Apartment living is something that everyone should experience at least one. Living in an apartment builds character and teaches people how to live in proximity to each other. Unfortunately, living in an apartment sometimes requires dealing with paper thin walls and hearing everything that goes on next door. Most of the time that means hearing loud music and conversations, but sometimes the things overheard are quite disturbing. These neighbors took to Reddit to share the most unsettling thing they heard through the neighbors' walls. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I used to live in a sketchy building and my landlord lived right underneath me. My landlord was a weird guy and there were all kinds of rumors about him the whole time I lived there, but I just tried to chalk it up to gossip. There were a ton of homeless people in the neighborhood, which was fine, they were just part of the neighborhood and anyone who lived there knew them. A lot of days they would hang out on our front stoop, and no one really cared or made an issue out of it. Anyway, I would often hear knocks that sounded like they were coming from the windows, not the front door. I would try to run over and catch whoever it was but could never catch anyone in time.
So one night I hear the knocking while I'm in bed and it sounds like its from the window right under me to my left so I look down real quick, see one of the regular homeless guys in the neighborhood, and see my landlord open up the door and let him in. So I lay there listening wondering what is going on, and as clear as day I hear the homeless guy say to my landlord 'I need something to eat. I was just wondering if you needed a back rub or something.' That's when I realized all the rumors I had heard about my landlord and tried to brush off were actually true.
He was basically offering them food for gross favors. Or maybe just money. The guys out there were mostly young, obviously without a home and down on their luck, and many of them had mental illnesses or addictions. Putting what I saw that night (in addition to a few other things I saw) together with some things I had heard, it seems like he pretty much preyed on these guys' tough situations. My landlord was mid 50s, not attractive and just overall a creepy guy. He always just gave me bad vibes even if what he was saying was innocuous. I mean people can sleep with who they want, but it would be a lot different if the playing fields were a little more equal."
"In college, I lived in a terrible apartment nearby the school, that was mostly populated by students. Halfway to class one day, I realized I forgot a book and had to rush back to my apartment to get it. As I was running up the stairs (which shared a wall with the stairs in the next door apartment, which mirrored my own) I could have sworn I heard someone yelling. I ignored it and ran to my room to grab my book.
As I clambered downstairs, again I heard yelling, and I paused to listen. I heard some unintelligible moaning, and eventually heard the words 'help me,' weakly groaned from the stairs next door. I rushed out and tried their door, but it was locked. I totally forgot about my class and ran to the apartment management office, hoping that someone was there. A manager was there, thank goodness, and after I explained the situation, she grabbed her master keys, and we booked it back to my neighbor’s place.
She opened the door and the poor guy was laying in the stairwell (it was one of the ones that goes up halfway to the second floor, then turns 90 degrees for the rest of the way), clearly having fallen. I called 911 while the manager ran over to the guy. Ambulance came and picked him up, and I later learned that he had fallen down the stairs after passing into a brief diabetic coma.
Anyhow, to this day, I feel grateful that I forgot that book. That poor guy could have died, slumped halfway down the stairs with his face in the carpet."
"Some years back, I had a neighbor who was schizophrenic. He would randomly start yelling threats at people who weren't there. Truly frightening things like 'I'm gonna beat your freaking head in with a baseball bat!' often in the middle of the night when I'm trying to sleep. This happened all the time and went on for like a year.
At first, I didn't know of his illness, and thought he actually had people there. It was the only time in my life that I called the police on someone, because I truly believed if I didn't, someone might have been killed that night. As it turns out, he was home alone shouting at his own ghosts.
My walls weren't that thin, either. For me to hear him as clearly as I could, he was really shouting these things.
Eventually, enough complaints were lodged against him and the landlord got him evicted. I had to deal with this for over a year though. Apparently, on the day he was supposed to be out, he refused to leave and camped in the apartment. Everybody else in the apartment vacated that day for their safety and the cops were called in case anything bad happened. Eventually, his dad was able to coax him out.
I hope this guy got the help he desperately needed, but goodness, I'm so glad I don't live next to him anymore!"
"My last apartment had particularly weak walls between apartments. One night I was reading in bed, and I was unknowingly the third party to a particularly nasty fight between the couple living next door. The fight lasted for almost an hour and was apparently the end of their relationship as she was going to leave him and the apartment the next day. The longer the fight went on, the more interested I became as I pieced snippets of the reason for the fight together.
