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Observations placeholder

The Hum



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


This may be real - a sound!! but it shows that the potential exists to obtain sound from earth forces.  If it is at this low a frequency it will be acting to resonate the organs of the brain and producing experiences.

So we may have two things happening here - hallucinations from earth forces and also sound some people can really hear from earth forces.

Conversion of heat to sound, or light to sound, or mechanical movement of the earth’s crust to sound, or telluric current to sound is taking place in many structures and natural formations and actually produces an audible hum

Examples of sites with a historic record of having rocks that naturally hum  include places such as Delphi, Long Meg and her Daughters in Cumbria, Carn Ingli [Hill of Angels] in Pembrokeshire; Mount Tamalpais in San Francisco and the Hindu Tirthas

One of the oddest sources for a humming noise is the earth itself, the phenomenon being called  ‘The Hum’ The Hum produces a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming noise not audible to all people and thus likely to be in the infrasound range. The fact that it is infrasound is supported by the fact that many perceive vibrations that can be felt through the body; and that earplugs are reported as not decreasing the Hum. Hums have been reported in only a few very specific geographical locations and it is clear that hums can come and go. Examples include

  • A Hum on the Big Island of Hawaii, which has been associated with volcanic action and which can heard in locations dozens of miles apart.
  • the "Bristol Hum" - In Britain, the most famous example was the Bristol hum that made headlines in the late 1970s.
  • the "Taos Hum"  - a study by the University of New Mexico was instigated by complaints from many citizens living near the town of Taos, New Mexico
  • the "Bondi Hum"
  • the Auckland Hum - On 15 November 2006, Dr. Tom Moir of the Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand made a recording of the Auckland Hum and has published it on the university's website. The captured hum's power spectral density peaked at a frequency of 56 hertz
  • the “Woodland hum” - On June 9th, 2011, it was reported that residents of the village of Woodland, England were experiencing a hum that had already lasted for over two months.


A description of the experience

From TINNITUS, L. Sheppard and C. Sheppard, Norfolk Tinnitus Society, 1993 -   The Phenomenon of Low Frequency Hums

 Sufferers report that the noise is quite unlike that of tinnitus as it does not emanate from within the head or ears and to many of  them it appears to reach them through walls, floors, and ceilings when inside, and externally when outside.  It causes them considerable stress and loss of sleep which greatly lowers the quality of life.  The long term effects of such exposure have yet to be documented. . . .

A sufferer from Leicester whose daughters and herself are all suffering badly from the noise writes "at all hours of the day and night we roam around the area trying to locate the source."

Being unable to sleep in the house when the noise is particularly bad, she is forced to sleep in the garden shed, the only place in her home where she is free of the problem. . . .

 This phenomenon is not by any means confined to Britain for I personally know that it exists in Italy, Canada and Spain [and the U.S.] and probably worldwide. . . .

It is all too easy to point to the possibilities of some aural disfunction -- this is the standard explanation from most of the medical profession.  But it is pointed out that these sufferers from "The Hum" are able to find certain places in which they do not experience the noise any time.  This is very different from the experience of anyone with tinnitus in which the noises are with them wherever they may be.

It seems to me that one very reasonable explanation might be that certain people may have an extension of the normal spectrum of hearing, and if this extension leans toward the lower range of frequencies they may well be picking up some noise which others cannot hear as it is beyond the range of normal hearing.

There have been reports of "Hummers" going into deep limestone caves such as exist in Cheddar and Wookey Hole when the noise completely ceases -- a further indication that this is no fantasy.

 Whilst noise experts admit to being completely baffled, thousands of people continue to suffer from the phenomenon and are being made ill by untraceable sounds which the other members of their families cannot hear at all. . . .

  ........What would cause an otherwise perfectly normal man to sleep on a local park bench during many of the late Spring and Summer nights? Or to camp out in Market Square whilst his wife brings him food and drink during the day?  The answer to this and much more lies in the Phenomenon of Low Frequency Noise, which is being reported by many thousands of people in this country [Great Britain].  In this particular case this man's local park and his city centre are two locations he has discovered in which these mysterious noises do not trouble him.

This problem has been known for at least two decades yet still remains a mystery although the number of complaints have increased at an alarming rate.

 It has been authoritatively stated that many thousands of people all over the country are complaining of being plagued by this noise. This may well be a conservative estimate, for amongst a wealth of personal reports on my own files many of these people are stating that they find it best not to say anything to others about it in case they may be regarded as "mad" or "weird".  There must be a host of unreported cases.

 Although not a sufferer, I personally became aware of the phenomenon around 1986 when the media reported a number of complaints of a low pitched humming sound in the small village of Worlingham in Suffolk.  I am aware that there existed reports of this problem much earlier than this.

I spent a whole day in Worlingham at the time and interviewed a considerable number of these people.  My tentative suggestion that perhaps some of them were suffering from a low frequency type of tinnitus was met on all sides with adamant rejection.  They were quite certain that the noise they were hearing was not in their head or ears but was reaching them externally. 

 All were articulate, sensible people, and in no way "cranky" or unusual.  Of the people I interviewed there was a fairly even distribution of both men and women from all walks of life.  Although I have had tinnitus for many years, quite frankly I could hear nothing of the kind of noise they seemed to be experiencing, yet even as I spoke to them many were obviously being greatly disturbed by something.

….I have received numerous reports on the matter not only from Britain but from several foreign countries as well.   I do not think that anyone would dispute the fact that this phenomenon exists and that everyone should be made aware of the fact that it is causing untold misery to many thousands of people. Yet despite many attempts no one has yet been able to trace the source and prove it.  It has become popularly known as "The Hum" and those suffering from it are known as "Hummers".

 In 1989 these people, finding that nothing was being done except for spasmodic reports appearing in various newspapers etc from time to time and leading nowhere, formed their own Society in Britain known as the Low Frequency Noise Sufferers Association and today they appear to have a large membership.  Not only do they keep in contact with each other by means of a regular newsletter, but I also know that many of them have their own private circles and these people regularly phone one another comparing intensities and other current features of the noise.

 It is an interesting point that from a report of a Conference on "The Hum" held at The Royal Society of Medicine, London, on the 25th of November 1989 it appears that the majority of people suffering from the problem state that the noise appears to have two differing components -- a straightforward "hum" plus another lower frequency modulation. 

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Experiencing earth forces


Deafness and tinnitus