What is phrogging? Signs you might have a stranger hiding in your floorboards

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Apr 17, 2024 at 01:26 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Remember that Korean movie Parasite where the rich family actually didn’t realise that their old housekeeper’s husband had been living in their basement for the past few years? Well, this is your reminder to check every nook and cranny in your house because ‘phrogging’ is very much a thing and there are literal guides for it online. Here’s everything you need to know about this disturbing concept.

What is phrogging?

In a nutshell, phrogging is the act of living in someone’s home without the owners or occupants knowing about it. The term derives from the word ‘frog’ because perpetrators often move from residence to residence like frogs jumping between lily pads.

The act came to greater public attention after the true crime documentary Phrogging: Hider in My House aired in July 2022. Even the phrase “hider in my house” gives me full-body chills.

Episode ten of the show is aptly called Stranger Danger with the description reading: “A lady notices her underwear keeps going missing after moving to the big city. Puzzled, she looks up and spots a man peering through holes in the ceiling.”

While the idea of someone living in your house without you knowing seems far-fetched, the docu-series highlights how a creepy man sleeping in the attic, or a stranger hiding in the crawl space below your floorboards is not entirely uncommon. The series features first-hand accounts by survivors, who share the most upsetting, skin-crawling, twisted stories that will make you want to check every single room in your house before you go to bed. I definitely will tonight, that’s for sure.

@heartstartspounding

Phrogging is so scary to me, make sure you check out tonights episode #phrogging #truecrime #mystery #unsolved #spooky #scary #horror #terror #stranger #creepy #story #nosleep

♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box - takaya
https://www.tiktok.com/@iancollegenews/video/7235005656997072174

What do phroggers do?

Much like in the movie Parasite, phroggers take advantage of an unused attic, closet, bunker, or basement in someone’s home. Phroggers have been known to eat the habitant’s food and even steal clothes from their wardrobes. Scary stuff.

Is phrogging the same as squatting?

While the words are often used interchangeably, squatting and phrogging are two different things. Phroggers hide secretly in a building that’s already occupied to almost live off the habitants in a parasitic way. Squatters, on the other hand, live in vacant buildings, often with the aim of establishing a residence there.

Are there guides for phrogging?

Although phrogging is a crime that can lead to criminal charges such as trespassing, breaking and entering, invasion of privacy, and destruction of property, there are guides for pulling off a successful phrog online. These blogs include advice on how to avoid security cameras, make the house owner’s dog your best friend (Although it is advised that you go for cat-owners), check for guns or dangerous weapons, and steal just the right amount of food as to not raise any suspicions to your presence.

If phroggers can manage to balance this highly complicated act, they can minimise their chances of being detected or jailed greatly.

However, all of these rules for a successful phrog can be turned around and a lot of this advice has also been known to help people detect and then prevent a phrog from targeting their house.

How do you know if you have phroggers?

When most homeowners notice kitchen cupboards being left open, household items vanishing, and inexplicable noises at night, they usually jump to the conclusion that they have rats in their walls or potentially a good, old-fashioned poltergeist. Does anyone remember the hit series Supernatural?

@gr3gan

#paranormal

♬ original sound - megs

Some habitants even begin to consider that they have mental health issues like psychosis or bipolar disorder. Carbon monoxide poisoning is frequently also on the list of potential explanations before you come around to the idea that there might just be a stranger living in your house that’s making you believe that you are turning into the most forgetful and scatterbrained person on earth.

The best way to catch a phrogger is to check your house, as aforementioned. If you find them, retreat and call the cops. Don’t try to exercise your own justice by attacking or confronting them. Some people just need a warm space to sleep at night and should be removed with care to then be placed into actual social housing.

Scared now? Don’t be. You can rest assured in the knowledge that phrogging is incredibly rare. If you hear strange noises at night and notice food going missing it’s most likely just a rat, or is it…

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