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An Audubon Guide To The Weird Sounds Coming From The Hallway Outside My Apartment At 3:00 AM

How to tell a North American Screaming Baby from a Common Drunk Vomiting Guy.

Photo by Kamil Feczko on Unsplash

Infans quiritare

Known for the clear crests and falls of its wailing, the North American Screaming Baby is an easily identified nocturnal animal, especially if you’re desperately trying to fall asleep. Experts have noted the long range of this creature’s screams, which can penetrate wood, concrete, and multiple layers of ear protection. It can nest in a variety of spaces but is commonly found directly underneath you and somehow all around you at the same time.

Duobus haesitationibus

A common apartment inhabitant, the Arguing Couple has many varieties and is known for the complexity of its calls. Careful listeners have noted the tendency of the Arguing Couple to prefer spots where the walls are thinnest so the intimate details of their argument can be clearly heard and guiltily reflected upon. Commonly associated with its equally loud cousin, Couple Having Makeup Sex.

Ebrius vomitus guido

This easily recognizable sound often leads to speculation as to its origin. It is best known for its loud, splashy sounds, and tends to appear directly in front of the stairwell entrance, or other places you will almost certainly have to walk through tomorrow. Once only heard on weekends, the Vomiting Guy has been spotted on Mondays and Tuesdays as well, and, I mean, we’re all dealing with stuff, but still.

Clara voce magna terror

In the quietest moments, this vivid, piercing cry will suddenly and dramatically announce its presence. Note the increasing chorus of response cries from everyone else on this street the longer it goes on. Most easily identified by the prolonged, false hope-inducing pause between each round. While it’s impossible to know, it likely belongs to a car whose owner is either in another state, or dead, or both.

Homicidum vestigium

Slow-moving and deliberate, these sounds most certainly indicate the presence of a murderer outside, probably with a big scary knife, definitely headed your way. Easy classified by the relentless thudding up the stairs, through the puddle of vomit, and right outside your door, where the murderer will stand and wait for unknowable reasons.

No, wait. Forget it. Probably just a creaky wall or something. Yeah, that’s it.

Fuckiv iknowdius

See, that could have been just a car, but what if it wasn’t? When listening, pay attention to the harsh POP noise that might have occurred just outside your window. Companion sounds include Shattering Glass and Incoherent Screaming.

Non sicut ventus

There are subtle inflections to be heard in each BANG of your front door, especially after seven or eight repetitions. Onlookers have noted the remarkable similarities between this sound and the pounding made by the Creepy Murderer when he is mere steps away from your defenseless body.

No latin translation

Thank god. It’s just a train.


Are you breathing really loudly? That’s just you, right? Yeah, it must be. Because otherwise, that would mean there’s someone else emitting heavy sighs extremely close to you. Most onlookers recommend remaining VERY STILL and quiet in the hopes that whatever it is will disappear.



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