Did my apartment "shift"? Or do I have a ghost?

My fiancee got back to our apartment recently at about 4 in the morning. As she was getting ready for bed, she heard a loud crash. Running into her roommate’s bathroom, she saw the shower curtain had fallen into the tub. Helpfully she put the thing back up, and almost immediately after she got it up, CRASH! The shower curtain in her bathroom had fallen!

At this point she got a big case o’ the willies, and was telling herself it was just a coincidence. Suddenly a big pile of dishes in the sink, which had been there for 24 hours began to settle loudly; the pile essentially collapsed on itself.

The dish thing sent my fiancee scurrying out of the apartment, convinced her place was cursed. I’m pretty weirded out by the story myself, but a friend last night offered an interesting hypothesis: the apartment building may have been “shifting” which led to these three things going off balance.

Is that a plausible explanation? We’re talking the first floor corner apartment in a three-story building. Anyone with enough construction mojo to answer?

I’m stuck at figuring out exactly how a shower curtain makes a loud crashing noise, regardless of how it fell.

I once worked with two people who had the rear view mirrors on their cars fall off on the same morning.

In life, there are many coincidences that are just that.

Although I must admit, I’d be a liitle weirded out over the chance of 2 shower curtains detaching within minutes!

I think the rod made the sound.

You’d be more comforted by the idea of your apartment building shifting enough to cause this sort of thing? That would disturb me a lot more than the idea of a poltergeist.

Apparently, the OP is not in California, where wiggles, jiggles and things settling and even falling now and then are daily occurrences.

I can easily envision a building settling such that it grows ever so slightly (Bend anything and one side gets shorter and the other side gets longer) just enough for those press-fit (as opposed to the spring-loaded types) shower curtain rods to come loose. If the rods were loose to begin with, it only takes a tiny smidge more.


Happens all the time

Heh, point taken! And yes, it was the rod that crashed.

OP is in Texas. :smiley:

Buildings move all the time. If they didn’t, they would shatter. If you take an old dry stick, it snaps easily. Try the same thing with a piece of green wood and the damn things just bends, then goes back to where it was when you let go. It’s the same idea with buildings. If it bends and moves, it doesn’t break. Was it a particularly windy night? The building might have been shifting in the wind.

The house I grew up in was a few hundred yards from some train tracks. Whenever a train went by, dishes would move, all sorts of things would rattle, and in my neighbors house, pictures would often leap off of the walls. You could blame poltergeists if you wanted to, but it was really freight cars that caused it.

Since I grew up next to train tracks, my first question of course is are there any trains nearby? Other things can cause shaking as well, such as a truck driving by, or even the occasional earthquake. Small earthquakes happen all over the world. They may not be as frequent or as large as what you see in a typical day in California, but they do occur. You can also have mine or cavern subsidence underneath the ground that causes things to shift a bit.

You might want to check around the apartment for any sudden new cracks. New cracks, especially large ones, would make me want to call the landlord immediately and have someone take a look at the building and make sure that something nasty hasn’t happened to it structurally, like part of the foundation collapsing or something. If there aren’t any cracks in the plaster, then I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

Then again, you can always call Ghostbusters. They are ready to believe you.

Our last apartment shifted to the point where the doors had to be planed down several times to close, the window elements were visibly straining outwards, and the ceiling over the door was resting on Pepper Mill’;s St. Bridget’s Cross. But we never had anything capsize or fall over. we just got the hell out of there before the St. Bridget’s cross was the only thing holding the place up.

(To our astonishment, the place [still hasn’t come down.)

When that stuff happens in the henhouse, it’s called poultrygeist.

The train tracks are a good half-mile away at the bottom of the hill, so it’s probably not that. Been too long to remember whether the night was windy. No cracks - I actually did look for those.

I’ll probably just chalk it up to spooky weirdness and hope it’s a one-time thing!

Or it could be weird spookiness, which often comes in sets of three. Then the only question to be answered would be whether the three things that night constitute a full set of three, or just one collective “incident”, meaning there are two more yet to occur. :eek:

Earthquakes can occur anywhere, and small ones can produce effects like that, but even those small ones would make the news. You could go to the USGS site to check just for fun.