A phenomenon known as “the hum” has been mystifying, and annoying, people around the world for decades; a droning, low-frequency sound reported to cause sleeplessness, headaches, and even nosebleeds, has been so pervasive that it has made an appearances on Unsolved Mysteries and the X-Files.
Now, the latest victim of “the hum” is the small village of Woodland, in Durham County, England.
Marylin Gretch, a retired detective residing in Woodland, told the Telegraph that the vibration can be so strong, it often rattles their bed.
“In certain areas of the house you can hear it more loudly. It is definitely from outside, it’s in the air, all around, very faint. It vibrates through the house. We’ve turned all the electricity off in the house and we can still hear it, so it’s not that. Sometimes we’ll be in bed and it vibrates right through our bed, like a throbbing.”
Since it’s first widely reported appearance in Britol in the 1970’s, it has since cropped up in Hawaii, New Mexico, Indiana, and even New Zealand.
Many explanations have been presented for the hum, such as UFOs, volcanic activity, government conspiracies, and the comparatively bland tinnitus, but only few of them have proven satisfactory enough to close the case. The Indiana hum, for example, was found to be caused by a pair of fans in a cooling tower at the DaimlerChrysler casting plant. The fans produced a hum at an astoundingly annoying 36Hz tone, prompting complaints from many living nearby.
This doesn’t, however, explain away all cases of “the hum”, especially the latest appearance in Woodland, where there are no nearby factories, and residents describe the location as an “isolated heaven”.
Residents say that the hum, with a sound resembling a the drone of a distant diesel engine, begins every night at roughly midnight and persists until 4am, preventing many from sleeping soundly.
Gary Hutchinson, environmental protection manager at Durham County Council, told the Telegraph: “I can confirm that we received a call regarding a humming sound in the Woodland area earlier on June 1 and we will now make further enquiries before deciding what action we will take.”
For more on the Woodland Hum visit The Telegraph.
EDIT: Another “hum” is currently being investigated by environmental agencies in Ontario, Canada.
Those with hearing sensitive to low frequencies might be interested to hear a recording of the New Zealand hum located here.