Woken By Phantom Sound Of Smashing Glass

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#1
Thought I'd post about a strange experience I had recently to see if anyone else has had a similar experience, or has any theories about what could have caused it. I recently moved house, and ever since I have been having strange dreams and sleep disturbances. The other night I was woken suddenly by a very loud sound of smashing glass, it sounded as though something very large had been smashed, I liken it to the sound a falling chandelier might make. There was no evidence in the house of any broken glass or crockery, and no broken bottles or anything in the grounds outside the house, no one else in the house was woken by it. I've never experienced anything like it before, some kind of aural hallucination perhaps, if so, why smashing glass I wonder
 

Mythopoeika

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#2
This might be a particular variant of the 'head exploding' phenomenon.
I think there's a thread for that already in existence.
The 'head exploding' phenomenon is where someone is either asleep or just dropping off to sleep when they experience an auditory hallucination or hear a sound from the outside world. The sound is magnified, such that it is really loud. It also makes the experiencer 'see' a flash of light (perhaps another hallucination).
 

JamesWhitehead

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#3
Phantom noises of a violent kind are often associated with poltergeists, though sometimes it is only the sounds which are violent. I recall one which was said to have sounded like a grand piano being dropped from two floors up!

Other cases liken sounds to heavy furniture being toppled over but the expected damage isn't there! I think we have a poster on the site who has reported such phantom noises in his US home. :eek:
 
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#4
This might be a particular variant of the 'head exploding' phenomenon.
I think there's a thread for that already in existence.
The 'head exploding' phenomenon is where someone is either asleep or just dropping off to sleep when they experience an auditory hallucination or hear a sound from the outside world. The sound is magnified, such that it is really loud. It also makes the experiencer 'see' a flash of light (perhaps another hallucination).
That's kind of what I was thinking, except everything I've ever read about these kind of hallucinations says they happen in that inbetween state when either falling asleep or waking up, whereas I was sound asleep and was woken by the noise
 
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#5
Phantom noises of a violent kind are often associated with poltergeists, though sometimes it is only the sounds which are violent. I recall one which was said to have sounded like a grand piano being dropped from two floors up!

Other cases liken sounds to heavy furniture being toppled over but the expected damage isn't there! I think we have a poster on the site who has reported such phantom noises in his US home. :eek:
I've actually heard the falling furniture sound myself, again at night, I was awake in my parents house and there was this huge heavy crash from the attic. Mind you loads of strange things happened in that house, to everyone who lived there, apparitions, poltergeist activity, the locals knew it as the cursed house because there was a long line of previous occupants committing suicide or dying suddenly there. I've experienced all kinds of classic poltergeist activity throughout my life, I seem to be a magnet for it, I'm still undecided about whether it's caused by an outside agency like a ghost or so-called 'demon', or by some sort of disturbance in my own electromagnetic field
 

EnolaGaia

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#6
That's kind of what I was thinking, except everything I've ever read about these kind of hallucinations says they happen in that inbetween state when either falling asleep or waking up, whereas I was sound asleep and was woken by the noise
It's important to note that sleep isn't one end-to-end process. It occurs as a series of sleep cycles, each typically lasting on the order of 1.5 hours. In other words, you bob back to / near 'the surface of wakefulness' circa every 90 minutes.

Research on the hypnagogic state and associated perceptual weirdness (e.g., what's now called exploding head syndrome) has traditionally focused on entering the very first sleep cycle or emerging from the final cycle. EEG analysis has demonstrated that the brain wave patterns associated with the hypnagogic state are among the ones associated with all sleep cycles, not just the two ends of the overall sleeping period. Finally, it's common for sleepers to bob 'upward' enough between cycles to technically be in a waking state (though they never seem to remember it).

My first guess would be that your chandelier falling episode was a hypnagogic aural hallucination occurring during the shift from one sleep cycle to the next.

I've also been awakened from what I thought was deep sleep by a noise. It hasn't happened as often as my other experiences with hypnagogic aural hallucinations (voice calling my name; a sudden percussive 'boom'). On those occasions where this has occurred and I had enough sense to check my clock, these sound-triggered waking events did seem to correlate with periods during which I should have been finishing one cycle and entering the next.
 
