General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What are the most disturbing sounds you hear at night?

Asked by wundayatta (58586points) April 28th, 2009

My windows are open, and there is this weird screaming coming. At first I had this horrible image of my daughter or wife being strangled and this was the only sound they could emit: a high-pitched keening scream. I turned off the fan, and found out the sound was coming from outside. I have no idea what kind of animal made it, nor what prompted it to make that noise, but I’ll tell you, it was extremely disturbing. How about you?

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51 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Once when i was staying late at a univeristy art studio, walking out to my car, I heard a woman’s scream emanate from from a nearby apartment complex. It was like nothing I’ve ever heard. It was a scream of sheer terror and/or agony. Cops came shortly afterward.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

dying rabbits make a horrific keening scream. I know, I heard my neighbors cat killing one outside my bedroom window one early morning. Enough to wake me out of sound sleep. I wanted to do to that cat what it was doing to that rabbit for waking me up at three in the morning. I’ve heard raccoons mating in my backyard, and that is a weird and creepy sound, too.

Ivan's avatar

Yeah, I was going to say it was probably raccoons. Raccoons used to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid; they make some seriously messed up noises.

Likeradar's avatar

In my old apartment, I’d hear a man screaming and cursing, a woman crying and yelling, things being thrown, and a child crying from the building behind the alley pretty regularly. I really, really regret not calling authorities.

In my new place, it’s just some damn dog yapping and the people next door having really loud over the top sex.

Aethelwine's avatar


I love the wildlife sounds that I get to hear each night. It helps put me to sleep.

kenmc's avatar

When I was in San Francisco, I was pissing around watching a movie and thought I heard gun shots (I lived in a decent neighborhood).

It scared the hell out of me.

But fortunately, I forgot it was the 4th of July and it was people shooting off fireworks.

Stupid Boots!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

My street is very quiet, few if any noises in the dark so when I overheard what I thought was someone crying, it was hard to listen to. Don’t know where it came from, how close or if it was someone taking a walk to sort out but it was sad.

Darwin's avatar

Armadillos. When they are outside your tent at night, snuffling and stomping and wheezing and rattling away they sound like rhinoceroses, really big carnivorous ones.

Hungry, really big carnivorous rhinoceroses.

Jeruba's avatar

Gunshots would be right up there. There haven’t been very many occasions, but one incident did take place right next door. Followed by some pretty awful screaming.

I sent my husband out back one night with a flashlight to investigate some horrible shrieking that seemed to be coming from right outside our bedroom window. Turned out it was a couple of raccoons copulating ecstatically in the tree just above us.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I heard the loudest, most heartbreaking sobbing I’ve ever heard, coming from a pitch black cemetery one night. It pulled at my soul an unbelievable amount, to the point I almost started crying. The pain was so apparent… It was horrifying.

On a lighter note, I heard two raccoons fighting and that was also pretty horrifying. I thought a cat was being killed.

Garebo's avatar

I know, and I have heard it-feeding owls at night or coyotes circling a scent.

Jamspoon's avatar

My roommates in the midst of coital activities involving spanking.


YARNLADY's avatar

The cats howling and fighting. They sometimes sound like they are killing each other. What really scares me is when the dog door slams and the dog is sleeping next to me. I wonder what just came in, and the dog wakes up, goes running out on the patio, barking. By the time I get there, nothing is out of the ordinary.

crisw's avatar

Screaming rabbits, screeching barn owls. A couple of days ago, my husband and I heard a sound like someone torturing tiny puppies coming from a hillside. When we got a better listen, I thought it might be grey foxes fighting. I found a few WAV files, and that’s what it was.

buster's avatar

My neighbors have 15–20 donkeys a zebra and 3 zonkeys. I say donkey sex noises is the most disturbing thing I hear at night.

ems's avatar

My neighbor rolls his trash can up and down the drive way all night. I’m not sure why he does it, but it freaks me out.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I hear drunks screaming all the time, people fighting, and one night, someone getting killed.

There is nothing more disturbing than the sound of an aluminum bat hitting a skull.

electricsky's avatar

Oh, boy…

@TitsMcGhee: That is so hideous I don’t even know what to say.

electricsky's avatar

@MacBean: I’ve had that before… I just thought it was some weird form of my epilepsy. There’s so many bizarre types of seizures.

MacBean's avatar

@electricsky Isn’t it nice to find out that things have actual names so you can stop calling them “this freaky thing that happens to me”?

electricsky's avatar

@MacBean: Yes! And then you can stop getting those, what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about? looks.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

I guess wind passes through the siding on my house and creates a whistling effect. It makes more of a rubbing sound, though. The first night I heard it, I thought something was sliding down the side of the house, violently. It was just one of those weird noises that you can’t identify, so your imagination has to make wild conclusions.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I don’t hear things at night. I sleep like a .. well.. like something… that sleeps so deep it can’t hear anything.

qashqai's avatar

My brain, it doesn’t sleep and is quite noisy.

Jack79's avatar

It used to be motorbikes, but I’ve put double-glazed windows and it’s much better now. When I’m at my sister’s, any car driving up the gravel road that leads to her house makes me jump. There’s only one other inhabited house in the neighbourhood, so if we are all in for the night, I fear it may be an unwanted visitor. Usually it’s just some guy that got lost and has to turn back.

