For years, my friends, family and I loved/hated the ongoing saga of "Mariachi Neighbor." Allow me to share the joy. My parents have lived in the same house since 1991 and in 2010, a young family moved into the house next door. Shortly after they moved in, my family hit a rough patch so me, my spouse and our kids as well as my brother, his spouse and their kids moved back into my parents house so we could all work together. What ended up happening was that we all got tortured by approximately 3,744 hours of mariachi music. That's not an exaggeration, we did the math.
My parents both worked early shifts on Saturdays, so they had no idea what they were missing until we told them. Every Saturday morning, starting at 7AM, the neighbor would begin blasting mariachi music so loudly that it rattled the windows of our house. Starting early was bad enough, but they would go non-stop for over 12 hours sometimes. Sometimes, if they had an event they would start as early as 5AM and go til 2 or 3 the next morning. Once, they changed up the game and had Mariachi Wednesday and that messed everybody up. We were friendly with them, so we would ask them to turn it down, but the mother always brushed us off saying we should understand because we were latinx as well so we knew what cleaning day was all about.
Sometimes, she would play the music through the house speakers but off of her phone. So every time she got an email, text, or FB message, we would have to listen to her notification sounds. Since asking them to stop never worked, we would gather on Friday nights and try to figure out where to go on Saturdays. Mariachi music was the soundtrack to life if we were home for any length of time on Saturdays. It was horrible for us, but our friends found it hilarious. My spouse, kids, and I stayed for about six years. This happened every Saturday. That adds up to over 3,700 hours of enduring mariachi music that we had no control over. We've all since moved back out, but every now and then one of us will pop over for a Saturday visit and yup, they're still at it.
One Reddit user asked:
What's your 'worst neighbor ever' story?
And I thought to myself "no WAY anyone could have it worse than years of Mariachi Neighbor!" ... and i was somewhat right, but hey at least Mariachi Neighbor never reported us to the FBI as possible terrorists. So yeah, I'll take the small victory.
Here are some of the best/worst replies, edited for language or clarity where needed. Brace yourselves, there's a whole lot of awful here.
We Can't See Into Your Yard
Downhill neighbor had a wide-open view of our beautiful lower yard. They got a barky dog that they left in their backyard all day. Dog tore down our fence trying to get out and get to our dog. We built a new solid wood fence and then they complained that now that they couldn't see into our yard and that meant we must be spying on them from our yard. Whatever. Then they built a raised deck so that they could see over the fence. We planted a row of bamboo and haven't seen them since.
They called the building department about our fence. The building department came out, said it was legit, and cited them for their illegal deck.
Al Qaeda Sleeper Cell
When I was thirteen, a new neighbor moved into the house next door to mine (which we share a driveway with). Our neighborhood is really close and like to have get togethers and block parties, so we all got together and had a little celebration to welcome her. Immediately it became clear that she did not like my dad.
A while later we find out that she's been telling our neighbors that my dad was inappropriate to her at the party. I know dad would never act like that but he isn't a native English speaker (he's middle eastern which is relevant) and hey maybe some sort of wire got crossed and there was some kind of misunderstanding. So my dad goes to try and apologize to her. It does not go well and she tells my dad to leave which he promptly did.
Then she put up the security cameras. They absolutely covered her house getting views of pretty much every angle including lots of shots of our shared drive. "Whatever" we though. "A lady has a right to put cameras on her house."
Then the cops started showing up. She called them claiming we had messed with her cameras or that me and my friends were shining laser pointers into them. The cops would leave pretty quickly because the supposed crime involved a camera which somehow hadn't captured any evidence of the supposed crime.
Then she started claiming that we were poisoning her yard. She spent a lot of time in her lawn gardening and growing plants but for some reason every six months or so she'd cut everything down and start over. Anyways the cops started coming asking about our supposed poisoning of her lawn but they couldn't find any evidence. We didn't have any poison, her cameras hadn't picked anything up, and we had no motive to poison her lawn. So she started an inquest with the department of agriculture. A pesticide use investigator showed and and interrogated us then took samples from her yard.
While that was going on we had a few fun encounters with her. Once she bought a giant floodlight and pointed it into our windows in the middle of the night. The fire department had to come and unplug it. Another time, our dinner was interrupted when a massive hazmat truck came blaring down our street. Men in heavy gear poured out and charged into her house and then, minutes later disappointedly filed out. One guy came and told us that she had bought a Geiger counter and used it wrong and had thought that we had irradiated her house.
Finally things came to a head when she sued us to get an order of protection. She claimed that my dad was a member of an al Qaeda sleeper cell intent on destroying her. She also claimed that he had used his skills as an engineer to develop a device that she referred to as a white ion laser which would allow him to turn invisible and sneak into her house. She submitted one terabyte of film from her cameras all of which was annotated with such incriminating evidence as "He leaves the house. He enters the house." There were also tons of photos and notes.
