Police seeking help locating things that go BOOM in the night (near northside of Parkerville)

by beth on December 21, 2016

Post image for Police seeking help locating things that go <strong>BOOM</strong> in the night <em>(near northside of Parkerville)</em>

Southborough Police have been puzzling a problem until their puzzlers are sore.* Now they are asking the public to help them solve a mystery that has been plaguing presumably sleep deprived residents.

Police have been getting reports of loud sudden booms in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning. The complaints are coming from residents in the area of Parkerville Road on the northern side. Now they are asking anyone who has information to call them. They promise to keep the source of information confidential if requested.

Here is their message from Facebook:

Multiple residents in the Parkerville Road (North) area have reported hearing a loud “boom” at various times throughout the night. The reports of this noise have been coming in over the past couple of weeks. Some of the times include 0100 hrs, 0300 hrs, 0400 hrs, and 0600 hrs. Our officers have responded to the area; checked for loud noises; and have been unable to locate the source of the noise. We’ve also had our officers park their cruisers and wait for the noise at various times throughout the night; but have had no luck. (Only one officer reported hearing the noise, but was unable to determine the source). If anyone has any information on the source of this noise, please contact us at (508) 485-2121. Information provided will be kept confidential, if the reporting party wishes to remain anonymous. Thank you.

Here’s wishing police and neighbors the best of luck in solving this mystery and ending the incidents.

*Note: I’m feeling a bit inspired by Seuss as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas is playing in the background while I write this. But please don’t take it as mockery of the problem. I’d be in a very Grinchy mood right now if booms were plaguing my neighborhood at night. 

1 Pat D December 21, 2016 at 7:46 PM

It is a real happening! I have heard it at 2:00 AM, 2:30 AM, around 4:00 AM. It sounds like a gun shot.

2 Townie December 21, 2016 at 8:41 PM

I wonder, with the temperature varying like crazy, if they are hearing the ice crack.

3 J L December 22, 2016 at 9:24 AM

Maybe, but hope this is not a cracking water pipeline. :D

4 DJD66 December 22, 2016 at 4:22 AM

A truck driving over the speed bumps? The song by the Black Eyed Peas? Just sayin😜

5 CM December 22, 2016 at 2:59 PM

Surprised to hear it’s the North side, as I’m in Hopkinton just over the line, very near the South side of Parkerville, and hear it quite clearly as well.

6 Leslie December 22, 2016 at 3:22 PM

I am pretty sure these are just noises many houses make during very cold, rapidly-changing temperatures during the winter. Sometimes called “frost quakes”, they are VERY loud bangs, loud enough to wake you up from a deep sleep. They happen in the coldest temperatures (usually 2-5 am when it’s the coldest), causing the pressure against the wood beams to suddenly shift against the metal brackets holding them in place. They are nothing to be concerned about, totally normal, just completely freaky!!! I started hearing them in my house about 5 years ago, and a simple google search proved that tons of other people report the same thing. Yes, they do sound like a crash, bang, even as loud as a wrecking ball, but again, completely normal.

7 saywhat December 23, 2016 at 7:41 AM

The noise is NOT coming from the house – it’s most definitely coming from outside – and it is LOUD, sounding very much like a shotgun boom. This has been going on for 4 or 5 weeks now, occurring anywhere between 2200 and 0700, sometimes just a single occurrence or two or three and other times several booms in succession – not necessarily evenly spaced. MOST disruptive to getting a good night’s sleep! Wednesday and Thursday mornings it was heard only once around 0430 – this mornings it started about 0510 with many between then and 0540, then only occasionally after that. And now silent.


Most disturbing!

8 Townie December 26, 2016 at 2:41 PM


9 LP, Northside resident December 23, 2016 at 7:49 PM

We just heard it at 1900 (~7:00pm). It was not in our house. It was outside and sounded like a gunshot.

10 Anonymous December 24, 2016 at 10:54 AM

We thought it is heavy trucks making deliveries to a local contruction site during the night.

11 Anonymous December 24, 2016 at 1:02 PM

We have all sorts of Cats, dump trunks,, cherry pickers, land clearing and , haulers moving around at night.. and early mornings.

12 Maybe this? December 24, 2016 at 3:56 PM

If there’s a work site or business near you it may be their trash removal truck. Rubbish haulers start early, often by 3am, and make a racket when they flip a steel trash container into the truck’s hopper. Then the steel lid slams shut and the container gets dropped to the ground making more racket. It can sound like a loud boom particularly when the container is empty.

13 Dean Dairy December 27, 2016 at 5:17 PM

I believe the phenomenon Leslie describes also applied to outdoor decking, which means the sound come from “outside” the house and resonates quite loudly because of the empty space underneath.

14 saywhat December 27, 2016 at 5:31 PM

The same shotgun-like boom was heard again this morning (12/27/16) at 0435 – when the temperature was close to 50F. That pretty much puts cryoseism out of the picture – since it’s so far away from freezing temperatures – and it had been since ~0300.

The cryoseism explanation, while convenient, and a potential, does not fit the model of this morning’s occurrence.

I recently attended a dinner party and other neighbors have also been hearing the same sounds – they’ve just not telephoned the police to report it.

It is not the booming sound of dumpsters being dropped or banged against trucks. Besides, if it were trash a pickup ther would be an associated noise of the truck – and there’s never any vehicular activity at the time,

15 Dianne Sturniolo December 31, 2016 at 5:11 PM

I heard a Boom at 4:48 PM 12/31/16 pm near Buffalo Run Road Could it be caused by Gas lines

16 Southvillian January 1, 2017 at 11:30 PM

Just heard it! South end of parkerville

17 saywhat January 2, 2017 at 9:41 AM

The noises were heard again last night ~2300 – 3 booms – loud. Police were updated and investigated. Results unknown. I really wish we could get to the bottom of this/ these ongoing disturbances. It keeps happening.

18 saywhat January 11, 2017 at 11:25 AM


I believe it is now safe to put this one to bed. After many (and I mean many!) weeks of being awakened several times a night and not quite as many calls to SPD, an SPD officer heard the noise when he was located near Trottier school and identified the noise as originating from the building.

Subsequent actions taken by the school seem to have resulted in a cessation of the noise starting Saturday 1/17/17 when the electricity to one of the school’s rooftop units was turned off. It was reported the unit was found to have had a faulty gas valve that has since been replaced.

No more BOOMs since Saturday – this is the quietest it’s been in 6+ weeks!

19 beth January 11, 2017 at 1:25 PM

I was told that the echoing across the way from a vent opening and closing on the Trottier room was tracked as the potential cause. But police were waiting to confirm the theory before officially announcing it as resolved. I have yet to get confirmation that they are sure it is the cause. But glad to hear that the booming has stopped!

Previous post:

Next post: