• May 24, 2018, 09:22:36 AM

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Author Topic: The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood  (Read 249862 times)

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The second was winter scary.

There was a huge ice storm in October one year, I was in 7th grade. Dad took me and sis on a walk around the block. It took half an hour (ridiculous amount of time to walk around a suburban block) because we had to avoid all the overhead trees, in case they fell. We could see what looked like fireworks in the sky nearby, but they were really low. Dad explained that it was transformers blowing across the city from the strain on the power lines, or from power lines falling. That was a horrible winter.

Actually, a third and fourth.

One night mom and I were sitting outside on our front porch. We heard some popping across the street. The power line that went between the houses on the inside of the block caught fire. We had a few trucks out VERY quickly to put it out, and they had to have the power lines re-run. It was just a heatwave and strain on the system, the old wires couldn't handle the load and fritzed out.

Fourth: We had a BIG tree in the backyard. One night it blew over. Fell across our fence, our neighbor's yard and power lines, across the street on the other side of her yard. She came over to our house first thing in the morning saying that if our tree had the audacity to fall across her power and knock it out the least we could do was offer her coffee. We were pretty close as neighbors, so we made her some coffee. Neighbor's daughter (maybe about 22 at the time) and her husband came by trying to help clear the tree. A bunch of neighbors came out with hatches and hand saws, but it wasn't until dad got out his chainsaw and a spare that it got taken care of. The city couldn't do anything for several days, as it wasn't a high priority street and there were other ways to get to the neighborhood, so we had about twenty people swarming over this huge tree in the middle of the road.


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    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Dad's story. He was in HS. His parents, Sister/BIL, and Aunt/Uncle buy a hobby farm out in Fort Bend County. They go out every weekend and work on it. One one such trip they find two men camping on the property. They claim to have recently left the service and are looking for jobs. The family hire them on. This went on for a while - until the sheriff turned up. The men were AWOL and had robbed a bank.

A few years ago I was at work early - an hour before the kids are allowed in 1.5 hours before I was on duty. The principal comes over the intercom - announcing a lock down. The front office (we come in a side door) had been broken into and the safe literally ripped out of the wall.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Midnight Kitty

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cwm's story about the big tree that fell down reminded me of something I noticed not in my neighborhood, but at the ranch where we board our red mare, Misty. I have trained Misty since I bought her at age 17 months.  I am not a professional horse trainer and there are some holes in Misty's training.  One of those holes is that there are places where she will not walk. One of those places is along a dirt road where it passes a big tree that makes creaking noises in the wind.  Misty gives that tree wide berth when it is creaking.  I mentioned to my trainer that Misty doesn't like that big tree and I see her point, it is making loud creaking noises and I think it is going to fall down.  The trainer said, "That tree has been creaking for years.  Don't let her pull stunts like that."

On Saturday I noticed that 1/3 of the tree was missing and there is a new pile of cut-up branches across the dirt road.

Misty was right.

She doesn't walk under coconut palms either.  She won't walk between a coconut on the ground and the tree.

I think she's pretty smart. >:D
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius

Ser Lucien Liliane

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An abandoned car in the alley basically exploding.

Yes. Exploding. In the weirdest way possible.

Why was it weird? Well, because the resulting fire never touched either the engine or the gas tank. It was solely in the car's locked cabin. (My theory is that someone dumped it there, locked it up and purposely shorted the horn to set off a fire - the horn was just blowing nonstop for a good ten minutes before the explosion and fire, and didn't stop until the explosion blew out the windows and started the fire.) But the worst part was the smell of battery acid that permeated the air once the battery started heating up - I can't stand that smell, it stems from a road trip accident when I was younger, our minivan hit a deer and the entire front end was demolished.

That was pretty normal for that neighborhood, though...I'm very glad I don't live there anymore.
"Ah, yes. I forgot you've taken levels in Defeating Paperwork."


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I was away from home one evening a little longer than normal.  When I came home, I couldn't turn onto that end of my street due to the crime tape and the numerous cop cars.  I was trying to avoid the news vans and the pedestrians who were watching the scene.  As I drove past my street, I could see the CSI van in the middle of the street and said to myself "something bad happened here".  I drove around the neighborhood to the other end of my street, which was open.  The crime scene tape was down my property line and tied onto the next-door neighbor's carport.  Marked and unmarked cars are everywhere and there are people sitting on the curb across the street, crying. 

It turns out that a neighbor about a block and a half away threatened his next-door neighbor over dogs barking.  Cops were called and when they showed, guy came charging out of the bushes, shooting.  Cops returned fire and killed him.  All my neighbors heard the shots (especially those who were outside) so while it was tragic, we were glad the cops were there to protect us and prevent any innocent bystanders getting hurt. 


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In high school in Los Angeles - I was taking a shower and heard a noise outside the bathroom window, looked out, and saw the zipper of a jacket at window level - which was 6+ feet up the wall on the outside.  Peeping Tom had snapped the chain on a wrought iron bench chained to a tree out in the yard, and pulled it over to our bathroom window.  I shut the louvered windows in a panic, got out of the shower, and sat in front of the toilet, wedging the door closed with my legs.  Sat there in a cold sweat before I heard foot steps leaving...

