PHROGGING: Definition; Are They Real?


We’ve all heard of squatting, which is the illegal occupation of an empty building. But what if you have no idea that someone is residing on your property? It may sound like something out of a crime show, but it’s a real thing called phrogging.

What is Phrogging?

Phrogging, pronounced “frogging,” is the act of surreptitiously living in the residence of another person. The phrase is supposed to have come from the metaphorical image of humans, or “phrogs,” leaping from house to house.

A typical phrogger is someone who has no other place to dwell. They thrive on remaining concealed and are most likely to be found in areas of the home that are infrequently frequented, such as the attic, basement, or crawl spaces.

How Did The Term Phrogging Come About?

The term is supposed to have come from the symbolic image of humans, or “phrogs,” leaping from one house to the next. The typical phrogger is someone who has no other place to live.

What Causes Phrogging?

Because they have nowhere else to go, phroggers frequently stay in someone else’s home. They could have lived in the house before you and simply never left, like when a landlord goes through the eviction process and fails to notice the renter never moved out. Or perhaps the phrogger chose your house because it was handy for them in some way.

How Phroggers Act

Most phroggers don’t want to be discovered. After all, they have a nice thing going: they have a place to sleep and access to restroom facilities (and possibly more of your home), all of which are free of rent and mortgage. As a result, they normally hide in locations like attics, basements, crawl spaces, or any other portion of the house where residents don’t usually go.

Phroggers might even consume your food. If they do, they’ll most likely grab it from the back of the cupboard or fridge so you don’t notice. They will also most likely take your shower, most likely shortly after you depart for the day.

How Do Phroggers Appear?

Phroggers are typically slender, pallid, and often small in stature. Most phroggers are quiet and gentle individuals who prefer not to participate in the conflict. They keep an almost “invisible presence,” rarely taking goods or harming property while staying in someone else’s house. Because they cannot afford to buy new clothes, phroggers may be seen wearing filthy garments and “out-of-style” attire.

Tattoos and other phrog marks are uncommon on phroggers.

Can you spot a phrogger?

Many people believe that “telltale indications” can be used to identify phrog houses. There is no straightforward method to tell if a house has been inhabited by phroggers; however, the existence of specific artifacts is typically a hint that someone has been dwelling there. Phroggers will occasionally leave tiny signs, such as rearranging objects or stacking magazines in the same way, to indicate their presence. Phroggers prefer to remain concealed until homeowners return, so they stay out of sight and make no noise.

What if I come upon a Phrogger?

The majority of professionals advise avoiding confrontation with phroggers. It is generally advised that you just urge the individual to leave your home right away; however, this is rare because most phroggers are peaceful and avoid engaging in conversation for fear of being detected.

How can you tell if you’ve been phrogged?

There are various indicators of a possible phrogging. Unlocked doors and windows, certain objects being moved or oriented in the same direction, stacks of dirty dishes in the sink, beds not made but with pillows fluffed, food disappearing from your refrigerator or pantry, pet food bowls left out for more than one day after feeding pets, more garbage on the trash day cycle, or recycling bins brought to the street for pickup are examples.

Why is Phroggers so difficult to detect?

The “phrogger” explains in the Medium essay that he is not a freeloader and is saving cash to get his own place. He acknowledges having an income, but because it is insufficient, renting an apartment and yet making ends meet is impossible, so he chooses to live discreetly in someone’s home. According to Microsoft News, most phroggers opt to live in the home of a stranger because they have nowhere else to go. It is stated that the major goal of phroggers is to coexist with tenants without being noticed.

As a result, they must select an occupied location. Because they have a phroggers code, they are frequently difficult to catch. It specifies that they should only take what they need, tidy up after themselves, avoid detection, and leave the house in the same condition that they found it. Some, on the other hand, fail to clean up after themselves and are thus detected.

