What Does It Mean To Hear An Owl Screaming Outside Your Window At Night?


What Does It Mean To Hear An Owl

Screaming Outside Your Window At Night?

Picture this:  3am and I am awakened from a sound sleep by a strange sound.  In fact, it sounded like a strange type of screaming and I immediately sat up straight in bed with a start!  My heart was pounding.  I looked around my bedroom and saw that neither of our cats were making the noise which woke me.

SCREAMMMMM!  I heard it again!  This time I distinctly heard it come from outside my bedroom window.  Whew!  It wasn’t coming from inside our home which meant all were safe and sound.  Again, the warbling cry was heard and I peeked out the window, but I could only see darkness.

What could be making that racket?

Somehow, it came to me, that it was an owl.  I don’t know why I knew it, but I just knew it was an owl.  Not the typical hoot of an owl for sure, but an almost wounded cry that came practically rhythmically for half an hour.  And then, as suddenly as it began, all was quiet.

The cats were on high alert while we listened to the owl.  Intently watching the windows, but with their ears perked to every squawk and screech the owl made.

I must tell you that all sorts of superstitions ran through my head while I listened intently to the owl.  The next day, I checked google to find an audio/video on YouTube of an owl making the same noise and only one audio was similar, but none were exact.

Anyway, does anyone know what it means to hear an owl screaming like that?  Part of me thought it might be a warning of a death, but so far, everyone is still here, healthy and happy for which I’m grateful.  Any and all help is appreciated, so please feel free to comment below.

Let me know if you’ve ever heard an owl screaming.  Why do they do that?  What does it mean?

Thank you for your help!  Keep your heartlights shining!  I can see you from here!

Shine on!




80 thoughts on “What Does It Mean To Hear An Owl Screaming Outside Your Window At Night?

  1. I had also heard of these as a harbinger of death, but that doesn’t mean it must be immediate. Do you have any Ted Andrews books? If not, I can consult one of mine.

    • I’ve never heard of Ted Andrews…if you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to hear what you find. If you don’t have time, I can look him up myself. Thanks for your help! xo

      • In “The Healing Wisdom of Birds” by Lesley Morrison, the Owl is of course symbolic of shamanic wisdom, but it is also described as very territorial, and the lengthy rhythmic call/screech could be related. In “The Secret Power of Spirit Animals” by Skye Alexander” an owl may be warning you to be alert, something is about to happen. According to Ted Andrews in “Animal Speak,” an owl is one who can see and hear what others can’t. They can see into others’ souls. (Ditto from Morrison.) owls are keepers of secrets and the visit could be about any topic related to owl medicine. He talks about how loud they are when mating, which could also be what you heard. According to Steve Farmer in “Animal Spirit Guides,” owls can alert you to deception by others. They also signify prophesy and you may sense events before they occur. You could also be called to do something that seems overwhelming, but you should be assured you can handle it. Hope this helps! Do any of Hess possibilities resonate? I work a lot with animals and they often bring me messages, hence all the books……

      • Karel, I truly appreciate you. ♥ Thank you. Yes, your message resonated with me and I loved checking out the website as well. I’ve had many encounters with animals in the past 2 years that are so amazing. I am so grateful that you reached out with your knowledge xoxo ♥

      • I lost a man last night that’s been in my life over 30 years, tonight as I was starting to go to sleep, I heard a weird n kinda scary sound of an owl, It scared me as I live by self, but tried to go back to sleep because it had gone away Or stopped, then about twenty mins after I heard it again outside my window, same scary noise, and has stopped again, hopefully I don’t hear this again

  2. We had two owls on Monday night, but they were softly hooting to each other, getting ready for the hunt.
    Yours were probably trying to get their prey to move so they could swoop in.
    KDKH’s comments are fascinating.
    I’ve always loved owls. They are so calm, and quiet until they get ready to act. Very mysterious.

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  4. I hear owls quite frequently around here at night. They sit up in the pine trees that line the back of our property and “hoot” away. I’ve heard both Barred owls and screech owls. This time of year it’s often mating calls we hear. I love to open my bedroom window and listen away and can usually distinctly hear two different owls calling to each other.

