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Things That Go Bump In The Night

Updated on January 3, 2013

Welcome to Things That Go Bump In The Night

This light-hearted lens is devoted to all manner of things that go bump in the night.

You know -- those crazy creatures that camp out under your bed, those weird wunderkins up in the attic, or those dastardly demons down in the cellar (who only make their appearance when it's pitch black, you forgot where you put your flashlight, and you could swear the dog ate your glow-stick). On the other hand, it could just be a bumbling beast like Eeyore.

Of course, you're not scared of the dark, even a little bit are you? Why? Because hiding under the covers just isn't your thing. Besides, those creepy critters are your best friends.


Image Credit:

The last thing that went bump in the night, - I'm sorry to say, is no longer with us -- may he Rest In Peace.

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT - What the devil does this expression mean?

The funny phrase, "things that go bump in the night", means any frightening but imagined supernatural events.

In other words, visits from alarming aliens, mean-looking monsters, or terrifying trolls -- really scary stuff.

Even more to the point, often you haven't got a hot clue why "they" have decided to become your new best friend (or foe), where "they" really come from, what surprises "they" have in store for you, how you should handle "them", and when "they" are going to leave.

What do you mean it's all in my head and not to worry about them? Get a grip, they're coming for me...I can hear them galumphing and giggling!


Image Credit: Blue Beast illustration -

Things That Go Bump In The Night Poll

Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?

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THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT - Origin of the phrase

According to one authoritative source, the earliest known example of the phrase in print is in the 1918 in the "Bulletin of the School Oriental and African Studies":

"To a people ... who ... believe in genii, ghosts, goblins, and those terrific things that 'go bump in the night', protective charms are eagerly sought for."

That usage suggests that the author expected his readers to be familiar with the phrase. Around the same time the phrase was incorporated into a prayer:

From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties

And things that go bump in the night

Good Lord, deliver us!

This was recorded in "The Cornish and West Country Litany", 1926, but it quite likely to be much earlier.

Truth-minded tots and frightfully factual folk delight in using logic, reason, and science to dispel the notion that aliens, ghosts, monsters or unidentified flying objects even exist. According to these sees-all-knows-all types, everything can be accounted for...there are no surprises. "Things that go bump in the night" are merely fanciful or frightening figments of an overactive imagination. Clearly, these spoil sports put a damper on campfire entertainment not to mention a harrowing Halloween.


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What sort of things go bump in the night?

The Gremlin of Glitch, (who tends to keep a low profile except when it comes to electronic gadgets and gizmos) is said to be responsible for all sorts of mysterious mishaps that occur during the depths of the night, the wee hours of morning, or well...practically any time that the spirit moves him to play dirty tricks on hapless homo sapiens just to amuse himself.

Entertaining examples of the Gremlin's work include:

1. A refrigerator on the fritz (its purrs, hums, and wheezes at 1:42 am are designed to drive one batty particularly when there is no service repair person to be had within 200 miles of the damn icebox, and unplugging it from the wall socket will create a frigging flood which means Noah's Ark will be full and won't even take your gold credit!)

2. A TV remote control (with a mind of its own that takes over the heating, lighting, and entertainment system in one's home at 4:00 am)

3. A pre-programmed noisy garburator (with an insatiable appetite for left-over pizza, half-devoured brussel sprouts, and oodles of orange peels that doesn't begin its digestive cycle until one is on the verge of drifting off to sleep)

On the other hand, there are also some very peculiar people who can't wait until sundown to stir up trouble.

1. Princess PMS - (she inspires wild women the world over to give the heave ho to whatever is handy, (more accurately described as 'unidentified flying objects'), in order to satisfy the difficult-to-meet needs of her inner imp

2. Senile somnambulists (who waddle their way to their favorite midnight feeding station)

3. Naughty night-owls (very strange birds known to make horrid-sounding hoots and hollers during a game of peek-a-boo)

4. The energetic activity of of a pair of cat-calling critters in hotel room next door (which only goes to prove why God created paper-thin walls, squeaky mattresses, and petting zoos)

5. Three dapper dudes named Wink'n, Blink'n and Nod who've been working overtime without pay for a year (and are preparing a putch to overthrow their bad-ass boss, an utterly useless character named, "The Sandman")


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Things That Go Bump in the Night Poll


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RIPSNORTING RESEARCH ABOUT THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT - A brief report on beasts you might bump into in the middle of the night


Heffalumps are said to have originated in the imagination of author A.A. Milne, known for his best loved book "Winnie-The-Pooh" published in 1926. Apparently heffalumps (not to mention "Woozles" and "Wizzles") have a passion for stealing honey-pots, which is why big game hunters such as "Pooh" and "Piglet" spend a good deal of time laying traps for them. Of course, since no one has ever seen a heffalump, it might be difficulty to know what they're looking for. All of this brings up the issue of why many folks today are fascinated with the taking up the little known art and science of hunting for heffalumps.


