What would you do if someone was knocking on your door late at night...

@filmbuff (2909)
United States
May 30, 2007 2:52am CST
unexpectedly? Would you answer the door? Call the police? Go for a firearm or other weapon before seeing who is at your door? The reason I ask this is because earlier tonight someone starting knocking rather forcefully on my front door at about 1:30 a.m. I couldn't really see who was there and asked who they were several times. My only response was more knocking. At this point and fearing the worse I quickly armed myself and phoned the police to come check it out. An officer did come out and no one was to be found. Needless to say, I won't be sleeping tonight. So my question to you is this, what would you have done in the same situation? Did I overreact, or was there something I should have done but overlooked? What do you think?
18 people like this
52 responses
• Philippines
30 May 07
I'd say you did the right thing. There's no telling who could be behind the door and what could have happened if you have immediately opened it, unless of course if you saw or know who it was, like a friend with an emergency who needs help badly. I have experienced this kind of situation. In the middle of the night, someone knocked on my apartment door, and I was really afraid. It isn't normal to have people knocking on our doors in the middle of the night.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I started thinking "home invasion" really quick. Especially after they wouldn't identify themselves. If it were friends or family surely they would have said who they were...
• Philippines
2 Jun 07
You are right. Friends and family always identify themselves especially if you ask who's behind the door. Good for you for not opening the door and for calling the police.
1 person likes this
@vesuvius (1677)
• Philippines
30 May 07
Whew that sure is bothersome and terrible. If that happened to me, I'd do the same thing. I think calling the police or anyone who could respond to the situation immediately would be the best thing to do. I believe you didnt over react - it's normal for you to act that way because your life is at a potential danger. What I think you should do now is to make super sure of the locks in your doors - I understand that you cannot sleep this time but I think staying awake wouldnt do all the work. Good locks would give you more time to report any alarm.
3 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I have deadbolts on all my doors so my locks are pretty good. However many people can still kick through a deadbolted door. If someone wants in bad enough, they can usually find a way. I'm glad to see though that people didn't think I overreacted by calling the police.
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
30 May 07
You did it right by calling the police. I would have done the same. Knocking at that hour is puzzling.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
Yeah it definetly was puzzling, unsettling even. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
@angela2006 (1846)
• China
30 May 07
I hear some words like this,do not talk with strangers.so if someone knocks my door even in daytime,I will not open the door for him.I will ask who is he and what is the matter.anyhow,keep ourself safe is important.
3 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
During the day time I'm not so worried about opening the door because I can easisy see who it is and there are others (like neighbors) who are up, around and awake. Late at night is a different story.
@MJLami (1173)
• United States
30 May 07
It sounds like you did the right thing. Do you have a neighbor you can call in an emergency like that? I agree, I'm not sure I'd be sleeping after that either.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 Jun 07
I don't really have any close relationships with my neighbors. I should probably change that.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Yeah you defintely have to becareful with who you do or do not trust. I have some next door neighbors who seem like nice people. I've never had any problems with them since they moved and I've come to the aid on a few occasions. I might try to cultivate something with them, but for the most part I tend to keep to myself. My dog is just the opposite. She will bark like mad if she is outside. If she is inside, she doesn't even make a peep if someone knocks on the door, as inside is "my" territory I guess.
• Malaysia
30 May 07
Hmm...I don't think I would have called the police, as I lived in a flat, and at a corner lot so I would call my neighbour to see who was at my door. Well, no one knocked my door at 1.30a.m before, but I had to wake up quite a few times at 5.30a.m to open the door and let my neighbour in for shelter. She works the night shift in a 24-hour cafe, so she comes home late and sometimes she forgets her keys. She always wake me up to let her stay at my flat instead of knocking the door like a sane person and get her husband to open the door. Instead she waits for him to wake up at about 9a.m. Call me disensitivised, but the first time I panicked on why someone would ring the doorbell. Luckily I opened the door first instead of calling the local law enforcer. I feel for you. However, I think you overreact a bit, but safety comes first. After all, you didn't mention what type of house you stay in and the location. If it is the quiet remote kind of area and your nearest neighbour is a 5 minute or 10 minute walk away, you better install a CCTV that can monitor the front door.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I live in the city, in a house in not the best (nor worst) area. I have basically a church one side of me and house on the other. There is however gang activity in the area which it noticeble by graffiti on the churches garbage cans and the like. If someone had a valid reason to be knocking on my door that late, don't you think they would have identified themselves when i asked them "who's there" repeatedly?
