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Sisters thought ‘ghost’ was living in their house but discovered it was something much more sinister

Sisters thought ‘ghost’ was living in their house but discovered it was something much more sinister

The Bowen family probably wished it had been a ghost

In 1986, two sisters reported reported a 'ghost' living in their home, but the truth was far scarier.

Haunted houses are a popular trope in horror movies for a reason. The idea of having some sort of paranormal demon as a roommate is terrifying.

But it turns out there's a far more sinister alternative to sharing your home with Casper the Friendly Ghost. And it'll leave you sleeping with the lights on.

In 1986, Tina and Karen Bowen started to notice some strange things happening in their Massachusetts home.

Items were rearranged, milk was mysteriously consumed and they found creepy messages written on the walls in ketchup.

The sisters were convinced that their house was haunted, but when they told their father Frank, he dismissed the weird goings-on as pranks they were playing on each other.

Then, one day in December of that year, the family arrived home to find that someone had used their toilet.

After Frank searched the home, he discovered Tina's 16-year-old schoolmate Daniel LaPlante hiding in a wardrobe.

Daniel LaPlante had been hiding in the walls of the Bowen family's house for almost a year when he was found (Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Daniel LaPlante had been hiding in the walls of the Bowen family's house for almost a year when he was found (Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Tina and Daniel had previously been on a date, but after she called an end to things, he became obsessed with her and gained access to the Bowen home.

Joe Turner, who wrote a book about LaPlante titled The Boy in the Walls, told the Daily Star: "When Danny first started living in their home, he was basically using it as a hiding place to watch Tina.

"But over time, he began to relish the fact he could terrify this family. His actions got more bizarre as time went on, and at one point they discovered a bathtub full of urine and a trail of pennies scattered over the floor."

When LaPlante was finally found, almost a year after he started tormenting the family, his face was painted, he was wearing a Native American-style jacket and ninja mask, and he was holding a hatchet.

LaPlante locked the family in a bedroom, but Tina was able to escape through a window and contacted the police.

By the time they arrived, the intruder was nowhere to be found, but he was later discovered hiding in a wall cavity in the cellar and was arrested.

But that was not the end of his crimes.

He went on to murder three people before facing life in prison (Mark Wilson/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
He went on to murder three people before facing life in prison (Mark Wilson/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

While awaiting trial, LaPlante carried out a burgling spree, including the home of the Gustafson family on November 16, 1987.

Two weeks later, he returned, armed with a gun.

ATI reports that he didn’t expect to see anyone in the home. But, when he encountered 33-year-old Priscilla Gustafson, he raped and shot her twice in the head.

He also drowned her two children, William and Abigail.

In October 1988, LaPlante was convicted of the murders of the Gustafson family and given three live sentences.

He appealed for a reduced sentence back in 2017, but had his appeal denied on the basis that the judge didn't think he was remorseful for his horrendous crimes.

Featured Image Credit: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images / WBZ-TV

Topics: US News, Crime, True crime