For 13 years, an unusual sound haunted Jerry and Sylvia Lynn. At the same time every night, the strange noise emanated from the walls of their home in the township of Ross, Pennsylvania. And without fail, the bizarre vibrations escalated, resulting in a seemingly inexplicable din. Then, however, a repairman uncovered exactly what was causing the racket – and the source of the disturbance will come as a big surprise.
But while the Lynns’ home had something alarming lurking within the walls, that’s definitely not the case for most houses – even if they make noises that can sound quite ghostly. And, in fact, the sinister sounds you hear in your own abode almost certainly have rather banal explanations. The distinct screech of a creaking door is often used in horror movies, for instance – to build tension among the audience. However, in the average home, such a squeak is likely to be nothing more than an indication that a hinge is in need of some oil.
Creaking floorboards can sound just as ominous, too – although this phenomenon is also easily explained. In essence, it’s caused by friction that’s created when different components of the flooring rub against each other. And although there’s a little work involved in fixing the floorboards so that they don’t groan every time you walk over them, this tends to be a problem that’s easily solved.
Other noises may not be so easily identifiable, though. If you hear a mysterious knocking in the attic, for instance, it might seem that the strange sound is coming out of the blue. Nevertheless, there’s usually still a reasonable explanation, even if at first you don’t know precisely where the knocking is coming from – or what’s causing it.
Yes, that racket coming from way up in the rafters is highly unlikely to be a disgruntled spirit haunting your attic. In fact, the noise is often not even concerning enough to call in a DIY expert – let alone having a priest bless your house.
For instance, when fall rolls around, you may turn your heating on for the first time since before the summer. And as materials typically expand in the heat and contract when it’s cold, the heating ducts may clang and clatter with the change in temperature.
Similarly, the noise could be emanating from the radiators if there’s a build-up of condensation in the central heating system. And it’s likely reassuring to know that any odd vibration coming from this part of your house will probably have a sensible explanation.
Conversely, similar sounds may ring out from the attic during the summer months. After all, this part of the house is subject to the same expansion and contraction principle as the central heating system. At this time of year, however, bizarre noises could signal movement from the shingles when hot sunshine starts to beat down on the roof.
Strange house sounds aren’t limited to heating systems, mind you, as the water pipes can also sometimes be the source of a mysterious din. But if you can hear something resembling hammering coming from the walls, it could be that the pipes are experiencing a build-up in air pressure rather than anything more malevolent.
If you’re bothered by a bubbling and popping noise when all else is quiet in the house, though, it’s possible that it may be coming from the water heater. You see, when sediment accumulates in the tank, it will eventually sink to the bottom. And as the water increases in temperature, the residue will then move around in the heater and release trapped air.
If you’re constantly plagued by an annoying whistling noise, on the other hand, this could be coming from the AC system. For instance, if a filter needs cleaning, air may struggle to flow through the ducts. And as a result, the unit may try to access the air it needs by working extra-hard near the filter – and this creates the whistle.
But the Lynns’ mysterious noise couldn’t be explained away by any of these common problems. And the din the bizarre phenomenon caused ultimately proved to be so unnerving that it even startled a number of visitors when they stopped by in the evenings.
However, it seems that the Lynns themselves had grown used to the bizarre occurrence – even if it left their house guests on edge. After all, the couple had endured the noise during every evening they had spent in their home from 2004. And it appeared to become relatively commonplace for the pair, as Jerry explained to CNN in 2017. “It doesn’t bother us,” he told the network. “It’s kind of cute.”
Yet although Jerry may have found the noise sweet, 13 years is a long time for anyone to live with such an unusual sound. And if you think 2004 doesn’t seem like very long ago, we’ll give you a bit of perspective about how life has changed in the intervening years.
Here are a few examples. Back in 2004 George W. Bush won his second term as president. Since then, Barack Obama has spent two terms in the White House – followed, of course, by Donald Trump’s current tenure. And as of late 2019, the U.S. is currently deep into campaigning for the 2020 presidential elections, as Trump has already been commander-in-chief for close to three years.
