Things Going “Bump!” in the Night…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster …

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Things that go ‘bump’ in the night?”

I discovered that it may have originated with a Cornish or Scottish poem or prayer.

It refers to ghosts or other supernatural beings that are believed to be the source of frightening, unexplainable noises heard at night (often sounding like something being struck or bumped).

“From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggidy beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us.”

It’s largely an unexplained noise, at least initially.

“Noise” is a sound or sounds, especially when it is unwanted, unpleasant or loud.

Around the home, falls can produce noises.

Loud ones.

Many times dangerous.

Statistics say 1 in 4 older Americans fall every year.

Falls involving adults 65 and older result in 36,000 deaths and 3 million visits to emergency medical services every year.

There’s a $50 billion price tag due to those falls in medical costs.

Plus, if you’ve fallen once, it doubles your chance of falling again.

So, you can imagine the concern we Fosters’ had the other night.

There’s a rumor that older Americans, especially the men, have to visit the little boys’ room during the night.

I had arisen to visit the guest facilities at the palatial Foster estate.

Upon completing my mission, being the weather geek I am, I strolled into the living room to peak out the front door to see if the rain had arrived yet.

While peering out the door window, I heard a crash.

Something went bump in the night.

My first thought was, “Geneva (my wife) had fallen on her way to or from our master bathroom.”

I headed for the bedroom and my wife had heard the same noise and thought, “My hubby just fell!”

She got up to investigate and we met each other in the hallway.

Seeing that neither one of us had stumbled and fell, we started looking for the source of the noise, that went bump in the night.

It took a few moments before my wife discovered that one of the shelves in the master bedroom closet had fallen from the wall.

My wife, while a great “packer” when we travel, would wash out as an Air Force loadmaster because she thinks as long as stuff’s in a box, shelves can handle it.

The ongoing vibration and motions that all houses experience caused some of the mollies and screws to pop out and everything landed on the floor.

That resulted in some wall-patching and painting, followed by a re-installation of the wire mesh shelving, properly reinforced.

A few days later, my bride and I completely unloaded our personal shelves, which I reinforced as well .

The process also involved the purging of clothes and resulted in a neater, organized, spacier closet with lighter weight on the hangers.

However, the night after the closet shelf went bump in the night, we were awakened by the sound of a muffled explosion and the sound of somethin rolling on the kitchen floor.

My wife and I both furtively stepped down the hallway in the direction of the noise.

The culprit for this bump in the night was a can of flavored carbonated water that froze and exploded.

It had enough force to throw the door of our refrigerated beverage cooler open and knock a few drink cans onto the kitchen floor.

There was a relaxed ‘sigh’ when we saw it was nothing more serious, although I did bump up the cooler thermostat a few degrees.

Unlike celebrities who seem to pass in threes, we did not experience a third bump in the night.

Night noises always seem to be spookier.

Like the night in the summer a number of years ago, we swore we heard a baby crying outside our bedroom window.

Turned out to be a neighbor’s cat talking to her lover.

That almost rhythmic buzzing under the house is usually the sound of the crawl space sump pump doing its’ thing.

And, of course, when we all younger, we had spooky things under the bed when the lights went out.

All we have under ours now are “dust bunnies” although I would challenge my wife by saying they’re closer in size to “dust kangaroos”.

Pity the poor fool who has to crawl under our bed for anything.

Reminds me of one of our dogs.

In her later years when storms would rumble, she would stick her head under the bed.

Everything else was exposed but I guess she figured, “If I can’t see what’s making that noise, it can’t see me.”

Well, we’re none-the-worse for the things that went bump in the night.

Our closet got cleaned and organized and the beverage cooler is just fine, albeit just a touch milder.

Nonetheless, I will be listening for those “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggidy beasties that go bump in the night”.

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