A man has been busted living in an attic above the bedroom of a 14-year-old girl, allegedly only coming down at night to visit the teen.
Police were forced to physically remove Matthew Casto, 18, from the home in Mt Juliet in the US state of Tennessee after he refused to leave.
Investigators say Mr Casto had been living in the attic “for some time”. He allegedly accessed the hidden room via a hatch inside the girl’s wardrobe and would visit her at night after she locked her bedroom door.
The teen’s mother raised the alarm after she arrived home to find a “creepy” man standing at the top of the staircase.
Police will allege Mr Casto immediately bolted to the daughter’s bedroom and up into the attic, refusing to come out despite the mother’s screams for him to leave her property.
“Casto refused to exit the attic space despite police commands, so they entered the confined space and removed him by force,” a Mt Juliet Police spokesman said, according to ScoopNashville.com.
He was charged with one count of aggravated criminal trespass and warned to have no further contact with the child.
Stories of strangers hiding in people’s attics may sound like the stuff of urban legend, but such reports are common all over the world.
In 2008, a man found a strange woman sleeping in an unused cupboard in his home in Fukuoka, southern Japan, after setting up a secret camera when food kept mysterious disappearing from his kitchen.
In 2012, a woman in the US state of South Carolina discovered her ex-boyfriend living in her attic more than 12 years after they broke up.
In February this year, a North Carolina college student, who feared a ghost was haunting her digs after objects started disappearing and hand prints appeared on the walls, came home to find the real culprit, a homeless man, wearing her clothes.