There are plenty of urban legends out there about creepy children committing horrible crimes. Maybe you've heard stories of prepubescent killers, creepy little stalkers, or maybe you've even heard the tale of a spurned boy who pretends to haunt a girl's house for revenge. Unfortunately, that last one isn't an urban legend at all. The events may have been exaggerated in each retelling, but this horrible tale of stalking in normally tranquil Townsend, Massachusetts is, indeed, true. The details surrounding the case still feel like something out of a horror movie, though.
Danny LaPlante's crimes are numerous and disturbing. He impersonated a family's dead mother, lived in that family's walls, left them creepy messages, and eventually trapped them and threatened to kill them with a hatchet. It's hard to say how much of what happened is fully accurate, but enough of this story is confirmed to still give you shivers.
Beware, before you read, that the contents of this story are disturbing and culminate in murder. Do try not to panic tonight if you hear creaking in the walls while you try to sleep.
He'd Been Stalking The Family's DaughterPhoto: Kuba Bożanowski / Flickr
The story begins, as horror stories often do, with a few creepy phone calls to the daughter of the Andrews family. In 1986, the boy on the line told his victim, Annie Andrews, that he was a teen from a neighboring school and that he'd tracked her down because she was attractive. Not impervious to his compliments and charm, Andrews soon agreed to go out on a date with young Danny LaPlante. The date, however, didn't go as planned and the girl was disappointed. Though they went out for ice cream, she stopped returning his phone calls and the two didn't go out on any more dates.
This should have been the end of it, but LaPlante had other plans and was unwilling to let his paramour slip away. In the following months, he would turn the Andrews family's world completely upside down.
He Pretended To Be The Girl's Dead Mother's Ghost
Annie Andrews was, perhaps, so ready to let go of the brief relationship because she was mourning. The family matriarch had died only a short time ago, leaving her, her father, and young sister alone. Grief-stricken, the two girls held a séance to try and contact their mother and say goodbye. Little did they know, Danny LaPlante had already broken into their home and taken up residence. When they held the seance, LaPlante recognized an opportunity to torment the girl who had rejected him. He began to bang on pipes and knock on walls, at first entrancing the girls and then terrifying them.
Things would go missing, furniture would move, and soon the girls thought that something much more sinister than the ghost of their mother was inhabiting their home.
They didn't know how right they were.
He Left Messages On Their Walls In "Blood"
LaPlante wasn't satisfied with just making noises and scaring the two girls. One day, Annie and her little sister Jessica heard strange sounds coming from the basement. Terrified, they ventured downstairs and encountered a horrible sight. Written on the wall in what looked like blood was a message stating simply, "I'm in your room come find me." As any sensible person might do, the girls proceeded to run screaming from the house in search of a neighbor that could alert their father. Family patriarch Brian Andrews had never heard the strange sounds and had previously dismissed any claims that there was something supernatural in the house. When he came home, he found the writing done in ketchup and assumed it was a cry for attention from his daughters.
The noises died down for a while but eventually another message showed up on the wall. Again, the girls fled and this time when their dad entered the house, things got weird.
He Was Dressed In The Dead Mother's Clothes With A Hatchet In Hand
When the family re-entered the house to seek out the source of the writing, they all heard noises upstairs. This is where accounts tend to differ on what happened next. Some say it was the youngest daughter who went up to the room, some say it was the father, either way, both accounts agree that when the brave Andrews family member opened the door, he or she immediately saw Danny LaPlante in all his horrifying depravity. He was dressed in the dead mother's clothing with makeup smeared across his face.
More frightening than that, he was carrying a hatchet. LaPlante then chased the family through the home, threatening to kill them.