Author Topic: The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood  (Read 96531 times)

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Twik

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One of my more dramatic moments was "Day of the Castaways".

When I was a child, my family had a cottage on a seacoast. It wasn't deserted by any means, but quite rural. There was an island a few miles off shore from it, a few acres of mosquitos and little else. One fall day, we were staying overnight when there was a big storm. The next day, the water was still very rough. When we looked out in the morning, we could see an object bobbing far off in the distance near the island.

Over the next hour, the object came closer, tossing in the waves. We noted that it looked like boat wreckage, and hoped there had not been an accident.

The object came closer. As it came near to shore, it became visible that it was a raft, with two people on it. Eventually, it reached shore. We went down to see it, and discovered two young men on board, nearly completely exhausted. Apparently, they'd been out sailing when the storm hit the night before, and it drove them on a reef around the island. They decided as soon as it was light to make a raft of the wreckage, and paddle to shore.

We fed them and gave them warm clothes, and called the authorities who were already looking for them. After they left for town, we children were given the talk about how if something similar ever happened to us, we should stay where we were, and wait for rescue, rather than trusting our lives to a few broken boards lashed together.

They did get rescued a few hours earlier, but they could easily have drowned in the attempt to cross.
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bigozzy

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I 1991 we lived in Glasgow. Went down to get the car to do some shopping one morning and found it stolen. First and only time this has happened.

Did the usualy reporting/insurance and so on. Police told us it was probably taken for a joy ride- something of a regular occurence the next neighbourhood over.

Heard nothing for a few weeks and were just about to get an insurance payout when we got a call from the police asking if (description) was our car and asking us to go in to the station.

The guy explained that the car was the first car used as a getaway from an armed robbery so it was abandoned quickly in some ruraL area with little damage!

Then we had to answer some wonderful but essential questions:

Officer: Holds up sawn off shot gun "Is this yours"?

Us: Nope

O: Hunting knife "This"?

This goes on with shotgun cartriges, a handgun and even pantyhose.

Brought some excitement to our otherwise quiet neighbourhood anyway. No one was hurt and they were caught by the way.

Sluggyfan

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I love these stories! Almost as intriguing as the personal mysteries thread! :D

I know there have been a few incidences in various neighborhoods I've lived in, but my veryvery favorite ever would be when the high school near my neighborhood had to be shut down and decontaminated.

Why? Because some of the students stole some mercury from the chem lab and went bezerk with it! They shared it with friends, rolled it over their skin, hid it away in pockets, squirted it at each other with water bottles, smeared it on walls. As anyone familiar with the effects of mercury knows, this is inSANE.

So anyway, the faculty didn't realize what was going on until the afternoon, when a student fainted in class. An EMT found the mercury on her and had her tested. Mercury poisoning was deemed the reason for her collapse. Suddenly, teams are in the school, doing tests. The whole building is shut down, with every student forced to stay inside until they could be stripped, decontaminated, tested and sent home in new clothes donated from the Salvation Army. It took hours, as this school held around 2000 students. A few other students were sent to the hospital with severe levels of contamination (can't remember the number, as this was over 10 years ago), and the school was shut down for almost a week while professional cleaners were brought in to decontaminate the school. I think it cost the city quite a pretty penny at the end of the affair. A nearby bowling alley, where the kids hung out for lunch, also had to be decontaminated at the city's expense.

I believe a few days later, mercury was found on one of the sidewalks in the neighborhood. One of the students who instigated the event admitted to bringing mercury home with her, and her house was found to be contaminated. Her parents had to gut it before it was livable, and I think they attempted to sue the school for expenses. Don't remember if they won, though!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 12:20:53 PM by Sluggyfan »



violinp

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I love these stories! Almost as intriguing as the personal mysteries thread! :D

I know there have been a few incidences in various neighborhoods I've lived in, but my veryvery favorite ever would be when the high dchool near my neighborhood had to be shut down and decontaminated.

Why? Because some of the students stole some mercury from the chem lab and went bezerk with it! They shared it with friends, rolled it over their skin, hid it away in pockets, squirted it at each other with water bottles, smeared it on walls. As anyone familiar with the effects of mercury knows, this is inSANE.

So anyway, the faculty didn't realize what was going on until the afternoon, when a student fainted in class. An EMT found the mercury on her and had her tested. Mercury poisoning was deemed the reason for her collapse. Suddenly, teams are in the school, doing tests. The whole building is shut down, with every student forced to stay inside until they could be stripped, decontaminated, tested and sent home in new clothes donated from the Salvation Army. It took hours, as this school held around 2000 students. A few other students were sent to the hospital with severe levels of contamination (can't remember the number, as this was over 10 years ago), and the school was shut down for almost a week while professional cleaners were brought in to decontaminate the school. I think it cost the city quite a pretty penny at the end of the affair. A nearby bowling alley, where the kids hung out for lunch, also had to be decontaminated at the city's expense.

