Not this time around. Fed-up neighbors take matters into their own hands in some rather creative ways. Content has been edited for clarity.
Twist Of Events
“How about making it look like they dialed 911 and I got them raided without a call going over the police radio. And had them all arrested?
Let me preface this by saying that making a false 911 call is a serious crime, and doing so should not be taken lightly unless, of course, you had no other choice. You tried everything else, and were willing to suffer the consequences should you get caught.
My parents scraped every little bit they had together to buy a two-family house on a small quiet dead-end road to have a safe place to raise their children. We had 14 houses of great neighbors, and one house of very nasty neighbors, the Dicksons. A whole family of dirtbags rented an apartment in the house just before ours. Their 16-year-old son, Junior, was friends with the overgrown child of a tenant we had when we bought our house. The tenant was in his 40s and hung out with the teenagers next door. One of the first interactions we had with anyone in that family was when my mother caught Junior rummaging through our things in our private basement.
My father tried getting them to quiet down, but they got louder. He tried talking to the father to control his son, but his son was ‘a man now’, so the father desired no control in the house. They would have loud drinking parties with their son’s teenage friends. They clearly were not old enough to drink and used substances of something we wouldn’t know until after the raid.
The police came several times. But it seemed the Dicksons lived with a police scanner in every room, so things got eerily quiet when a call came over the radio with their address. The father would claim not to know anything about the problem and would talk to ‘the boys.’ The police were bothered by this, but couldn’t force their way into the apartment without a warrant or probable cause and nothing incriminating was ever left out in the open.
A neighbor’s child once called 911 accidentally and the police had to check the house for possible victims. Apparently, a 911 call was a probable cause for entry, even if you answer the door and said everyone is ok. The police also didn’t dispatch cars to 911 calls or domestic abuse calls over the radio. The dispatcher would contact the officer with their Nextel phones or you would hear the dispatcher telling the officer to call into the station. The public would not hear the person’s address for privacy purposes or possibly to not alert an aggressor.
This gave me the perfect opportunity as a nerdy 14-year-old. I knew all about phone systems and with the tips about the ‘privacy’ policy the police had in place for 911 calls, I got to work. My mother and I took a bunch of pictures of the morons in the yard with kids drinking ‘refreshments’, and some glass pipes clearly not used for legal purposes, and had them developed.
The next Thursday night I went to work like some super agent spy or something. I had it all planned out for a while beforehand. One night, I connected two long thin wires to their phone box and left the ends in a bush where our yards met.
The wire ends were left in the bush until Friday night came along. I walked over, threw the envelope of pictures on the front stairs, twisted the wire connections to a cheap phone we had, and dialed 911. Now the 911 operator would see the call as coming from the Dicksons’ phone line. I remember making it sound like I was crying and saying something stupid about a little girl, to which there were no girls at any of these parties. Then I twisted the wires together which is the equivalent of leaving the phone off the hook.
Soon thereafter the police showed up. Not one or two cars, but six local cars, which might have been all of them. There were two cars from the next town over, two state cars, a fire truck, an ambulance, and then a couple unmarked or off-duty showed up. Nothing happened on the scanner until after they were already all on the scene. Both parents were arrested, and the house was ransacked trying to find the girl. But instead, they found strung-out kids hiding in closets, a larger amount of substances than any of us expected, and satisfaction. Junior was arrested for resisting and assaulting police officers. The street was completely impassible for anyone, including the police trying to leave. For the next hour or two, the parents of the other kids came to claim their little delinquents. A couple of them had warrants and were also arrested on sight. I was scared out of my mind for what felt like weeks afterward.
My uncle had helped me with some of the planning, including the tip about twisting the wires together afterward so 911 wouldn’t be able to call back.
My father realized what I did rather quickly and I confessed as soon as he gave me that ‘Holy moly, what did you do’ look.
He told me how horrible it was what I did, but that they deserved it. And he hoped I would talk to him before trying anything like that again. When the police all finally left around four hours later, he went and plucked out the phone wires. He was laughing like a mad scientist telling my mother what happened when she came home from work. After several criminal charges and a nice article in the newspaper, the landlord finally kicked out his ‘perfect’ tenants. We had almost 20 years of peaceful neighbors after that.”
