TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Out of the scariest things an inspector could find in a home, this one might take the cake.

Dean Brown was checking out a home in Wilmington, North Carolina when he discovered an 8-foot-long alligator lurking around in the attic, WECT reported.

“[At first,] I didn’t think nothing of it, I turned the corner, I’m looking around at the work, and I noticed what I thought was a fake, stuffed gator of some sort,” Brown told the news station. “Then I looked back at him and realized he was moving and breathing.”

“He didn’t really move at first. He was kind of asleep, I guess. But once I shined my flashlight on his head, his eyes started to open, and he gave me a wink and let me know, ‘I’m alive,'” Brown added.

Brown said he backed away from the gator, took some photos and notified his coworkers. Then they evacuated the home and called animal control, which showed up and removed the reptile.

Brown suspects the gator must have entered the home through a door that was left open.

“The builder arrived Monday morning and realized there was mud in the house, wasn’t sure where it was from, but he did call people in to clean and repaint some areas. Then, work continued for a day and a half until I arrived and discovered it,” Brown said. “It was an experience that I’ll never forget, not be able to share for a very long time. And I’m just thankful that no one got hurt.”