There were some high rise apartment buildings the next block up from my high school.  Somebody got up on the roof, 23 stories up, and jumped.  He caved in the car he landed on, bounced off, and broke the sidewalk cement slab next to the car.  The slab stayed broken for a while, leaving quite the thing to point at by all the students.

Reading in bed after work on night, I heard sirens approaching.  Closer. Closer.  Sounded like they were coming down the road by my apartment...  Peeked my head out the curtains, and waited.  Saw a car come careening down the steep road on the hill across my road, going FAR too fast.  They turned right (my direction) lost control of the car, bounced off a car parked on my side of the road ricochetted across the street into another car, bounced off that into the house next door TO ME (punched a car sized hole in the wall) bounced back out again and wedged up against a power pole outside my bedroom window.  (At this point I'm Kilroy - nothing but my eyes showing above the windowsill).  And the sirens  (3 cop cars, with more arriving in the next 3 minutes) have caught up with said car, and THEY successfully stop without hitting anything else, and they get out of their cars and they have their rifles and they all aim them at the car in front of my bedroom window and they get on the P.A. and yell at the occupants to get out and put their hands on the car.  (and repeat) Get OUT and put your HANDS on the CAR!  (and repeat) GET OUT AND PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE DAMNED CAR!!!!  As an aside?  You don't ever want to hear rifles being loaded and nervous voices from the cops.  It's really frightening.  None of them were more than 15 ft from my bedroom, and the original (stolen) car was less than 10 ft from my window.  I didn't sleep for HOURS.  I was about 20, and if I'd been more sensible, I'd have bedded down in the kitchen, the opposite side of my unit from the drama.  On the other hand, I'm not sure anything short of a tank could have penetrated those walls - it was an old motel with OLD plaster and lathe walls that were like iron.  I couldn't hang anything up because I couldn't drive a nail into the wall!

Cops getting out of their cars and jam loading their rifles as I walked up to the bank to cash my check.  There was an armed robbery ongoing in the bank, and the police suggested that I come back tomorrow to do my business there...

There was a bar down the street and around the corner from the house Mom and I were renting.  One very late night, while getting out of Mom's car, a muscle car raced up our road, no headlights on, speeding (3x the speed limit?) narrowly missing Mom, who jumped back up on the running board of the Beetle, rather that all the way back inside the car.  It went down the road, pulled a high speed U, coming back by us again and totaling a parked car on the other side of the road.  If the car had been 3" closer to Mom, she'd have been badly hurt by the car as it creamed us.

Helos overhead our condo unit when we lived in O.C. - the railroad was next to our property, and the wall on the RR side was 3 ft high - more like 12 ft on our side, though.  Dozens of those flights...  Apparently the railroad was quite the corridor for people crossing into the U.S. even though we were an hour and a half from the Mexican border.

Same condo - some young kid borrowed a car and drove much too fast in our parking lot - and lost control coming around the corner.  We parked in a small 4-unit carport, and we were home (space #4) and the people in space #1 were home, but nobody in the middle was home.  This was a Very Good Thing, as the drifting car went through space #2, took out the 8x8 wood pole between spaces #2 and #3, and then put my car into the wall on my left, and in front!   ** ** ** We used up all but about $35 of the insurance coverage on the car (which expired a week later!!).  If anybody else had been home and their cars parked in their slots, none of us would have been able to get full coverage for repairs needed - the wood pole, the 2 walls of the car port, my car and the rental I used while my car was in the shop for a month - cost a ton of money...

One day while I was laying down on the IL's front couch, a raccoon calmly walked in the door and made its way to the cat foot bowl by the fridge - I chased it out with a broom, while Being Really Loud.

Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!


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Back in middle school the man who lived across the street and two doors down blew his house up.  Apparently he was into pyrotechnics and had an lab in his basement.  He was the only death in the incident.  The goodish news was that his family was out of the house at the time.  The bad news was that every house in a 200 yard radius had their windows facing the house blown out.  That lot is still vacant.  The neighborhood has planted a garden there.

About 2 years ago, there was a shooting across the street from my house in a large field next to the Rec center


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Sunday morning I opened my back door at 6:30am and step out on my deck and happened to glance over at my neighbour's back yard and see (hadn't put my glasses on yet) what looks like a large, bright orange blob in their backyard. Went back inside for my glasses and when I come out there's a man in an orange bottle costume.

Me: what the hell?
bottle man (in matter of fact tone of voice): I'm a beer bottle
Me: must have been a hell of a night


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i'm going to white this out as its rather tragic

mum and i are home and we hear a thud and a scream, look out the front door and  somehow a woman visiting the people across the road from us had hit the wall while reversing onto their drive, fallen out of the car and run herself over!  she was a childminder in the area and had 3 of the children with her, luckily they couldn't see what happened and as we are by the school the teachers came and took them back in and called parents.
the police were stymied for a while as to how she managed it but the best guess is that she had her seatbelt off whilst looking out of her open door and bumped the wall, fell and the car kept going.  sadder still was that she was over the drink drive limit when it happened.  neighbour has a "memorial" brick in the rebuilt wall.
baby berry arrived june 2016

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Sunday morning I opened my back door at 6:30am and step out on my deck and happened to glance over at my neighbour's back yard and see (hadn't put my glasses on yet) what looks like a large, bright orange blob in their backyard. Went back inside for my glasses and when I come out there's a man in an orange bottle costume.

