This study investigated the origin of knocking combustion accompanied by pressure wave and strong pressure oscillations in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine. Experiments were conducted with a two-stroke single cylinder optically accessible engine that allowed the entire bore area to be visualized. The test fuel used was n-heptane. The equivalence ratio and intake temperature were varied to induce a transition from moderate HCCI combustion to extremely rapid HCCI combustion accompanied by in-cylinder pressure oscillations. Local autoignition and pressure wave behavior under each set of operating conditions were investigated in detail on the basis of high-speed in-cylinder visualization and in-cylinder pressure analysis. As a result, under conditions where strong knocking occurs, a brilliant flame originates from the burned gas side in the process where the locally occurring autoignition gradually spreads to multiple locations. The flame proceeds at high speed toward the unburned end gas, which burns in a short interval of less than 1 crank angle degree. The autoignited flame at that time appears to propagate at high speed from the burned gas side to the unburned end gas side.