Surprising Things People Found While Cleaning Out The Rooms Of A Deceased Person.


From grandma's secret identity, to great uncle's bizarre living space, 20 people share the strangest things they found at a deceased person's home.

[Source can be found at the end of the article]

1. Its never too late to read a book or hundreds

My dad is a cop who worked a case where this man who committed suicide had only one relative alive, his son. The son had cut off all talk as soon as he turned 18, 20 or more years ago. The son called my dad when he got to the house asking for assistance. He sounded pretty upset on the phone so my dad raced over as soon as he could.

The father was an alcoholic with little education and worked a factory job he got with no high school degree. He was believed to be not-so-smart for lack of better term.

They stepped into the house to find HUNDREDS of books. Towering stacks, rooms full, furniture covered with books. All varying subjects from fiction to how-to. And in the front of each book was what the man had learned from it, almost like a summary.

The son was blown away, he couldn't believe what his father had been doing with the last decades of his life. The books are going to be donated, the books the son didn't pack up and ship to read himself.


2. Wedding etiquette manual for the ladies

Found my very Catholic grandmother's copy of the Kama Sutra, along with some Etiquette Manual for ladies on their wedding night from like 1918 (so it must have been her mother's before her). It was an interesting combination to find side by side.

We also found a copy of my grandparents' wedding invitation addressed to my grandfather with a handwritten note reading "You'd better not miss it!


3. Great grandpa was an interesting man

When my great grandpa died, we had to wear surgical masks to clean his house out because he chain smoked big fat cigars for decades. The smell was ridiculous.

At one point, my uncle came running out of the house with a box screaming "I FOUND HIS SKIN FLICKS!!!!"

And later on, my cousin came out of the house with a light up Christmas reindeer under his arm and a very serious look on his face. Someone asked him what he was doing and without breaking stride or changing his expression he said "I want this.


4. The mysterious grandmother

After my grandmother passed away, I was helping clear her flat. She was apparently 87 when she died, but we also had suspicions that she was older. She had grown up in Nazi Germany, and crossed the Berlin wall as a Russian spy and then gave herself in. We had a lot of questions that she never answered.

Then I found a cupboard full of notebooks. They were detailed diaries, and gave a lot of answers. My mum was heartbroken though when she found the date of her birth... it only said "It was born today." and then a week later said "It has been named by my mother in law.


Continue reading on the next page!

5. A proud, loving father

My dad was a pretty reserved guy. While I knew in my heart he would lay down and die for me without a moment's hesitation, he never said "I love you" or "I'm proud of you" or anything like that. It's just who he was.

After he died of cancer, we went to his office to clear it out. I'd never really been in his actual office since, on the rare occasions I'd see him at work, he'd usually meet me at reception.

Well, when we went in there, it was practically a shrine to me and my sister. Every certificate, photo, newspaper clipping, program, etc. was hung up on the walls of his office. A number of people came by to pay their respects as we were clearing things out and, again and again, I heard "he was so proud of you." "I've heard so many things about you, it's nice to meet you in person." "You were so special to your father. He spoke the world of you."

Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Definitely one of the more bittersweet moments in my life


6. Celebrating the life of grandchildren

My grandma died when I was 16 after getting cancer for the third time. My grandad moved into a smaller apartment and my cousins and I helped to clean out their house. (A side note... There are 9 of us, aged at the time from 12 - 26).

In the house, we found more than 20 wrapped presents and envelopes of money, addressed to all of us. They were for the big occasions that she knew she wouldn't live to see us have.

Before she had died, she had organised 21st birthday presents for those of us who weren't yet 21, engagement presents, and wedding presents, each with a card written by hand. I remember being so overwhelmed with emotion. She was an incredible woman who loved her family dearly and wanted to celebrate her grandchildren, even if she couldn't be there herself.


7. Hug a grandparent

My grandmother passed after a blood clot incident. She had several conditions that no doubt led up to this. For example, her medical team decided not to treat her breast cancer because they figured she would die before it would spread.

My father, uncle, and my sisters were left to clean out her things from her apartment. She had a lot of old, expired food. Like ketchup that had gone completely black. We found things from when she was well and social, like her quilting and handmade soaps, which were beautiful. She has a quilt that had the names of all of our family, but the names were sewn in the individuals handwriting style.

However, one day it was just my dad and me going through her bedside table. We found her journal. Toward the end, all of the entries were about how lonely she was, how she only got to see her grand children twice a year, and how her own children never saw her unless they needed something. She said she wanted to die. My dad threw it away so his brother would never have to see it.


Continue reading on the next page!

8. The rich old grandma

My grandma's house had money EVERYWHERE. Every purse had at least $100 cash. Suitcases had a few hundred more. Every coffee can or other container in her kitchen had rolls of money. There were even bags of frozen veggies in the freezer that had been split open and money hidden inside. And her bank accounts...thousands upon thousands of dollars. No one had any idea, she lived so simply and never spent a dime on anything unnecessary. I'm sure her financial paranoia was due to growing up in the Great Depression.


9. The hidden truth

Recently my boyfriend's uncle passed away. He left his house to him in his will. We've been slowly going through the rooms, but on day one of the clean, we started in his closet.

We live in a very republican conservative part of Texas. Mind you, the man was never married, but was loved by all as he housed his niece who suffered from addiction.

When we went through his closet we found numerous sparkling thongs, and various phallic devices. We thought it was strange but when we moved to the bedroom we discovered photos of him and his "best friend"

Through his death we discovered that uncle was a gay man. Something he never came out with while he was alive . It makes us sad to think he had to hide who he was for his whole life as our families are pretty open and non Judgmental.


10. The rough times of marriage

Had to clean up after my grandmother passed. Found a note from back when she was with her second husband (who died in 1995) that she never gave him. She poured her heart out to him and said she couldn't be with him, she knew the timing was hard because he was sick, but she was just done. She must have had a change of heart, but it was hard to read something that carried so much of her pain and know how unhappy she was in his last year.


11. James will always be there

Helping my mom sort through her cousin's belongings, it quickly became obvious that her cousin had led a lonely, yet eclectic life. In between beautiful pieces of modern art and Louis Vuitton luggage was stacks of letters that were never mailed and odd collections of random items. I came across a small cardboard box taped closed and labeled with "James" written in marker on the outside. I shook the box a bit, noting that felt full and was relatively heavy. I turned to my mom and told her that I thought her cousin meant for this box to go to someone named James, to which my mom said, "Oh no, honey, James is what is IN the box. Well, after he was cremated." Yep, my mother's cousin lived for years with her BFF James's ashes just hanging out in a cardboard box next to her luggage.

I quickly dropped the box of the complete stranger's ASHES and decided I had enough of packing for that day. Sadly, more than 20 years later, my family still thinks it is humorous to label gifts to me in boxes with a "James" written in black marker.


Continue reading on the next page!

12. The life of a teenager

My wifes sister died in a car accident when she was just 16. Since I had the only IT experience in the family, I was given the task of hacking into her laptop. This was back in WinXP days, I had it done in no time.

While going though her documents, I stumbled across some pictures. It was then I realized that teen girls are just as dirty minded as teen boys. There was also a chance she was a lesbian based on what I found.

I've never told anyone what I found.


13. Clearing out great uncles house was all worth it

My Dad was the only living relative in this state for my great uncle who was a hoarder. We found so many things in that 700 sq. Ft was awful.

We can start with the McDonalds bag with French fries from 1976 (Had the receipt in the bag, that's why we knew the date), condoms that expired in the 80s hidden in books, VHS porn, a non working toilet filled with feces (He had no running water for at least 10 years- he covered the toilet with a trash bag and duct tape), milk jugs filled with piss (we are talking about 30+), dead mice, cockroaches, and a ton of collectible items from flea markets.

In case you're wondering why we even bothered, there was almost $100,000 of a coin and bill collection, random money stuffed everywhere, random money orders not made out to anyone, and a ton of other miscellaneous things that were worth big money. So, hazmat suits and all, we all braved the disgustingness and cleared out the house and garage.


14. The mysterious grandmother

After my grandmother passed away, I was helping clear her flat. She was apparently 87 when she died, but we also had suspicions that she was older. She had grown up in Nazi Germany, and crossed the Berlin wall as a Russian spy and then gave herself in. We had a lot of questions that she never answered.

Then I found a cupboard full of notebooks. They were detailed diaries, and gave a lot of answers. My mum was heartbroken though when she found the date of her birth... it only said "It was born today." and then a week later said "It has been named by my mother in law.


15. Social media is the new detective tool

About a year and a half ago, my step father passed away. My mother came home from work and found him on the floor in the garage. He was 52 years old.

He used to be addicted to pain killers. Had a hip replacement and surgery on his shoulder, and got addicted to his prescriptions. Eventually he was cut off and turned to heroin.

My mother wanted me to get on his Facebook page and find out where he was that day. She came home from lunch the day he died and his truck was gone.

I found various messages of him begging people for money. Messages of him asking to score some "dope". Conversations with an old stripper girl friend of his. I found the message that killed him.

He went to a friend's house to get some heroin, came home, and used it. It stopped his heart. He laid on the floor for about two hours before my mom and my ten-year-old neice found him like that.


Continue reading on the next page!