“This was the most satisfying act of revenge I ever got on a nasty neighbor.
We had moved into a trailer park just before my first child was born. My next-door neighbor, Ruth, was a foul-tempered old lady who hated everyone. She lived alone, for good reason. Her son lived not far away but he rarely visited her because they were semi-estranged.
I didn’t meet Ruth right away because I was a loner myself and was having a difficult pregnancy. Then after the baby was born I rarely left the house for several months. The only time I saw Ruth was when she was outside tending her flowers, which were numerous and beautiful. Whenever she saw me she would give me the evil eye.
Finally, I began to get out when my baby was learning to walk. He had a fascination with stairs so I let him climb them whenever he wanted. We had stairs on our front porch so he got plenty of practice. One day we had been walking in the neighborhood and were almost home when he saw Ruth’s porch steps and made a beeline for them. I hadn’t seen her that day so I figured it would be no problem to let him climb to the top before going into our house.
The minute he touched her steps, she was at the door. She must have been watching us out the window.
‘Get your kid off my property! He has no right trespassing here!’
I was taken back and embarrassed, and poor Alex looked so dismayed at her mean face and harsh tone. I thought he was going to cry.
I picked him up and said, ‘I’m so sorry. It won’t happen again,’ and quickly retreated to my house.
I was angry. She yelled at my poor innocent baby and made him want to cry. We were stuck living next to her indefinitely and it upset me she was sending such negative energy our way for no reason. I made up my mind right then and there I was going to neutralize this threat if it was the last thing I did. So I hatched a plan. I didn’t care how long it took—I was going to play the long game. My family was going to come out on top in this situation. I left no room for failure.
The next time I saw her tending her garden I went out on the porch.
‘Your name is Ruth, right? I’m Marcia. You met my son the other day. He’s Alex.’
She glared at me.
‘My husband’s name is Jerry. He’s in the Navy.’
Still no words, just a baleful stare.
‘You have such a beautiful garden! It’s a joy to live next to it. What is that one called?’ I pointed.
‘Don’t you know what an Iris is?’ she barked.
‘Well, I’ve seen them before but I didn’t know what they were called.’
She turned her back. I went back inside.
Every time I saw her outside, I’d pop my head out the door. ‘Hi, Ruth! Beautiful day, huh?’
‘Good morning Ruth! I can smell your geraniums from here!’
After several weeks of this, she started talking to me, mostly to complain about how horrible her neighbors were, how her son didn’t care if she lived or died and her daughter-in-law was a rancid witch, and how many medical problems she had that kept her miserable,
I responded with, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry you feel that way. That must be really hard to take. You must get lonely and scared sometimes.’
More time went by and she started talking about her flowers—what they were called, the stories behind where she’d gotten her bulbs and starts, how long the irises had been established, and which colors were the rarest.
Eventually, I figured the time was right to move to the next part of my plan. I chose a time when I knew she was home. By this time I was expecting my next child. I took Alex to her porch and let him climb the steps, and I was right behind him. Ruth’s front door flew open and there she stood with a face like thunder. Alex held out a plate full of cookies.
‘Alex and I baked these for you this morning. I hope you like sweets.’
Poor Ruth looked utterly confused. She hesitantly took the plate.
‘Sorry we can’t stay and chat but I’ve got some errands to run. See you later!’
Alex and I clambered down her steps and back to our house. A few days later Alex and I went to retrieve our plate. Ruth came to the door with our plate and a half-eaten bag of tortilla chips she gave us. She greeted Alex warmly and he smiled at her. The chips turned out to be stale, but it’s the thought that counts.
Soon we were chatting happily over the fence and Ruth gave us weird little presents. She started inviting us inside. She was a hoarder so I tried to avoid these invitations. She learned to love Alex and was very excited about the birth of my daughter, Mariah.
You see, my mother had told me before I ever had a child she wanted nothing to do with any child I might ever have. My husband’s parents were terrible people and lived thousands of miles away, so my kids had no grandparents. Because Ruth had been such a difficult person all her life, her son stayed away. Her daughter-in-law detested her and she’d rarely seen her grandkids and had no relationship with them. Ruth became my kids’ grandma, and they became her reason to smile.
