We were a very happy family of $3$ members, me and my mother and father. Sometimes my parents would go outside to visit my grandmother and I used to live alone freely, doing my work and reading storybooks in my freetime. However one day turned out to be creepy.

One day, my parents went out to visit my grandmother and I was alone in my room, doing my schoolwork . My room was in upstairs, and suddenly I heard some faint footsteps on the ground-floor. I could not understand what it was, as the entrance door was closed, so I went down to inspect the floor. To my surprise, there was some muddy footsteps in the floor and it vanishes to a back-door (which was closed) behind my house !

I immediately called my parents to come soon, and when they came after $5$ minutes, after opening the entrance door, my parents and I together now heard the same footsteps from a room, and the entrance door got closed by itself. My parents, terrified, immediately called the police instead of checking the room :-

My Father :- "Help Please, we are stuck in our ground-floor and there is someone in our house, we cannot get out from our back-door as the attacker\burglar is very near to that room !"

Police :- Don't worry sir, keep patience, $2$ of our cops are immediately coming to your house.

Without no hesitation, after $2$ minutes a patrol car with $2$ police officers came outside the house, broke open the entrance door, followed the muddy footsteps (which they saw on the floor) , and went in the room from where the footstep ended.

After some minute or so, they came out saying to my father :-

There is no one in the room, if there would have been someone, then they would have left by the back-door, but it was closed. I think it was some kind of illusion you or your son has seen, but not to worry as we will check every room.

They checked every room of our house, and replied that there was no one in the house, and left. Also, I checked to my back-door, and it was closed.

My parents did think that maybe it was just some other sound (or some illusion), but I did not think that for a second.

What happened in real in my house?

Hint $1$ :-

If you missed something, read the story again. Yes, you heard me right, read the story again.

Hint $2$ :-

I reduce this to $5$ options. Which option shows the most suspicious part? (i) The parents entered the house unexpectedly. (ii) How did the muddy footsteps come? They show the shape of the feet of a man and it must be that someone had entered, but where did he go? (iii) The police had a plan on the family, why would they come as soon as they made a call? (iv) The back-door was closed, there was no one inside the house. It should be some illusion or some other noise. (v) The person who came into the house did not come to murder/steal anyone/anything. He came as a tracker to the house.

Unfortunately no one found the answer here and instead closed my question out of nothing, but still I am going to reveal it here.

Answer:- If the family called the police on an emergency, how did the police know their address? It was also odd for the police to know that this was an illusion or so, and why did the police didn't think before that the back-door could have been opened, and instead it was closed? The tracker who came in the house was someone from the police, and the police had already planned something on the family's house.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you'll have to be more obvious with any subtle clues that you tried to hide in the story. There are enough grammatical issues with the story that it makes it really hard to tell if something is intentionally odd or if it's just another grammatical issue. $\endgroup$ – Rob Watts Oct 7 '20 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand why the eminently logical solution doesn't work: someone with muddy feet entered through the front door and closed it behind them, then walked through the house and made some noise in the back room, and finally walked out the back door and closed it behind them. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Hoagie Oct 8 '20 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ I think "closed" is meant to mean "locked", in which case this solution requires them to have keys to the house. Which certainly works, but I guess something puzzlier is intended somehow. But since my answer's now been accepted despite OP's comments implying I didn't have what they considered a good enough solution ... I dunno :-). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 8 '20 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ You puzzle was not closed "out of nothing". Five separate community members voted to close it on the grounds that it doesn't have a single, clear answer that explains all the clues better than any other. $\endgroup$ – bobble Oct 13 '20 at 14:35

A few possibilities, some of which are cheaty.

The simplest possibility, which I don't see anything in the story to rule out, is that

someone else has keys for your house, and locked the back door behind them when they left.

This still leaves unexplained

why they went into your house at all

but there would seem to be many possibilities for that. This seems too straightforward an answer to be the intended solution, if this is a puzzle, but "in the real world" it would certainly be my best guess. A more puzzle-y but sillier option:

you didn't explicitly say that the footprints on the floor were from human feet or shoes. So maybe they were made by a cat, and the door at which the footprints stopped has a cat flap in it.

That's an unsatisfactory solution because

if you actually saw that you would never think "oh no, there's someone in the house"; you would recognize that you were looking at the tracks of a much smaller animal; you would therefore not call your parents, they would not call the police, and the police would say "we're pretty sure it was just a cat" or whatever.


an animal that's somehow got into human shoes or boots might produce more human-looking tracks.

But that's unsatisfactory because

an animal small enough to get out through a cat flap would not be able to leave plausibly-human tracks, whatever was on its feet. And most likely those human shoes or boots would get left behind at the cat flap and someone would have noticed.

  • $\begingroup$ You tried it nicely, it is actually true that there are many possibilities, but there is something else which shows that something was wrong in the house. [Read the whole story again :)] $\endgroup$ – Anonymous Oct 7 '20 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Anonymous Out of interest, you marked this answer as correct but said in your comment above that there was 'something else' wrong in the house, which I don't think anybody else has pinpointed. Would you like to reveal that now, to satisfy people's (my!) curiosity? Thanks :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 13 '20 at 8:35

Maybe this happended:

"footsteps in the floor ... behind my house"
Someone: 'X' is in your garden, which obviously is on the ground floor (that also explains the "in" i.s.o. "on" the floor)

"after opening the entrance door"
X can now go into your home, i.e. produce "footsteps from a room"
X afterwards leaves your house and the door "closes by itself" (wind?)

Then the police "followed the muddy footsteps (which they saw on the floor) , and went in the room".
This is now possible, since X has been in the house leaving mud behind.

note: "where the footstep ended" -> Possibly X walked backwards
note: "Not explained is why the police thinks it is an illusion. Could they assume that the mud in the house is from the family? Likely I am still missing something.

  • $\begingroup$ Why are you assuming there is a garden? is it because of the mud? Probably yes, but how does it lead you to a clue? $\endgroup$ – Anonymous Oct 7 '20 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ Your reaction shows the reasoning was too thin and probably not 'lateral' enough, but mud + prints 'in' i.s.o. 'on' the floor + door 'behind' i.s.o. 'at the back of' the house suggested outdoor to me. $\endgroup$ – Retudin Oct 7 '20 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ I also wondered about whether the intruder rot13(jnyxrq onpxjneqf) but it doesn't seem like this actually helps with the actual difficulties because rot13(gur sebag qbbe jnf nyfb "pybfrq", juvpu V gnxr vg zrnaf "ybpxrq" fvapr gung'f nyfb ubj gur onpx qbbe vf qrfpevorq). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 7 '20 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ (If it rot13(zreryl zrnaf "pybfrq") then there is no puzzle at all, so far as I can see.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 7 '20 at 15:49

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