Extreme Paranoia, Haunted, or True? Kind of Long

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'll make this as short as possible. There's a disturbing situation w/ a long-time, ex-teacher friend of my mom's. This lady is in her 70s...never married or had kids. I'll call her Mary.

    About 12-15 yrs ago, Mary moved into a single family home where she lives alone. A couple yrs into living there, she started having conflict w/ her next door neighbor, a lady in her 50s w/ 2 grown kids. They'd park their car in front of Mary's house, so she couldn't put her trash out there on trash day. Mary called the police & somehow was able to have the curb out front painted red, so no one could park there. I guess that cleared that up.

    Since then, Mary is POSITIVE that this neighbor is doing all kinds of things to her property by sneaking in Mary's backyard & tampering with &/or stealing items (water hose, lights, etc., etc.) Mary got a whole video camera sytem set up outdoors. The lady was able to burn out the Mary's outdoor night light & Mary researched that if you wrap thick wax paper around it, it can't be burnt out. Mary's made numerous calls to the police about her actually accusing her, but nothing's done.

    Mary strongly believes this lady has also been ENTERING her (Mary's) home and tampering with/stealing things. Mary claimed she's seen the lady on the video camera leaving her (Mary's) house. She thinks the lady knows how to pick locks & is extremely tech savvy to know how to do all these these things.

    Inside Mary's house, her diamond ring was suddenly missing from it's usual spot, some dolls have been rearranaged, etc. There was mysterious dirt on Mary's carpet...not in the shape of footprints though.

    My mom thinks her friend is beyond paranoid, but possibly going crazy...all kidding aside. The police probably know Mary as "that crazy lady" because numerous reports have been made by Mary. Her case was actualy turned over to a detctive who said not to call the police anymore, but to call him if anything else goes wrong. Mary has never caught the lady nor has proof. I asked if she hears strange noises, which she doesn't seem to. Also no footprints are seen, etc. Mary might file a retraining order against the lady, but I don't know.

    I lately began to think the house may be haunted & my mom thought I had a point. My mom mentioned that to Mary, who said anything's possible, but she doesn't think it's the case here.

    An elderly couple used to live in the house & the husband died & the wife was the last one there. It's unknown if either one actually died in the house. Real estate agents don't reveal hauntings (like the law may say they should).

    What do you all think?
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Maybe Mary can get an alarm system installed. I seriously don't think the neighbor would be able to tamper with it if it's from a good company. I don't know if I could handle all that was going on and just might move!! Sounds like some crazy stuff is going on!
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I would get an alarm system or a dog or both. that would clear it up. If anything is entering the house, it'd be obvious.
    If it's a spirit from the other side :), then you'd know that as well, because they can bypass alarm - but not likely the dog lol.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't think you or your mom should be planting paranormal suspicions in Mary's mind. An alarm system would be a good idea. And a fence. And a dog.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Right! A dog could probably detect a spirit if that was the case (barking at nothing, whimpering for no reason). Putting large Beware of Dog signs might deter people also once she got a dog. And it would have to be a big mean dog LOL although my little dog sure does bark his head off if he sees people approaching the house!
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Monitored alarm system....

    Also, why didn't she show the tapes to the police if she has one of this woman leaving the house when she was not there?
     
  8. Securis

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    Maybe a boarder if there's space. Someone who could also bear witness to 'strange events'.
     
  9. JustMe

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    If Mary claims she's seen the lady on tape, why wouldn't she submit that to the police?
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Does Mary have house plants?

    I remember my Grandmother saying that people stole things. A hair brush, a hand mirror etc.

    Those items usually turned up, just not where they were suppose to be.

    Has she shown the video where the woman is leaving to anyone?
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Why doesn't she put some cameras up inside the house? If she thinks someone is sneaking in, that is probably the best way to see who it is and who is rearranging the things.
     
  12. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Ear worm here....sometimes as people age, especially if they're alone, let their imagination get the best of them. My mom creates different scenarios in her head to explain things.
    Not saying this is the case here, but offering a possible explanation.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I forgot to mention that Mary recently got a whole INDOOR video system set up too.

