Top 10 People Who Secretly Lived In Someone Else's Home



Top 10 People Who Secretly Lived In Someone Else's Home

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
These people took squatting to a whole new level. For this list, we're only looking at verified, true stories of people who found themselves living with a secret stranger. Our countdown includes Stanley Carter, Theodore Edward Coneys, Tatsuko Horikawa, and more!

Top 10 Stories of People Secretly Living in Other People’s Homes

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 stories of people secretly living in other people’s homes.

For this list, we’re only looking at verified, true stories of people who found themselves living with a secret stranger.

Let us know in the comments which one will leave you searching your house for hiding spots.

#10: Velma Kellen’s Squatter

73-year-old Velma Kellen spent a few months one Washington winter wondering why the front of her house was so cold. The problem was so bad that Kellen actually replaced her furnace to keep her home toasty over Christmas, but it remained chilly. Stranger still... the building was mysteriously starting to smell of marijuana. When a repairman came to take a look at the furnace, he had a shocking revelation: underneath the house, one of the heating ducts had been completely cut, so that a squatter could redirect the heat down there. Scarily, this squatter was never found; the only things left in the crawlspace were empty beer cans and liquor bottles.

#9: Jimmy’s Friend

In 2016, Seattle resident Davis Wahlman noticed strange things happening in his home. Namely, lights had been switched on and things were out of place. We know what you’re thinking—ghosts! But there was no supernatural force at work; Wahlman eventually investigated his attic and found a woman hiding in a locked room up there, who claimed that “Jimmy” told her she could stay and that she’d been there for a couple of days already. In fact, she went so far as to claim that it was her house. Despite Wahlman’s attempts to keep her there, the squatter got away, fleeing the house before the cops arrived.

#8: Stanley Carter

Christmas is a time for giving. But you’re meant to give to other people, not to steal from them and give to yourself. This Grinch made the news in Pennsylvania in 2008 when he was found hiding in a family’s attic in a house in Wilkes-Barre. During his ten day stay, 21 year old Stanley Carter had stolen clothes, cash, an iPod, and a laptop. He’d even written up a list of the “gifts” he’d given himself, labelled “Stanley's Christmas List”. Carter was arrested and eventually pled guilty to burglary and trespassing, landing himself twenty-three months in prison. He also apologized to the family.

#7: Tyggra Shepherd

When Katherine Lang returned to her South Carolina home after a vacation, nothing could have prepared her for the surprise that she discovered upon her return. A woman named Tyggra Shepherd and her entire family – pets included – had set up shop. But this wasn’t a case of Shepherd breaking in; she was actually the victim of a Facebook scam advertising Lang’s house as a legitimate rental property. Invited to move in while Lang was away, she even signed a fraudulent lease and wired over $1,150. While it was certainly inconvenient for Lang, Shepherd lost money and needed to find a new place to live.

#6: Jeremy

These Ohio State University students got more than they bargained for when they moved into an off-campus house together. The residents frequently noticed odd occurrences, such as drawers left open, lights left on, and strange noises from behind a locked door in the basement. They eventually contacted the landlord and police, who managed to get the door open, revealing an entire bedroom. Weirder yet, the mysterious tenant had actually met some of the students in the house, saying his name was Jeremy. They just assumed he was a friend visiting another roommate. Jeremy was evicted and nobody was hurt, but this story is still pretty creepy.

#5: Anthony Jones

Down-and-out with nowhere else to go, 60-year-old homeless man Anthony Jones moved into the attic of a woman in Arlington, Virginia in 2017. She initially thought the sounds coming from the attic might be the local wildlife or even her landlord using the space as storage, but after calling the police, Jones and his belongings were found up there. Though he was arrested peacefully, he didn’t offer any explanation to the cops about how long he’d been there. Whether he posed any kind of danger to the house’s tenant is unclear. Either way, she’s likely sleeping a little easier now.

#4: Andrew Swofford

Another incident involving off-campus student housing, this story occured in 2019 near the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. When clothes went missing and ominous handprints started appearing on mirrors and walls, the roommates thought that their home might be haunted. A strange noise led one student, Maddie, to believe that the ghost might be in her closet - but it wasn’t a ghost at all. It was a 30 year old man named Andrew Swofford who was wearing Maddie’s clothes. She immediately called for help. Swofford was arrested and hit with a bevy of charges. This was actually the second time within a few months that the students had found men inside their home.

#3: Carlo Castellanos-Feria

Back in 2005, physical therapy director Michelle Fredenberg-Onion was stalked by a valet at the hospital she worked at, a man named Carlo Castellanos-Feria. He claimed in court that he was “in love” with her, which was why he stole and copied her keys and then followed her home and hid underneath her bed. Castellanos-Feria was there, under the bed, for two nights, while a video camera that he’d hidden in the room filmed Fredenburg-Onion and her partner. The latter eventually discovered the intruder and he was taken away by the cops, who found latex gloves and condoms in his things. The story was so dramatic it actually inspired a Lifetime movie.

#2: Theodore Edward Coneys

He may have been nicknamed “The Denver Spiderman”, but he was far from the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man we all know and love. In late 1941, homeless man Theodore Edward Coneys broke into the house of former acquaintance Philip Peters. Finding a narrow trapdoor to an attic cubbyhole, Coneys made himself at home. It wasn’t until five weeks later that Peters caught Coneys, pilfering food from the fridge. In the ensuing scuffle, Coneys killed Peters, then hid in his cubbyhole while police searched the house. He continued to live there for a further nine months - unbeknownst to Peters’ wife and housekeeper, who became convinced that the house was haunted. When Peters was finally caught, police compared his cubbyhole to a spider’s home - hence the nickname.

#1: Tatsuko Horikawa

Discovering that someone has secretly been living in your home for a few days is unnerving—but what if they did it for an entire year? That’s what happened to one man in the town of Kasuya, Japan. Growing tired of food mysteriously disappearing from his house, he set up a camera to catch the culprit. It turned out the thief was a 58-year-old homeless woman named Tatsuko Horikawa, who’d been hiding on the top shelf of his closet on and off for about a year. Police said the woman was clean and polite enough and just hadn’t been able to find a place to live; she’d even moved a mattress into the closet.