When I was growing up in Kansas, there was an old abandoned farmhouse at the edge of our neighborhood that we used to explore when we went out for bike rides.
It was spooky and sometimes we’d find things left behind by people who had obviously been sleeping the old house because it was in a pretty secluded location: clothes, sheets, etc. Luckily, we never ran into anyone else there…
It’s always fun to find stuff that belonged to people in old houses, isn’t it? It’s a nice little connection to the past.
Let’s look at some cool stories from folks on AskReddit who made discoveries.
1. That’s really cool!
“When we moved into my new house, there was an outlet in the bathroom that just would not work. Eventually, my dad got around to changing it.
When he pulled the face plate off, he realized that there was no electrical wiring. Instead, there was a plastic box attached to the back. Inside was a note from the people who owned the house in the late 60’s, welcoming the new owners (not us) into the house.
There were a couple of stories, well wishing, and 20 dollars to buy something nice for the house.”
2. In London.
“I had a house in London It was quite old ,circa 1835. In the basement the plaster was cracking a falling off of the one wall. We had to remove it to treat it with a damp proof membrane. Removing the plaster to bare brick revealed a bricked up doorway. We opened it up to see what was behind it.
It was a small room with a rough wooden bed all rotted away only the frame remaining and a upright chair.with the back broken and a kind of tailors dummy stood on a unplained wooden frame.
Mildewed newspaper cuttings where on the chair, most to badly rotted away but the ones in the center could be read. They were ink pictures of women with names like. “Florrie Corrigan the Irish rose” and “Irene Atkins the Clapham nightingale” Some had their faces disfigured or slashed. Some had dripping wounds and cuts drawn on them. Most had a big furry vagina drawn on.
My wife was fairly freaked and had a hippie chap come and pray / chant in the room to remove bad spirits.
It was nowhere near Jack the rippers haunts BTW, Ealing. A very respectable area.”
3. All kinds of weird stuff.
“Prosthetic leg in a pair of sweatpants.
Japanese stainless steel handgun packed in styrofoam sitting on somebody’s arrest record.
Cement autopsy table.
A $35,000 bar setup with 20′ brass foot rail, hand carved wood and trim everywhere in a house where every other room was filled with adult sized human diapers. That room was spotless, every other room was a hazmat situation.”
“I found an old pair of mens underwear. We put them in my friends drawer as a joke. A few months went by and nobody heard a thing about it. Went and looked in the drawer, he had been washing and wearing them the whole time!
He still doesn’t know.”
“When I was in high school, my friends and I got drunk and decided to go through this creepy old house that sat on some of my friend’s farmland.
So, we make our way through the place and end up in the basement. By this time, we were all huddled up in a straight line and scared shitless. We only had a single flash light, and we were all fixated on where it was shining.
As the light moved across the floor, it showed a tombstone of one of the people that used to live there. Not a word or scream. Everyone decided to run at the exact same time.”
6. Oh, Dad…
“My dad’s report card at my grandmothers house.
Straight F’s. I saved it until mine came where he would yell at me for getting a D. Showed him and he shut the fuck up.
Will never forget that.”
7. Hidden passage.
“I found a hidden passageway to the police station in a house I used to live in.
The house was built 100+ years ago (and when you look at historical pictures, it’s the first house in the area for some time) and was built for the warden of the penal institution.
He designed the place to be a maze, and when the police station was built, ~10 years after the house was, iirc, he drilled out a path between his basement and a room in the police station.
The idea was if someone came after him, he could run down that path and get to safety after losing the suspect in the home.
When we discovered it, it went all the way to an office in the old police station that has now become a retirement center. It became a big deal for a week or so, and then everyone forgot.
The retirement home later sealed in the path about a quarter of the way in and we obviously weren’t able to do anything beyond that.”
8. Very strange…
“I was rewiring a home in a historic district. There was pretty much everything the family didn’t want left there. The strangest thing was the hand crafted shrine to aliens that was in the basement that had to be removed by means of sledge hammer and wheelbarrow. This was because she hand sculpted everything and fired it in her own kiln.
She then used some kind of mortar to set it in place. The thing was maybe 4 feet tall and 7 feet long. It was stepped up the wall in 3 tiers made of gardening cinder blocks. There were at least 175 sculptures of aliens with glassy eyes cemented in place.
The story was that she set the house on fire to kill the aliens. The lady was nuts. They actually had the bomb squad remove 5 filing cabinets filled with ammunition. She was apparently getting ready for a war with them.
That really tops it. Old crazy lady built an alien shrine and died in an intentional house fire she started.”
“I was on a Habitat for Humanity crew about five years ago and we were in the beginning stages of remodeling a house.
We had to gut pretty much everything but the outside walls and the frame of the house, so everyone working on this particular house grabbed a crowbar or sledgehammer and started knocking down all the walls.
On my first swing, about half the wall just collapsed and in about a second I was ankle deep in used utility razor blades.
As we were cleaning up the pile of razor blades, we found a picture of a little girl.”
10. Holy shit!
“Not me but my uncle was helping a friend move into a old house that he just bought. Guys went up into the crawl space attic and found a box that contained a skeleton of a young girl that detectives said had been there for about 50 years or so.
“I don’t think the guy ever told his wife about it.
11. That’s awesome.
“I actually just toured a house today that was built in 1846, and in the basement was a copper engraving of the entire town, signed and dated as 8/12/1889.”
12. Bootlegging days.
“The house I grew up in was built around 1919. During renovation my dad found an old gun in the wall. I think he gave it away to a friend of his who was a collector.
He also found a baseball bat in another wall. We’re pretty sure the house was used for bootlegging during prohibition because there was a warning buzzer wired into a wine cellar under the back yard.
There was also a secret ‘back staircase’ that led out into the garden.”
“I once knew a guy who would clean houses for the police, like crack houses and stuff.
He once found a blow up doll stuffed with cash. No joke.”
14. Secret room.
“An ex of mine lived in a pretty old house. Behind one of the bottom cupboards in their kitchen there was a tiny door, just big enough for an adult to crawl through on his or her belly.
Once you crawled through, you could stand up in the little enclosed room, maybe seven feet high and 5’x4′. There was writing and graffiti all over three of the walls, but on one wall, there was this large Elvis statue. It almost looked like a shrine.
Now that I think about it, I wonder if it was some Underground Railroad hiding place or something.”
15. In the attic.
“My family moved into a house far from the city that we purchased “as is” from a devout Jehovah’s witness who hoarded things from the mid fifties right up until we purchased it in the early 2000’s.
Some of the things we discovered in the attic were:
- An urn filled with ashes. It appears to be Jainist because it has the backwards (original) swastika on the bottom. My father casually walked outside of the garage and dumped the ashes onto the grass. He said it was bad luck to keep someone else’s remains in the house. I still have the urn but couldn’t find the lid to it. I think I’ll live without it.
- Reader’s Digests from the 1960’s with articles titled “I am Joe’s Liver” and “I am Joe’s Man-Gland”. Besides the obvious cultural references, there are also gems like “The Negro’s Bright Badge of Courage” and “Does NATO Have A Future?”
Boxes and boxes of Jehovah’s witness books, magazines and bibles. Those were subsequently burned in the rusty oil drums the house came with.
- A stuffed (taxidermied?) baby alligator and an alligator purse with head attached.
- An enema kit.
- Almost every get-rich-quick scheme invented in 60’s through 80’s. Amway kits, real-estate with no money down books, etc.
Long story short – Don’t buy houses “as is” unless you’re ready to deal with massive mounds of garbage in and around the house, among other problems.”
“I used to do maintenance for a mobile home park. (Trailer park) Primarily cleaning up empty rental properties and fixing them up, making them suitable to be rented out.
This was several years ago. One morning I was ordered to go clean up a property that a couple had been evicted from. Now usually these units are nasty and the people that got evicted fuck everything up and just make a hell of a mess.
Upon entering the said trailer there was an extremely foul odor. It wasn’t feces….animal smells/piss whatever. I couldn’t quite tell. It was winter time. My nose adjusted and basically got used to the smell. After a while I started to realize the smell would get very strong every 20/30 minutes…when the heater kicked on.
I proceeded to open every heat vent and look inside to see if the assholes left something in them. In the back bedroom (where it smelled the worst) I found a grocery bag. I jumped back in horror because it was covered in blood. I puked right there on the spot. I couldn’t bring myself to look to see what was exactly in the bag.
Cops where called by me. What did it turn out being? A penis.
I wish I had proof, but its been way too long.”
Whoa! Those are pretty cool!
How about you?
Have you ever found something really interesting in an old house?
If so, tell us all about in the comments!