The doorbell surveillance business is booming. It’s now expected that their sales will reach $1.4 billion by 2023, up from $500 million last year.

Once the doorbell camera is installed, the homeowner has video access to their front porch from any location with Wi-Fi. If you believe the Ring ads on TV, you can also scare off unwanted strangers and burglars by yelling at them through your app. But they're a controversial product. Data privacy experts criticize the idea, and researchers are not convinced they’re really making us any safer. Or just feeding on people’s fears.

We may not have the answers to these questions just yet, but we can at least take a look at some of the weirdest and creepiest things caught by these cameras. From a sleepwalking baby to an orange glow after a chemical plant explosion, and a stranger who comes to pet plants once in a while, some sightings that people saw on their doorbell cameras and shared in this Reddit thread are indeed chilling.

#1

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them I have a camera doorbell. Not a ring. The creepiest thing I ever saw was the night I had two cops come to my door. They stood outside the door talking to eachother about if I was home or not and who would r*pe me first.

I was at home at the time.

My dog alerted me by whining at the door, and I checked the DB cam. I listened to them talking for about 10 seconds before I called 911. The operator told me they didn't have cops in my area and to stay away from the door, put at least one more locked door between me and them and to stay on the line and quiet until the real cops could get there.

I live around the block from the fire department so it was less than 2 minutes later when a fire tuck pulled up and the two fake cops ran off.

Krizked , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

80 Van
Community Member
6 months ago

This is a horrendous situation. I’m so glad they had the wherewithal to call 911 first.

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#2

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them At 5ish in the morning, sun was just starting to come up and it's the middle of winter. My husband half asleep answers the doorbell on his phone in bed next to me. It's a toddler wearing nothing but a pj top and underwear. Husband says "hello?" Toddler says "can (my son's name) come out to play?" Husband still half asleep says "not right now maybe later" About 3 mins later husband suddenly sits up as the reality of the situation dawn's on him and he rushes out of the house to track down a wandering toddler walking barefoot in the streets in freezing weather. Turns out my son's toddler friend from daycare who's been to our house once for a playdate just walked straight out his front door undetected and memorized the route to our house. For me it was the possibility of his little journey ending very differently than it did in a number of terrifying scenarios that still haunts me.

misspoopyloopy , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
6 months ago

My neighbor and I were out on a snowy night, when a toddler came out of a side street in only a diaper, we grabbed him called the cops who took him to the hospital for a checkup found his mommy so doped up she didn't know what the cops were trying to tell her. Needless to say she does not have her child anymore!

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#3

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them I bought my ring when they weren't available in the UK. I imported it from America. Next door got broken into and the guy doing it was clearly looking at my doorbell wondering if it was indeed a camera or just some fancy new doorbell. I recorded him using their doorbell with his t shirt over his finger (to stop his prints) and him breaking in by kicking through the bottom panels of the door. I showed the video to the police and they said aha yep we know him. I also caught him smoking a cigarette, throwing it on the ground and leaving that sweet DNA on the butt. police picked him up, used the cigarette and my videos as evidence and charged him. He got 3 years at her majesty's pleasure.

beerman_uk , Ring (not the actual photo) Report

Jo FrH
Community Member
6 months ago

Excellent work!

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To find out more about the doorbell cameras and what experts think of them, we reached out to Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN. For those who’ve never come across a doorbell cam, it's a “smart home security device that lets you see the person approaching your home before they enter,” Markuson said.

He continued: “Some of the smart doorbells (like Amazon’s Ring) give you remote control of your doorway. The device is attached next to your front door and connects to your mobile device over Wi-Fi. When someone tries to visit you, you can see the person through the installed camera and allow or deny entry to your house remotely,” Markuson explained. NordVPN’s research shows that 16% of users own smart doorbells.

#4

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them My little brother is a sleepwalker, this one time he snuck out of the house (while still asleep).

My sister said she heard someone talking just outside the door, went to look and saw my brother sat on the porch couch apparently having a conversation with my grandpa. She says he was telling my grandpa “I love you” and “I’m going to miss you.”

My dad got him back inside the house without waking him up and nobody gave much thought into what just had happened until a couple hours later when my uncle called telling us my grandpa had passed away while asleep.

