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Dealing with scares when home alone


Amalga Heart
V.I.P Member
Okay, so this is one I've been through a few times.

I'm home alone for a few days every now and then. Usually when the others head up to the lake house for a couple of days... if I dont feel like going with, I'm stuck here at the main house till they get back.

Most of the time, I'm fine. But at night, sometimes things get a little freaky, and it can be... troubling. Happened tonight.

The situation today was, I'm in the basement... already a bit of a spooky place at times, it's basically one giant cavern. There's a whole lot of furniture and pillars and it's STILL mostly empty space. You'll *never* catch me down here with the lights out. That's a big NOPE right there. Even with the lights on... well... I personally prefer smaller, more cramped spaces. Exactly why I tend to find hotel rooms so pleasant. But my computer and gaming stuff are down here, since the VR setup needs a huge amount of space to work properly. So... basement it is. As long as I keep myself active, I'm fine. Better yet, my dog is usually down here if I am (he associates the basement with OMG HAPPY FUN PLAYTIME WOW, so he doesnt let me come down here without him), but he's not here right now, as he's always with them when they're up north.

So, I'm down here, and during a quiet moment while I'm browsing Youtube, I hear a sort of crunch sound. Then another, then another. It's one thing to hear "house settling" noises coming from the walls. It's another to hear them in the floor above you in an empty house, multiple times in rapid succession, seeming to move across in a specific direction.

Whenever this sort of thing happens, I must go investigate. I haaaaaaate doing this, but I must do it anyway. The main floor isnt too bad. I tend to be a bit nervous when investigating there, but... not too bad. No, the real trouble comes from this part:


It's that bit on the right that I have trouble with. NORMALLY, it doesnt have to be like that at night. There's a giant chandelier overhead, bigger than I am, that blazes with the force of a thousand stars when turned fully on. The thing seems impractical to me, but what do I know. But I cant turn it on right now, something has gone wrong with the light switch that controls it, been that way for a couple of months now at least. I can turn on a couple of lights in the area to the left, but it doesnt carry upwards at all. If I'm going to investigate enough to satisfy my paranoia though, I have to go up to that freaky bit in the upper right.

When I do, I am greeted with this:


This is the entrance to the master bedroom. I try not to go in there if I dont have to at night, for reasons that are likely obvious just by looking at it. But also because there's a pair of steps beneath it with slippery wood paneling put there by someone that I hope got fired for it (I've had more than one fall there). Now, with any other bloody room in the house, you dont actually have to walk inside to turn on the lights. Reach your hand in, and the light switch is next to the door. Makes sense right? But not THAT room, no sir. The switch is BEHIND the doors (both of which are larger than normal doors), that swing open a full 180 degrees (unlike normal doors that almost always have restricted movement). Wanna turn the lights on? Gonna have to go all the way in. Worse yet, the light "switch" in there is bizarre. A funky panel that has never quite made sense to me. So I have to go in there, walk in a pitch black area, find a panel I cant see, and just mash buttons and hope it does something. And also hope it's the CORRECT panel, as there's another one for the AC control. I dunno who thought ANY of that was a good idea.

What makes it even worse? I can turn on other lights nearby on that floor... and it is still pitch-black in there. The angle of the nearby lights means that it doesnt penetrate past the doorway whatsoever. Bloody stupid design, if you ask me, but what do I know?

So yeah, that's the situation that happens sometimes. I do feel a bit better and less freaked out from writing about it, but still. I find it very nerve-wracking when it happens. I've never liked being here by myself in this bloated mass of a house to begin with. And this just makes that worse.

So, I ask you: What would you do, dealing with this sort of situation? How would you handle it, in your own house? And if you get anxiety with things like this... how do you avoid entering a state of panic? As someone who tends to be afraid of nearly everything, I struggle with that last bit quite alot. I never really know how to handle scary unexpected situations.

There, I'm done rambling. And it's not even Halloween.

