View Full Version : Okay, want to talk about weird and things that go bump in the night?

25th Feb 2013, 23:03
Have I got a story for you guys and hope some one can come up with a logical explanation for what happened.

We have an old Grandfather clock, German, built in 1879. It sits in the formal dinning room next to the family/TV room. Now, it quit working about two years ago, hell, can't blame it, after all it's 134 years old, shoot, I'd quit working as well if I was that old.

Anyway, we had it fixed, for about a thousand bucks :{, then it worked fine for about six weeks, then quit again. For some reason the clock repairman will not return my calls. As the last time I talked to him I expressed my displeasure of spending a King's ransom to fix the clock just to have it quit again.

So it has sat in the dinning room, mute and unmoving for about a year and a half now. It is stopped at 12:51.

Two nights ago, at around 7:45 (19:45) we heard it chime six times, a double chime for each hour. We looked at each other, my wife jumped up and ran into the dinning room with me close behind her.

The clock was not running, the pendulum was not moving, but we could still feel the vibrations from the chimes.

So, my highly educated and most logical JB friends, ghostly spirits playing pranks, or some logical reason why a clock that has not worked in a year and a half, would suddenly chime for me and thee?

Oh, and no, we had not had that much to drink. I know how some minds work around here. :p

Ascend Charlie
25th Feb 2013, 23:07
It sits in the formal dinning room next to the family/TV room

It's in the "dinning" room, so it is creating a din. Simple.


25th Feb 2013, 23:20
Might have been a slight earth tremor you didn't feel that just clicked over some cog or another. The pendulum and clock don't have to be ticking for the chimes to kick off. I have a cuckoo clock that goes off on it's own sometimes even when the clock isn't wound up.

Or it could be the start of the Amytiville Horror again BWAHHHH!

25th Feb 2013, 23:36
Ask not for whom the bells toll... ;)

25th Feb 2013, 23:43
Well Con it looks like you've crossed over into..... :bored:


The Six Chimes Of Warning

25th Feb 2013, 23:56
It's not that unusual. If it was on the edge of triggering the next chime, then warm/cold could cause enough movement to set it off.

That sounds like a lot of money for repairing it! I've got two of them (and several other nice old tickers) here, and do most of the fettling myself.

There's a very capable lady in Ipswich who does a good trade in repairing old clocks. She calls herself "Dicky tickers".

Get a book and do it yourself - they are big, robust old beasts (mostly) and rewarding to work on.

26th Feb 2013, 00:34
Might have been a slight earth tremor you didn't feel

I don't think so. belive it or not we had a few earthquakes here last fall, minor ones, but could still be felt and it didn't make a sound.


Get a book and do it yourself -

Oh no, no way. That clock is my wife's pride and joy, I am banned from even looking at it. Well not quite that bad, but if I walked up to that clock with tools in hand, my life, as I know, it would be over. :\

26th Feb 2013, 00:36
Did the conveyor belt stop at the same time?

26th Feb 2013, 01:36
I've got a kitchen ghost.
She (I know it's a she) regularly throws keys / pieces of fruit / cups across the kitchen.

Loose rivets
26th Feb 2013, 05:22
This thread's a wind up!

Well, somebody had to say it.

Loose rivets
26th Feb 2013, 05:29
This is the scary bit:

Well, it rang an alarm, in the still of the night, An alarm, that
For years had been dumb.

My Grandfather's clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor.
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.

It was bought on the morn of the day he was born,
It was always his treasure and pride,
And it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours he spent as a boy.
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know,
And it shared both his sorrow and joy.

And it struck twenty-four when he entered the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride,
And it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering, tick, tock, tick, tick,
It's life seconds numbering, tick tock, tick, tock,
And it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.

My Grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found.
It wasted no time and it had one desire,
At the end of the week to be wound.

And it stayed in its place, not a frown upon its face,
And it's hands never hung by it's side,
And it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.

Now it rang an alarm in the still of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb.
We knew that his spirit was pluming in flight,
That his hour of departure had come.

Still the clock kept its time with a soft and muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side,
And it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering, tick, tock, tick, tick,
It's life seconds numbering, tick tock, tick, tock,
And it stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.

Erwin Schroedinger
26th Feb 2013, 05:36
Okay, want to talk about weird and things that go bump in the night?

And here am I, expecting more re the Oscar Pistorius story. :(

26th Feb 2013, 07:26
Perhaps Mr Con someone is fracking under your neighbourhood ? :8 Aside from it being a supernatural event, I'd agree with Keef who said that it had stopped just as it was about to chime (perhaps therein lies the answer?) and due to temperature it simply 'slipped' and chimed. Go on, get the DIY repair book and make it a project to impress the wife :p


26th Feb 2013, 08:20
con-pilot it is so simple. I can't believe no one has mentioned it.

You have mice!


26th Feb 2013, 09:01
Hickory dickory dock!

26th Feb 2013, 09:24
There is still energy 'stored' in the clock, either in the form of a wound spring or raised weight. Something minor such as small vibration (many tremors are not perceptible to us but would affect a delicate timepiece), temperature change etc caused the chiming mechanism to activate.

Now, had the pendulum had been swinging, that would have been cause for concern...

We had an issue with our house alarm which kept going off at all hours of the night for no obvious reason, much to our annoyance and consternation. The security company checked it over and couldn't find any faults. Turns out it was being triggered by a helium party balloon which we'd left up after my son's birthday - the balloon begun slowly moving around whenever the heating came on. This was enough to activate the motion sensor in the room.

