In addition to gunshot-like sounds, probably caused by the ground freezing and cracking(Frost quake or Cryoseism) last night, our homes were experiencing their own unique reaction to this recent cold and temperature change creating strange, sinnister noises while alarming residents across the region.
It appears there was a strange man entering many different homes and attic spaces last night in northwest Indiana. He has recently been identified by local inspectors.
His name is Old Man Winter!
As the temperature outside drops the air can become extremely dry and dense causing building materials like concrete, steel, and wood to contract, or shrink. The temperature of the concrete, or block foundation will remain consistent with the exterior grounds while the wood framing members and structure of the house above can get colder with the decrease in outdoor temperature. When nails, bolts, and screws that join wood framing members shrink they can slip creating loud pinging sounds. This pinging sound gets amplified in the attic as it bounces off the cold attic sheathing(roof underlayment) explaining the unidentifiable attic noises residents were hearing last night.
In addition, intersection points in wood framing such as attic rafters or trusses that rest on support walls, exterior walls that rest on the foundation, and even decks attached to house are all areas that are susceptible to movement, shifting, and loud noises. In most cases, these noises are harmless and are typical signs of minor movement due to drastic temperature and humidity changes.
How does this phenomena explain the ghost I heard walking around on the inside of the house last night?
First of all, everyone knows ghosts don’t walk, they float.
Secondly, its likely the creaking noises were caused by the dry, tightened flooring in the house which is a result of excessively running the furnace during the colder winter months. We recommend installing a whole house humidifier onto the furnace. These inexpensive units can be found at the local hardware store and will correct the humidity level in your home while allowing the homeowner the opportunity to control their own humidity level as the seasons change.
Read more about humidifiers https://www.nwihomeinspections.com/whole-house-humidifiers/