Sometimes in the home things just seem out of place. You’d bet your life that you didn’t leave your keys there. You swear you had more milk left than that. You wake up late at night to a noise you have to force yourself to believe is your house settling. That’s just how our brains work though, right? We forget insignificant stuff, and we overthink things that have such a simple explanation.
But sometimes there’s a reason why things aren’t as they seem.
Some people really didn’t leave their keys there. Some people did have more milk left than that. For some people, it wasn’t just their house settling that made that noise. For the unlucky ones, the truth is sinister, and chilling.
There have been well-documented cases of strangers squatting in homes that don’t belong to them, and it happens more often than you’d expect. Your home is meant to be your sanctuary. A place where you can lock the outside world behind a door, and sleep in peace, knowing that you’re safe. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
But not everyone has that luxury.
Here are seven cases that might make you actually investigate, the next time your house makes a strange sound at night. Sleep well.
A CRIMINAL SECRETLY LIVED IN A TOYS R US
Career criminal Jeffrey Allen Manchester used to earn his hard stolen cash by drilling and dropping into fast food joints across the USA, but it was something even stranger still that eventually led to his downfall.
Back in 2005, Manchester was serving a whopping 45 years for robbery, when he achieved the accolade of becoming the first ever inmate to successfully escape from Polkton, NC’s Brown Creek Correctional Institution. How did he manage such a thing, you ask? He hid in a laundry truck.
Jeffrey Allen Manchester, nicknamed the Roofman, eventually made his way to Charlotte, NC, where he crafted himself a new identity in the form of church-going man, John, and gave himself the backstory of having a secret government job that he knew others would know he wouldn’t be able to answer questions about. He formed a relationship with a local woman with whom he spent holidays, and gifted gifts to her and her children.
But, of course, Manchester was unable to just settle down and become normal, boring “John”. In fact, he was living a secret life that was anything but usual.
Manchester was secretly living inside the local Toys ‘R’ Us, within which he made himself a lair in a cubbyhole somewhere in the bicycle department. He found nourishment from baby food, entertained himself by riding bikes around the store, and even changed employee’s schedules, just for a laugh. As the Christmas season got into full swing, he dug through the store’s wall, and gained access to the abandoned Circuit City next door. With that he made his strange little home even better by building a cubicle from slabs of drywall, hanging up posters, decorating the place with action figures, and watching nicked movies on a stolen DVD player.
But, much like he couldn’t just live as regular old “John”, he could only hang out and chill for so long before he began planning his next big score.
Manchester began making plans to rob the Toys ‘R’ Us store he had called home for an incredible six months. First, he robbed a pawnshop to get himself a gun, and then stole a baby monitor with which he cased the store and better planned the job.
There was one thing he didn’t count on, though. He didn’t expect two employees to get away and call the police.
Again, he was on the run, but this time he didn’t have far to go. He hid away in his lair, but police had already seen him duck inside, and followed, eventually discovering the secret home he had made.
Unsurprisingly though, the slippery crook managed to temporarily evade the cops that had followed him. He made his way to a dentist’s office, which he set on fire. While living as “John” he’d had dental work done, and there was no way Manchester could leave that kind of evidence behind.
It was his girlfriend, or rather “John’s”, that eventually led to his arrest, Having gotten feelings for her, he decided to pay her one last visit before once again planning to go on the lam, only to find that the police had gotten there first, and convinced her to set him up.
He wasn’t mad though, he understood the position she was in, and even encouraged her to pursue her dreams as the police took him away.
A STUDENT FOUND A MAN LIVING IN HER CLOSET
University of Carolina junior, Maddie originally blamed a ghost when items started disappearing from her wardrobe and unexplained handprints were found on her bathroom wall. But, on February 2nd 2019, she called the police after she discovered a man living inside her closet and wearing her clothes.
Though the whole thing sounds terrifying, the discovery itself was made rather unalarmingly. “I just hear rattling in my closet. It sounded like a raccoon in my closet,” she told Fox 8. “I’m like who’s there? And somebody answers me. He’s like, ‘oh, my name is Drew.’ I open the door and he’s in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks. My shoes. And he has a book bag full of my clothes.”
Drew turned out to be 30-year-old Andrew Swofford who carried on trying on her clothes as Maddie waited for the police and her boyfriend to arrive. He even called her “really pretty.” Swofford was arrested and faced fourteen charges, including larceny and identity theft.
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