I found an Intruder in my House last night!

Last night, the wife went to the Gym for the 7-8pm session, leaving me home with the kid. She hadn’t been feeling well, so I decided to give her a slightly earlier bed time.

So at 7:30 I was upstairs reading my daughter a bed time story, when I heard an odd noise. I couldn’t quite place it, but it sounded close to the house, too close in fact. I paused, listened, but heard only silence. I’m sure it was the neighbours car door or something. I continued reading.

A minute later, I heard another noise, louder this time. Again, I couldn’t quite place what the noise was and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise and tingle. I froze, listening intently. This time my daughter asked what was up and I explained I heard a noise and was listening for it.

“Someone’s downstairs.” she said, quite matter of factly.

“There can’t be.” I replied. “Mum’s down the gym and won’t be back till after 8.”

“It’s the floor boards.” she giggled, “I recognise the noise. Someone’s downstairs.” At 6, this was a great game for her.

Now I was quite alarmed though. She was right, the noise had been too close to be the neighbours car door. There was definitely something moving downstairs. I figured the cats had probably brought in a kill or something and were re-enacting the death scene in the hallway, which is where they normally do it. I told my daughter to wait in bed, “I’ll just go check…”.

I walked out of her room and into the hall, ensuring the door was shut behind me, I paused to listen. The landing light was on, and hall light at the bottom of the stairs was not, just as I’d left it. Quietly, I slipped down the stairs. I noticed that I had goose bumps on my arms.

At the bottom of the stairs I could see that there were no cats about, and I couldn’t hear any further noises. All seemed calm and normal, but now I had a choice to make: turn right into the hall way, or left into the study. The study door was ajar, and I could see the light was off. The chances of there being an intruder in there was slim I thought, but to check was risky for 2 reasons: they would see the door open and I’d have to stick my head round to peer behind the door; also I’d expose my back to the hallway, which was where any intruder was far more likely to be, as that way lead to the front door, living room, kitchen, dining room and back door.

Finally I decided I didn’t want to leave any room unchecked between me and my daughter, so I took a chance and quickly poked my head round the study door. The room is small, and even in the half light I could see that there was no one there.

Of course there wasn’t! I was being silly. There was no one in the house, that only happens in the movies. It’s those pesky cats, I was sure. With renewed purpose I strode down the hallway and marched towards the kitchen. I’d do a quick sweep: the kitchen and it’s open plan dining room, then living room, and be back upstairs in 30 seconds and back to the book. I could see the kitchen light was on and I push the door open as I strode in briskly.

I can tell you with complete certainty what happened in the next few seconds, because slow motion took over and every detail is completely clear to me:

The door to the kitchen opened to the right, revealing the kitchen and sink, piled high with dirty pots and pans from cooking tea. I could see there was no one in the kitchen before I’d crossed the threshold. As the door swung fully open, and I passed the handle, I could look through into the unlit dining room, in which the lights from the kitchen were casting long shadows. It was then that I saw him…

There was an intruder IN my house!

He was stood in the dinning room, turned half away from me so I could see his right side. Silhouetted in the street lights from the window behind him, he was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms, white trainers and a black hoodie, which was up, concealing his head completely from me. He had his head bowed and I could see his attention was fixed on my wife’s handbag. She often leaves it on the dining room table, along with her purse and mobile phone. His hands were in the hand bag, rifling through its contents. If he hadn’t already, I felt sure he’d find her purse in a matter of moments.

He wasn’t a tall man, but to be honest that was quite irrelevant, a million years of evolutionary Fight or Flight instinct had already started to kick in. I’m honestly getting choked just re-living it now! Almost before my consciousness had taken it all in, my subconscious mind had already sent the alarm signal to my adrenal gland, which promptly dumped its load into my blood stream. The effect was virtually instantaneous.

I felt the adrenalin shoot down my arms and legs. Oxygen and glucose levels spiked, making my muscles strong and my brain alert. My body was instantly in full emergency mode. I know I’m a strong man, due to 6 months of Crossfit I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in, but that was also irrelevant, the adrenalin had seen to that, I could feel the power coursing through my blood. This intruder was in my house. My house! I was alone with my daughter upstairs in her pyjamas in bed, the defence of me and mine fell completely on my shoulders, and boy was I ready!

