This is getting scary.......

Its 4 am and I was woken up by a loud crash next door.
In my kitchen I could see the lights were off at the house. I pulled my dressing gown on and put on the kettle, listening into the cold darkness I held my breath as more noises appeared. Another crash, then doors slamming so hard it made the windows rattle. I quickly rang the police, since there was no lights on I figured the neighbours weren't home so it had to be another break in. I sat on my kitchen bench listening and waiting. The noises were the same as the other times. I was just more aware of them now because it was a couple living there and not a bunch of students who I always figured were just doing crazy drunk stuff early in the morning. I though I heard the police car pull up and when I got up to look there was an almighty crash that made my heart leap out of my chest. The force of it was so loud my first stupid instinct was to duck. Both my dog and cat scattered to the other parts of the house, and I shakily went to the door, hoping the police had turned up and heard it too. But sadly no. What I did see as my eye focused through the hedging next door was the new security light come on. Then I finally heard Sarahs voice. She was sobbing and they were running.
Instantly I threw my door open and ran down my drive way, looking over just in time to see Sarah and Gary jump into their car and it start up hastily. When the car lights switched on I could say Sarah was almost hysterical, hitting at the dashboard to make Gary move. The tires kicked up gravel and they reversed blindly, backing out onto the street and disappeared with squealing tires down the road.
I stood dumbfounded, heavy breathing and confused. WTF! This couldn't be happened. I couldn't bring myself to look up at the house so I averted my eyes and searched the street to see one or two other neighbours coming out in the night clothes. Well at least I wasn't crazy. They had witnessed it too lol
Shortly after the police turned up conveniently late and once I told the policemen what I saw and heard I nearly kicked him in the shin when I heard him radio in that he was at a simple "domestic dispute." Sure it was, of a kind, but not the kind he was implying. He was telling me that it was all under control  when I made eye contact across the street at Maureen, the other neighbour. She gave me a knowing nod and I gave her a small wave before watching as the lone policemen, armed with only a flash light wandered casually up the drive to the house. It was then that I finally let myself look at it. The hallway light was on and from what I could tell the front door was open but the rest of the house was in steely darkness.
The policemen casually knocked on the door with his torch and called out to anyone in there then disappeared within. One by one the lights on the lower floor turned on and I could see the policemen through the open curtains systemically clearing each room. I lost sight of him as he walked passed a doorway and headed up the stairs. Then I lifted my eyes up to the front room window and my blood went cold. A shadow stood in the window, its silhouette outlined by the dim light from the stair case. It was just standing there, looking out at the street. It was definitely a man, a well build man, he had square shoulders and shaggy hair. The shadow moved, as if to shift and look back at the door, then ever so slowly it turned back and I was struck with complete horror that he was looking back at me. I was rooted to the spot. Though I couldn't see his face at all I could sense his eyes on me. It took every tiny bit of my strength to move, to pull my eyes away and go for it.  I took off running onto the damp lawn towards the open door of the house, gathering my dressing gown up so I could run fast, to yell up to the policemen that someone was up there, to be careful but I skidded to a halt when the light turned on and the shadow had finished into thin air.
Not believing my own eyes I looked back and saw that most of the neighbours who had come out to investigate were gone, even Maureen had missed it as she was waling back down to her house.
    I held my head down, not daring to look up again. It must have been my imagination, I thought desperately knowing pretty much I was lying to myself. The cop appaeared, looking at me oddly as I stood in the middle of the lawn like a stuck post. I pulled it together long enough to agree to inform them if or when the neighbours returned.
   I suddenly felt the chill of the cold winter's night hit me, as if I hadn't realised it before hand and I wearily went back to my house.
   I double checked the locks in my house and left the door to my bedroom ajar so the dog or cat could come protect me while I slept. But I doubted sleep was going to come any time soon.

A small relief...

Yesterday I noticed a utility van pulling in next door. I didn't have time to read what was on the side but got a flash of the word "Security specialist." I was suddenly just so happy the that lousy Land lord was obviously doing something about it. The van stayed there all day and when I went off later that night for drinks with Dan I saw a aggressive warning sign at the front of the house saying "Security Monitored by Armor Guard." Along with a nice big new outside security light that looked like it would blind the neighbourhood if triggered.
Thank god. I bet Sarah and Gary will sleep easy now.

A strange visit...

