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Freaky Friday

I know I’m supposed to be writing about haunted universities – and I was, until I was writing about marbles.  But it’s not my fault – really!  I found two different stories about ghosts and marbles when I was researching the universities.  Ghosts and marbles!  Whoever heard about that combination?  Well, apparently, you are going to learn about it now.

The first odd story about ghost marbles come from an entry in Unexplained Mysteries where Ashyne writes: In my country (Singapore), as 80% of the population lives in HDB (government housing) apartment units, there is a long history of unexplained occurrences, one of the most common would be the ghostly marbles phenomenon.

Ask any Singaporean who lives in HDB units, and more than 1 in 5 will tell you of hearing the sound of falling/dropping marbles from the unit above them. Some might attribute this to the residents above playing with marbles, but in some cases, there are no residents living above (empty unit), or there are only elderly people, or in most cases, no children who could be playing with marbles.

So where do these sounds of dropping marbles come from? The sounds recorded across the country are very similar, starting as a loud ‘crack crack’, followed by softer and less audible ‘pok tok pok tok pok tok’ sounds.

I remember in my youth when I was living in another HDB unit (3rd floor), and there were no people living directly above us at all, but every night, without fail, I would hear the marbles dropping against the floor. Sometimes there would be the sounds of more than one marble, sometimes they sounded like lots of pebbles falling to the floor.

The sounds were always really loud, in most cases across the country. Strangely, I have asked people from other countries who, too, live in high-rise apartments but none of them ever reported hearing such marble-falling sounds, so this phenomenon seems to be localized in my country only.

One of my friends told me that she hears the marbles falling throughout the day, and she has even lodged a police report against the residents living in the unit above hers, but when police interviewed the neighbors, they kept saying that they did not possess any marbles, let alone played with them.

I know there are plenty of Singaporeans on this forum, so if you’re one of them, please share your experiences with us.

I would also like opinions on this, as even the government has failed to come up with a satisfactory answer (the government says this could be caused by water flowing through pipes, but few people believe this is the case).

The University of Northern Colorado has a famous ghost and marble combination. This is what they write in an article called “The Ghosts of UNC” Edith is probably the most famous ghost on campus, maybe because she haunts two dormitories: Wiebking and Wilson.

They’ll tell you the story of Edith, a shy, awkward resident assistant, who became the butt of many jokes at the dorm. One April Fools’ Day, the students removed all the furniture from her room. It was devastating for Edith.

For some reason no one knows, she would go into the attic and play with marbles, dropping and rolling them across the floor. On spring break that year, when all of the students were gone, Edith became more depressed and she went to the attic and hanged herself.

There is no historical proof of Edith’s death, but students say they hear the marbles, that she changes the channels on their TV sets, and moves their furniture while they sleep.

Katy Harris, a student living at Wiebking, has heard “something in the ceiling … it sounds sort of like marbles. When others were asked about it, one of them said, “Oh my God, yes, it’s the ghost!”

Another student at Wiebking, Hilary Ashworth, hasn’t heard the marbles, but she’s seen suspicious shadows in her room. “I can feel a presence there sometimes,” she said. “Something you can’t see, but you can feel it is there.”

For the record, Wiebking Hall was named for an Edith. Edith Gale Wiebking was an emeritus faculty member, associate dean of women, and director of student housing, who died in 1968. She never lived in Wiebking or Wilson Hall and was never an RA there. The ghost was named Edith by someone, years ago, and every student in Wiebking and Wilson knows of Edith.

East Tennessee University has another marble-toting ghost.  According to East TN Ghost Tours, his nickname is Marble Boy. The Lucille Clement Resident Hall is believed to be haunted by several spirits, one being that of a young boy who died in an elevator several years back. This young boy inherited the nickname, Marble Boy because he likes to drop his marbles on the floor of the rooms in the dorm. Telling him to stop only angers him & then he drops all his marbles on the floor. He was also known to turn TV sets off and on, or change the channel, and to turn on the water faucet. Two witnesses reported a bottle of soda went flying through the air for no reason at all.

