On Thursday (March 4), Candyman became a trending topic on Twitter after a woman who moved into a new apartment in New York City discovered a secret room behind her bathroom mirror and shared the experience on TikTok.

The woman, Samantha Hartsoe, decided to show off her bizarre discovery on the video-sharing platform after experiencing a cold breeze by her bathroom door frame and light switch. Hartsoe explained that her new apartment’s bathroom was so cold even when she had the heat turned up as high as it could go.

Similar to a sequence from the 1992 horror film, she eventually came upon a hidden room behind her bathroom vanity mirror.

After she removed the mirror, at first glance, there just seemed to be wires hanging behind it. However, upon further investigation, she discovered that the hole led to a creepy secret room.

In one of the TikTok videos she uploaded of the ordeal, a man could be heard asking the question on everyone’s mind: "What if there’s someone living there right now? Have you watched the movie Parasite?"

As the TikTok videos racked up millions of views, many were reminded of Candyman, a cult ’90s horror movie about a graduate research student (played by Virginia Madsen) who, while studying a local urban legend, discovers a hidden lair behind a bathroom mirror in a derelict building. The urban legend in the movie says that if you say Candyman’s name five times in front of a mirror, he will appear and kill the summoner with his hooked hand.

As for the real hidden room, there did appear to be some signs of life, with drink bottles and personal items scattered throughout the pspace. We can only imagine that Hartsoe’s landlord will be receiving a very interesting phone call very soon.

See some reactions to Hartsoe’s spooky TikTok chronicle, below.

Super Scary Horror Films That Will Keep You Up at Night

The Ring (2002)

If the guarantee of suffering a grisly death after one week of supernatural torment isn’t enough to scare you silly, the twisted imagery (pallid ghosts crawling out of moldy wells, horses drowning) in this American remake of Japanese horror film Ringu will do the trick. Naomi Watts is brilliantly cast as a desperate mother in this surprisingly emotive, atmospheric movie about a little dead girl who haunts viewers of a cursed VHS tape, promising to take their lives in "seven days." When I first saw it in theaters as a teen, I couldn’t sleep for seven days. — Erica Russell

Contracted (2013)

Sex is a primal instinct, but it can also come with its own set of macabre consequences. When a girl has a one-night stand, she contracts a deadly virus that slowly eats away at her flesh. To survive, she must then pass it on. After watching this one, you’ll probably never, ever want to have sex again. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

The Conjuring (2013)

James Wan’s 2013 haunted house movie is already considered a modern horror classic by many fans of the genre, thanks to its nostalgic (yet surprisingly fresh) cinematic witches’ brew of family drama, ghostly apparitions and nightmarish visuals. The Conjuring‘s antagonist, the spirit of a wicked, long-dead witch, is frightening enough, but a combination of effective jump scares, spine-tingling tension and a likable and talented cast help make the film not only spooky, but memorable. — Erica Russell

Children of the Corn (1984)

Children are terrifying on their own, but give them a creepy cult mentality and there’s no way you’ll sleep. Isaac (John Franklin) and Malachai (Courtney Gains) are two of the most wicked villains in horror history. When their corn crops fail one year, the townsfolk of fictional farming town Gatlin, Nebraska turn to prayer, and Isaac indoctrinates all the children into a cult honoring a deity called “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.” A murderous rampage ensues. Asleep yet? ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

The Witch (2015)

Let’s be honest: There’s something inherently creepy about Puritan-era colonial America, and Robert Eggers’ tense supernatural film about a dark force tormenting a family banished to the outskirts of the woods in 1700’s New England captures the atmosphere perfectly. Possessing a gripping diabolical tone from start to finish, The Witch, with its somber commentary on religious paranoia, the patriarchy and coming of age, makes you feel unsettled days after viewing. Also, that black goat is damn scary. — Erica Russell

High Tension (2003)

Mixing a blood-curdling thriller with a slasher might not seem particularly unnerving on paper, but the execution is brilliant in this Alexandre Aja fright-fest. When two friends head out into the countryside, horrific, bloody events begin to unravel, and you begin question what is real and what is not. Talk about getting inside your own head. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

One of horror’s most iconic and revered classics, by today’s ghost-and-gore standards this Mia Farrow-starring film about a pregnant woman tormented by a satanic cult may not be traditionally scary, but it is horrifying. After nearly five decades, the Roman Polanski movie still retains the harrowing, diabolical and panic-inducing atmosphere it introduced in 1968, and some scenes (one in particular in which the titular character is raped by a demon in her sleep) remain difficult to watch to this day. — Erica Russell

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s original Halloween is often cited as the standard for what a slasher should be. There is no blood, and Carpenter leans heavily on mood and creepy camera shots that linger for an uncomfortably long time. The film also features one of the most iconic horror scores of all time, and the storyline is as simple as you can get: local suburban boogeyman kills babysitters. Meanwhile, Jamie Lee Curtis’ excellent film debut set her down a path of superstardom. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

As Above, So Below (2014)

This 2014 found footage horror film is about a group of explorers who venture deep into the dark underbelly of Paris’s catacombs in search of Nicolas Flamel’s mythic Philosopher’s Stone. The movie is hit or miss for most, but there’s something undeniably disorienting about the tense, dark atmosphere rife with despair. As the characters crawl closer towards Hell, you can’t help but try to shake away a sense of hopelessness. — Erica Russell

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

We all have to sleep eventually. The mythology of Freddy Krueger (a child molestor who was burned to death by the parents of Springwood and then comes back to haunt kids’ dreams) is a genius play on our deepest and darkest fears. When Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her friends are haunted by this charred, knife-glove wielding maniac, they are picked off one by one in the bloodiest ways. The nursery rhyme—“1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you”—will torment you, guaranteed. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

