Creepy Cricket Silence...and Shuffling...(long)

Last night about eleven o’clock I stepped out for a cigarette. Down the basement stairs and through the dark garage I went, anticipating my second-to-last smoke of the day. It was chilly outside and the only light came from a white gibbous moon. The house faces west with the garage and driveway on the south, or left, end. Our neighbors diagonally across from us (to the left) have only one eave light that they leave on at night and it faces directly out our house, much to my consternation. However, the past few nights they haven’t had it on. It’s a dark suburban street, no streetlights. Just the moon this night.
It’s an excellent night, then, cool and dim with no annoying spotlight from across the road. As I light my cig, I think how wintery it all feels. Quiet, cool and moonlit.
Reflecting on the stillness, I realize that it’s awfully quiet. Here, in October, it shouldn’t be so quiet. The crickets, cicadas and whatever other insects like to make nocturnal racket normally go strong until the weather gets permanently cold around November when most of the leaves have come down.
I find this development intriguiging and listen harder.
The usual sounds are this: hickory nuts and branches falling on to the driveway and roof of our house and those nearby. Branches break and fall from the night-time animals still moving about. My feet crackle over fallen leaves and pop the fallen hickory nuts. A large hickory branches over the driveway and the roof. He drops a lot of nuts and twigs that stain the driveway. Also, there’s the occasional owl and dog who barks at passing possums and foxes.

What stood out was a rustling noise that sounded at first like someone had left a sprinkler on for the night that was spraying a driveway or housewall. I like this kind of sound because I like to hear the pattern. However, this time I couldn’t quite discern a pattern. Odd, I thought.

About an hour later, I went out for my very last cigarette of the night. Everything in the neighborhood remains quiet except for the rustling. But the rustling has become a shuffling that sounds like it is coming from behind our yard.
Our back yard goes for mabye 35 or 40 yards into a thin line of woods behind which is the back yard of the next house. This line of woods is approximately 10 yards wide and runs the length of our road and the road parallel behind us, about a sixth of a mile. The trees are very tall and little grows under them except for may-apples and tree sprouts. The trees are not thick and underneath them lay many seasons of old leaves and dropped branches. It’s a very crackly environment.
So, as I smoke my last cigarette of the night, I hear a loud, constant shuffling from the woody area between backyards. And it is very loud.
It sounded like someone dragging a large fallen tree limb through a leafy yard. It was loud, broad and somewhat regular. Like this: shuf-shuf-SHUFFFFFF. But I couldn’t discern footsteps from the shuffling. As long as it lasted it should have gotten farther away, but it sounded like it was constantly behind the house, like it was backtracking and then going forward. All the time the insects did not make any noise whatsoever. A few dogs barked more than usual.

I’ve never been so creeped out in my own neighborhood. I couldn’t get back inside fast enough, and when I did I watched out the window of the garage door for a while to see if something would appear. Nothing did.

For the record, the neighborhood insects have resumed their usual chorus tonight. I have no idea what would make an entire block of insects stop chirping. I’m not a superstitious person, so I think there must be a perfectly logical explanation. But I still found the experience disturbing. Make of it what you will, and I apologize for my poor writing ability.

A large tree limb…

or a BODY?!?!

Skunk. I get 'em in the leaves behind my building, and I’m in an apartment in the Bronx. (OK, it’s across the street from a gigantic park).

And a happy Halloween to you, Hung! What you heard was probably “IT”, witch probably only appears around Oct. 31. Be afraid. :eek:

First, draw a pentagram with charcoal on your back porch.

Next, make a small cut in your left palm, and gather the resultant blood in a recepticle of your choice (a Teletubbies microwave-safe bowl is ideal, BTW).

Place the bowl in the middle of the pentagram while chanting the “Lord’s Prayer” backwards.

Let us know what happens. :eek:

I like to think it was the unholy spirit of Charles Bundy, my childhood “friend” come back to visit. And slaughter small mammals. But, like I said before, I’m not a superstitious guy.
Superstitious or no, something made the bugs stay silent. That’s what I find odd.