Stories > Society

Homeowners Reveal The Strangest Thing They Found On Their Property After Closing

You just closed on a house. Everything is great - until you find weird surprises in your new home. History hides in plain sight, it seems.

jlew4asu asked: Whats the strangest thing you found in your house/property after you bought it?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


Bringing light to lost history.

Moved into an old house in Berkshire, UK, and found a bible from the 1700s in the attic. In the back was handwritten the history of the early owners. The Church in the village was 12th century and had all the records so so we tracked down the modern descendants and gave them the bible.

EDIT: Thanks to everyone who's posted complimentary comments. The couple were pretty much speechless when we gave it to them. The dates in the bible started around 1750 so it was nearly 220 years old at the time we found it.

DOUBLE EDIT: I I forgot to mention in my original post that we found the family in the same Village!

Until the early 20th century people rarely traveled more than 20 miles from their home. I met people in this same Village who are 70 years old and had never travelled further than 20 miles from their home. Sorry about the random capitalization that's Google , don't ask me why, I got enough aggravation.

Aiku

This makes me so jealous. I might find a coke bottle from the 1940 if I'm lucky.

4point5billion45

Thank you for doing this.

Family bibles were often very valuable to the family and often people would use them to track family history. You gave them an heirloom that will be valuable to their family forever.

Captain-Moroni

What's more mysterious: BDSM gear, or a phantom light switch?

My house has a two person jacuzzi tub with mirrors on three walls around it. When I was looking at the house there was a four post canopy bed with a mirror inside the canopy. Needless to say, the previous owner had his thing.

When I was moving in I found in the basement a bar with cuffs on either end hanging from the ceiling and two eye bolts in a board on the floor that would have made this a perfect place to tie someone up spread eagle. I strongly suspect that is what it was used for.

I have a room that used to be a bar (previous owner took the bar itself with him despite it being a built in). It has a dropped ceiling and the lights are above with clear panels to let the light thru. I was moving ceiling tiles to change a bulb and got hit in the face by what I'm guessing was a home made sex swing that was bolted to the rafters above.

I've been in this house 15 years and I still occasionally find a secret panel in a wall. It seems anywhere there was an extra bit of space he put a removable panel to make a hidden storage space.

And despite all that, the single most surprising thing I found in this house is the light switch in the bathroom that has power going to it but doesn't seem to actually switch anything in the house! What do you go to you mysterious switch? When will you stop taunting me and give up your secrets!!!

DeaddyRuxpin

It turns the TV on and off in the neighbor's apartment.

Lawsiemon

We had a mystery switch in the hall between the kitchen and dining room. Turns out it turned a light on in the garage (detached and a ways away) on and off. Never figured it out because the bulb was burnt that it went to and there were other lights and switches in the garage.

And then there is the Stephen Wright routine with the light switch: "In my house there's this light switch that doesn't do anything. Every so often I would flick it on and off just to check. Yesterday, I got a call from a woman in Madagascar. She said, 'Cut it out.'"

― Steven Wright

BigBlue923

Hidden treasures inside secret rooms.

We have this side room next to some stairs. While we were moving stuff into the room, we noticed a piece of drywall was coming off the wall so we took it off. Behind it and under the stair were some way old toys. Most likely from the 50s. In the same house about a year later, we paid a company to come put new insulation in the attic. When he was done he told me we had a portion of our attic sealed off. So we busted through. Found a super old sewing table and about 15 boxes of PINECONES.

R12356

It was definitely some weird crafty old lady who is now retired and making things for Etsy.

DisguisedAsMe

Some demons should stay boxed up.

An old friend of mine grew up in the house I now own. I had no idea, but he struggled with severe mental illness from around high school on. His mom left a few boxes behind in the garage and one of them was full of all his old arrest info, letters from his parole officer, and most depressingly...a letter from the judge recommending he be remanded to a psychiatric facility instead of prison. Apparently he lived his adult years in a home for schizophrenics and died a few years ago. The whole thing was just very sad.

ebjoker4

Ah man that's sad. Isn't it better that the judge recommended psychiatric care over prison, though? I can't imagine prison would have helped him.

Boghaunter

Juicy.

A cardboard box with a ball gag and handcuffs. I thought it was a box of extra hardware for the closet shelves. This was after they sent a message through the realtor asking if I had found a digital camera. I had not, but I'd be kind of curious/afraid to look at what was on it.

mcgato

Probably the ball.

GrandGhostGamer

It takes a lot of strength to not snoop.