    In reply to everyone, I personally never talk to her, just my mom does. My mom didn't really want to scare Mary by mentioning possible haunting, but I guess she couldn't help bringing it up one time. Mary kind of dismissed that idea anyway.

    My mom's been telling her for years to get a dog & she won't do it. She doesn't want the time & energy it takes to care for one. Plus, I think Mary thinks the neighbor will probably poison it.

    Mary does have a grown brother who's been telling her to move for years, but Mary refuses to do it. Mary's reasons are:

    - she put too much money into fixing up the house w/ a new roof, video systems, etc.

    - Mary says if she moves, everyone in the neighborhood will say the neighbor lady "won & shooed her away". I personally think who cares. Mary will be gone & away & it won't matter what people say.

    - Mary doesn't really know where she'll move to anyway. Her plan is to stay 5-6 more yrs until she's 80. Then maybe move into one of those nice seni
    I don't know if Mary has plants. I assu one or two.

    I have no idea why nothing is ever caught on tape for her to show police if indeed the neighbor is sneaking in. :confused: Mary thinks the lady gets in by crawling on her belly somehow & or climbing walls & getting in through the garage.
    Uh yeah! A 50 something yr old lady is going to move like a 20 something yr old action star & get in!

    I also think Mary thinks the neighbor is doing all this to drive her crazy.

    I'd personally be a nervous wreck if it were me living alone & all these things happened. I couldn't close my eyes at night. I'd move out of there so fast, your head will spin! I'd be afraid that it's a haunted house myself because she seems to strangely have nothing on tape, no fingerprints/footprints, etc. I'm wondering if her ring will ever show up again.

    It will be very interesting to see what happens in these next few months because Mary seems to be more frazzled & fed up lately.

    My mom's afraid that pretty soon, Mary will be analyzed for a psychiatric evaluation. It also worries my mom that Mary is flat out accusing this lady to the police, which you can't do without proof, but Mary doesn't seem that worried about being sued for slander, etc.

    Oh boy! :(
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think this sounds kinda weird. If there is video set up, it should catch everything.
    On a funny note, there are things she can do to see if anyone comes in her house. Cover the floor close to the entrance area with flour :) if anyone steps in it, it will show and they can't fix it. Place strings around the house.
    Close all doors, but put something like a piece of paper between the door and the door frame. Look at exactly where it is and remember it. If someone opens the door, will see the paper falling but will not know where it was and can't put it back.

    Things like that :)
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Just because a person died in a home does not mean there is any unsettling "hauntings". I live in two homes where someone had died. Perhaps if I had not been holding my husband's hand when he died at 42, I would have been a bit more upset after learning an elderly man died in this house. I am more upset that this man I never met had been alone in his final days and hours.

    It is quite possible that this woman is suffering from some kind of dementia and has misplaced the ring herself. Before we moved my grandmother into assisted living, she had misplaced many items.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You say she has an alarm system, but it never goes off? Picked locks still set alarm systems off. The key code has to be programmed in.

    I think Mary just might need that psychiatric evaluation. Dementia/Alzheimer's can cause paranoia and being that she is elderly what she may have been experiencing is dementia coming on. Other health issues may be at play here and a good workup may need to be done.

    If the only proof of foul play is in Mary's mind, not on camera, no alarms being set off, etc, most likely Mary isn't being stalked or haunted, she is having a medical or mental health problem.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I agree...If your mom is truly her frend, Ms I, perhaps she can offer to drive her to the dr or get in touch with Mary's brother about her concerns. Your mom's discussion of ghosts and problematic neighbors with Mary could cause Mary to become more agitated and anxious. Keep it positive and as a friend, offer to help her find a dr.
     
  18. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Yeah, the comment about climbing on walls and avoiding video detection despite a system inside and outside makes me think that this may be a mental health/aging issue. I think your mom should encourage Mary to get to the doctor in case there is a serious issue that can be prevented from getting worse. Encouraging her in her paranoia will not help her.

    Also, I don't believe in "hauntings" so I don't think that's it.
     
  19. kcjo13

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    A dog is too much time and effort, but she invested (presumably) thousands of dollars, time, and mental anguish into "investigating" a neighbor breaking in-of which there is ZERO physical or corroborating evidence?

