUD and in our garage! I freaked. I knew I had been in the garage that day, and just knew I locked someone’s kids in there and the police would show up any minute…..never mind it was 3:00 in the morning. I called my father in law crying that I had children locked in the garage and I was so scared! He said I did not have kids in the garage, but I flipped out on the phone. I KNEW I heard babies crying….turns out it was CATS all along…..but still…..I know what I heard!!!
    Hope you find the source of the thud…maybe it is a squirrel landing on the roof….

  3. 3


    I think that would have to be one skinny raccoon to get in there, not to mention I can’t imagine how a raccoon could climb up the side of the house. A squirrel maybe..raccoon very doubtful. Hope you figure it out so you can sleep.

  4. 4

    Karen says

    I’m sure it’s not a rabid raccoon, I bet you might even have a screen on that vent. On my house the screen on vent is on the attic side and you can’t tell it’s there. If the screen really isn’t there ewwww!!! rabid raccoon would be the least of my fears crawling in the house at least I could see him.

        • says

          OH yes they do eat meat!!! I had a friend years ago that raised rabbits in the back yard in all-wire cages. Raccoon’s would OPEN the cages to eat the baby rabbits! They are smart and omnivorous – they eat whatever they think is edible! I doubt they would think that a quilter was edible though, LOL.

  5. 6

    Norma says

    I don’t know Judy, but I would be worried. We camped at that lake several years ago and the ranger told us that they have all the poisonous snakes native to the US in that park plus scorpions and tarantulas. He said we should never put on clothes or shoes without shaking them out first. That was our only camping trip there.

    • 6.1


      You’re right. You don’t want to hear the story about me chasing the scorpion with my rotary cutter. The critters here are enough to send me over the edge .. if the house hunting effort hasn’t already done that.

  6. 8


    I believe you, Judy. I know. Because I have a wolf that lives over my door at night. Ever since I was a kid he has been there. He even moves around with us from house to house.

    No, not behind the door, above the door, in that space between the door top and the ceiling?



  7. 9

    Marilyn says

    You guys are killing me! I just had my appendix removed on Friday and I’m not supposed to laugh this much! 🙂 now I will probably have to go back to the hospital and explain that I tore the bandages because you were afraid of rabid raccoons and wolves living in the space above the door and your shadow. Thanks for cheering me up 😉

    • 9.1

      Bonnie says

      I had my appendix out 8/2…..went to a quilt show on 8/5; lol, doctor never told me I wasn’t supposed to laugh…just not to lift anything over 10#. Mine was laprascopic – eazy peazy!

  8. 10

    pat says

    I don’t think you have a raccoon maybe a squirrel. The vent isn’t big enough for a raccoon look for marks on the outside of your siding.

  9. 11


    My husband and son were away for a couple of weeks, and I had to go out one night (friend picked me up) to a meeting. When Helen dropped me at home, I made her wait until I had checked EVERY SINGLE ROOM AND CUPBOARD and she could go when I flashed the lights outside – I have watched way too many episodes of Criminal Minds. Without fail, some critter always makes it way into the house when all the “men folk” are missing, this time I thought I had a rat in the ceiling and could see something on the diffuser of the skylight – as moving this stuff is manly work I had to ring my brother-in-law – on closer inspection it was a tiny bat. Once removed me and the cat could rest easy for the rest of the night!!! Sue

  10. 12


    Don’t worry, Judy, the rabid raccoon is in Mineral County, West Virginia. It would have a long way to get to Texas. I have lived in the same house since 1966 and I having been hearing nails popping out in the attic all these years. I keep imagining the roof falling off!
    Debbie in WV

  11. 14


    My childhood fears involved Dracula and trains. I have to investigate strange noises, can’t sleep until I know what they are. Was a time when I’d just pull the covers over my head, but no more. Worse thing I ever found was an angry squirrel in my basement once, he scared me half to death!
    But your bump is probably Dracula getting out of his coffin for his nightly foray. You need fresh garlic and a crucifix next to your bed!

  12. 15

    Toni in TN says

    Judy, are you really sure you want to live out in the country? What ever would you do when Vince wasn’t there? That’s why I live in town. Just want to be within screaming distance of a neighbor.