My revenge was complete. I had killed off the mean old lady and set a loving grandma in her place. Little did Ruth know, she helped me remove the threat to my family’s well-being by being willing to open her heart. She was beloved by my family and felt loved by us for the rest of her days.”
“I had been living in an apartment complex for six years and for most of the time had decent neighbors. A new resident moved in above us and it was quickly obvious the screening standards had been relaxed. She played music loud, often, and late. This was around 1975 and 1976, so before CDs. Music would come booming through the ceiling late at night. Complaints to the office were ineffectual. Pounding on the ceiling just didn’t work and she would pound back. Cranking up the volume my stereo only worked a few times and was not practical because we had a four-year-old child at the time.
It was time to take more effective measures. Her favorite way to listen to music was off the FM radio. The worst was when she must have passed out on a Saturday night and the programming at two-thirty switched from bass-heavy music to gospel shouting church recordings. The next day I went out to Olsen Electronics and bought a ten-dollar FM wireless microphone kit. I assembled it, got it working, and clipped the microphone out. I waited for the nightly loud music to start again and tuned the transmitter to the same station. The beauty of FM is you don’t get interference like AM radio. The strongest signal captured the radio and the weaker was never heard. Sure enough, the little wireless mic hit her station and there was a satisfying ‘whump’ as it took over and silenced her station. I could hear her cussing at her radio for not working.
I kept the wireless mike, with no microphone, powered up for a few days. It was long enough that I heard her complaining to another neighbor how it cost her 70 dollars for the repair shop to say nothing was wrong with it. I turned it off for a while, and she returned to her old habits. So I fired it again, and quiet reigned for a while. She returned it to the repair shop once again, with the same story.
At that point, my patience had long since run out. I picked up a nine-volt battery eliminator for the wireless microphone and installed both inside the furnace closet at the back where it would never be noticed and left it there. Our new home was finally built and we moved out a few months after all this started. I left the wireless microphone hooked up and sent out a silent carrier. I wondered how long it took before someone found that little gadget. The apartment complex was rapidly declining in quality of tenants and the crime rate was escalating, so I felt no guilt about leaving that jammer hooked up. It was the least I could do.”
Shedding Old Skin
“I had a neighbor whose kids kept walking along the top of the cinder-block wall that divided our yard from hers. I kept politely asking her to stop them; she’d politely shrug off my requests.
The wall was six feet high. I was afraid the kids were going to fall. Also, they were making my dog crazy. There were other problems. Her kids started deliberately bothering my dog, and they would come to my front door, ring the bell, and run away.
I knew the neighbor lady was afraid of snakes. I had a friend who had a couple of Burmese pythons— big snakes. I asked a friend to save shed skins for me. A friend suggested that since we live in an area where gopher snakes and king snakes can be found, those shed skins would be more effective. He gave me about a dozen.
I quietly dropped shed snakeskin over the neighbor lady’s wall during the night. Only had to do this three times before she moved.”
The Last Time
“He knew it was me.
This was in Central Florida. The lawns were St. Augustine grass that with a lot of water, mulching and fertilizer, grew a couple of inches a week, and the leaves were wide and tough unlike the soft lawns up north.
My neighbor disliked me because I built a two-story house that blocked the view of the lake. We worked for the same company and he was upset I was hired at a management level, although he didn’t work for me.
Our lawns were about a one-third acre, so a Saturday cut and trim would easily take three hours with a normal lawn mower.
He bought a basic riding lawnmower, and he would drive his mower on my property, up to five inches before making a U-Turn. It was okay, except he would make the hard turn on top of my sprinklers. Almost every week, I had to replace the broken PVC pipe and dug up my lawn. I tried several things to dissuade him, but in the end on a Friday night, I brought home about 20′ of high-strength braided steel cabling. It was the smallest diameter I could find. I uncoiled it and surrounded the sprinkler heads pushing down into the tall grass so you would never see it. But you would hear it, and I was in my garage when I knew he ran over it. The racket it made was frightening.
Even a 25″ blade on a ten HP motor couldn’t cut it. But it did wrap it around the shaft and stalled the motor. All 20 feet of the cable were gone from my yard.
