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These Are Some of the Worst Neighbors Ever

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The Nutcase Next Door

Buying a home can be a minefield, especially in today's overheated market. Unfortunately, no amount of money or preparation will guarantee you good neighbors — and plenty of people have the horror stories to prove it. The next time you're annoyed that the guy next door fired up his leaf blower at 7 a.m., read these tales of horrendous neighbors and take comfort: You could have it much, much worse.


April Neale contributed to this story.


Related: These Horror Stories Will Make You Fear Homeowners Associations

Flood light on external brick wall nighttime look up
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Racist Slurs and Blinking Lights

When one family moved to a new home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, it was with high hopes for a quiet, suburban life. What they got was a neighbor who kept their house under 24/7 surveillance and had sensors that activated blinking lights, monkey sounds, and racist commentary when the Black family entered and left their home. Worse, the police say there's nothing that can be done, as the neighbor's behavior, which has continued into 2021, is within the law. 


Related: Where to Donate for Racial Justice in Your State

Half-Naked Man
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Gunshots to Noisy Kids
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Gunshots to Quiet Noisy Kids

Kids are loud sometimes. Most people tend to accept that — or even occasionally enjoy the din, within reason. But an elderly California woman was arrested in 2018 after deciding to grab a handgun and shoot at her neighbors' three noisy kids, instead. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the woman was charged with assault with a firearm and child endangerment.


Related: Etiquette Rules No One Follows Anymore

Chased By a Tractor
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Chased By a Tractor

A land dispute was the reason for one elderly Florida man tried to mow down his neighbor with a tractor in 2018. The man was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an argument prompted him to climb onto his tractor and chase his neighbor, yelling, "Run, fat a--." A 911 dispatcher recorded Lynch's wife. "He chased him down on his tractor and my husband had to run, yes," she said.

Fence of Tires
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'Art' or a Fence of Used Tires?

Robert Frost said, "Good fences make good neighbors." Apparently, he wasn't talking about a tire fence. A dispute over one North Carolina family using another's private driveway spurred one to construct a 4-tire-high, 200-foot "work of art" sourced from a local landfill along their property line in 2018. The other family was none too happy, calling it "a solid waste spiteful pile of trash" and an eyesore. County officials agreed, ordering that the makeshift fence be taken down.

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A Never-Ending Night at the Opera

Here's one way to drown out the barking of a neighbor's dog: By playing an aria from the opera "La Traviata" 16 hours a day for years. A Slovakian woman was arrested in 2018 for doing just that, and enraging her neighbors in the process. She'd been cited before, but was never arrested. Interestingly, the dog in question apparently left years ago, but she kept the aria on repeat.



Making Hay to Block the View
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Making Hay to Block the View

An English farmer wanted to build a waste-processing station near his neighbors' pricey homes, but they blocked the effort. After his application was rejected, in 2018, he exacted his revenge in a unique way: By piling 30 tons of hay onto trailers behind their property, blocking their views of the fields — and anything else — beyond.

Poisoning the Neighbors' Dog
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Poisoning the Neighbor's Dogs

A Portland, Oregon, man apparently was so fed up with his neighbors' barking dogs that after repeatedly calling animal control, he took matters into his own hands. Police say he soaked pieces of lunch meat in a poison that he made with castor seeds — used to produce ricin — and tossed them over the fence that separated his property from his neighbors'. Fortunately, the poisoning attempts were thwarted by the dogs' owner. He was charged in 2017 with several counts of animal abuse and unlawful possession of a firearm.


Related: Dogs That Don’t Bark

Yorkshire terrier
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One Woman's Trash Is Another Woman's … Pet?

No, not everyone has to like your dog, but one Texas woman took her beef with her neighbors' pooch a little too far. She was caught on video putting their 7-pound Yorkie, Bentley, into a trash can in 2017. The dog had escaped the neighbors' yard by getting under their fence, which apparently had been a point of contention for the woman.

Pumping Up the Volume
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Pumping Up the Volume

Loud neighbors are an all-too-common source of stress, but in 2015, a Florida woman was charged with aggravated stalking after officials say she constructed a sophisticated sound system solely for the purpose of harassing her downstairs neighbor. During a search of her apartment, authorities discovered low-frequency speakers mounted to a board and placed face-down on the floor. They were weighed down by dumbbells and cinder blocks and connected to an amplifier, which in turn was connected to a tablet that played workout music on a loop and could be operated remotely. Interestingly, the woman was charged with stalking again a year later when a sheriff's deputy moved in downstairs.

Raymond James Stadium
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Football Tickets With a Pricey Catch

When a Florida man treated his neighbors to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game, they probably thought they hit the jackpot. Alas, that wasn't quite the case. Authorities say the man actually paid for the tickets with a credit card he'd stolen from the very same neighbors he'd invited to the game. But that's not all: He allegedly charged almost $3,000 in total to their card, and made other purchases including flowers, food, and legal services. He was charged with theft and fraud in 2015.

Great Wall of Manure
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Building a Great Wall of Manure

Some neighbors turn a blind eye if their dog poops on the other side of the fence, but a Canadian couple decided to take poop warfare to new heights — literally — starting in 2013. They amassed a pile of manure so large that it could be seen on Google Earth, and deposited it right at their neighbors' property line. No one's quite sure why they were so unhappy with their neighbors, but a judge found them guilty of using the poop piles as a "tool of harassment" and ordered them to pay $15,000 in the dispute.