In 2004, though, the current president was little more than a businessman. Nevertheless, it was in that year that he became the host of The Apprentice – a reality TV show in which contestants vied for a placement at one of Trump’s companies. And the series ultimately proved a hit, as it would go on to run for 15 seasons.
Yet while Trump was hosting The Apprentice, Americans were living in a world that was about to be transformed by social media. You see, Facebook was initially founded in 2004 – albeit at first it only served a localized network of users. After the site opened up to public use in 2006, however, it took off in a big way. In 2019 more than two billion people across the world reportedly now have Facebook profiles.
Meanwhile, the ongoing war in Iraq dominated the news in 2004. A year into the conflict – which would last for nearly a decade – there were regular reports of attacks on the U.S. military. Power in the country would eventually be handed to an interim government, while Iraq’s former ruler Saddam Hussein would go on to stand trial for war crimes.
And in the world of sport, Greece’s capital, Athens, hosted the 2004 Olympic Games. This was the 28th edition of the event, and it was the first time that the city had hosted the competition since the modern-day Games’ inception in 1896. Four billion people are believed to have tuned in for the symbolic lighting of the Olympic flame.
Back in the States, the biggest sporting event of the year – the Super Bowl – was fought between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers. But it was Justin Timberlake’s halftime performance that arguably caused the biggest stir when it appeared that he indecently exposed guest performer Janet Jackson. The incident was later described as a “wardrobe malfunction” – a phrase that has now become part of popular culture.
Yet while the world has changed immeasurably in the 13 years following 2004, one part of the Lynn couple’s home remained perplexingly the same. Yes, during all that time, the strange sound in Jerry and Sylvia’s wall continued to ring out every night without fail.
And according to Sylvia’s estimations, the haunting noise echoed through the Lynns’ home for just short of a minute each evening. To put this into context, if the cacophony had been continual, it would have lasted for a staggering three days in total.
Yet while hearing the same unexplained commotion every evening may drive some to despair, the Lynns apparently accepted the strange occurrence. Still, while they knew exactly when the din would begin, perhaps they continued to hope that each time would be the last. And when the pair finally found out the source of the sound, solving the mystery may therefore have been rather bittersweet.
What’s more, the phenomenon had its origins all the way back in September 2004. During that month, Jerry was connecting a TV wire and realized that the best way to do so successfully was to punch a hole in the wall. But how would he know where to drill? Well, he came up with an ingenious method to find the correct spot so that the connection lined up perfectly.
Yes, Jerry had the idea of lowering an object into the wall cavity to help him identify a safe spot to drill through. The Pennsylvania man therefore tied an item to a length of string before inserting it into the relevant space via the upstairs air vent.
Of course, though, Jerry wouldn’t actually be able to see the object dangling from a length of string behind the wall. So, rather cleverly, he selected something that could be counted on to make a noise, allowing him to pinpoint the location at which he should drill for the TV cable. More specifically, he used a trusty alarm clock.
So, Jerry set the alarm to go off after ten minutes, giving him enough time to both lower the clock to where he needed to drill and to himself move into position in the living room. He subsequently tied the timepiece to a length of string and lowered it down the air vent on the second floor.
Yet while the plan was sensible enough, it started to unravel when Jerry heard a noise that he wasn’t expecting. And although the Pennsylvania native knew exactly what had happened, he couldn’t possibly have known just how long he and his wife would live with his mishap. After all, it went on to haunt the Lynns for 13 long years.
What went down? As Jerry was lowering the alarm clock through the vent and between the walls, he heard a distinct thudding sound. Yes, the clock had become detached from the string, after which it had plummeted to the floor below. Initially, though, Jerry was unflustered by his mistake.
“It’s not all that bad an idea,” Jerry explained to CNN in 2017. “It’s still going to go off.” Indeed, given that the alarm clock was battery operated rather than plugged into the mains, he would still have the audible clue that he was looking for.
