Knock on the door after midnight, what would you do?

So I’m sitting up unable to sleep, and it’s been 30 minutes. I was woken up by someone knocking on my front door, which is unheard of. My front door is on the highway side and hasn’t been used in forever.

When I woke up, my heart was beating at an antelope’s pace. By the time I got myself situated enough, I called out tentatively, “hello” but there was no answer. The glare from my inside light blocked my view outside so I couldn’t see anything.

I debated what should I do, remembering all the horror stories of people trying to be good samaritans only to wind up as the next serial killer victim (Ted Bundy anyone?).

So I called the non-emergency number and asked them what to do. They recommended I keep the doors locked and wait for them to do a drive by.

I saw the blue and white flashing lights, so I know they drove by, but I’m still unable to get back to sleep so I thought I’d find out just how unreasonable I am behaving. :smiley:

What non-emergency people were nice enough to do a drive-by?

The police. I didn’t think it warranted a 911 call since I didn’t hear sounds of someone trying to force their way in.

911 was my first thought when I was woken up though. I talked myself down to just call the police using their regular number.

Your response was not unreasonable at all.

Burglars commonly use a ruse of knocking on the door to determine if anyone is home. If no response is detected they proceed to break in. If you answer the door they make an excuse (my car broke down/I was looking for someone else but must have the wrong house) and then go to try the next house…

FWIW, I am working 9-1-1 as I type this and another call taker is processing and dispatching a call that is exactly like the OP’s situation.

I wouldn’t think much more of it than I would of an unexpected knock on the door at any other time of day. I get calls from the buzzer at that time sometimes. I’d assume it was someone mistaken about the apartment number, a neighbor wanting something, or my psycho ex. In any case I wouldn’t answer.

There was one time when I lived in a duplex that someone knocked on my door very late at night and I answered in a towel. I had been expecting a dude I was dating (I wasn’t trying to be sexy, I was just running late and hadn’t gotten dressed yet) and instead it was an old man who had the wrong house. He was all thrown off and stammering, I assume wondering what the hell was wrong with me answering the door like that to a stranger in the middle of the night in a pretty bad neighborhood. It was only after he left that I realized that duh, that’s why he was acting so weird.

With an apartment it’s different from a house, though, because there are always people milling around. When I had just moved into this apartment, I had for some reason forgotten to lock the door one night, and some random dude just walked in while I was sleeping. He said he was looking for the exit out to the street, which I assume was the truth. At least he didn’t catch me sitting around in the buff watching porn or anything, which of course I would never do anyway.

For a while I got random buzzer calls at the weirdest hours of the day with no one on the other end. That happens for all kinds of reasons in apartments, but in this case I actually figured out why: It’s easy to lean on the callbox on the outside wall by accident, if you’re standing by the door smoking a cigarette. I noticed that when I did it myself, presumably waking up some of my neighbors.

It would be extremely unusual in the small village I live in, so I would immediately be suspicious. I’d first look out the top floor window to see if I could see someone, then I would probably open the window to speak to anyone I saw at the door. If there was onone, I’d probably email our Community Support Officer the next day. (In the UK, CSOs aren’t police but are affiliated with them.)

Definitely. Only one of the places where I’ve lived on my own has been a duplex (unsecured, and I was on the ground floor). A few times someone came and knocked on the door and then came around and knocked hard on windows all around the place. It wasn’t super long after I moved there, so I assumed it wasn’t for me and ignored it. Slightly creepy though. It was considered a pretty bad neighborhood (Rainier and Genessee, Seattle, y’all) so I’m sure it would have freaked some people out. That was also the place where I wisely answered the door in a towel.

I would assume it was a policeman come to give me bad news (e.g. a close relative’s been involved in an accident or similar).

I can lean out of my bedroom window and see the front door, so I’d be able to establish who it is without needing to unlock anything though.

I’m on the top floor of a courtyard building with secured entrances. A knock on my door at midnight would freak me right the hell out. People don’t “mill around” here. I expect some noise when a party is happening in one of the 4-bedroom units with college students, but even they keep it reasonable. My front and back doors share entrances with other single bedroom units, though, and our shared areas are very quiet. No random people ever.

My buzzer gets pressed once in a while during the day when I’m not expecting anyone. It’s also the first button on top, and sometimes it’s just delivery people wanting to get buzzed in just to leave a package. I never answer it unless I’m waiting on someone, and that would go triple after dark. (though I’m pretty sure it’s the lady on the first floor who buzzes them all in - I’ve been tempted to tape an arrow pointing at her buzzer button so people try that one first)

If someone were knocking on doors after midnight, I would definitely call 911.

I can’t really not answer my door and I have tenants who don’t seem to understand the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency. They also don’t understand that I actually do sleep sometimes. The dumbest middle of the night knock was at pretty close to 2 am and it was one tenant coming over to complain about another tenant. “I can’t get any sleep, she’s so loud!” Hey! Me too, except it’s you! I’ve also been woken up because the fire alarm was going off for no reason, from drunk people knocking on the wrong door who would have walked right in if I didn’t keep my door locked and, one time, somebody who was clearly high and wanting to look at an apartment at 4:30 am (oh, I thought it was later…).

I keep a gun safe with a biometric lock very close to my front door. So I would answer the door but it would take me a extra five seconds or so to do it.

It could have been an auditory hallucination. I’ve been awakened by what I thought was a knock or a bell, but what turned out to be some remnant of a dream.

I have a reliable eye-hole on my door. If the person outside is not familiar to me, I’m keeping the door closed, waiting until he/she leaves, then going back to sleep afterwards.

In that same vein, I’d likely rack my shotgun nice and loud as close to the door as I could, then ask through the door, “What do you want?”

I’d get up, throw my robe on, grab my cellphone and my gun, and go to the door. I’d turn on the porch light and look out of the decorative side window next to the door to see if I could see anyone, and call out. If there was someone there, I’d talk to them - but I wouldn’t open the door. I’d call 911 if needed. If I didn’t spot anybody, I’d stay up for a bit, then go back to bed.

We have a reasonably effective security system that occasionally goes off when the wind blows a door open that wasn’t closed well. That’s startling enough. But an actual knock on the door that late is scary. It’s yet to happen to me, but I would debate calling 911, getting my gun, or turning on outside lights. Or even clicking the alarm to sound. That would wake the dead. If there were a person causing the knock and that person were still there I might suggest they come back at a better time.

I can relate to not being able to go back to sleep!

Heh. :wink:

Haha, Thankfully, I don’t live in an apartment building.

Knocking + recently damaged peep-hole = Instant 911 call.

I’d be freaked out. We live in the middle of nowhere. You can’t see our house from the road, and you can’t see any other houses from our house. They would have had to walk up a long gravel driveway to get here. We also never lock our doors, but we do have dogs, who would be making a racket.

I’d call 911 immediately. If my husband was home (which he would be unless he was deployed) he would probably get a gun and go check things out. If I was home alone I’d quickly lock the door and talk to the person through the door, telling them I’d called 911, and just see what happened from there.

Me too. (Except we lock our doors). Someone at midnight would be either 1) in trouble or 2) looking for trouble.

Our dogs would be going crazy. My wife would make me get up and investigate.