I believe a few days later, mercury was found on one of the sidewalks in the neighborhood. One of the students who instigated the event admitted to bringing mercury home with her, and her house was found to be contaminated. Her parents had to gut it before it was livable, and I think they attempted to sue the school for expenses. Don't remember if they won, though!

Oh my word!  :o
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Lisbeth

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Some additional stories about me:

In 1979, when I was 8, the house next door to mine burned down.

In 1992, when I was a college senior finishing up my last semester, my family's house burned down.  I was living there at the time.  I actually smelled the fire starting when I left the house that day, but didn't recognize it for what it was-I'd thought that someone left the gas turned on in the kitchen and checked, but as this was not the case, I left the house for class (I was the last one to leave the house that day).  After class, I went to my mother's office to help out (she was practicing law at the time and I occasionally helped out with receptionist and clerical assistance).  Someone called the office to say that "there was a serious problem at our house."  My mother wasn't there, but another lawyer who was drove me back to our house and I saw a fire engine parked in front of it...and the burned wreck.  A lot of our stuff inside did survive (apparently the fire department was called right after the fire broke out (probably right after I left) and put out the fire) but my family was displaced for several months after that.  At first we stayed at a hotel; then we rented a townhouse and a damage restoration company would bring us back our things every day as they became available.  Although, my brother lost his Walkman that he had just received for his birthday and the company had to buy him a new one.
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Iris

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I love these stories! Almost as intriguing as the personal mysteries thread! :D

I know there have been a few incidences in various neighborhoods I've lived in, but my veryvery favorite ever would be when the high dchool near my neighborhood had to be shut down and decontaminated.

Why? Because some of the students stole some mercury from the chem lab and went bezerk with it! They shared it with friends, rolled it over their skin, hid it away in pockets, squirted it at each other with water bottles, smeared it on walls. As anyone familiar with the effects of mercury knows, this is inSANE.

So anyway, the faculty didn't realize what was going on until the afternoon, when a student fainted in class. An EMT found the mercury on her and had her tested. Mercury poisoning was deemed the reason for her collapse. Suddenly, teams are in the school, doing tests. The whole building is shut down, with every student forced to stay inside until they could be stripped, decontaminated, tested and sent home in new clothes donated from the Salvation Army. It took hours, as this school held around 2000 students. A few other students were sent to the hospital with severe levels of contamination (can't remember the number, as this was over 10 years ago), and the school was shut down for almost a week while professional cleaners were brought in to decontaminate the school. I think it cost the city quite a pretty penny at the end of the affair. A nearby bowling alley, where the kids hung out for lunch, also had to be decontaminated at the city's expense.

I believe a few days later, mercury was found on one of the sidewalks in the neighborhood. One of the students who instigated the event admitted to bringing mercury home with her, and her house was found to be contaminated. Her parents had to gut it before it was livable, and I think they attempted to sue the school for expenses. Don't remember if they won, though!

Oh my word!  :o

I went off googling "Mercury contamination"...one case, similar to yours listed the cleanup cost as $1.5 million dollars!! Another case listed having to strip a house completely and listed the cost as $150,000 but that was the cost to strip the house - the family in that case were just left with an empty shell and had to start from scratch themselves, I guess.

Note to self: Not only is mercury deadly, it's also really expensive. Leave mercury alone.
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TychaBrahe

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I think it's the fact that the creepy guy specifically mentioned the police when it was obvious that the jumper needed medical attention as a priority.   Most people's reaction would probably be, "Someone's hurt, I need to call for medical assistance.", but his was, "This guy jumped, I need to get the police to deal with it.".  To me, that doesn't seem like a normal reaction to such a situation.

Chiming in late here, but it all depends on where you live.  In Los Angeles, if I needed paramedics, I'd call the fire department.  In New York, it's the police who operate the rescue buses.  (If you ever watch Law & Order or L&O SVU the cops will sometimes radio that they need "a bus."  This is the NYPD Emergency Services Unit REP truck, not a public transportation vehicle.)



If you've ever watched Emergency!, these units provide the same type of services as the Los Angeles County firefighter/paramedics.

Personally, I would call the emergency/police number for something like a suicide, because if you call an ambulance, you're likely going to get (in the US) an EMT-B or EMT-I, whereas if you call the emergency number you're going to get an EMT-Paramedic.

