Things that go bang in the night.
Back when BAH and I were misspending our youths, we bought a house in Pueblo, Colorado. The house was Victorian only in the sense that it was of that age. It was small. It was two stories with a tiny little dirt floor basement, and a garage which was probably once a carriage house. I very much enjoyed that house. No hallways lived in that house, and the bedroom had no door, but just a stairway that ended there, in the bedroom. The result of having no door to the bedroom was that Mr. Kitty would wake me up by smacking me in the face, when he was hungry. He didn't use claws, at least. I would open my eyes in the morning and see nothing but cat, gigantic cat.
There was no air conditioner, just a swamp cooler, which was fine. We left the windows open all night in the summers. And some summer nights, horrific noises would emerge. Sometimes, it was from the railroad yards, this terrible screeching and banging that woke us in the night.
"The gates of hell are opening up again," we would say. Indeed, if there were a gate to hell, it would screech in just that way.
And then sometimes, there were earth-shattering rattlings and explosions heard in the far distance, and those were caused quite simply by the military bombing range west of town.
So, when I heard about the unexplained sounds and rattlings and explosions in Clintonville, Wisconsin, only one reason came to my mind:
The Gates of Hell have moved and taken up new residence in Clintonville.
I think our old friend Strunk is rolling over in his grave when he reads that 71 year old women are saying things like,
"My house shook and it was just like a shock. I got out of bed and was like `Wow.' I thought one of my trees fell onto the house."