Racheal McConnell’s children saw a stranger’s face outside their bedrooms. Photo/Andrew Warner
Racheal Connell’s children thought they saw a ghost outside their bedroom windows – now they’re wondering if there’s a connection to the ‘creepy’ intruder who terrified a neighboring family.
The Chapman family of Tikitere were left traumatized after a man tapped on their young daughters’ bedroom window just before 4am on Friday.
Their 3-year-old opened the window and chatted with the man, who told the young girl to go get her mother.
Jenny Chapman told the Rotorua Daily Post she didn’t believe her young daughter when she woke her up to tell her there was a man outside her bedroom.
She went to put her back in her bed, but got a huge fright when she went to close the open curtain and saw a man’s head poking out the window saying “hello”.
Chapman said the man appeared mentally ill and was talking about hell and the Bible. He commented that he had been to other houses, but theirs was the only one with lights on. The man left after Chapman yelled and said she was going to call the police.
Connell, who lives not far from the Chapmans, said she was reading about their ordeal and suddenly felt ill.
The previous weekend, her children each commented separately that they had seen a man outside their bedroom windows.
Connell said her daughter mentioned over breakfast on Sunday June 25 that she woke up around 2 a.m. to the sight of someone outside her bedroom. In her sleepy state, she ignored him and went back to sleep.
Her 9-year-old son said at the time that he thought he saw someone outside his window the previous night around 8.30pm.
Connell said the family didn’t think too much about it and didn’t call the police.
“We thought it was a ghost and we laughed about it until I read what Jenny [said]. Now we wish it was a ghost.”
Connell said she had since found two footprints in the garden outside one of the children’s bedrooms.
She said they were now uncomfortable and the whole thing was “scary”. She said she echoed Chapman’s call for residents to be extremely vigilant.
Police attended the incident at the Chapmans but were unable to locate the man. They did forensic tests around the window.
One of Chapman’s neighbors captured CCTV footage of a vehicle driving down their road shortly before the incident at 3:45 a.m. The vehicle was honking its horn and had a man inside who slowed down in the driveway and looked inside. The video was passed on to the police.
No other similar complaint reports were made to police but, in a statement, a spokesperson said police reports of people being on property illegally were taken seriously.
“So the definition of ‘burglary’ is quite broad and can include such circumstances.”
Regarding the Tikitere incident, the statement acknowledges that the police attended the scene and collected forensic material from the house in question.
“We have since sent it for analysis and, pending the outcome, we have managed to identify a possible lead, which could lead to further action. No further details can be provided at this time as this is ‘a matter currently under investigation,’ he added. the statement said.
Police recommend that homes be locked at night, as well as keeping windows closed, locked or, better still, fitted with security guy wires. Motion-sensing security lights were also a great inexpensive option for households, working as a visual deterrent and precautionary measure.