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#7
It's important to note that sleep isn't one end-to-end process. It occurs as a series of sleep cycles, each typically lasting on the order of 1.5 hours. In other words, you bob back to / near 'the surface of wakefulness' circa every 90 minutes.


Research on the hypnagogic state and associated perceptual weirdness (e.g., what's now called exploding head syndrome) has traditionally focused on entering the very first sleep cycle or emerging from the final cycle. EEG analysis has demonstrated that the brain wave patterns associated with the hypnagogic state are among the ones associated with all sleep cycles, not just the two ends of the overall sleeping period. Finally, it's common for sleepers to bob 'upward' enough between cycles to technically be in a waking state (though they never seem to remember it).

My first guess would be that your chandelier falling episode was a hypnagogic aural hallucination occurring during the shift from one sleep cycle to the next.

I've also been awakened from what I thought was deep sleep by a noise. It hasn't happened as often as my other experiences with hypnagogic aural hallucinations (voice calling my name; a sudden percussive 'boom'). On those occasions where this has occurred and I had enough sense to check my clock, these sound-triggered waking events did seem to correlate with periods during which I should have been finishing one cycle and entering the next.
I find it all so fascinating, the way our brain works is amazing, the sheer weirdness it's capable of for no apparent reason other than just for fun! I also love the the term "exploding head syndrome :0D
 

henry

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#8
guy i worked with suffered from that or a related condition semi-permanently through the day every day, terrible, described it as huge booming drums being continually struck with no pattern or regularity echoing through his head ... he was a number cruncher too
 

Rosebud

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#9
Lois, do you suffer from Migraines?
I do and that crashing glass sound is, for me, one of the 'tells' that a particularly bad one is coming.

I also get the occasional 'exploding head' experience when drifting off to sleep, it always makes me jump but I have become used to it.
 
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MetroGnome

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#10
Some weeks ago I was awoken by the sound of a pen falling onto the desk in my room. And then I had this sense of an evil presence. Perhaps all just hypnopompic stuff (my cat was peacefully sleeping at my feet, and aren't cats supposed to be sensitive to such things?), but just as I was finally dropping off again, another something crashed down somewhere. The next morning I noticed that the broom had fallen over, so not all of it was just in my head. :)
 

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#13
Myself and my then girlfriend were once woken by huge crashing sounds from the kitchen below us.
The noise went on for some time and sounded as if all the furniture was being thrown around.
There was nobody else in the house and sometime after the noises stopped we finally summoned up enough courage to creep downstairs (baseball bat in hand!) to find that the kitchen was exactly as we had left it.
We would also wake up sometimes to find the front door wide open.
 

Krepostnoi

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#14
I've been awoken by three knocks on several occasions. I think that's quite a common phenomenon.
Isn't the superstition that, although it may happen a lot, it only happens once to each individual and doesn't bode well for them at all? o_O That suggests you're beating the odds (and long may you continue to do so!)
 

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#16
Just recently I have heard a number of odd crashing sounds, bumps and other disturbances. This is not when I am asleep or falling asleep, just during relatively quiet times of the day (early morning, mid-evening). It is especially odd as in the last few years my partner and I have gone on an organising spree so that whereas in the past there was a fair amount of stuff that might fall over on its own, there no longer is and nothing seems to be out of place.
 

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#17
I've been awoken by three knocks on several occasions. I think that's quite a common phenomenon.
I was startled while working at my desk late at night two weeks ago by three knocks. Thought about all the possible supernatural origins, prowled around. It turned out to be the compressor for the fridge giving its last gasp.
 
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#18
Lois, do you suffer from Migraines?
I do and that crashing glass sound is, for me, one of the 'tells' that a particularly bad one is coming.

