From the boogie man to shadows in the closet, there are plenty of things that go bump in the night when you’re a kid.

But one New Zealand family have learned that they’re not always a figment of an overactive imagination.

Melissa Rodrigues thought it was just a bad dream when her three-year-old son insisted there was a “man with a light” outside his window.

However after three days of him repeating the same story, the children’s author was woken to screaming.

“At 5.30 in the morning he let out an absolutely gut-wrenching scream from his room. I knew something wasn’t right,” Rodrigues told Stuff.co.nz.

Outside they discovered their gate had been left wide open with footprints visible in the frost.

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