It was here that we discovered that her cameras were pointed into my bedroom and had been filming me for years. I was a young lad by this point so there's probably video evidence of some pretty embarrassing teenage behavior out in the aether now. We later legally forced her to move the cameras but she kept moving them back, so I just kept my blinds closed for the better part of a decade.
During the trial, the department of agriculture report came back. It was determined that crazy neighbor has poisoned her own lawn by over fertilizing it. She received a fine for contaminating the ground water.
We obviously won the lawsuit and countersued her to get our own order of protection. We also had to legally get the files on us at the fbi and cia closed since she had reported us to both agencies.
Despite losing the suit, she continued to live next to us, occasionally calling the police on us or suing us again. All things accounted for, the cops were called on us 37 times, we were sued five times, and of course there were the investigations with various federal agencies.
It's now been ten years and she's finally moving out. Why you might ask. Does she feel guilty for accusing us of crimes with no evidence for a decade? Had her paranoia finally driven her to move? No. She didn't pay her property taxes for six years and her house got taken from her. She tried to sue the city on a bunch of occasions as well and failed. Womp womp.
Thou Shalt Not Kill
When I was 10, my neighbor -- an 80-something year old man with a Christian radio station -- shot and killed one of my dogs. When I went looking for my dog, I asked my neighbor if he had seen him.
He told me that he shot a dog like that this morning.
Frozen, I asked where he was so I could bury him. The old man told me that his body was in the dumpster and that he would shoot me too if I didn't get off his land.
I ran through the woods back to my house, screaming out loud in anger and punching trees until my knuckles were torn and bloody.
When I got home, I called the police and the K9 unit came out to my house. He retrieved my dog's body and I buried him.
The worst part was that my dog was very sweet (I know that generally sweet dogs can be threatening, but it was very against his nature) my neighbor had tied him up and broken all of his legs, then shot him point blank in the chest with a shotgun.
I have never felt more rage in my life. My mom took the man to court and he was charged with animal cruelty and the judge asked how much money I thought the dog was worth. I was dumbfounded and croaked out that I didn't want money -- I wanted my dog.
The neighbor was fined $500 and I made him pay it to the local humane society.
The man had the ten commandments posted all around his house, so the next night I took a red sharpie and circled "Thou Shalt Not Kill" on all of his signs.
I doubt anyone will see this comment, but damn... writing it was kind of therapeutic. My dog's name was Hershey, he was a mutt that was born in my bedroom -- he was only 2 years old and such a good boy.
Mom Dyed The Dog Purple
Had a neighbor who let his dog run free, it would get into our yard give our dogs fleas, eat all the food and teach them how to escape. No matter what my mom said the guy denied his dog was getting out. So being fed up with the situation my mom dyed the dog purple and sent it on its merry way. The neighbor kept his dog contained after that.
- note the dye was a nontoxic semi permanent dog dye. No harm came to the pupper.
Other People Can Hear You
My current neighbors are terrible.
It is an Indian couple that fight constantly. I have had to go over to their house and ask them to stop because they are loud enough I can hear them in my house. When they are not fighting, they are loudly having sex in their backyard. And I get it, it's their yard, they can do what they want. But loudly screaming "harder harder, f--- me" is not ok to do outside when other people can hear you. I have kids and now I have to keep a window open because of their behavior.
The woman saw my daughter at the neighborhood mailboxes and told her my wife was a slut and other nasty names.
I complained to my HOA, who I am sure advised them to knock it off. About two weeks after I complained, the police came to my house and said they had received information that I was a dealing cocaine.
To top it off, a large section of the fence between our properties is falling over due to a tree on their side of the fence having a branch growing into it. They refuse to cut the branch and also refuse to help pay to repair the fence.
It has gone on like this for almost a year.
I am moving in 6 weeks.
One neighbor in Florida was a known kleptomaniac, but he would steal the most random items around the neighborhood. When someone moved out of a house, he would dig up the plants from the yard and sell them online. We would just wake up one morning and all of the plants would be gone with the trail of dirt leading to his house. When his house foreclosed he stole all of the doors off their hinges before moving out. He stole another neighbor's bicycle when they left their garage door open. The owner knew it was the klepto so he just walked over to his house and took it back without calling the cops. We also later found out that he was going through a nasty divorce from his wife... who was once his therapist.
Impersonating A Federal Officer
There's a particular type of person who seems to feel like they're the only thing standing between society and complete collapse, and about seven years ago, my downstairs neighbor was one of them. She was aloof and paranoid, and she'd imagine threats from almost everywhere... which made the fact that she thought of herself as some kind of secret agent all the more annoying.
Said neighbor was always trying to find ways of getting me (and anyone else whom she thought of as suspicious) to move out of the building. She'd stage loud telephone calls with "headquarters" about the alarming behavior of the other tenants – like my tendency to get home after nine in the evening, which was clearly scandalous – and frequently yell at the people who'd stand on the corner to smoke. On one occasion, I heard her shouting at someone over the placement of a flowerpot in their window, which was obviously an indication that they were selling drugs.