    If it walks like a duck, and acts like a duck...

    This lady needs some serious support and medical intervention. Encourage your mother to help Mary find it.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    My mom's being as good a friend as she can. They go way back. They knew each other since their early 20s.

    Mary isn't going so far as to sprinkle flour on the floor to get prints, but she has this whole nightly ritual she does.

    I never said she has an alarm system. She has interior & exterior video camera systems. I don't doubt that she's spent thousands of dollars, so what's a little more for an alarm system, which she should probably get next.

    I believe in ghosts/hauntings. Nothing paranormal has ever happened to me, thank God (& it better not!), but I still believe in it. I know a haunted place doesn't necessarily mean that someone died in there. It could also be what could have been built & demolished on the land where another building has been built, such as sanitariums, hospitals, mortuaries, etc. Another friend my mom knows says a house on her street is said to be haunted.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Um, I think you did. You may not have meant to type alarm system, but you did.
     
  22. kcjo13

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    Actually, you did say she had an alarm system, but that isn't the point.

    The point is that this lady is living alone, clearly extremely paranoid, and has plenty of time to invent scenarios that all evidence (that you've presented anyway) says isn't occurring.

    She needs help. Perhaps your mother could stay with her for a couple days? Or the family member? She doesn't need more encouragement that something is happening, but assistance in finding out what the truth is.
     
  23. Ms. I

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    Mary's brother stays w/ her at times. My mom could never do it. Her hands are full caring for my dad.

    Whoops, sorry...fixed it.
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    No problem.

    It seems though enough people know things aren't right. Do strange things happen when the brother stays or just when she is alone?

    She really does need some help. I hope your mom can work with the brother and get her the help she needs.
     
  25. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Paranoia like this is a classic sign of dementia. We went through something like this with my great-grandmother. She insisted her daughter (my grandma) was coming over to her house during the night and taking all kinds of things.

    Mary needs to visit a doctor ASAP.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You might believe in such things. That's your choice. It's irresponsible to put such beliefs on an already confused and delusional woman. If you truly are concerned for her then you should steer her to a dr or alert her brother.
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Did you read the previous? I said I personally don't talk to her. This is my mom's friend & she only briefly mentioned about her house being possibly haunted once, which Mary didn't think it is. I don't know how I'm the one being irresponsible.

    My mom & I have our own things going on in our lives. Yes, my mom is a sounding ear for her & we'll pray for her and hope all turns out well. Mary has a brother who told her what he thinks (that she should move). No one can make her until she's ready. She also has a sister who has her own family to tend to. I don't know how much of this situation she knows, but it sure isn't up to my mom to talk to her about it.
     
  28. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Really? If I had a friend who might be having a serious, progressive health issue that I was worried about, I'd express it to them or their family. It's up to everyone to care for their friends in such a basic way. No one is suggesting that your mom moves in with this woman, just that she shares concern about her health rather than making the issue worse. Anything else would be irresponsible and unkind.
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I agree that Mary does need help. Just because she seemed to brush off the idea of the house being haunted does not mean that the thought isn't stilll there. Sometimes when we hear something like this from someone we tell them we don't believe in it and drop the subject with them, but the thought can still remain there to fester. I think your mom needs to speak with the brother about her concerns and suggest that Mary needs to see a doctor.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Moving doesn't get rid of health problems or mental health issues. So, the brother's suggestion, even if Mary took the advice, wouldn't help her one bit.

    Your mom really does need to talk to Mary's family and express her concern. It is ultimately up to them, but I don't think that I could, as a friend, not express concern to the family. Sometimes family doesn't want to face the fact that there might be mental decline in their loved one or doesn't notice it as much, but an outside source may help them to see a real problem is going on. You mom can't force them to do anything, but she would be irresponsible for not doing so and since you asked for advice and everyone seems to be telling you the same thing, it would be irresponsible to not tell your mom to talk to the family.
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Thanks guys, but actually, I was only asking if people thought what my thread title states & that is, if they think it's one of three things. I wasn't asking what I (or my mom) should do, although I can see how people will automatically assume I'm asking about what to do as well. My mom has enough on her plate with my elderly dad. She'll only do so much. I know my mom. She's not going to start calling Mary's brother & sister. I can suggest it till I'm blue in the face.

    a2z, actually, maybe if she had moved out of there much earlier, this neighbor lady wouldn't have consumed her every thoughts, so she'd be onto other things. However, she's lived there quite a long time now & she's definittely become obsessed with what she "thinks" this lady is doing. (But I realize that if it's a mental decline, it won't matter where she lives.)
     
