A NEIGHBOR received eight angry letters complaining about her driveway and flower pots.
A note called Clare Campbell’s front drive an “unappealing mess,” adding, “You’re letting the whole street down!”
Another said: “You should have stayed where you were.”
And one was postmarked by a Royal Mail sorting office several miles up the road, which meant the writer was considering hiding his identity.
The writer, from Wandsworth, south-east London, said she received such a letter about every 18 months during the 14 years she lived there with her husband, son and twin daughters.
She wrote in the Daily Mail: “There were gaps between each letter, just long enough to give the impression that they had finally stopped before – boom – another would hit.
“You’re hurting your feelings, not just about yourself and the safety and happiness of your family, but about everyone else.”
Clare found the first letter under her car’s wipers. It said, “Why did you come here in the first place? You should have stayed where you were.”
The second said, “Haven’t you sent the message yet? We don’t want you here.” It continued to moan about the color of their 14-year-old daughter’s pink bike.
And a third demanded, “Do something about your eyesore yard!” Other homes had paved their front yards to allow for off-street parking, but Christy’s household hadn’t.
She shared how the letters made her nervous and suspicious, and questioned the motives of all her neighbors. These included bankers, doctors and a judge.
The other letters complained about the noise made by their children when friends were over, including laughter in the garden.
Clare said: “They knew details about us that started to worry me: like my parents were Irish and that I worked for a fashion magazine.
“It could only be someone who lived down the street, someone I smiled at as I walked past. The feeling of being watched was deeply unsettling.
‘The last letter was sent from Croydon, ten miles from where we live. I found that really disturbing. Had they gone to Croydon specifically to post the letter?
Eventually, she told her closest neighbors who she trusted, and rumors and outrage spread on the streets.
They encouraged her to inform the police, which she did. And during a conversation with a community police officer, she had an aha moment about her retired officer, the neighbor named Helen, who had turned her away on several occasions.
But she didn’t want to accuse them without being 100% sure. So they waited for the Christmas cards to come and found that the handwriting matched perfectly.
When she next saw Helen, she mentioned the letters and that she had called the police, but didn’t say she knew it was her.
Clare said: “She looked nervous and for a moment I felt a little glimmer of victory. We never received a poison pen letter again.
“I have reported the result to the police but said I did not want them to take any further action under the circumstances.
“Helen died about a year later. When our children were grown Christy and I moved to Suffolk where we have lots of foxes and cats and no direct neighbours. These pots from the Festival of Britain moved with us.
“The lesson for me is that you never really know what people are like deep down. What they think and feel – and write – within the confines of their own homes.
“People can keep up appearances very successfully, and in leafy neighborhoods they do it all the time.
“But under the smiles and nods and ‘How are you?’ something darker could be lurking.”
You can only hope you’re never the one to find out what it is.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6862075/angry-letters-neighbour-drive-pots/ My nosy neighbor sent me EIGHT angry letters about my car ride and my flower pots – calling the police didn’t help