And while the alarm clock proved irretrievable, Jerry reckoned that the power would die before too long. In any case, he didn’t expect it to last for more than a few months. “That was in September of 2004,” he told KDKA in 2017. Cut to 13 years later, though, and the battery was still going strong.
“[The clock] is still going off every day,” Jerry explained. “And during daylight savings time, it goes off at ten minutes till eight. During standard time, it goes off at ten minutes to seven at night.” So while the Lynns may well have hoped that each night would be the last, this wasn’t to be.
Eventually, then, the couple became accustomed to the alarm going off in their wall every night. “It starts with a soft ‘beep, beep, beep, beep,’ and it gets louder and closer together,” Sylvia told KDKA. But although she and her husband grew strangely fond of the din over time, it often left visitors startled.
“We don’t even notice it because we’re so used to it,” Jerry told CNN. “It’s more of a conversation piece when guests come over.” So, perhaps owing to his and his wife’s nonchalant attitude toward their everyday alarm call, they had no intention of calling anyone in to retrieve the clock.
Nonetheless, when contractors Dawn Michelucci and Keith Andreen from local firm Low-Cost Heating And Air caught the Lynns’ tale on the news, they wanted to help. And in time, the pair paid Jerry and Sylvia a visit, too. But after 13 years, could Jerry even remember what style of clock Keith and Dawn should be looking for?
Well, following no small amount of effort, Dawn finally spotted the long-lost item. “I see a clock with vibrant numbers stuck on a wire,” she declared as the KDKA news channel filmed the operation. And after 13 years of the device sitting in the wall cavity, it took only minutes to retrieve said offending object through a vent in the garage.
“This is the first time – no pun intended – that I had to remove a clock from inside duct work,” Keith explained to KDKA. And even though the battery had corroded, it was still healthy enough to power the clock. This was despite the fact that the timepiece had already been old back in 2004.
The longevity of the battery perhaps stands as good publicity, then, for its manufacturer Rayovac. Indeed, Jerry had no memory of ever replacing the power source inside the clock before he dropped the item. By contrast, though, the Pennsylvania native’s recollection of what the clock looked like turned out to be pretty accurate.
“It is a travel alarm. I was right on that,” Jerry told KDKA. “And it is digital. I was right on that. It’s just the style I was wrong on.” Perhaps the daily alarm had served as a haunting reminder of the clock – a vision that may have been etched into Jerry’s mind’s eye.
Nevertheless, with the daily ringing finally eliminated, Jerry looked back on his DIY plan with a certain amount of pride. “It wasn’t that it wasn’t a good idea,” he told CNN. “It just didn’t have good execution.” And since the rescue effort, the Lynns have planned to give the alarm clock a prominent place in their home – although perhaps they should keep it away from the walls.
And remarkably, the Lynns’ hidden alarm clock isn’t the only bizarre discovery of its kind. Another homeowner in Tennessee, for instance, found something similarly unexpected buried inside the walls of her house. Just like Jerry and Sylvia, she was baffled by a strange sound, so she eventually turned to an expert for help – and yet what he uncovered behind the brick left them gobsmacked.
Somewhere in the small city of Germantown, Tennessee, an unruly commotion could be heard emanating from within the walls of a woman’s home. The noise was unmistakable and alarming, too, so the homeowner knew that she would need the help of a professional. However, what this expert went on to find was unlike anything he’d come across before.
Old houses are, of course, prone to emitting ominous noises. Creaky floorboards, clanky radiators, squeaky door hinges – a variety of objects can create an unsettling soundtrack that might leave a home’s inhabitants on edge. But the sound from this particular property in Germantown had another source entirely.
Recognizing the nature of the din, the homeowner turned to a specialist she knew could handle the situation. Based in Bartlett, Tennessee, the expert’s name is David Glover. And he also goes by the name “The Bartlett Bee Whisperer.”