Examples of Phrogging in the Real World

Phrogging may sound like another urban legend, but it is a real thing. Here are some notable examples:

  • Prior to 2007, a group of artists decided to try phrogging and lived for years inside a mall before being discovered. (
  • In 2008, a man called Stanley Carter spent a week living in the attic of a household in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It wasn’t until an iPod and cash went missing that the family became suspicious. Mr Carter was caught lurking in the attic wearing their clothes a few days later. (Source: ABC News)
  • In 2008, a woman named Hiroki Itakura spent a year living in the home of a Japanese guy. She went completely unnoticed until the homeowner noticed that food was going missing for several months and placed security cameras inside the house. (UK Metro)
  • In 2008, a Pennsylvania family discovered a man living in their duplex’s attic. He’d been there for a week and was a bad unwelcome guest: he stole food, money, and Christmas presents and dressed in the family’s clothes.
  • In 2012, a South Carolina woman reported that her ex-boyfriend moved inside her attic’s heating unit after he was released from jail, more than 12 years after they split up.
  • In 2013, undergraduate roommates at Ohio State University discovered evidence of phrogging in a closed basement of their rented house. Their real estate agent had the key and unlocked the door to reveal a makeshift bedroom with signs of previous occupants: bedding, photos, and leftover food.

Phrogging in the Entertainment Industry

Living with Strangers (2006)

In 2006, a YouTube series called Living with Strangers debuted, in which two phroggers, Renae and Lauren, film their five-day phrogging trip in the home of an unexpected couple. Many viewers questioned the series’ veracity, and the two girls who played Renae and Lauren stated on ABC’s i-Caught (Season 1, Ep. 3) in 2007 that the series was a hoax and that they were actresses.

Only a few episodes are still available on YouTube, however, the series was formerly combined into a film that was available on until 2015.

Living with Strangers was written and directed by John Stevens, who was also the first to coin the terms phrogging and phrogs to describe this type of lifestyle.

I See You (2019)

Strange happenings are occurring at the Harper family’s home. Items are being stolen, and a frightening mask like a frog has been discovered in one of the bedrooms. However, innocuous pranks suddenly turn deadly when Alec (one of the two phrogs lurking in the house) chooses to test the family’s resolve.

Is Squatting and Phrogging the same thing?

Although both phrogging and squatting entail illegally living on a property, they are not the same thing. In reality, there are significant disparities between the two.

Squatters live in or on property that is not occupied by someone else, such as an empty house, an abandoned subway tunnel, or an undeveloped plot of land. Squatters are also well-known for the devastation and filthy conditions they choose to maintain in the property they illegally occupy.

Phroggers prefer to stay in places that are already occupied. Their primary goal is to coexist with the current occupants while remaining undetected. Furthermore, most phroggers follow a code of conduct in which they clean up after themselves and leave the residence in the same state in which they found it. (However, not all phrogs adhere to this code.)

What exactly is the Phroggers Code?

The “Phroggers Code” is a set of rules that every phrogger must abide by. (However, as previously stated, not all phroggers adhere to the code.)

The following are four of the rules:

  • Don’t get caught.
  • You must clean up after yourself.
  • Take only what you need. (Water, food, and toiletries are permitted; however, anything else is not permitted.)
  • Leave the house in the same state in which you found it. (In other words, don’t do anything vandalistic.)

Protecting your Property from Phrogging

There are several commonsense precautions you may take to safeguard your property against opportunist phrogging.

Security cameras, particularly when they are visible, are an excellent preventive precaution. These can be supplemented with motion sensors and sirens.

Owners should also inspect their property on a regular basis, including garages and sheds.

It’s a good idea to change the locks if you’re moving into a new home or if your keys go missing at any moment.

Tenants, please change the locks when you move in!


Although it does occur, phrogging is not prevalent. Otherwise, you’d hear about occurrences more frequently, and at the very least, you’d have heard this word previously.

If you’re concerned about phrogging, you should do frequent home inspections and buy a security system with cameras.

Phrogging FAQs

How can you tell if someone was in your room?

As you leave, place a tennis ball just inside the door, reach around with your hand, and close the door. If someone goes in, the ball will be unnoticed. As they push it inside the room, the person or persons will not feel it. Intruders have entered your home if they are not just inside the door.

What do you do if someone is snooping around your house?

And, if you spot someone suspiciously lurking around or encroaching on your property in a way that makes you feel uneasy, take note and, if necessary, call your local police.

How do I stop someone from using my keys

To secure the metal lock pins, twist the key. Take the keyhole lock key out of the keyhole. The keyhole lock stays in place, preventing undesirable visitors with keys to your home from entering. Purchase a keyhole lock from your local home improvement store.

Where can I watch the movie phrogging?

You can watch it on Lifetime, Frndly TV, Philo, Prime Video, Vudu or Apple TV on your Roku device.

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