I had no idea who he was, or what he wanted, or what he was going to do, or whether he was armed, with a knife or even a gun. But in my mind I had already defenestrated this guy. He was leaving, by the fastest possible route. It was going to be easy: he was 5 metres away, from a standing start, at full acceleration I could close the gap between us in less than 2 seconds. The involuntary roar of my charge would startle him long enough for me to reach him before he could react. I knew in all honesty, that I couldn’t have kept it in. Already, I could feel the guttural shout building in my stomach as my legs, reaching their full power, started to tense for the off.

I knew what I had to do. Once I reached him, he was going to get grabbed. Left hand round his neck, right hand on his trousers. I wouldn’t stop, the momentum would help him break through the double glazing of the window he was standing in front of. He was a few metres away from it, and I’d need the time for 2 strides I’d get in, to bodily pick him off the floor and line him up with the window. Seriously, at no point did it occur to me that I couldn’t summon enough strength to force this guy through the two layers of reinforced glass!

I found myself starting to move, this was it, my daughters life could depend on what happen in the next 5 seconds! My life didn’t matter, but whatever happened, this guy was going to be in no fit state to harm her. In a few moments, he’d seriously regret picking this house.

He must have heard me, or the kitchen door open, I don’t know, but as I started my first step towards him, he turned and I got to see the face of my enemy for the first time…. It was the wife!

OMG, the waves confusion and relief physically shook me, as I came thumping down from my high. “Oh, it’s you.” was all I could fumble to say, which didn’t do justice to how I was feeling right then. “Why do you look so angry?” she asked. I would be in no fit state to answer that question for some time. As I made my way back upstairs to finish the story, my body complained. Some small matter of what to do with all this adrenalin that was still in my veins without its expected physical outlet, and the odd realisation that I’d just imagined throwing my wife out through the window.

In a strange coincidence, I had a 2nd similar adrenalin filled adventure that very night, when the kids hamster escaped at 4am, snuck into our bedroom, and startled the cat that was sleeping at the bottom of the bed. The ensuing bedlam taught me how my adrenal gland is also useful as an excellent alarm clock! But that’s another story.

{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Kathleen Maher 18 September 2007, 6:14 pm

    That was fun. Thanks.

  • JD 18 September 2007, 7:55 pm

    wow, I was excited to learn of you becoming a hero via a thundrous right cross followed by a 6 inch left hook, and after he fell, several kicks to the head. Just think how much fun it could have been. Great post

  • james 18 September 2007, 9:23 pm

    Bloomin hell, I was on th edge of my seat! – damn it – I was standing there with you ready to punch the HELL out of ‘him’….Cracking post…well done..i need a drink…

  • Andrew G 19 September 2007, 12:49 am

    holy crap man, what a story!

    listen, there is no doubt in my mind either that you could have put some SERIOUS hurt on a real intruder. imagine if you had a baseball bat.

    your daughter is lucky she has a raging beast for a father. she won’t want for protection when the monster that crossfit has created is nearby.

  • Colin McNulty 19 September 2007, 7:59 am

    Lol, thanks for all the comments. It was a good story, and completely true, it really had be going. Feel free to share the link with your friends, if they like a good read.

    That’s the first time the wife’s come back from the gym early, she’d pulled a muscle in her thigh of all things.

    Andrew, I hope that as my daughter grows up, Crossfit will empower her to have the capacity to protect herself. That, and the fact that I intend on looking for a Krav Maga outfit sometime next year.

  • seeker1 19 September 2007, 8:20 pm

    that was a great story. i’m really glad you didn’t get to your wife before she turned around.

  • derek 21 September 2007, 9:43 pm

    That story was amazing – I was able to picture the entire scenario perfectly as I’ve had a few instances where I could have sworn there was someone in the house and the adrenaline really gets you going. Fortunately I’ve never actually encountered an intruder and I am happy to hear you identified your “intruder” before inflicting any harm.