It was a few days later that Sarah was at my door. This time I knew what she was there for.
"I guess you heard about what happened." she said at my door step. I gave my condolences and invited her in. She didn't look very stressed out or at the edge of sanity, as I would be, instead she looked around my hall and said "wow, you really can see the similarity in the houses." yea, I thought, except mines not haunted.
She went with me into the kitchen where I made her a cuppa and she looked up through my kitchen window at the house, and odd hint of apprehension in her eyes. So I asked causally if they had found the person who broke in. Her head snapped around from the window and almost as if she hadn’t heard me she said a distant "no" then her face cleared, her attention was back again. "What was it you said happened with the other tenants? That someone stole their washing?"
I rested uneasily on my feet and nodded and told her the theory the policemen gave me. Which was obviously what he had told her too. But she didn't looked convinced.
"Its odd though, don't you think. That they chose just our house."
"Its vacant a lot. Who knows who was in there when it was empty." I explained hiding my own shiver.
"You see, that's another question right there. Why is it vacant so much? Because of the break ins, or is it broken into because it is vacant or maybe both"
I could see she was growing a little bit agitated and telling her anything right now about what I heard would probably make the whole thing worse. Then she looked me in the eye an focused on me over her coffee and said. "What do you know of the history of the house?"
"Um..., why.?" I asked grabbing for a dish cloth and pretending to find some dirt in my bench that needed my full attention.
'Its just..... I don't know. Gary thinks I’m crazy but I feeling like some-things not right about the house."
"Like what?" Now it was the ovens turn for a wipe.
She put her cup aside and looked back out the window at the bedroom I had been in looking down from a week ago at the house warming. 'I feel like it hates me.' she said in almost a whisper.
"The house?" I asked with a small chortle then pulled my act together when I saw she was deadly serious and quite upset. "Look" I sighed. "You’ve just had you privacy intruded upon by a complete stranger and that’s bound to make anyone paranoid. If I was you I would be ringing the landlord or property manger and demanding better security so it doesn't happen again. You're well with in your rights since this is not the first time its happened and they've done nothing to stop it."
She stared at me for a long time then finally she blinked. Then a slow smile came to her face.
"You're totally right." she beamed and a wave of relief seemed to wash over her. "I'll make them get double locks, security lighting, some kind of fence to stop people just wondering in. Thank you." she put her cup aside and seemed to leave with new vigour in her steps. I'm not sure if that was what she came to my house for. But for now I am happy that I've eased her mind a bit. But we shall see. Fingers crossed.

It begins again......

Now a few days later from my last post I was walking home from the supermarket and came upon the now way too familiar sight of the police car in the drive way of house next door. It took all my energy not to drop my heavy bags and run up to the house to see what has happened. Just because I have met them doesn’t mean I can burst on over there and ask them if they're were okay.
I quickly went home, with my heart sinking. God, please let it be something normal, like they have a friend who is a policeman, that cop is there for any other reason then been called there because of some break in. As per all the other times all I had to do was wait for the policemen to knock on my door and ask me if I had seen anything. A hour later there was the knock.
I've always found it odd that the police haven’t questioned why they get called to the house so much. Perhaps if they just sent the same policemen every time then something could be worked out. Because sure enough it was a completely different cop to the last 4 I had talked to. Pen in hand to note book he asked me if I had seen any suspicious people on the street. I said no and asked why. They always pretend that they didn't want to tell me, like their not supposed to before the just blurt it out. "there was a break in next door." I pretending to looked shocked, since if I didn't this would pretty much make me a suspect, then asked I if they were okay.
"Yes, nothing was taken, just a broken window and what looks like someone may have slept in one of the beds while they were out."
That as a new one. Normally it was washing taken, front door found open. Finally I couldn't stand it any more and I asked the policemen if he realised that the police get called out to the house a lot in what was considered a safe suburban neighbourhood. He nodded, as if I was the moron for pointing this out. "Criminals often return to the same house once they see how easy it is to get it."
"Criminals that don't steal anything?" I ask asked dryly
"Criminals looking for a place to hide out. Drug addicts seeing a free place to sleep. The is a pharmacy only a few block away that proscribes out methadone. They could be just hanging in there until they get their proscription."
I closed my mouth as what he said was actually making some sense. I had seen the one or two twitching, running on the spot, scruffy dressed man outside the pharmacy first thing in the mornings and it wasn't too hard to click what they were there for.
After confirming once again I hadn’t seen anyone and assuring him I would contact them if I did. I went back inside felling really bad for the new neighbours. God I wouldn't know which would be worse, a ghost or a strung out drug addict wanting a place to sleep. Those poor people.

A pleasant week...