EDIT: Okay you know what's NOT FREAKING COOL? Hearing "wooo wooooooo" from upstairs (I'm in the basement again) out of nowhere 5 minutes after posting that. Now I'm just outright shaky. I havent the foggiest bloody clue what could make that sound.
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An owl? Maybe?

I just heard my houseshare partner who is asleep on his side of the house hollering and talking
like he is in Halloween Horror Nights. Had to go check on him. He keeps it totally dark in his zone.
I keep a maglight by me at night. I used it now to walk into his wing as I didn't want to just flip on
the light. Like you said, there are 7 switches for his sleeping area and a short dark hallway to it.
He was sleeping and doing OK by the time I walked over there.

I prefer a smaller area like a hotel too. We don't have basements in Florida due to the ground and
so much rain. I keep small colorful night lights on at night in my part of the house.
I don't like being here alone either.
In your case, unless you are required to stay there alone, I don't think I would.
I would probably get a room for a while.
If I had to stay there alone, I would be armed with plenty of large flashlights, nightlights, and
some type of defense.
Of course that might not help when sleeping, but, I would make certain my sleeping room was well
If it were an owl, it'd be easier, but no owl makes THAT sound. ...Also we just dont have owls around here. Up at the northern house, yes, they're all over the place and frankly rather annoying. But here... yeah I still dont know what that sound was.

Florida is an interesting point, we have a place on an island off the coast. It's the opposite of this house: Quite small. We're supposed to be doing outdoors stuff down there, after all, not sitting in the bloody house all the time. When I'm at that place, I'm usually in the I-dont-know-what-it's-for room behind the garage. It's one of those houses where the ground floor is almost entirely just the garage. Most of the stuff is above that, but my area where I do things is in that room. Pretty small, not room for much in there... it's perfect. Until it gets overheated. Then it's less perfect. But overall, there's never anything scary about THAT house. To be fair though, I've also never had to be there alone for more than a couple of hours at a time.

I dunno. I dont like huge open spaces indoors, and this house is made of them. I'll keep my cramped rooms full of stuff to trip over, thanks. And you know, I'm not really sure why any of that is the case. Why would large indoor areas be scary? It's not like rooms past a certain size start sprouting blades from the walls or something. From a logical standpoint, that source of anxiety makes no sense. Which just makes it worse.

As for self defense, I have a giant hammer. Heck if I know what the horrid thing is supposed to be used for, but... yeah, giant hammer.
I had a lot of issues with sounds from the building in the last apartment I lived in.
It was mostly an issue when I was trying to sleep, as I constantly used headphones to listen to music or watching videos witch drowns out the sounds when awake.
When I was trying to sleep I needed light up rooms/areas I was uncomfortable with.

I would recommend trying to light up the room you are using, close any doors, and make yourself more cramped(sectioning your area from the rest of the room and/or covering yourself with stuff)
And if possible using headphones to listen with music or videos.
I'm quite often home alone at night because my partner goes out alone and I stay in, and yes, I can hear all sorts of strange noises, mostly coming from the neighbour's side of the house, but also sometimes coming from my house. When I'm alone, I'm more alert and aware of various sounds going on around, and occasionally I hear a sound I can't identify, like a crash or thud, and that causes anxiety... is it an intruder? A burglar? But there's always some explanation for it - it's these stacked unwashed dishes in the sink shifting position slightly and making a chinking noise, or the wind causing something to hit the window pane, something totally innocuous.

I usually investigate it - I have to find what it is and reassure myself that there's no intruder or anything like that before I can relax again, keeping the doors locked so no intruder can get in also helps. But I'm usually watching something or listening to music, which drowns out sounds coming from the neighbours. I also have a dog that barks when a stranger comes to the house and would warn me of any possible intruder. Also, I keep a light or torch handy, just in case the power gets cut off, something that can occasionally happen.
Where we live in France ( not French), our doors are open at night; that is how safe it is, but the very few times my husband has not been here at night, I lock ALL the doors and am so thankful that our home is small enough, that no one can hide easily. I also check before locking the doors, because one just never knows and it seems the house comes alive at night. I HATE turning my back to the bedroom door, because I get a sense of a hand touching my back.