Burning Down the House
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Lawn Dispute Ends in Arson

Some of us are a little more passionate about lawn care than others. But one Georgia man was so mad about his neighbor's overgrown grass that he repeatedly confronted him about it, once even slapping the other man. But the 2013 dispute didn't end there. After the neighbor (rather unsurprisingly) called the cops, the man became enraged because he was afraid he'd go to jail. His solution, police say: Burning down the neighbor's house, netting him arson charges — and a trip to jail.


Related: Signs You Belong in the Suburbs

Still life image of brown and white eggs in cardboard egg cartons
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Seeking Revenge with Eggs, Nails, and Fire

One Florida landscaper apparently just couldn't let the rejection go when his neighbors chose another company to do their lawn work. In 2013, he began to terrorize the neighbors, throwing eggs at their homes, killing their lawns, dropping nails on the road, and even setting a boat on fire, authorities say. Eventually, he got five years of probation after being charged with criminal mischief. Much to his neighbors' relief, he also moved.

Houses
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A Very Expensive One-Finger Salute

Most divorced couples can't wait for the chance to move far, far away from one another, but a Michigan man bucked that trend in 2013 by moving in next door to his ex-wife — and the man with whom he said she had an affair. As if that's not enough of an eyebrow-raiser, he then decided to spend $7,000 on a 12-foot backyard sculpture of a hand with a raised middle finger visible from his neighbors' house, complete with a spotlight to keep it illuminated every night.


Related: How to Make Divorce Work: 19 Strategies from Experts

Roe deer with fawn
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Nooses, Fires, Dead Deer and More

A Missouri man believed his neighbors ratted him out for drugs, so he apparently devised an intricate plan to get them back. According to news reports from 2013, the harassment included leaving a noose in their front yard, setting fires in his backyard so the smoke would blow onto their property, putting deer carcasses in their trash cans, and even prancing around in front of their security cameras at night in his underwear, or with a box on his head. Eventually, he did face felony drug charges.

Robbing a Grieving Family
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Robbing a Grieving Family

A North Carolina family suffered an unspeakable tragedy in 2012 when their 1-year-old drowned in a small pond near their home. When they went to stay with family during the child's funeral, their neighbors apparently decided to capitalize on their misfortune. Police arrested a couple who lived next door and charged them with stealing $4,000 worth of property. Even worse, authorities found some of the child's items, including a birth certificate and angel ornament, burned in the couple's backyard.

Man looking through blinds
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Nothing Says 'Don't Move Here' Like a Swastika

A Sacramento, California, man apparently grew tired of contractors who were renovating a neighbor's Victorian house. How he responded, according to his neighbors: By trying to poison their dog with chocolate, shooting BBs into their yard, pouring acid on their truck, and turning off their water. He succeeded in driving them from the neighborhood, but decided he didn't want to deal with renters, either. To dissuade anyone from signing a lease, he posted a swastika flag in the front window of his home. In 2011, he pleaded no contest to charges that he violated a restraining order against the neighbors, and received six months in jail.

Nail polish
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Extreme Harassment Over ... Nail Polish?

A scuffle between kids over nail polish ballooned into a campaign of harassment that earned one Minnesota woman the nickname of "neighbor from hell." Supposedly angry over being called out over her daughter's conduct, the woman started publicly deriding her neighbor as an alcoholic and posting 25-foot banners on her garage with offensive messages. Ultimately, the woman earned nearly 50 citations, at least two stints in jail, and several felony charges. She was also forced to move in 2012, much to the relief of her neighbors.

Hacking the Wi-Fi
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Hacking the Wi-Fi to Frame the Neighbors

Most of us have suspected at some point that our neighbors may be helping themselves to our Wi-Fi. But a Minnesota man was a little more sophisticated than that: Starting in 2009, he hacked his neighbors' internet, then tried to frame them for harassment, child porn, and even threatening the vice president. His neighbors' offense? Reporting him after seeing him kiss their 4-year-old son on the lips. The man was sentenced to 18 years in prison. 


Related: Watch Out for These Scams Targeting Seniors

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Frustration So Big You Can See it From Space

A California couple built a three-car garage with an apartment on top on property they owned in Washington state, then painted it bright purple and pink. Enraged neighbors, scared of what the structure might mean for their property values, petitioned for property tax relief from county officials in 2009. But one decided to make his feelings known in a different way: By mowing "A-hole" into his yard — complete with an arrow pointing to the offending property — big enough so that it could be seen on Google Earth.

Dead Animals and Booby Traps
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Dead Animals, Booby Traps, and a Gardening Dispute

What started as a disagreement over who should care for a flowering bush exploded into a nightmare for a group of villagers in Yorkshire, England, in 2006. A businesswoman who'd retired among them was slapped with an anti-social behavior order after neighbors said she waged a sick campaign of harassment. Her tactics allegedly included directing cameras at their homes; leaving booby traps made with paint cans and flower pots; dumping oil, dead animals, and broken glass; and even playing songs about rape and murder on maximum volume in the middle of the night.

Demolition Derby
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Three Words: Backyard Demolition Derby

Here's a truly creative way to enrage your neighbors: By setting up a demolition derby in your backyard. One British man did exactly that in 2003, generating constant noise and dust that terrorized nearby homeowners, once even setting a car and minibus on fire. He'd purchased his large villa in Norfolk after hitting the lottery, but neighbors got the last laugh: He eventually ran out of money, sold the home and was forced to work in a cookie factory to make ends meet.