College student thought a ghost lived in her closet—but it was a 30-year-old man


We’ve all at some point felt it: that eerie feeling that something is under your bed or inside your closet as soon as you lie down. It’s usually (or almost always) just that—a feeling. But for a North Carolina college student who had noticed several of her things had gone missing, the reality turned out to be much creepier: a stranger in her closet, in her clothing.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro junior, who has been identified by Fox8 only as Maddie, said she and her roommates thought it was a ghost when her clothes continued to vanish and they found handprints on the wall. Frankly, a ghost would’ve been less scary than what she did find on Saturday afternoon.

“I just hear rattling in my closet. It sounded like a raccoon in my closet,” Maddie told Fox8. “I’m like who’s there? And somebody answers me. He’s like, ‘Oh, my name is Drew.’ I open the door and he’s in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks. My shoes. And he has a book bag full of my clothes.”

Praise to Maddie for the zen she channeled when handling the situation. She reportedly kept her calm and engaged in conversation with the man, while waiting for her boyfriend to arrive. 

“He tries on my hat. He goes in the bathroom and looks in the mirror and then is like, ‘You’re really pretty, can I give you a hug?’ she said of his behavior while she waited for her boyfriend. “But he never touched me.”

Someone even got a photo of the man, who police have identified as 30-year-old Andrew Clyde Swofford, calmly sitting in Maddie’s room after being caught.

Swofford was later booked at Guilford County Jail on 25 charges, including larceny, breaking or entering, and identity theft. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

Maddie and her roommates, who have encountered strangers in their living room before, are now looking to move out. The last incident took place in December, when they walked into the apartment to find two men they did not know. Following the incident, the management company reportedly changed the locks.

It’s not clear how long Swofford was in the room or how he was able to break in, because Maddie told Fox8 that she made sure to keep her doors locked and didn’t see that they’d been tampered with.

Burkely Communities, the building management company, did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque