This specific neighbour passed away during 2005/2006 at the age of 72. We had been neighbors for close on 20 years at the time of her passing. She and her family lived directly across the road from me. I used to call her Em, although that was not the name she was normally known by, simply my name for her. She had five sons, the fifth of which was adopted.
It is necessary for me to give you some background regarding the relationship between Em and I. We had a sort of love/hate relationship at one stage, mainly because she was extremely inquisitive and made it her life's ambition to know everything about everybody in the neighbourhood. Being a reasonably private person, this irritated the hell out of me. We also had a huge argument one New Year's day because she was lighting fire crackers to amuse her grandchildren, which affected my little Staffie, Cleo, extremely badly. I honestly thought the dog was going to have a heart attack! By the way, these activities are banned in our area and elsewhere in SA unless they are held under controlled conditions. She didn't speak to me for about a year and then, inexplicably, decided that I was the best thing this side of the equator!
So, to proceed with the event in question. Whenever Em, her husband and youngest son decided to take a holiday (vacation) for a few days I was the only one she trusted to take care of her house and animals. (Her older children no longer lived in the vicinity.) She provided me with various keys, the code for her alarm, etc, plus all the food for the animals which included dogs, cats and a parrot. I was never comfortable in the house but was not prepared to be led in the paranormal direction. It was a lovely, large home but didn't sit well with me.
A few months before Em's death I was again left in charge of the home and animals. I had to go there twice a day, morning and early evening, for the benefit of the pets. No problem, I lived across the road. The family left for a few days, I seem to remember that it was four days.
The cat had kittens, approximately a week old and mommy and baby kittens decided that their place of comfort was in a hole underneath one of the couches. Needless to say I was in my element with these kittens (cat lover)! Personally, I would have cancelled my vacation trip under those circumstances but to each his own. In fact I went across the road more regularly to check whether the mommy and kittens were okay.
I duly made my way across the road at approximately 06:00 one morning and I was totally horrified. On entering the house I saw the parrot, the floor scattered with feathers and the bird in a cowering position on the floor of the cage. She was not a beautiful parrot at the best of times, tending to tweak her feathers every now and then, but this was truly something different. The feathers were scattered all over that small space. I couldn't induce her to get back on her perch, even with a piece of apple, her favourite. This poor bird was in a seriously bad place.
I then turned my attention to the kitchen. At the door to the kitchen entrance were Em's sloffies. This is a South African description. I assume you would call them thongs or slip-slops or whatever? In any case they are casual sandal-like footwear! In the corner of the kitchen the dog food, pellets in a large bag, was overturned and spilled out in that area.
Despite my fear, because it had certainly turned into fear by that stage, I checked the rest of the house. In the main bedroom the cupboard doors were open. The second bathroom had the most horrific stench.
After that I was not prepared to enter that house on my own. In the morning my husband had to accompany me (much to his chagrin) and my daughter had to accompany me in the evening. No more extra visits to the baby kitties, their mommy was exemplary!
Just to end this (I don't want to become boring) Em phoned me regularly. I told her what had happened and of course she was in total disbelief. She said she had probably left her "sloffies" at the kitchen door, which she was accustomed to doing. Believe me, they were not there when I started looking after the house and animals!
On the night before they proceeded home I received a phone call from the security company because of the alarm at their home constantly going off and agreed to meet them at the house. I didn't hear the alarm, don't know why. Nonetheless once I saw security arriving I quickly made my way across the road. I had to be there, I was the one with the keys! Besides the security guards I found another neighbour (I'll refer to him as Rambo) also on the premises with a shotgun. I have no idea what he was intending to threaten with all the bravado, no humans in sight, only a cat and kittens inside and dogs outside!
I realise that this is turning into a rather long account. About two years before all of this happened we had a rather horrific incident in the neighbourhood. I won't go into all the details but there was a gang attempting to rob the house next door to Em's house. To cut a long story short, they were arrested except for one who made his way onto Em's property and after being warned by the police to stop, he was shot dead on their premises trying to climb over a wall. Could he have been the culprit of the strange events? I have no idea.