He had to push his mower to the garage and spent the rest of the day disassembling his mower to untangle the mess.
It was the last time he went on my lawn.”
“This wasn’t my proudest moment, but this was around my twenties.
There were five or six guys, foreign university students, who lived below me in a condo complex. They took all the parking, including mine, with new Porches and Lambos. These cars would last maybe two weeks. First, you’d see a dent, then a bigger dent. Then the car would disappear and be replaced by another new one in a different color.
I didn’t really care, but they hung out on the stairs every day and would not let me pass to get to and from my vehicle. They would pinch my arms and grab at me, and they said stuff I could only assume wasn’t nice. The landlord didn’t care, he was getting well paid. These guys had diplomatic immunity, so normal or official reactions were a moot point.
The final straw was over laundry.
There were maybe eight washers in the laundry room. One Saturday morning I took my stuff and put it in two of them, then returned to my place. I waited 30 minutes then returned to put everything in the dryer.
When I got there, I saw all of my clothes strewn all over the floor, wet, and they had been walked on. I opened the washers I had used to see my neighbors below had put their stuff in there instead, it was all light-colored. All the washers were now taken. They were laughing and joking on the stoop when I returned with my armload of soaking wet and soiled clothes. One of them pinched my arm; another pulled my hair.
That’s it, I was done.
So I went to the store. I bought ten bottles of neon pink Rit dye.
The next Saturday, I left my condo before they got up with my neon pink dye in hand and hid my vehicle on the other side of the complex. I checked the laundry room, and no one was using it. Then I waited in ambush, reading in the rec. center where I had full view. Sure enough, here they all came with their laundry. After they left the laundry room, I put two to three bottles of the dye in each of their washers.
The display that followed was pretty epic. One was screaming, ripping, and rending the pink garments, another was insanely throwing them in the pool. Another ran to the manager’s office. I could hear him screaming in a foreign language. Someone called the police. I’m not sure at all what followed that day, but they moved out before noon.
Would I choose that same response or path today? No.”
Trick Of The Mind
“To start with some background information, my wife (then fiancée) had saved up enough to move into a fairly luxurious apartment in an affluent area. Our first place, our safe place.
Unfortunately, the barrier to entry in this building was just a thing called money. So when a couple of rude people with too much money found the place they moved in. Months after us.
They liked to show off how rich they were by using the halls and common corridors by placing their shoes in pairs along the passages. Hundreds of very expensive pairs of shoes and trainers. After a week, my upstairs neighbor and I put them all in a few bin bags and piled them up by their front door. The next day, I came home to their shoes neatly stacked in the corridors again. They weren’t getting the message. I printed off a letter from the building management using a letterhead made up of logos nicked from their website. It stated their shoes were a risk to people if there was a building fire, as in a smoke-filled corridor they presented a trip hazard. They were moved within hours.
They had a large sound system, much like the kind you’d find on a festival stage. It was very loud and very bass heavy. They rented it out to people and promoted local club nights. To this end, they invited people around to demonstrate their kit, DJ abilities, and the like all night during weeknights.
I tried knocking on their door when the music went off but only got a ‘bug off’ muttered since they knew what they’d done.
Not to be outfoxed and ignored, as the next night bought louder music, I slipped down to the basement and flipped their breakers off, then back on after ten minutes. Just for good measure, I killed the hallway lights so they’d think the whole building was out.
Once electrically was restored, profuse apologies were heard in their flat as a local nightclub owner didn’t get his demo and went home.
The next night was the same, so I resumed flipping breakers. Only this time I had killed it, restored power, killed it again and repeated this for five minutes. Until I heard a loud crack in their apartment followed by lots of swearing.
I crept back upstairs, listened outside their front door, and heard ‘It’s all messed up.’
My breaker flipping had toasted a few grand worth of kit that they didn’t know how to repair.
Given a few weeks of not earning because their kit was up the wazoo, they didn’t make rent and got chucked out. The landlord retained their deposit and kit because they’d trashed the place.
Score one for me and zero for them.”
“I lived in a small hamlet on the coast ( somewhere in the world) where about 70 percent of the houses and cottages are permanently occupied. The other 30 percent were holiday homes for the wealthy or holiday rentals.
