Author Topic: The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood  (Read 96479 times)

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My mom came last (a photo taken as we ran to the car made the mother did not duck. In fact she appears to be running on her toes. She said she figured that if she was the easiest target, her kids would be more likely to make it to the car I said, she is awesome, and really brave).

This literally made me cry.

On to my own, much less exciting stories.

Growing up, I'm afraid we WERE the exciting events. Youngest DB went missing one day when he was 2. The whole neighbourhood was in an uproar trying to find him. Turned out he had wandered over to our neighbour's house and when no-one was home curled up to sleep BEHIND the lounge in their downstairs room.

Much less amusingly a few years later my parents had a major domestic which involved older brother and I running for help across the road in the middle of the night because we were afraid our father was going to kill our mother. Good times [/sarcasm]. (In case anyone's interested, mum took us and left and never came back).

University years I lived in a slightly seedy neighbourhood with friends. Occassionally my flatmate and I would be propositioned by guys who mistook us for one of the local streetwalkers. Which I thought was very rude, since we were MUCH better and healthier looking than any of them  :)

Early married life I'm afraid the most "exciting" thing that happened was when our elderly neighbour died. His wife didn't know what to do and hadn't accepted that he was gone and came tapping on our kitchen window (very close to the fence line) to look for help. DH was at work so I had to go over, call the relevant authorities and try and prepare her for being told he was gone without actually taking it upon myself to actually do so in case I was wrong.

On a less sad note, we were about 2 blocks away from a train line. One night there was a huge rumble that seemed to go on forever. I thought it was thunder, but DH (who warks for the railway) immediately jumped up and said "That's a train derailing". Fortunately it was a coal train - the rumble was tons and tons of coal spilling - and no-one was hurt. There was a massive clean-up job that lasted for weeks though.

Now we live in a nice neighbourhood. Trouble with the nice neighbourhood turned out to be that 'youths' from less nice neighbourhoods figured that no-one around here keeps their doors locked until we go to bed (we don't) and so we'd be ripe for home invasions. They invaded two doors down but the man who lives there is super fit and chased them off. They then went around the corner to where a 14 yo boy was babysitting a couple of smaller children. Luckily he had the presence of mind to grab the children and a phone and get them into a room and barricade the door. They took the car keys and money from downstairs and left. The son of the man in the first house was out in the street looking for them and caught one who ran away as the others drove off in the car but he was under 18 so nothing really happened to him.  :(
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.


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I just remembered one incident that happened at my uni (in a suburb quite close to where I live, so technically my neighbourhood). One day I went to the library to catch up on a few things when a girl ran screaming down the main stairs, having been stabbed in the back. I felt sorry for the poor librarians trying to organise the chaos that was getting hundreds of students out of the building quickly, not to mention attending to the victim.

The perpetrator was a girl with more than a few mental problems who one day took it into her head to stab someone. She took some steak knives with her and waited in the ladies restroom, and just picked her victim at random. Afterwards she went and sat in one of the study carrels and patiently waited for the police to come and arrest her.

My parents were at this time away on vacation in an area with bad mobile phone reception, so I couldn't call them. When they returned that night to their motel and saw on the news that a girl had been stabbed at my uni, they immediately freaked out and scrambled to call me from the motel landline.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.


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It doesn't compare much to other stories, and fits into the Strange category, but a few weeks ago while I was working at home, there was a loud and very insistent knock at the door.  While I'm working I usually ignore such things as it's always either UPS making a delivery or someone selling something.  This time the knock came again, harder and louder.  I looked out the sidelight and saw two policemen standing there, off to the side from the centerline of the door with hands upon their holstered weapons.  I opened the door and said "May I help you?"  Their looked at me, then past me and asked if a 911 call had been placed from our home and if everything was alright.  I said no one had called and asked why did they think so?  "We had a call from a cell phone registered to this address." I asked for the number and it was neither mine nor my DH's, nor was it our land line.  They kept looking past me and asked if they could come in.  They came into the foyer and asked if they could look around.  I insisted that there was no problem, no one had called, and they had no reason to search our home, since they had no warrant and no probable cause.  Noting the NRA decal on the sidelight window (along with a decal that says "This home protected by Colt - we don't call 911" - which DH put there!), one of them asked if there were weapons in the house.  I said, "Yes, and they are all legally owned, out of our child's reach and kept ready for use should they be needed. If you'll leave a card my DH can call and talk with you about them.  Now, being that there are no problems here, that no one here called you, and that the number you're responding to is not at this house, I'm going to bid you good day and ask that you leave.  Or shall I call my DH and lawyer?  I must get back to work. Can I offer you both a bottle of cold water as it's very hot outside today?  In any case, thank you for stopping by and have a lovely day!"  They returned to their cruisers and left after about 10 minutes.  I wondered if the next visitor would be the SWAT Team and returned to my software coding work.

DH knows many of the officers assigned to our area and when they're patrolling they sometimes stop and chat if he's working outside in the yard.  He spoke to one about what had happened and was told that I had acted well within my rights as a homeowner to ask them to leave under those circumstances.  We're strong supporters of the local police and have many friends and acquaintances working both on and for the force.  I'm glad to know they're out there protecting us.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 12:07:43 PM by JustCallMePat »


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    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up

Final one - I'm at work last year and my son (college freshman back home in Texas) sends me a text "Mom, if you hear anything about a gunman on campus - we are on lockdown, but I'm safe" - can we say heart attack!! Come to find out, yes, there was a student on campus with a gun, but the situation resolved itself a couple hours later.
I had a coworker get a similar voice mail from her child. Thankfully by the time she got it - the news had reported that the "gunman" was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the gun was wood i believe.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Diane AKA Traska

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So hey, new story!

This morning, as I'm helping SO get ready for work, I hear from the bathroom "I sure hope that's somebody's car."  Turns out SO smells something coming in the bathroom window (we have a fan in there, but the room I'm in has AC, so no smells from outside), and is hoping that it's car exhaust.  I promptly think no more of it.

A couple of minutes later, SO calls up to me "I found out what the smell was, come down here!"  So I do.

Turns out a pickup truck at the end of the block is on fire.  B the time I get down there, a police officer is handling the situation.  I turn to SO and say "Good news... it IS somebody's car."  And I go back inside.
Philadelphia, PA

General Jinjur

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The very first place I lived aside from my parent's place was a house situated across the street from the largest meth-processing lab in the East Bay. I did not know this. In fact, I was so naive that I thought the residents just had a lot of friends...who liked to visit in the small hours...briefly. They were a constant source of trouble, but the worst was the day when one of the denizens decided to run around shirtless in the street, firing his shotgun. While the school next door was at recess. It was not but a few days later that I was relaxing in the front room watching COPS, when suddenly I heard activity, and looked out to find the street swarming with uniformed DEA officers. It was an odd moment of cognitive dissonance as I looked outside...then to the screen...then outside again, before decided outside was more interesting.

They all went to jail, and the house was torn down. Which was too bad, as it was a Victorian cottage in a town that had very little of its history still standing, but I suppose after years of being a meth lab it wasn't salvageable.


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(1)  About 15 years ago, it was Halloween.  At about 5 pm, I was exiting from my back door, and walked right onto a police officer with a gun drawn who was trying to peek into the window of the house next door (only a driveway separated the two houses).. I didn't know it at the time, but the guy next door had gone off his meds, and about 15 minutes before had been standing in the front yard naked and waving a rifle.  By the time the police got there, he was back inside, hence the police trying to figure out what was going on.  The officer waved me back into the house.  At this point, I said the most incredibly SS statement of my life (and to my eternal embarrassment): "But I have to go to a party!"  (The police got him out of there in less than 5 minutes with no harm to anyone, and yes, I made it to my party).