The homeowner had determined that the intense noise was, in fact, the sound of bees buzzing. So who better to call on to help deal with the problem than a self-professed bee whisperer? Glover’s jurisdiction at the time covered Tennessee and Mississippi, and hence he made his way to Germantown.
Glover is somewhat distinctive in his work in that he does not simply exterminate the bees he encounters. Instead, he attempts to relocate the insects, removing them from a person’s home but allowing them to live elsewhere. This is because Glover recognizes the importance of bees to our own survival.
According to the British Beekeepers Association, around a third of our food is dependent in some way on bees acting as pollinators. Pollination is important for producing foods that humans consume, such as apples and broccoli. And it’s also central to producing the food we give to the animals that we in turn then eat.
Pollination doesn’t occur exclusively as a result of the work of bees, though. The process also takes place with the help of other insects – as well as mammals, birds and even the wind. None of those agents, however, pollinate to the same degree as bees do. And yet these essential insects are under threat all over the world.
So, given the threat to bees, Glover works to protect the species rather than harm it. And in that spirit, he became the Bartlett Bee Whisperer, gaining years of experience in safely relocating bees and so enabling them to survive. Even with all his experience, though, what Glover saw in Germantown was still a surprise.
After reaching his destination, Glover examined the side of the house using infrared technology. The purpose of this procedure was to allow him to identify where within the wall the insects were situated. But even this scan couldn’t reveal the true size of the hive.
Then, though he was reluctant to follow the course of action, Glover realized that he would have to expose the hive in order to do his job. “I prefer to be minimally invasive when removing honey bees from buildings,” he wrote on Facebook in September 2018. “I don’t like taking out bricks.”
But with no other options left to his mind, Glover got to work. Carefully, one by one, he took away individual blocks from the wall. And after roughly 12 lines of them had been removed, the full scale of the hive was revealed.
Measuring a whopping approximately 3 feet by 5 feet, the newly exposed hive was estimated to be home to around 30,000 bees. In fact, Glover suspected that the natural structure had been there for a couple of years at least. Drawing on his knowledge, he based this timeframe on the color of the honeycomb.
“The white comb is the new comb, while the darker stuff is older,” Glover explained to Fox News in October 2018. “Thousands of tiny feet walking across it makes it darker.” Glover reckoned that the bees had managed to get into the wall by way of a weep hole – a gap between the bricks to allow for water drainage.
And in light of the dead bees littered around the hive, the “bee whisperer” suspected that an exterminator had previously attempted to eliminate the insects. Those efforts had apparently failed, however, because the chemicals employed hadn’t passed through the whole structure.
In any case, back in the present moment there was work to do. So, having investigated the beehive, Glover next set about removing it. Bit by bit, he carefully extracted the hive in sections from the wall. And although it took him in excess of four hours, eventually Glover finished the job.
It was work well done. “As much as I dreaded removing the bricks, the final view of the hive was awesome!” Glover wrote on Facebook. “The homeowner was more than pleased that we were able to remove and relocate the bees and their hive.”
Luckily, too, the beehive hadn’t been secured to the bricks all that firmly. This in turn meant that when it came to extracting the honeycomb, the operation didn’t take as long as Glover might have anticipated. But even so, it was still one of the largest hives that he’d ever dealt with.
With the bees and their hive now removed from the Germantown house, the question that remained, then, was what to do with them. After all, until a fixed location could be found for the insects, they would have to go somewhere. Thankfully, though, the Bartlett Bee Whisperer lived up to his reputation.
Glover in fact took the bees to his own garden, where they’ll remain until a proper new home can be identified for them. “[It] could be a farmer who needs them for pollination,” Glover explained to WMC. Or, perhaps, a honey producer who’s in need of the insects.
Yet whatever happens, Glover may well have saved the bees from possible elimination at the hands of an exterminator. And this turn of events is good news for everyone, as the more of these threatened insects there are in our world, the better. It seems, then, that we all perhaps owe a debt to the Bartlett Bee Whisperer.