The TikToker shared how it was some advice her stepfather, who is a police officer, had given her that ultimately saved the day.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 28, 2021. It has since been updated.
A TikTok video seemingly alerting people about a contraption that can open hotel room doors from the outside went viral on the platform. Posted by TikTok user braccozz, the video showed a twisted wire being inserted into a room through the gap between the door and the floor and being maneuvered to fit around the door handle in such a way that the person on the other side is able to pull down the handle to open the door. Watched over 13.4 million times on TikTok alone, the video warned: "If you ever see this come under the door, run IMMEDIATELY."
While the individual who posted it seems to have been banking on the video's shock value to score views—a suspicion made stronger by their promise to post a video showing how to make the contraction if they get enough likes—another TikTok user came forward to recount the time she actually came across the device while on holiday. Josie Bowers, a TikToker from Canada, shared how someone tried to break into her hotel room in Ocean City, Maryland, when she was on holiday with her family as a 15-year-old.
"I've actually had this happen to me before when I was on vacation," Bowers revealed in a video that has been viewed over 10 million times. "I was staying in Ocean City, at the Hilton, right there on the waterfront and I went to go shower before the rest of my family was done at the beach. So I was by myself. Before I could shower, I heard these noises. I went to see what it was and it was this contraption. I was just standing there in my towel and this man opened the door."
Responding to comments grilling her on why she didn't think to grab the contraption or call the police, Bowers rightfully pointed out that she was merely 15-years-old at the time and wasn't able to process the scary situation as it unfolded before her. When the door opened a crack, she pushed the door shut and put the deadlock on. However, she could still hear men talking on the other side of the door and revealed that one of them even tried to pretend as though they were hotel employees who had come to fix her door. Although their claim gave her pause for a second, Bowers said she knew something wasn't right when they told her that her "key thing isn't working" and that they'd come to fix her "keypad."
Ultimately, it was something her stepdad, who is a police officer, taught her that saved the day. Bowers explained that her stepdad had taught her "never to let people know that you are alone." Keeping his advice in mind, she pretended to call out to her dad and inform him that there was someone at the door to fix the keypad. Upon hearing her words, Bowers said, the intruders immediately left the spot. She added that although she came out safe from the traumatic incident, it could've easily gone very wrong.