I did not know them personally, only enough to wave and say hi, help them with carrying up groceries etc...good neighbor stuff.
It seemed Couple A (both early 30s) were becoming bored with their love life. For whatever reason, they decided that they would fulfill a fantasy of theirs and invite a third individual to join them in the bedroom.
Male A and Female A found Male B somewhere online and asked him to join them. I guess things worked out for a while, from the snippets of the fight I caught Male B had joined them on multiple occasions for various escapades.
The kicker was Female A came home early from a work trip and found Male A and Male B deeply engrossed in their acrobatics without her. Female A flipped out and I guess after that point they tried to patch things up, but she caught both of them on two other occasions (the latest being the night before the fight night that I was unashamedly listening to).
Neither neighbor would hold my gaze for long the next morning. I think they were to embarrassed or ashamed to ask if I had heard anything and presumed I heard it all. I even offered to carry a box of stuff she was lugging out of the apartment (remember...I'm a good neighbor). She mumbled something and said no. He was packed, moved out and gone a week later.
Needless to say, it was the most interesting thin walled apartment experience I have had the vicarious pleasure to be part of."
"I lived in a four-unit building during my last year of college and my next door neighbor was sketchy from the get go. You could tell by looking at her that she was into some pretty hard substances. She was 28, but was scarily thin and looked like she was 45. I'm pretty sure she was a dealer because she had a lot of foot traffic going in and out of her unit late at night and sometimes her 'friends' would come knocking on my door in the middle of the night thinking that my unit was hers. There were also a few times when the police would show up investigating her side of the building.
Midway through my lease, she started dating this guy who seemed just as upstanding as she was. I hardly noticed them at first, but then they started fighting...a lot.
There was this one night I was up past 4 am because I couldn't sleep and I heard his truck pull up to the street. The guy got out of his truck and was yelling as he walked up to her unit. Still yelling, he started pounding and beating on her door. When she answered, he pulled her outside and started screaming at her and calling her every awful and demeaning name in the book. It was horrifying. I couldn't see because it was dark out, and I was too afraid to peek through the blinds, but I'm pretty sure I heard him hit her too. I wanted to call the police, but I was frozen with fear and by the time I was able to calm down he was already gone.
There were a few other incidents like that, but that was by far the most disturbing one. Even though my neighbor wasn't my favorite person, I really felt bad for her. I can't even imagine what it must have been like from her point of view. From then on, every time I saw his truck I could feel my heart sink into the pit of my stomach.
About six months after I graduated and moved away, one of my friends from school texted and me and told me that my building had caught on fire and it came from her unit. I looked up the reports and it said it was just a kitchen fire, but who knows what actually happened. I just hope she's safe and away from that guy."
"There was time I was staying at a place in Downtown Denver, near Sports Authority Field.
It was around 10 at night, and me and my friends had downloaded Just Cause 3 to try the Multiplayer mod. Not gonna lie, I had my Skullcandy Crushers at max bass and volume (bad idea).
We fire it up and have a blast, blowing stuff up, jetpacking around, etc. About 40 minutes, into the session I hear a SUPER loud banging at my door. I take my headphones off and get up to check the door.
I open the door to three police officers with their glocks at the half-ready. I was asked if I was the only one the room (I was), and asked me what I was doing. I told him and he explained what happened.
One of the other tenants had gotten hammered/high and went into the bathroom next to my room...and he took a 9MM with him. Apparently he shot off a round that punched through the wall of the bathroom and lodged in the wall about 5 inches behind me/above my head.
I called my dad and moved out that night."
"My husband and I have lived in apartments since we got married over 8 years ago, so each place has its most memorable neighbor story. Believe it or not, none of these places seemed like 'bad' places to live on face value. However, the first three turned out to be pretty terrible the longer we stayed.
1st place: We heard domestic violence in the apartment beneath us where the husband literally threw the wife into a wall. We called the cops immediately, and so did the neighbors next door. The cops showed up and took everyone's statements, and the couple broke up and the guy moved out very shortly after. The woman didn't stay long, but at least she didn't have to stay with that guy anymore.