(2)  One night about 20 years ago, I was driving home from work, and there were about 6 police cars parkedalongside the road at one point.  As I drove by, wondering what had happened, just then 2 men came out of the woods, carrying an obviously occupied body bag (turned out to be a hunting accident).

(3) Finally, back in the late 1970's, I was attending school in Buffalo, and my roommate and I had the downstairs apartment in a duplex.  The family upstairs had 2 lively dogs that loved to play.  So one night, there was this incredible scrambling and banging.  "What in the world?"  My roomate said, "Oh that's just the dogs upstairs."  Then about 5 minutes later, another scrambling.  "It sounds like my bedroom."  "No, " my roomate insisted, "it's just the dogs."  Then came an enormous bang.  I jumped to my feet.  "That was in my bedroom!"

So we went into the bedroom, and I found my iron (normally kept on a shelf in the closet) lying on the floor.  My roomate said that the vibrations from the dogs had jiggled it to the edge of the shelf and it fell.  Okay.

Next morning, she has already gone to class, and I am getting ready to leave.  I go to shut my bedroom window.  That's weird, it looks like there is no screen.  No, wait, there is no screen.  It had been cut from the frame along 3 sides and was draped hanging down from the window.  So then I started looking around my room and found that someone had been in my purse and stolen the $5 that was in it (and maybe my driver's license -- I had no car at the time, and I could have lost the license months before and never known).

So we had been burglarized.  Fortunately, he only got $5.  Extra special super duper fortunately, I never went into the room until after he was gone.  I would hate to think what might have happened if I had caught him.  And the entire time, we were sitting ten feet away talking.  He had to have heard us.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy


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I got called out to represent a client in the police station.  I discover he is accused of chasing a man along my road and knifing him under my bedroom window.

With that and the fact I was on the foot route from a bunch of nightclubs to the nearest train and bus stations, I moved shortly afterwards.


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Colorado Springs
One day, about 13 years ago, a little girl went missing from her babysitter's home. There was a panic until about two.5-3 hours later, when her school called the parents to say that she had just walking into her classroom and apologized for being late.

It turns out her babysitter had fallen asleep when she was supposed to be watching the kids and so hadn't reminded her to go catch the bus. She noticed it leaving and, not wanting to miss school, decided to walk. But she'd been told not to wake people who are sleeping, so she didn't tell anyone she was going. Walked across a 4-lane highway and partway across the city to get to class.

Mom scared that sort of stuff clean out of me when I got home.  ;)

Air Force Academy

We wake up at about three to our puppies panicking under my parents' bed. Come to find out there's a large black bear rifling through the garbage about 20 feet from our front door. Our neighbor decided it'd be a good idea to send his groggy eight-year-old son to get a close-up picture of the bear. Ended up with my father standing in our fenced backyard yelling at them to get inside, them trying to get a better picture, and my sister's tom scratching at the front door in a territorial rage(I swear, he would've taken the hair off a mountain lion had one been stupid enough to come on our property).

Incirlik, Turkey
We moved here in spring 2002, and the school was right next to the Main Gate, so it wasn't uncommon for the school to be evacuated due to a threat at the gate.

South Dakota
There was a supposed gunman on campus my sophomore year high school. It turned out that it was a big lie told by a student, but not until we'd gone on lockdown and had to be evacuated by SWAT teams(with help from the ROTC). I was the only person harmed, and even then was only because I'd been trying to walk and talk on my cell when it was all over(I hadn't been able to find one of my friends in the mess and called to make sure she was okay, tripped and twisted my ankle).

Multiple bomb threats/gas leaks at my high school.

Some teenager driving for the first time ran over a tree in the local state park. Sorry tree.  :-[

A house down the road exploded. No meth or anything, just a gas leak. One man died, the other residents were in the hospital. Turned out they went to church with the woman who sat behind me in Trig.
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."


