Ah, neighbors. They might lend you a cup of sugar, or if these stories are anything to go by, possibly make living next to them an absolute nightmare. From explosives disposal, duck wars, to becoming unwilling participants in whatever strange activity they are immersed in, keep reading for more stories on some pretty out-there neighbors. It may make you appreciate yours that much more.
A few years ago I lived in a bit of a tract home situation. In my cul-de-sac, on trash day everyone would line their trash cans up on the curb where the trash truck with the mechanical arm could easily get to them. My crazy neighbor would get upset if everyone didn't pull their trash cans in immediately after the truck came.
Trash day was on a weekday so I couldn't bring my cans in until after I got off work. Needless to say, this totally angered her. It started with her just spinning the can around, or moving it in front of my garage. Eventually, it escalates to her knocking it over or pushing it across the street into a small park. I'm at work, lady. What can I do about it?
So eventually I had enough. I bought a tube of marine grease. For those who don't know, it's intense stuff. It's made to stand up to all conditions and is difficult to get off your skin without a strong solvent like kerosene. So I lather up the handles and take the can out with a pair of gloves then head out for work. When I came home the can was moved a few feet and sure enough, her stupid little hands had left a big imprint in the grease.
My old neighbor made me question my own sanity by drilling holes in his walls many hours each day for almost two years. When we confronted him he denied drilling and asked what was wrong with us, even suggesting therapy and psychological help. He was a nice and well-spoken guy too.
So after two years, he moved out and our landlord told us that he had done some substantial damage to his apartment by drilling all the walls, floors, and ceilings full of small holes. He was sued, acquitted due to mental health problems, and institutionalized for severe schizophrenia. Our landlord told us after court that the guy had drilled to find government spying devices...
My crazy neighbor from two neighborhoods back thought he was protecting me—but it ended up being the most terrifying experience of my life. He entered my apartment while I was fast asleep and stood beside my bed to make sure I was "OK" after finding my front door had been left unlocked. I woke up to hear him trying to strike his lighter in my pitch-black bedroom (2 am) where I'm supposed to be alone. Without opening my eyes I instantly woke up and began planning how I was going to handle the intruder before he finally said my name and I recognized his stupid voice.
We have had several sets of crazy neighbors but my favorite was J & Y, an old Cuban couple who got inebriated and fought loudly every night. One time we were late on our water bill, and in the US the water company can cut off your water if you don't pay. The truck comes and the guy gets out and opens the door on the sidewalk, shuts off our water, and drives away.
Immediately J explodes from his house with the largest wrench I have ever seen in my life, (bigger than a small child) screaming curses in Spanish at the retreating water company truck, runs to in front of our house, throws off the door in the sidewalk and turns our water back on. Then walks back to his house, still muttering, and walks in, slamming the door behind him.
I lived in army housing. They were small apartments, each with a balcony. One day, the lady across from me (who would often invite men into her home when her husband was at work) invited two of the German law enforcement officers in. Well, they were in for a surprise.
Her husband came home early and the two officers vaulted over her balcony while pulling their shirts on.
I lived in a complex of sorts with stacked townhouses and a communal backyard. One night I went out for a smoke and heard a commotion. There is a weird middle-aged woman who is yelling at her upstairs neighbor for stealing her raccoon. Yes, she yelled that it was her raccoon because she left a bag of sugar out for it which is apparently a delicacy to raccoons.
The raccoon was on the upstairs neighbors' balcony so to get it back she constructed this ramshackle stairway of garbage (upturned garbage cans, broken chairs, etc) and tried to climb up while wielding a hula hoop. She managed to get to the top of the garbage mountain and somehow thought she could trap the raccoon with a hula hoop. The other neighbor came out and a fight ensued with the upstairs neighbor biting the weird lady. Authorities were called. Raccoon was never seen again.
I used to have a guy living across the street from me. This guy was obviously on something and had numerous other mental health issues. We would call him "Foil Man" because he would use foil to cover up his windows (he also used to do the same with wood as well). He also always shaved only one-half of his beard. But that wasn’t even the weirdest part. Anyway, this guy at times would bring his sleeping bag in the middle of the street, and literally lay in it and SLEEP THERE.
Me and another neighbor had to go out multiple times to literally DRAG the guy back to his house. Whenever we would do it, he'd complain that we were ruining his sleep, and would yell and scream and whine, exactly like a tantrum. We just didn't want him to get run over. He also ended up winning a brand new car engine from a raffle, and just placed it in his house for decoration. He would also come up to our doors and just talk about the most random of things.
Another time, old Foil Man had threatened to destroy everyone with a toy water pistol and a broken hammer. The authorities dealt with him, and soon enough he was living in his house again. I remember he died, and I was actually really terrified and sad for him. Something must've happened and he must've had a sad life. But I'll never forget all the crazy stuff he did.
When I lived in a high-rise there was a woman who rode the elevator on her scooter day and night and wrote down "violations" in a notebook. She would read this notebook at the condo board meetings. It was stuff like "2 am, Unit 2203, Door to the unit is dirty; 5 pm, Unit 605, I can hear the television through their door". One day I came home after a happy hour, slightly buzzed and feeling good. I get off the elevator and this woman on a scooter is driving right at me yelling something. I yelped and ran to my condo. Scared the heck out of me and nuked my buzz.