  • WarriorBlog 24 September 2007, 3:00 am

    WOWWOW! That was the MOST amazing story I have EVER read in a blog! It felt like I was reading Harry Potter again! LOL

    I will definitely link to you in my latest post, I REALLY loved it (read every words!)

    You are quite a story teller, I am impressed :-)

    Thanks man,
    Sean

  • Colin McNulty 24 September 2007, 7:07 am

    Thanks for all the kind words.

    > That was the MOST amazing story I have EVER read in a blog!

    That’s quite an accolade!

  • Dennis L. 25 September 2007, 4:24 pm

    A nail biting story with a quiet ending…

  • zesty 10 October 2007, 8:10 pm

    I’m a bit late to this party, but I think you probably should have gone ahead and thrown your wife through the window. What if it had been a burglar in disguise, or maybe your wife’s body possessed by some nefarious ne’er-do-well like in that movie Shocker. If nothing else, you would know for certain whether or not you actually have the physical capability to throw someone thru a window in your house or if you should invest in an ASP.

  • Soraya 5 November 2007, 12:57 pm

    You really are a great story teller. I had an intruder in my house last year. Not nearly as exciting to tell though. I went into the kitchen and there was a teenage boy, wearing obligitory hoody, just stood there. Who was more startled I couldn’t say. I yelled, he ran out. We don’t leave the back door unlocked anymore.

  • Rizzo 28 November 2007, 5:56 pm

    And it’s so funny all of this happened in a matter of seconds but this all seems to us as ages! LO Great story man, I enjoyed it much!

  • Lol 11 July 2008, 10:46 am

    Although I came here to read about your CF and Oly stuff, I had to read this before departing. Great story! I had a similar experience some years ago and really understand the adrenaline kick that comes with it; I was on a high for about an hour afterwards. Glad your story had a happy ending (even if you did end up with a few grey hairs).

  • Cilly 23 October 2008, 12:34 pm

    Oh for gods sake. You’re married with a 6 yr old and this is the first time you’ve had a rush like this? I have it about once a week just being home alone at night.

  • Nick Longworth 9 April 2009, 4:13 am

    I’m just now reading this for the first time, and I was so hoping to hear about you whipping some one for being in your house. Good thing you didn’t take your wife down, otherwise, I guess we wouldn’t be reading this story. : )

  • Colin McNulty 9 April 2009, 4:24 am

    I’m sure she would have won anyway Nick. ;-)

  • Denise 3 December 2009, 2:01 pm

    That was very well written. A hero non-the less:)

  • janeinger 9 July 2010, 11:23 am

    Colin this is so well written i have just read it to my 8 year old as her bedtime story. Awesome!!
    Hang on a minute i think i heard a noise downstairs….

  • Colin McNulty 11 July 2010, 7:56 am

    Lol. Thanks Jane, I enjoyed writing it.

  • Lynne 18 July 2010, 8:47 pm

    I had a very similar thing happen to me . I’m partialy disabled and have trouble walking. My 2 daughters aged 15 & 7 were asleep. I woke to a loud bang downstairs then constant noise in my living room . I thought maybe my cat had caught a bird (a rather large bird) and it was flying zaround my living room bashing into things. Then I realised it was far too loud for that , maybe a dog? No burglar would be that noisy & then I realised it had to be someone making the noise. and i figured someone who didnt care that much either thought there was no one home or that they didn’t care, which meant they could come upstairs near my girls. I decided to ring my father who lives next door to me & he would get here faster than the police. I heard a knock on the door which i presumed was my father , I knew if I didnt come downstairs the person would probably come up so I made my way downstairs it usually takes me around 2-3 mins. Got to the bottom and turned to see a masked man in my kitchen with a torch in his hand. The fight or flight response didnt work with me , my legs turned to jelly. I frantically searched for the key to get out . For 30 heart stopping seconds I couldnt find it. Its amazing how fast your mind works in situations like this. I imagined him running at me with a knife and stabbing me in the back all in a split second. But I found the key and let my father in , he chased him out the back door and over my 6ft high fence. Police we’re fantastic they had sniffer dogs , police helicopter & a troup of policemen at my home in minutes. They found my laptop in my next door neighbours garden. This happened to me just over a year ago, and I can’t begin to tell you how it has affected my life. I;m sure you can imagine. Apparently the culprit lives virtually opposite my home . Police can’t prove it but they are sure they know who is responsible. Our resident friendly burglar . Fight or flight doesn’t always come into play , abject fear often does..

