What is Phrogging?
You use the bathroom and leave the toilet seat down. However, after getting home from work, you realize it is up, yet you live alone. You then shower and notice that you barely have any shampoo left, yet you could swear that there was more than enough to last you the entire week in the morning. Do you have a phrogger on your hands?
Dinner time comes, and you remember last week you had reserved some meatballs and pasta for warming since you are not in the mood to cook. However, that container is not in the fridge. By now, you are about to question your sanity or maybe think that you have been living with ghosts. Before you call a ghostbuster, you should know that you could have a phrogger in your home.
So what exactly is phrogging?
Definition of Phrogging
If you suspect any relation to a frog, you are not far from the truth. We know that frogs like to hop from one place to another, and phrogging has been adopted from this fact. Therefore, it refers to a person who lives secretly in someone’s house before “hopping” on to the next. The phrogger can live for a few days, but some have gotten comfortable and lived for years without being noticed. They use your amenities and personal effects for their upkeep and grooming. Unless you are careful, you may never notice that you have a stranger in your house.
Phroggers know about you
While using your toothpaste and eating your food may not sound so bad, phroggers have a habit of knowing too much about you. Medium published an article, “I am Your Phrogger,” which gives insight into how phroggers behave. It describes how a phrogger gets comfortable living in your house, watching you going to work, or observing the relationship you have with your pets. It further explains that the phrogger is not a peeping Tom, but seeing the “host” naked accidentally has happened a few times.
Imagine this happens to you!
The article may be only fiction, but the possibility of a phrogger watching you undress, showering, using the bathroom, or being intimate with your significant other is a real threat. Maybe before you look for a paranormal investigator. Perhaps installing cameras in your home is the best way to know who’s been eating your leftovers.
Why are Phroggers Hard to Detect?
In the Medium article, the “phrogger” explains that he is not a freeloader but is saving up to get a place of his own. He mentions he has an income but since it is too little, renting an apartment and still making ends meet is impossible hence the choice to live secretly in someone’s house. According to Microsoft News, in most cases, phroggers choose to live in a stranger’s house because they have nowhere else to go. It is said that phroggers’ main aim is to coexist with tenants without being detected.
Therefore they must choose a place that is occupied. It is not usually easy to catch them because they have a phroggers code. It states that they should only take what they need, must clean up after themselves, should not be detected, and must leave the house as they found it. However, some forget to clean up after themselves hence are eventually discovered.
How Phroggers Pose Danger to the Homeowner
The phroggers code should put your mind at ease, at least knowing that the strangers mean no harm. However, no one in his right mind would ever be comfortable living with phroggers, no matter how well-behaved they are. Besides, what they do to ensure they are not discovered will creep you out as one person, Eric Redding disclosed. Redding shared a shocking discovery of a phrogger who had been living in his apartment for an entire month before being detected.
The person had entered Redding’s home through the balcony door and had already started leaving clues that there was someone else in the house. He would leave lights on after Redding switched them off, and doors would be left open even after Redding swore that he closed them while food kept disappearing from the fridge. The phrogger completely broke the phroggers code by stealing Redding’s credit card information, and the account was charged with over $3,000. The phrogger had even made a copy of the key to Redding’s house for easier accessibility and a notebook to stay up to date with Redding’s schedule.
Phrogging Should Not Be Confused with Squatting
Phrogging and squatting are both illegal in the sense that the person committing the crime is living on someone’s property without permission. However, the difference is that while a squatter lives on an unoccupied piece of land or building, a phrogger lives in an occupied property. Therefore, a squatter can be termed as self-sufficient since he does not rely on anyone else for upkeep. A phrogger will depend on whatever the house owner has, be it food, personal effects, or other amenities.
What do you do if you encounter a Phrogger?
Although the best action is calling the cops in both cases, you should note that it is not a criminal offense to be a squatter in the United Kingdom. According to nidirect, being on another person’s property without permission is not a criminal offense; the only offense will be if a squatter commits a crime which is punishable under criminal law. Although squatting is illegal in the US, most states allow squatters to legally possess property if they comply with specific legal requirements.
Only the property owner has the right to remove a squatter from the property, and he can use reasonable force or call the police. A neighbor can only alert the authorities upon sighting a squatter in a building. In both cases, squatters and phroggers put their lives at risk since property owners can act in self-defense, thinking they have a burglar in the house and end up killing the strangers. The other danger is that when caught, phroggers face jail time.