Scarier than Cyclone Yasi

It was a street where we’d always felt perfectly safe.

The terror began at midnight with shuffling noises coming from under our highset house. Sometimes wallabies and bandicoots played under there but this was not their harmless exploring.

My husband heard voices, which at first he took as me and the children waking from the scuffles, but then quickly realised were from under the house.

He made subtle banging noises. Using our remote key for the car he made its lights flash on and off, to startle whoever was out there; his thinking was they might just be silly children.

They didn’t run, but instead called out “Oi…oi,” louder and louder.

We had no idea how many of them were.  Sometimes it sounded like two people having an argument, other times like a gang. I rushed to shut all our windows, just in case they had a ladder.

With rising monster butterflies in my stomach I whispered, “let’s ring the police.”

My husband ran to grab our cordless phone.  He was looking for the local police station number, which he couldn’t find, and I said a little sharply “just ring 000.”

The noise of the trespasser/s became more insistent and agitated under the house, and then came the knocking. It was angry and insistent and shaking-you- to-the-bones-nightmarish.

My husband was calmly explaining the situation to the police he went to the door and said, “And he’s now at our front door asking to come in.”

The trespasser was ranting and raving about why we wouldn’t let him into his own home and in no mood to reason.  He kept demanding “let me in.”

My husband called out, “no mate.  This isn’t your house.  We’ve just rung the police so you better leave.”

The trespasser swore and bashed the sides the house.  He had no intentions of leaving.

My pulse was racing out of control, about to hit the roof.  I moved the family to the back of the house for a safety lock down. Unsure what else to do I said ‘removers of difficulties’ – a Baha’i prayer.

My youngest son started crying.   I felt terrible asking him to stifle tears so we might be safe.

“Ring a friend too,” I said to my husband, as I’ve watched too many movies to trust police response times. So he did that, and there was more noise – and then strangely silence.

We hung tight, waiting for help.  I felt terrible for ringing friends.  Would they be safe?  It was still outside; nothing stirred.  Maybe the trespasser had gone.  I was shaking and shuddering in cold sweats.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity to explore a universe in, the police arrived and we could hear, “Wake up. What are you doing? . . .”

The trespasser kept saying “it’s my house . . .“

Our friends arrived shortly after, came straight past the police car, and comforted us whilst they were dealing with the situation under the floor boards. The trespasser was taken to a watch house.

We were told the police had found him asleep under our house.

I recalled my bush mekeo Mum having a big bush knife under her bed that she used to chase intruders off with.  As my shaking subsided, I shared that memory with our friends and the family.

My youngest son giggled, picturing his Mum and Dad with a big bush knife.

Later cyclone Yasi came to visit, shaking our poor house, making frightening bangs in the night; but we found courage, partly due to the awful memory of another night trespasser still in our minds.


To read more of June’s Stories Visit Pearlz Dreaming.


First published 01 Feb 2013 ABC Open. 500 Words project: A Scary Moment


  • June

    Thanks hime, I am also enjoying reading your contributions to 500 words.

  • hiMe

    What a suspense you made me kept reading your story and guessing!

  • June Perkins

    I understand you giggling Lyn, the fact he had gone to sleep was funny in a way and relief for us and he was then ‘surprised by the police,’ I wish what you said was true, unfortunately the police told my husband we had been wise not to reason or let him sleep it off as he was known to them as a very tricky character and perhaps on rather more than alcohol. I was glad my kids didn’t find him half dazed under the house in the morning as they tended to rise and play in the yard whether anyone was awake or not, usually it was such a safe area.

  • Lyn Grace

    June, although I was concerned for you all as I followed your story, I couldn’t help but giggle when your perpetrator was revealed. Not because I thought it funny- I would have been terrified too, but my daughter’s best friend was caught in a similar situation, only recently- he being the perpetrator after a heavy night out with friends. Somehow he had managed to end up five streets away from his house, banged on the door for an hour or more to tell them to let him in, before crawling up and falling asleep in their boat in the garage! Luckily the policeman that came knew him as a friend, and there were red faces all around. He later sent the lady a bunch of flowers and called the husband to appologise. They were very understanding after the initial shock! I wonder was your perpetrator in a similar boat. Pardon the pun!

  • Lyn Oxley

    Top story, June. I’ve also had a trespasser at night. He was drunk and had wandered off from a party and couldn’t find his way back. The man laid on the front porch and that’s where the police found him.

  • Kevin

    I had a similar experience with a man banging on the doors and windows and yelling out “let me in it’s me”. Eventually I was able to convince him he was at the wrong house and he left. Saw him the next day and he was very sheepish.

  • June Perkins

    Thanks Jo, Suzannah, Michael, and Daryl for your comments. Cyclone Yasi was similarly scary due to not being able to see what it was doing in the night. We kept curiously guessing what was flying around to keep ourselves occupied. However, in the case of the tresspasser, imaginative guessing made it even more frightening

  • Michael Bromage

    Even scarier when you can’t see what the person causing the trouble looks like – lets the imagination get carried away.

  • Suzanne

    Yes that was a truly scary story. . How terrifying. I’m glad it was all resolved in the end.

  • Joanna Grimmer

    That was indeed a frightening account. I had no idea how it would be resolved. How strange – a disorientated person, perhaps, or someone under the weather who used to live there. It reminded me of some of the scarier nights in Pt Moresby when the rascal gangs used to prowl around the outside of the houses on our hill, looking for a way in….

  • Daryll Bellingham

    Good one June. Kept us wondering. We had a similar drunk at our front door one night. He was banging on windows etc, couldn’t be talked out of it, by the time the police had arrived he had ‘sobered’ into a semi-comatose state and they took him away.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s