  • Colin McNulty 19 July 2010, 9:47 am

    Wow Lynne, that’s a shocking story. One that I’m very glad you’re here to tell!

    Whilst you were fumbling with the door, what was the burglar doing? Had he seen you? It’s a difficult situation for anyone to find themselves in of course, especially as you have trouble walking. Turning your back on him must have been a really hard decision. Having got through this, would you do things differently next time?

  • lynne 1 August 2010, 6:06 pm

    Thanks Colin.
    I’m not sure what the burglar was doing I didnt want to look to find out. I think if it happened again I would react differently , I’m sure I would be angry this time at the intrusion. I’ve since learned that turning lights on & off or making a loud noise can frighten an intruder away so I would definitely do that . Or at least I like to think so. I never again want to feel as scared as I did that night. I only wish I I could’ve chased him off myself! So hopefully I will never have to go through it again :) Take care

  • Colin McNulty 2 August 2010, 10:11 am

    Good points Lynne. I teach a form of self defence based on Tony Blauer’s SPEAR System called Personal Defence Readiness. In it we teach that there are 3 things a bad guy wants: your property; your body; or your life. Understanding this helps you to formulate a plan to reduce the chance of personal injury. In your case, your burglar appeared to be after your property, so getting into a confrontation wasn’t his main aim.

    There are also 3 things a bad guy doesn’t want: to get hurt; to get caught; or for his crime to take too long. Your tactic of turning on lights and making a noise pushes his “I don’t want to get caught” button very nicely. In your case, with a physical frailty, I don’t think you want to be putting yourself in the position of chasing him off yourself. This would also mean that you’ve seen him and that may change his behaviour if he decides he doesn’t want witnesses.

    Every situation is different, and only if you’re personally in a situation can you make a decision about the best course of action. If it were me, this is what I’d do: get some extra locks / bolts put on your bathroom door. Just enough to turn it into a bit of a safe room and stop it easily being broken down. Give your father a key to the house (make it clear that it’s for emergencies only and all that). Always keep a phone upstairs (though it sounds like you did that already).

    In future then, you know there’s a safe place you and your daughters can retreat to. You know your father can get in without you having to go down stairs. And you can loudly call the police from the bathroom and/or announce to the house that the police are on the way.

    Of course the chances are that you’ll never need to do that, but having a safety plan that gets past your previous experience’s issues, will go a long way to making you feel more secure.

  • lynne 22 August 2010, 12:59 am

    Thank you so much Colin for your advice. The idea about creating a safe room so to speak is a really good idea and one that I will definitely do. My father has a key to my home already. Thank you again for taking the time out to chat to me about this. Its something that has bothered me everynight since the incident but now gladly I am beginning to feel a little less nervous at night time. The burglary made me so paranoid at the begining , everytime I opened my bedroom door atnight I thought someone would be standing there to confront me. I’m so glad that has passed. I will ask my father to add an extra lock to my bathroom door this weekend. Hopefully as you said I won’t ever need to use it . :) Thank you

  • Colin McNulty 28 August 2010, 12:40 pm

    > I am beginning to feel a little less nervous at night time.

    That’s really good to hear Lynne.

  • locksmith 2 August 2011, 9:25 am

    Well, if you don’t want this to happen ever again, try seeking the services of a locksmith that can offer complete home protection. With alarm systems and solid locks, you wouldn’t mistake your wife for a burglar ever again.

  • Kristina Vassilieva 28 December 2011, 5:03 pm

    Haha, wow! – That is seriously one EPIC story Colin! :D

  • Adeel 17 June 2012, 12:29 am

    Damn…that story had my adrenaline pumping- glad it ended well

  • Wifey 6 August 2012, 12:06 am

    I’m still alive by the way, he’s not defnestrated me yet ;)

  • Joey 31 May 2013, 7:43 pm

    Wow, this story had me so anxious reading each word. Great job. Wifey, glad to hear that! haha.

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