Four roommates always joked they’d know their apartment, nearby a cemetery, was “haunted” if they heard scratches on the walls. Then, they heard scratches on the walls.
While studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Yesenia Irizarry shared a Brooklyn apartment with three roommates. On one fateful night in November 2021, the women heard noises coming from the kitchen ceiling above the light fixture.
But it wasn’t a ghost. It was much more chilling — a raccoon actively clawing its way into their home.
“I mean, we’ve always kind of had problems with the apartment since we moved in,” Irizarry told Nexstar. “We live next to a cemetery, and we came up with this joke … that if we heard scratches on the walls, that we were haunted.”
When Irizarry heard her roommates scream, she went to see what the commotion was. She found that they were all “literally just waiting and watching” the kitchen ceiling.
“Its arm just stuck out. At one point, we saw its ear, like it was opening the gap wider so it could come in,” Irizarry told Nexstar.
She shared footage of the raccoon trying to burst out of the light fixture on her Instagram account. The women shrieked as one of the raccoon’s arms protruded out of the rim of the fixture. The roommates ruminated over whether to call the police or call it a night.
Irizarry and company called the police, who said they “wouldn’t even know what to do” and advised them to contact the landlord the next morning.
“No one slept that night,” Irizarry told Nexstar. “We huddled in our rooms. The scratching kind of died down, but then it started again a little later. It was getting more aggressive. We could hear the raccoon moving in [the ceiling above] the living room, above the bedrooms.”
The next day, the landlord sent someone to repair the light fixtures and an animal control officer set traps for the raccoon. However, Irizarry learned that the building had problems with raccoons for years. Moreover, animal control believed the raccoon might have been rabid and raising babies in the crawl space.
After a month of hearing raccoons in their ceiling, the landlord allowed the roommates to break their lease and move out. Fortunately, Irizarry is now living in a much chiller, raccoon-free apartment.
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