I also get the occasional 'exploding head' experience when drifting off to sleep, it always makes me jump but I have become used to it.
I used to, frequently, but in recent years they're few and far between thankfully. Migraines can do really weird things, I used to get a metallic taste, flashing lights, and my head hurt to touch
 
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#19
Some weeks ago I was awoken by the sound of a pen falling onto the desk in my room. And then I had this sense of an evil presence. Perhaps all just hypnopompic stuff (my cat was peacefully sleeping at my feet, and aren't cats supposed to be sensitive to such things?), but just as I was finally dropping off again, another something crashed down somewhere. The next morning I noticed that the broom had fallen over, so not all of it was just in my head. :)
Spooky! Did you see the pen when you woke up, was it out of place
 
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#20
Coupla days back I was woken by my phone's text alert noise, a gong. Nothing there, no text, no alerts...the following morning at an ungodly hour (well, 7:30am), I received a text from my cousin, who'd forgotten I'm a lie-abed. 'bong'. Mrs Coal unamused.
I used to hear phantom text alerts and ringing, I'd check my phone and nothing! It was quite irritating!
 
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#21
Myself and my then girlfriend were once woken by huge crashing sounds from the kitchen below us.
The noise went on for some time and sounded as if all the furniture was being thrown around.
There was nobody else in the house and sometime after the noises stopped we finally summoned up enough courage to creep downstairs (baseball bat in hand!) to find that the kitchen was exactly as we had left it.
We would also wake up sometimes to find the front door wide open.
Classic poltergeist activity!
 

MetroGnome

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#22
Spooky! Did you see the pen when you woke up, was it out of place
My desk is such a mess I wouldn't know if a tornado had gone through it. :)

But when I saw the broom lying on its side, the first thing that went through my mind was a line from the film Practical Magic: "Broom fell: company's coming!" Thus far, lucky for me, I have not yet been visited by any murderers from beyond the grave. :)
 

MetroGnome

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#23
And the saga continues: this morning I wanted to paint something in watercolor, only to find that little plastic bucket I use for water is gone. Nowhere in sight, missing in action, not anywhere in the apartment. I eventually found it outside. It wasn't put on the windowsill (I never put it there) so it couldn't have fallen from there. So how the hell did it end up outside on the ground? I have no idea.
 

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#24
And the saga continues: this morning I wanted to paint something in watercolor, only to find that little plastic bucket I use for water is gone. Nowhere in sight, missing in action, not anywhere in the apartment. I eventually found it outside. It wasn't put on the windowsill (I never put it there) so it couldn't have fallen from there. So how the hell did it end up outside on the ground? I have no idea.
Gnomes. It'll be the house gnomes.
 

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#30
I agree with the exploding head thingy.
I've also been harping on about hypnopompic hallucinations somewhere else on the board just recently, so won't go into that here.....but! I do have a few past examples of my own to share, which intrigue me to this day...

One of them occured at a previous address. Up to three or four weeks before I moved out, I was regularly woken by a knocking sound. It sounded exactly like a human knocking on wood - not a random series of sounds, more a certain rhythm, like many people often have a 'signature' knock when they come to visit. Due to this I ruled out rodents, pipes, house settling, etc, and it only tended to happen during the night.
All my neighbours and I had pvc doors, and there was nothing else in the vicinity to explain it.
It occurred about once a week at different times of the night and wasn't always the same 'rhythm' - it varied slightly but still had the impression of a loud, determined 'human' kind of knock.
I explained it away as hypnopompic until I was still awake reading when it happened, and my cat, snoozing on the bed almost jumped out of his skin. I did go outside to explore but found nothing.

A short while later, at my new address I would wake in the night to a terrifyingly loud crash, as if someone has kicked the front door in or else smashed through a window. This began the very night I moved in, and again several times this occurred when I was not already asleep. I lived alone at the time although a family member occasionally slept over - and she was woken by it too! Yet in her case, at the back of the house she was woken by what sounded like large stones or clods of earth hitting the bedroom window. Nothing was ever found after searching for a source to the sounds.
An otherwise positive-feeling home, although I never did sleep well in all of the 4 yrs I stayed there.
I haven't experienced anything like it since.
It may be relevant that the first set of disturbances happened quite close to the death of my father, and a fair amount of personal stress followed me to the next property. Still, being awake on a number of occasions, and having a guest witness it doesn't hold too tightly with the hypnopompic theory, so make of that what you will!
 
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