Fair warning. After reading this, you'll never sleep without the light on and all the doors locked and bolted.

A child in New Zealand managed to freak his parents out to the level that is generally reserved for horror movies last week after cries about a man outside his window three nights in a row came true.

Melissa Rodrigues' three-year-old son had complained to his parents that there was a 'man with a light' outside his window at night but both his parents chalked it up to a vivid imagination and/or bad dreams. But then last Friday he woke them at 5.30am with a 'gut-wrenching' scream, before leading his father outside where they discovered an open gate and footprints in the frosty grass.

The family then called the police and began thinking up surveillance options before settling on using an old smartphone and a motion sensing app which they stuck on their garage facing the house and began a stake out that night.

Lo and behold, the man returned and thanks to the app they family were able to catch him on camera while calling the police, who swept in and apprehended the man who turned out to be a local teenager that was known to the police for stealing. Neighbours had reported items going missing from their gardens which they believe was also the work of the teen, and are now a lot more relieved.

As for the kid, he'll probably need a lot of therapy. And should never be let watch a horror movie like 'The Strangers'.

Via Stuff.co.nz