Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.


Maybe you’ve never heard of it, or maybe you have. Where ever ghosts stories are told, these tales are sure to exist in some form or another.

I’ve heard about them from rural, quiet towns in Europe, to the ‘hullabaloo-filled’ cities in urban America. I’m talking about phantom neighbors. The stories of people reporting odd noises coming from the house or apartment next door; a place they know is not occupied. At least not by someone living.

We’re all familiar with the noisy neighbor. Those people who decide that it’s a good idea to play their latest volume of “Ibiza Party: 09” at one in the morning. Or the grunts of the guy who is trying to advertise to the rest of his neighbors that he’s a stud, but doesn’t realize that most of us who heard him, thought it was a Sea lion gasping for air. I hated our old place.

Those neighbors can be annoying, but you can always just ask them politely to shut the hell up. What if when you went next door to interrupt the Sea lion and realized that the apartment was empty? That no one had been living there for at least a year. What then?

Crazy story. My younger brother works for a company that oversees the security of some residential buildings in Long Beach, CA. A few nights ago, while working his swing-shift, he calls me and says: “Yo, I gotta story for you. For GhostTheory.”

“Oh yea?  What’s up?” I said.

He goes on to tell me that some residents of the 18th floor in the building where he was working at came down to talk to him. The residents, a couple, said:

“This might sound a little strange, but can you go and check out the penthouse next door to ours? We keep hearing someone in there moving furniture around.”

My brother then tells me that this wasn’t the first time that this couple had complaint about the noise. They’ve been complaining to the manager and owner of the building that there is someone next door to them that is moving and banging furniture around at odd hours of the day.

So then I asked my brother if he was really going to go and investigate it.

“Uh…yea. I have to.” he said.

I told him to go up, do his thing and go back down. In my mind I’m thinking that if there is something paranormal there, I don’t want it attaching to my brother. Especially how he is currently staying with me and how I’ve been feeling something quite odd in my place lately.

Anyways, my skeptical-ass first thinks that there is some rational explanation to the noises of furniture being moved around in the empty penthouse. But just to be sure..I told him to not be a hero.

The next morning, I’m talking to my brother and ask him what happened. He goes on to tell me that he went up to the penthouse. Thought he heard a television on, jiggled the door handle and put his ear up to the door and listened. Nothing.

He then went back to his desk and reported the incident. This is were it gets spooky.

Turns out that on the 18th floor of this building, a guy had jumped to his death while visiting an open-house for the penthouses. It wasn’t the same penthouse, but it was on the same floor. This was not the couple’s first complaint about the phantom noise. The manager and building owner are well aware of the complaints and have gone as far as taking pictures of the unit and shown it to the couple to prove to them, that there is no furniture whatsoever in that unit.

LONG BEACH – A man who plunged from the penthouse of a downtown high-rise on Saturday was a parolee with multiple stalking convictions, according to state records.

William Blair Lamothe, 49, of Long Beach apparently jumped to his death from the 18th floor of the Aqua Condominiums East Tower, 488 Ocean Blvd., at about 12:45 p.m. Authorities Monday said his death is believed to be a suicide.Records from the California Department of Corrections show that Lamothe was a parolee who had served time in prison for stalking.

Lamothe was convicted of felony stalking and multiple violations of a court order in July 2006, according to Riverside County Superior Court records. In May 2007, less than a year later, he appeared in court again and was convicted on similar charges. He was released on parole most recently in August 2009.

Authorities and residents of the Aqua said Lamothe, who did not live in the building, had asked to tour the penthouse. While on the tour, he acted as if he was measuring the room, then opened the sliding glass door, walked onto the balcony and jumped. He shattered a sixth floor balcony on the way down and landed in a courtyard facing Ocean Boulevard.

source: Press Telegram

Most of us will probably never experience the phantom neighbor phenomena. Just in case, next time you are upset at your neighbor’s too-loud party, remember that at least you can always call the cops on these neighbors.

  • J.C.

    Too bad he did not go inside. I would have.

  • JP

    Could it be that houses, flats, rooms that have been vacant for a long time, attracts spirits?
    Maybe, with no people there to disturb, they just move in?
    That could be the same reason attics and basements often seem to be haunted, living people don´t spend much time there, and the spirits are left alone.

