I remember first hearing about the “mysterious hum” of Taos, New Mexico first in the late 80s or early 90s, perhaps on Unsolved Mysteries.
And while the mysterious hum in Taos is in and if itself not so much terrifying as annoying, anyone who grew up in that decade can also tell you that anything plus Robert Stack’s voice and that freaky music could drive you to terror. (Remember the episode with L’Enfant and the man committed to a mental institution to escape kidnapper threats?)
As it turns out, the mysterious hum is not only something found in Taos. In the 90s when the show aired and the phenomenon gained national attention, there wasn’t much of an internet on which people with the same unexplainable and often dismissed issue could compare notes.
Then AOL came onto the scene, and soon in-home internet was a thing people had — and people with Morgellons disease and people who could hear the mysterious hum discovered one another. They weren’t just in Taos.
The same mysterious hum has been found to be plaguing residents near Bristol, England. And Largs, Scotland. NBC reports that locale is not the only thing distinguishing mysterious hum victims:
“The cases seem to have several factors in common: Generally, the Hum is only heard indoors, and it’s louder at night than during the day. It’s also more common in rural or suburban environments; reports of a hum are rare in urban areas, probably because of the steady background noise in crowded cities… Only about 2 percent of the people living in any given Hum-prone area can hear the sound, and most of them are ages 55 to 70, according to a 2003 study by acoustical consultant Geoff Leventhall of Surrey, England.”
Katie Jacques of Leeds, England said of the hum:
“It’s worst at night… It’s hard to get off to sleep because I hear this throbbing sound in the background. You’re tossing and turning, and you get more and more agitated about it.”
In England, stress over the mysterious hum has been linked to at least one suicide as well — but after more than 20 years of widespread reports and evidence that the hum is not just tinnitus, researchers are still no more able to explain why it’s driving so many people in so many places nuts.
Can you hear the mysterious hum, or have you ever heard it?