I'd like to share a memorable and unique thunder experience I had roughly 30 years ago. I was lying down and just barely drifting into sleep in an attic with large windows about a block away from the Atlantic Ocean on the Jersey shore. It was a summer night, late, no storm activity that I was aware of, either before or after.
I was lying there with my eyes closed, not quite asleep, when there was an absolutely blinding flash that came right through my closed eyelids and simultaneously (as far as I could tell) an IMMENSE crack of thunder ... which then, over a period of five to ten seconds "rolled" off into the distance with slight, seemingly wave form, undulations.
I was up and on my feet within a second or so of the flash, listening to the receding thunder and trying to put together in my head what just happened. I imagine that a significant bolt of lightning must have come "out of nowhere" (so to speak) and hit a lightning rod on top of one of the cupolas of the house and that I was then listening to echoes of the thunder bouncing back to me as the sound wave moved outward. My adrenaline level was so high it took me over an hour to calm down and get back to sleep (after wandering around looking out all the windows for either evidence of damage or other storm activity.) I was so spooked I was wondering for a bit if I'd gotten hit and was actually dead! LOL!
Heh... glad I hadn't picked that night to sit out on the roof and do any stargazing!