Horton is a fictional character from the books Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who!, (both by Dr. Seuss). Horton figures prominently in many stories as a big-hearated, kind, good-natured elephant who cares about other animals and people when he is not dealing with the likes of "Sour Kangaroo" and of course, trying to save "whos" (microscopic yet merry munchkins that live in specks of dust) from extiniction.


"Wizzles" are amusing accomplices of "Woozles" (and hapless Heffalumps) who love honey and appear as invisible beings in A.A. Milne's book, "Winnie the Pooh".


According to the Dr. Seuss book There's a Wocket in My Pocket", "wockets" which have never really been sighted. However, according to the young boy who is the hero of the story, these creatures live in pockets (small bags that are sewn or inserted in a garment so that they are open at the top or the side)


A woozle is a fictional creature mentioned in the Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne. No woozle illustrations appear in the book but it is often assumed that a woozle ressembles a weasel. They are frequently depicted as such in the characters' imaginations during "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day", included in "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", as popular television series "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh".

According to Pooh, "Woozles" frequently travel with "Wizzles". Woozles are first mentioned in a Pooh storybook when Pooh Bear and Piglet attempt to capture a "Woozle", but it is later revealed that the two woozles and two wizzles were really the footprints made in the snow by the duo themselves, an error pointed out by Christopher Robin.

"Wizzles", "Woozles", and "Heffalumps" are all considered foes of the forest (called "The Hundred Acre Wood") because they are known to steal honey-pots.


Not much is known about "Yottles" except that they are strange things that hide in bottles according to a little boy who knows all about these strange creatures living his his house. (From Dr. Seuss's book, There's a Wocket in My Pocket).

Other Crazy Critters

Dr. Seuss seems to have had a very active imagination, or perhaps his young hero did in the book There's a Wocket in My Pocket. The lad also noted that there were several other strange if not silly sorts of animals who lived in his home including: yeps on the steps, the nooth grush who hung out on his toothbrush, and the jertain in the curtain, and a scary so-and-so, the vug under the rug.

Other non-sensical non-entities created by Dr. Seuss known to delight children of any age include The Cat in the Hat and the Fox in Socks.


Image Credit: Amanda Woodward

Have you ever wondered if those bumps In the night could be something else?

Could it be that all those trick-or-treaters wearing sheets aren't going as ghosts but as mattresses?


Image Credit: - #19349

Things I Wouldn't Want to Bump Into in the Middle of the Night


Illustration from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"

What thing would you least like to bump into in the middle of the night?

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NowWhattian Boghogs

According to Douglas Adams, author of Mostly Harmless (The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trology), NowWhattian Boghogs live on one of the unforgettable hell-holes in the universe, a peculiar planet named "NowWhat".

"The boghogs were tiny, vicous creatures and the margin by which they fell short of being completely inedible was the margin by which life on the planet subsisted. ...The bog hogs were as cold and wet as anyone else on the planet. No one had the slightest desire to learn the language of the boghogs for the simple reason that these creatures communicated by biting each other very hard on the thigh. Life on NowWhat being what it was, most of what a boghog might have to say about it could easily be signified by these means."

Perfectly Normal Beasts

Again, Douglas Adams, in his laugh-out-loud lollygagging piece of literature better known as Mostly Harmless has Trillian, one of his hippy-dippy characters desribe the being:

"Perfectly Normal Beast. It's a bit like a cow, or rather a bull. Kind of like a buffalo in fact. Large, charging sort of animal. ...I've eaten tons of it. It's great. Very succulent. Very tender. Slightly sweet flavour with a long dark finish."

As to where the beasts come from and where they go, Trillian had this to say:

...they come from where they come from and they go to where they go to and that it's the will of Almighty Bob, and that's all there is to it."

Cookie Monster

The Cookie Monster is a fictional Muppet character on the children's television show Sesame Street. He is best known for his voracious appetite and his famous eating phrases: "Me want cookie!", "Me eat cookie!", and "Om Nom nom nom" (said through a mouth full of food). His insatiable appetite for food includes everything, including danishes, donuts, lettuce, apples, bananas, as well as normally inedible objects.