    • Gail, how cool! However this was like a scream, not the usual hooting conversation that I’ve heard before outside. Maybe it was a mating call, a bit scary though to be honest. Thanks for taking the time to share xo

  5. I was up last night a little after 3 and I heard an owl screeching very scary sound. Doesn’t help I was having an upset conversation with someone. It lasted a good 5 minutes or so. My mom says they use to say if you heard one an death was amongst an Indian of a tribe. But idk?

    • I don’t know either Mac. I thought the same thing when I heard the sound of the owl screeching, but I didn’t hear of any deaths of family/friends afterwards. I hope you are feeling more peaceful now and eventually got a good night’s sleep.

  6. Are you sure its not abt death i just heard an white colored owl screaming at 1am for 8 or 9 minutes its exactly like screaming you wrote about so help me too if you get something usefull and i hope its not abt death i m still unmarried and it will hurt me the most ….!!

    • Hi! I’m sorry I haven’t been able to get online to reply to your comment. I am not sure if it is indeed about death. Since you wrote 2 weeks ago, I’m wondering if it’s happened again or if anyone you know has passed away since the owl was screaming?

  7. I don’t know what it means but I was awakened at 3 am by the hoot of an owl. I heard it flap it’s wing and land on my window. Nothing there.


  9. Hello, this is the exact thing that’s happening outside my house right now. An owl has been crying for the past hour. As first I thought it was a car tire screeching but it has been constant.
    Has anyone identified what’s happening with it? Is it a sign of being hurt or sad or something?

    • I’m not sure but for me, it was simply something that happened that night only. Did you figure it out by any chance? Just wondering. Thanks for writing! I hope you have a peaceful night tonight!

      • I think the owl family (3 of them) that live by my house are crazy. Every night they scream like mad men while perched and while flying circles above the homes. This morning I saw all three in the water on the curb from a neighbors sprinkler run off. I really enjoy them, but I can understand others in the area getting upset by them I just hope they leave them alone.

      • How adorable that you saw all three owls! I don’t see the owls who hoot near me. I hope that they choose to not scream like mad men every night. I would have a tough time sleeping with that racket!

  10. I have heard the screech of an owl on only two occasions in my life. Both woke me from sleep, and were loud and outside the window. Unfortunately, the first occasion, about a year ago, followed the death of my beloved cat. This year, it preceeded the death of my other beloved cat. Both incidents occured within a 24 hour time span of deceasement. To me, the screech of the owl can only mean one thing.

    • Diane please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your cats. As a cat owner myself, my heart is sad for you. Under those circumstances, I agree that I would feel the same way about an owl screeching outside – a harbinger of death….big healing hugs to you. Thanks for sharing your sad experiences.

    • Sorry for you cats. I don’t know how the owls could know of the a pending death.
      But they do.
      I believe that it’s no myth

  11. I heard two owl crying behind my window on a tree with each of them making different sounds each please tell me what to do when next I hear it and the meaning of those sounds??

  12. If the owl calls 3 nights in a row outside your window. Around same time.
    My experience was 3am all 3 times.
    The sound is different then all others. For reason.
    Reason is death to someone or pet in family.
    I don’t know
    But it’s for real what ever you name it

  13. I heard such a scream..I’m 61 years old and never heard a sound like that. I tried to find a sound online..different owls some were close but nothing like what I heard. Two months later my mother passed away

    • I’m sorry your Mom passed away Earl. I often wonder if the owl shrieks the message beforehand to warn us. But then we don’t know who it might be for…I’m sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing here.

      • I really do hate to believe that the owl means something bad however I came home one day at the beginning of Aug. There was a owl in the tree just sitting looking I seen it and my husband seen it and it was very day light around 6 or 7 pm my son walks up in the yard he sees it to two or three weeks later my first grandbaby passed away my daughter had him and he lived less than 24 hours this Monday was his birthday!!!! That night I was sitting outside and I heard the screaming noise you are talking about it is loud and awful the next day my ex sister in laws baby died at birth!!! Two nights later I am outside my husband as well we were watching a mama deer and two babies eat corn when a owl came flying by get a phone call my daughters friend was found in the bed dead 20 years old!!!!! As for the screaming owl my po personal opinion is that they make that sound when mating or when they catch there prey

      • Wow Mandy! I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your first grand baby. How sad for all of you (and your daughter too). My heartfelt prayers go out to all of you.
        How interesting about your owl! Perhaps the screaming is partly due to mating or hunting. Good thinking…
        Thanks for reaching out and sharing. Have a blessed day.

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