• Malaysia
31 May 07
Hmm...did you ask your neighbours if they ever encountered it before? Could it be a prank call, like neighbour children being dared to ring someone's doorbell? If there is gang activities near your house, you might really find it better to install a CCTV at your door. Does your door come with a peep hole? The kind where you can look out and see who is outside?
1 person likes this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
3 Jun 07
Yeah the one thing that is really lacking is a door peephole. The metal doors that were installed by the previous ownsers don't have a peephole. I guess they didn't think it was important. Your suggestion of a CCTV is not a bad one. I might even hook up a webcam to my computer so I could monitor it from there. Thanks for the idea.
• United States
31 May 07
I have a peep hole in my door so I would have looked, if not being able to see I would have asked like you did. If I still didn't recieve an answer I would send my husband through the back door with a bat or other weapon to see who was at the front door. I don't take lightly to that kind of behavior, but its kind of scary as well. I'd mostly likely call the cops before sending my husband around too, or at least tell my neighboors or something.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 Jun 07
Yeah I didn't think handling it myself was the best idea, and really I would rather avoid an altercation than instigate one. Thanks for posting.
@jbrooks0127 (2326)
• United States
31 May 07
You did the right thing in the moment. What you shuld do now is to insure that front door is secure. Do you have a good deadbolt? If not have one installed ASAP. Also make sure you have a peephole installed so you can see who is there. If they would not respond to you asking who they were they clearly were up to no good. At best it was a prank. At worst it was someone who hoped you would answer and who knows where it would go from there. Make sure all outside doors are secured and locked every night. Never answer a door when you are not expecting someone. This is true of early evening also. Had they had a ligitimate reason to be thier they would have answered you back.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 Jun 07
I do have deadbolts on the doors, but I am lacking a peephole. I wonder how difficult or how much it will cost to have one installed in a metal door? Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. It's good to know that I didn't overreact and did in fact do the right thing.
• Philippines
31 May 07
Of course all people's priority is one's safety.for me i would do the same,because having a visitor in the wee hour of the morning,will of course scare you,especially with a strong and constant knocking.,and when you try to see whos outside no one is there, its really scary and dangerous especailly now adays that a lot of dangerous mind outside,and you can never expect what will happened so it is much better to be safe and alert,or as much as possible call the authority for help.Because as for me i will never answer a knock nor open the door not unless whos behind the door.especially when im home alone.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 Jun 07
I couldn't agree more, it's just too dangerous to be opening the door that late a night when you don't know or can't tell who it is. Since they wouldn't identify themselves it makes me think that they had to be up to no good. Thanks for commenting.
• United States
31 May 07
We have windows near the door so I would've looked out the window. But if you couldn't see anyone and they kept doing it then I would probably call the police. That would worry me because I wouldn't want people sneaking around on my property and I sure wouldn't want someone breaking in.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 Jun 07
I agree totally, which is why I called the police. Thanks for commenting.
@miaolin (397)
• China
30 May 07
If I were in the same situation,I think I wouldn't call the police.I think I would see who it is clearly first,and then decide to do what.If I couldn't see it,I would hold some arms or anything to protect myself or I wouldn't answer the door and go on sleep.My friends may think I am crazy or make fool of them if I phone to them to ask help.Don't know my answer is right or not.HEHE
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I couldn't see who was at the door, and when I asked who they were and what they wanted, they ignored me and just kept forcefully knocking on the door. That's when I armed myself and called the police. If they were on the "up and up" they would have answered me and told me who they were right?
@GardenGerty (110874)
• United States
30 May 07
Where I live, I could look out the window and see who it is. Actually had the police come by over a non existent barking dog at that time, once. That was a set up by someone, and it backfired. There was a dog, it was not barking until the police got here. Our next door neighbor said so. Neighbor in fact says he likes the dog barking, as then he can go out and catch whoever is taking things at his house. That does not relate to your question, I know. Long time ago, I saw what I thought was suspicious behavior at a neighboring business, called the cops. I guess I have great confidence in our police, here, as they told me to call immediately if I ever have any suspicions. They would rather be called, and not needed, than not called, and needed. I would say that calling the cops was the right thing for you to have done.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I have a very hard time seeing who is outside since there is no peephole in the door. Since they wouldn't identify themselves and I couldn't see them well enough from the window I figured that calling the police was the only purdent thing left for me to do.
