‘Tortured’ villagers plagued by mystery hum lasting for months

Calderdale Council has carried out an investigation to find source of sound and says inquiries are ongoing

Matt Mathers
Thursday 14 October 2021 12:35 BST
Locals say sound is affecting their health
Locals say sound is affecting their health (Tim Green aka atoach/Creative Commons)

Lack of sleep, headaches and “pressure to the front of the head,” are just some of the side-effects reported by residents of Holmfield, Halifax, who say they are being “tortured” by a low-level humming sound coming from an unknown source in their village.

Locals believe the troubling low-frequency noise is coming from nearby industry units and has lasted for months. But following an investigation, Calderdale Council was less quick to draw conclusions.

Officials said their investigation identified “lots of potential sources”.

Villagers have started a petition calling for further inquiries amid fears the council has given up on the hunt to find the source of the mystery sound.

Residents of Holmfield say the noise, nicknamed the “Holmfield Hum”, is damaging their health.

"It’s causing issues for people such as lack of sleep, headaches and pressure to the front of the head, foggy brain, painful ears, stress and anxiety which has led to me having a case of shingles,” Yvonne Conner, who started the petition, told the BBC’s local democracy reporting service.

“Residents have been unable to relax in their own home for nearly a year. The noise is continuous day and night.”

Scott Patient, a Calderdale Council councillor, insisted in a recent cabinet meeting that investigations are ongoing.

He said the council has discounted some sources of the noise and is working with local authorities in a bid to solve the riddle.

The “Stop the Holmfield Hum” petition has so far garnered more than 450 signatures. It was set up some eight months ago but Ms Conner says the noise started nearly two years ago.

“The councils need to carry out low frequency noise measurements in and outside the [industrial] buildings and to detect the source by triangulation with a microphone array, which would actually pinpoint the exact source of the noise,” Ms Conner wrote in the petition.

She added: “Then hopefully the issues can be dealt with and residents including myself won’t be tortured everyday or feel their only solution is to move house.

“This issue needs addressing so people can get back to living a peaceful life in their own home.”

“I can hear the noise from my house, and it has gone on too long,” another resident said.

“Signing on behalf of my mum who lives in the area who is affected by this,” another woman wrote.

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