My neighbor came into my backyard when she thought we (university students) had gone home for the summer. I still lived in the house. In fact, I was sitting by the window when she entered our backyard. I thought nothing of it—I chalked it up to her looking for her cat. I went back to reading my book and completely forgot about her…until I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.
She was walking out of my backyard with all our plants. She took our garden. I was so astounded that I just sat there and stared at her. I never even tried to stop her.
I was around five and we had a husky at that time. Dad and I were home alone, and he went to a neighbor to borrow something. I stayed outside to play with our dog when a few minutes later our other neighbor came with a broom in his hand, yelling at five-year-old me to keep the dog quiet (he barked every now and then, big deal) or he would get rid of it right there and then. That man scared me so much I cried and peed myself cause he was in my face shouting and spitting at me.
A third neighbor (old grandma) saw this going on and rushed to get my dad to save me. Dad came, they pushed each other around a little, the best part is when dad broke his broom and said if he ever talks to his kids again he will beat him up with that very broom lol. The jerk went home, grabbed a knife, but in the meantime the authorities were already arriving. He panicked, ran into his car, and drove off.
This only got him into even more trouble because hey man, you're in a car chase with law enforcement! It ended up with him crashing into a tree and the knife he took got stuck in his leg, but nothing critical happened. I remember seeing him sometimes limping around his garden, but we moved soon after that because of crazy neighbors who don't like dogs. Don't know the aftermath with the authorities though, this was 15 years ago.
Oh, and by the way, he was a father of 6-year-old twins who were never allowed to hang out with the rest of us hood kids in the streets. I sometimes talked to them over the fence and even gave them a few Pokémon cards because they were not allowed any. Sometimes I think of them and feel really bad, they were good kids.
He is about 5’4” tall, ripped, and covered from head to toe in tattoos. I was eating pizza on the front porch when I had the pleasure of observing this individual try to break down the door to his own house, get hit in the head with a bottle by whoever was trying to keep him out, and then run around screaming in a rage while profusely bleeding from his head.
He ran around the back of their house and I walked around back to see what he was up to. What I saw made my blood run cold. He's screeching furiously while punching out windows with his bare hands, blood flying everywhere. He had been wearing nothing but white basketball shorts but they were completely covered in blood at this point along with his face, head, back, stomach, and obviously hands. He looked like something out of a zombie movie.
He then walks back around to the front of the house and directly into the fairly busy street there. He started throwing himself on the hood of cars and smearing blood across their windshields while screaming and moaning incoherently. After several minutes of this, my neighbor heard the sirens from the squad cars on their way and decides to handle this by laying down spread eagle on the median and screaming "heeeelllp meeee”! over and over very loudly.
I live in a neighborhood in Portland, which is a city that breeds a lot of interesting characters. My favorite eccentric person I know is one of my neighbors who lives a few houses down the street from me. He's someone who'd be very attractive, but the fact that he's really grungy, has a tangled mess of dreadlocks, and constantly smells questionable kills it for a lot of people. I've only ever seen him in really short running shorts and a tank top where the armholes are way too big, even when it's cold like today.
I see him almost every day because he's always out jogging with his wiener dog when I'm headed to work, and he's always in a great mood and really nice to me, so I'm almost certain he's on something. Back in September, he had a garage sale that my roommate and I went to, and in his garage, he had a lot of cool stuff like some awesome vintage music posters and a weird amount of taxidermied animals. While I was chatting with him, he brought up that he kept some stuff in his basement that he didn't want to put on the street, and asked if I wanted to see it.
I agreed and got my roommate to come with me just in case he tried to pull something, and he took us downstairs to reveal a bunch of really old medical supplies from what had to have been over a hundred years old, a really old ornate church podium, a bunch of straightjackets hanging on a rack, and a lot of mannequins. I felt like I walked into a prop room for American Horror Story. According to him, he just finds abandoned places and steals all the cool stuff he can from them, buuut his basement was a little too creepy to convince me. I bought one of the straightjackets, though.
The old apartment I used to live in. My wife and I rented one of two upstairs apartments, but we'd sit down at the bottom of the stairs on nice days and relax. One day we heard shouting from our neighbors, but we tried to ignore it. I’ll never forget what happened next. Suddenly a body drops from the second floor and lands splat into the grass. And laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. We called 9-1-1 because we didn't know what was going on, and that body wasn't moving.
Our neighbors got busted for possession, and apparently a lot of it from what we heard. They seemed nice enough and we never had a problem with them, but we legitimately thought that person was a goner. Nope. Just super high.
My current neighbors get together on Friday nights and get completely inebriated. They then proceed to discover that they can sing, and they film audition tapes for The Voice. Spoiler alert—they don't sing well. At all. But the drunker they are, the more impressed they are with each other, so by 2 am they're freaking out about how they'll be the next huge hit sensation. Then they forget about this, and come next Friday, the cycle begins anew. The only reason I know all this is because, while they don't sing well, they sing very, very loudly.
An older woman moved into the corner house next door to us. The first thing she did was have a ten-foot chain link fence erected around her property, because she kept dogs. Then she parked a full-sized motorhome in the backyard. She wasn't loud or anything, but we tried to avoid her because she would talk your ear off if she saw you.
