‘I woke up to a stranger watching me sleep’: My student halls horror story

Halls are a mixed bag

Some say living in halls is the best year of your life, others will say living in halls is a claustrophobic fever dream. You can’t escape social contact and you’re the only one who takes the bins out. The point is, halls are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

Which is why when I woke up to a man in my room at 2am on a Wednesday evening, I wasn’t sure if halls were for me.

Imagine the scene, an innocent fresher (me) sleeping peacefully in his minuscule bedroom in Nottingham Trent’s Goldsmith Court student accommodation. Suddenly light poured into the room from the hallway. A man, roughly 5’8 stood there, one foot in the door and the other out, staring aimlessly at me in my bed. I looked at him for a few moments before saying the first thing that popped into my head.

“Jess’ room is across the hall mate.”

“How do I get in there?”, he replied, slurred, clearly intoxicated.

“I don’t know mate, just open the door.”

Thinking nothing of it, I try and fall back to sleep before hearing excessive banging on Jess’ door. Suddenly, it dawned on me: I had just sent a strange man into my female flatmate’s room without a single thought. I might as well have walked him to her door and let him in myself. I sprung out of bed and to my surprise the man is back, but this time in my room with the door closed behind him, the tension palpable. I put on the tightest vest I could find to try and look

George’s bedroom

“Are you here to see Jess?”, I asked.

“Who is Jess?”, he responded. I found this quite amusing, at this point, the situation was funny.

Jess locks her door every night, thank God! I was then aware that he hadn’t come over for some late-night booty call, and that he was genuinely a randomer who had found his way into my sixth floor flat, through three security doors. Who is this guy? He was swaying from side to side, sort of smiling at me. Upon placing a hand on his arm asking him to get the fuck out of my flat, his demeanour changed.

“You’re never going to touch me again”, he said, not breaking eye contact. With him getting closer, I got angry. Fancy that, this bloke interrupted me dreaming about £2 pints, came into my room and now he’s getting lairy with me. I was flummoxed. I grabbed him by the arm and turned him towards the door. He repeated himself, looking down at his belt. An indiscernible object is poking up and out through his sweatshirt, I wasn’t feeling so brazen anymore. Was I really about to die wearing this stupid vest?

At this point, I had nothing left to say, I would have done a backflip if he’d asked me to, but the next thing he asked for was a charger. I lied and said that it was in my flatmate’s room, I just didn’t want to be alone in this situation anymore so woke up my flatmate, Ollie. And there he was again, staring at Ollie. Ollie didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything, the drunk man didn’t say anything. In was then that I managed to text the accommodation group chat.

goldsmiths gc

“Holy F**k, there’s a MAN in MY FLAT someone CALL THE FUZZ NOW!!! FLAT 36!!”

Or something like that. I told him that I just wanted him to leave and if he didn’t, I would call the police. This clearly triggered him, “You won’t call the police, or you’ll catch this smoke”, he replied. “I know where you live, if you call the police, it’s over for you, if I don’t get you, my boys will.”

He tried to fight me and Ollie on numerous occasions, asking us if we wanted a “scrap”, in which we repeatedly said no. Of course we didn’t want a scrap. Finally, the intruder called a taxi and was about to leave. Yes! I was madly texting the group chat, “CANCEL, don’t call the police! CANCEL IT!”.

There was a knock at the door, Ollie went to answer it and I stayed with the drunk man. He looked at me like he trusted me. Had we bonded over this long night? Maybe we could be pals. He smiled at me in which his golden tooth shimmered under the harsh kitchen light.

He stood up to leave, and just like that, boom. Three massive coppers came barging in and the man looked at me in disappointment. This is it, I’m dead, I thought to myself. I assured him that I didn’t call them, which wasn’t actually a lie because I actually didn’t. The police officer asked him what he was doing here.

“I’m lost, I’m looking for my sister”, he replied, stumbling over his words. He looked nervous and angry simultaneously. At this point I am mentally planning my escape to Mexico, somewhere this drunk man and his ‘boys’ won’t find me.

He was arrested, and whilst being arrested, he locked eye contact with me the whole time. The police officer asked him to stop looking at me but he took no notice. He was led away and I was approached by a police officer. I knew exactly what he was going to say: “George you’re now going into witness protection, I hope you like pizza cuz you’re moving to Italy.”

But in fact, he told me that it’s going to be okay and that I’ll need to come by the station for questioning.

We later found out that he had followed some other students home from the casino, who let him into our accommodation because he wouldn’t leave them alone either. He then ripped open the second security door, and tried all of the doors all the way up the the top floor, in which our door was broken, so he could get in. The police called me a few days later and told me that the intruder was actually a decent bloke and that I shouldn’t worry about him.

I know you’re out there drunk man with a golden tooth, if you’re reading this, I hope you found your sister and I’m sorry for getting you arrested.

Let this be a lesson to you, lock your flat doors.