The entire family sat close together as cries shook their bodies. They sat with their eyes shut, praying that the entire ordeal would be over with as soon as possible. Everything happened so fast.
There was nothing they could do now. They just had to sit there and wait for someone to give them the all-clear. She pulled her children closer, and that was when she realized that one of them was missing.
New Member Of The Family
Amelia cuddled the 10-year-old Dachshund, Poco, in her arms as they watched the news. Not many people would adopt one so old, but it just felt right.
It was important for them to make his last years comfortable. Soon, she would discover just how important he would be to her family.
A Strange Sound
She loved nighttime. It was the only time her southern Belfast house was quiet. The kids were asleep and Poco was snoring slightly. She gave him one more gentle pat before heading upstairs.
However, Amelia had barely pulled the covers up when she heard a sound she hadn’t heard before. It was enough to make her jump out of her skin.
Poco was barking, and this wasn’t just any yip at a loud neighbour. The dog was going completely out of his mind. In the few weeks they had housed him, he had always been so quiet.
Her heart raced as she sprinted downstairs, scooped him up, and flipped on all the lights. What had triggered him into such frenzy?
There were no animals outside or people walking by. She even made sure to check all the windows and doors just in case.
Amelia stood in the middle of the quiet, dark living room and sighed – the panic now replaced with annoyance. “Going crazy in your old age?” she asked him. Soon she would see how wrong she was.
Night after night, Poco would howl and bark without warning. The irritation vanished and all she could feel was worry. “Please don’t let it be rats.”
Their neighbors had vermin problems a few months ago. But there wasn’t enough money to pay an inspector. Suddenly a lightbulb switched on. She had an idea to find out the truth!
The next night, she set up a camera, gave Poco a hug, and then went up to her bedroom. As the minutes ticked by, the scheduled chaos started again.
It took all her strength not to run down and see what was happening. It would have to wait until morning. Then, she heard a strange sound.
Amelia heard something moving above her. Her heart stopped as she listened to Poco’s barking and the noises coming from the ceiling.
Relief flooded through her when she thought it must be a possum or raccoon that had somehow made its way into the ceiling boards. That would explain Poco’s barking and the strange sounds perfectly. But she was wrong.
It was around three in the morning when Amelia was startled awake by another noise. This time, it was right above her bed.
Her heart stopped as she listened to the clattering sounds next to her bed and the soft thumps coming from the ceiling. That’s when she realized with horror that it definitely wasn’t a possum or raccoon.
Amelia’s heart raced and she had a horrible metallic taste in her mouth. It all felt like an absurd horror movie.
A small part of her rational mind was telling her that she must be letting her fears run away with her, but all her senses were screaming at her… this wasn’t fiction, all of it was really happening to her.
Amelia was too terrified to even move, let alone go and investigate. She did what most people would do – she threw her blanket over her head and desperately tried to go back to sleep.
The camera footage would reveal whatever Poco was barking at. But she’d have to wait until morning to get the answer.
Checking The Footage
As soon as sunlight filled her bedroom, she threw on her bathrobe and hurried downstairs. She grabbed the recorder and hit play – eager to know what the fuss was all about.
At first, there was nothing. But when the yips started, she noticed movement. It started small and disappeared just out of frame.
The wind picked up and blew a bunch of leaves through an open window. Poco ran in circles. She rolled her eyes and stared at her crazy dog. Leaves?!
Amelia was about to stop the video when something else came into frame. This time, it sent chills down her spine and pulled her stomach into her throat.
Going To The Neighbors
The mom bounded up the stairs, grabbed her kids, and then ran to the safety of next door. As she called the police and explained what she had seen, even her neighbors turned pale.
The next question, however, made her cry. “Mom, where’s Poco?” Oh my god! She had forgotten him in the house!
First To Come Out
Sirens wailed as the police showed up. By then her and her kids were complete, crying wrecks. It only got worse when they tried to run in and save their dog, but she had to hold them back.
How could she have forgotten him! One officer pulled something out of their home. They all held their breath.
Into The Attic
The officers had walked into the attic, but it didn’t take long for them to realize that something was very wrong.
A foul, pungent smell hit them and they saw piles of garbage strewn all over the floor. All the old coats that Amelia kept up there were stacked next to the heating unit in the corner of the room. Then they saw it.
Something was lying on the floor, in the corner behind the boxes. It stirred as soon as the officers walked in. They all looked at each other in complete shock for a few seconds.
Then, the man realized he’d been caught. He leaped up, but the officers were quicker. They restrained him and dragged him out of the house.
He was a large man. He struggled against the cops all the way into the cruiser. He was massive and angry. The next officer appeared, and this time he carried good news.
Old Poco snarled and barked at the man – ready to bite him down to nothing. Amelia caught a glimpse of the man’s face and a terrible realization hit her. The officer brought their dog over … as well as some shocking news.
As the family held their best friend, Amelia listened with a wide, gaping mouth to the officer. The man was a wanted criminal and somehow had snuck into their attic to hide from the law.
There he stayed night after night, sneaking out for bits of food and water. There was one final revelation.
She Knew Him
When Amelia saw the man’s angry face, she recognized him. But surely it wasn’t possible? 12 years ago, he had done a few odd jobs around this very house.
The pair had dated briefly, but when she found out about his criminal record she quickly broke things off. How long had he been in the attic for? She felt absolutely sick.
The police searched the attic and made a terrifying discovery. The man had obviously been living there for weeks.
“He had packed all the old coats and jackets into the heating unit and was sleeping in the heating unit,” Tracy explained. The police also found plastic cups, which the man had been using to relieve himself – but then, an even more frightening discovery was made.
The man had adjusted the air vents in the ceiling so that he could watch Amelia while she slept. Shewas horrified when she realized he’d been spying on her for weeks. “It’s got me flabbergasted,” she said in an interview. “How can you look at someone through an air vent?”
Even worse, nobody had any idea how the man had crept up into the attic. The only way in was through a hatch in the hallway, between the children’s bedrooms.
The man Amelia had dated all those years ago had acted aggressively toward her when she broke up with him. He wanted a second chance, but Amelia refused, so he stole her truck.
Amelia reported him for the theft and cops caught him. But he still wouldn’t let it go and continued to harass her from prison.
Amelia’s ex sent letters from prison, insisting that he’d changed and begging her for a second chance. When he was released, she tried to file a protection order against him.
But nobody knew where he was, so the papers weren’t served. Then, she heard a rumor that he’d moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. But she found out where he actually was in the worst way possible.
Amelia had even gone as far as trying to get a protective order against the man, but even that hadn’t stopped him. She wished she had acted on her instincts sooner and listened to Poco when he told her something was wrong.
“I had an intuition about it but I ignored it, I brushed it aside. I didn’t want to seem paranoid, but I should have trusted my instincts because I was right,” she said.
Amelia felt shaken and horrified. She clutched Poco and her children tighter as they watched the police haul the man away. She couldn’t believe he’d been living in their home for weeks.
She couldn’t stop thinking about what would have happened if Poco hadn’t alerted her to the intruder night after night. What would have happened?
One Thing For Sure
Theft…or worse. That’s what could have happened if she hadn’t listened to Poco and come up with the camera idea. It was a strange combination of nausea and relief.
She looked down at their scruffy boy as he wagged his tail – already over the situation. There was one thing Amelia was certain about…
Meant To Be
Poco wasn’t just any old pooch looking for a loving family to spend the last of his years with. When they stood in that shelter, something had nagged at them that he was the one to take home.
Now, Amelia understood why. He didn’t just bring joy into their lives. He had, quite literally, saved theirs.
At first , stalking may seem harmless. The person may call you or send emails and text messages – all of which are perfectly legal.
However, this behavior can quickly cross the line into stalking and harassment. If the behavior is frequent, the contact is unwanted, and it makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened, get the police involved.
What To Do
Divorced or separated spouses and exes commonly experience being stalked by their ex-partners. If you are ever in this situation, the best thing to do is get the police involved as soon as possible.
Surround yourself with supportive people and tell everyone what’s going on. You should also always have a safety plan if things go wrong.