Curious About Sounds from Upstairs Neighbor

lisaguFebruary 28, 2007

I live on the 10th floor of a 135-unit high-rise apartment building. It's an older building made of concrete with plaster walls. For the most part, you can't hear a thing, which is a blessing.

About a year ago, when I first moved in, I was laying awake in bed early one morning and I thought I heard yodling. I live in New Jersery and yodling is not exactly common, so I dismissed it.

During the next few months I heard other strange sounds, always at obscure hours, like 2am or 5am. These sounds included women moaning (like pornography was being watched), or opera singing.

It turns out that these sounds are coming from the apartment above me. The only sounds I can hear at all come from above. The woman moaning turned out to be a real live human, not a woman in a video. This couple that lives above me.....they have sex everyday, sometimes several times a day, for HOURS at a time. I wish I was joking and I know I should probably be happy for them. And you know, I don't really have's not disturbing my sleep or any aspect of my life. I just find it so strange.....she moans in delight for hours on end.

Then of course, the singing. He yodles, sings opera, sings rock songs and he's good. At two in the morning I hear, "Pussycat, pussycat, I love you, yes I do; you and your pussycat eyes"...... or, "I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow". It's absolutely entertaining and in no way disturbs me. One night I even heard him singing duets with the woman that usually just moans. Apparently she can also sing.

The latest sounds from above.....banging, hammering, knocking, all day long for hours on end. I know you are probably thinking that I need to get out more - please don't send me insulting comments. I work from home, which is something I love and it pays my bills.

Starting around 8am, just about every day, I hear hammering and banging from above. I would have bet my life that he was having a new hardwood floor installed or new carpeting tacked down. But the noise has continued, several days a week, for several weeks. In fact, as I type this, I hear hammering.

My imagination runs wild...I haven't heard the sexual moaning woman in weeks and instead hear the sound of a hammer striking the walls, the floor, etc. I am convinced my upstairs neighbor has a wooden leg like a pirate and he's up there dancing a jig; or maybe he is a rock sculptor and he is chiseling away at his latest piece. There is no real rhythm to the hammering and with our plaster walls, hammering is not a practical method of hanging things on the wall. (I pre-drilled holes for anything I hung on my walls)

My cat is going crazy from all this hammering. He sits and stares at the ceiling, sometimes howling in response.

So my question is.....can I go upstairs and ask this crazy man what he is doing? We have never met, though his mailbox in next to mine in the lobby and I do know who he is. The hammering is during the day and I'm not really complaining, just curious. Should I just mind my own business and wait for the hammering phase to pass? or would it be an acceptable thing to do to knock on his door and just ask, "what are you doing in there?"


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What a great post! I actually laughed out loud. To think of having to listen to a woman moan for hours would probably make me jealous if anything! HA!

I don't know if I would tackle the questioning of him or not. You seem very pleasant about it, but, even though it is in the day hours, excessive is excessive. I mean you grant someone a few days if they are having flooring laid or carpet installed, but this seems a bit much, no?

Does he "look" like a nice approachable guy or does he look just cantankerous? I guess my biggest question, does he look like a fabulous lover???? hahahhaha

Let me know what you do!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 5:04PM
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Perhaps all the hammering is part of his hobby. Maybe he likes building things out of wood or something. Sounds like he might be an artsy kind of guy.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 6:37PM
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its probably the bed

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 6:51PM
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Have you seen the French movie Delicatessen? Maybe something more sinister is going on!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:58PM
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Do you work from home as a writer? If not, you should! What a great story this would make.

I also live in Jersey, and have yet to hear yodling here, you're lucky!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 11:24PM
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Thanks for the feedback thus far. Thought I would answer some of the questions and elaborate a bit....