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Oh my, my last home, so many crazy things.

Nice older neighbor near downtown of a small city, but the area was dying because of job loss etc.

Hookers on the corner. Drugs coming down from Detroit was causing that I think.

House across the street was a rental. One year new people moved in. The people were gone for the weekend (going to Columbus or Detroit?) and then Sunday night, non stop people stopping by for 5 minutes then leaving. Sounds like drugs to me. A police seargent I know put me in touch with the drug task force. Few months later they busted them based on my info. Why wasn't I home to watch!!!!!!

Was driving down a no traffic street on my way home from the grocery store and a guy zoomed out in front of me in a truck. I mean scary speed, I was lucky I could stop. I watched the truck, he was in the middle of the seat. The truck sped across the street, past a few houses and came to a stop over 3 train tracks. (Big train town.) Only 4 pm, but he was DUI.

In the 10 years I lived there I bet I also called 911 half a dozen times for domestic incidents on the street.

Oh yeah, the warehouse fire 2 blocks aways, and the murdered girl a block away...... The car that crashed into my house.

I liked it there, but really glad I am gone!


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We had several bomb threats at our high school when I was a kid, which most times meant that we were evacuated to the library of the middle school next door.   Which I really didn't mind as I loved to read and the middle school was newer than the high school and had a much nicer library.  Most times we were there for hours so I'd grab a book or two (fast reader) and just park myself down and read until we were allowed to cross the parking lot back to our school.

Then on my birthday of my senior year we had another bomb threat, only this time there was a typed note on the front doors of both the middle and the high school.   I figure the kid was hoping that if he did that then they'd send everyone home.

Nope.  They sent everybody outside on a rainy day and cool day in November.  There never were any bombs, and I remember being really annoyed at the kid who did it.   

Turns out the kid was caught because his parents were looking on his computer at home and apparently when the guy typed up the bomb threat on his computer, he saved the document.  Not just that one, but every other bomb threat we'd had that year.  The parents turned him in and he was expelled.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata


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Not my neighborhood, but that of friends that's not all that far from me:

This week, said friends came home to find that their door had been kicked in.  There was evidence that the invader had popped down to their basement, found nothing of value, and moved back upstairs to the living room, where he/she/they had begun rifling through the two large trunks they keep there.

Nothing, as far as they can tell, is missing.  The objects removed from the trunks were arranged neatly on the couch and table.

Weird, no?

There are two prevailing theories here, either or a combination of both being possible:

1)  About the time the person(s) was rifling through the trunk, the two (large) resident dogs realized hijinks were ensuing and started barking their dear giant heads off.  They're outside dogs, but it's possible that Burglar didn't trust the backyard door to hold.  Also, one of the dogs is suspected of having teleportation capabilities, so there's that.  It doesn't really explain the neatness of things, though, and why they didn't seem to even grab anything that was close to hand before leaving.

2)  Burglar began rifling through trunk, but then started....looking around.  And noticing things.  Like the very lifelike stuffed raven on the chandelier, the portrait of the Greek goddess Eris on the wall, the shelves stuffed with books on advanced magickal practice, and the general large amount of very, very pagan stuff and weird weapons all over the living room.  At which point it became obvious that this wasn't a typical suburban house, it was a Witch House, and the Burglar freaked out, laid everything ransacked out to show he hadn't taken anything so please, please don't curse him to death, and RAN.

kitty_kats mom

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Final one - I'm at work last year and my son (college freshman back home in Texas) sends me a text "Mom, if you hear anything about a gunman on campus - we are on lockdown, but I'm safe" - can we say heart attack!! Come to find out, yes, there was a student on campus with a gun, but the situation resolved itself a couple hours later.
I had a coworker get a similar voice mail from her child. Thankfully by the time she got it - the news had reported that the "gunman" was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the gun was wood i believe.
oh - this was a student that had decided the best way to deal with THEIR suicidal feelings was to go to campus and think about ending their life!  While I truely felt bad for said student, the stress that they put all the other kids through, and parents, was beyond torture.  And of course the students that were locked down weren't getting much information so I was trying to pass on what I could - without freaking DS out more than he was.

