They wished it was only their imagination
A Massachusetts family wanted to discredit their children so badly... After all, discrediting your children for believing in spirits would be much easier than discovering the truth. When a father's two daughters noticed items missing and moved, they became terrified. Their father was an immediate skeptic, assuming their imaginations were getting out of hand or someone was pulling a prank.
By ignoring his daughter's concerns, he put his entire family in immense danger. His doubt toward his daughters stopped him from further investigating the situation. So, he was shocked when a teenage boy appeared with a hatchet and a wrench in their house. While they didn't know his intentions, they soon found out the truth.
He threatened the family's safety
The boy forced the entire family up the stairs and to cower in one room. His threatening demeanor made them think that submission was probably the safest option. In a bold move, their eldest daughter lept out of the window. She ran in an attempt to get help. Of course, she didn't know if the boy could be following her or notice her absence.
As she ran, she did not know if her family would be safe in the upstairs room. It wasn't as simple as the family pulling out their cell phones since this occurred in the late '80s. They had to stay quiet and rely on their daughter to get help. She managed to notify the police, who came rushing to investigate and help. When they arrived, they were incredibly confused.
Although he fled, the father noticed a key clue
By the time the police arrived, the boy was gone. Her family was safe, though, which was all that mattered at that moment. Police, of course, did their due diligence to investigate. However, they found no answers. The family left their house behind for a while to recover from the incident. It was no longer easy to live within the walls. Eventually, their father returned to pick up a few items in the meantime.
Upon arriving at the property, a profound sense of fear instantly gripped him. In that unsettling moment, he witnessed something that would profoundly shake him to his very core, eventually providing vital clues that would give the family some answers. Had he not noticed it, their safety would have remained in danger upon returning home.
He had been living in their walls
Standing in a second-floor window was the teenage boy. The father notified authorities about the sighting, which opened a more detailed investigation. This time, the police swept the entire property and eventually found him. Rather than trying to leave the home, the boy climbed into the house's walls and hid until he was found. That is when they made the horrifying discovery.
When they captured him, they identified him as Daniel LaPlante, a sixteen-year-old boy. When they found him, they also realized that he wasn't just hiding in the walls; he had also been living in them. Somehow, he had found a chamber in the bathroom wall that was big enough to hide him. "Why would a young man want to live in our walls?" the family wondered. His motivation was even more chilling than the actions themselves.
His motivation was simply for fun
Upon entering the home's walls, he remained hidden for days and sometimes weeks. Daniel kept cover in the bathroom even while they were using it. Although far from comfortable, his presence was driven by a twisted desire for amusement. His plan revolved around tormenting the family first. Through subtle antics, such as rearranging or stealing household items, he instilled fear in the young girls before eventually exposing himself.
Eventually, he decided it was time to let his presence be known. To Daniel, this entire ordeal was nothing more than a sinister game. Once he revealed himself, he scared them with an ax and forced the whole family to hide upstairs. The family members had no known ties to Daniel; he randomly selected and targeted them. They were just pawns in his game, and it wasn't over yet.
He continued to terrorize other families
Daniel was now in custody. Since he was young, he spent time in juvenile detention. However, his young age and lack of physical assault conviction allowed him to avoid too hefty of a sentence. However, allowing him out with only a slap on the wrist would prove to be a terrible decision. Daniel decided to try his game all over again only a year later.
While the lead-up to his next move would be unknown, Daniel escalated to killing a mother and her children in their own home. It is possible that he could have been living in their walls, too, but no evidence of that was disclosed. The woman's husband arrived home one day to find their deceased bodies. Strangely enough, all family members were killed in different ways.
Daniel officially became a murderer
Daniel killed the mother with a gun, leaving multiple gunshot wounds. One child was strangled to death while the other was drowned. The police found where Daniel had a more permanent residence and searched the premises. They found evidence that linked him to the murders and were able to prove it. However, Daniel fled from the area.
He went on the run, and police had difficulty finding him. After all, he was a master at hiding from people. At the time, he was considered 'armed and dangerous,' alerting the community. Since he had a history of targeting families, no one in the area was safe. Police had to find him quickly to keep everyone safe. Once they saw him, they knew he had to be put behind bars.
Daniel isn't the only one to hide in walls
Police eventually were able to hunt Daniel down. Prosecutors successfully proved the case, and Daniel would be serving much more time this time. He was given three life sentences, one for each person he killed. In prison, he reportedly took up Wicca (a modern pagan and earth-centered religion). At least in prison, he could not hide in walls or harm anyone else. However, this hasn't been the only time a man chose to live in a family's walls.
A more recent instance is even more chilling. It proves that it can happen to anyone. Grady Hendrix spoke out about his own experience on Twitter. Some people doubt his story because he is a known horror writer, but others felt it was too real to be a lie. Either way, the following story is even more horrifying...