I grew up in the middle of nowhere in southern Idaho.

The farm my folks rented was very odd. There was a ton of old farm equipment from the 40's and 50's. As well as several (about 10) old 50's cars just scattered around the property and hidden in the tree line.

The owner had a small shed on the property she asked us to never open. No worries. It sat between the garage and an old mobile home trailer that was never used.

We moved away, and shortly after the owner died. New property owners went into the shed. Found tons of old WWII and older equipment. Guns. Bayonets. A Nazi flag. All sorts of sh*t. This shed even had an old school dirt wall basement that had old radios and tons of other crazy stuff.

Unfortunately, after the new owners started messing with the shed, the basement, being dirt and all eventually gave way and a lot of stuff was damaged. They were able to salvage a lot and sold it all so it worked out.

Most I found was a previous tenant's porn stash, as a teenager in the old trailer. Best find ever.

AlphaEp1

The owner had a small shed on the property she asked us to never open. No worries. It sat between the garage and an old mobile home trailer that was never used.

There's no way I'd be able to resist the curiosity.

marvinsface

This is simply unfair.

After moving into our new house, we found around $14,000 behind the toilet. Apparently the person who lived in the house before us did not believe in banks.

Grahamtg21

Had a friend who found $200k in cash in a paper bag in a bedroom closet in a rental in shippan/cove area of Stamford, CT. They turned it in to the cops, and had to make a list of people theyd told in case that person came forward, lying to say it was theirs. After a certain amount of time it was theirs, net of taxes of course.

bigd203

Oh dear.

Rented didnt buy, but there was an old gravestone in the basement. Creepy.

HolySmokeyPants

We found a gravestone too. Ours was buried in the back yard, found it when digging trenches for drainage pipe.

Turns out the house, (built in the 1870's) was where the local newspaper was published for a time. The typesetter was also an engraver, and the stone was a misprint. One of the numbers on it was backwards. It was for a 2 year old.

rtbhnmjtrpiobneripnh

Houses with secret rooms... jealous.

My parents bought a home that used to be a funeral parlor almost 100 years ago. Dad had never questioned why there was a second bulkhead that went nowhere and when there was a bust pipe they finally had to cut it open

Inside we found a small walled off room that had hundreds of old bottles, odd equipment, chemicals/perfumed salts, stained glass windows from the original building and a few old ledgers + accounting books. Parents had no use for it and a local antique shop owner/town historian happily took it when offered.

We had received some cool old copies of photos of how the house originally looked a few years later.

KnittyViki

I just can't get my head around how big a house must be for there to be random rooms that you don't even know about. I need and use every inch of space in my house.

pm_something_u_love

If there are additions to old buildings you'd be really surprised just how much they can fit in new rooms in bizarre places. Last year I helped clean out my great aunts house and there were at least 3 rooms and an extra attic that I found that I had no idea existed. And I had been to this house dozens of times before.

LOTRfreak101

Right? My great aunt had one of those houses. After she died, we explored a little bit (honestly we were collecting the valuables to give to her daughter, my great aunts sister-in-law was a thief). Holy shit. We found a second basement. In a little closet in the back of the house, there was a trap door thing with a little stair case leading down to just a little room that must have been walled off from the rest of the basement. Nothing really down there, just some old newspapers and dust.

We also found a third bedroom on the second floor. If you went into the bathroom closet, there was another door on one side that opened into a small windowless room. Enough for a bed and a desk and a small dresser.

I kinda miss that house. Really wanted to keep it in the family but unfortunately the rest of the family decided to sell it.

CappuccinoBoy

Old pianos can be extremely valuable.

An uncomfortably obvious meth lab and a secret passage way (walls had been gutted) leading from a bedroom closet to a linen closet close to the back door.

Also (in the same house) an antique piano from the early 1900s. Had it been kept in better condition, we were told it would have been worth at least like $10,000 because that particular model was so rare.

Crispy_Apple_Pie

You "found" a piano? How was it missed?

captainp42

There was a bunch of random junk left in that house that needed to be cleared. Technically my dad is the one who scoped the place out and bought it. I just helped with flipping it. I imagine he must have noticed the piano beforehand, but what made it interesting is that he never would have imagined it to be valuable (I think he still might have gotten a couple thousand from it).

Crispy_Apple_Pie

Former pro musician here, pianos are a weird thing. Actual wood, non-digital, furniture-piece pianos are ridiculously expensive. You can't even buy one from a major music retailer like Musician's Friend or Guitar Center, they only sell digitals, and those can top out at close to $10,000.