My little brother says he doesn’t remember anything but we got it on video, we can’t hear what he’s saying too clearly but he was definitely talking to someone and he sure as heck said “I’m going to miss you” at least twice.

Raging-ball-of-fury , rawpixel (not the actual photo) Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
6 months ago

Really beautiful, and evidence that there's more to this existence than we know.

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#5

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Not super creepy, but there is a guy that pets my plants sometimes.

lookssharp , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Delta of the Sand/Rainwings
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

Who's a good little plant? You are! Yes, you are, my little plant!

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#6

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them I watched a delivery driver get knuckle-deep in their own nose and then plant a gangly looking booger on one of our columns. That was the funniest.

The creepiest? Our neighborhood is a common target for porch pirates. Our neighbors got a bunch stolen off their porch a few years ago and we all put up cameras after that. You'd think porch pirates would recognize that many houses have cameras now, but you don't get to porch pirate status by being an intelligent person. I moved some cardboard boxes outside, intending to load them in the truck and take them to the town dump. I got busy and forgot I set them out on the steps. It got late. A porch pirate came along and picked up the main box that the rest were crushed into, thinking it was some expensive package. We were unaware anything was going on until the dogs went nuts, meaning someone was at the front door. I went out, took a quick peek, nothing. The dogs went nuts again a few minutes later. This time I went back outside armed (wouldn't be the first time I needed it). As I approached the front door, something ran across our front yard and through both sets of gardens. I then heard some crapbox rev up and putter-fart away. I checked security cam footage and witnessed that lowlife cram himself into the largest cardboard box to hide when I approached the door the first time.

It's cool though. I left some presents for the porch pirates last year and they haven't been back since. Package up about 10lbs of dog crap, old chicken broth (bonus if you let some chicken go rancid and toss that in too) and silver nitrate in a large ziplock bag. Glue it upside down in a cardboard box so that the flaps contact the bottom. Glue the bottom of the bag against the flaps of the box. When someone opens the box, it tears the seal open and makes one hell of a mess that they will never be able to clean up.

bucket_of_salt , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Berry Budgie
Community Member
6 months ago

She should team with mark robar

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When asked whether Markuson thinks that doorbell cameras are a good tool to maximize security at home, he said that they can help you feel physically safer, as you can see the people who pass by your house. “If a camera is connected to Wi-Fi, it can help you protect your house even if you are away from home.”

On the other hand, Markuson warned that as with all IoT devices, there are a lot of security and privacy risks associated with smart doorbell cameras. “A doorbell camera may be hacked, or a company that manufactures certain products may be unethical with its user data,” he said.

#7

I have some flowerbeds out front and they've gotten vandalized, so I got camerasto cover them. I also live down the road from student housing so I get drunk kids stumbling through all the time.

Every semester around finals, various groups of kids come 'pay tribute to the fae for luck' by sitting around my jasmine bed that has a faerie house neighborhood in it. They praise the faeries, begging for luck, & leave tributes in the form of little snacks or small trinkets like bottle caps. It's hilarious & adorable.

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cybermerlin2000
Community Member
6 months ago

Do a little remodelling, so there is a little table and maybe somewhere to sit/kneel/stand without damaging the flowerbeds and maybe a little sign that says 'Please be careful around the flowers'

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#8

Random guy comes to our door at 1 AM, looks into the Ring then puts something down on the door mat but doesn't ring the bell. About 15 minutes later, someone approaches the door quickly, takes it and runs off.

I saw two events in the morning and was like WTF. Seeemed super sketchy. Then my next door neighbor texted saying he got home super late, ordered food, and the delivery driver dropped it at our house instead of his.

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B-b-bird
Community Member
6 months ago

Lol :)))

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#9

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Not really creepy but there’s a serial gnomer in my neighborhood being caught on doorbell cameras. She’s dropping off gnomes on the unsuspected and walks away.

NotVeryAccurateTbh , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Buren
Community Member
6 months ago

She is hoping to score gnome runs?

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Another problematic aspect of doorbell cameras is that they can be vulnerable to hacking. “First of all, it is harder to hack a device that is not connected to the internet. But if your doorbell is smart and connected to your home Wi-Fi, you should be more cautious,” Markuson said.