  32. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I apologize for giving any advice.

    To answer your question which was, "What do you think?", I would say that Mary is suffering from either a medical issue impacting her mental function or mental health issues.

    I will try my best to only answer your specific questions to your posts. I never intended to make you uncomfortable by giving some extra advice about what I thought should be done. My advice was because of my concern about Mary and my concern that nothing is being done to help her instead things are being done to feed her delusion.
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    To answer your question then, I think it's paranoia, and I think that could be a sign of a much deeper issue given her age.
     
  34. kcjo13

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    Sorry. To answer the question "Extreme Paranoia, Haunted, or True?" - no, I don't think it is any of those things.
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    How sad for Mary that the people in her life are unwilling to help her when she seems to need it the most. With friends like that....
     
  36. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    It doesn't sound like the OP is a friend of Mary's; it sounds like her mother is. OP can suggest everything in this thread to her mother, but she can't MAKE her mother get invovled and it doesn't seem fair to try to guilt-trip the OP over her mother's actions or lack thereof.
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have read the thread and am well aware of who the major players are and how they are involved with each other. I'm not guilt-tripping anyone. I am genuinely sad that Mary's friends, whoever they are, aren't willing to help her. It's a sad situation, made sadder by the fact that there are evidently people who know what's happening in Mary's life, or at least that something isn't quite right, and aren't willing to step up.
     
  38. Ms. I

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    Mary is pretty headstrong herself. She won't just do anything just because 10 people suggest it, no matter how logical it sounds. She's the type of person who won't budge until she feels she's ready. Past example, she drove this old car for unteen yrs & while others may have thought she should have gotten a new car long ago, she didn't. She finally bought one & is glad that she did & is happy about it, but again, she didn't budge until SHE'S ready.

    I guess the outsiders knowing & viewing her situation are not going to risk offending her by suggesting that she may need mental help or even just an evaluation. I wouldn't doubt that she would be offended. You know how elderly people can be. Everyone around them sees their decline except for them. The person him or herself is usually the one in denial.

    I just didn't deserve being jumped down MY throat being told that I'm the irresponsible one who needs to do something. I'm not the "big boss" here who's going to be in charge of people's mental affairs. But, no hard feelings guys. :)

    Thank you! You're exactly right.
     
  39. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I did say it would be irresponsible to not try to get your mom to at least talk to Mary's siblings and Mary (regardless of how head strong your mom is or Mary and her siblings). In my view, not trying when you see something serious is going on is irresponsible. Throwing up your hands in advance without the effort is irresponsible. Heck, we say that about our students, too! It is irresponsible to give up before trying. Again, I apologize that you took offense, but darn it, we would be thinking our students are irresponsible if they didn't try or a parent was irresponsible if he or she didn't try. How is this really any different? I never said you would succeed, but when you see someone in a bad place, it is at least worth a try in my mind.
     
  40. Ms. I

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    a2z, I appreciate the apologies. :) Each of us know our own parents (I assume) quite well & their personality types & what they will & will not do. I don't even have to beg, tell, etc. my mom to talk to Mary's siblings because I already know what she'll say/do. I've only known my mom ny entire life after all.

    We don't know our students as well as our parents...well, some of us might know certain ones that well, so I agree that we should always try with them.
     
  41. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Everyone needs to calm down and chill out. Ms. I is not responsible for Mary. Hell, even her Mom isn't responsible for Mary. You know who IS responsible for Mary? Mary--and Mary's family.

    I do agree that her obsessive issues need to be addressed--but that's up to the brother to do so.

    Ms. I--I believe in Hauntings too--but to me this sounds like paranoia and the beginning stages of dementia/alzheimers. In cases like her living alone is no longer a safe viable option.

    Your mom could discuss it with the brother if hse feels comfortable, but she's no no way obligated.
     

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