I don't know anything about the emergency medical system in France, but I do know that people in countries where the emergency code is 9-9-9 have delayed having emergency services come because they dialed 9-1-1, as they had seen on American TV.

http://www.mistyeiz.com/2007/11/26/999-911-000/
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faithlessone

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(If you ever watch Law & Order or L&O SVU the cops will sometimes radio that they need "a bus."  This is the NYPD Emergency Services Unit REP truck, not a public transportation vehicle.)

Huh, I always thought that was just short for "ambulance" somehow. ('ambulance' -> 'amblunce' -> 'bunce' -> 'bus' maybe?) You learn something new everyday!

pwv

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This happened many years ago when I lived in Virginia and worked in DC.  My carpool was crossing the bridge from VA into DC and on the shoulder we saw a man with his hands cuffed behind his back running towards the VA side, with several cops chasing him.

m2kbug

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A helicopter was hovering about neighborhood for quite some time.  We wondered what was going on.  Later on, the news showed a car had driven through someone's living room...must have been a news-cam helicopter.  No one was injured.  We drove out to see if we could find the house a couple days later.  They spray painted "No parking" on the plywood that was now their living room wall. 

I was out to the store one night when a good half a dozen police cars passed me on the way.  I turned back to see what the fuss was.  There were a LOT of police out there in the cul-de-sac.  I learned later there was a domestic dispute that included weapons.   :o

My cat got smashed in a garage door of a vacant house that was up for sale -- cat half in, half out.  I suspect foul play, as the garage doors bounce open if anything gets in the way.  It took a few phone calls to get someone out to open the garage door to retrieve the cat. 

My neighborhood sounds awful, doesn't it?   :P  These events occured over a considerable time frame.  We're actually very boring.   :)

catgal

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Not as dramatic as other posters experience, but we had a little excitement in our very quiet neighbourhood yesterday.  I had been hanging out washing in the back yard and went inside for a drink.  I thought I could smell smoke inside but couldn't work out where it was coming from. I looked outside and there was thick smoke suddenly pouring into the back yard.  I ran to the front yard and the whole street was full of smoke, coming through the small park across the road from the house behind.  DH grabbed his phone when I yelled that a house was on fire and we ran  around to the house. Two police officers were there spraying the garage with a garden hose (not really achieving anything!)   We watched the flames come through the garage door but luckily didn't spread to the house before the fire brigade arrived.  Our neighbours joined us and the guys tried to work out from the burned out shell what sort of car it had once been.

The neighbours to the house involved said that they had all lived in the street for many years, but didn't have contact phone numbers for each other, which meant no-one could call the home owner. I'm glad that we are friends with our neighbours and they would be able to call us and visa versa if anything terrible happened. The smell has lasted all night and I've had to re-wash the clothes that I'd hung out.
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Twik

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My apartment building was the scene of something that actually ended up in the Darwin Award Pages (although only as an honorary mention, since the individual survived). A woman climbed into the garbage chute on the 18th floor. Her explanation afterwards was that the door to the garbage chute room locked her in, so she thought she would shinny down to the 17th floor, and climb out.

I have no idea how she thought this was workable, or a better solution than banging on the door until someone heard her (the chute rooms are right next to the elevators, so she wouldn't have been trapped very long). I'm also not sure how one could be locked in by a door that has no lock on it. I'm still not sure what went on, but my own dark suspicion is that there may have been copious amounts of alcohol or less legal substances involved, because it doesn't sound like something anyone would do in their right mind.

Fortunately, when she (predictably) plummetted down 17 storeys, there was lots of nice soft garbage to cushion her fall.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

violinp

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There was a guy who, in the middle of the night, banged on our door, and left a paper bag full of tree debris on our porch.

This happened 2, 3 years ago, and we still don't know who or why.  ???
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


MsMarjorie

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My cat got smashed in a garage door of a vacant house that was up for sale -- cat half in, half out.  I suspect foul play, as the garage doors bounce open if anything gets in the way.  It took a few phone calls to get someone out to open the garage door to retrieve the cat. 



OP can you please clarify if you mean cat or car in this story, I just can't work out the logistics of a cat being stuck half in, half out of a garage door  :)

Diane AKA Traska

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My cat got smashed in a garage door of a vacant house that was up for sale -- cat half in, half out.  I suspect foul play, as the garage doors bounce open if anything gets in the way.  It took a few phone calls to get someone out to open the garage door to retrieve the cat. 



OP can you please clarify if you mean cat or car in this story, I just can't work out the logistics of a cat being stuck half in, half out of a garage door  :)

I've got it!  It was a Mercury Cougar!
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