And Peas.....she calmly got the keys out of the ignition and went into the laundry room until the tryst was done.  Then she used about a gallon of bleach on the backseat cleaning!!


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Glass Breaking and Screaming:

Years ago I lived in a basement apartment with my BF at the time. We had neighbors directly above us who were pretty loud on weekends, especially pay day weekends. One night we heard them yelling and hollering as average, but this had a tinge of anger and fear in it. I could not understand any of the words, but called 911. I was pacing back and forth around my apartment, and suddenly heard a CRASH, glass breaking. The cops had shown up by then, and when the knock was at the neighbor's front door, I heard footsteps scattering to their bedroom. (our apartments were laid out exactly the same, my bedroom below theirs, kitchen below, etc). So I flipped my bedroom lights a few times to signal the cops and pointed directly above me. The cops figured it out.
At the same time I'm all super stressed and freaked out, I wanted to help the neighbor getting the crap beat out of her (I'd been in a similar situation; but I was so irrational here), I was pacing, restless, getting wound up. Suddenly after the cops had figured out where the people were hiding, I heard a KA-BAM, breaking the neighbor's front door in. Both neighbors were arrested, due to equal violence, both being intoxicated, and just...dumb. If you're getting beat up, why would you both go hide in the bedroom?
Same night, officer came down and took my statement. Later found out from the landlord that the apartment was TRASHED and needed new everything. The only good part - I had silence above me for over a month.

Same Building, Different Idiot

One day I get home from work. I park my bicycle outside my front window.  (I'm in a basement apartment, so my eyes are literally level with the dirt outside. I could see my bike from me sitting on my couch.) As I go in the front door, there's a guy behind me coming in, and he doesn't look like anyone who lives in this building. I say hi, he ignores me and keeps walking upstairs. Out of nosyness, I stick my head out my front door. I hear steps, knob turn, steps, knob turn, steps...he's finding unlocked doors..or trying to. I call the cops, and report this. They ask me, "Well just cuz he doesn't look like someone doesn't mean he's not related, why are you calling?" I say again: "He's going door to door trying door to break in. I'm hearing this, holding my cordless phone in the hallway HEARING ALL OF IT".
So they say, sure, be there, and Mr.Turner walks down the stairs, and sees my bike, parked in front of my window. Looking around, he decides to get on my bike and start slowly pedaling away. I'm still on the cordless phone with dispatcher, walking behind Mr. Turner (literally) and yelling at him GET OFF MY BIKE and the cops telling me to not hit him..Of course, I'm not..he's bigger...BUT GET OFF MY BIKE.  Also I'm yelling THIEF THIEF HE'S STEALING MY BIKE. (no violence, figured the shame factor might work)
Neighbor in different wing but basement hears "bike" and runs outside to tackle Mr. Turner (as his own bike had been stolen recently) and gets him off the bike. Cop car pulls up and takes Mr. Turner (found to be drunk) to the Graybar Hotel. Cop takes my statement and looks at me funny.
I guess I was dumb. Oh well, I have a story now!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 11:35:19 PM by Cutenoob »


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2)  Burglar began rifling through trunk, but then started....looking around.  And noticing things.  Like the very lifelike stuffed raven on the chandelier, the portrait of the Greek goddess Eris on the wall, the shelves stuffed with books on advanced magickal practice, and the general large amount of very, very pagan stuff and weird weapons all over the living room.  At which point it became obvious that this wasn't a typical suburban house, it was a Witch House, and the Burglar freaked out, laid everything ransacked out to show he hadn't taken anything so please, please don't curse him to death, and RAN.
I like #2! ;D
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