2nd place: We were just settling onto the couch in the evening to watch a movie, when suddenly we heard wild screaming from upstairs and loud thumping as someone stumbled down the stairs. It was our female neighbor, screaming that her cousin was going to stab her. My husband charged outside to grab our neighbor's hand and pull her into our apartment, and I called the police. Turns out, she'd been letting her cousin stay for a few weeks, and the cousin had some MAJOR mental health issues. Thankfully our neighbor didn't get stabbed, but half of her weave had been ripped out and her scalp was injured a bit. The cousin got arrested a few days later (for reasons unknown), so thankfully things were quiet for us and our neighbor after that.
3rd place: Heard our next door neighbor (a young woman living alone) getting extremely hammered and trying to assault some of our other neighbors who were having a party in the same building. Then when the cops were called, the woman charged at an officer and they had to tase her. First time didn't phase her at all, second time finally knocked her down so they could take her in. A month later, she knocked on our door absolutely wrecked and ill; turns out, she'd been trying to get sober, but an awful friend had brought her some vino and she'd drank the whole thing and it was horribly interfering with one of her meds. We tried our best to help her (she could barely walk), and called an ambulance when she asked and made sure that her dog had food and water. Her parents came and helped her move out shortly after that; I'm pretty sure she checked herself into rehab. I hope she's doing better now.
4th (and current) place: Thankfully, our 4th apartment is a lot calmer than previous homes we've had. There has been the occasional loud argument or party, but mostly people here keep to themselves. A lot more people have cats here, so during the day when everyone is out, you'll see a bunch of cats sitting in windows watching the outside. Very wholesome."
"I had a crazy experience while living in a high rise apartment.
The walls were made of concrete to combat fires, but the ceilings and floors were paper thin and you could hear everything. I lived on the 12th floor and very luckily lived directly above the model apartment.
But I still had people above me. They were a younger couple around my age. It was bad enough I could head their normal conversations, every time they closed the refrigerator or opened a window, but they also FOUGHT. They went from 0 to 100 every single time they had a disagreement (which was almost every day). It would usually end in her whining 'Joooohhhnnnyyyyy SHUTTTT UPPPPPP you don’t even know what you’re talking aboutttttt.' And him calling her names and telling her she’s stupid. Eventually, we pieced together that they fought mostly about laundry and stealing each others recreational substances.
It was all annoying, almost teenager-like stuff on the daily that we learned to ignore, until one night, we couldn’t.
It was actually Valentine’s Day. That night, my significant other and I went to bed relatively early. It was about 9:30 pm when we first woke up to the noise above us. They were yelling at each other and stomping around the house like they had so many times before. We were very annoyed, but waited for it to pass and ended up falling asleep again.
At this time, it was around midnight. We woke up to the sound of them SCREAMING at each other. The noises were getting louder and almost sounded like they were moving furniture around. They were slamming doors, she was sobbing, he was screaming. I decide I have enough and head downstairs to complain to the nighttime concierge. He tells us someone had already complained and had actually called the police. Apparently, the police had come to assess the situation. When they opened the door, they feigned complete shock that someone accused them of being in an altercation. Their excuse for being loud was that they found out someone had come into their apartment and stole their belongings or something.
But yet again, at about 2 am, we wake up to them briefly fighting. This time, we see out the window that the police had him handcuffed in the back of the car. We watch as the police pull the car out of the drive, but then they stop. After a period, we watch as the police uncuff him and LET HIM OUT OF THE CAR AND BACK INTO THE BUILDING.
We fall asleep again. This time, it’s 4 am and we wake up yet again to them fighting. But this time was different. We heard glass shatter. The girl was then SCREAMING at the top of her lungs saying 'STOP YOU’RE HURTING ME, STOP' and screaming for someone to help her. I book it to the concierge again and tell him that we need to help her and the police need to come again. As I’m frantically telling him what I heard, the elevator dings. The girl comes shooting out of the elevator, barefoot and blood all over her face. She runs to the lobby bathroom and I follow her in. She locks the door and tells me to please hide her. I’m trying to help her treat the wound on her head and tell her the cops are coming. She tells me he hit her and then threw a chair at her.
