Mysterious noises in the nighttime

If you've ever lived in an old house, you know about the strange noises. Sometimes you hear these creaks and cracks and you wonder just what's going on. Last Saturday night on the farm, just before drifting off to sleep, there was this . . . um, intermittent scratching sound coming from the hallway outside the bedroom.  At first, I wrote it off as: 1) the wind, 2) the propane heater, or 3) the cat. Then I realized: 1) the wind wasn't blowing, 2) the heater only makes that sound for a second when it first comes on, and 3) the cat was on the bed.

That's when a sort of panic set in.

I jumped out of bed and walked (ever so slowly and carefully) toward THE NOISE, which grew louder as I got closer to the hallway.

The noise was coming from the ceiling.

I looked up just as a smattering of dust came floating down. It was the sound of the dust hitting a notebook that was sitting in a box underneath the area of disturbance that was causing THE NOISE. As I stood watching for a few minutes, it became apparent that there was SOMETHING up there in the ceiling . . . and it wanted out.

Now, this is where it gets ever more weird. You see, as I watched the hole get bigger, I'm pretty sure that I saw brownish-grey fur.

I found a broomstick and used it to gently tap on the ceiling . . . gently because I didn't want to make a bigger hole if the ceiling tiles were rotten (in a house this old, you never know). I fully expected the "thing" to panic and run away, but instead, it just stopped making noise. I searched in vain for some duct tape (what proper farmer doesn't have duct tape? This one, apparently) but had to settle for postal packing tape, and placed a couple of layers over the hole.

Then I went back to bed and fell into a deep and strange sleep where I dreamed of things scratching in the walls. (Seriously.)

Looks like the next project is going to be replacing the walls and ceiling tiles in the hallway. :-p

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