James and Brittany Campbell got married in 2018. James was a single father with two boys and served in the US Navy. Shortly after the wedding, he was transferred to the Hawaiian military base in Honolulu for two years, and he moved there with his entire family, reports nypost.com.
In May 2019, they rented a house in Honolulu and soon after began to notice strange things in the house. It all started when one day Brittany went to the garage, where they put the boxes with things still unpacked to take one of the boxes, and found that there was a complete mess.
The boxes were scattered, and things from them were thrown out and put in different piles. Everything looked as if a man was rummaging around and deliberately sorting things according to one algorithm known to him.
Brittany got scared, ran into the house and called her husband. When James examined the mess in the garage, he thought that a robber had broken into house. However, later they found out that none of the things were missing, at least valuable and noticeable.
They eventually decided that one of their dogs had snuck into the garage and forgot about the incident after a few days.
A week after that, when Brittany was at home alone and getting dressed to go to a meeting with friends, she heard the front door slam loudly. She thought that her husband and sons had come home and called them, but no one answered.
She left the bedroom and went around all the rooms in the house, but found no one. Very frightened, she eventually convinced herself that it was her husband or one of her sons who was returning for a moment to pick up something in the house. Then she packed up and went to her friends.
Returning in the evening, when her husband and boys were already at home, she asked them if any of them had returned home for a forgotten item, and they said no. When she told James about the slamming door, she assumed it was a draft.
Brittany disagreed with this, she stated that she clearly remembers closing the door behind them in the morning, and James assumed that she simply forgot about it.
That evening they had a big fight and Brittany had a hard time falling asleep. She woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of the door opening. Listening in silence, she heard the pop again, this time from the front door.
Brittany immediately woke up James and told him about the doors, but he already directly called her paranoid and assured that he personally closed the front door in the evening. Then he fell asleep, and Brittany did not believe him, went to the front door and saw that it was not locked.
She immediately rushed to her sons’ room, but they were asleep. Brittany woke the boys up and asked if they got up at night and opened the front door. The children denied everything.
Then Brittany returned to the bedroom and woke her husband up again. They began to quarrel and suddenly both heard the door slam in the house. Now it was on the side of the door leading to the backyard. But James was not alarmed this time either and said that it was just a draft.
Several days have passed. James was alone in the house and played the piano. At some point, he felt uncomfortable, as if he was not alone in the living room and that someone was watching him. At some point, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a human figure at the window – someone was standing outside and looking at him.
He could not see the face, only the silhouette, as there was a curtain on the window, but he immediately rushed to the window and threw back the curtain. Alas, the stranger reacted very quickly and James only noticed how a man ran towards the backyard, and then disappeared somewhere.
James convinced himself that it could be one of the curious neighbors, but even he was alarmed and knew that something bad was happening.
In a couple of days the whole family was going to go to the cinema and Brittany decided to take her favorite blanket with her, as the evening was chilly. She searched the whole house, but could not find a blanket. They ended up going to the cinema without it.
When the family returned home that evening, they were shocked to see that Brittany’s favorite blanket was perfectly folded and laid out on the couch. Now everyone was frightened and believed that someone else was entering their house. They were so frightened that they decided to leave here for a while to their home on the mainland.
They returned almost three months later, on September 20th. And when they stopped at the house, they immediately saw that James’s bicycle was lying in the driveway, although he had locked it in the garage before leaving.
When they opened the garage, they again found a complete mess there, but this time, next to their scattered things, there were orange bottles with some kind of pills.
The family concluded that they had been robbed, and Brittany called 911. After putting the children in the car, James took a large hammer from the garage and began to open the front door. He suspected that the intruder was still in the house.
He turned out to be right, because as soon as he began to open the door, someone from the inside began to clamp the handle and interfere with him. And then in the peephole he saw someone’s eye and a male voice from behind the door said “This is not your house.”
Enraged, James used all his strength and finally burst inside, immediately pouncing on the stranger and knocking him to the floor. He threatened him with a hammer and then dragged him out of the house onto the lawn. Soon the police arrived and twisted the stranger, immediately finding out his identity. It turned out to be a certain 23-year-old Ezequiel Zayas.
Meanwhile, James and Brittany entered the house and found everything inside in disarray. The piano was missing from the living room. The furniture was stained with some stains. The only room that was in order was the sons’ room.
The kitchen was also full of rubble, everything was packed with pans, pots, plates and bottles of water and an incomprehensible liquid.
In the bedroom, James found a towel spread out, on which were many neatly arranged sharp knives, and next to it was a laptop. When he opened the laptop, a document titled “The Omnivore Trials: A rehabilitation for Ratlike people”.
When he began to read this document, his hair stood on end. It was a diary in which Ezequiel described how he secretly watched the Campbell family, breaking into their house and peeping through the windows. He considered them as seven human rats on whom he planned to perform “corrective” surgical procedures.
“He wanted to play doctor on us—and not in the cute little kid way,” Brittany said. “[He wrote about] how he could make us into perfect people.”
These procedures included limb amputation and gender reassignment. And in order to calm and immobilize the Campbells, he intended to feed them with those medicines, vials of which lay in the garage.
Also on the computer was a video of Ezequiel, in which he was completely naked sitting on a chair, looking into the laptop camera and talking about his plans.
It is still unclear how Zayas got into the Campbells’ two-story house and how long he hid there. And also for what reason he chose the Campbells. But his diary contained very personal details about them, such as the fact that Brittany was undergoing fertility treatment, which the couple did not share with anyone, and other medical details. Where he got this information from is also a mystery.
Zayas was charged with burglary, but then released under supervision. Soon after, he was arrested again, this time on charges of vandalizing a Buddhist temple. This time he received a real prison term.
In 2020, while in prison, Zayas killed his cellmate, 62-year-old Vance J. Grace. In the fall of 2020, he was charged with first and second degree murder and pleaded not guilty. Then he was declared “unfit to continue the process” and was placed in the hospital.
According to the latest data, another trial awaited him. What happened to him is currently unknown. It is also unknown whether he underwent a psychiatric examination and whether he was declared sane or insane, whether he was diagnosed with mental illness and other details.
The Campbells themselves were very shocked and frightened by what had happened. They left Hawaii as quickly as possible, but later agreed to work with journalists and a TV show was filmed about their story.
“This incident really affected us psychologically as a family. It turned our whole life upside down. It was really difficult to recover from this,” says Brittany.