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.
OHIO STATE STUDENTS DISCOVERED THEY HAD AN EXTRA ROOMATE
Engineering students at Ohio State University were shocked when, in September 2013, they discovered a hidden entrance in the basement of their house that led to a secret hideaway belonging to “Jeremy” complete with books, a wall decorated with photographs, and even a stereo.
The students originally thought that the locked door in their basement led to a utility closet, but when the door was knocked down by maintenance workers, the truth was discovered. They changed the locks that night, and posted a note asking their mysterious houseguest to call them, which he did. A man named Jeremy then contacted them, and made arrangements to move his belongings out of the room.
One of the students, Brett Mugglin said of Jeremy, “He was a nice enough guy, He just wasn’t supposed to be there.” When reflecting on the events, Mugglin recalled previously walking into the basement and meeting a man who stated that he wondered when he would be meeting the other residents of the property. When asked if he lived on the building’s first floor, he avoided the question. Mugglin believed that man may have been Jeremy.
Despite the worrying events, the realty company the students were leasing the house from did nothing to take action against Jeremy.
A MAN SECRETLY LIVED ABOVE A DENVER RESTAURANT
A man secretly living in the rafters above the Yard House restaurant in Denver had to be rescued after he fell through the ceiling and became trapped in the wall space.
Late one evening police received a call from the restaurant reporting that a man had fallen through their ceiling and ended up inside the wall. Firefighters eventually saw him walking through the wall space, which held the water pipes and HVAC system, before he disappeared from view. In the process he broke one of the pipes, and caused a flood that led to large amounts of damage to the restaurant and the hotel next door. Firefighters had to use a chainsaw to cut the man out of the wall.
The man, who was eventually identified as Stephen Graves, had been squatting in the crawl space above the restaurant for some time. He was charged with first-degree criminal trespass and sentenced to two year’s mental health probation.
A WOMAN FOUND ANOTHER FAMILY LIVING IN THEIR NEW HOUSE
A woman from South Carolina was surprised to learn on her return from a vacation that another family had moved into her newly purchased home.
On arriving home, the woman, Katherine Lang, found a dog and a cat walking around the property, and a pair of women having a conversation inside. “I said, ‘What are you doing in my house?’” Lang told the Beaufort Gazette. “It became clear to me what happened.”
It emerged that one of the intruders, Tyggra Shepherd, was not in fact simply the perpetrator of a crime, but a victim herself. Shepherd believed she had found the perfect place to settle her family when she found the property advertised on Facebook as a fully furnished, three-bedroom home available for $850 a month. The advert had been posted by a scammer, Rosie Ruggles.
Shepherd wired Ruggles $1150 for the fake lease, whereupon she was instructed to begin moving her belongings into the house via an unlocked back door, because the person that was supposed to be delivering her the keys had been arrested.
Katherine Lang bought the house the previous October, but had yet to move in because she was waiting for her previous home to sell. After returning from her vacation, she decided to check on the home to see whether the recent cold weather had caused any damage to the pipes. It was then that she discovered Shepherd living there.
Did your house just settle? Or was it something else…