Its been a few days since the party. I went away for three night to my folks house in Clyde (Central Otago) for my mums birthday, and when I came back I was actually a little relived to see they were still in the house. Sarah gave me a wave from her car as I was checking my mail and I felt this ease come over me, over the whole neighbourhood that this once, just this once, these people my stay longer than a few months. Its not entirely because I just want them to be happy and safe. Its that I hate when the house is empty. I long for someone to settle there. Despite the dread of the "angry man" getting them, there is always the usual worry a person gets when new people move in right next door. You wonder if they'll be noisy, messy or just Because of the neighbourhood being in the middle-class suburbs the residence are normally quite good. But as the house gets harder and harder to let out I get worried the Property manager will lower the price even more, and that would open it up for a whole new range of people. Ha!, dear god, would you listen to me, I sound like a Honestly I'm not really like that at all! Well I didn't used to
  Anyways.., I ran in to the other neighbour, the woman who live to the houses left and who started it all with her tale telling. We had a pleasant conversation about the weather until she decided to stop beating around the bush and ask me if I have met the new neighbours. I told her they were nice and that I went to the house warming. That's when I got her attention. Did I see anything? Did they tell me anything? It was a shame to ruin her dreams but I told her the truth. That everything was fine and the house was okay despite needing a bit of TLC which I'm sure the new tenants were more then capable of doing if they like the house so much and planned to stay long term. Fingers crossed.

I did it....

So 7pm came around and I was pacing in my lounge with a bottle of red wine hearing cars pulling up next door and the general hum of a small gathering begining to start. I'd been at two minds all day, to just not go and leave it all alone  with  the other part of me just wanting to see inside the house for myself, just feel if the place has any kind of hostility in it, or just to prove to myself that it was just the word of a gossipy old neighbour on the street and my active imagination.
 By 7:45pm I took a deep breath and decided I couldn't miss this opportunity. It was already dark and cold outside and when I got to the door next door it was wide open with no one there to greet me.  I could hear that there was a small crowed gathered in a room within so tentatively I took a step over the thresh hold. What surprised me at first was that the house was not just a similar design to mine on the inside, it was a more grander version. Both houses were 1940's villas, which could be easily spotted form the outside but this one seemed to be a deluxe version on mine. More oak, a larger hallway with ornate wood carving. While mine house had been completely renovated this house had its original d├ęcor, even what seem like original carpet, well warn but still looking kinda nice and Anyway I walked down the hallway and Sarah came out of a side room and saw me. I grinned shyly, worried I had been caught eyeing up the place but she didn't notice and gathered me into a room where about 15 were talking and drinking. It was a relaxed atmosphere and while I normally don't go to parties that I don't no a single soul I chatted easily with the couples friend who seem nice and genuine people. The guilt started to seep in. It wasn't long before I was standing with Gary (Sarah partner) and another man talking when the man asked Gary how he was settling in. I took a nonchalant sip of my wine as he answered that he was in love with the house and was settling in easily. Not for long I thought dryly then hated myself for thinking. Maybe they'll be different. The man we were talking with asked for a tour and I quickly agreed also, explaining how I had never seen the whole house before. Soon we had a small number of people following Gary from room to room. A small side bedroom on the first floor, and tiny room to the right that looked like a office. Then a large kitchen that had been slightly renovated but still had the 1940's black and white floor tiles. Up the large wooden stairs we went to a master bedroom, its window over looking  parts of my house, a clear view to my kitchen window and front door. I stood their a while and thought of the many times I had avoided looking up to that window just encase something was looking back. It was around then as I stared down at my house, seeing my cat Jack sitting on the bird feeder on my deck like he thought because it was dark the birds wouldn't see him that I realised I was all alone and the others had moved on to another room at the front of the house. I know it must have been my imagination but when I turned back from the window I thought I saw a dark shadow dart out of my line of sight to the corner of the room. I didn't dare investigate further, just took a deep breath and walked calmly from the room, only taking to a small run to catch up with the others who were now in a large back room.
When it was done we all went down stairs again and melded into the rest of the party. It was getting up to a somewhat large number when I decided I would go, having pretty much got what I cam for. I searched out my hosts and thanked them for inviting me.
  At home again now I can her the party is in full swing and I feel somewhat odd to have just been in the house. I didn't know what to expect but I guess to find a perfectly normal house with a perfectly normal atmosphere with perfectly normal people in it was the least I of my expectations.

A house warming.......

Early this afternoon I got a knock on the door and low and behold it was the woman from next door. My heart leapt to my throat thinking she was going to ask me something about the house, or if I had heard any strange noises. It had only been two weeks since they had moved in and it was around now, normally, that things started turning weird over there. My mind went into overload of whether to lie, tell the truth or just keep the heck out of it. But she wasn't there for any revelations. She thanked me for eggs and  the welcome I gave her then told me she and her partner Gary were having a house warming tonight and invited me over for it! OMG! I've never set foot inside the house, and apart from the pictures of the inside when it was advertised for rent  I really don't know what it looks like on the inside.I eagerly accepted  then suddenly wished I hadn't. As I watched her go back down the drive with a wave I realised if I went into that house that "thing" would see me. I would be finally in its reach. I liked that it might not know me. I decided I wouldn't stay long at the party. Just a quick curious visit.Then I'll run back home! Will keep you posted.