  • Pingback: ‘Phantom Neighbors’ Phenomena | Level Beyond()

  • JP has a good point. Lots of paranormal investigators will often set up equipment in rooms that aren’t otherwise occupied, like attics and basements, hoping that maybe the ghosts hide there because it’s quiet and unoccupied 🙂

  • jbondo

    Sometimes noise travels in buildings. It may sound like it’s coming directly from the other side of the wall when in fact it may not be where the noises originate at all.

    Example: The building I live in is just like that. I was hearing this strange sound several times a night and it sounded like it was coming from the other side of the West wall. It took several weeks to pin point but it actually turned out to be the guy below me opening and closing his balcony glass door to go out and smoke. This was nowhere near the location the sound traveled to. Sounds in Apt buildings can easily travel the walls and insulation plus other construction factors can easily amplify and relocate these sounds.

    I’m not saying this is the answer by any means but it is one avenue to explore. In fact I’ve now pinpointed no less than 6 individual sounds that had been mis-located in my building. In fact, when the main door 3 floors down opens and closes it causes my door to sound like someone is trying to get in. It was a bit scary to say the least until I figured it out.

  • intriguing – maybe ask your bro if you can investigate? or set up a recorder?

  • hall442

    How old is the building your brother is working in? How many set of tenants have occupied that space? It’s quite possible all the neighbors are experiencing is “residual” haunting; a replay of past events, that have become encoded into the surrounding environment. There doesn’t need to be a “consciousness” behind the noises. it’s nothing more sinister than a dvd or vcr playing back a scene.

    If your brother has a laptop, have him put it into the apartment in question, with a decent microphone and a recording program. Record the file as a high quality MP3 (320kps); that way it can record all night and not fill his Hard Drive. I use Cool Edit Pro, myself.

    That way he can test if the noises are actually occurring INSIDE the room, or perhaps being conducted there trough the walls or vents as someone else suggested.

  • hall442,

    No idea how old the building is. I think it is fairly new though.

    My Brother told me that another person had shot themselves Monday morning. Apparently they were being evicted.



  • f gene

    I live in the Aqua building 488 East, and it is a fairly new only 6 years old I believe. It is so ironic that I was trying to research the man that died in my rental unit by checking and this website came up. I believe that it is the man that shot himself whose name name starts with a P ….I will leave it at that for the family’s privacy sake even though I believe he had no family. I still get alot of his mail. It is too coincidental that if he is not the one that means another tenant shot himself ..which means 3 suicides. The only clue I have is that a person connected to the building said “he always had problems…when it was disclosed to me and my fiancee as by law, that someone had died in the unit.

    What prompted me to start looking is that the TV in the master bedroom cut itself on the other day when the remote was on the nightstand. I hear noises all around the ceiling and it sounds like furniture scooting back like chairs and someone exiting the dinner table and it does at times sounds like someone is scratching around my door or the door has opened and closed softly. I really feel that it is reverberating from other units though.The kicker is that I have a “Shining” meaning I am a “sensitive” really and truly and I don’t really get spooked by this at all, even got a good deal on my rent because I was willing to rent a place wherein someone had died in the unit that couldn’t get rented for months before … for me. I have dealt with not having some friends when I was in college in Illinois because I scared them, but I made alot of extra change in college reading tarot cards..A physic “Spiritual Advisor” once asked me about themselves while doing my reading because I told them that they had received their gift from their grandfather. I determined this after looking at a picture on their wall while waiting for my reading to start. That tripped them out…. I knew abt the Space Challenger minutes before it happened and the worst was when abt 5 years before 911, I envisioned people running up a hillside with business suits and shirts with ties which later turned out to be the scene at the Pentagon!!!!! That was pretty upsetting for me…..

    Anyhoo :> or should I say Anyboo (seeing how today is Halloween) I enjoy my unit and just roll with the sounds without fear.

    DId I mention I grew up in a 1925 apartment building in the 50’s and 60’s that we owned in Chicago and it had a lot of paranormal activity. If I didn’t fear or know them in life I rarely worry about them in death…Just me though.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share