The Holmfield Hum: Mysterious Sound Continues Tormenting Residents One Year Later

CC0 / / loud noise
loud noise  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.10.2021
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Last April, Yvonne Conner woke up to a buzzing sound that failed to stop. After countless attempts to find the source of the sound, Yvonne began thinking she was suffering from some ailment, until she decided to post a question on Facebook asking whether other people had heard the noise too. It turned out they had.
A mysterious sound continues to torment the residents of the village of Holmfield in West Yorkshire in the UK a year after they started hearing it. Those who hear it say it starts at night and goes on throughout the day. One year on, several of those affected are suffering from migraines and insomnia.

One resident is said to have sold his home and moved to another place due to the sound, which has been dubbed by the media as "the Holmfield hum".

An official investigation conducted by the Calderdale Council failed to determine the source of the sound. Not everyone hears the hum. Yvonne Conner told the media that her partner thought she was going crazy when she started complaining about it.

Like two dozen other residents of Holmfield, she has been trying to find a solution to the conundrum, but to no avail. The 50-year-old revealed that she has to leave the village and travel to other parts of the United Kingdom every three months in order to get away from the hum. "Just so I could have a cup of tea in peace", she said.

Possible Causes

The issue has sparked numerous theories in the village, with people affected by the whirring sound suggesting that a nearby industrial park is to blame for it.

The situation is not unique, as the hum has been reported in other corners of the world – from Canada to Australia. Scientists infer that the noise is the product of growing urbanisation and could be a mix of sounds produced by heating systems, electrical lines, gas pipes, fans etc.

Some residents believe that the sound travels through the ground and comes from the Holmfield Industrial Estate.

"What I understand is there’s been a hum there for decades. But I’m convinced something happened during lockdown to make it far more pervasive. It’s travelling through the ground and reverberating up into people’s houses. That’s why you close your windows and it makes no difference. It’s inside already", said Simon Speechley, who has been suffering from headaches and insomnia ever since he started hearing the hum.

Meanwhile, 500 people have signed a petition demanding a thorough investigation of the issue.

"[The hum is] dividing people”, says Nikki Kelly, a Conservative council candidate for the ward. "But those residents who can hear it are at their wits’ end. I had one woman talking about suicide. We need a solution".

Dr Geoff Levenhall, an expert in noise, vibration, and acoustics, who has been studying the hum for decades says around two percent are affected by it, with those aged between 55 and 70 being most affected. Dr Levenhall suggests that while scientists are trying to solve the riddle, the individuals affected by the hum should learn to live with it.

"The advice I’ve been giving people for years is to sit back, relax and try and let the hum flow past you. If that requires [cognitive therapy], they should consider it. These sounds do exist in the world. There needs to be some co-existing with them", he said.

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