I think really, it is prudence at play and that is how I view it.
Well I live alone so I'm always home alone, aside for the cat. Benefits of living in a tiny flat though, I can see into every room from the sofa. Not that strange noises ever worried me even when I lived in my parents house, it was always either the cats or wildlife. I don't like big houses regardless, they're just uncomfortable and unreasonably high maintenance. My solution was to move out.
My question would be: are you afraid of ghosts? I don't believe they exist, given that in order for them to be able to reach into the world as we know it, theyd have to leave palpable evidence. There is no scientific evidence for such a thing, the TV shows using devices to track their energy and images are basically directed and fake, just for entertainment.
@Rexi yep, the existence of ghosts would, like so many 'paranormal' things, be incredibly easy to prove in a replicable, empiricle way if they actually existed. And yet any supposed 'evidence' is always anecdotal, un-scientific, or blatantly fake. They don't exist.
My question would be: are you afraid of ghosts? I don't believe they exist, given that in order for them to be able to reach into the world as we know it, theyd have to leave palpable evidence. There is no scientific evidence for such a thing, the TV shows using devices to track their energy and images are basically directed and fake, just for entertainment.

I have no particular beliefs in either direction with that. On one hand, sure. No scientific evidence. On the other hand, I tend to think that many scientists are A: not quite as bright as they like everyone to believe (there's more than one type/form of intelligence, after all), and B: so incredibly laser-focused on certain ideas that anything else ricochets off their heads like a pinball. I dont think I've even once encountered someone who is the very scientific type that DOESNT have that second issue. Not once. I find this moderately odd. And moderately annoying. Almost universally leads to certain behavior patterns that test my nonexistent patience a bit too much.

I prefer to simply apply my own warped reasoning to any given situation. That reasoning usually leads me to one simple truth: that I dont know the bloody answer. Nowhere near enough data. No way to acquire enough data... not even close. Not with the rather primitive tools that exist right now (and it's not like I have access to any of that stuff anyway). We cant even understand our own bodies (how pathetic is that?), or get off of this one accursed rock that we call a planet. We are NOT qualified to think we've tackled (or even scratched) the mysteries of life and death (or other, even deeper mysteries/concepts/whatever). The very idea is absurd (at least to me). May as well try to solve all the mysteries of quantum physics on a hyperbolic plane by jabbing the air with a broken pencil. Would have about the same level of actual effectiveness.

...Also I dont really care enough. Just.... feh. Boring. I lose interest very, very fast on a topic like that. Heck, I'm spacing out while typing this.

And that's the extent of my thoughts on ghosts. TLDR: Heck if I know, heck if I care... really not interested. However, if I were to find that they exist, I have no reason to believe that they'd be hostile. That'd be like me assuming that a pack of ducks is evil. Ducks are bloody weird to me, but that doesnt mean they are BAD. They're just ducks. They are what they are. I guess they could be annoying, maybe.

No, the things that actually scare me are all things that present as known threats. Intruders for instance. Or, in this area, the roaming coyote packs... I sure wouldnt want to run into one of those, yet they are frequent around here. They arent evil either, but unlike ducks, they ARE very dangerous. Everyone around here knows not to underestimate them.
Interesting ideas. I believe we tackled the near death experiences explanations and also hallucinations. Jabbing air is ineffective but also might as well believe in dragons or anything until forever, when one actually has proof they don't exist which is unable to be brought about because the more one studies and finds answers, the more the area of the unknown and more questions arise for future exploration, thats the way science makes way for new and new mysteries. But its safe to say until they are proven to exist theres no reason to believe they are real just because of stories.

If the classic definition of them attacking people would be true then it would leave scratches in the world on a person or a house, since that hasnt come true its fair to say the chances for it existing is at a level inside peoples perceptions or minds. If even. For that we have explanations such as delusions. Also, people have been making up stories about afterdeath for as long as people have been, because its not comfortable to believe one day it will all end, or people need explanations for what they can't understand, it can be scary just like you said about the ducks, and will make them up through stories and theories.