#10

A previous owner of my house had installed a mezuzah on the door. My wife and I aren’t Jewish but we left it because.

About once a year in the early spring, a car will pull up in front of our house. An older man will get out, walk to the door, then Touch the mezuzah then get back in his car and leave.

It’s not the previous owner, but it may be the person who put it there.

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Monica Sargent
Community Member
6 months ago

I think It's very sweet that you kept it.

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#11

I was drunk as f*ck watching my parents house when they were on vacation, woke up the next morning to a video my mom sent me, I was taking out the trash and dropped my phone in with the trash... I'm in my boxers trying to get my phone out of the trash can... my drunk a*s falls into the garbage can and I had a hell of a time getting myself out. I remember none of it. My mom proceeds to send that video to the rest of my family... and extend family.. and some family friends. Scary, no... but pretty hilarious

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Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

Your mom is awesome

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#12

I live alone and my son recently installed a ring doorbell. About 5.30am I got a notification that a person was seen at my door. I watched the video and there was a really creepy person (was still dark) hanging around. I rang my son, he has the app to access the doorbell videos etc. Turns out it was me showing my dog there was no one outside.

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Buren
Community Member
6 months ago

Now we know!

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It turns out that one of the most common issues associated with IoT devices is their security flaws. The cybersecurity expert said that researchers at Dojo, an IoT security company, have found that bad actors can intercept your doorbell by accessing the network it uses.

“As a result, anyone who’s hacked your device can monitor who enters or leaves your house and can even steal your Wi-Fi password. Moreover, they can trick you into letting in a stranger by showing you a video of someone you know. If your doorbell stores some of the videos, hackers could also steal them and use them for blackmail,” Markuson concluded.

#13

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Not a ring cam, just a porch cam. The creepiest thing I've seen? Racoons.... like 12 of them lined up on my porch staring at my front door for what seemed like a really long time...

RockyBass , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Buren
Community Member
6 months ago

They are brainstorming about your trash day schedule

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#14

My daughter woke me up really early one day, so we were settling in the couch to watch some TV. I hear a rustling on the porch and figure it's wind, but then feel weird and look at the cam on my phone.

There a guy on the porch taking her special needs bicycle!! He lifted it over the baby's wagon, and that was the sound I heard.

I jumped up and opened the door (it was early, pre-coffee, wasn't thinking very clearly yet). He was gone. We called the police to make a report, and they came out to see the clip. Then they said "Is it that bike right there?" Apparently, he dropped it at the end of our street when he heard our door open.

We felt dumb for not checking, but we're glad we got the bike back.

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B-b-bird
Community Member
6 months ago

Theres nothing dumb about calling police. you did a right thing, now they will be alerted

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#15

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them A chemical plant blew up a few miles from my house and you could hear the a distant explosion and see an orange glow on mine

woodchuck125 , m.youtube.com Report

Buren
Community Member
6 months ago

That's horrible. What plant is it so near to residential area?

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#16

Got an alert that someone was at the door and my dog barked, but no knock. I thought I heard something, so I checked the camera and a younger looking guy had walked up and tried to unlock my front door with what I guess was a key he found on the ground close to my house.

In broad daylight! With our cars in the driveway. What the actual f*ck.

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Corgo Man
Community Member
6 months ago

Big brain action right there

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#17

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them My mom saw a guy wandering around her yard with a baseball bat in hand late at night. Her, my brother, and our Great Dane went out to ask him what the f*ck he thought he was doing. Guy immediately ran off.

Used to think security cameras at home were weird. Now I know they can give you a head start in case someone shady is about.

KayTheMadScientist , pixabay (not the actual photo) Report

yeciye
Community Member
6 months ago

I think the guy was looking for his lost baseball. He had a baseball bat and it was dark after all.

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#18

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Not a ring doorbell, but a small camera in my bedroom window.

I caught a man watching me through the window in real time. My phone alerted me that there was movement outside my window, so I opened the live stream and watched the man watch me.

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Susie Elle
Community Member
6 months ago

Scum

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#19

Have a security camera pointed at the back of the house toward my detached back garage....

The weirdest thing that still f*cks with me was late night on 4th of July. The noise of neighborhood fireworks kept the regular animals away, but my camera did pick up an individual hanging around the back of the house and neighbors back lawn. Definitely was a person....