Regarding the possibility that something more sinister is going on in the apartment above better believe the thought has certainly crossed my mind. Prior to this hammering/banging/knocking phase, there was the scratching phase. For days and days and days I heard what sounded like scratching inside of a cage. It truly sounded as though there was a dog inside a metal cage, scratching to get out. Now of course, we are not allowed to have dogs in these apartments and I've never once heard a 'bark'. So is there a muzzled dog upstairs that is kept in a metal cage at all times? Is there a person kept in a metal cage? Perhaps one of his moaning sex slaves? Yeah, this is what is going through my head down here in the apartment below.

Of course these possibilities seem absurd, but we see these god-awful stories unfold on the news all the time. How terrible will I feel if I find out six months from now that the man on the eleventh floor has been arrested for keeping humans caged and using them as his sex slaves?

Then there was the morning I woke up and heard dripping behind my bathroom walls. Immediately my mind conjured up images of blood and severed body parts stuffed into the walls - with all that moaning and pain and pleasure being so closely linked...

After taking a closer I look, I found there was water dripping out of my medicine cabinet. How very strange. Maintenance responded immediately to my call (as they always do - I have NO complaints about the management and maintenance here).

Maintenance pulled my medicine cabinet out of the wall and could see the drip was coming from above. We have 12 floors total, so it was either the floor above me, or the 12th floor. The maintenance men knocked on the doors of both the 11th and 12th floor apartments. The resident in the 12th floor apartment let maintenance in. After pulling out their medicine cabinet it became apparent the leak was coming from a pipe behind the 11th floor medicine cabinet.

The maintenance men knocked on door of the 11th floor apartment and called both the home phone and cell phone of my upstairs neighbor. Even though they could see by our assigned parking spots that the 11th floor crazy man was indeed home, he would not open his door. Because this was an emergency, maintenance attempted to enter the 11th floor apartment with their master key only to find the locks were changed and a dead-bolt was added.

This is where the story really gets funny, like an episode of the three stooges. Three maintenance men come back to my apartment with a big extension ladder and go out to my balcony. They place the ladder so they can climb up to my upstairs neighbor's balcony. I just stood there with my jaw dropped. Next thing you hear is the upstairs neighbor say, "What the HELL are you doing?"

He was up there the whole time maintenance was banging at his door and calling his telephones. Later, I nonchalantly asked the maintenance guys some general questions about the upstairs apartment, but they wouldn't tell me anything.

So this sort of ties in to the questions from angel47630. Does he seem approachable? Well yes and no. Using only the balcony episode, I would say no, this man does not seem at all approachable. But from our brief encounters in the lobby I would say yes. He is an attractive man who is always dressed impeccably. He is older than myself (I am 26 - he could be my father). He is friendly and has made small talk with me on a few occassions, though I have never said, "hi I'm Lisa, I live below you and hear all of your bizzare activities."

When I see him I'm usually too embarassed to really check him out. Does he take Viagra recreationally? or is he a stud? I couldn't say as I get too bashful to really look. As for the wooden pirate leg, I tend to think it's rather unlikely.

And so I remain curious.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:44AM
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Well Lisa,

I am equally as curious now!!! HA!

That is a strange story though. Did they not get into trouble for changing the locks? That is grounds for immediate eviction here.

Yes, it is like you could have Hannibal Lector living above you!

Years ago when hubby and I lived in a townhouse we had VERY bizzare neighbors. I was just sure there was a sex slave involved. I had just had our son so my husband thought I just needed to get out more! But, those people still keep wondering til this day.

At least it seems like you like your place, so it is not driving you to move is it?

Keep us posted on the drama, what a good story!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:05PM
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maybe they're voice-over actors, and they're recording the sound tracks for questionable movies?