One day, there was law enforcement, an ambulance, and animal control next door. That’s when we learned the chilling truth. The authorities had done a welfare check, and found she had died, in a scene straight out of "Hoarders”. Animal control brought out seven dogs (not all small dogs either, a few were 60-70lbs), an unknown number of cats, and a rooster! We later found out that rats had eaten her toes. The house sat empty for a while after that. Normal, non-hoarder people live there now.
My first apartment was one of those really run-down places that was filled with sketchy types. The rent was cheap, so I put up with it. But I had a neighbor who was by far the worst thing about that place. I was young, only about 20 or so, and a girl, living alone in this place. This guy, an older man probably in his late fifties, early sixties, had a peculiar habit of always running into me as I was on my way out or in.
One day, he caught me as I was bringing my laundry into the building. He grabbed the laundry out of my hands and refused to give it back until he had personally escorted me to my door. He tried to come into the apartment, but I pretended to start talking to my "roommate," and he dropped the laundry and bolted. Another time, he caught me as I was running out to go to work. At this point he and I had had enough run-ins that I was seriously spooked by him, and tried to dodge him wherever I could.
He held the door to my car open, and refused to close it until I had given him my phone number. Like an absolute idiot, I gave him my actual number, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the moment I gave him my number he pulled out his phone and watched mine to make sure the call went through. I avoided his phone calls for weeks, until he finally gave up and stopped calling me. For months I slept with boxes of pasta stacked against my front door so I could hear them falling if my door opened in the middle of the night. That guy was super creepy.
I grew up in a small town. Weirdo neighbor moves in, and gets a dog. Okay, that's fine. Next thing we know, the neighbor has five dogs. Then the neighbor gets three cows and puts them to pasture in a small area next to my parent's house. My mom knew the neighbor didn't have animal rights, and was tired of smelly cows right next to her house and dogs barking all day. My mom went to the city to complain. Big mistake.
They told the neighbor to get rid of his cows. Our interference must have angered the neighbor, because he spray-painted a not-so-pleasant message on the side of his house, facing my parent's house.
I used to live in a condo and the old lady across the street invited a bunch of us neighbors over for dinner one night. I really didn't think anything of it and went. From the start, she started badgering me to go on a date with her. She started by asking me to marry her though, to which I replied NO WAY.
There were about 10 of us there and she just kept at it by asking me on dates which I respectfully declined over and over. Finally, I broke down and told her I could not date her because I am gay. She freaked out and went into a tantrum. She was cursing out loud in front of everyone at the dinner party. After dinner, she just screamed and lay down on the couch with all of her guests still there.
Speedo John is what we called our crazy neighbor. The day we moved into this nice, typical suburban, family-oriented neighborhood, Speedo John greets us from his lawn in his leopard print Speedo which was hardly visible underneath his giant belly. There was a neighborhood pool that was usually crawling with suburban families and awkward Speedo John sporting his favorite swimwear.
He lived alone, had long stringy hair despite the fact that he was balding, and would sit in his car in his driveway for hours at a time blasting 80s rock (he had time to burn because he didn't have a job). On more than one occasion, he asked us if we'd been in his house looking for illicit substances. And it gets even weirder. He claimed that his ex-wife had been trying to frame him for possession for years and would sometimes sneak into his house and plant things.
One weekday morning, we're getting our kids ready for school and hear someone banging on the front door. Speedo John is standing there looking as confused as a lost child and asks "What time is it”? We hesitantly answered, "John, it's 7:00”. He looks around for a moment as if he's unsure of our answer and follows with this gem, "AM or PM”?
I had a downstairs neighbor show up at my door with a bag of literal dirt and tell me it was blowing off my balcony and that it was hair from my dog, and she was going to sue me for attempted foul play because I was trying to kill her kids who were allergic to dogs. I laughed at her because it was the craziest thing I've ever heard. She started threatening to enter my apartment and beat me up.
I shut the door. Then I called the authorities on her and they went to ask her about it, and she pretended to have no idea what I was talking about, but they saw the inside of her house (apparently it was horrifically nasty) and they called child protective services on her, and took her children into protective custody later that day. Some people should just mind their own business.
We (me and my college roommates) lived in a quiet neighborhood, we lived next to an old cranky professor and a couple who just had a child. So one night, the cranky professor comes to our house hammering the door like a crazy person. I woke up. This is all happening around 3 am, and I open the door. The guy starts shouting at me that this is the last time he will come to our house because we are making it impossible for him to sleep and that he is calling the authorities.
During all this, I have no clue what this guy is talking about but I start hearing screaming and very loud music. However, this is not coming from our house but from the neighbors. The prof also notices and immediately starts apologizing, but before he could finish his sentence the other neighbor comes out of his house screaming, "don't you dare touch the TV," and he looks up to the top window of the house. That’s when we finally understood what was happening.
Seconds later a huge TV appears out of the window and is thrown out of the window. I hear the wife screaming, "you cheating liar". End of the story—dude tried to catch his 60-inch TV from a five-meter drop, took the TV right to the face. A firetruck had to come by to clean the streets of all the blood. Weirdest night of my life. Wife is back from whatever therapy she had to go to. She still lives next to us.
My neighbor would garden at 2 AM, which would be okay if it weren't for the fact that she would spy on us if we were coming home late or something. She also would stare out of her living room window and spy on everyone during the day. Oh and she also tried to save my brother from a "stranger" that was driving toward my house, where she was standing near talking to my brother, by telling him "come with me I will protect you" and grabbing him while running toward her house. The stranger was my dad, whom she knew, and my brother is an adult.
