Tales of the Night







During the early 1960’s, the town of Belmont was plagued by a series of burglaries that were committed by the same suspect, always after dark, and always is homes where it was clear someone was present at the time.  One of the first was at the home, strangely, of one of the local police force, when his wife was home alone…


Clara smiled as she sat in front of the fire, wearing a long pink nightgown and silver slippers.  It was about nine at night, and she was listening to the radio having got ready for bed.  Her husband was on night patrol, and would not be back until the next morning – but she had nothing to be afraid of.  After all, Belmont was a quiet town.


So when she heard the noise, she thought it was just their cat coming in from her nightly exercise.  The first she knew of the intruder was when a gloved hand was clamped over her mouth, the taste of the wool taking her completely by surprise as her head was pulled back.


“Not a word,” a male voice said, “just do as I day and you don’t get hurt.  You alone at the moment?”


Clara slowly nodded as the voice said “good – if I take my hand away, are you going to scream or raise the alarm?  I’d hate to have to take steps if you were going to.”  This time she shook her head from side to side, as the voice whispered “good – stay quiet, and when I remove my hand, let your arms drop to your sides.”


Clara felt she had no choice as she complied.  The young woman was sitting in a red plastic bucket seat with a high back, and black metal legs, but she was too scared to do anything as whoever had spoken took her arms around the chair back, and she felt the rope as her wrists were bound tightly together.


“OH God, help me,” she whispered as she wriggled her fingers, her wrists held firmly together as she was taken by surprise by the folded black cloth that was tied tightly over her eyes.  She then felt the intruder putting her ankles together, and the cords on her bare ankles as they were bound together in the same way.  Her legs were then pulled under the seat, her toes wriggling as he felt the tension increase around her wrists.


“Open your mouth.”


Clara did as she was ordered, and tasted the faint hint of perfume as some sort of cloth was pulled between her lips and tied tightly round her head.  She could hear whoever it was moving around, drawers and doors opening, and then footsteps – followed by silence. 


A silence that was even scarier than the previous visitor, as Clara tried to move – only to realise to her horror her ankles were tied to her wrists with a length of rope, and she was stuck in the chair.  She started to wriggle round and scream for help, wondering her long it would be before help came…


Clara was fortunate, in that a passing neighbour saw the open door of her house, came in, and called the police.


Another early visit was with Eleanor – and curiously, it was on the day of the inauguration of Kennedy…


Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country.


Eleanor nodded as she watched the news report of the President’s Inauguration.  The middle aged woman had curled brown hair, and was looking at the screen through a pair of horn rimmed glasses.  Her short sleeved blouse was made of silk, and printed with a bright floral pattern, the hem over her blue shorts, her feet in a pair of light brown moccasins.


“This is going to be a great country now,” she said to herself as she stood up and headed to the kitchen.  Her husband would be home soon, and would want his evening meal.


It was a good thought – but she didn’t get to the kitchen, as she was grabbed from behind, a gloved hand over her mouth as she was lifted up and carried to the staircase.  Eleanor struggled, trying to scream, but the grip was too tight as she was carried up and then pushed onto her bed.


“Don’t look round,” a male voice said, “lie still, remain calm, do not move.”


“Oh god, please, what do you want…”


“I want you to be quiet,” the voice said, “and not to move.  Please, do as I say.”


Eleanor was shaking as she felt the gloved hands take her hands behind her back, and heard a ripping sound, before she felt the rug on her skin as the tape was used to secure her wrists together.  She then felt the same tug on her ankles as they were secured together in the same way, before she was rolled over and her glasses were removed.


The man was tall, thin, wearing a thin lapelled blue suit with a white shirt and a thin black tie.  She stared at him as he tore a length of tape from the silver roll, and said “put your lips together.”


She could feel the way her lips were sealed as the tape was pressed firmly over them, and then she saw him take a second strip off before he said “close your eyes.”




“Close your eyes.”


Eleanor nodded as she closed her eyelids, and felt the pressure on them from the tape as it was pressed in place over her eyes.  She lay still, afraid of what may happen as she listened to the man searching her bedroom – and then the footsteps as he walked off.


