Is Phrogging Possible: a Semi-Debate

If you don’t know what the practice of Phrogging is yet, here’s a brief summary:

The idea is to sneak (not with force, because it’ll give it away) inside someone’s house while they are still living in it, and stow-away as long as possible.

For a more reading on whether it might be real or not, see a Dope thread here.

I want to avoid the idea whether it’s a farce and explore the idea if it could be pulled off if charged with the challenge. I concede this:

  1. It’s as illegal as it gets, I consider it a major crime.

  2. It’s perverse, and would admonish with contempt anyone interested in actually trying it.

  3. I’m fascinated by it regardless of the above. All ethics aside, it would be a challenging proposition.

SO… I’m of the opinion that it could be done. Not indefinitely, but certainly for a sort period of days, like 3 or 4. The girls in this arguably authentic video, Living With Strangers tried it for 5 (they were ostensibly going for 7). While it’s slow going at first, days 4 & 5 are definitely nail biting, whether fiction or not.

After watching it all the way through, there’s no way of telling if it’s real or not… some BS moments, as well as some truly authentic feeling moments. In essence, I thought they were particularly bad at this practice, and thought, if I had to, I could do way better.

So, could it be done, if it had to be done?
*mods: please delete this post if you think it borders on the sketchy and uncool.

I saw a bit of the youtube video, and there was a snopes board discussion on it a while back.

I’d have a hard time, mainly because when you walk into a house and there’s someone else there…it feels different. People can walk quietly, I guess…but houses creak. You hear things. But the overall feel of a house when more people are in it…you can’t disguise that. Smell, too, for that matter.

I just posted this in the other thread:

It’d never work in my place - not with 2 dogs and a cat having the run of the house. I suppose someone could make themselves at home in our storage shed, although it’s not too homey, lacking electricity and all.

Not in my house - it’s barely big enough for me, let alone someone else. But if you lived in a large enough mansion it could be done. As for a “sixth sense” telling you there’s someone else there, that assumes you don’t have a staff of servants/employees living there anyway - but it’s quite likely that if you live in a big mansion you *do *have others around. Does somewhere like Buckingham Palace count as a “house”? How about the White House?

There was an old Gary Busey movie where he goes into a house that is almost finished being built and builds a secret room in the attic and puts video cameras and microphones throughout the house to spy on the family that moves in the domicile. I thought it was a pretty scary premise since it isn’t impossible.

I believe that it could be done, in very limited circumstances. As the phrogger girls say at the start, they always pick houses that have no kids and no pets. So you’re pretty much restricted to a married couple or single person, and obviously it’s necessary that they have fairly regular job(s) so that they’re both away from the house at the same time and for many hours at a time. Also, you clearly would need a fairly big house with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.

So those are probably the barest minimum of requirements. In addition, there would need to be places in the house that the owners don’t usually go. For example, in the videos, there is a convenient third bathroom that (supposedly) the owners don’t use very often with a bathtub with a convenient opaque shower curtain. My house, although it fits the size and number of rooms requirement, would fail on that point. Our third bathroom has a translucent door on the tub/shower that we never close, and could easily see someone behind even if it was closed. And since that bathroom is right next to my office, I use it at least a couple of times a day.

Even beyond that, the phroggers, I think, would have to be far more careful and clean and tidy than the girls in that video. I suppose you might get away with using the household food for a day, maybe two, but I find it hard to believe in the extreme that anyone wouldn’t notice food going missing beyond that time.

Same with items or knicknacks being moved around. Sure, once or twice you could dismiss as being your spouse. But people have patterns; I know the things that my wife would do, the way she might arrange the pillows on the couch. I’d get suspicious if I ever found things in a way that I’d never seen before. I’d get really suspicious if I turned on the TV and found it on a channel that I know neither of us ever watch.

Bottom line, I think it’s barely possible in extremely rare circumstances and for a very short period of time.

There was a case of a stalker who lived in the crawlspace under the house for a long time. Creepy!

You could never do it in my house - 3 kids with the run of the place, no set schedule for my wife, so you’d never be able to predict when it’s safe to come out.

You could probably do it at my friend’s house, as long as you go during a week he doesn’t have his kids - huge home, but he works lots of hours when the kids are at their mother’s. As long as you hid out for the hour when he gets up, and a couple of hours after he gets home, it would probably be pretty easy. He’s got a freezer full of food in the basement, and he’s pretty forgetful, so as long as you don’t finish any particular type of food (“Hmm, I swear there was another vegetable lasagne in here last night”), I doubt he’d ever notice.

Couldn’t work in my home either as I work from here. But there are plenty of couples, with disposable incomes and steady jobs I know of that this would be a possibility for a while. With wandering pets it’d be out of the question. Kids too. But if the homeowner(s) smoked, that’d damn near cripple their ability to smell a stranger’s presence.

Another thing i’m thinking, is that the phroggers would be counting on the persistence of Occam’s Razor. Do we all really think we’re so observant to notice that a tv dinner’s gone missing. Especially if you’re living with a spouse? What’s more likely –A gaggle of strangers who have secretly moved into your home and are living off your supplies, unbeknownst to you and right under your very nose (!), or that impulse took over your spouse when you weren’t around last night and ate it?

An interesting exploitation of Occam’s Razor if you ask me. Occam needn’t always be right :wink:

What about the neighbors? If I saw weirdos coming in and out of my neighbor’s house, I’d say something to them.

There was at least one case that was just as strange. Walburga “Dolly” Oesterreich kept her lover living in the attic for 20 years before he was discovered by her husband (the story is long but interesting).. There was a shorter case in Nashville. These aren’t exactly the same because a member of the household assisted but the difficulty level, especially for the first one is way higher than living in someones house for while. I pulled off a stunt that was not the same but even more difficult sounding in high school so I don’t automatically discount what can be done if you can read people’s behavior patterns and typical reactions well.

I suspect McMansions would be best for this trick–large building + small family.

I would notice, because I keep tabs on all the food in the house. My husband probably would not. But I know just what’s in the fridge/freezer/pantry right now, and I would definitely notice.

However, we fill up our house, so it wouldn’t be possible here. I personally don’t think it would be very feasible; perhaps a few people could manage it for a few days, but it could hardly be a widespread hobby and most would get caught I think.

Closing yet another thread on how to break the law. :rolleyes: