An unidentified man has been breaking into the homes of students who live near Boston College and watching them sleep while tickling their feet, according to police and several alleged victims.
Police have confirmed at least 10 sightings of the so-called ‘Tickler,’ who many in the neighborhood believed to be an urban legend, with at least three students reporting an encounter with him on the same night, April 7.
“This is no myth,” said Sergeant Michael O’Hara, community service officer for the Boston Police. “It’s happening.”
The tickler’s victims have described him as a 5-foot-8-inch black male of unknown age, who wears dark clothing and a hoodie, O’Hara said. Some have even reported the same man watching them through their windows as he committed a sex act.
BC junior Teddy Raddell, was awaken from his sleep at 5 a.m. on a Sunday in October by the sound of someone running down the stairs of a house he shares with other students.
“I thought my roommate had fallen down the steps,” Raddell said, “but then he started yelling. I got up and he said that he had woken up to someone touching his feet.”
“The guy didn’t take anything and there were laptops and wallets out in the main room,” said Raddell, who lives on Radnor Road.
According to the Boston Globe:
“I thought my friend was just trying to annoy me, but I soon realized it wasn’t anyone I knew,” Marenzi says. “I freaked out and sat up but he was already on the way out.”
He said he and his housemates now lock all their doors.
O’Hara said many students living off campus leave their doors unlocked, however.
“Absolutely students should be concerned,” he said. “You don’t know what this guy is going to do or if he has a weapon. You need to lock your doors. It’s not as safe as you think.”
It was 3:45 a.m. on April 7 when Jake Barrows was awakened, he said.
“Someone was standing at the end of the bed, and by the time I realized there was someone really there, he was booking it right out my door,” said Barrows, a BC junior who lives on Foster Street. “When I was finally out of bed and following, he was out the back door.”
He said he hasn’t slept in his room since that night.
Just over an hour later, Billy Buckley awoke to the sight of someone opening his bedroom door, he said. He called his roommate’s name, and got no response.
The figure slowly crept away, sprinted down the steps, and slammed the front door, said Buckley, who lives on Foster Street.
“The Tickler had made a visit,” he said, certain now that the stories he had heard are true.
Jonny Goldowsky said he also had a run-in with the Tickler. Goldowsky, who lives in the same house as Barrows, said that, a month before his roommate’s encounter, he heard shuffling at the door to his room and saw a man there in a Gator-style ski mask.