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Humming vibrator in Pacifica apartment tower sent 25 residents ‘insane’

An electric humming vibrator designed to upset neighbours operated for about a month inside New Zealand’s tallest apartment tower, sending 25 neighbours “just about insane” before it was discovered and disabled, a resident says.

Management of downtown Auckland’s The Pacifica sent a notice thanking people for their patience while matters were resolved but refused to talk to the Herald about it directly, citing privacy.

A photo of the device, which emitted humming vibrations, showed it jammed between two books and the top of an internal window, high up in the $300 million 57-level luxury apartment block.

A close-up of the head of the vibrator inside The Pacifica. Photo / supplied

The device was plugged into the mains and had a metal rod nearly the height of the window and a purple plastic device on the end.

A resident explained a man had installed it in a window cavity, behind a blind, specifically to aggravate his upstairs neighbours for unknown reasons: “The device causes a low vibrating-type hum at about 35-40 cycles per minute at about 80hz. It sounded like a cellphone ringing on vibrate stuck in the wall, but it never stopped and just continued all day, all night.”

Investigations took weeks until management discovered the device, the resident said.

“I’ve been told it’s a ceiling vibrator V2 version, vibrating and knocking. It just about sent 25 residents insane because it took a month for it to be located. Everyone thought it was an electrical or mechanical issue that created a dull, repetitive noise 24 hours a day. I know of residents who couldn’t sleep and abandoned parts of their apartments,” the resident said.

The humming noise has now been eliminated by building management. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding in regard to this issue. We hope this brings your routine back to normal operation. Please reach out if you have any
further issues.
Best regards,
Pacifica management

Chris Ivers, Pacifica body corporate chairman, said: “Due to privacy, I can’t discuss matters relating to individual apartments and residents.”

Ceiling vibrators have a long, height-adjustable rod to run from floor to ceiling and make vibrations or a knocking noise from the head. They can be remote controlled and once switched on, they transmit to upstairs neighbours. Thumpers were said to be invented in China and are sometimes referred to as “noisemaker revenge machines”.

What action the management is taking against the vibrator-using resident remains unknown. Whether they owned or rented the unit is undisclosed.

“Earlier when they had located the noise close to the apartment they asked for access and now believe the owner turned off and hid the unit when the apartment was inspected for the cause of the noise. This is why apparently it took so long to locate it,” the resident said.

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