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Scary event

(40 Posts)
M0nica Fri 29-Nov-19 13:16:25

I didn't sleep well last night, so went into another bedroom, where I continued not to sleep. About 7.00am, I was just drifting when I was woken by a noise in the room. It sounded like a bird caught in a chimney (there isn't one) followed by little feet running across the room twice.

I was terrified and sat up heart beating every sense alert. I thought it might be a rat. I thought of shouting for DH but our bedrooms are all off a corridor and he was 2 rooms away, with the door shut and his hearing is not good.

I sat in bed for about 20 minutes waiting, then having calmed down a bit, I picked my shoes of the floor, put them on, got out of bed , grabbed my dressing gown and got out of the room, closing the door behind me.

When DH got up I told him what had happened and once I had calmed down we went back to the bedroom and found - nothing. No rat, mouse, or bird, We moved furniture , looked under the bed, but nothing.

I am still trying to work out whether the sound was real or in my mind only, but it did wake me up with a bang.

Either way DH has gone out to buy rat poison and we will put it in the loft, although I am sure the noise was at floor not roof level.

SueDonim Fri 29-Nov-19 13:26:33

We once had a squirrel running round the outside walls of our house and it sounded just like that. We were having lunch and there was a loud noise followed by a tapping of little feet. We had no idea what it could possibly be. I then had to take my daughter to nursery and when I went outside, there was a squirrel, running back and forth across the front of the house at first floor level!

Carillion01 Fri 29-Nov-19 15:12:49

* MOnica* please try not to get too frightened. I felt exactly the same with a similar experience and would hope to reassure you. When we moved into our house in Brittany the lovely attached old barn was beautiful but scary!

Sleeping in an adjoining bedroom made me feel much as you described. It sounded like a large rodent was up in the attic, jumping off a suitcase and running around the floor...having a bit of fun!

It turned out to be very small birds that had nested in the eaves. It's amazing how the sound of any birds can be distorted and always much worse at night so please don't worry and sleep tight. Best wishes x

BlueBelle Fri 29-Nov-19 15:34:59

I have birds in my eaves and they wear hob nailed boots

M0nica Fri 29-Nov-19 15:49:54

Carillion01 Thank you so much. We are in our French holiday home at the moment (in Normandy) and I think on balance, it is something in the loft. I thought I heard a few scratchings in the roof when I was in main bedroom with DH a few nights ago, but but the sound was faint and lasted less than a minute. It was also a very windy night. But this morning it wasn't windy.

We have looked round the house and the bedroom concerned and can see no sign of droppings, mouse or rat, which were the great giveaway when we did have a mice infestation.

I think the problem was the noise happened when I was on the cusp of sleep and jerked me awake heart hammering. I usually take these things in my stride. we have three times rescued owls from the chimney, now wired off, but that happened in day time when I was fully alert

Now that's an experience letting a full sized young owl out of the kitchen chimney, wing span 2 foot or more and watching as it flies in circles the kitchen within fractions of an inch of an open dresser loaded with plates etc in a panic until it finds the kitchen door and exits.

sodapop Fri 29-Nov-19 15:56:04

Pine martens get into the roof space in France MOnica they make a fair bit of noise.

M0nica Fri 29-Nov-19 16:01:05

I do not think we have enough woodland around us for pine martens.

Oh, I have just checked a distribution map online and they are found in this area. We will go into the loft with caution tomorrow. Can they climb stone walls? the house is built of stone, and the only way they could get in is if they scaled the stone walls to reach the loft.

Shelmiss Fri 29-Nov-19 17:20:00

MOnica could it be a squirrel? We used to have an 18th century coach house and after a few nearly sleepless nights discovered it was a squirrel, after my husband met him in the attic one day.

We named him Bob. grin

Callistemon Fri 29-Nov-19 18:17:00

Do you have bats in the cavity? Or in the chimney if you don't have a cavity?
They can be surprisingly noisy; we had them in one house, they started making a noise at night as they presumably went in and out through a hole at the top, but were quiet in the day.

We also had a bird nesting in the chimney, this was very many years ago but just the other week a desiccated nest fell down into the hearth. The bird used to fall down the chimney sometimes and we would put it outside, presumably it then went back to its nest only to fall down again.

Callistemon Fri 29-Nov-19 18:20:41

Ps have you got curtains in that room? Have you checked to see if a bat is hanging on the inside of the curtains?