Roger. I swear this is all true—sadly. He lived above me. Constant HUGE crashes where dust would fall from my ceiling. Hammering all the time. So much hammering. ALL THE TIME.
Constant gospel/sermons BLASTING from his speakers directly into the courtyard so no matter where you were in the building, you could hear it. Once I had a headache and one of his sermons was blasting for hours so I went to knock on his door to ask him to turn it down. When I went upstairs, there was a GIANT pile of laundry in front of his door. When I went to knock, the door swung open eerily, and I couldn't see anyone. I got nervous and retreated downstairs. I came back with a note and gingerly taped it to his still-ajar door.
He sent me back a letter explaining he had just moved out on his own for the first time. His friends had given him a bed that sometimes fell apart (explaining the earth-shattering crashes I heard daily). He also left me a small potted plant and asked me to come up for a drink and 'down-home' (which I assume means cooking) and an Amy Grant CD. I wish I still had the note, because it was garbled nonsense. I thought for sure English wasn't his first language, but I was mistaken.
Other tenants said he had approached them and asked if he could drill a hole in their wall to run a cord through their units so he could get free electricity. He also liked to leave his apt in boxers and a tank top. One time, it backfired on him. He got locked out that way. When I was leaving and saw him and let him back in he yelled “Praise Jesus”! Another time he was dressed similarly, he saw a couple moving a couch up to the second floor and just had to help. They said he was doing more harm than help and ended up scrabbling under the couch and catching his boxers and ended up flashing them his entire behind.
Once I swear I saw an entire loaf of French bread fly past my window into the courtyard, it was definitely him, he was the only one who lived above me. Another night my kitchen ceiling started pouring water down. I called maintenance and the maintenance guy actually said “Are you sure YOU don't want to go talk to him? That guy is nuts”. Of course, I said no. They go up, the leaking stops, they come back down and say he had been bathing in the kitchen sink and it overflowed. Apparently, the maintenance man was making a joke, and said my neighbor was using too much water when he mopped.
I mentioned it the next time I saw my neighbor and he said maintenance was lying, he had done nothing, and that they were plotting against him and had been breaking into his apartment secretly. He finally got evicted, the authorities had to be called to actually get him out. Then I found out what the hammering was. He had nailed random boards, at random angles, ALL OVER his walls. Hundreds of them. That's what all the hammering was about, constantly, for at least six months. I feel bad because he was obviously messed up, but man I was glad to see him go! The next upstairs neighbor ended up being friendly and someone I could play Mario Kart with on weekends.
When we first moved to this new place, I was six months pregnant. Our neighborhood welcomed us to the neighborhood very nicely. Then, my fiancé switched jobs and had to travel for 3 weeks to another state. He was worried about leaving me alone in a new neighborhood at 6 months pregnant so we decided to talk to our next-door neighbor.
We talked to them. They were very nice. The husband was in the Army for 20 years and then became a deputy sheriff. The wife was a stay-at-home mom. Then my fiancé told them if it'd be too much to ask for their number in case I needed it for an emergency or whatnot. My fiancé told them that he was going to be traveling and that he was worried about leaving me home alone.
Anyways, the neighbors came over a couple of times to our house before my fiancé had to travel. We noticed the wife was overly nice. You know, the type who's wayyyy too nice to be true? So my fiancé leaves out of state and during one of those days my younger brother calls me and tells me he will be around the area and if he could hang out with me and have lunch with me. I said sure and we went out for lunch.
It had been a very long time since I'd seen my brother so when we met at the restaurant he was being very sweet. He would put his arm around my shoulder and we were just having a great time. From the corner of my eye I feel someone just looking my way. I turned around and there she was—my neighbor with her phone out. It seemed like she was taking a picture of us.
When she saw me, she quickly put the phone down and waved at me. I told my brother she was our neighbor and we went on with our day. My fiancé then texts me about an hour later: “The neighbor just sent me these pictures. She thinks you're cheating on me with someone but I haven't told her that's your brother. Should I play along”? To this day, she cannot look me in the eye.
The house next door was a rental for years, and, somehow, was rented out to deadbeats who would get behind on the rent, trash the place, and leave in the middle of the night. The owners would then come in, clean and fix up the house, and rent it to the next bunch of losers. Anyway, a family moved in, bringing a motorcycle and an un-muffled race car with them. Both were quite loud. Oh well.
However, they liked to tune and rev their race car at 3 AM, which was not fun for us. The worst though was when they started inviting their whole biker gang to hang out in their long U-shaped driveway, drinking, revving their bikes, and swearing loudly. We had small children who we had to keep in the house because of this. I finally had enough one day and went outside.
I stood in our driveway and, with my hands on my hips, glared at them. They finally noticed and quieted down and looked at me. In my very best mom voice, I told them that they had to watch their language and noise as I had young children who wanted to play in their own backyard. Much to my pleased shock, they said yes ma’am, and we’re sorry, and they actually were quieter and stopped swearing. I never had to talk to them again as they kept their word.
One time my neighbor took my cat. First, I asked for my cat back. She ran into my arms when this crazy woman opened the door. My neighbor then insisted that I was harassing HER cat, grabbed Marie out of my arms, and slammed the door in my face. Naturally, I called the authorities and they came over.