26th Feb 2013, 09:43
While I enjoy the notion of a supernatural explanation. I suspect it's more logical albeit difficult to explain like Dead-pan's suggestion. It needn't even be a tremor, even a truck passing in the vicinity could trigger it.

I remember working in an office, it was a mezzanine up near the factory roof. It was lit by fluorescent tubes hanging from long chains from the roof. Every now and then one would start swinging, slowly at first and then increasingly divergent almost violent as if it was in a gale. It was spooky as hell. None of the others did it.

Being a wannabee pilot at the time. I eventually figured it was probably a result of rising air in that spot hitting it at the right angle of attack to develop lift. A simple spoiler taped to the top reduced the problem. But typically it remained the ghost light to the rest of the office. No doubt it still swings away to this day.

tony draper
26th Feb 2013, 09:49
I've seen that Grandfather clock that stood ninety years on the shelf Mr Rivets, tiz in a wee hotel down Whitby way.:)

26th Feb 2013, 09:56
On reflection I'm more concerned at why the repair guy is avoiding you. What did he find or see inside the clock? An old china doll with one eye missing perhaps, or maybe something carved into the woodwork...

26th Feb 2013, 10:13
Our house is supplied by its own well and to keep constant water pressure in the house there is a metal tank with a rubber bladder fed by a pump. The pump only kicks in when the pressure drops below a certain level, such as when the loo is flushed or a tap is run for more than a few minutes.
The pump is not noisy, but can be heard as a background sound if you listen carefully, and we kept hearing it kick in at around three in the morning when no water would have been used. There were no pressure leaks and my wife was imagining all sorts of things as the house is over three hundred years old, and may have a "history". I ventured out one night when the sound started and discovered that it was caused by the water softener doing its daily backwash, which consumes a fair amount of water!
Resetting the timer for it to do its backwash during the day put her mind at rest.

26th Feb 2013, 10:19
Perhaps Mr Con someone is fracking under your neighbourhood?

Get rid of the fracker before he fracks up the whole block!

26th Feb 2013, 10:23
T'was the phantom clock winder-uperer. You know, that square headed guest you leave alone in your living room for 5 minutes only to discover much later that he has picked up every clock and tried to set it to the nearest nano-second.

Sounds logical to me.

tony draper
26th Feb 2013, 10:51
This is a good un.:uhoh:
Ghosts, Roman Soldiers (1/2) - YouTube

26th Feb 2013, 11:04
I've seen that Grandfather clock that stood ninety years on the shelf Mr Rivets, tiz in a wee hotel down Whitby way.
There's a similar claim from the George at Piercebridge (http://www.george-ontees.co.uk/index.php?name=clockhistory).

Windy Militant
26th Feb 2013, 11:09
A few years ago I'd have said it was Concorde! But now possibly a heavy vehicle causing vibration.
Having said that my Mums house has an open wooden stair case with a half landing on it. The half landing is of the type that has removable boards to allow long items of furniture to be passed up the stair avoiding the bend at the bottom. Because the boards are loose they creak when you walk on them.
Several times when sitting in the lounge watching Telly we've heard the boards creak as if there were someone standing on them, but no one was there!
Another thing is that the family dogs would sometimes sit and stare intently at the half landing as if there was someone or thing there. :ooh:

tony draper
26th Feb 2013, 11:17
Probably talking about the same place Mr G-C,my main job would have been near Whitby so I recall that,the lady also had a 19 year old JR Terrier which interested me more.

26th Feb 2013, 11:19
Simple temperature change WM - expansion/contraction. The dogs are probably having a
WTF moment as what they hear isn't matching what they would normally expect to see.

26th Feb 2013, 11:45

Windy Militant
26th Feb 2013, 11:50
Slasher that's possible. The house was converted in the sixties, what is now the front of the house was originally a stables and store for animal fodder.
Where the half landing now exists there used to be an access door to the fodder store which was bricked up when the house was extended.
It's strange how the dogs all seemed to stare at where the door was, and for hours at a time. It may be that the when the boards expand they generate sound at levels we humans can't hear. Next time I'm home I'll try a bit of polish on the edges of the boards to allow them to slip past each other and not rachet in jumps making an audible thump when they do.
Still it is a bit spooky, especially when your watching the late night scary movie. :}

Erwin Schroedinger
26th Feb 2013, 11:56
I'm very suprised you don't have clock problems, what with all that Militant Winding.


Windy Militant
26th Feb 2013, 12:08
All my clocks are electric these days so don't need winding.
My mum does have a chiming clock that sounds drunk when the batteries are on the way out! ;)

26th Feb 2013, 16:12
The doggies don't have a cerebral cortex WM which means they have conditioned association
only - as Pavlov proved. So if they hear something usual but the usual visuality is different or
non-existent - they have a WTF moment (even up to an hour's worth).

As proof - try recording your greeting voice clearly on a good mp3 player, and then have only
your missus come in to greet the poochies saying nothing but having your voice played back.
They'll hear your voice but see only her, and cop that same WTF look from 'em too.

26th Feb 2013, 16:34
Anyway, we had it fixed, for about a thousand bucks... We need exact dates, otherwise all that can be said also is:
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

But perhaps the bell chimed 6 times for another commemoration we're as yet unaware of (unless it was one of your cats or wolves chasing imaginary mice around the clock)...?! ;)

PS. The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank with all hands aboard on November 10th, 1975. :sad: