Woman who'd been secretly living in NYC apartment captured on hidden camera


174 Responses to “Woman who'd been secretly living in NYC apartment captured on hidden camera”

  1. kitschnbeautician says:

    but I saw it on Boing Boing, so it must be true!?

  2. Idle Tuesday says:

    I hope BB (Boing Boing) hasn’t been bb’ed (balloon boyed).

  3. hancocks says:

    You know what? It was really fun. I found myself taking frame grabs of the hidey-hole frame from the beginning and the end to compare them and see if the camera had been slightly moved in between (I don’t think so). I watched it repeatedly – it was pretty fascinating.
    I think most of the commenters nailed it — fake-O, with a capital “O”. Lots of clues, pretty much covered.
    Why emerge from your hidey-hole so soon after Bruno goes to bed? Risky as heck.
    As repeatedly pointed out, silent as a mouse (and athletic!) – followed by banging around like a kid in a pots-and-pans store. Dunno about the rest of you, but unless the guy is stone deaf…I would have come flying out of the bedroom with a bat and hit the lightswitch. Let’s also assume (possibly erroneously) 8-foot ceilings. The “crawlspace” looks at LEAST 24″ high (she seems to be curled up in it), so…the bottom of it is roughly six feet high. I.E., eye-level to Mr. Clueless. How would you NEVER see this, if she was there for “a few weeks”.
    Find woman, call cops from bedroom, answer door, point to freaky stranger, all on film. I wonder if he didn’t want to budget for a couple of cop uniforms? Now THAT would have been the next great step…I would have been even more impressed. And THEN, she gets wild, and they have to truncheon her, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA! And a Tasering!!! I mean, the possibilities…
    Instead, a flippant fake, fake sink-peeing, comment about “weird chick” watching TV right on, lousy fake commentary up front..
    BUT — see? It was SO MUCH FUN!



  4. Anonymous says:

    Ceiling creeper is watching you masturbate.

  5. Anonymous says:


    damn you, I thought I’d be the first with the “Bad Ronald” connection.

  6. baronsamedi says:

    3-Iron by Kim Ki-duk.

  7. Dave Faris says:

    Curious that nothing shows up in Google News (search words: “woman hiding apartment new york november”) about it. The New York Post and the Daily News would have been ALL over this story if it were real.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Creepy, if true, which looks somewhat unlikely.

    But creepier still is his opening line: “I confronted my girlfriend, who lives with me, about it.”

    I too live with a girlfriend. We don’t “confront” each other about who’s eating what. Dude, she’s not your college roommate.

  9. markbellis says:

    He did a nice job of combing his hair before going to the kitchen for a midnight snack!

  10. Bazilisk says:

    This totally fooled me. This fact makes me want to develop a digital version of agent orange that does not harm real plants, but instead destroys astroturf.

  11. MarkM says:

    Yes its fake.
    Now we’ve got that out of the way:
    Anyone else get a “Alien” vibe? When Ripley thinks she’s
    safe and sound in the escape pod, and a previously innocuous
    area of the ship comes alive with the limbs and tail of the
    alien creature? Uh, well, that’s what I was referencing when
    the fake-homeless woman comes out of her fake-hidey hole.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why I think it’s fake: isn’t the light on the camera on the entire time? I think this because there is kind of a halo of light in the middle of the shot, like what a flashlight would create. Also it is shining right in his face as he’s setting it up.

    • Veldcath says:

      @#139… I’ve seen that effect several times before – on my inexpensive DVCam. It’s an Infrared light that is used in conjunction with the “nightvision” feature of the camera to brighten up the image without it being visible to the naked eye. I’ve used that very feature to shoot video in my local zoo’s “kingdom of the night” exhibit rather than turning on the white light that the camera also has.

      Not that I’m saying this is real, but that’s definitely not a compelling reason to say it’s fake. Likewise, the ability to see her early on – the camera is pretty obviously in “nightvision” mode, which means he’s setting it up there in relative darkness.

      There are plenty of other reasons (and valid ones, to boot) to cite about why it seems to be fake.

  13. curlybusines says:

    This video is just a rip off a story happened in Tokyo.
    A 58 homeless woman lived in a man’s apartment undetected in a closet for a year: Here is a link to the newspaper story: http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/woman-arrested-for-living-in-closet-in-fukuoka

    • octopod says:

      y, but it was cheap to make, got coverage on high traffic blogs, 147 comments isn’t bad compared to the more blatant plz-buy-my-ebook spam. ppl had fun being sherlock holmes for a day. presumably cost nothing to run compared to placing an ad, tho there’s no mention of submitter.

  14. elk says:

    It used to be that a sucker was born every minute. Now thanks to the internet, I think it’s more like every 1.4 seconds.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This really happened in _Japan_ last year, and there was a real video. This video seems to be set up as an imitation of the Japanese video, right up to the camera angle.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I guess this is why you should never drink from the carton…

  17. Anonymous says:

    fake. a [partially successful] attempt at viral. the guy’s an actor: check out his microexpressions.

    - @netwurker

  18. zikman says:

    oh my god that is terrifying

  19. Anonymous says:

    If this is real, then there will be an entry for the incident in the police blotter for that day.

    I would like to see this.

    Some police departments publish these reports in their Web sites, while others release them to local newspapers for print. Do we have either option in this case? Names/dates/police officer(s) responding to the scene? This information would do a lot to ease concerns that this is a mere marketing gag.

    And how convenient, that the camera catches her on a night that he happens to get up for some snacks. A handy bit of dramatic tension.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Paranormal activity! That is so creepy!

  21. Anonymous says:

    It’s fake. Don’t take your eye off the cubby space in the upper right, from the start of the video. You can see the “creeper” moving around and getting set up.

  22. Anonymous says:

    “Woman who’d been secretly living in NYC camera captured on hidden camera”

    Must’ve been a tiny tiny woman?

  23. IHearAngelicVoices says:

    In college back in the late 60′s, I lived in a “commune” house in Philadelphia, where we often had hangers-on. One evening we were having dinner and a guy we had ejected the week before came DOWN the stairs from the second floor. It turns out he had snuck back in and had lived in our crawlspace attic for a week, living on “borrowed” food from our kitchen.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps a room-sized camera obscura by which the clandestine squatter was routinely captured “secretly,” I thought, and what a sweet irony it would be. A more mundane reality on reading, not nearly as fantastic: one too many cameras in the post title: “NYC camera” to “NYC apartment.”

    Totally unrelated: why has the bOING removed outline from focused links? Very inaccessible. Tabbing through the page with no idea where I am – sad, even a bit mean. Not everyone’s a mouser.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Struck me as the inverse of “Being John Malcovich.”

  26. Snig says:

    Gigantism among Borrowers is a distressing situation that disrupts the fragile ecosystem normally comprised of Borrower’s and host Human Beans.

    Yes, heeby jeebies.

    Creepier still is that if she had cohabitated with him long enough, they’d be in a common-law marriage. Awkward.

  27. SKR says:

    Oh dear god they just teased this on my local news. Please please please let them not think it is real.

  28. JoshuaTerrell says:

    Gives the term “home invasion” a whole new meaning. She even set up a camp.

  29. Talia says:

    Heh, reminds me of “Paranormal Activity.”

    I do feel a bit sorry for the woman, though. This to me smacks strongly of mental illness and desperation. If she’d needed to escape, she could have through the door while he was asleep, don’t you think.. thus its suggested she needed the shelter more.

    Poor woman. I hope she gets some help.

  30. Anonymous says:

    What I’m wondering is why, when he’s stumbling around, half asleep, he takes the time to get a glass and pour himself a drink, but when he swaggers through in the morning, all rested and awake, he just swigs straight from the container? Wouldn’t it be more likely to be the other way around?

    And, can he actually see her peeing in the sink? Couldn’t she just have been running water in the sink (which would make sense, since she had an empty jug with her)?

  31. codeman38 says:

    Psst… you might want to proofread that headline. Either that’s a really big camera or a really small woman…

  32. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of the end of Quarantine.
    (funnily “roomate” is one of ReCAPTCHA words I needed to type in.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Come on, he’s got “acting eyes” at the start.

  34. stegodon says:

    i would have laced all of my food with acid and put some merzbow on repeat. let it work itself out. in all seriousness, she could have at least rinsed the sink after peeing in it, that’s just rude man

  35. mgfarrelly says:

    I saw this elsewhere and it gave me the shakes. If it is fake, well then, bravo for scaring me more than any movie I’ve seen in years.

    I grew up in the city and have lived in old apartment buildings my whole life. Many of which have been divided, joined, subdivided over and over again. Walls creak and moan, weird little doors and cubby holes abound in pre-war buildings. My current place has a hidden closet behind a bookshelf, it’s about half the reason I rented this place.

    So yeah, this scares the holy hell out of me on a cellular level.

  36. Inkstain says:

    The link has been BoingBoinged, so I can’t read the whole story.

    Am I the only one who wonders if this might be a fake?

    • dwdyer says:

      I think it’s plausible (even though, the idea of someone in a small apartment turning on the TV, etc., risking making noise and waking someone is supicious) but the “next morning” part is what really makes me wonder.

      It’s just too much like a punch line that he drinks from the carton in the morning, then heads off, then turns around to shut off the camera.

      And why have the camera recording when you’re putting the camera up, unless you want your viewers to see you putting up the camera.

      And, there’s no grate over that crawl space? Nothing?

  37. jjasper says:

    It would have been a much better hoax if the bit about the girlfriend was left out. Never overcomplicate a lie.

    Also, those sort of upper cubby spaces are common in older NYC apartments. It’s not a crawlspace. You can see the one above his food cupboard filled with what looks like books.

  38. Anonymous says:

    She is very limber. Perhaps she spends the money she saves on food at yoga classes.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Viral video made by Naked Apartments, which they are currently bragging about on their twitter and facebook.

  40. Anonymous says:

    She can be seen moving around at the 18-28s mark while he is setting up the camera. His walking looks fake. She moves like she is being deliberately creepy. Is that a wig? Reddit says his girlfriend is the same height and build as the lady in the video. Most telling – the scribble scan noise when fast forwarding. Totally edited in for effect.

  41. Neverfox says:

    *cough* Bullshit! *cough* Please! I have some magic beans to sell all of you. BB reader discount.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Geez, this is like the Sonseed debacle all over again. Use some sense people.

    Why would a rental site advertise itself using this kind of video? Anybody who’s already paranoid about renting isn’t exactly going to feel encouraged…

    HOWEVER, if you look at the youtube page for this, the guy admits he’s a professional actor (he even has a Facebook fan page). This could easily be him trying to promote himself, whether the video is real or not. (He claims it is real)

  43. Anonymous says:

    It’s a fake. you can see her in the corner when he first sets up the camera. She would’ve known it was there. Also, when she climbs back up, she doesn’t have the jug she came down with. If she was really living there for weeks she would’ve been smarter than that.

  44. davedorr9 says:

    I call shenanigans. You can see her at 00:20- 00:25.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to bust bubbles for everyone who’s saying they see her moving….it’s the camera light adjusting because he keeps throwing off it’s night vision by setting it up. Also, to whoever said it was stupid to turn the camera on while setting it up…how else are you supposed to turn it on? We don’t know if it was on a shelf or a bookcase with no way to get at the power button once it’s up there.
      Do I think this is real? not really but stranger things have happened. You’re like the people who scream “photoshopped” without any real proof…geeze…

  45. RioMcT says:

    Notice how you can see movement in the top right corner right when he sets up the camera, that makes me doubtful of how real this is.

  46. Razzabeth says:

    Terrifying? You find that thin little stick of a person terrifying? Psh. She is on the bottom end of creepy stuff that could happen in an apartment. Try having a 6″7, 350 rapist tip-toeing through your kitchen at night.

  47. blueelm says:

    No there’s just no way this is real. She’s sitting right there in the cubbyhole when he’s setting up the camera. I doubt she’d come down that night unless she’s just completely out of it in which case it’s hard to believe she’d manage to go undetected. She crawls back up in the cubbyhole but doesn’t seem to be in there during the day… so either there would be footage of her crawling back down during the night that he didn’t think was worth keeping, or she wasn’t up there for that shot.

    and he conveniently doesn’t include the day.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Right at the beginning at 0:04 his nose flares a bit. I think he is lying.

  49. MelSkunk says:

    Yeah call me suspicious too. If I was wondering where my stuff was going to I would have left the camera on in the DAY, not the night. Because the daytime, when I’m at work, is when I’d assume people might be in my apartment. And that it happens to point right at the nice crawlspace? With, as people noted, no covering over it?

  50. Rossy says:

    Meh… I (also) find it fishy that:

    A.) You can see her up there plain as day in the beginning when he is standing right there putting up the camera.

    B.) She goes right back to loudly foraging not even like three seconds after he goes back into his room (after coming out for a midnight drink). I find it hard to believe that anyone, even a crazy starving lady, would do anything but panic and quickly but quietly get the H out after someone came out and totally almost busted them by a mere second or two.

  51. jessemoya says:

    Aw, man! I had a really great wisecrack about a woman in a camera. Now that you’ve fixed the headline it won’t make a lick of sense. Phooey.

  52. MitchSchaft says:

    Where’s her poop?

  53. rikaru says:

    Doesn’t matter if it’s fake or not, it’s wicked scary! Just the idea of it creeps me out.

  54. Bucket says:

    This raises the important question: What happens if you trick Samara into watching her own ring video? Does she kill herself?

  55. sidereal says:

    Come on. Faker than Milli Vanilli.

    One, the guy’s a bad actor and his overly earnest demeanor at the beginning and the weird swagger he has when he walks in the kitchen are way too self-conscious. Needs to work on his Stanislavski system.

    Two, he didn’t smell urine in his sink when he walked over there? I can smell urine in a stairwell three floors away.

    Three, the bit where he walks in and drinks the same milk while she hides is too cute. It’s practically Marx brothers.

    Four, what are the chances you have some absurdly high table conveniently placed under the hole? Who puts a table between a stairwell and a pantry?

    Five, did you know the word gullible isn’t in the dictionary?

    Six, your anonymous comment captcha is busted.

  56. jxeat says:

    Yes. Fake fake fake. A weak effort I must say, as all they had to do was to get the girl out of the frame while he was staging the camera scene.

    Disappointing that this sort of weak stuff makes it to the precious pages of BB and that so many posters seem to go for it. Viral marketing only works as long as there are susceptible hosts to infect.

    BB needs a better immune system!

  57. jaytkay says:


    He and/or she will be on Good Morning America next week, begging for a book/movie deal.

  58. Anonymous says:

    hello, it was on NPR. it’s real.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I’m calling BS, too. Besides, what’s wrong with pissing in the sink? Uhm, “Hello?” It’s the perfect height?!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Stupid and fake.

    It’s obviously a small apt because of the size of the kitchen, he’d hear a mouse in there, let alone her milling about the pantry and watching tv.

  61. Anonymous says:

    seven, his youtube account has only this video. Shenanigans has been called, emailed, and IMed.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Hey, guys, if this was planned, don’t you think he’d make sure she was out of the video when he was setting up the camera?

  63. Anonymous says:

    It seems like most of the people commenting here are trying to make themselves feel smarter by picking everything apart. Realizing that it’s fake only takes away the entertainment if you persist in such a way. I thought it was fun.

  64. Pasketti says:

    I managed to get the linked story to load. Here’s the text:

    #1 – Are you sh#ting me?
    A – No, this is every bit as real and messed up as it seems

    #2 – What did you do when you saw the footage?
    A – I immediately left my apartment and called the police.

    #3 – Who is that girl?
    A – I have no idea, she didn’t say much when the cops came and took her.

    #4 – What was it she actually climbed down from?
    A – It is a storage loft/area in the apartment. It has no connection to any outside ventilation or anything of that such. It does go pretty deep back in there, almost all the way to over the stove/kitchen area. She had set up a little nook for herself.

    #5 – How did she get in there?
    A – I have no idea, the only way she could have gotten in is through the window, as I am on the top floor and there is a fire escape. The police think she was probably coming in to rob me when I was gone and decided to stow away in the crawl space. Supposedly this isn’t the first time the cops had come across something like this.

    #6 – How long was she in your apartment?
    A – The police officers thought it looked as though she had been there for at least a couple weeks, although could have been longer.

  65. Anonymous says:

    That’s chilling in a home invasion sense, but in a comedic sense that hobo’s a crafty motherfucker and if it was that or street i know what i’d pick.

  66. cosmorphis says:

    1. Why does he have a big, visible hole in his apartment to begin with?
    2. Why take all the time to even make this video, with cuts and fades and text?

  67. Anonymous says:

    It reminds me “Niea under 7″.

  68. Canadian says:

    How to prove this fake in two words: Everybody poops.

  69. Anonymous says:

    why would you be so pissed that your girlfriend eats?
    and to be so bothered by it that you set up a hidden camera to catch her doing it?!

  70. Mitch says:

    It reminds me of the 1974 movie Bad Ronald, where the kid’s mom hides him in a secret room after he accidentally kills his girlfriend, and then she dies in the hospital and a new family moves in.

    • cua curie says:

      @34 I have had nightmares about that movie for years. I was 4 years old when I saw it and it is the first thing I remember seeing on TV. My mother was taking a nap and I watched it on an old black and white TV by myself.

      I had no idea what it was called till I read your comment.

    • dbarak says:

      Oh, Bad Ronald! I hadn’t thought of that movie in 30+ years! It was a bit freaky.

  71. coaxial says:

    Of all the reasons to think this is fake (The movement in the “hiding place” at the beginning, and somehow missing the smell of urine.) I think the most telling is that the only mention of this story is this youtube video. In a world, where bears falling out of trees, and balloons supposably taking kids up into the air, gets wall-to-wall coverage, I find it suspicious that there’s googling “homeless woman apartment new york” returns nothing except this video.

  72. blueelm says:

    I just watched a movie about this. I wonder if these people saw the same film. It was almost a good movie and I can’t recall the name of it, but this guy took to living secretly in the home of a paralyzed woman.

  73. Jeff says:


    It’s spelled “story.”

  74. Anonymous says:

    I call BS on this one, too. Obviously this guy read about this happening in Japan a couple of years ago. If this were real, he would have posted the footage of the police coming.

    Also, how stupid would you have to be to admit to your girlfriend that you set up a camera to catch her lying? lulwut?

    • LostCatSoda says:

      Very likely a fake, yes. This was reported in Japan a couple years ago – I believe there was a video of that – however that was real.

  75. Avram / Moderator says:

    He posted the video on Nov 7, over a month ago. I just checked Google News for stories about a woman hiding in a New York apartment, and didn’t see it. I think, if this were real, and the police involved, that it would have turned up in the news.

  76. Snig says:

    Maybe it’s actually her apartment and this creepy guy came in at night, filmed her practicing her wall climbing and nonchalantly peeing in her sink as is her right, and then the bastard helped himself to some snacks.

  77. Anonymous says:

    hmmm, i wonder how the girlfriend will appreciate this trust issue…

  78. misterjuju says:

    I can’t say for sure that its real or fake, but mental illness can explain a lot of her behavior, such as not trying all that hard to hide, and coming right back out after he leaves the room in the middle of the night. Maybe she hopes she’ll get caught and go to jail or a mental institution where she can piss in a real toilet and sleep in a bed…its cold outside in NYC.
    The other thing, about how you can see her moving around in the dark space–if you look at other dark areas in the video, such as over the sink, you can see the same kind of movement. I think its video noise or digital artifacts that looks like movement.
    Like I said, I’m not ready to say true or b.s. yet, but don’t call b.s. just because you can see movement, or because this (obviously desperate, probably sick) woman doesn’t do what a normal person would do in this situation.

  79. Avram / Moderator says:

    I didn’t see her moving around at the beginning when I watched the video at normal quality, but blown up to full-screen and high-quality, yeah, you can totally see her.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Completely and obviously fake. The camera is set up ‘perfectly’ to catch her every action, and she stays in frame the entire time? Nonsense. The early movement was mentioned as well, and wow what a coincidence she drinks out of the same milk carton he does for added grossness! Wow he conveniently comes into frame causing a close call with the creeper…. and look he’s rubbing his eyes like he just woke up! Give me a break.

  81. Anonymous says:

    In Soviet Russia, apartment secretly lives inside woman…

  82. ralphthemagician says:


  83. dbarak says:

    Oh yeah, did anyone notice that she was WATCHING TV at one point? She’s sitting in the lower left corner and you can see not only light flickering on her from the TV screen, but you can even see the infrared signal from the TV’s remote (because of the night vision camera).

  84. Anonymous says:

    Holy crap. What was the upshot from this? How did she get in in the first place? Who the heel was she?

  85. Anonymous says:

    She’d been living there for weeks, yet she took only food instead of money or other valuables. Obviously she was a hungry homeless woman who needed help. I wonder if she got it after she was caught here…

  86. caipirina says:

    Paranormal Activity 2: Return of the creeper …

    I too call it fake (albeit a cute little afternoon project, at least doing something creative):

    - if you have ever lived in a tiny Manhattan apartment, and you have this kind of crawl space, then either a) it is packed to the rafters or b) you would sublet it (true story, friend of mine did that)

    - what’s with editing the ‘next morning’ part at the end … no real point … instead, i would have, after reviewing the material, set up the cam again and filmed ‘the confrontation’ … or at least something like ‘by the way, i know you are there, i called the cops’ and the leave the apt.

    As to what many wonder about the poop issue, if this story was real, one could imagine that she used the fascilities during the day when the guy was out of the house, probably even using the shower, otherwise her BO would have become an issue.

    Well, let’s wait when this will turn into a full length movie and make lots of mula at the Box Office.

  87. fnc says:

    Perhaps she was raised by ceiling cats.

  88. SKR says:

    There was also an artist in NY that was breaking into apartments and living in them. She documented everything with photographs. This seems staged.

  89. azaner says:

    The chin-up bar hung immediately below the crawlspace is the big giveaway that this is fake. Note that without it, she can’t get in or out. A little bit too convenient, if you ask me.

  90. Anonymous says:

    so obviously fake …

    1) the guy’s delivery: way too “actor-like” in his setup

    2) you can see the woman moving in the top cubby hole area as he’s setting up the camera; she’s just waiting for him to move away so “capturing” her may begin

    3) the way it’s all put together just smacks of a tv show trying to do something viral

    4) i can’t believe i even watched this long enough to analyze and then post this comment. i must have better things to do, right? ;-)

  91. Anonymous says:

    most important thing how did she get in
    and why had he not covered it

  92. Anonymous says:

    okay, we get it. we don’t need 200 people calling this a fake because of the same damn reason. don’t overanalyse it you bunch of morons.it’s a youtube video, who gives a shit if it’s fake? does it make any of your lives any better to point out the shortcomings of others?

  93. Anonymous says:

    It kinda reminds me of The Sims. :)

  94. Anonymous says:

    I remember at the church my parents attend there was a family discovered living beneath the stage in the gym.

  95. Bonnie says:

    fake…and it’s a viral campaign for an apt rental company…which begs the question — why would this make me want to rent an apt?

  96. Anonymous says:

    you can see the woman’s arm in the storage thing at 20 seconds, when he is “setting up the security cam.” Creative and creepy viral video… but that specific detail could lead one to believe it’s staged…

  97. Anonymous says:

    If it was real, my question would be: what kind of asshole spycams on his girlfriend to catch her ‘stealing’ food?

  98. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad this is fake. That means the guy isn’t quite a jerk. Confronting his girlfriend about “stealing his food”? I won’t say what that is because of Boing Boing’s niceness policy. I agree that the movements while he’s setting up and the anxiety moments when the lady miraculously disappears and the dude shuffles out to drink some milk say this is not on the up and up.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Who drinks milk after jogging?

  100. slgalt says:

    I realized it was fake from the moment the guy is talking at the beginning before the hidden video. And everyone should have certainly known by the time the promenent drinking out of the milk carton shot/cut to him pouring milk shot.

  101. ChrisG_nyc says:

    When I was in Jr. High, there was a family who had something very similar happen.

    Part of our school district had a neighborhood that was still under development. A lot of big suburban McMansions being built up. A family moved into one, two sons went to my school and they had an older sister in high school. The sister had a door to an attic staircase in her bedroom. In the first year they were living in the house she heard a crunching sound in the night. She thought it was mice, and opened the attic door and turned on the light. There was an old man sitting at the top of the attic stairs eating potato chips. She screamed, he screamed, and the family called the police. Turns out he was a homeless guy who police believe moved into the attic when the house was unoccupied and on the market. He built a trap door into a sealed up hollow wall space in the attic, giving himself a little crawl space. He also had his own exit through a vent where he could crawl out onto the roof.

    When the police searched the attic, he had slipped out through the vent and split. They never actually found him, but they found his little lair. It was filled with junk, and lots of garbage bags, drink and food containers and such.

  102. Anonymous says:

    Where did she do #2 ?
    (And why didn’t she pee in the same place.)

  103. JIMWICh says:

    Wow, c-reeeeee-py! There’s really only one song fit to be the soundtrack to this video – Peter Gabriel’s “Intruder”


  104. Anonymous says:

    Surprised no one has brought up the fact that she also theoretically has 40 hours a week to get out of her little cubbyhole and eat his food while he’s at work. Wouldn’t that make more sense than her trying to sneak around at night?

  105. Anonymous says:

    “Creepier still is that if she had cohabitated with him long enough, they’d be in a common-law marriage. Awkward.”

    Useless fact: there is no common-law marriage in NY.

  106. Anonymous says:

    He just got reverse-Anne-Frank’d!

  107. Anonymous says:

    I finally figured out boingboing readers.

    They are akin to a tourist in Rome, who instead of going to a nice restaurant or checking out a 350 year old bookstore, heads to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not and gets gum in their hair.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Fake, nicely done tho.

    He says he is video taping to see who is stealing his food. So why wan’t the video camera pointed at the fridge?? The fridge is barely seen on the left side.

    Plus look at the camera framing, the little cubby hole is exactly on the right side of the frame, perfectly set. If he were filming his fridge, the fridge would be the central focus of the shot.

  109. darlagirl88 says:

    This is soooo much a fake, cannot believe any website allow this to be posted. A true Fake, the camera work is kinda of cheap too.

  110. Anonymous says:

    This is so obviously fake. Forget all the people talking about her moving about in the video, in the “preamble” he clearly says “catch HER”. HOW would he know it was a woman?

  111. Anonymous says:

    Cory Doctorow? Interesting handle. E.L. Doctorow, the author, wrote a short story for The New Yorker (I think) a while back that was a modernized version of Hawthorne’s “Wakefield.” In E.L. Doctorow’s version, a middle-aged lawyer abandons his family and lives in the attic above his garage for an entire year, coming down only at night to scavenge and, occasionally, steal food from the fridge inside the house. The animalistic undertones were heavy throughout the story, as is this woman’s behavior here. I’m guessing the poster is a fan of Doctorow, has read the story, and was inspired to do his own film adaptation (loosely based, of course). And as Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project have shown us, it’s always scarier when people think it’s true. Next time maybe make sure “that’s not my girlfriend” isn’t visible in the setup shot.

  112. Anonymous says:

    What video camera can record continuously for 8 hours? This is so bullshit.

  113. Anonymous says:

    i’m sitting at my computer a couple of States away and this story scared the living daylights out of me!!!

    now i think leaving cameras on while we(all america) are away from our homes is a darn good idea. WHAT THE HELL…

  114. Anonymous says:

    The preamble is recorded afterwards. But you can clearly see someone in the space above the door as he’s setting up the camera, and yes, it’s a little too performed to be believable.

  115. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny that she runs to hide just off camera, right in front of the couch! Like she is standing next to the TV with a lampshade on her head. And he just happens to walk back and forth across his apartment while very carefully not looking in her direction. My six-year old is less transparent than that.

  116. rtresco says:

    This would have been a lot creepier if, when she crawled down, she just narrowly missed getting hit by TWO japanese super trains!

  117. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, when I set up a camera in my apt to make sure nobody’s snooping around, I like my camera angle to favor the wall and ceiling rather than the floor area. This is a very poorly made fake video. Oh and the guy is a terrible actor..That was the first clue.

  118. Anonymous says:

    so who did she turn out to be?
    where is the police report?
    why hasnt this made the evening news?

    having given it some thought, i need concrete proof that this was not faked… coupled with the other stuff, i now have doubts, so lets have some tangible proof, huh?

  119. Anonymous says:


  120. Anonymous says:

    I did read of a case not laong ago in Japan where something very much like this occured but it looks to me like the gentleman ruined his credibility by deciding to make an appearance.

    reCaptcha sez: ngame seymour

    ps: why the heck can’t i cut ‘n’ paste in your comment box?

  121. Anonymous says:

    its camera flare on the lens not movement you idiots

  122. Saint Fnordius says:

    #48, he suspects his girlfriend in the BB preamble.

    Let’s assume for a moment that it isn’t fake, just for the fun of it, and all the questions that have been begged:

    * how did the woman gain entry to the crawlspace? Did she crash a party, find the hidey hole and decide to stay? Was she perhaps an acquaintance of his girlfriend? Or is there another way in, perhaps via a “Jefferies tube” style maintenance shaft for the water and power?

    * was this planned or an accidental act? How long did she think she could live like this?

    * what condition was the crawlspace in after the woman had left?

    I can’t get to the article, since it’s been BoingBoing’ed, so maybe some of those questions have been answered. Besides, the chances that it’s in the vein of “balloon boy” really are high.

  123. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    Ok, while I’m 100% on the fake side..

    ..some of the reasons people are giving as definite-proof-of-a-fake are s t u p i d.

    He would definitely have..
    She would never have..
    Why didn’t he.. ?
    Why would she.. ?


  124. WalterBillington says:

    @48 he meant catch his girlfriend, on the presumption his useful of “her” is not a biological inaccuracy.

    This bad actor can’t even deliver his lines. He slurs, he slides, and has all the authenticity of a counterfeit Twinkie. When he comes out all “stretchy and yawny” after two hours, it’s a joke. “Aaaarrhh I’m soooo tired, but I’m reeeaaaallllyy hungry and neeed aaarhhhh *sigh* *yawn* to have a midnight snaaaaccccckkkkkk”

    The person is there when he sets up the camera. And I love the way she behaves so surreptitiously (sic?) when she first comes down – millimetre by millimetre movements, very slow and careful about moving the stool, but subsequently gives up and basically canters around the room pretending to eat. I’m surprised she doesn’t go to the toilet and flush three times.

    This does happen, is recorded, but it definitely didn’t happen here. This is some over-excited film student who’s meme-ing in the wake of Paranormal Activity, and convinced an idiot wannabe actress to sit in that crawlspace for 2 hours. Wanker.

    But wait – isn’t that a Palm Pixi on his table?

  125. Anonymous says:

    Actually this happened to my uncle, except it was a guy who lived in his attic. Periodically things would go missing from the house, I forget how they found out about it but yeah the guy got arrested.

  126. sterling says:

    They refer to it as their “viral” video on Twitter, I’m going to say fake.


    “We’re in Gothamist, well, our viral video is at least…”

    Still creepy though.

  127. Anonymous says:

    This was all too perfect. I’m not buying it — particularly with the way the homeowner set things up “i wanted to catch her”. Also the part about it being a video camera, and then he called the police when she was out foraging — mixed message between watching afterwards, but then using a cctv type setup? With all the stunts people are pulling to get on reality tv these days, i’m not buying it for a second.

  128. nerdler says:

    I think it’s an ad for this nakedapartments site. It was posted by their CEO.

  129. Marshall says:

    I think this video is totally faked, but I once experienced a sort of similar thing at an duplex I rented.

    I lived in this house that had been moved to build a new high school, and then converted into two separate apartments that were strangely divided. My side had a 2nd loft bedroom. In that weirdly shaped loft (Dreams in the Witch House, anyone?) there was a small access door to what I presumed was the attic crawlspace. It wouldn’t open and I didn’t have a key to the lock. It always creeped me out a little, like maybe my neighbors (who were kind of domestically violent and sketchy) could sneak into my place from the other side.

    Flash forward a few months. My doorbell rings, and this really ragged guy in his 40s is standing there, staring at me. He looks homeless or maybe like a tweaker. He says “I know this is going to sound crazy, but please don’t shut the door. I used to live here and I got arrested and have been in county and my stuff is in the upstairs bedroom.”

    I say “I sleep up there and the place is empty. They must have thrown out your stuff when you moved out.”

    He says “No, the other bedroom.”

    I immediately figure out what he’s talking about and I say “Through the tiny door? I don’t have a key and it’s locked.”

    He tells me he has a key, that it will only be a minute and that all he needs is his driver’s license which is in his backpack, and since I don’t find this guy particularly threatening, and because I’m beyond curious to see what’s on the other side of that door, I let him in. We go up to the bedroom, he opens the door with a key, and inside is a whole other bedroom, built out of plywood on top of the rafters over my neighbor’s apartment. There’s a TV, power, a bed, dresser, etc… It’s junk, but it’s livable. He grabs his backpack, shows me his driver’s license and leaves. I never saw him again.

    I locked the place back up, and as far as I know it’s still there, undisturbed.

    A few weeks later, a really trashy drunk/tweaker showed up at my house trying to dig her way into the crawlspace under the floor to “find a really valuable gold ring that she left there”. Under the house, there was a whole other world of someone’s former residence, but I chased her off, since I had already caught her trying to break into the place.

    It turns out that prior to my moving in, the whole house used to be a nest of junkies, who were living in every nook and cranny, until the Sheriffs finally evicted them.

  130. lennyd44 says:

    Nice viral marketing, whatever it is for.

  131. Anonymous says:

    #114 Mine can.

    Ok, I think we are all in agreement that this IS a fake. But I it still is pretty good.

    Next time – don’t have her be seen while you are setting up the camera. And after you “supposedly” get up in the night for a drink – do a little better about having her stand right off camera.

    But I do like this… I really do.

  132. Gotanda says:

    Plus, totally lifted from this 2008 news story:

    Homeless woman arrested for living in man’s closet undetected for a year


  133. lennyd44 says:

    It’s his girlfriend. That’s where she sleeps.

  134. batu b says:

    Fake, yes, but a funny idea. But it’s questionable from the very start. Why the hell would you care if your gf was eating food from the fridge in the apt. you cohabitate? Do many men treat their live-in gf’s like college dorm mates??

    • Anonymous says:

      its not that he cared that she ate his food..but the fact that she denied eating it. and if sheee’s not…eating…it…th-then..who.. who…is?

  135. napstimpy says:

    Tobias Fünke: What are you doing up here?
    George Sr.: I’m having a f*cking tea party, what does it look like I’m doing?
    [he shoves Tobias up against the wall with his hand against his mouth]
    George Sr.: I’m living up here and if you tell anyone about this, I will fucking kill you. Ah, stop licking my hand, you horse’s ass.

  136. Anonymous says:

    Our Radio Stations covered this story. According to police reports she snuck in through the fire escape with all intents of robbing them. The apartment was similar to one she had lived in as a child. she checked to see if they had the cubby, and they did, unused. She then changed her mind and “moved in” you know the rest

  137. Daemon says:

    You can see her moving around in the crawlspace around 25 seconds in.

  138. Anonymous says:

    The link there goes to an NYC apartment hunting site – total viral.

    I just don’t know what to think about viral videos to sell stuff – on the one hand, I want to smack the hypocrite for sullying entertainment with commerce. I feel lied to.

    On the other hand – creepy video! It’s a lie, sure, but so was Star Wars…

  139. planettom says:

    Fake or not, reminds me of, my uncle used to manage a shopping mall (long ago, before cameras were everywhere), and at one point merchants kept finding stuff from their stores missing. They dubbed him Phantom of the Mall. Caught him by having a security guard make rounds in his socks so the guy couldn’t hear him coming. Guy was living in a ceiling crawlspace with a cot, coming down into the stores at night to take clothes, food, etc.

    • blueelm says:

      Yeah, there was a kid in one of the places I used to live that got caught breaking into houses. He wasn’t stealing things like TVs and camera equipment though, he was homeless and was just staying in people’s homes eating their food and sleeping on their beds while they were gone. Freaky, but that does happen. Something about this still feels fishy though.

  140. Anonymous says:

    You guys are missing the biggest reason that it’s fake:

    She took great care to be quiet as a mouse when coming out.
    But after that: she carries on like it’s her place – banging doors, watching TV.

    If she really were living up there and didn’t want to be found, she’d drop off her waste in the sink, grab more food, and get back up there.

    Not to mention that if she truly had been living up there for “weeks”, she’d come down when he was at work?

  141. Anonymous says:

    That’s horrifying. But how did she get in there in the first place?

  142. 3lbFlax says:

    This would be a much better story if his suspicions had been raised by his Modern Warfare 2 kill/death ratio mysteriously dropping overnight.

  143. Lobster says:

    When she moves super-fast like that it scares me. She’s like that girl from The Ring.

    If she was peeing in the sink, where was she pooping?

  144. okiedokie says:

    Next week we’ll have video of her sneaking into a White House State dinner.

  145. Anonymous says:

    Got to be fake, why would she just not come down in the day and help herself to food whilst he is at work? And to sit and watch TV with him next door is seriously taking the pi$$. Also if he knew food was going missing and he got up in the middle of the night wouldnt you turn the light on and check if things had gone missing? And where was she hidding? behind the TV????

  146. Anonymous says:

    not real. but a really really clever fake. great idea for a video. it kinda makes no sense in a way but whatever. it was creepy. i wish it were real, though. that would be even creepier.

  147. Shithead says:

    The police (supposedly) were called. Police reports are public record. Perhaps this could be verified? On the other hand filing false police reports are a crime…

  148. Michael Leddy says:

    He decides to “confront” his girlfriend about “missing” food, and then sets up a camera because he doesn’t believe her? That ought to clear his apartment of women entirely.

    The whole thing though is fiction, I’d say.

  149. jeremyhogan says:

    The “Living With Strangers” phrogging gang faked this sort of thing much better. And it predated the Japanese incident.

    Day One, Part One:

  150. misterfricative says:

    This is why, when your dog starts barking at the closet or wherever, you should always check inside.

    Just in case.