How long she lay there, she wasn’t sure, but eventually she heard her husband call out “Eleanor, are you home?”




She heard the footsteps coming up the stairs, and then the words of her husband.  “Oh my god…”  She felt the tug on her skin as the tape was peeled away from her eyes, opening her eyelids to see her husband as he said “I’ll free you…”



It was some time before this intruder struck again, but this time it was in the home of one the local store owners, on the night before a very special holiday…


“That’s the parcels ready,” Ira said as she looked at the baskets, covered in brightly coloured cellophane as her daughter Sara looked on, her good friend Rebecca with her.  It was the night before the Purim festival, and Rebecca was staying overnight so that she could go with Sara to the synagogue in the morning.


Both girls were ready for bed – Sara wearing a yellow and white dressing gown over her red nightdress, a white band holding her brown hair back, while Rebecca wore a blue and white dressing gown over a white nightgown.


“Now, you girls will be all right while I go and collect your father,” Ira said as she put her great coat on, both girls nodding as she left the house.  They heard the car go off, the headlights fading through the curtains, before Rebecca said “right Sara – what exactly did Adam do on the date?”




“Hello girls – just stay on the floor, hands on your heads.”


Both girls looked over to see a tall man standing there, wearing a black jumper and pants, but with a domino mask over his eyes – and a gun in one gloved hand, a bag in the other.


“Oh my god,” Rebecca whispered as the man looked at them.


“What… What do you want,” Sara whispered.


“Your mother’s jewels – and to make sure you two cannot raise the alarm.  Why don’t you both sit with your backs against the couch, and then put your hands together in prayer?”


The girls slowly moved into place as the man put the gun down on the sideboard, and then removed a ball of string and a pair of scissors form the bag, smiling as he made a loop in the end.


“You first,” he said to Rebecca, the girl shaking as she watched him slip the loop over her hands and pull it tight round her wrists.  She watched him wind the twine around and between her wrists, and then take it down around her legs, gathering her dressing gown round them, and finally around her ankles before he cut the end and tied it off.


As she wriggled from side to side, he did the same thing to Sara, ignoring her soft crying as he made sure she was secured as well.  He then went back to the bag, and pulled out two white socks, smiling as he said “I need you both to be quiet – open wide…”






“Girls?  Are you still up?”


Ira and her husband walked into the house, closing the door behind themselves, and listened to the music.  Smiling, they walked into the front room – and Ira screamed as she saw the two girls, the white material sticking out from between their lips as they sat there crying…


From one religious festival to one that almost seems to attain that status – the school dance, and one time he was known to have struck found twin sisters held captive.


Dora and Nora did everything together, including going to the dance with their boyfriends.  So it was no surprise to find them both looking in the mirror, applying make-up and then using as much hairspray as was needed to keep their carefully arranged styles in place.


Dora was wearing a sleeveless pinafore dress over a wide collared white blouse, the cuffs turned back, with white booby socks and shoes, while Nora was wearing a white silk tie neck blouse with a white cardigan, a ling pleated skirt and brown kitten heels.


So when they turned and saw the man standing there, wearing a stocking over his head and pointing a gun at them, they felt they had to do what he said together, as he ordered them both to sit on the wooden couch, then gave them each a length of white cord and told them to tie their own ankles together.


He instructed them in how to do this, with the doubled over ropes around their ankles, then taking the rope between their ankles to secure them together.  He then told them to fold their skirts back, and use a second length to tie their legs together below their knees, before he allowed them to fold the hem of their skirts back.


He then handed them each a stocking, and told them to tie that round their heads and between their lips, which they at first said no to.  But his gun proved most persuasive, as they opened their mouths and pulled the stocking between them.  It pulled back on the corners of their mouths, and tasted the silk, but they were too scared to do anything other than lean forward as he walked behind them, and used more cords to secure their wrists together behind their backs.


Their parents found them like that when they returned home, the house ransacked, the girls terrified…


One of the more audacious visits of this particular intruder took place on Christmas Eve…


“Oh my god…”


Ruth and Elaine stared at the man dressed as Santa who was standing at the door, complete with the red sack and the white beard.