She argued with them for like 15 minutes, while I was showing them picture after picture of me and Marie I had on my phone. Finally, I showed them all the papers I had for her (vaccination records, her adoption forms, etc) and they said “Look lady, I don’t know why you’re still keeping this up, we know the cat isn’t yours, please just give her back so we don’t have to forcibly take her”.
She told them to get a warrant and tried to shut the door, but the officer stopped her, then told me to go get my cat. I took one step inside, and Marie ran to me again and we walked out. She slammed the door while screaming at us, and the officers told me to call them again if anything happened. I kept Marie inside until we were able to move about two months later. Every time she saw me in those two months, she would curse at me and would tell anyone nearby about how I forcibly removed HER cat. Fortunately, no one believed her because apparently, she had done this before.
My current next-door neighbor moved into the townhouse next to me about 2 years ago. She seemed really nice and pretty normal, until one day. My mother and I were barbecuing dinner when she came outside and proceeded to talk to us; eventually offering us a pint, still pretty nice and normal so I accepted one. She then continues to talk, mentioning that once a week she has a couple of pints with the old tenants of her unit.
That was when we realized that there was something wrong with her. There was an older couple that used to live in her unit, very kind people. About two years before she moved in, the wife passed on after battling dementia. And 4 months before she moved in, the husband soon followed, due to liver failure. My current neighbor is apparently having drinks with the spirits of my neighbors who were long gone.
A few years back our neighbor "accidentally" blew up his garage, burning our tree and fence so badly that they needed to be cut down and replaced respectively. Two days after the fire explosion, he came over to talk about paying for the repairs. He just walked into our house, completely uninvited, as my mum and I were getting ready for bed.
How he managed to get past the big dog is a mystery, but the little inside dogs lost their minds and got our attention. He was coming in the door we never use, scaring the heck out of me. I've not yelled for my mother like that since I was a tiny child. When he got home from work that night, my dad went over and had words with him about not just walking into someone else's home uninvited.
The neighbor ended up paying for the new fence out of his own pocket after his insurance denied his claim. Tried to get us to split the cost and pay back half the money he gave us when the insurance company got back to him. We didn't, of course—it wasn't our fault he blew up gas and propane containers which exploded and set our fence on fire.
I've been waiting for this one. When I was 24, I was living by myself for the first time in a studio on the ground floor in Hurst, TX. Had been living there for about 6 months, and knew that a couple lived next door, but had never spoken to them other than the customary "sup/hey" passing on the sidewalk.
One day, out of the blue, they brought me half a pizza. They said they saw my Vikings decorations on my car and were congratulating me on the win that day (2009 playoffs round 2). I have always been a recluse, so I thought maybe this was normal behavior for neighbors trying to establish friendship.
I ate two pieces of the pizza before I noticed the female peeking in through my window (I kept the blinds up on this one 24/7 because my cat's condo tree was right next to it). I didn't know what the heck was going on, but thought that maybe she was trying to see whether I was enjoying the pizza or not, and so I pretended I hadn't seen her and ate a third piece. Then I saw her head creep up again from the corner of my eye, and briefly saw an arm in a blue hoodie that I knew belonged to the male. That’s when I made a disturbing realization. I immediately thought "They poisoned the pizza. I am being poisoned. My neighbors are trying to off me”. Right after I thought this, I noticed for the first time a weird woody/musty taste that I was shocked I hadn't noticed before.
I knew they were watching me, so I put the half-eaten piece back in the open box on my coffee table, stood up as calmly as I could, stretched to try and show that I was at ease, and made my way to the bathroom, where I slammed the door and immediately attempted to make myself vomit. The thing is, I don't really have a gag reflex, and even though I managed to make myself retch a few times, I didn't throw up. So I drank half a gallon of water (which did make me vomit), then laid in the bathtub with my phone ready to call poison control if I felt anything strange at all. I ended up falling asleep there for a couple of hours, and woke up fine.
Several weeks later my neighbors couldn't take the suspense anymore and admitted that they'd put shrooms on the pizza, because they thought the batch they'd bought were duds and wanted to test them on me. Months later when he had actually become friends, I asked why they hadn't simply asked me over to try them. Their answer was ridiculous. They said it was much more exciting to slip them to me and watch to see if I would trip.
The resident Halloween Guy in my hometown gives out hot dogs and drinks instead of candy. Picture a two-story house covered with spotlights and kid-friendly plywood standees (Charlie Brown, Nightmare Before Christmas) and like four collapsible tables just COVERED in wrapped dogs and condiments.
Growing up, there was this lady down the street who we called "Crazy Grandma”. My mom was a first-grade teacher, and this lady's grandson was in my mom's class. She called the school on multiple occasions to talk to my mom over the phone, which is fine. She was his guardian, so it wasn't that bad. The issue was that she lived down the street and she was completely nuts.
She either loved my family and credited my mom for keeping her grandson from going behind bars or hated us and blamed my mom for him being in prison. When she liked us, she would bake us cakes (which we never ate) and ask me to be her flower girl when she married Obama. She would also send us letters with the letter written on the envelope and nothing inside. When she hated us, she would call and send letters with threats for my mom and our family.
