person on couch holding pillow spooked by house noise

Strange And Spooky House Noises Explained

Victoria Araj4-minute read
UPDATED: May 25, 2023

Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep to an unexplainable noise coming from somewhere in your house? Believe it or not, you’re not alone. Although you may be a bit more startled if you’re hearing these sounds close to Halloween, noisy homes are fairly common – and there’s probably a logical explanation as to why those bumps in the night are happening.

Why Do Houses Make Noises?

There are actually multiple reasons why your house could be making noises. Although the noise might not be pressing and go away eventually, it’s best to get it checked out if it persists. You could be hearing mice or a raccoon up in your attic, maybe a pipe isn’t draining correctly or you could just have a leaky faucet. Before you begin to panic about this mysterious sound, try to locate where it’s coming from – and read on to find out what you can do if you can’t fix it yourself.

Reasons Why You Might Be Hearing Noises In The House

If your house is making bizarre noises (maybe a creaking here and there, or a weird humming coming from an unknown location), as a homeowner, your first feeling might be fear. Not so fast! Although it’s often easy to assume your house is haunted, that’s usually not the case. Let’s take a look at some reasons why your house might be making these noises.

Squeaky Walls And Flooring

If your floors are squeaking, that’s most likely caused by your boards rubbing against each other, or by loosened nails. If you happen to live in a duplex, you might hear your neighbors walking around on the opposite side. When it comes to fixing the squeak, you can hire an expert to fix the problem – or you can have a chat with your neighbors about how much they’re walking around.

If the squeaking sound is coming from your walls, you might have a plumbing or rodent problem. Pipes expand when not attached properly, which can result in banging or knocking sounds. Although the sound can be alarming, it’s rare that there is any plumbing damage. To fix this issue, it’s best to secure and tighten the pipe. If you happen to have critters trapped in the walls or bats in the attic, you’ll need to call a pest control expert to get them out.

Noisy Furnace

There are a couple reasons why your furnace might be making odd noises. The bearings may need to be oiled, the fan may have shifted, the gas line might be clogged, the metal might be rusted or the filter might just be dirty. No matter the reason, it’s always best to have an HVAC professional come and check the problem out. Having your furnace inspected occasionally is never a bad thing, and helps prevent noises from occurring in the first place.

Whispering Windows

If you ever start to hear a whistling sound and it’s not coming from an actual human being, check your windows. More often than not, windows will make a whistle-like noise if they haven’t been installed properly or even if the temperature changes. You might be able to dig into some research for window treatments that would hopefully solve this issue. If all else fails and you can’t find a solution to the problem yourself, a window installation professional will easily be able to fix it.

Rumbling Water Heater

Likewise, if you start to hear a rumbling or popping sound in your home, it might be time to call a professional. Over a period of time, sediment builds up at the bottom of your water heater, and an excessive amount of sediment may cause the racket you’re hearing. Flushing the tank may fix the problem, but it also might be time for a new heater to prevent any future water leaks.

Humming Appliances

If you start to hear a humming noise coming from your household appliances, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re failing. Something might be stuck in your dishwasher's chopper blade area, or your dryer could have an object caught in its blower wheel. All of your electrical appliances have inside connections that allow electricity to flow from the outlet to the plug and into the appliance. These connections can eventually wear down over time, and the electricity won’t flow correctly. If the humming sound persists, you could have a safety hazard on your hands, at which point it’s best to get a professional in there.

Clanking Pipes

When you start to hear a banging or clunking sound in your home, it might be those pesky pipes again. This occurs when there’s a significant change in temperature in your area. When the air gets cooler and it starts to become less humid, the pipes can start to rattle. More often than not, the noise will only stick around for a little while – but if the noise doesn’t seem to stop, calling your contractor might be a good idea.

What To Do If Your House Is Still Making Strange Noises

If you still can’t figure out where the noises are coming from (and you’ve ruled out any spooky activity), your best plan of action is to – you guessed it – call a professional. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and if a noise is keeping you up at night and disturbing you throughout the day, you’ll want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. It might be an easy solution, or it might be an issue that could cause a safety concern. Either way, an expert can assist you.

The Bottom Line: Don’t Freak Out – It’s Probably Fixable

Before you jump to any supernatural conclusions, make sure you take a look around to see if you can locate the unwanted noise yourself. If you figure out where the noise is coming from and you’re not able to fix the problem yourself, you should hire a professional sooner rather than later.

It’s always a good idea to be proactive, too. Before purchasing a home, make sure to consult with your real estate agent and ask about any problems that might be already occurring in the house, or if anything needs to be replaced before your move-in date.

Check out the Rocket Homes® Homeowner Guide for more tips about your home.

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Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.