A Rock Hill, N.C., woman knew something was in her attic when she heard a thump and then saw some nails start popping out from her bedroom ceiling one night.
Tracy, a mother of five, thought it might be an animal. She sent her older sons and nephew to check it out, she told WCNC-TV in Charlotte.
She told the Charlotte Observer she thought "there was some poltergeist stuff going on."
And what they found was surprising. It wasn't an animal. It was the woman's ex-boyfriend.
He came down from the attic without any explanation and left with a smile before police could arrive, the Observer reports.
The man had been living in the attic for about two weeks, WCNC reports, noting that the ex-boyfriend was recently released from jail.
"He had packed all the old coats and jackets into the heating unit and was sleeping in the heating unit," said Tracy, who did not reveal her last name.
There were also large plastic cups containing human waste, which explain how he relieved himself in his rooftop hideaway, WCNC reported.
Tracy's nephew told the Observer the man was able to peek through an air vent in the ceiling of the woman's bedroom.
"It's got me flabbergasted," she told the newspaper. "How can you look at someone through an air vent?"
Another mystery is how the man got in and out of the attic because the only access is through the lower level of the house.
She and the man had dated for about a year more than a decade ago, she told the Observer. She had called it off after he became involved in petty crime, she said. He helped her install some doors in her house about a year ago and that was the last she saw of him—until she saw him come down from her attic.
Tracy has changed her locks, the newspaper reports. But her children are still afraid to sleep in their bedrooms.
She hopes the man is located and charged with a crime.
"I want him to be charged with it," she told the Observer. "It could be somebody else he does the same thing to, but she might not be so lucky."