A Reddit poster called wishfulthinkr had some ghost and marbles troubles of her own. This is what she wrote: I just wanted to share this little weird experience with everyone. A few years ago, I married and moved into a rental duplex. My husband is a marine and had deployed to Afghanistan about 6 months after we moved in. While he was away I started to notice a weird noise in the ceiling over my bed. It sounded like someone had dropped a marble and it bounced a couple of times. Then it would roll around. It would stop and then roll again. The weird thing is that the attic floor was covered in insulation, so the floor had padding. I couldn’t figure out what it could be. I would be talking on skype with my husband and it would drop, sometimes really hard like it was heavier than a marble, so he actually heard it and didn’t think I was crazy anymore. One time it was so loud it sounded like a hammer and like it was being dragged. I was beyond freaked and was convinced something was up there, but I would look, and nothing would be out of place. There wasn’t anything up there but some bags of clothes. I thought it might be something in the air vents, but it would do it even when the air was off. The maintenance guy came by to fix something, so I decided to ask him about it. He even looked up in the attic and he couldn’t figure out what it could be making a noise like that. My friends would always freak out when they would come visit and we called it the Ghost Marble and just laugh about it. Sometimes I would hear it coming from under the sink in the bathroom. Sometimes it would be in the living room ceiling and sometimes the spare bedroom wall. My friend sent me a link to a show paranormal witness where they described what sounded like pebbles in their wall and that was the closest thing I had heard to what I had experienced. Has anyone ever heard of anything similar?

As luck would have it – yes, quite a few people had similar experiences:

Flaundy wrote: I live in Malaysia and we were aware of marbles being dropped in the apartment above us… and of children running about when no children lived there. It was noisy and irritating, and I’d already complained to the neighbors who said they had neither marbles nor children. I was complaining to one of my Chinese friends about them being so inconsiderate when I could clearly hear all this, as could my husband and any guest.  She told me this was common and to check it out on the internet. The link connects you to an entire website devoted to strange marble sounds in Singapore.

Finally, in a New York City forum, the marble dropping phenomenon continues. Buffman33 wrote: I found this thread by googling because I have been experiencing this exact same marble noise described here. I live in an apartment in San Francisco and several times a day I hear this marble or steel ball noise. I always assumed it was a dog w/a toy until I met a neighbor who lives in the floor above me on the other side of the building who told me they also hear this marble noise! They also told me they hear a wooden chair/desk floor scraping noise and I hear that exact same thing. Someone else in this thread described that chair scraping sound.

How bizarre, but I am convinced it’s not a dog or even a real ball – but has something to do with the pipes. I know what that water pipe knocking sound is, and this is not that. It sounds exactly like what a marble dropping from a nightstand height on a concrete floor would sound like.

I didn’t see posted it here but there is a Singapore site dedicated to this phenomenon – The Singapore Marble Dropping Mystery.
I seriously doubt there is a marble ghost, but I did spend a fair amount of time in Singapore so maybe it followed me home.

Yes, maybe it did, and it brought its marbles with him.

Happy Friday!

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  1. Shawn
    October 21, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Terri,
    I’m a California resident and I have been finding marbles in my house for the past 2 years.My husband and I don’t have kids ,nor do we own any marbles.Usually I find them on the doormat on my back deck outside ,in front of a sliding glass door,but I’ve found several in the house as well.I don’t know if it is a spirit or a human playing tricks on me,but as of now I have 37 marbles.Usually I’ll find one to two marbles at a time.My friends and neighbors all swear they are not the perpetrators.The marble activity does cease when I set up a nest camera,but it resumed when I put the camera away.Who ever is leaving the marbles is not afraid of my large dogs.I live in a small “cottage neighborhood “ where all the houses are very close to the road and my neighbors are vigilant about strangers and have said they didn’t see anyone they didn’t know when the activity has happened.Also the activity happens when we are not home,that is,we come home to find the marbles,with the exception of one time when I found 3 marbles in my living room when I got out of the shower.Whoever is doing this is so stealthy that I’m beggining to entertain the possibility that it could be a spirit!

    • Terri Reid
      December 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Hi Shawn!
      I’m sorry it took so long for me to find your post – I just saw it today!!! How weird that you would have marbles left all around your house. I also found it weird that marbles were a paranormal phenomenon – who knew? I know it’s been a couple of months since you posted (sorry again!!!) but I hope you solved your problem – or, on a brighter note – you have an amazing collection!!!! Thanks for posting!!! Terri

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