Crazy Grandma had this reputation in the whole neighborhood. Nobody went trick-or-treating at her house because she threw Bibles at us and called us demons. Whenever she saw me playing outside, she'd try to talk to me and either threaten me or again ask me to be the flower girl at her and Obama's wedding (side note: this woman was married). Thing things took a dark turn.
My mom got enough evidence in a short period of time to get Crazy Grandma committed and her husband helped, because she had falsely accused him of attacking her. What actually happened was that she charged at him and she cut herself when he was trying to take the knife away.
My parents live across the street from a cult. They moved in a few years back. There were always a ton of cars in the driveway. Like, 16. And this is a four-bedroom house (my friend used to cat-sit for the previous owners, and I'd go with her sometimes so I'm familiar with the house's layout). Eventually, they paved a whole parking lot.
They're quiet and keep to themselves, but we've looked into the cult. They're religious and this is the type of cult that separates people from their families and takes all their money. Scary stuff. We figured it out by looking up who bought the house. The cult had "split" in 2012 to diffuse the cult vs. church controversy. I think the controversy has generally been dispelled, but the former leader that moved in across the street is definitely continuing along the cult path. Probably trying to fly under the radar.
Have a neighbor in her 50s or 60s who shuts off her main power switch to her house every time she leaves her house. The reason why is hilarious. She is convinced that homeless people break into homes, use all the appliances, take showers and then leave without a trace before the owners came back. They don't take anything or appear to break anything to gain entry. Her evidence? Her power and water bill were very high this one month.
Plus one day she apparently came home and there was a scratch on her breaker box (which she locks). Her assumption was that someone tried to break into her house but realized the power was off. The would-be thief apparently then tried to open the breaker box so they could turn the power back on. After being foiled by the breaker box, the thief left never to be seen again.
Before we moved, the neighbor used to come back from the pub at midnight (weeknights) and start loud karaoke on the lawn next to our bedroom. She liked the sound of her voice so turned up the microphone. He was self-conscious so turned up the music to cover the vocals. Then it was her turn, etc. We asked nicely for them to turn it down one morning at 3am and by the time we'd walked back around the house it was almost twice as loud as before we'd done it whilst they shout-whispered nasty comments about us to each other. Best part? They had one disc and she only sang "Black Velvet".
Days after one of the karaoke nights, she agreed with the postman (not us) to take delivery of one of our parcels whilst we were out. I went round politely to get it and she claimed she'd not had it even though I had a slip and it stated it on the website. I could see it next to her on a table. I had to tell her that was it three times before she conceded (she looked at it every time I told her). Apparently politely collecting our parcel was worthy of keying my car and my wife's car.
The first week I moved into my new place on the 21st floor the neighbor came and asked me if it was OK for him to use my balcony as one of a few balcony hops he'd do to get over to his buddy's place in the other tower without going all the way down and back up. I told him it was OK so long as my curtains were closed or I wasn't home. 21st floor.
We had a neighbor who routinely drove his truck through our yard and accused our dogs of getting into his trash at night. Spoiler alert: my dogs are inside dogs. But the best is the neighbor four houses down the street who raises Labs. At any given time he has between 12-20 full-grown dogs barking in his single-lot (about 1/4 of an acre) yard. But there’s a disgusting twist. He never cleans the kennels.
He pulls into my driveway one day, complaining about my rooster crowing early in the morning and bothering him and his wife. I mean, this guy is screaming at the top of his lungs about my "darn rooster”. At this point, I literally had an empty chicken coop. My rooster, along with the rest of my chickens, had not hatched yet and were going to be hatched and shipped from a state away...three weeks later. I had never HAD chickens on the property, and if he could hear an unhatched rooster from easily 3,000+ miles then his hearing was certainly better than mine is.
I leaned in really close and asked, "Can you repeat yourself? I can't hear you over your dogs barking”. I've never felt like I was closer to getting sucker punched in my life. This guy went on to try and start a neighborhood petition to get us kicked out (our house and property have been paid for since 1996, and he is a renter) and the next thing I know, I have about 10 elderly neighbors stopping me in the street trying to hand me money to get more than just one rooster. Turns out, they all hate the guy. Now, we have several very loud roosters, as well as other noisemaking livestock, and he just glares at me every time he drives by.
My childhood home was situated in a cul-de-sac with about 5 immediate neighbors. We became friendly with all but 2, one family with the rowdiest kids I've ever met, and the other that was a crazy woman and her husband. Rowdy kids and Crazy lived next door to one another.
Anyway, the rowdy kids had a very steeply sloping driveway where the high end was at the street and the low end ran into their detached garage. They had some cheap plastic big wheels and cars that you scoot along with your feet that they would drag to the top of the driveway then slide down. No parents were ever observed keeping an eye on them. And when I say steep I mean steep, once they got going there was no stopping and on more than one occasion I heard the tale-tell scraping slide then a rattling crash followed by a piercing wail as they slammed into the garage door at full velocity.
Every day after school and all weekend it was the same thing. SsssssssSSSCRAPE slam-bang whoop (or cry) then silence as they dragged their vehicle of choice to the top of the hill and started again. Every. Single. Day. Crazy was fed up with it, let me tell you. She wrote a five-page letter to this family and mailed it to their address about how all the residents of the cul-de-sac got together and voted that they should move out of their house or we would all gather outside and torch the place with them still in it. That's not the exact wording but she seriously said we'd agreed to burn their house home with them inside.