Real baby-grand or grand pianos are works of art IMO, especially old ones, and at the same time, it isn't necessarily unusual to buy a house with a dusty, old piano in it. That piano, if restored, is probably worth tens of thousands of dollars if you're willing to throw down major cash to get it restored, plus moved to and from the restorer's facility.

A lot of times, you can find incredible pianos on Craigslist for free. "PIANO - NEED IT GONE BY NEXT WEEK - FREE" and it's an 1890s Steinway, but in such bad shape that the process of moving it will damage numerous components due to the fragile nature of hundred year old wood that hasn't been maintained in decades, and it is essentially worthless unless serious money is put into the moving process and restoration.

Pianos might be the weirdest instrument in terms of relative value.

spiderlanewales

Bring it back.

Earlier this year I moved into a new apartment and found four unopened cans of 7up Gold in a gap between my kitchen cabinets and the wall. 7up Gold was discontinued in 1988.

Edit for those asking: The seals on the cans had obviously failed long ago and all the liquid had evaporated/leaked out. There was about a quarter of a can left in one but again, the seal was compromised and it was probably so full of bacteria it wouldn't have been even remotely safe to drink.

RathrDash1ng

I got a Crystal Pepsi out of a machine once after it had been discontinued. It had only been a couple years though. I cracked it open and it still had carbonation. I loved Crystal Pepsi. I damn well drank that sucker.

Edit: I had no idea Crystal Pepsi was available every August now! Thanks everyone! Been able to get Surge again recently. (SUUUUUUUURGE!!) But haven't seen the Pepsi. Gonna be on the lookout for sure.

CatticusXIII

Doesn't everyone do this?

The strangest thing we ever found was this really long-as in over a foot long- metal screw thing that was being used to hold the windows closed. Still have no idea what it could be for.

On the other hand, we buried all our dead pets in the backyard so the next person to move in has a bunch of tiny animal skeletons to discover when they start planting new trees or whatever.

Edit: So apparently, there is quite a lot of real estate with homemade pet cemeteries tucked away in the gardens.

AllenWL

A bunch? How many dead pets are we talking here?

meamteme

Just the normal amount. About one per week.

Furt77

Razor blades.... the double edged ones from the old razors. They were in the wall when we opened it up to repair a busted pipe. I noticed a pile of debris in the wall and luckily happened to be wearing gloves. I reached in to grab the debris and throw it away and pulled out a handful of blades... there were several handfuls. I later learned a feature of the mid century modern bathroom was a blade disposal slot in the back of the medicine cabinet. Super gross and creepy. Also if you are going to move a bathroom wall in a mcm house...be on the lookout.

Bellapace

My grandparent's house has this. It was built in the 1950s. I remember being a little kid and finding the slot in their medicine cabinet. As kids will do I had to put something in it before I knew why there was a slot in the wall. One of my favorite earrings. Was pretty devastated when my Grandma told me there was zero chance of recovering my ~$2 earring. Definitely not worth ripping out the wall. I had totally forgotten about that memory!

GlitterIsLife1984

Wait so it's actually designed to never be emptied?

gedical

Yes. Here's a good Youtube video about it:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=79GlUDVJXaA

Updated link because the old one was disrespectful.

MonotonyOfLife

Ew.

I'm not very tall.

I was cleaning out my bedroom while preparing to move out of the house my family had rented for about three years. At the top of the closest, right at the back, where a balled up pair of a stranger's used underwear... that had apparently been there for at least the three years we'd lived there. That was gross.

Wompguinea

I'll do you one better! We've been living in our house about 3 years, and recently I was cleaning the bathroom closet. I must have reached into a nook I hadn't managed to before, and I found a frayed old toothbrush...and a butt plug.

I had been getting clean in a room with someone else's butt plug and what I fear may have been the butt plug cleaning utensil for THREE YEARS.

regalkegel

He tortures toys!

My kids found a crawl space up in a bedroom. They found Ken dolls with their hands melted and razors embedded. I did my best to lighten the freakishness and joked that Sid must have lived there.😬

rackfocus

Barbie Thunderdome:

Two Kens enter, one Ken leaves...

Watcheditburn

The Toy Story 4 we need...

kevma-coin-onyoutube

Have you ever found anything weird after moving into a new home?

Patcharin Saenlakon / EyeEm / Getty Images

Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.

Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.

Keep reading... Show less