A week later I mentioned the strange ticking at my writers’ meeting just as everyone gathered their things to leave. Maria agreed that, indeed, it might have been a ghost. Annie chuckled. “Sounds like the Death Beetle,” she said. Alana agreed. The meeting broke up before I could get an explanation about the beetle.
I was left hanging, but at least I had a clue.
They often infest timber in old buildings, especially those built with oak. Many hospitals and churches became prey to the creepy head-banging bugs. Superstitious people believed the beetles kept vigil over the dying, which resulted in the spooky name of Death Beetle or Death Watch Beetle.