Maggiemaybe Fri 29-Nov-19 18:25:46

I hope you solve the mystery soon, M0nica.

We had a bat in our kitchen last year. No idea how it got in, but fortunately our DDIL was here to usher it back out the front door while DH and I hid behind the front room door calling out encouragement. I had a good search round the house afterwards to see if any of its friends were lurking anywhere, but I think it must have just come in the same way it went out.

Callistemon Fri 29-Nov-19 18:39:09

Sorry, I re-read it and you have no chimney.

Something running up and down a cavity if you have one

Or something trapped in the gap between the floor and the ceiling of the room below

Do you have a cat which may have brought something in

Or perhaps it was a dream as that time when you are nearly asleep can produce some vivid dreams which seem like reality.

M0nica Fri 29-Nov-19 19:01:28

As yet no explanation, but tomorrow before we return to the UK we will go and search the loft and lay mouse and rat poison and see what we find on our return.

The trouble is when things like this happen when you are on the edge between waking and sleeping you are not that sure what is happening.

SueDonim Fri 29-Nov-19 20:02:42

A friend had an owl in her house one night. It came down the chimney. The doors were all open so she didn't know quite where it was but the sooty black marks in walls showed it was probably upstairs.

She went into her teenager's bedroom and found the owl staring at her from its perch on her son in his bed. Not only that, but her son was still fast asleep! grin

Maggiemaybe Fri 29-Nov-19 23:17:18

That did make me laugh, SueDonim. My DS would have slept through the owl visitation as well.

I think DH and I would have had to get DDIL over to get rid of Wol as well. She’s very intrepid and we’re a couple of wusses.

Carillion01 Sat 30-Nov-19 07:58:34

M0nica, hope you had a quiet night and a good night's sleep.

Sara65 Sat 30-Nov-19 08:31:37

One summer night I was sat up in bed, I suffer from seasonal asthma, so was sitting up in the dark, when something literally flew into my face! After a lot of screaming we discovered it was a bat, I don’t know who was more scared!

Hetty58 Sat 30-Nov-19 08:41:01

We have very noisy bats here. I was convinced that there were rats or mice around with all the scratching sounds until we found them. Of course, they're protected and we don't mind them.

NfkDumpling Sat 30-Nov-19 08:46:46

I hate to mention the words, but what part of France are you in? We stayed at a friends old farmhouse near Limoges and were woken by scratchy noises. In the morning there was wood dust on the bed. Death Watch Beetle! They are surprisingly noisy for such little beasts.

Hopefully it just proves to be blackbirds sorting out the debris in the gutters.

sodapop Sat 30-Nov-19 09:00:03

Yes, sorry MOnica we have a stone house and had a pine marten. This was a few years ago though and never had a recurrence.

MamaCaz Sat 30-Nov-19 09:29:11

Do you have skirting boards on the walls, Monica?

I was trying to get to sleep one night, when scratching started very close to my head. I traced it to the skirting board just below me. It continued on and off for a while, then stopped, and I never heard anything in that spot again. (Took me a long time to get to sleep after that!)

In theory, there shouldn't be any gap behind that board or within that internal wall in our house, but other pest problems over the years (in the loft above) have proved to my satisfaction that there must be, as scratching and grinding sounds in the loft above one night were accompanied by the sound of whatever was being gnawed at falling downwards within that wall. Our pest control guy couldnt see how that could possibly happen, but it did, for several days running.

Anyway, my point is that rodents can get into supposedly impossible places, and yours might have done the same. If there is skirting, could it have been a small rodent behind it, possibly with enough space to run along behind it too?

Curlywhirly Sat 30-Nov-19 09:30:42

Our friends have a holiday home in France and this summer they had pine martens in the loft; be careful as they can do some damage with their chewing.

Missiseff Sat 30-Nov-19 09:34:38

Could be ghosts? We had them in a house we used to live in, just in my Sons bedroom. I found out later it was two children who'd died in a fire in the house years earlier. They were harmless, just playing.

Callistemon Sat 30-Nov-19 09:57:23

We've stayed in a wooden pole house and got woken to loud gnawing sounds. I thought the house could collapse if they managed to gnaw right through!
Probably those possums beloved of Dame Edna.

BusterTank Sat 30-Nov-19 10:02:52

We live in the country and rats and mice get in the wall cavity . You can hear then rolling bits of brick around and making scrapping noises . If you still hear the noise after putting the fat poison down , you may have a presence in your home .