Yeah intruders would be my biggest fear probably, but if i feared coyotes i would lock myself up. Fair to say intruders dont make 'wooo wooo' noises generally but coyotes might, but maybe not upstairs. They might not be likely to attack, more so run but good to be safe. The house seems old and odd thought, probably belongs to poor people or is just a vacation house.

When can you go home?
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thats sad though, your friends are having fun but you're having the scare of your life. Why cant you go with them and hang around doing your own thing in a separate room or nearby in a more quiet place? I usually get away with playing with my phone in reclusion or at the table. But i feel it would be best if they all stayed with you or take turns going to the lake house. But im not sure you feel safe telling them your fears or if it is safe to do

Ill just say youve been very brave, though. Such things can be very scary to deal with alone. I dont like houses, i prefer apartments and when i visit a house in an area where theres a creeper following us with his car and stopping when we go another way just to look at us, and a neighbour who put a mannequin as a scare crow, stuff gets scary in that big house.
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I occasionally get a little spooked when I'm alone at night. We live in a rural area that is fairly isolated.

Consider turning on all the lights before dark. If the house has a security system or burglar alarm system, then turn it on when you're alone. Use photo-sensitive nightlights that automatically turn on at dusk. Turn on outdoor lights on porches and exterior doors and leave them on all night. It is well documented that light deters burglars. It is easier for criminals to sneak around dark houses with dark yards so light up everything you can.
I agree with Rexi's analysis. From the scientific angle ghosts, etc have never been proven true. Studies however do show that stray noises and spooky environments act as catalysts for the imagination which create the fears in our mind.

I have anxiety too, and it can really be powerful, so I am on anxiety meds which help greatly. But during increased stressful times I sometimes have to increase my meds to get reasonable again. Don't know if you are on meds, not everyone likes them, but it may be something to consider. At night I do a specific security check to make sure doors are locked, garage closed etc. I leave some lights on thru out the house. When alone for the evening sometimes I turn on background light music. I have dogs which helps. Perhaps when they go away they can leave the dog next time, or get your own.
I use my phone flashlight if I have to go investigate a noise. I always close my bedroom door while sleeping, because seeing the dark hallway is super creepy for me. You can buy motion sensitive lights for pretty cheap so maybe you could put some of those around (although I personally would worry about them randomly turning on while I'm not moving). I'm glad that I almost never have to sleep on the first floor because then I'm way more worried about intruders or weird bugs than if I'm on the second floor or higher of a building.
For starters, perhaps the OP should be as explicit as they can possibly be in describing the sound they heard, apart from how often- and when it happens, and whether it is only heard when they retreat to the basement. You might even consider attempting to record such sounds.

I would refrain from interpreting such a thing as being paranormal in nature, but rather exhaust all the earthly possibilities first. And there are quite a few, particularly in older buildings.

From little you've explained, I'd be inclined to lean more towards the possibility of animal intrusion in your floors and walls. Everything from vermin to mammals like raccoons which can cause quite a lot of damage apart from make a lot of noise in spaces one wouldn't think possible. If such sounds occur methodically when you leave an upper floor and go into the basement, it may reflect that such creatures simply feel more comfortable at moving around more as your presence is no longer sensed by them.

As for other random sounds, in a large and old home like that even a small current of air can make some exotic sounds at times. (My own front door in particular.) Though as someone else posted, you want to make sure your home is locked up to eliminate the possibility of criminal intruders as well.

Start with the obvious before moving onto the less explainable.
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Start a ghost thread! I don't believe in ghosts but I have had some weird experiences in life that seem unlikely to have been mere coincidence.

They already exist in this forum. Where I've posted a few of my own paranormal experiences, both solicited and unsolicited. Like others I once had no such beliefs. A perspective I lost when I became an eye-witness to such unsolicited phenomena that neither myself or science can explain.

Though with this thread, I read into it more a case of "Billy The Exterminator" than "Ghost Adventures". :p

Let's see what the OP has to offer in terms of more information...and attempt to debunk such occurrences by addressing the obvious or most likely first.
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