“Ho little girls – are your parents home?”


“We share this home,” Ruth said as she laughed.  The girls were in their early twenties, and both were wearing festive long john pyjamas, white with a red and green holly print.  Ruth’s had a Nordic pattern at the top, with red cuffs, and Elaine’s white cuffs with the Nordic pattern at the bottom of her legs.


“Well, isn’t that wonderful,” Santa said, “so do you want to see what I have in my sack?”


“Oh go on – what could it possibly be,” Elaine said – and then the eyes of both girls opened wider as they saw the ropes, and the gun he took out and held in his black gloved hand.


“Sit in front of the fire, girls – no reason you should not be warm,” he said, “and then link your arms, and put your hands together in prayer.”


Elaine and Ruth were shaking as they complied, Santa taking some of the rope from the bag and smiling as he knelt in front of Ruth, and bound her wrists tightly together with the rope.  He then tied her ankles tightly together, before he secured her wrists down to her ankles.


“Who are you,” Elaine said as he walked round and knelt next to her, before beginning to bind her in the same way.


“OH, I’m the spirit of Christmas Giving,” Santa said with a laugh as he tied her ankles together, “only the giving is to me.  Now open your mouth.”


“Why hmhgghdd,” Elaine said as he pushed a rolled up napkin into her mouth, and then did the same to her sister.  The roll silenced her, and she was too scared to use her tongue to push it out as Santa went round the house, helping himself to their valuables…


“Merry Christmas!” he called out as he waved to them before leaving the house, the two women struggling as they started to try and remove the cloth from their mouths…


It took a few hours, but they eventually managed to raise the alarm.


The last, and most audacious, record of this intruder was later the next spring…


“Mommy I’m scared…”


“I know, Johnny, but I need you to be brave,” Lily said as she watched the man wrap the rope around her son’s ankles and force them together.  It was nine at night, and Johnny had been about to go to bed a half hour earlier when he had walked into the room and told them all to do what he said.


He was wearing a blue and white striped t-shirt and blue jeans with the cuffs turned up.  As the man pulled the rope between his ankles, he glanced over at his Aunt Sheila.  She was wearing a brightly coloured halter neck dress which flowed down to her ankles, but hat had a band of rope around her legs above her knees that gathered the skirt of her dress, not to mention the rope around her arms and body, and holding her wrists together behind her back, and her ankles together.


Aunt Sheila nodded to show she understood.  She wasn’t able to say much, because of the strip of brown sticking plaster that he had pressed down over her mouth before he had started to tie up Johnny.  His wrists were already behind his back, and ropes holding his arms to his sides as he wriggled round.  The man smiled as he tied the rope off, and then took another length and began to bind her legs together above his knees.


“You know who my husband is,” Lily said as she watched the man finish tying up her son.


“Of course I do – why do you think I came now,” the man said with a smile as he picked up the roll of stocking plaster, and tore a long strip off.  “Same message for you, son – sit still, don’t struggle, and breathe through your nose and you’ll be just fine.”


“All right,” Johnny said before he felt the plaster on his face, tugging on the skin on his chin as he looked at his mother.  Lily was wearing a lilac short sleeved dress, and red sandals with a thick cork sole, but like the other two she also had her wrists secured together behind her back, and bands of rope holding her arms firmly to her sides.


“Now,” the man said quietly as he took her by the arm, “let’s go and have a look round.  They will be safe down here.”


Sheila and Johnny watched as Lily was walked out of the room, the large fire roaring as they looked at each other.  Johnny was starting to feel very strange, as he felt the heat form the fire, and then he heard a thump.


Looking to the side, her saw Sheila as she slowly jumped over and sat next to him, rubbing his head with her cheek as he rested against her, glad of the company.


A while later, Sheila looked up, the sleeping Johnny with his head on her lap as the man looked in.  He smiled and then went out, as she wondered where her sister was.


As for Lily, she was lying on her bed, her legs and ankles secured and sticking plaster over her mouth as well, wondering what her husband would say when he returned from the lodge and saw they had been robbed.  After all, the local Capo was not a wise target to hit…







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