    • 15.1


      Hotels! I would go stay in a hotel when he’s out of town. It really doesn’t matter if I’m in the city or in the country. I’m as scared as I can be no matter where I am. But once Vince has been gone for a few days, I kinda get used to it and do better.

  13. 17

    Patty says

    I have a good one. My daughter packed up some of her old toys and books and we put them in the attic when we lived in Texas. One day I heard something up there so I pulled the steps down and climbed up. I got to the top and bout crapped my pants. I saw a tail of some animal hanging out the top of one of the tubs. I screamed and called the neighbor and she sent her two teenage boys over with gloves and scarves around their necks and she came too. The boys climbed up and saw it and screamed. They finally flipped the lid off with a broom handle and it was the tail of my daughters stuffed monkey. I am still laughing over that one. Of course they were laughing at me not with me.

  14. 18

    Alma says

    We have squirrels jumping on our roof at all hours. It’s just that we don’t hear them much during the day because it is not as quiet. I think it is a squirrel or just the house “popping” as the temp cools at night. This popping can be very loud but normal.

  15. 19

    Robin says

    In our house I keep hearing what sounds like something scurrying around up above our ceiling- my DH has gone up there and has seen nothing and thinks it’s probably where the wires rub in the breeze or the shifting of the siding. All I know is it sounds like a critter running around- doesn’t seem to bother the cat though when she is on the bed. If it is a critter I don’t know how it would get up there as we have nothing close by for it to climb other than the wires and I haven’t seen anything scaling the poles to ge to the wires to walk a tightrope!

  16. 20

    mac says

    Could be a raccoon…I had one chew through a dryer vent, My son appeared upstairs at my bedroom door one night and announced he “had wildlife in his bathroom” (which is directly over my sewing room). I knew he was wrong and told him to make sure the door was closed and go back to bed. In the morning, I discovered my sewing room had been trashed. All books (hundreds) had been thrown on the floor and everything was dumped. We discovered a raccoon had chewed through the dryer vent in that room and when he realized he was trapped, he trashed the room and knocked out ceiling tiles to access the bathroom above (that was being renovated). We finally trapped the monster, but it has taken weeks to restore the sewing room and sanitize, launder, and sterilize everything it got near. That is the extreme method to thin out the stash.

  17. 21

    Sherry says

    You are a trip Judy. Your posts are so entertaining and I look forward to the next one. I am also looking forward to purchasing your new borders book. I never thought much about borders until I saw what you put on your quilts and now I can hardly think about just plain borders. Good job.

  18. 22

    Cindy B. says

    And on that note: WHAT ABOUT the house you were waiting on the phone call about?

    With baited breath …

  19. 23

    Peggy says

    Due to the fact that my parents used to live on the main floor of the house and my husband and myself on the lower floor we started to leave a TV on at night. Once I am asleep usual noises don’t bother me, but unusual noises wake me up. Some times I check other times I don’t.

    One night years ago, I was staying in the garage here in KY that we had set up as an apartment while building the house. I was staying by myself. I knew earlier in the day a neighbor was up on their roof. I heard a noise like a woman screaming for help. It was so clear and in the direction of that house. I only knew one couple in the neighborhood at the time. I went to their house and the man and I drove around the neighborhood for over an hour trying to find what was making that noise. The next day we found out it was a wild cat of some type…..and I think he knew all the time we were looking. He was having fun thinking I thought someone needed help.

    So we set up a system with one of our neighbors. We would you-who when we needed help! They wou you-who back and would come to our aid.

  20. 24


    I won’t tell you my bees in the closet story – but I know EXACTLY what you are talking about!!! Did Vince check it out? You making him swap closets now???? 🙂

  21. 25


    If I weren’t rocking the baby to sleep, I’d be rolling!

    Seriously, no fun, but the image of a racoon falling into your closet every night and climbing back out again and again was priceless.

  22. 26

    Linda in NE says

    Oh, Judy, you tell the most entertaining stories. I guess I don’t understand your fears of the dark. I always think it’s really nice to go outside late at night, after DH and all the neighbors are asleep and there’s no traffic or lawn mower noise and just sit on the steps and listen to the night sounds and talk to the cat. So peaceful.

