There's nothing that fills a mother with joy like the sound of a happy child singing, unless it's 3am and your children are sound asleep.
That's exactly what happened to one mother living in the Bramford Road area of Ipswich. Speaking to the Ipswich Star, she described the eerie voices echoing around the outside of her house like "something from a horror movie". She said, "the first time I heard it it was the most terrifying thing ever, I went cold and felt sick, and thought 'what on earth was that?'"
The mother of two was woken up in the middle of the night by the creepy nursery rhyme several times over a period months of torment. She was understandably terrified by the creepy rendition of "it's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring".
Although this story has every element required for a supernatural horror, this case is more normal than paranormal. The woman, who doesn't want to be named, reported the unsettling song to the local council. They sent a team to investigate the next time the song was heard and tracked it down to a nearby business park.
It turns out that the haunting tune was actually a custom alarm tone of a security system for a nearby business. The company owner said that the song which had been echoing across the business park and the surrounding area was meant to act as a deterrent for opportunistic thieves when the system detected movement.
The reason the alarm had been unnerving the mother for so many months was because spiders, attracted by the infrared night vision light source, had been crawling across the lenses of the cameras and triggering the security system's motion detection alarm.
In a press release, Ipswich Borough Council said, "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."
"We took a call around midnight and immediately went to the Bramford Road area to find out more - we did hear the nursery rhyme playing from an industrial premises and it sounded very eerie at that time of night. We appreciate that people living nearby would find it quite spooky."
Now that the business owner is aware of the spider problem, the motion detector has been tweaked and the volume of the alarm has been lowered, so it shouldn't happen again.
1. Ring Around The Rosie
In the 1981 movie, 'The Evil Dead', Linda sings a creepy rhyme to the tune of 'Ring Around The Rosie', "we're gonna get you, we're gonna get you. Not another peep, time to go to sleep." But even without the change of lyrics, the tune has sinister undertones as it's a about the Great Plague of London in 1665.
2. Round And Round The Garden
There's nothing sinister about this nursery rhyme at all, but when the lyrics are recited out of context, slowly and with a gruff voices, the innocent song gets a whole lot creepier as we learnt in the 1992 BBC drama, 'Ghostwatch'.
3. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
This rhyme is traditionally sung by young girls while skipping or playing jump-rope. The ditty got a new lease of life when it was used in the 'Nightmare On Elm Street' movie series, although the lyrics were changed to include a mention of Freddy Krueger, "one, two, Freddy's coming for you."
4. Three Little Pigs
In the movie version of Stephen King's 'The Shining', just before Jack Nicholson's character hacks his way through a door with an axe, he teases his family with a chilling rendition of a line from the nursery rhyme, "little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair on your chinny-chin chin? Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and blow your house in!"
5. O Willow Waly
The the 1960s British horror movie, 'The Innocents' features a chilling rendition of a song called 'O Willow Waly'. The only thing that really makes this song creepy is the haunting echo that has been added to the child singer's voice.