If one follows the waters of Loch Ness as they flow into River Ness, they next move into Beauly Firth (an inlet), then Moray Firth before entering the North Sea. Along the way, they pass the ancient fishing town and current seaside resort of Nairn. While it doesn’t have a loch monster, Nairn has a monstrosity of its own that has been plaguing residents for decades without an explanation or resolution – a mysterious hum similar to those plaguing people in other towns around the world. The Nairn Hum is back in the news again – will this time be any different or are Nairners doomed to continue to suffer from a monster that doesn’t help tourism or their nerves at all?
“It’s an absolute nightmare. We are getting tortured in our own house. It’s a low frequency pulsing noise and it’s incessant. My husband thinks it could come from an electricity substation and it’s also been suggested it could be coming from as far away as Invergordon. We just don’t know. One of our neighbours a couple of fields away hears a droning pulsating noise all the time too. We can’t even go into our caravan at the bottom of the garden because of the noise.”
Blan Bremner and her husband Robert told The Inverness Courier this past week about the “incessant” droning Nairn hum which tortures and puzzles them and their neighbors. Robert claims it has given the couple headaches and “I have nose bleeds,” yet the hum has not gone away nor been explained since they first reported it, according to an archived article in the Scottish Daily Mail in 2018.
“We started hearing the noise on February 9 when we moved into our home. Then when our new chimney was put up it seemed to act like an amplifier for the noise. It’s everywhere around Ardersier and Nairn.”
That article reports that environmental health officials were called and they were unable to link the noise to any physical cause like the local airport, electricity substations, ferries or wind farms. A Highland Council spokesperson said they’ve received only one report and an inspector heard nothing. However, the hum report sounds similar to many in Largs, North Ayrshire – another seaside town about 170 miles south – which date back to the 1980s and have never been explained to frustrated residents.
“As a member for these areas I have investigated fully, but frankly it remains a mystery. I can only surmise that it must be something to do with recent developments in the area. I have visited homes myself and these are very real complaints. I’ve heard it for myself. As a council we have carried out tests by our environmental health department but we can’t pin down where it’s coming from. I’ve done everything I can. We’ve had our staff at the council and SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) investigating, but I just don’t know how some of these poor souls live with this. You can’t avoid the noise and it’s having a terrible impact on their wellbeing.”
That frustration is felt by Culloden and Ardersier councillor Glynis Campbell-Sinclair, who represents Nairn. She tells The Inverness Courier that factory expansions and new sewer works have been ruled out, and she’s obviously at a loss to comfort or help her constituents.
If it’s not physical, is the Nairn hum something paranormal – perhaps linked to its close proximity to Loch Ness, where paranormal activities have been proposed to explain the mysterious appearances and disappearances of its famous monster?
Blan and Robert Bremner and their neighbors probably don’t care what it is – even if it’s a paranormal cause that could help local tourism – they just want the Nairn hum gone.