....but they were walking on all fours like a goddamn spider. Not once did they go back to walking on their legs. They were gangly looking....lean and not pudgy. Also wearing a dark shirt and pants. Their face was always kept down.

This creeper was crawling all around the back and into the neighbor's lawns on all fours for like 10min before they f*cked off and left the area picked up by the security camera.

The next morning a pile of human sized sh*t plus a copious amount of vomit was found in the middle of my driveway at the back of the house.

There were whole un-chewed skittles in the vomit.

So yeah, creepiest thing my outdoor camera has picked up: gangly human crawling around the back driveway of my house on all fours while vomiting up skittles.

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cybermerlin2000
Community Member
6 months ago

I want to know what drugs turn you into a skittle vomiting sh*t spider

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#20

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them My wife’s ex-husband in our backyard looking in the windows.

Same_Lack_1775 , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

May
Community Member
6 months ago

Judging by statistics - this might have been the most dangerous

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#21

My neighbors mom looking to come "kick my a*s" while i was home. I didn't realize she was there until later bc i had headphones on

At the time i was 24 and he was 37 i think. He was all pissy because i told him next time i hear him beat his gf I'm calling the cops no matter how much she begs everyone not to

So he sent his mom over

Rewatching that video just gives creepy vibes knowing that i was home but oblivious

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Susie Elle
Community Member
6 months ago

Good on you for looking out for the gf

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#22

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Not too creepy, but there was a man in my area for a time that would wear a jumpsuit and a TV on his head and he would randomly leave old TVs and monitors on people's porches. Dude hit up like 50 homes. Never caught.

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Rijkærd
Community Member
6 months ago

Saw this somewhere else..cant remember which aite but still TV guy is creepy..like the 90s Barclays Bank atm advert guy

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#23

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Honda Civic riding back and forth slowly around our neighborhood playing ice cream truck music loudly. Hoping it was a stupid prank and not something more sinister.

amoeba2020 , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

404_Panda_Not_Found
Community Member
6 months ago

oh no don't let the kids

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#24

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Dude crouching behind my car while me and my mom got out, crept up right behind it and we didn't even notice, his face was covered, didn't see until a day or two later watching random clips.

WungusDigester , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Mazer
Community Member
6 months ago

Hope you reported it

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#25

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them It’s not actually a Ring doorbell (just a security cam), but we caught this mountain lion casing my car late one night.

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A. Paige Kruger
Community Member
6 months ago

Thundercougarfalconbird

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#26

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them 6 people standing about 10 feet from my door and just staring at my house this past September.

They were there muttering to each other for almost 20 minutes before going to the next house on the row and muttering there too.

My girlfriend thinks they were the HOA, but I don't totally believe that.

mxmnull , pxhere (not the actual photo) Report

JuJu
Community Member
6 months ago

The things I hear about American HOAs...I totally believe this (and that they were plotting your death)

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#27

I have a camera in the hallway inside the house facing the door. Some one with a motorcycle helmet opened the front door, pet my dog, and then left. Checking the front yard camera, there was no motorcycle or car in the driveway. We changed the locks and got a security system that night.

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Corgo Man
Community Member
6 months ago

So your telling me dude just walked right in, pet the dog, and just left? Das a good man right there. He only looking out for the doggo

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#28

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them The power line across the street burst into flames for a moment. Not a transformer, but the cable itself. Maybe it's not that unusual but I've never seen anything like it.

nerevisigoth , imgur.com Report

Anna Snorrepot
Community Member
6 months ago

5G kicking in when half the street is vaccinated.

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#29

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them A full grown man had a gun and shot someone, dont know if he missed or not, all I knew was I was scared.

gabluvshimself , pxhere (not the actual photo) Report

Buren
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

I am grateful that gun is not something that can be easily owned by anyone here

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#30

30 People Who Have Doorbell Cameras Are Sharing The Worst Things They’ve Caught On Them Whats most scary is my ring doorbell went of several times in the middle of the night for no reason... I changed the setting to video only wake, instead of audio/video. It went on for about a month.

CarsonSimpson , flickr (not the actual photo) Report

Larks (Taylor's Version)
Community Member
6 months ago

it just sounds like a malfunction or glitch

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