Me: what the hell?
bottle man (in matter of fact tone of voice): I'm a beer bottle
Me: must have been a hell of a night

I just frightened the dogs by laughing too hard. Did you ever get any backstory on what the heck happened?


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A few weeks ago I was on my way home late at night. My house is the 3rd from the intersection. I approached my street and it was LINED with emergency vehicles. I then realized that they were concentrated in front of my house. I counted nine police cars, a drug van, an ambulance, and a fire truck. The street was barricaded so I couldn't get home. I panicked. My husband and son were home, they weren't answering the phone, and I was convinced that something utterly horrific and tragic had happened to them.

Since I couldn't get down my street and I was in panic mode at that point, I called my best friend, who thankfully lived (at that time) only a mile away. I parked my car on the side of the road and she came and picked me up, and drove around to the other entrance to my street, so we could get close and figure out what was going on.

As it turns out, there was a massive drug raid that turned into a standoff, two houses down. My husband and son were both asleep and had no idea what had been going on. It took me hours to fall asleep that night. It was easily the most terrifying experience of my life.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."


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We had one over the 4th of July weekend.  I had left my house (with DH, two of our kids and a friend of my oldest kid still in the house) to pick up my daughter from a friends house (was gone all of maybe 5 minutes, since they only live only one block to the west).  When I left, all was fine and quiet.  When my daughter and I are coming back, I notice a black haze and people standing at the end of our alley (we live on the east side of the street) and jumping up and down and screaming.  Then I look up and see a shot of fire go straight up, right near my house.  I crossed my daughter, told her to stay there and R.A.N. (I'm 40 years old, over-weight and though I do go on the treadmill 5-6 times a week and hit a good stride, that is nothing like I did that moment).  I didn't stop running until I saw that the garage that was on the other side of the alley from us was on fire (the house was abandoned).  7 fire trucks; more police cars than we could count; we lost power (though to give credit to our electric company it was only for around 30 minutes); the smell was horrible.  The people whose garage is directly across from the garage that burnt down - the siding on their garage melted, but otherwise, that was the only damage outside of the torched garage.  And even now the burnt out garage still stands, which reminds me to call my alderman to get him to push the city to have it torn-down.
"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol


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Several years ago, we lived in a very small town in the mid-west.  One day I was home in my upstairs office, and I heard a banging on the door. I went downstairs and realized it was actually across the street at the neighbors house.  As I was looking out the window, I saw the lady of the house banging on the door. In a flash the door was opened and a fist came out and slammed into her face and as she fell someone dragged her into the house.

I immediately called 911 and the police were there rather quickly. She was taken away in an ambulance. As the guy was being led away in hand cuffs, one officer said " I'm going to go over here and speak to the person who called 911" Well, thanks a lot Mr Officer for letting him know it was me!

My husband worked over nights at the time and I get home from my job around midnight. Was a nervous few weeks when he got out of jail. The officers did do extra patrols by my house and were generally driving by as I was getting home though.

There were many other instances there til the final big drug bust that landed them in federal prison.


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When I was visiting my alma mater, there were signs of a scuffle in the distance. Later, someone explained what had happened. One of the male students had been caught beating up his (also a student) girlfriend. Apparently the decision of the school authorities was to give the young man time to get dressed and grab his wallet (no cell phone, this was the early '90s) and then have him thrown off campus.

the student resisted such expulsion, so the head of security, an ex-football player named Larry, took great pleasure in heaving the person bodily off college property and telling him that if he came back in without authorization they'd have him arrested immediately.

I only heard about the rest: the student and his parents tried to demand he be readmitted, and the assistant dean cheerfully refunded a half year's tuition and told them to get the hell out of his office. The matter was also brought to the attention of the local police, but I don't know what happened there. I do know the student was never seen on campus again.

"In all of mankind's history, there has never been more damage done than by someone who 'thought they were doing the right thing'." -- Lucy, Peanuts


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I thought I had lived in crazy neighborhood when I was younger, but apparently mine are run-of-the mill.

In one apartment (believe it or not, this was the "step up" apartment after I got a real job) I had a meth lab blow up down the street.  I mean BLOW UP.  As in there was a bang and I went out of my house and saw the flames a couple of blocks down.

Two years later there was a national manhunt for a guy who killed his girlfriend in the next block. That sounds dramatic, but he had been a drifter so there were cops in about five states who were looking for him.  The creepy thing was that there was a "For Rent" sign up before he was caught a week later!  I can't bring myself to repeat what happened, but lets just say it was probably messy.   I saw that sign for a month and just hoped it was for another apartment.