@skbadhan (881)
• India
30 May 07
AS such there is alot of peace in my place where I reside if this could be the incident with me i would have first ask the person to tell about is identity who he is without opening the door and if I am suspicious about the person i may do what you had done . to call th epolice to look into the matter.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
Thanks for the comments, there was no way I was going to open my door to a stranger that late at night for no good reason.
@psyche49f (2511)
• Philippines
30 May 07
It's good that you never opened your door. It's good to be extra careful these days. If it was an urgent matter, that someone may have immediately identified himself when you asked who it was. You better double lock your doors and get ready to call the police if the worst comes. If it were daytime, it could have been different, but at 1:30 A.M.? That's more reason for you to suspect that your "visitor" could be up to something bad.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who feels this way. I hate to call the police for a "false alarm" but the whole situation just didn't feel right. That being said, I am a paranoid person by nature so I wasn't sure if I was overreacting or not.
• Canada
30 May 07
I have my door locked with my standard lock, and I have another inner lock that can not be accessed from the outside, Even if the person has a key, they can not get in if I have the inner lock locked. I would just ignore the knock, or call the police if I thought something was wrong.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I have a deadbolt and regular lock on both front and back doors. I like the idea of an inner lock, I might have to look into that.
@easy888 (10405)
• Australia
30 May 07
Hello,filmbuff,when someone was knocking the door late at night,i would not open the door in the first place, i would ask them who they are first,if i did not know the person,i might not open the door,and it also depends on what they were asking. I would not open the door if i though they were bad people. In your country,I think it is better not to open the door anytime,i have heard that some robbers tried to put a crying baby at the front door of a household and lure the people inside to open the door,then the robbers intrude into the house and loot the houseowners.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
31 May 07
I wasn't about to open the door that late at night unless I knew who they were and what they wanted. It seemed very strange that they wouldn't identify themselves.
30 May 07
I would ask him what he want and if it's a good girl I would let her enter :).
2 people like this
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
23 Jun 07
I can't remember if I've answered this discussion before, but if not here I go.. I wouldn't have called anybody, 'cause I have no one to call. I wouldn't necessarily have called the police were I you, I woulda called someone I knew that lived nearby. Me..I would've grabbed my loverly hunting knife, tucked it into my sleep pants, obscuring it with the shirt and answered the door. I wouldn't have asked who's there either, I figure..if it's an enemy, I'd do better with the element of surprise..I wouldn't turn on any lights either, since I'm originally from the country and I've known darker nights than we ever get here in the city and see just fine in the dark. I'd peak out the window, since they probably can't see me inside here..AND then answer. I'm a small girl but usually I can take care of myself. I mean, I've gotten myself out of stickier situations than some jerk knocking on my door in the middle of the night who's possible a robber. And I figure if I can't deal with a small time crook I deserve to die anyway *laughs* If it was a crook and I managed to deal with him, I'd THEN call the cops and tell him to either pick him up, or if he escaped what he looked like. If I'm hurt I'd then ask for an ambulance lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jun 07
Well, normally I'd ask who it was and if they identified themselves, whether I know the name or not, I'd open the door and see what they want (you never know, there could be some kind of emergency and they need help or something), but not saying anything is a bit odd. I'd turn on any porch/outside lights and then get a look at 'em through a window if possible, then if they didn't seem threatening open the door. If they did look a little shady, well, it all depends. I guess if I had some way to arm myself, I might, and then open the door. I don't know if I'd call the police right away, but it would probably cross my mind.
1 person likes this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
21 Jun 07
Yeah that's pretty much the same thing I did. It did leave me a little freaked out, especially with their persistence. I decided to err on the side of caution and bring in the five-oh.
• United States
22 Jun 07
Yeah, it's definitely better to be cautious, especially in your home where others could be at risk like a family.
1 person likes this
@cripfemme (7714)
• United States
24 Jun 07
I would ask who it was, repeated. Then if I was out bed; I'd back my huge powerchair (weighing 500 pounds) against the door. If in bed, and sacred I'd call they police because I can't get out bed myself.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
25 Jun 07
Great idea about blocking the door with your powerchair since it's so heavy. That would be frightening though with you still in it. Thanks so much for posting.