Mysterious Ways: A Doorbell Disturbance

My family was asleep when the chimes began ringing nonstop. What was so important?

by - Posted on Sep 2, 2014

Close-up of a doorbell

RIIING! RIIIING! RIIINNNNGG! Chimes startled me awake. I slapped my alarm clock, but the noise didn’t stop. It wasn’t my alarm. The doorbell?

Our two Labrador retrievers, Jax and Shelby, began barking along, composing a chaotic symphony that echoed throughout the house. RING! RING! BARK! BARK! I glanced at the time: 1:00 a.m. Who could be at our door this late? They’d better have a good excuse for waking the kids.

I groaned as I stumbled out of bed. It had been such a struggle to get my four-year-old, Jacob, and one-year-old, Samantha, tucked in for the night–I don’t know what magic my wife Lisa always used, but I didn’t have it. She was out of town on business and it was my first time flying solo. I was completely wiped out and hoped to get some rest. So much for that.


The doorbell just wouldn’t stop. It was like someone was leaning on it. I hurried downstairs and maneuvered around the dogs to the front door. “Alright, alright, alright…” I swung the door open, ready to give whoever-it-was a piece of my mind.

Nobody was there. Nothing but the glow of the porch lights. I hit the doorbell a few times to stop it from sounding off, but it kept chiming. The dogs were howling now.  With this much commotion, Jacob and Sammy would never get back to bed.

Finally I fiddled with the box that housed the doorbell electronics, unhooked a few wires, and the ringing stopped. The dogs hushed. All was quiet again.

Too quiet. Had the kids really slept through it all? I made a beeline toward their rooms. Jacob was sound asleep, snuggled with his teddy bear. I smiled and headed to the nursery. Looking into Samantha’s crib, my heart skipped a beat. Her blanket was wrapped tightly around her head!

I quickly reached in and unwound it. Samantha’s eyes were closed, her body still. “Oh God, no…”  I picked her up and stroked the side of her face. “Sammy… Sammy? Wake up, baby.”

After a moment, her tiny limbs wiggled. Her little mouth formed into a perfect oval yawn and the cutest angelic smile followed. I exhaled a sigh of relief. What if she’d suffocated in her sleep? What if that doorbell hadn’t rung?

That doorbell, it was the strangest thing. When I told my wife about it later, she didn’t believe me. We both knew it had been broken for quite some time–it never made a sound.

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