Today’s report comes from a disturbing account posted by a user who calls himself “Hairy Monster Man,” which is a nickname I’ve heard applied to myself before, in some variation or another. But this chilling incident didn’t happen to me personally… and I’m very glad for that.
The young man recounts a bizarre and increasingly nightmarish string of events he experienced in his former apartment not long ago. It all began, he claims, with an odd, faint clanking sound emanating from the air conditioning duct. It wasn’t particularly annoying at the time, and the AC otherwise worked normally, so he wrote it off as symptomatic of an older building with less-than-perfect utilities.
But it wasn’t long before he began to realize it wasn’t just that device making an odd noise; it seemed nearly every electrical appliance — the dishwasher, the refrigerator, even the lights — seemed to emanate an unfamiliar sound of its own: a low hum, a whispery rattle or sometimes a thin crackle of electrical discharge.
Still, even that didn’t create much of a disturbance, as the tenant hadn’t spent a lot of time at home lately, and he’d even become more or less accustomed to the sounds when he was there… until the night he first began to hear a muffled scratching sound.
A rat must have become trapped within the walls, he figured, and it was probably chewing on the wiring. That was the last straw, and he decided to call the building manager to look into the problem, adjusting his work schedule to be home when the man arrived.
While he waited, he began to notice a crucial detail he’d failed to notice when he first awakened that morning: some of his possessions had gone missing during the night. They weren’t valuable items at all — a pair of socks, a TV remote, a pen and notepad, a coffee mug, a single shoe, and other small, inconsequential, everyday items. But someone had definitely taken these things away.
After taking stock of the missing items, the tenant sat down in front of his TV and tried to gather his thoughts… but when he pressed the power button, the TV set didn’t switch on. He got the same result from his sound system; the power and standby lights were dark. He knew it wasn’t a power outage, because he could hear the incessant rattling of the air conditioner, which had grown louder since the previous day. But just as he noticed it, the AC shut off with a loud pop, after which he smelled the faint odor of ozone.
Finally, the superintendent arrived with his toolbox, and the tenant told him about the sudden rash of electrical problems. They decided to start with the air conditioning unit, which still emanated the faint smell of a burned-out connection. While digging around inside the housing, the super found a small object that didn’t seem to be part of the machine.
“This yours?” he asked, showing the tenant the device. It appeared to be a tiny remote camera.
“You haven’t been inviting young ladies over and spyin’ on ‘em, have ya?” the older man asked with an accusatory glare.
The tenant was understandably shocked; he’d never actually seen a spy camera up close before, much less bought and installed one.
The camera was connected to a tiny cable, which receded into the depths of the drywall. The super asked if it would be okay for him to find out where it led, and the tenant agreed, clearly unsettled by this discovery.
While running down the cable’s source, the older man found something else.
“Well, this explains a lot,” he said, still digging in the crumbling drywall. “Looks like someone’s rewired the whole place. Stealin’ your power, maybe.”
He asked the tenant about the other incidents, and got the entire history of strange sounds and electrical anomalies that had escalated over the past few days. The tenant encouraged him to continue searching, and though exasperated at the amount of work involved, he agreed.
Hours later, he’d found several more identical spy cams — positioned in air ducts, pressed against tiny unnoticeable holes in the drywall, and even positioned between dusty books on an upper shelf. The tenant’s heart raced faster with each new discovery, realizing his entire apartment had been wired for surveillance.
Then the older man discovered a wider space in the wall, which was too thin to be the wall of the adjacent apartment, but also didn’t correspond to the walls of the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom or living room. With the tenant’s approval, he tried to find out what was on the other side.
There was a long pause following the sound of the man’s hammer breaching the opposite wall… after which he came back out, looking visibly shaken.
“You aren’t gonna like hearing this,” he said quietly… “but there’s a tiny little room behind that wall there.”
The tenant stood silently, frozen, barely comprehending the older man’s description of what he found. Only later did he recall the details… including a mass of video cables, rows of small TV monitors, videotape decks, and a small sleeping pallet on the floor.
“If I were you, I’d move,” the super said matter-of-factly.
So he did.
He left within the hour, in fact, packing his essentials and driving to his mother’s house across town. From there, he notified the police about the discovery of the tiny room, and the strange incidents leading up to that revelation.
The subsequent police investigation uncovered a massive network of video cables within the walls, and twenty cameras installed throughout the apartment, with corresponding monitors and videotape recorders… but despite a top-to-bottom search, no tapes were found.
A few weeks later, the former tenant, still living in his mother’s house, discovered a mangled, crudely-taped box on the doorstep. It bore no mailing labels.
Cautiously, he opened it… and found all the small personal effects that had gone missing in the days before he escaped the apartment.
Also in the box was a small, crumpled piece of paper from the stolen notepad… on which a shaky hand had scrawled the following words:
“I LIKE YOUR NEW PLACE MUCH BETTER.”