Ghost - Any suggestions

My cousing has a problem. He lives in an apartment. The side walls are CBS and the rear wall is frame. The floorr between the first and second floor is concrete. Periodically, and only at night, there is a tapping / clicking sound that he hears in the wall. It usually continues from anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours. He has been unable to locate the source. Management has been there and heard the sound and they cannot locate the source. The best way he can discribe it is to say it sound like the a timer (like a sprinkler timer). Has anyone ever come across this before or have any suggestions as to what it might be??

Is the tapping/clicking at a constant rate or is the timing of it random? Can he hear it throughout his entire apartment? Does he have a crazy neighbor in the next apartment who likes to use his typewriter at night? :smiley:

Bill, my guess would be movement in an expansion joint in the floors, I bet this is quite a large block of apartments.

I know of a local condo tower that also does this, the duration and frequency of the clicking depends on the time of day and internal/external temperature differentials.



If you rule out temperature changes(running water, hvac cycling, etc.) I would move to creeper ideas. Like a Death Watch Beetle. If that isn’t the source… who ya gonna call?


Although, the ghost idea is a lot more fun, I have to go with Gerry, expansion and contraction.

It’s called “tick building syndrome” :wink:

Sorry I know thats corney!!


It is a two story building, so that may rule out Jerry’s theory (or maybe not), It is a constant clicking and seems to come only at night.

If it is an older building with metal HVAC ducts, it could be expansion and contraction of the ducts due to temperature differences as the system comes on and turns off. Metal ducts can and will click during and after use. I don’t know if building expansion and contraction would last for as long as 4 hours, but perhaps!

We experienced this in a previous house and had to change bedrooms!

I sleep on the second floor of a 40 year old house that is 1/2 brick and 1/2 v siding, when the temp. goes down at night it sounds like someone with long fingernails tapping on a glass top table.

Guttering can make that type of noise, when outside temperatures vary from night to day. Expansion, contraction.

Mine was from a bird building a nest in my attic!!! Didn’t realize what it was, until the little guys hatched, and cherping!!! Was just above my bedroom, became a great alarm clock!!!

Carpenter bees in the walls, they are actively chewing most of the time, not just during the day.