If you are a fan of "Practical Magic" you have heard of the Death Watch Beetle, but did you know it's a real thing?
Truthfully it's very often more likely to be a sign of an old building in need of serious repair (think termites) because the worm woods are tunneling through. And no, if you are hearing one ticking about, it doesn't mean that someone in your home is about to die.
The name came about because there was a time when someone would sit at the bedside of a person that was dying, and would hear what sound like the ticking of time, especially in the silence of the dusk, night, or dawn.
They actually do make a tapping, or ticking sound, and that's the males trying to entice a mate. They are about a quarter of an inch long, and are brown, mostly seen in the UK. The most common time to see them (hear them) is March through June. And you are most likely to find them in the hardwoods like elm or oak. They will also move into soft woods that are already showing rot and damage.
This is a perfect example of how an association between two things is often made, but they aren't really connected. If a person is lying dying, they are dying, no death watch beetle needed. And if there is a ticking of the beetle, it may mean you have part of your home that is dying and needs replaced, but you, you are fine and well.