Listen: Terrifying animal scream heard at night in Richfield

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Under the cover of darkness, the past few nights in Richfield have produced sounds typically reserved for horror films. 

The shrieking, hair-raising noises have been heard in the area of 74th St. and Russell Ave., with one resident saying she's heard the noises four consecutive nights, the latest happening around 3-4 a.m. Monday. 

"I’ve been hearing this weird crowing/scream at night outside my window," said Kenani Ali, who posted audio of the nightmarish noise to a community group on Facebook. 

Ali added that "it's been pretty scary," and that "my roommate has heard it too and to her she said it sounds like someone screaming help." Here's what they heard: 

"It is a little unclear when it comes across, it seems fairly distant. My inclination, I'm leaning toward a red fox scream," said Scott Noland, a wildlife manager with the DNR. 

Here's what a red fox scream sounds like. You be the judge. 

"You usually hear that more in the mating season in February. It's usually in the evening or dusk hours," said Noland. "It can be this time of the year if they're threatened by a coyote or they're just communicating their territory. Four days in a row is pretty consistent, so there might be a den or young in the area where you have a family of foxes in a localized area like that." 

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Ali said she heard the screams around 11 p.m. the first two nights, then around 3-4 a.m. more recently. 

Other theories from wildlife managers include young barred owls or a dying rabbit, though the latter is less likely since the chilling noises have been heard four nights in a row. 

Do dying rabbits make a haunting noise like that? "It's similar to that. Some coyote hunters use that type of a distress call to bring in other predators," explained Noland. 

Then there's another theory from Richfield Police Lt. Brad Drayna, who said he hears raccoon screams that sound similar almost every night near his home in Burnsville, which is near the Minnesota River. 

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