Then, one afternoon, I found an "official notice" taped to a wall in the stairwell.
It was perhaps the most ridiculous attempt at a government-sponsored document that I'd ever seen, and I'm including the time that my friend Jonathan – then nine years old – made a flyer for bodyguard services. The atrocious grammar, poorly Photoshopped seal, and distinct absence of any legitimate contact information made the thing about as realistic as a scene from NCIS. Furthermore, the reference to "the past two years" seemed to indicate me as her primary target, since I was (as far as I knew) the only resident who had been there for less time than that.
Still, since the notice was clearly meant to scare someone, I decided to return the favor by taking a page out of my neighbor's own playbook. This led me to stand outside of her apartment while staging my own fake phone call:
"You should see the notice; it's terrible! Hah, yeah, it's like they didn't know that impersonating a federal official is a felony! Anyway, the real FBI are on their way, and they're going to dust for fingerprints. Whoever made that notice is looking at a lot of jail time!"
I went back inside my apartment after that... and within seconds, I heard my neighbor's door open. There was the sound of hurried footsteps rushing towards the stairwell, followed by an equally hurried retreat. When I went out to check five minutes later, the notice was gone.
I've since moved away, but for the rest of the time that I lived there, the lady never bothered me again.
Let A Jehova's Witness In My House
I used to have this obnoxious neighbor who invited herself over all the time. Multiple cars in the driveway- we must be having company over which meant free food for her. She would peek over the fence and see we were grilling and would come over to find out what was up.
My dad had a semi- trusting relationship with her and let her know where we kept a spare key should there be an emergency.
We walked in a couple times after being gone and found notes from her on the counter stating she had stopped by to chat but we weren't there. Which means she had used the spare key, gone into our house while we weren't there and probably snooped around and then left a note.
My dad mentioned to her how she wasn't to come in when we weren't there and she apologized. The next day there were brownies on the counter with a note that said sorry. She clearly disregarded what he said to bring us apology brownies!!
The last straw was when one day my dad had left the house and I was taking a shower. When I stepped out in just a towel and ran to the laundry room there was a random woman sitting on the couch. After freaking out I learned that she was a jehova's witness and was let in by my neighbor who apparently was snooping around while I was in the shower and just left the lady alone in my house.
My dad came home and changed all the locks that day and told her not to come over ever again. We also ignored her any time she knocked after that. She hated us after that and clearly thought all of her actions were completely normal.
Old Guy With Binoculars
We lived next door to this old man who sat in his front yard BLATANTLY just staring at us with binoculars. He only did it when my parents weren't home. When my mom confronted him he claimed we were lying. We weren't.
So one night we hear a noise outside and my mom pulls up the blind to find herself eye to eye with this old man trying to look into our window.
Years ago, my wife, kids, and I rented a townhouse.
We had been there for 4 years, and were on a month by month lease.
The owner told us that they would not be extending the lease because she was selling the unit. No big deal, but the lease ended in July and we were told this in May.
We scrambled, but were eventually able to find a great house in an excellent neighborhood to buy. It was during the housing crisis so we got a huge deal, too. Paid about $100K less than the neighbors.
Anyway, at the townhouse there were a few neighbors that would ogle my wife. I don't blame them, I mean, I wanna bang her too.
They were all married except one guy that I will call Brian because that's his name.
Brian was divorced a few times and had kids in their 20s that lived with him. He would constantly run outside if he saw my wife out there. He would mention to her that he saw her going to the store or to the mailbox or whatever. We had a community pool and he would see her going there with the kids and follow so he could hang out with her while she was in her bikini. It creeped her out so much she would wrap a towel around herself until she confirmed he wasn't at the pool.
I had to have words with him more than once about this.
Moving day comes and we haven't told any of the neighbors we are moving because why would we?
Brian comes over as we are loading the truck and asks my wife "Which one of you are moving out?"
I stop and tell him, deadpan as can be, "Both of us."
He was hoping it was a divorce situation so he could try to f*ck my wife.
~BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE~
I come home from a work trip one day and my wife tells me that Brian was driving past our house.
I don't know how he did it, but he found out where we live. We still live in the same city, so I reason he either saw my wife and followed her home one day or just drove around until he found us.
We live in a cul-de-sac. There is no fucking reason for him to be driving there. It's not like we're on the way to someplace.
Finally, My wife has my car because I have to take her's in for maintenance. The doorbell rings and who is it but Brian.
He is obviously stunned to see me answer the door and starts to stammer out some bullshit about why he's there.
He knows about my military time and what I was in the Army.
I tell him, in no uncertain terms, that if I ever see him near my home or my wife ever again that it will be the last thing he does on this Earth.
I make him acknowledge that he understands me and to tell me he will never come here again, and he scurries to his car and leaves as fast it it will take him.
It's been a few years and neither of us have seen Brian.
Every now and then I'll see a car I don't recognize on our cul-de-sace and I always look at the driver.
Just in case.