16. A good friend knows exactly what needs to be done

When I was 26 my friend found out he had cancer, he went through chemo treatment and it was not killing his cancer so he was forced to move back in with his parents. About a month after moving in to his parents house I stopped by to check in on him. And when I was over he asked me if I could stop by his house and bring over his computer and then he said before you go over there call me I need you to do something when your there. I was like okay no problem, so a few days later I headed over to his house to grab his computer so I called his parents house and was told he was sleeping. So I thought what does he want me to do. And for some reason I knew that he wanted me to take the porn out of his house. So after I loaded up his computer I went searching for his porn stash it took a while but I found it and took it out of his house. Later that day I dropped off the computer and his parents and they told me he was still sleeping and he would call me later. When he called I told him what I had done and he said that's exactly what he wanted me to do. My friend died about a month later. I was crushed by it but I felt blessed that he entrusted me enough to do what he wanted so his parents wouldn't be the ones to find it.


17. The love of nana is never-ending

The autumn of the year that I was eleven years old my grandma died. My mum is one of eight, but her siblings are spread all over the country, and she had to do a lot of the house clearing. One day I went with her because I wanted to say goodbye to the place.

My nana used to compulsively order from catalogues - she ran up thousands of pounds of debt, probably mostly because she was housebound and bored and trying to buy the affection of her family.

We were cleaning her room, and among the piles of clutter we found a box labeled 'CloudOrigami's X-mas present'.

It was a tacky musical box ornament, and not something that I'd ever pick out. But the fact that she'd bought it and put it aside all those months before, even though she was really ill, and that in a way she still managed to give it to me, made it really special. I feel like she meant for that to happen.


18. Who would have thought!

I was cleaning out my cousin's house (single wide outside of Memphis, TN), which was left to me after he died in a car accident. I went to go look as I had really never been there other to pick him up a few times, to see what I wanted to keep before I moved the trailer up to my property.

So my cousin, who was a flannel wearing, factory working, southern accented, college football loving, truck driving person, turned out to be super progressive (a few years before Bernies run, he had donated to his Senate campaign and wrote him a letter in which Bernie wrote back), listened to jazz and blues as well as classical music, was a big reader, and when not around us, wore pretty upper class clothing.


Continue reading on the next page!

19. Kindness knows no boundaries

I befriended an older gentleman who had zero family or friends. He moved into our area and I struck up conversation with him after Church one particular Sunday. We kept in touch regularly for about 3 years. I would take him to Doctor appointments and the like and I think he enjoyed having someone around to keep an eye on him. He was struck down with pneumonia pretty bad and as I was the only person in his mobile phone the hospital rang me to let me know he was pretty low. It's an amazing thing to watch someone die and I'm glad he had someone around to be there with him. Afterward, as I was the only contact, I was asked by his solicitor if I would clean out his apartment. So off I went. I found his Will and a few other documents. He wasn't a millionaire or anything but he had a few rare coins, $50k in a bank account and over $300k in shares. His Will said that it was to be divided up between certain charities and other groups. However what was in his diary was the real kicker. He was to have an appointment with his solicitor the following week after he died to make changes to his will to make me the sole beneficiary of his estate. I simply pretended not to see it and move on to his old photo box that contained pictures of him in drag. Amazing as he was a very devout gent.


20. The memories of a best, goofy friend

My best friend was killed in a car accident when he was 15. I was like another son to his parents and a few weeks after his death, his mother asked me to come over to help go through his things, mainly because we basically treated our clothes as one gigantic wardrobe and half the stuff in his closet was mine, including the shirt he was wearing when he was killed. When we first went into his room, his mom said to me, "You have 10 minutes to remove anything you don't want me to see." and she handed me a duffel bag. I shut the door behind me, pulled out his sock drawer and took out the dime bag I had stashed there. Then I lifted his mattress and grabbed the two Penthouse magazines and the video my brother gave us. I zipped up the bag and opened the door. Together we went through his stuff, me grabbing my clothes and her giving me his clothes that she knew I wore all of the time. After a few minutes, I decided to play some music. I turned on his stereo and hit play on the cassette player and Journey's "Faithfully" starts playing. After a few seconds, dubbed over the song, is my friends voice, saying mushy things to this girl he's been crushing on since 8th grade. I listen for a minute then I just bust out laughing. That was so corny that I couldn't help it. Once I started laughing, his mom starts laughing and crying at the same time. It was the first time she had laughed since the accident and later in, she said it was a turning point for her in her grieving process. To me, it was my best friend just being goofy over some girl. I still think about him almost every day even though it's been 31 years.



Breaking up is hard to do.

And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.

People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.

Keep reading... Show less