The Nightmare (2015)

This 2015 documentary is a bit schlocky in parts, but if you are anything like me, you’ve experienced sleep paralysis at some point… and it is terrifying. Shot in vignettes and interviews, there is something unsettling about hearing the victims recount their most horrible of experiences, from seeing shadowy figures sit on their chests to being unable to even breathe. What makes it so scary is it’s real life. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

The Descent (2006)

Those with a fear of tight, dark spaces should steer clear of The Descent, a gruesome creature feature about a group of women who get trapped in the bowels of a cave and become prey to a band of bloodthirsty, mutated humanoids. If the gore, jump scares and vicious, inhuman creatures with their pale, gangling bodies weren’t enough to scare the spelunking gear off of you, the sheer claustrophobia of it all will. — Erica Russell

The Orphanage (2007)

This psychological thriller featuring ominous, ghostly children is as emotional as it is frightening. When Laura (Belén Rueda) returns to the orphanage at which she stayed before she was adopted years before, she plans on renovating the dilapidated building and turning into a facility for disabled children. But when her own adopted son Simon goes missing, she experiences a harrowing journey and must piece together the past. The final twist is utterly satisfying. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

The Grudge (2004)

If you, like me, can’t stand the sight of long hair dangling around the shower drain, beware The Grudge, the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring American remake of Japan’s terrifying Ju-On. This movie petrified me when I saw it for the first time in theaters. The ghostly, bloodied image of Kayako twitching as she crawls down the stairs of the Tokyo house she inhabits—her long black hair falling across her deranged, bulging eyes—remains a haunting force at the darkest hours of night. — Erica Russell

You’re Next (2011)

The film is structured much like any other run-of-the-mill slasher⎯⎯until you get to the meat of the plot and find out just how twisted everything is. It’s refreshing to have a lead heroine who is not marked as the “damsel in distress” in need of constant saving. Instead, Erin (Sharni Vinson) is one badass protagonist who’ll make you question your own disturbing blood thirst. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

While modern special effects have allowed horror cinema to become more bloody and gory than ever, the original ’70s Texas Chainsaw Massacre remains an unparalleled classic for its ability to rattle every nerve in your body. There are no Shymalanian twists or unnecessary narrative complexities here, only the most unnerving and gruesome forms of human brutality, magnified by the movie’s otherwise simple premise: A group of teenagers are sliced and diced after they unwittingly venture onto the property of a family of cannibalistic psychopaths—including hulking slasher icon Leatherface, who was based on real life murderer Ed Gein. Never forget that door slamming scene. — Erica Russell

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

Found footage is typically shot through the eyes of various victims, but this disturbing flick flips the script. You get a front row seat to a killer’s frightening stalking and slaughtering escapade of Poughkeepsie, New York. The actual footage is fake but reportedly, it’s inspired by real murders. Lock your doors, turn off the lights and strap in for one of the most gruesome and depressing horror films ever. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Sometimes, the most frightening terrors are the ones you can’t see. Rejecting the notion that visceral gore and grotesque specters make for maximum horror, Paranormal Activity—which undoubtedly revitalized the found footage horror film for a new generation of post-Blair Witch Project viewers—relies on an effective combination of tension-building jump scares, demonic mythologies, creepy plot reveals and shadowy, supernatural suspense. Watch late at night, with the lights down low, and try not to get the heebie-jeebies every time your house creaks. — Erica Russell

V/H/S (2012)

Reality is often so distorted you’re not sure that what you’re seeing isn’t some subconscious trick of your own imagination. In the spirit of found footage thrillers, this underground gem taps into unsettling fears when a group of misfits stumble upon a rare VHS tape, only to find their fate has long been sealed. Your heart will be lodged in your throat the full two hours. You’re welcome. ⎯⎯ Jason Scott

Evil Dead (2013)

The 2013 remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic is by no means relevatory, and it’s certainly missing in the madcap comedy and black humor that made the original so adored by fans and critics alike. But what Fede Alvarez’s demonic reboot lacks in tongue-in-cheek silliness, it makes up for in razor-in-cheek nastiness. Vicious, brutal and, at times, insane (that blood rain scene is really something), Evil Dead is post-torture porn gore for viewers who are, literally, blood-thirsty for horror. — Erica Russell

Easily one of the most underrated horror films on Netflix, Hush follows a deaf writer as she’s terrorized by a masked killer at her cabin in the woods. Suspenseful and featuring one of the most badass final girls in horror, don’t miss this one. — Michele Bird

Following a hookup, a young woman finds herself being terrorized by a mysterious entity that can take the form of anything. This film keeps you on your toes because you’re constantly on the lookout and never quite sure where the entity will turn up again. Plus, if you’re in to ‘80s vibes, It Follows is totally up your alley. — Michele Bird


Step into the terrifying world of The Further in James Wan’s spine-chilling Insidious, the first installment in a three-film franchise that left horror fans terrified to fall asleep. Insidious stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye as they battle against ghouls trying to inhabit a young boy’s body. — Michele Bird

Fans of Stephen King will absolutely love the 1980 classic, The Shining. From Jack Nicholson’s iconic scene screaming “Here’s Johnny!” to the ghostly figures wandering the halls, this film will make you think twice before checking into a haunted hotel ever again. Fun fact: The Overlook Hotel is actually based on the real life Stanley Hotel in Colorado. — Michele Bird

If you’re spending the weekend in the woods, The Strangers is the perfect film to have you feeling on edge. A trio of masked individuals terrorize a couple after they unknowingly answer the door one evening. It’s full of sheer terror that will keep your heart rate high the entire film. Moral of the story? Be careful who you answer the door for. — Michele Bird