He thought he was alone
"Everyone's telling scary stories for Halloween, so I'll talk about something that happened to me when I was a kid because trauma never gets old," he wrote. Grady explained how, as a child, he did something we all do. He'd sneak downstairs at night and get snacks in secret. "I could make a peanut butter, Cheez Whiz, and mayo sandwich."
Grady was strategic; he didn't want to be caught. So, he was cautious about leaving everything just as it was so his family wouldn't notice the next day. It was a great plan and worked for a long time. He learned how to navigate the house in pitch-black darkness without being detected. All alone in blackness, he executed his heist... until he wasn't alone.
He came face-to-face with a man
One particular night, Grady was super excited to snack on some leftovers. He had his plan ready to go, and when night came, he got out of bed and went downstairs. "All of a sudden, I heard a fork click on the counter," he wrote. As a child, his first concern would be that he's been caught and his little secret was over.
However, he noticed that it wasn't a member of his family standing there, but rather a strange man. Thankfully, Grady had been so diligently quiet and careful that the man did not notice. He could slip away back up the stairs, where he alerted his mother and father. Waking them up turned out to be a huge mistake.
His parents accidentally scared off the man
On the one hand, the noisy nature of his parents scared off the mystery man. On the other, he fled, and Grady's parents didn't take him seriously. He was forced into paranoia, keeping meticulous tabs on where items were left every night. To live on defense, Grady even kept a knife under his pillow at night.
"I must've stabbed myself in the hand 1000 times checking to make sure it was there," he wrote. "Then, in August, I was in my room reading when I looked up. There's an A/C vent over my bed. Behind the vent, a pair of eyes were watching me." He made his parents check all over the house, which they found annoying and cumbersome.
A terrible smell filled the home
He didn't see the man again, and his parents were likely just glad to put the whole thing to rest. That is, until the summer heat crept through the household, carrying an awful stench. Grady thought rice had fallen out of the vent and onto his bed, but after further inspection, it turned out to be maggots.
Grady's family called the professionals to look, and they decided that an animal had likely crawled into the vents and died. They had to get into old crawl spaces and ducts to look. They found the man's body inside. That's right; a whole body had been left within the walls to rot and wither away. Grady also shared just how long the man had lasted living there.
The man had been up to something insidious
The man was discovered in August, but Grady is confident that he must have lived there since at least May. They also found another chilling detail. The man's eyes peering out at Grady from the vent wasn't some one-off experience. As they went through his things, they found that he had a mat directly above where Grady slept at night. He would likely watch Grady sleep often and had the pad for comfort.
"The police said he'd made lots of 'drawings,' but when I asked, they pretended they hadn't said anything," Grady admitted. Whatever those drawings were, they did not want him to know. Police had to get to work to figure out who this creepy man was.
A woman in South Carolina had a very similar story
The worst part is that the police failed to identify him. As far as Grady knows, the man is still a John Doe, which means not much is known about why or how he was in the walls. Grady can only assume he had been living there and eating the family's food at night. Now, Grady is left with absolute horror every day.
While this story's truth indeed calls for a bit of speculation, there are other genuine stories of similar occurrences. A South Carolina woman had a terrifying experience when, one day, nails started popping out of her ceiling. She heard a large thump, adding to the terror and suspense. Since it was out of the blue, Tracy wasn't ready for what would come next.
She initially thought the house was haunted
"There was some poltergeist stuff going on," Tracy told the Charlotte Observer. The truth of the situation was much, much worse. After the nails started popping from the ceiling, she found out who was on the other side. "[My sons and nephew] found a man. He had packed all the old coats and jackets into the heating unit and was sleeping in the heating unit," Tracy told WCNC.
Her ex-boyfriend of 12 years had been hiding away in Tracy's home. He had been imprisoned prior and was writing letters to her from prison. Of course, Tracy received them, and it put her in a very uncomfortable position. Their relationship was over, but were these letters persuasive enough to win her back?
It turned out to be her ex-boyfriend
No. At no point in the 12 years had Tracy considered getting back together with her ex. Now, all those years later, he was hiding in the walls of her very own home. It gets even worse. Much like Grady, her ex-boyfriend had figured out that the vents were the perfect place to live and spy.
He had figured out how to rig them so that he could watch Tracy at night. "It's got me flabbergasted," Tracy told the Charlotte Observer. "How can you look at someone through an air vent?" He had gotten into the vent through an internal door. Her ex had to maneuver through a connector between her and her children's rooms. What he did up there, though, was truly disgusting.
He was defecating in the vent
Several "Route 44" Sonic cups were in his little hideout. They were filled to the brim with urine and feces, according to the Local 8 News, meaning her ex wasn't even leaving his lookout for bathroom breaks. The worst part is that Tracy's ex got away. Rather than the police being able to track him down, he, at least initially, escaped.
All of these stories of people living in your home indeed leave goosebumps. They make us question our own houses and how truly safe we are. After all, what might we bump into in the middle of the night? Maybe those feelings of being watched sometimes deserve a little more attention than we give them.