The air around you is thick with radio waves. Most of them herald nothing more exciting than some idiotic DJ trying to wring an interview out of a sleep-deprived celeb, but some of them are different. Some of them offer a glimpse into an underground world that we have no idea about and some of them are just the stuff of nightmares.
As well as mysterious radio stations broadcasting incomprehensible messages to unknown recipients, there are also a wide range of peculiar, puzzling and downright bizarre snippets out there.
From television hijacks to secret codes to whispers from the past in age-old forgotten recordings, who knew that just a few audio snippets could be so creepy?
Pro-tip: Maybe turn the lights on before proceeding. You know. Just in case.
Speaking of creepy dystopian visions of the future (oh, we weren't, well we are now), the Swedish Rhapsody broadcast was a powerful shortwave station that would use a music box version of the piece by the Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén as a kind of spooky ringtone. Transmissions begin with a few bars of the spooky-beyond-all-reason tune, followed by seemingly random sequences of numbers read out by, what else, a creepy little girl.
It is an example of a Numbers Station, thought to be a Cold War era instrument of espionage, these stations are suspected to be a way of communicating with agents in the field. Rather than attempting to hide transmissions from hijackers, they are easily accessible to any fool with a radio, but the contents of the message are seemingly gibberish. The strings of random numbers presumably mean something to the people in the know.
Other examples of number stations include The Lincolnshire Poacher, featuring an electronic woman's voice and Cherry Ripe, both so called because of the incongruously cheery folk music that accompanies them. Oh, and if you fancy shaking the nightmarish nursery rhymes out of your head before you go to bed tonight, here is the original (much more enjoyable) Swedish Rhapsody as it was supposed to be enjoyed.