'I Never See Anyone Here': Man's Creepy Apartment Complex Saga Prompts Wild Theories

TikToker Cody, known on the app as @atlcody, suspects something strange is happening in his apartment complex—and he's documenting the mystery, dubbing it "MenuGate."

Viewers are now invested in the multipart saga, which began with some seemingly innocuous take-out menus and soon involved secretly-vacant units, abandoned cars, and a message from a former tenant. The first clip alone has racked up over 1.5 million views since it was posted late last month, along with over 234,000 likes and 3,000 comments.

Cody's first video began a few days after a worker from a local restaurant came and placed paper take-out menus in the crack of each unit's front door. While that alone was no cause for alarm, he noticed that flyers stayed put for days, suspended in each unit's doorframe—meaning that no one had been entering or exiting the apartments.

"They say the building's full, but I never see anyone here," he says in the clip. "Are you really telling me people live here but no one on my floor has come in or out of their building in three days?"

For context, Cody is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and lives in a large and reportedly fully-occupied apartment complex—a claim that's backed up by the current state of the city's rental market. As Cody notes in a later video, he lives in a coveted part of Atlanta where housing is in high demand.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted in August, "demand for rental housing ... continues to outpace supply and prices have kept rising rapidly." Additionally, the city saw "the sixth-strongest growth among the nation's 50 largest metro areas" which "was driven by high occupancy."

With that in mind, Cody's mystery becomes even stranger. A follow-up video, made five days after the menus were placed in the doors, shows that the vast majority of them are in the exact same place. "I don't get it," he says. "I live in a nice part of town in a demandable market. My building is a good building, especially for the price."

"How are they vacant? Or, does everybody just go on vacation for weeks?"

The plot thickens the next day when Cody takes a look around his building's parking garage and finds that the number of cars compared to apartment units doesn't add up.

"Some of these cars don't look like they've moved for a while," he adds, zooming in on one vehicle that's covered in thick layers of dust and cobwebs. Continuing to roam around the garage, Cody finds at least two other cars left in a similar condition. A later video also shows that one dust-covered car in the garage has a registration sticker that expired all the way back in 2019.

In another update, Cody looks at his apartment complex's website and finds only four vacancies in the entire building—but he believes there are far more than just four, noting that there are "more menus still up than that" as well as "more abandoned cars than that."

That night, he goes outside his building to check which units have lights on—which would indicate that someone lives there. Over half of the apartments appear to be left dark. "Where are the people?" he asks."I know some people live here, but the more I investigate this, the more I feel like there should both be more and less people at the same time."

On Day Eight of "MenuGate," Cody reveals that all of the takeout menus have been removed from his floor—but he believes it's because the building's management is "up to something." Specifically, he notices that a menu has been removed from the door of a unit which he knows for a fact is vacant. "I know no one lives there, so they're onto us."

Eventually, a former resident of the building saw Cody's TikToks and reached out to share their experience. "I'm not sure about the emptiness, it was decently occupied when we were there," wrote the former resident. "But a few months before we left, it got real shady."

In the most recent update, on Tuesday, or Day Nine of the saga, Cody appears to see someone going into the stairs—but by the time he reaches the person, they're gone.

Viewers have become invested in the series, and many are offering up possible explanations—some more plausible than others—in the comments section.

"You've unwittingly become someone's test subject in some kind of experiment," theorized @radcoredadcore.

"There was carbon monoxide. They are all dead," speculated @emilyh1128.

"A lot of families will rent apartments but not occupy them just so their kids can go to that school district," offered @katiejeankey.

"Cars used in criminal acts get abandoned in parking garages all the time," added @lobstabisque.

However, some viewers have more practical theories as to what's going on. "They're investor owned units that are held but empty in order to artificially inflate demand and reduce supply," wrote @slithytove2.

"Zillow owns the rest," joked @omaha.brewery.mom.

Newsweek has reached out to Cody for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Apartments
One TikTok user's series of video documenting his experience living in a building where there appears to be a lack of life, which he dubbed "MenuGate" has viewers hooked. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images