Obviously, this freaked the rowdy kids' family out and the mom went across the street to one of the other neighbors and asked about it, to which they of course said no that's messed up, no one sent that but Crazy. I don't know if anything happened after that between the two families. I do know the rowdy kids' family ended up moving out about six months later, but not before someone pulled a classic flaming poop bag on Crazy woman’s doorstep.
I lived two doors up from a woman who had some serious issues. She was ok most of the time but she did have two young kids. I myself being a 17-year-old single Mum, woke up to her banging on the door at 4 am with her little boy in her arms asking me to take him because "they were coming to get him”. I don't know who "they" were but was too tired to care so took both of them inside and made her a cuppa whilst I put some cartoons on for the boy. I figured I would just wait out her bad trip so I knew her son was safe. That’s when I made a terrifying realization. In my sleep-addled brain, I forgot she had a daughter also.
So back into the front room I go and ask who has her daughter. "I don't have a daughter”. She replies...WHAT? At this point, I am worried that she has done something to her so I stick my head out my front door and bang on my neighbor's door and ask her to sit with them and make sure my daughter is safe (she was asleep in her cot at the time) whilst I went and looked for her baby girl.
Their house was disgusting, there was food all over the floor, flies everywhere and the smell is something I will never forget.
Thankfully as soon I went in I heard the baby crying so knew that she was at least alive. I go upstairs past more debris to get her.
Her mum still had no recollection of who this child was when I got back. Gave the baby a bath to get the filth off her and thankfully she was roughly the same size as my baby so had some clothes she could wear. I called the authorities while I was in the bathroom. I knew she would lose her children but after seeing the filth they were living in I have no regrets. Last I heard Mum is clean now and working to get them back which is something.
So we lived on the border between two towns in suburban California. When the duck ponds in the parks were drained due to the drought, we'd start getting ducks hanging out on our neighborhood lawns. Our neighbor across the street was kind of a hippie animal lover and decided to start taking care of the ducks. Feeding them, raising them. He petitioned the city to get Duck Crossing signs put up on our street. It was really cute.
And then it became a bit of a nuisance. There were so many ducks, they'd sometimes get in the street and hold up traffic. And there'd be a lot of duck poop on the sidewalks. Neighbors took sides, pro-duck vs. anti-duck, and complaints were filed. Eventually, the city our neighbor lived in forbade him from feeding and raising ducks on his property. So he walked across the street to our house (which was in a different city) and asked my mom if he could feed the ducks on our lawn. My mom liked the ducks, so she gave him permission. Every day he'd walk over and put out some food and water for the ducks.
Another neighbor of ours was very anti-duck, and very anti- the "duck man" as he had come to be known. There would be frequent altercations between these two, and the "duck man" started getting a bit paranoid. He set up cameras to monitor his property, as well as cameras monitoring our lawn. Then one day I got an email from my sister with an attached video of the anti-duck man pouring some kind of liquid over all the duck food on our lawn. What did he pour? Some say it was poison, some say it was just vinegar. I don't know. I just know our lawn had become the main battleground for a dispute between two neighbors.
Eventually, my mom got tired of the duck dispute and told the duck man he was no longer allowed to feed the ducks on our property. He got really mad, and left a ranting letter on our doorstep accusing us of being part of some government conspiracy. You'd think that'd be the end of it, but by this time, the duck man had become a target of ridicule and harassment, and we'd frequently get rowdy teenagers driving by in the middle of the night, honking their horns and jeering, waking up the entire neighborhood before speeding away. All this over some stupid ducks.
Moved into an apartment that had been vacant for a long time, so I guess the guy who lived in the apartment below had gotten pretty used to having zero sound from above. I'm legitimately a very quiet person—like I even wear headphones to listen to my music when I'm home alone. He called the authorities on me multiple times because he could hear my dog walk across the apartment. One time, he told another tenant in the building that he was going to shoot my dog. It really didn't seem like he was joking either. Luckily, I moved out about a month later.
He also used to AirBnb and one time these two young girls from Germany had signed up to stay with him. They got such a bad vibe after only being in his apartment a few minutes that they came running up to mine and asked me to "hide" them and if they could use my computer to check into a hotel. He came banging on the door while the girls were there saying things like "They're coming with me, we have an arrangement”. Creep.
In 1989 I was 16 and working my first job at the local mall. I got a call one afternoon from my boss. What he told me was terrifying. He said: "When you come to work tonight, have your father walk you inside. Someone committed foul play in the parking lot. Some girl was found in her car”. Creepy. For a month we were escorted into and out of work. I would get home, hit the neighborhood with my friends. By this time it was less hide and seek and more hidden smokes and secret campfires.
Fast forward a few years and my old neighbor, who we all hung out with as kids, hung himself in a hotel room and left a note admitting he had been the one who harmed the girl in the parking lot. So, while I was being all careful at work, I was out walking my neighborhood every night with the offender living next door.
My old neighbor was this sweet old man who served in the Pacific during WWII. He had some serious PTSD, and sometimes would have flashbacks while I was at his house, grabbing me and pulling us behind the coffee table, and casting about for a weapon. He was one of the kindest, most compassionate people I knew, and when he passed from cancer I was really upset. Some time went by and his relatives showed up to claim the things he left to them in his will. About 45 minutes later the explosives disposal squad shows up and evacuates everyone on the block.