If he had headphones on, he might not have been able to hear the phone (might have had it turned off?), or the knocking--though it seems sort of odd.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:56PM
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i definitely want to know more! thats just crazy, we have noisy upstaires neighbors but only the annoying stomping loud talking 3am party kind... let us know when you know more

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 4:08AM
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Some people thought Ted Bundy was attractive too.
Good grief, that is a bizarre situation! No doubt management will be watching him from here on out. I have it in all my leases that locks are not permitted to be changed without my consent and without giving me a key, no alarm without providing me with the code (basically they can't lock me out of the property), and if they try, the locks get changed back and they get to foot the bill for it. (What happened to you is a good example why owners/mgmt can't be locked out.) Sooo, your building has probably already changed the locks back and is watching the sharp-dressed lulu . Curious about the next installment... ;)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:49AM
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:grabs popcorn:

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:44PM
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Wow, I'd be thinking more along the lines of "amatuer" porn production. With the internet, people run their own sites with nothing more than a net camera. I'd also be wondering about the possibility of BDSM gone too far. I would definitely write a letter to the building management and detail the odd noises, especially the scratching w/o signs of animals and the continued banging. His being impeccably dressed and being charming mean absolutely nothing except that he's apparently intelligent enough to have decent social skills and awareness. This also means that unfortunately, if he is up to nefarious activities, he'll be harder to catch than someone who's dumb and careless.

There isn't much anyone can do until something illegal can be proved, but your managers would probably appreciate the tip-off so they can be more dilligent in how they approach the guy and his tenancy.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 1:22AM
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Tenants do produce adult web content. I took over a property and had a tenant who was home all the time. I was updating the info I got and asked for her work phone number. She said she quit her job and worked at home. I said great! Making small talk I asked what she did from home. She told me she was an artist. She moved out only 3-4 months after this and while showing the apartment for re-rental never saw any type of art stuff. Paints, canvas, clay etc. She did however have a web cam in her room and the bed was set up in an odd way.

The last month I had to drop things off for her move and collect some money. Her boy friend opened the door and I asked to speak to her. He said she was "working" in her room and give her 5 minutes. A few minutes later she came out in a robe. My suspecions were further verified when my co worker (her old neighbor) informed me he learned of this from her parents.

She was a good tenant. Quiet, paid on time, caused no problems, and since she was home all the time watched the neighbors and area for trouble.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:16AM
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Maybe he's making a new set for an adult movie.

Though I have to say the malicious intent sprang to my mind immediately. I think I would definitely NOT go knock on his door with the scratching and banging. I would also write to management. They might be inclined to check things out with him changing the locks.

Interesting story, though.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 8:24PM
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I agree with everyone else, this was by far the most entertaining post I have ever read.

I don't know how you can take it! I am thinking that he either dumped the singing and moaning woman or they moved out and the landlord is installing new floors.

I would definately make a complaint especially since the hammering hasn't stopped for several weeks now. You should be able to enjoy your peace and quiet too.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 6:55PM
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Thought I would post an update....
The crazy upstairs neighbor was evicted for not paying his rent. Apparently he had not paid for several months. I heard from the maintenance man that Upstairs Neighbor is completely moved out and all the locks have been changed. Now there is only silence from the apartment above.
I must admit, I am a bit sad about his departure. With this new silence, my imagination no longer runs wild.
Perhaps a new Upstairs Neighbor will come; I will post again if I hear anything.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Perhaps they work from home as well as porn stars. There is always a market for porn no matter what he people look like.
And maybe the newest trend is sex with powertools. Hammer while getting hammered!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 5:19PM
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Well, he must have moved above me because that's all I hear as of the past two months!! I keep wondering, "how many ding-dang pictures do you have to hang?" It seems like every other day, it's hammering and banging noises, constantly, for five hours or more! I have half a mind to go upstairs and tell him if he hasn't hit the nail by now, he never will, and to stop with the noise... There was one night where my upstairs neighbor was hammering and banging and I looked at the clock and it was 1:30 a.m.! We have jobs and have to go to sleep so we can get up early. Plus, there are weekends when I have to study for finals and I can't concentrate with all the noise pollution. I'll be writing management. I will NOT miss him/them when they are gone!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 6:39PM
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