There was one large house perched high on the sand dunes overlooking a large portion of the community that belonged to a wealthy family who was only ever seen in the summer months and for most of the year, the house was empty.
This house came alive one summer with raucous teenagers and young adults. The parents (or anyone responsible) were obviously not around as the music was deafening into the early hours along with screaming and yelling.
This crowd was also seen breaking benches at the local lookout point and left cans and cig butts strewn on the beach.
The police visited twice after complaints were made and the noise would be reduced for a while but return to previous levels soon afterward.
Us residents, while used to some inconsiderate behavior from excited visitors, had reached our limit after three days. And after some discussion over neighboring fences, a consensus was reached that some local corrective action was required.
On the morning of the fourth day, at the time the shouting and screaming would usually start along with the music, there was a stillness.
As it turned out someone had crimped the copper water infeed pipe to the house at the flow meter stopping all flow to the house.
No showers, no washing dishes (unlikely that was happening), or flushing toilets. I believe a note was attached to the meter requesting the noise be kept down and for more respect to be shown to the community.
I also heard that a call was placed to our local plumber but as ‘luck’ would have it he was fully booked for a few days in advance and couldn’t assist.
The greasy-looking mob vacated the house that day and there has not been a reoccurrence since.”
Not On My Watch
“This story involved a friend of mine, John. John had nightmare, next-door neighbors. They would bang doors at all hours, play music loud whenever they felt like it, and just didn’t care less about the noise.
John was a musician friend and he was the proud owner of some serious musical production gear. He had a full studio in a soundproofed room in his basement. No one knew it was there, especially his terrible neighbors. He also owned a lot of public address systems, amps, and speaker cabinets.
We were going on a tour for two weeks and John was coming with us. Although he wasn’t an actual member of our band, he wanted some spare cash and our bass player had hurt his left hand. So, he happily let John stand in for him. As we were leaving John’s house with his stuff, ready to set out on the road, John had his phone in his hand, which is unusual for him because he hates those things.
‘Everything okay John?’ I quizzed.
‘Yeah, one sec,’ he said looking into his phone, ‘1, 2, 3 and go.’
We heard a noise come from his house of dogs barking.
‘Right, let’s go,’ he said grinning.
‘Where’s those dogs barking from?’ asked Tom, a bandmate.
‘My house,’ John replied.
It seemed John had had enough of his neighbors and had found a music sample of dogs barking whilst using his music software. He set it on a loop to go off at all times of the day through speakers facing the neighbor’s wall. He could even control it from his phone. This wasn’t all he had planned for them either. He looped the ‘Ketchup’ song and played that continuously for hours too.
When we got back off tour, John received a visit from the RSPCA stating they had reports of dogs being neglected at the property. John assured them no dogs lived there, which they didn’t. He invited them to view his property from upstairs to down.
As the RSPCA left apologetically, John watched them drive away in their van, pressed his phone, and continued the onslaught.
The neighbors moved out soon after.”
“I had a neighbor who had a constantly barking dog they had left out in their yard 100 percent of the time. My home office was right next to this yard so I was constantly bothered by the noise. Their attitude was I should, ‘get used to it.’
One day, they left for a few weeks’ vacation. They left the dog in the yard as usual but also left their sliding rear door open a bit with a piece of plywood blocking the opening. They installed a flappy dog door in the plywood.
I investigated this arrangement in what I suppose was a burglary. When I went into the yard, the dog was happy to see me, I guess because it was lonelier than usual. I looked into the house through the slider to see a huge bowl of dry dog food and another of water. I suppose, to carry the dog for the two weeks they were gone.
Hmm. I kicked the plywood out and invited the dog in. I then left leaving the dog inside. Every day maybe once or twice I’d check in on the dog to see how it was getting along and to refresh the water. As I hoped, the dog wandered all over the house crapping at least twice a day and peeing often. The place was growing rank. When I opened the slider, the dog showed no interest in returning to the yard. I guess it had had enough of cold.
The people returned to a house full of dog feces including, for some reason, it covered their bed. Beats me why the dog made a mission of that.
The people asked me if I knew what was up and I acted surprised. I’m not sure I sold it. They never left the dog out in the yard again for extended periods and soon left.”