It seems that later in life, he had to seek the help of health professionals to overcome his addiction to sweet stuff (which is probably due in large measure to the successful lobbying efforts of parents, teachers, and dentists plus a whole horde of healthy vegetable growers.

Fickle Finger of Fate

Though few have lived to tell us much about the "Fickle Finger of Fate" (some have said it is a masked rider in a saddle riding a seagull), others have said it is more like a pudgy pinky that pops out and plants one on your face when you least expect it. Either way, the "FFF" is not one to be easily led down the garden path or messed around with if you catch the drift.

Purple People Eater

The Purple People Eater is a novelty song, written and performed by Sheb Wooley, (that reached #1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1958).

The Purple People Eater is described as a "one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater" who descends to Earth because it wants to be in a rock 'n' roll band.

Some have opined that the monster wasn't maroon at all but that it is purple people whom the monster eats, as shown in the following excerpt:

""I said Mr Purple People Eater, what's your line?

He said eating purple people, and it sure is fine

But that's not the reason that I came to land

I wanna get a job in a rock 'n roll band".

It is for this reason that parents are extremely fearful of letting their kids out to play on the streets or being kidnapped by aliens including the Purple People Eater. "Stranger Danger" means parents prefer prefer that the kids stay inside the home playing dungeons and dragons, twiddling their thumbs by text messaging, or perhaps practicing the piccolo with F sharp friends in the basement while they don their earplugs and crank up the volume on their floor to ceiling digital home entertainment center upstairs.

A Word Or Two About Bats & Vampires

Vampires, better known as buxom blood-sucking beasts or brazen bats out of hell that come out after the sun goes down, have really been given a bad rap.

If truth be told, they are really quite enigmatic if not endearing entities -- at least that's what these amusing authorities have to say on the subject:

"One thing vampire children are taught is, never run with a wooden stake." -- Jack Handy, 'Deep Thoughts'

"Lisa, vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos." -- Homer Simpson

"There will be hoards of vampire bats descending on Beverly Hills.... We'll see if they can find any real flesh to puncture. I don't know." -- Lucy Lawless, referencing the Hollywood premiere of 'Vampire Bats'

"I have never met a vampire personally, but I don't know what might happen tomorrow." -- Bela Lugosi

"Following the Rumanian tradition, garlic is used in excess to keep the vampires away... Following the Jewish tradition, a dispenser of schmaltz (liquid chicken fat) is kept on the table to give the vampires heartburn if they get through the garlic defense." -- Calvin Trillin


Image Credit: Wicked

PECULIAR THING AND PLACE POLL - Sponsored by the "Things That Go Bump In The Night Society".

Have you ever considered joining and running for President of the "Things That Go Bump In The Night Society" (not to be confused with "The Unidentified Flying Object Society" (another amusing alien-inspired organization )?

To assist the Society in its cosmic critter research, we hope that you will answer the following question to the very best of your ability.

Where do you think most things that go bump in the night live?

See results


Draw 50 Beasties
Draw 50 Beasties

A helpful book for those who want to learn how to draw beasts be they the Perfectly Normal or Very Scarey variety.

DragonArt Fantasy Characters: How to Draw Fantastic Beings and Incredible Creatures
DragonArt Fantasy Characters: How to Draw Fantastic Beings and Incredible Creatures

A wonderful learning tool to help you breath life into your incredible invisible creatures!

Dragonart: How to Draw Fantastic Dragons and Fantasy Creatures
Dragonart: How to Draw Fantastic Dragons and Fantasy Creatures

For those who love dragons or daring dudes who slay things with flowers!


BEWARE OF BIRDS ... (and Peculiar Poltergeisters for that matter) - Alfred Hitchcock, Director of the well-known 1963 film, (The Birds), featuring some fearful

NOTE: Be sure to check out Birds Gone Bonkers!


Alone In The Dark: Anthropomorphic Tales Of The Things That Go Bump In The Night
Alone In The Dark: Anthropomorphic Tales Of The Things That Go Bump In The Night

Cackling campfire tales, horrid horror stories and even some entertaining anecdotes -- for lovers of things that go bump in the night.

Bump in the Night
Bump in the Night

Perfect bed-time reading for precocious pre-schoolers!


FEEDBACK FROM FRIENDS OF THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT - Besides, the Purple People Eater, who's your favorite amusing alien, merry monster, or glad-handing

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    • FunkyJewelleryUK profile image


      7 years ago

      Another amazing lens. I love ooky spooky things, and the things that you can only see in the corner of your eye. Great work! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yikes! Don't mention THEM! Have checked over my shoulder before leaving this! Blessed by a SquidAngel! Sshh!


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