A sinister recording of a children’s nursery rhyme being played repetitively late at night tormented a woman for over a year before investigators solved the mystery.
Alice Randle was one of several residents who heard the creepy rendition of “It’s raining, it’s pouring” coming from somewhere outside their homes on the outskirts of Ipswich.
Sometimes the tune played just once at 2am or 4am, but other times it repeated over and over again for hours.
The rhyme, which relates the story of an old man who bumped his head and couldn’t wake up, left Ms Randle frightened and questioning whether she was imagining things.
“It’s sung by what sounds like a very young child,” she told The Independent. “It’s very haunting, people have said it’s like something out of Freddie Krueger.”
Ms Randle, who has two children, first heard the nursery rhyme in September last year and initially tried to ignore it before finally calling Ipswich Borough Council in desperation two months ago.
“The last couple of months I’ve been quite committed to finding out what it was,” she said. “I’ve been out with a friend of mine, we went on a mission, calling local businesses.”
The council’s rapid response team drove out to the scene several times in an attempt to track down the noise only for it to fall silent before they got there.
They finally tracked it down when Ms Randle called in after being woken up by the same recording at 11.15pm on 10 September.
“It was only in the last couple of weeks that it started to play over and over again,” said Ms Randle. “I told them they would definitely hear it if they came this time.”
The team arrived at her home in Bramford Road 15 minutes later.
“We did hear the nursery rhyme playing and it sounded very eerie at that time of night,” a spokesperson for the council said.
The child’s voice was being played through a loudspeaker on a warehouse a few hundred yards away on the Farthing Road industrial estate.
“We don’t know at this stage why it is playing – it might be simply an alarm that is being triggered – but we will be visiting the operators to find out more,” the spokesperson added.
“We appreciate that people living nearby would find it quite spooky.”
Ms Randle said the owners of the site had told her that the nursery rhyme was being triggered by spiders.
“When they examined the motion sensors there were spiders and webs across it, so that’s how they know,” she added.
A spokesperson for the site told the Ipswich Star newspaper: “The sound is only supposed to act as a deterrent for opportunistic thieves that come onto our property, and it is designed only to be heard by people on our private land.
“We are now aware of the problem – the motion sensors were being triggered by spiders crawling across the lenses of our cameras and it looks like we’ve had it turned up too loudly.
“We’ve spoken to the resident who brought it to our attention and adjusted it so this should not happen again.”
Spiders and other insects are said to be responsible for 30 per cent of false burglar alarms, according to a survey of homeowners by the charity Which? earlier this year.
“It’s a massive relief and I’m looking forward to getting some actual sleep from now on,” Ms Randle said. “The last week has been lovely.”
Ipswich council said it believed it was the first time a nursery rhyme was the source of a noise complaint.
“This is unique in our experience – it was difficult to believe a nursery rhyme would be playing in the middle of the night.
“But we do take all complaints extremely seriously and asked the residents who contacted us to let us know when it was actually playing so we could investigate properly.
“Our environmental health team does respond very quickly whenever we can – we do have an out-of-hours service – and we urge people to get in touch if they are troubled by any noise nuisance.
“It is usually loud music or shouting from neighbours.”