Have you ever been lying in bed late at night, when suddenly you hear the floor creak? You brush it off as the house settling, or the family cat pouncing around in the dark. But, then the noises continue. Things start to disappear. You have a sense that you’re being watched. Are you just being paranoid? Or, is something else going on? For a bachelor living in Tokyo, he learned that the mysterious things happening in his apartment were something far creepier than just the house swaying in the wind.
In 2008 in Tokyo, Japan, a man living alone began noticing things in his apartment being moved. Food would disappear from his refrigerator, things wouldn’t be where he placed them, and he had a strange feeling that someone had been inside of his home. Thinking that a burglar was entering the house when he wasn’t there, the man set up a surveillance camera. The hidden camera would take photos and send them directly to his cell phone. What he would see absolutely terrified him.
The photos showed a person moving around his home. Frightened by the mystery person violating his sanctuary, the man notified police. When police arrived they initially couldn’t find anyone inside. The doors were locked, and no apparent break-in had happened. Then, the officers examined the man’s storage cabinet.
Inside the small cupboard, which the man used to store blankets and other household items, was a 58-year-old homeless woman named Tatsuko Horikawa. She was tucked into the top of the built-in closet, seated comfortably on a small mattress. The woman told the police she had been living inside the man’s closet for over a year, after initially entering the unlocked home.
Horikawa reportedly came and went from the storage closet unnoticed by the homeowner. She would shower, eat his food, and sleep in the closet, all while the male resident remained completely unaware of her presence. The woman was charged with trespassing.
Even scarier than a homeless woman taking up residence in a person’s closet for a year is a person living behind a secret bookshelf in a family home. In 2013, user TwoBiteBrownie uploaded images to Imgur that seemed harmless. The pictures showed a white bookshelf a part of the wall inside their living room. But, the bookshelf had a secret: it opened up to a passageway.
Apparently, the Imgur user’s brother had fallen against the bookshelf and moved it. Behind the bookshelf was a creepy spiral staircase that led to a previously unknown crawlspace. The crawlspace wasn’t empty.
Within the crawlspace was a makeshift bed, creepy dolls, and lots of Halloween candy wrappers. The Halloween candy came from TwoBiteBrownie—who had the candy in his room, upstairs. Someone apparently had been staying inside a hidden crawlspace within their home, ventured upstairs, and took their belongings back down to its secret cave.
And as if those two cases weren’t creepy enough, a group of Ohio State students discovered that a man was living in the basement of their off-campus house in September 2013. The students believed the locked door in the basement led to a maintenance utility closet, so they never paid too much attention to it. When things started disappearing, and cabinets were left open, they decided to do a search of the house.
Their search led them back to the locked door, which they prompted maintenance to open up. Inside was a furnished bedroom full of textbooks, pictures, and more. Further investigating led to the mystery tenant’s identity: a man named Jeremy. He asked for his belongings and soon left the house. The locks were quickly changed after the encounter.
In January of the same year, 73-year-old, Velma Kellen, was having heating issues. She could smell a foul, smoke odor drifting up through the floor of her Yelm, Washington home. Then when she went to turn up her heat, she realized that the front part of the house remained cold.
She called a repairman to look at her furnace, and thought she would be told it was broken. Instead, the repairman told her there had been a person (or people) living in the crawlspace underneath her home. They cut the air ducts and were stealing her heat.
While people have been reported living in crawlspaces and closets, one woman had a horrifying encounter with someone who was living in her attic for months. In September 2012, a 41-year-old woman experienced strange noises, and saw nails emerging from her ceiling. No one believed her when she told them something was going on, and she started to think she was going crazy.
Then one night while browsing the web, plaster fell from the ceiling and onto her bed. A few hours later she heard a noise coming from the attic. Her son investigated and found cups of urine and feces, and other evidence that suggested someone had been staying in her attic for days. The woman believed it was her ex-boyfriend, and insists he had been spying on her through the vents.
So, the next time you hear a strange noise coming from your closet, or from the attic above you, don’t dismiss it. Visualize the creepy person who is probably watching you from between the cracks as you sleep, and moving around your house freely while you’re gone. And remember: lock your damn doors, people!