It turns out he had an old collection of about 20 WWII hand grenades in his closet, still primed and volatile. They were extremely unstable, and the authorities weren't sure they could move them and almost resorted to detonating them on site. They managed to disarm them safely, but to this day I think about my perfect, kind, elderly neighbor and how he could have blown up the neighborhood in a moment of PTSD-fueled confusion.
I've got another one. This isn't mine, but my grandparents' small lake cottage. A long time ago, the property had Arbor Vitae all around it on our side of the property, save for the beach. The neighbors would constantly pull the arbor vitae aside in order to peek through into the property and see what was going on. My grandfather frequently tried to replant in the gap they made, but they would just kill the plants each time. Jump ahead to after the neighbors passed, and left the property to their willfully unemployed, alcoholic son. Destroying of replanted arbors continued.
The arbor vitae where they had once peeked through had now become an arch about 7 feet high, and 5-6 feet wide. The neighbors blare loud music, shout, toss empty bottles into our yard, and launch fireworks until about 1 am each night they are there. The kids would frequently run into our property, ride their bicycles on our lawn, etc. During the time periods when the family was not using the property, their estranged druggie son would frequently (at some times, more than once a month) hold parties in their trailer, on their property, and on our property.
Eventually, their inheritance wore thin, and they sold out to some other guy. My grandfather replants arbor vitae. The next time he goes up to the cottage, the new arbor vitae are gone. The new guy tells us that he doesn't like our arbor vitae and wants to cut them all down, in order to allow more light into his property. My grandfather declines. The guy is clearly disappointed, but doesn't seem malicious. The next time we go to the cottage, the arbor vitae are trimmed such that the trunks on his side are visible.
He's cut away half of the plants. He tells us he wants them gone, even though they're completely on our property. Not even the tips of the branches reach (or reached) into his. He goes to the lake society. He's blatantly in the wrong, and the society agrees. Nothing happens, but several of the arbor vitae die. My grandfather is too feeble to plant more, is busier caring for my grandmother who has rectal cancer and dementia, and is sick and tired of dealing with a string of increasingly crazy neighbors.
Bought my first house in a rather rough neighborhood. One day, my 6'5" tall, 300lb neighbor knocked on my front door. When I answered, he had a UPS package and a handgun. Told me some kids were trying to take my package, but he ran them off. He said, "You ain't gotta worry ‘bout dem lil brats anymore. Best believe Imma LOCK AND LOAD if they come back”. He was a pretty cool guy.
My neighbor is very weird. He never waves and has a permanent sneer on his face. When we moved in we were warned he was a registered offender and to call the authorities if we see him with kids. One day, he calls up out of the blue. I've never spoken to him before but he proceeds to launch into his explanation of his record—but that’s not even the weird part.
One day he starts building a sign in front of his house. Not like a little poster. It is professionally printed on metal and mounted on two huge posts set with concrete. The sign is a picture of a puppy and a long rambling story about how he let his puppy play in the street and it got hit by a car 10 years ago, but it's written in a way where he seems to accuse the people in the neighborhood of doing away with his dog.
Next to this sign, covering his entire fence, is an enormous banner reading "We Miss You”! I don't know who 'We' is. He lives alone. There’s also an even larger picture of the puppy which isn't necessary because directly in front of the banner, sitting on a folding card table, is the actual puppy. He had it stuffed and set it out on display and left it there for days and hid behind the fence waiting for someone to mess with it but nobody did. The puppy and the banner disappeared but the metal sign was permanent. It stayed up for years until a bad storm ripped it down.
I always wondered what he does with the dog. Does it stay in a closet or does he keep it out in his house? I got my answer. I have a friend who does construction and one day he was hired by my weirdo neighbor to build a shed. Without even asking he tells me the guy keeps a stuffed dog in the living room like a piece of furniture and that he talks to it.
A bunch of old folks moved out and some new neighbors came in. They met us once to ask permission for barbecuing. That was literally the only time I saw them. They'd never come out. You'd never see them in the morning or evening. They were never at the local shops and when they moved in we did see they had like 15 mattresses for a four-bedroom house which raised some red flags but we didn't think much of it because they were quiet. Later, we learned the dark truth.
It turns out they were running a brothel there.
My old neighbor was perfect, quiet, and always had a nice chat when we met outside our flats. He was obviously dealing drugs but he kept all the junkies in line, they were quiet as well when they were knocking on his door all hours of the night. Then he stabbed two guys that came to his door. The hallway was covered in blood. It was crazy. Still, after he got sent to prison a new guy moved in that played music constantly as loud as he possibly could. I'll take ol' stabby back any day.
I had neighbors. A man and his elderly mother. He cared for her. I never spoke to them due to a language barrier. We nodded and smiled. Our front doors were literally 1m apart and we shared a small open space and courtyard in front of the small, two-story building. So the wife and I leave on vacation for two weeks and when we get back, we’re greeted by a chilling sight. The neighbor's house is empty with the doors open and some yellow tape on the floor. The house is dirty. You can tell there have been a lot of people in and out of there.
We heard from other neighbors that he killed his mother and then ran into the courtyard confessing to it and begging for forgiveness before he took his own life. There was literally no evidence of this by the time we got back. If nobody told us, we never would have known. We stayed there one more year. His house remained empty the whole time but was gutted and renovated after we left.
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