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A Mysterious Voice Once Haunted the Town of Ipswich for a Year—and More Stories About Strange Noises

Did you hear that?

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Waterfront of Ipswich, EnglandPhoto: Shutterstock

A creepy chorus in Ipswich

For about a year, residents of the British town of Ipswich suffered from what seemed to be a collective nightmare. They were awoken at night by the sound of a child singing “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.” Last September, the cause of the vocals was revealed to be freakier than the disembodied lullaby itself: spiders had been triggering a motion sensor on a property, activating an audio clip set up as a theft deterrent. The song is no longer in use, allowing the town’s old men to snore in peace again.

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Old alarm clockPhoto: Shutterstock

The clock that was stuck in the wall—for 13 years

In 2004, Pennsylvanian Jerry Lynn wanted to run TV cable through his walls but wasn’t sure where to drill the hole. He tied an alarm clock to a makeshift harness, set it to go off in 10 minutes and lowered it behind a wall from a second-floor vent, so the sound would guide him to the ideal location. His plan, however, went off track when the clock fell inside the wall—where it stayed, ringing every day around 7 p.m. for 13 years. After his story was reported on the news last year, a local HVAC employee removed the device for free, making dinnertime significantly less alarming.

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Oil refinery in ItalyPhoto: D-VISIONS/Shutterstock

A multi-million dollar scam

Nevada resident Paul Gilman, a self-proclaimed sound-wave expert and whale whisperer, once promised investors that a technology he called “sonication” could revolutionize the oil and gas industry. For three years, Gilman, who produced a documentary in which he used the “universal language” of music to speak to whales, claimed to use “sound-wave” technology to lower the viscosity of oil, and hasten the water-purification process. Now he’s being sued on the basis that his claims were nothing but white noise. Gilman is accused of using the $3.3 million US dollars he received on, among other things, hotels and designer clothes—leaving investors lost at sea.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada