Why Was a Creepy Nursery Rhyme Playing on Repeat in This English Town?

A clown standing on a street corner holding balloons
One woman claimed the nursery rhyme would wake her in the middle of the night. Fer Gregory/Shutterstock

The brochure for the pretty English town of Ipswich checks off all the usual tourist boxes.

There's a lovely jaunt along the shoreline, perhaps punctuated by a meal and a pint at one of the quaint harbor restaurants.

There's a dance hall, too, among countless old heritage buildings. The local theater is supposed to be pretty good, too.

And then there's that twisted nursery rhyme that's been playing over a public loudspeaker instilling horror in all who hear it.

Indeed, the city of some 133,000 people has been subjected to a rather chilling rendition of, "It's raining, it's pouring" for at least a year, according to the Ipswich Star.

(And just so you can play the spine-tingling song back in your own nightmares, the song continues with, "The old man is snoring. He went to bed with a bump on his head and couldn't get up in the morning.")

The song, says one woman who the newspaper doesn't identify, crackles to life at all hours.

"The first time I heard it, it was the most terrifying thing ever," she later told the BBC. "I went cold and felt sick, and thought 'What on earth was that?'"

And just to prove she wasn't being tormented by demons, the woman recorded the spine-tingling soundtrack for all the world to despair. (You can hear it playing in the video at top.)

At last, the source of the unearthly ditty was tracked — not to the home of a man dressed as a clown with a fondness for sharp objects, but rather a nearby industrial site.

It turned out the speaker was set up to automatically churn out the nursery rhyme whenever movement was detected on the property.

And what exactly was it that kept setting it off?

A spider.

As reported in The Independent, the property owner has since issued a statement, promising to tweak the system to ensure neighbors don't go utterly mad.

"The sound is only supposed to act as a deterrent for opportunistic thieves that come onto our property, and it's designed only to be heard by people on our private land," the statement read. "We are now aware of the problem the motion sensors were being triggered by spiders crawling across the lenses of our cameras and it looks like we've had it turned up too loudly."

So come on back to Ipswich. Enjoy the fish and chips and those long waterfront strolls. No murderous clowns here.

Just a spider or two with a twisted sense of humor.