Last night I was in hospital with my mother and there were some guys out in the street fighting and one kept screaming for help. Turned out it was all a big joke. Not so funny at 3am.

May2689's avatar

Hmmmm I dont usually hear anyone or anything. However, last saturday, a group of people outside my appartment started screaming ” THE END IS NEAR! SWINE FLU IS GOING TO TURN US INTO ZOMBIES!!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”
Drunk, maybe?

ubersiren's avatar

Once I heard a horrible guttural growl and then what seemed like an animal shrieking out from its painful slaughter. It was quite disturbing… I ran downstairs to make sure that my cat hadn’t gotten out and been attacked by the fox that runs around, but she was sitting on the end table looking out the window for the same thing I was looking for. When she ran away, I saw that she had peed on the table… whatever it was must have scared her, too.

casheroo's avatar

I hear this extremely disturbing almost screaming noise, at night. It scared the heck out of me and my husband when we first heard it. And it still scares us, but we always listen to it when it happens. I believe someone on Fluther said it’s a fox…which it very well may be.

crisw's avatar

“I believe someone on Fluther said it’s a fox…which it very well may be.”

Se the link I posted above. It’s got a pretty comprehensive set of fox noise recordings.

casheroo's avatar

@crisw Sorry I hadn’t clicked on it. Since it’s daytime, I’ll take a listen…because at nighttime, that noise scares the crap out of me! haha

ubersiren's avatar

@crisw : very cool link… I never knew foxes made so many sounds!

crisw's avatar

One thing I can’t help but notice is the difference between those of us living in the country, where the scariest sounds are fighting foxes and mating donkeys, versus the big-city folks getting subjected to murders, gunshots, beatings and mayhem. There’s a lot to be said for living in the country :>)

Likeradar's avatar

@crisw Just because you can’t hear it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening in the country, sadly. :(

MacBean's avatar

I’ve experienced country sounds and city sounds at night and I have to say… I prefer gunshots to dying rabbits. Gunshots just make me hate people. Weird animal noises give me nightmares and ideas for horror stories.

casheroo's avatar

@crisw I’m sure if a city folk heard a murder, it’d be pretty traumatizing..

crisw's avatar


Well, it’s true that one morning we were woken up by the Border Patrol capturing two Mexicans in our yard…

crisw's avatar

That’s what I’m saying- it is a lot more traumatizing.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, the scariest thing I hear at night is when my son gets up about 2 am insisting he can’t sleep. When he can’t sleep, nobody sleeps.

My kids think hearing the coyotes howling at night is scary, but I think it is beautiful. However, I do not let my cats out. I’d like to keep them, thank you very much.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@electricsky: I always thought the scene in Pulp Fiction where they Give Mia Wallace/Uma Thurman the adrenaline shot was the grossest sound, but then I saw/heard that happen.

PupnTaco's avatar

Teenagers banging around the kitchen at midnight directly below my bedroom.

Lupin's avatar

My neighbor installed an invisible fence to keep their dogs on their property. Once installed, training involved dragging the dogs close to the flags and having the electric collars zap them. The dogs’ screaming was awful.

@Jeruba I live in a very quiet area and can hear gunshots at least a mile away. Rarely does a day go by without me hearing at least a couple of shots. I like the sound in the distance. It reminds me of fireworks or thunder in a distant storm over the lake.

PapaEcho's avatar

The sound of drunk undergraduates from the floor above returning from their night out/club/party or whatever it is young undergrads do this days. Anyway this kids don’t handle their alcohol well and they scream and bang, sometimes run around ringing our doorbells just because they can, as they make their way to their flat. To say I do not look forward to club night is an understatement, stupid kids…..LOL.

YARNLADY's avatar

@PapaEcho Maybe you could put an unpleasant substance on your doorbell that would come off on their hands.

PapaEcho's avatar

@YARNLADY: Hmmn will think about it. Thanks

Sariperana's avatar

The possums on the roof. they are awful, they hiss, scream, scratch and rustle – its so loud and you know they are pissed off. If they get in the house, then your in for a shit fight, cause if they panic, they jump on yoru face and claw you.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Sariperana Beautiful! lurve

Likeradar's avatar

@Sariperana That’s not true about them jumping on your face… right? RIGHT?!?!

Sariperana's avatar

@Likeradar – Its never happened to me, but my mother has instilled this fear unto me so i guess it came from somewhere – they fall out of trees sometimes and get scared and have incredibly sharp claws. They are the cutest little things but oh so feral! Wiki article

JessicaisinLove's avatar

A neighbor who had recently suddenly become totally blind lived in the apartment next to mine.
Our bedrooms shared a wall. At night he would cry an agonizing deep wailing over the loss of his eyesight. It was awful and something I’ll never forget. I felt his pain right along with him. It was not only horribly sad but a helpless feeling as I could do nothing but cry with him. I don’t he realized I could hear him.

Mantralantis's avatar

“Oh my God!” repeatedly, in the next room. And very loud, of course.

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