Spooky “howling tower” scares UK city dwellers

A skyscraper in Manchester, UK, is terrifying local residents – by emitting a howling “banshee” wail in high winds.

The sound from the Beetham Tower starts off calmly enough, sounding almost like a whale, but as the wind picks up it moves into air ride siren territory before just sounding like the part of a horror film score when someone is prowling through a haunted house, stalked by a killer.

“I am completely aware of the noise because I live at the top of the building,” architect Ian Simpson said when the noise first started after explaining that the noise is caused by wind rushing over the blade at the tower’s top.

“At the end of the day it’s not supposed to make noise. We have got to address that because it’s causing distress.”

On several occasions, engineers have scaled the 47-floor tower on Deansgate, which cost $225 million to build, to try and carry out repairs and modifications to reduce the din generated by its glass blade.

The high-pitched humming sound has irritated many living and working in the city centre. Today was no exception. Here’s how Twitter responded:

@bevismusson   Beetham Tower is wailing like a banshee in the wind today. Proper spooky noise all across the city.

@grant_rob I think I heard the Beetham Tower noise this afternoon. Panic over: it’s not a UFO

‏@JobeyJoe11   The Beetham tower is making its weird wind noise and everyone looks terrified #Manchester #AlienInvasion