    Now, we know a coon couldn’t crawl between those louvers on the vent and get into your attic and fall into your closet, right? I’m suspecting that the thump you hear is the ventilation louvers closing after the heat of the day. They may have sceening on the inside to keep critters out.

    • 26.1


      One of them has screen on the outside but the other one has nothing. Have you ever seen what a tiny crack a mouse can get through? I’m not ruling out rabid raccoons! 🙂

  23. 27

    lw says

    Not to freak you out anymore than you are but raccoons are omnivores, and do indeed eat meat if it’s available.

    One night several years ago I came in from work at 4AM and went to bed. A few minutes later, I heard something “click” across the kitchen floor and went to check, since cats pad and don’t make clicking noises as they walk. I turned on the kitchen light and there was a 40 lb raccoon and her three babies eating cat chow on my kitchen floor– they had been dunking the chow in the water dish, then eating it. I screamed, and they screamed, and then they ran out through the cat door, mommy last, somehow fitting all that bulk through my small cat door. After that, I got a dog and now, no more raccoons.

    That said, your thump is almost certainly thermal snap and the overnight temperatures go low enough for the house to settle. If it was a raccoon or a possum or squirrel, you’d hear them moving around up there.

  24. 28

    Pat C in Washington says

    I grew up in the country, in between 2 dairy farms and one berry farm. We had the usual assortment of dozens of cats & dogs, plus a couple sheep (Sunflower and Lambchop), my sister’s psycho horse, 4 steers (Blondie, Beefy, Sirloin and Twinkletoes) and field mice that lived in the ceiling of the house. At night they had races. Back and forth, back and forth. Occasionally they would get down into the house and snuggle up into someone’s slippers. Made for interesting mornings….much hollering and waving of brooms. Now I wear earplugs at night, so night noises don’t bother me 😀

    • 28.1


      When we were in KY, there were fields next door to our house and when they cut the hay, we always had an invasion of field mice and we would hear them in the attic running and sometimes scratching. They can chew wires and cause fires so we did our best to keep them out and catch them or whatever to keep them away but any time they were cutting hay, we knew we’d have unwelcomed visitors.

    • 28.2


      Pat, the first time I read your first sentence I had to go back and reread it: just the thought of the cats, dogs, sheep, horse, steers, & mice having races in the ceiling gave me the giggles.

  25. 29

    Diana in TX says

    I would vote for a squirrel. We had them in ours, they can get through some very small places. The next time you are in town look for a couple of the electronic things that you plug into outlets-they emmit noise that only critters will hear. Will not bother speck. We’ve been using them for several years now-no big roof rats or squirrels in the attic.

  26. 30


    It’s 8.30 am in the morning here in England and I have never laughed so much at all the stories. When I first met my husband he lived with his parents in a VERY old house with wattle and daub walls, at night I swear they moved with the things that lived in them. No one else seemed at all bothered but I just could not sleep. Guess we have to get used to strange noises.
    Maybe you ned to watch RV the film with Robin Williams ?

  27. 31


    Well, if you were closer to us, I send my 9 year old to help! He thinks he’s Billy the Exterminator!! My mom had a critter getting into her chicken coop at night, so my son set a live trap. What did he catch a raccoon. He’s also caught a squirrel in the live trap. So if we were just a little closer, he’d come and help you out.

  28. 32


    Judy, I’m right there with ya! LOL there is something that is creating that loud thump! But if it was a raccoon they are nocturnal (spelling?) and the little critter would be leaving the attic to go scrounge for food…now a squirrel, he would be hunkering down for the night. When we first moved into this house, there were lots of strange noises too!!! In our bedroom we would get this loud pop and crack, just as you were drifting off into sleepy world!! Scared the living daylights out of me and my husband!! Turns out it was just the house “cooling” down…go figure!
    Let us know what the noise is!!

  29. 33

    Trina says

    a gorilla lives in my closet. He has been there ever since I was about 4 years old. To this day, my closet door has to be shut before going to bed. 🙂