S'pore woman, 56, puts mannequin head outside HDB flat to scare neighbour into keeping quiet

It did not work.

Lee Wei Lin | August 28, 2022, 12:37 PM

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Disputes involving noisy neighbours aren't new, but a woman living at 79A Toa Payoh Central attempted to resolve the situation with a novel solution -- by trying to scare the culprit into keeping quiet.

What happened

56-year-old Lin Xiulan (all names in hanyu pinyin), who lives on the third floor of the Housing Development Board (HDB) block, told Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) that from around 4am to 5am almost every day, she has been woken up by some noise from the upper floors.

She told the Chinese daily that apart from the early morning disturbances, she often hears someone pushing chairs around and washing things in the middle of the night. Furthermore, the situation worsened about three to four weeks ago.

Liu added, "Sometimes, it sounds like someone is showering, flushing the toilet or washing things. At other times, I hear someone chopping chilli. It gets louder during the weekends."

Suspects that the culprit lives one floor above her

The woman suspects that the noise originates from a flat on the fourth floor, as she once looked outside after being awakened by the noise in the middle of the night.

Only one unit on the fourth floor had its lights on at the time.

Liu claimed that her quality of sleep has been affected by her noisy neighbour, which has caused her to be easily irritated.

She admitted that she was so frustrated by being constantly woken up in the middle of the night that she shouted for her neighbour to keep it down.

The alleged culprit turned off the lights for a short period of time, but continued with whatever they were doing shortly after.

Attempted scaring neighbour into silence

Liu told SMDN that she put a mannequin head and a mirror on the air conditioning (AC) compressor outside her unit in an attempt to scare the noisemaker into silence.

"I hoped that they would be scared after seeing (the mannequin head) and stop making noise, but it didn't seem to work," she said.

This is not the first time that Liu has faced problems while living at the block, as she recalled that her AC compressor was once damaged by rubbish thrown by someone from the upper floors.

The situation only improved after the town council stepped in.

Alleged culprit denies being source of noise

SMDN spoke to an inhabitant of the said fourth floor unit, who only identified herself by her surname Zhang.

The 35-year-old shared that she also started hearing the sound of someone pulling chairs and chopping chilli "a few months ago".

Zhang said, "Our neighbours living downstairs think that the noise comes from us, and (a rep from) the town council has also visited us to ask us about it. We've clarified (that it's not us)."

She added that Liu sometimes goes to her unit to yell at them. After Liu started doing so, a family member installed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) unit at their front door.

While Zhang has been shocked by the mannequin head outside Liu's unit, she has chosen to ignore it.

A reporter from the Chinese daily also spoke to those living on the fifth to seventh floors of the HDB block, but all of them denied being the source of the noise. A neighbour living on the seventh floor added that he had never heard such noises before.

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Top photos from Google Maps Street View & Shin Min Daily News