After seeing a viral TikTok video about a door-opening contraption, one woman recognized the device as being similar to one that was used to break into her family’s hotel room when she was 15 years old.
Josie Bowers—now 19 and known on TikTok as @josiebowers10—shared a video in which she’s seen dueting another TikTok clip from Braccozz, who’s quite popular on the platform. In that clip, a wire-resembling item is seen making its way under a door, ultimately resulting in the door being opened from the inside.
“I’ve actually had this happen to me before when I was on vacation,” Bowers said in her duet, shared on May 22. “I was staying in Ocean City at the Hilton, right there on the waterfront. I went to go shower before the rest of my family was gone at the beach so I was by myself. Before I could shower, I heard these noises, I went to go see what it was and it was this contraption. I was just standing there in my towel and this man opened the door.”
Bowers, who said this marked the “scariest experience” of her life, said she was worried that someone was going to break in.
“My main thought was, holy shit, I’m in a towel right now,” she said.
When the door managed to be slightly opened from the inside, Bowers recalled, she “slammed it back shut” and turned the deadbolt. At that point, someone outside claimed they were part of the hotel staff and were attempting to fix the key-entry system. When Bowers got a look at the people outside, however, she noticed they were “clearly” not affiliated with the hotel.
According to BuzzFeed News’ Shelby Heinrich, who shared an interview with Bowers earlier this week, two men were heard talking outside the door. After getting a quick look to confirm they were not employees, she decided to call out to her father—despite being the only one in the room—after remembering advice she had received about never letting a stranger know you’re alone in this type of situation.
“I’m guessing once these men realized I was not alone and they might potentially come face-to-face with my father, they bolted,” Bowers said.
In one of several follow-up videos, Bowers told her followers she was grateful to be able to “spread some awareness” about her experience.
“I don’t think this is often talked about or seen,” she said. “I’m really glad I had this experience so I could teach people about it.”