When you step over the threshold of a stranger’s house, you really never know what you’re walking into. Heck, even if you’re visiting the house of someone you think you know there are bound to be secrets – we all have them.

These 14 people weren’t prepared for actual horrors, though – but in many cases, that’s exactly what they got anyway.

14. I think I would have left.

I did residential HVAC for a few years I’ve seen a few hoarder houses. The worst was an older lady who had most rooms full of what seemed like garbage. At the end of the day I was working on the thermostat placed my screw driver on a random pile because I needed both my hands for a second.

Went to pick up my screw driver and finish up, right next to it was a bowl of used sanitary napkins. After when I was leaving the lady reminded me to vacuum. Wouldn’t have bothered me if I had actually made a mess but I know I did not.

I know this because I put down a drop cloth to avoid placing my tools in cat vomit and anything else that was on her disgusting floor.

13. You don’t know whether to laugh, or…

Install tech for AT&T here.

Aside from nasty hoarder houses, the weirdest was a kid about 3 years old went into his mom’s bathroom, dug through the trash, and came out pretending her used tampon inserter was a slide whistle

12. I hope she was telling the truth.

I worked for a moving company and we went into a lady’s house and kept finding needles everywhere. Behind the furniture, down in the couch and chair cushions.

We stopped after a couple min and refused to finish the job. Turns out her teenage daughter was diabetic, and would just toss the finger prick needles, and syringes everywhere.

She honestly didn’t understand why we refused to touch the furniture after one of the guys carried some cushions and wound up with a needle stuck in his shirt.

11. Did the bathroom not work?

When I worked in pest control, I went to a house that called us for roach problems (shocking). As soon as I entered the home, I knew it was going to be bad. The smell nearly knocked me down. I had to make an excuse to go back to the truck right away, just to take a breath. I returned with my mask on. Inside the house was the mother and 3 small children. The smell was something that I really hadn’t smelled before, and in this business, you smell a lot. The house was dirty, but not in the hoarding way,at first glance. Just basically a typical house that was obviously run by the kids and lazy parents.

Kitchen was dirty, looked like about a week of dishes piled up and scraps of food on the counters. But still nothing explained the smell. As I started up to the attic, the little girl ran by my latter started to pull down her pants as she ran to her room. I looked away, but she left her door open.

As I climbed into the attic I noticed that she was squatting and taking a crap in the middle of her room. After she left I looked in her room and saw piles of human feces all around her room, dried up .

I checked the other kids bedrooms and found the same thing. The mom didn’t even bother to clean up, knowing that she had an appointment with me. I made some excuse to schedule another follow up later.

I left. Before I even left the driveway, I called child protection service.

10. So creepy.

I was a paramedic and then later a police officer for many years. I’ve seen enough hoarders situations to last me 10 lifetimes. Probably the most odd thing I’ve ever seen was in the home of a sweet old elderly couple. Their home alarm went off in the middle of the night due to a malfunction of some sort. This is a very common call. My partner and I showed up and the couple was very nervous that someone had broken in, so they asked us to do a check of the inside of the home which we agreed to. The house was pretty big, including a very large finished basement with lots of rooms in a crazy array. It actually reminded me of Buffalo Bill’s basement from Silence of the Lambs, but cleaner.

We opened one door and found a square room, about 12×12 feet. Walls alternating pained blue and red. But the odd bit was the room had nothing in it but a single chair directly in the center, and eyebolts in the concrete floor – one on each corner of the chair.

The chair was one of those old school chairs you’d find in a 1960’s office or waiting room. It clearly looked like this room was designed for some odd sexual fetish or interrogating Al Qaeda. I remember when I saw it, I stopped dead and stared. It was so creepy,

I felt like I walked into the set of a Kubrick film. My first thought was I’d turn around and find the old homeowner with an axe, ready to take my head off. My partner, who was directly behind me looked in and said “well we just found the discipline chamber.”

Fortunately he didn’t grab my shoulder first, or I might have shot him.

Had we not been given permission to search the entire house, I’d have worried there were people captive somewhere in that home.

9. That’s a rough day.

I do pest control and when I climbed an attic ladder and switched on my flashlight I saw a person up there waiting for me. Turns out they kept a mannequin in the attic to scare squirrels. Didn’t work, the squirrels were nesting two feet away. Scared the s*%t out of me.

Also found Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of England, in life sized cutout form in a basement closet. Also scared the s*%t out of me.

8. Eyeballs.

This one lady that we called eyeballs had contact lenses everywhere… every other week. She just flicked them when she took em out.

7. At least there are protections in place.

I worked tech support for a major telecom provider and a big part of my job was dispatching technicians for on site issues. I’ve worked for enough telecom companies to know that they are all evil, profit driven, borderline cartels without a shred of decency or compassion, but I was pleasantly surprised by one thing:

Technicians had an absolute ability to just nope the fuck out of any call at their own discretion. If the customer made them uncomfortable, made them feel unsafe, interfered with the job, refused to take instruction, didn’t clear the work area, conditions were unsafe, unsanitary… anything.

The techs could walk off and the company wouldn’t bat an eye. A note would be left on file for that residence and the customer would get one chance to rectify the issue. If it happened again a denial of service would be issued for the address. In some very rare circumstances they were not given the second chance.

The company even went so far as to instruct their techs that if they encounter an infestation they get right into their service vehicle, strip down, bag their gear, put on their spares and file a reimbursement claim for a full set of new gear toes to tits.

Probably more of a liability thing than a corporate decency move, but I was surprised regardless.

6. Never went back.

An endless collection of dildos and sex toys of course.

The worst thing was an elderly woman confined to her bed in a FILTHY house. There was trash everywhere, roaches crawling around, her bedding was filthy with excrement on it.

I walked right out there, told the guy who called me that I was running for parts. Called the police and NEVER went back!

5. Infestations galore.

Not mine story, but my wife’s. She was what amounts to a very well degreed social worker. Her job was to do in home assessments on people with mental health issues. She has lots of stories of filthy homes, but she had one client that she visited and the house was absolutely disgusting. Spoiled food and garbage everywhere, unimaginable smells. Clearly the client did not clean.

My wife noticed they had small, open sores all over her ankles and wrists. She was super concerned of picking up bed bugs at this time as one of her coworkers had that happen. She noticed a tiny bug crawling on her slacks, tried to brush is off and immediately competed the assessment.

She ran to her car, took off her pants and shoes in the parking lot, tossed them into the trunk and got into the driver seat and called me. We left her car outside in sub-freezing temps for the next few days.

Afterward, she found out it wasn’t bed bugs, but fleas. The place was infested with fleas.

4. Huh.

Lots and lots of people don’t have beds. Doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a $500k house or a $500/month apt, there are a ton of people without a bed.

3. Nice tip.

I delivered pizza at a drug dealers place. Building was locked down with kids monitoring the entrance. They told with floor to go and which door to knock on then followed upstairs.

The guy that answered the door looked basically Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2. Another guy was playing fifa with a gun casually left on the couch next to him.

Mickey paid me, the kids escorted me downstairs and gave me a bag of weed as a tip.

2. The newspaper couple.

I used to work as tidy-up man [german speaker, sorry for strange words sometimes] and saw a lot of really strange things in houses, which had to be normal for the people. Maybe the behaviour is considered as illness, but its really strange anyways. So the people were already dead when we cleaned the houses. I was younger back then and I forgot to make pictures (it was 10 years ago).

The newspaper couple. An old couple lived in a small flat and the only thing they did, was to sort and organize the free newspapers you find in front of your door. But hey had a special way to do ist. They cutted every headline, every picture out of a bunch of these newspaper and put them into ring folders.

They did for over 40 years (we found papers form the 70s); every (every) wall in the flat were ringfolders. But because and some point they didn’t manage to do it right, they started to put the newspapers they still have to do on the floor. The floor in the entire flat was full of newspapers up to 50cm. (In their basement we found a small box of plastic filled with stones, sand and water

It was labeled: scoured and packed 1968. In german this hits the humor my college and I had and we still giggle about that “abgekocht und eingepackt”).

The bottle lady. She was an retired gynecologist and lived in her old doctors office. The interior was from the 70s and there was everything like in a normal doctors office. But she she lived in this thing with no bed, no kitchen. She slept on a couch in the waiting room; the only non-doctors-office thing was a TV she placed there. In the laboratories was a fridge (for medicines) she also used for food now..

She was an alcoholic and drank Gin only and brought the same small bottle from a small supermarket, but she didn’t throw the empty bottles away. She placed them all over her the doctors office, her home.

Everywhere, Gin Bottles on every surface, mountains of gin bottles. She only had a small path from the door to the couch, to the TV, to the toilet and the fridge.

1. Gross and weird.

Late to the party here but I worked as a pest control tech. So many elderly folks with pets have portions of their house that they cant get to or dont get to very often and their pets have figured this out. Tons of elderly folks have a room/hallway/2nd bathroom that is just full of feces and urine their pets go in. Its really terrible.

Weirdest thing was a house full of folks who were from somewhere in Asia that had converted their backyard into a full garden of vegetables and fruits. Just massive, 2000+sq ft of yard that was rows and rows of food. Go into the house and this 3bd/2bath house with a basement has maybe 12-13 people living in it. Just people on top of people, and throughout the house, in the kitchen and on other hard surfaces like tables and counters there is just raw meat sitting out.

I got called to this house for a roach treatment and they were everywhere. All around the house, in the yard, crawling up the siding, and the lady who I was communicating with just couldn’t grasp why she shouldn’t leave raw meat out of package all over the house that was infested. Maybe more gross than weird.

I cannot with some of these. They’re just too tragic.

If you regular go into other people’s houses and have a story that belongs on this list we want to hear it in the comments!