The police come and find him hiding in the emergency stairwell. I am sitting next to her getting treated by the EMTs, and as he is passing us in handcuffs he is saying, 'it’s fine, I’ll be out by tomorrow, you have no idea.' The girl then explains that his father is a county sheriff.
The police officers that let him go the first time acted real nervous and defensive about their decision to let him go the first time.
That girl ended up moving out a week later. I heard she had to end her lease because of the amount of noise complaints and that final event. I ended up getting subpoenaed about a month later. I am to testify in court as a witness to charges brought against him. She didn’t show up to court and the charges were dropped. Her family was there though. They shook my hand and thanked me for showing up."
"So I was gonna move into this apartment. About a week before I was scheduled to move in, the landlord called me and told me the apartment I was supposed to move into was no longer available and had to be given to someone else. However, there were other units available, and I could come look at them if I wanted. I was pretty upset, because we had already agreed on a unit, but I came and picked out the unit across the hall from the one I was originally supposed to get.
I moved in, and the first day and night went fine. The second night, I'm woken up by the sound of someone banging on the door across the hall.
It turns out the reason the landlord gave the apartment I wanted to someone else is that it was a lady in an abusive relationship who was trying to get away from her abuser, and that unit was the only one immediately available. Somehow, he found out where she was, and he's banging on her door.
Eventually, she opens the door. They get into a shouting match. He hits the wall a few times and throws some glass bowls down the hallway getting broken glass everywhere. She begs him to leave her alone and says that she's pregnant, and she's already had miscarriages in the past because of him beating her. He threatens to kill her and says he's gonna leave and go get a weapon and come back. He finally leaves, yelling and breaking stuff all the way out. The cops were called. They show up. She seems to blow it off and act like it wasn't a big deal. While the cops are there, a few neighbors and I clean up the glass out of the hallway, and as they're leaving I tell her to let me know if she needs anything. She says she's not from here and is leaving town the next day.
That's been a couple months ago. She's gone, and somebody else lives there now.
I don't really know what happened. He hasn't been back, and I haven't seen her since then. I hope she got out of town. I suspect she may have been a victim of human trafficking.
I hope she's alright."
"Above me was a 'single' guy that did not look very friendly. He had tattoos and that 'tough guy' look and such. I lived in South Texas. I was in a somewhat nice apartment, definitely not in the 'bad' part of town. He'd have a lady friend over a few times a week, for a little while.
One night, I was trying to go to bed, when I hear lots of knocking, beating, screaming, etc. I figured they were just doing it rough, so I tried to go to bed. Then I heard, 'Please, no, stop, I don't want to die!' That's when my heart started racing. I stuck my ear to the wall and listened. He was slapping her and what I imagined as punching her, picking her up and tossing her to various sides of the bedroom (the layout was the same as mine). He was also muffling her screams.
Then he said, 'Don't you FREAKING call the police. I'll kill you.'
Well, at that moment, I called the police myself.
They arrived when the beating was still going on, but as soon as the police knocked, it all stopped. You could hear her being muffled and crying, but he was suppressing her. They did not answer the door. I invited the police to come into my apartment to listen, but they refused. I suppose they had better things to do. After a while, the guy starts pacing back and forth between I assume his front window and the bedroom. The girl still sobbing. Eventually, there were a few more wails, but I suppose I broke the guy's rage, the sound stopped around 3 am
After that, I knew the neighbors knew it was me who called the cops. I called the apartment and told them about it in case there was any retaliation. I even parked my car across the lot just in case. I never did see the girl visit again (thank goodness) and moved shortly after."
"When I first moved into my previous apartment there was family living on the first floor right below us. When the parents weren’t screaming at each other, they were screaming at their little girl. But we quickly realized they were moving out within the month, so we endured and hoped the next neighbors would be better. They weren’t.
Two women moved in and things were rocky from the start. The first night they were bumping uglies incredibly loudly. A few days later, the arguing began. From what we could gather, one of the women wasn’t sure they were ready to move in together and her partner took that to mean she was having doubts about the relationship. For a few weeks, they alternated between doing the dirty and fighting. The last fight they had, woman 2 accused woman 1 of cheating and woman 1 insisted there was no one else. Apparently the relationship ended that night, only about a month after they moved in together.
The next day woman 2 moved out. That evening woman 1 had a male friend over and from the sound of it she had definitely been cheating."