The Nine Circles Of Noise Violation Hell

Vestibule (The Negligent)

Not actually considered a part of Noise Violation Hell, the Vestibule houses those who burn their chorizo after midnight and set off the hallway fire alarm, and then do absolutely nothing about it for half an hour.

Limbo (Virtuous Violators)

Angrily screaming obscenities out your window is almost never an effective way to get what you want. It also tends to be the default reaction to other noise violations. As they say, though, the road to Noise Violation Hell is paved with good intentions. Actually, I just made that up.

Second Circle (Retaliators)

I’m sorry that I get these weird urges to play Mozart’s Turkish March with laser sounds on my keyboard. I’m really sorry that sometimes I have to throw on that new Skrillex song after midnight (it’s so dirty that I just have to listen to it). But there is never an occasion to blast Yanni on your TV at full volume, and 1:45am on a Monday night is no exception.

Third Circle (Children)

Someday, child, you will no longer sing along as loudly as you can to every single song on the Saturday morning cartoons. Someday, you will be a hungover college student trying to sleep off one too many shots of whiskey, being woken up by the most annoying and high-pitched noise he could possibly hear at 7am. Until then, you belong in Noise Violation Hell.

Fourth Circle (Construction)

I respect that you’re trying to renovate the building. I totally get that tearing up every wall, floor, and stair and reinstalling it makes a lot of noise. I even understand if blasting Lady Gaga on the stereo will make your minimum-wage, manual labor job a little more bearable. But do you really, really have to take a power mixer to a bucket of plaster right outside my fourth-floor apartment during my afternoon nap? Isn’t there a better place to do that, called outside?

Fifth Circle (Vehicles)

After living in the city for a while, sirens and car horns become a part of the white noise – the background noise. Imagine being at the beach on a calm, sunny day and hearing waves gently crashing against the sand, punctuated every once in a while by the sound of a dying whale. Then, there’s the occasional and always inexplicable helicopter circling overhead for two hours. I like to pretend it’s being piloted by Batman. Or something. God, I really need to sleep.

Sixth Circle (The Sexually Vocal)

Occupants of the Sixth Circle are actually double violators. Not only do they keep you awake, but they also provide the additional insult of reminding you that you’re not getting any tonight. The Sixth Circle is mostly populated by Asian girls. A good friend of mine once recounted his experience of sleeping with an Asian girl: “It sounded like I was stabbing her to death.”

Seventh Circle (Bars & Clubs)

The Seventh Circle is relatively empty on weekends. On work nights, it becomes a flaming cesspool filled to the top with shitty guido DJs, complete with thundering bass and Top 40s on loop… forever.

Eighth Circle (Quarrelling Couples)

I would write more for this section, but I’m too busy reliving my traumatic childhood memories.

Ninth Circle (The Insane)

The deepest, darkest circle of Noise Violation Hell is reserved for those whose behavior truly cannot, in any way, be reconciled with basic human dignity. Here resides Satan himself, also known as whoever was blasting gospel music so loudly into my courtyard at 2am last night that it actually sounded like there was a live gospel concert in my courtyard at 2am last night.

Beware: Violators of the Ninth Circle are so treacherous that they can turn you into a violator yourself. You must be strong and resist the urge to yell every obscenity you know out your window, lest you be destined to join the wicked in Noise Violation Hell. TC mark


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  • Vermindo

    you poor thing.  bothered by children singing at the ungodly hour of 7:00 am while you try to sleep off another hangover, and those horrible “mimimum wage” construction laborers doing actual -work- you known nothing of.

    how do you think your neighbors felt about your drunken fratboy hollering in the street at 2 am after you shut down the bar and stumbled home?   of course you don't remember that.

    • Nicolette Beach

      I really love faulty logic.

      Here's something to think about: people who have non traditional work schedules. If I'm working until 10pm and don't have to get up until 9am, do you really think I need to hear all those special little snowflakes singing at 7 in the goddamn morning?

      (Hint: the answer is no.)

    • George Zhang

      I wish I were cool enough to be in a frat or go to bars. I actually work below minimum wage frying dumplings in Chinatown to pay my tuition, and I have to drink whiskey at night to drown out my sorrows ='(

      • Porno

        Frying dumplings in Chinatown? Where? I could use a new Chinese restaurant…. the last one didn't understand “vegetarian” too well. Any places you suggest?

  • Nataliella1

    I have a couple right above me where the husband abuses his wife immediately after their rabbi visits every night, usually when I'm trying to eat dinner. Would the added religious thing bring them up to the ninth circle?

  • bodythatmatters

    i've always hated the sound of dumpsters being emptied

  • Carly

    I loved this article, except for the comment grouping all Asian women into the same category of being loud during sex. I wasn't aware race had anything to do with girls being vocal during sex…?

    • Porno

      No, it doesn't. However, Asian women are categorically – and therefore probably stereotypically – more vocal than any other race. That's not to say all are screamers, nor to say all other races' women are quiet, but Asians are annoying loud.

  • Niv

    I'm part of the 6th circle.  Call me evil, but I love rubbing it in my neighbors faces that I have mind blowing sex with my boyfriend at least once a week…… and they don't =p

  • Luke Bourassa

    “It sounded like I was stabbing her to death.”

    Also… Circle 5.5: People with shitty motorcycles who need to let them run for a few minutes before leaving the street parking space directly underneath your window.  At 2 a.m. On a Tuesday. Probably after sex with aforementioned Asian girl ^ .

  • Melanie Avalon

    I would take jackhammers from the fourth circle and put them in the 9th. I think it's because of a Toy Story computer game I played when I was little where one of the “bosses” was a jackhammer. I'm shuddering just thinking about it.

  • hhlk9
  • Astraea162

    I once had a neighbor who liked to inexplicably blast Dixieland jazz around 2am. This same guy also had periodically loud sex. No idea how.

  • Charles Reinhardt

    I like the attempt to follow Dante's schema. The first three circles have been allegorized well.

  • Lim Yan Yun

    my neighbour sings the star wars anthem every morning. (Y)

  • lnlb24rt
  • nynu5
  • Lesharo

    “Sixth Circle (The Sexually Vocal)

    Occupants of the Sixth Circle are actually double violators.”

    Yeah…read that as “double vibrators” the first time, which, while appropriate for the Sixth Circle, it's not what was intended.

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