Ever had an encounter with a bad neighbor? You know the type, loud, anti-social and basically a pain to live with? I've had my fair share of those. However, there was one particular incident involving "bad neighbors" which would stay with me for my entire life. Although I try not to think much on the event, I'd like to share it with you in case you had a similar experience...

Anyway, it began when I was living in an apartment block, having a nice (if slightly small) living space to call my own and a good view over the city. As you'd expect, I had neighbors both above and below me, though I never saw much of either.

It was the second night after moving into the apartment that the noises began, loud thumps in the middle of the night, slamming of doors and muffled yelling. It went on for several hours and I was beginning to lose my patience with all the noise.

I got up with the intent of investigating when the sounds suddenly stopped, I admit it was strange, even eerie... yet at the time I was just grateful for the silence and went to sleep.

The following day went by without incident until I went to bed again, then I heard another loud thump and slamming of doors. Only the muffled yelling was replaced by what appeared to be the cries of a baby.

This made me jump, there had never been any signs of a baby before. The cries sounded strange as well...unnatural... They sent a shiver up my spine and I got to my feet and looked up at the ceiling, heart still pounding in my chest.

The sounds began to drift away and I noticed to my horror that a new sound was now audible, this time from the hallway outside my apartment. It sounded like rapid footsteps... Then I jumped once more as the sound of banging came from my door.

The banging wasn't just loud, it as frightening, fast and aggressive - as if someone was beating against the door with clenched fists, then rapidly changing... as if they were slamming full-force into the door.

I panicked and scrambled towards a nearby phone, yet as soon as I lifted the phone up the banging stopped and everything went silent.

Needless to say I didn't get much sleep that night... now I know what you're thinking about now, why didn't I call the cops? well, thing is... I didn't know what to tell them... the whole thing was getting far too much and although I was frightened I didn't want everyone to think I was crazy.

The next day I decided to sleep at my friend's house, looking back it proved to be a life-saving decision.

Because that night a fire broke out in my old apartment and burnt down a large section of the apartment block, amazingly no one was killed but authorities were puzzled as to the cause... all that was certain was that if I had been in the apartment at the time I may not be here to tell this story.

My friend was very supportive and allowed me to stay with him for a while as I got myself back together, most of my stuff had been destroyed in the fire and I had to rely on the kindness of friends and family as well as a good deal of hard work to finally get myself a new apartment and a stable job.

I'd lie if I said my life is fully back to normal, my apartment is pretty old and cheap (then again it is the best I can afford, given the circumstances), my job doesn't pay well and I still have very little but what I have I am eternally grateful for...

The new neighbors are welcoming enough, well... except the one's upstairs... they aren't very sociable... lately they've got into a habit of moving around late at night as well...

Banging and scraping...

Come to think on it...