Scary Home Issues

Mysterious noises, flickering lights—are you living in a haunted house or are these scary home issues totally explainable? With Halloween right around the corner and Friday the 13th marathons filling up your DVR, no doubt you’re inclined to blame paranormal activity for these spooky little happenings. Yet before you start scouring the yellow pages for the number to your local ghostbusters, read on to get a slightly more settling explanation.

1. Unexplained breezes: No, it’s not a close encounter of the third kind. If your ground floor seems drafty, it’s likely due to an improperly sealed window or door, which can be easily fixed by sealing the gaps.

2. Creaky floors: Often the first sign of danger in a horror movie, creaks and groans are actually a result of natural expansion and contraction caused by humidity. And while it’s not necessary to fix, you can dust some talcum powder where the floorboards meet to help quiet the noise.

3. Flickering lights: If it’s a single bulb, it’s likely just loose in the socket and can be easily tightened. However, if multiple lights flicker and dim, especially when appliances are in use, it could mean the circuit is overloaded. Be sure to get this fire hazard checked out by a licensed electrician.

4. Rustling in the wall: Chances are it’s not a ghost—though you might prefer that to the real cause. Termites make a rustling noise when you press your ear against the wall, and carpenter ants sound like crinkling cellophane. Call pest control immediately as they can very quickly leave lasting damage.

5. Loud knocking: If you hear knocking when you turn off the water, it’s called a “water hammer” that occurs when fast-moving water comes to a sudden stop and there is no air chamber. You may be able to fix this yourself by draining the air chamber, or call a plumber for help.