You won’t believe the kinds of things that are discovered inside the walls of homes and other buildings. Some families have had terrible luck in this regard, while other people are thrilled about their surprise findings. After reading this article, you’ll be more likely to check for any hidden compartments the next time you move into a new home. You just never know what might be lurking behind the walls.
A Norman Rockwell Mystery
You might think that people only hide things of importance behind walls in the movies, but that isn’t the case. Donald Trachte Sr. made a copy of one of Norman Rockwell’s most famous paintings and hung it up on display. He hid the original version behind a wall, which his kids, luckily, discovered after his death.
His son, Donald Trachte Jr, says people are still full of questions. “What if the house burned down? What if it got bulldozed? What if we sold it with the Rockwell still in there? I don’t have answers,” he told Fox News.
Have you ever been spied on while vacationing with your significant other? Sure, maybe some nosy in-laws here and there, but we’re talking “cameras in the wall” type of spying.
One couple staying in a Florida Airbnb found out the hard way that your privacy might not be yours. “We don’t know if there are local victims, someone who may have been dating, or a companion that doesn’t realize they are being videotaped,” police Lt. Bob Bourque said. Thank goodness authorities seized SD cards, computers, and anything that could store data.
One of the oddest things someone can say they found in the walls of their homes was discovered in St. Francis, Wisconsin. In 2011, 70-year old William Wittman was doing some bathroom remodeling when he came across a live missile in the wall. He shouted for his wife, and she called the cops immediately.
The object was only about 20 inches long, but the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department bomb squad scooped it up in a jiffy. The dangerous item was there because a World War II veteran used to live in the home.
Leave At Once After Finding This
Do you believe in haunted houses? The real kind, not the stuff you see in movies. If no, maybe you will after reading this. A construction worker found a spooky surprise behind the heating vent of a customer’s house.
What he discovered was an upside-down Ouiji board. The worker didn’t give any details on where the home was, but he did ask “where the planchette was hidden.” In this scenario, you need to leave it exactly how you found it.
Bee Careful Out There!
A homeowner in Hillside, New Jersey, had complaints of a bee problem and it being “really noisy” in his house. We wonder why? Well, there were around 30,000 bees and 40 pounds of honey located in his walls. The beekeeper who came to clean it called it insane.
“What I’m doing is I’m slowly cutting out each piece of lath – and as I do it, it just exposes more bees and more honey and more comb,” the third-generation beekeeper said. He even got stung dozens of times attempting to locate the swarm!
A Super Find
Up until now, most of the findings have been creepy and disturbing, but David Gonzalez lucked out in 2013 with his discovery. Gonzalez had always wanted to find something in all his years of construction. He even put dollar bills in walls for others to discover in the future.
One day, his wish came true when he unearthed the 1938 Action Comics #1 (Superman’s first appearance in a comic). “I knew it was worth money,” said Gonzalez, 34. “But I had no idea how much.” He put it on eBay and ended up making over $100k!
Family Living In A Batcave…
This one might sound like something out of a nightmare. Michelle Hamel and her family moved into a new home in Chilliwack, BC, but there were already some tenants in there waiting for them. Around 150 bats already called the place their home!
Hamel’s husband began looking around the house after they saw a bat fly from the chimney. “He got up on the chimney and started counting how many were coming out, and he stopped counting at 150,” she said.
Love Is In The Walls
They say love is in the air, but sometimes you can find it in the walls. A brother and sister found something that’s straight out of a love movie, maybe The Notebook?
The siblings discovered 31 love letters written by a soldier from the early 1900s. They ended up returning the messages to the woman they were for, and that same lady turned out to be the man’s wife! Why would he hide those notes from the love of his life?
The Lost Leonardo
Artists love making things difficult for others sometimes, don’t they? While researchers spend countless hours dissecting what a piece of art may mean, Leonardo da Vinci may have hidden one significant painting behind another.
Maurizio Seracini, an art diagnostician, has had well over 36 years of researching this theory. “Since the very first day of my research, the goal was to find where ‘The Battle of Anghiari’ could have been painted … and if it’s still there,” Seracini said. While it isn’t set in stone yet that the painting is there, all signs point to it being behind a Giorgio Vasari mural in Florence, Italy.
Check Your Walls For Mummy Cats!
Life was much different before the 20th century. You would never imagine today that people once purposely placed mummified cats in their walls. This was a thing in 17th-century England as a way of protecting the occupants from evil spirits.
As a result, dozens of reports of mummified cats falling out of the walls of UK homes is a relatively common thing going on today. Choose your home wisely if you plan to live over there!
Hanging Army Men…
Miniature Army men are some of the most classic toys ever. It would be a treat to find some inside your walls — depending on what condition they’re in, of course. A Reddit user’s dad found some in his wall, but it seemed like whoever put them there was angry.
“My dad found a bunch of army men tied up hanging in his wall,” the poster recalled. “Underneath the plaster, in the space between the two plaster pieces, there were dozens and dozens of green army men, with string tied around their necks hanging down.”
Spiders Force A Family Out Their Home
There’s nothing like moving into a home, only to get forced out by thousands of poisonous spiders. Brian and Susan Trost purchased a St. Louis home for $450,000 that overlooked two golf holes. But instead of golfers, the two would soon start seeing brown recluse spiders everywhere.
Susan said the spiders “started bleeding out of the walls.” The couple filed a lawsuit against the previous homeowners for not warning them about the infestation. The family ended up getting rewarded $472,000 for their troubles.
Something Out Of A Batman Movie
We’ve heard about safes being in a closet or even buried in the backyard. Those are both typical locations to stash valuables, but one hidden in the wall of a kitchen? That sounds like something Batman would do.
A couple in Arizona was in the middle of renovations when they found a safe in the kitchen. “We stared in disbelief. Time stood still. I started to reach in the safe, and Eddie yelled, ‘Wait, it might be booby-trapped!’ I’m still laughing at that one,” said Eddie’s partner, Angie. Inside was $51,080, a bottle of bourbon, and a book called A Guide for the Perplexed.
A House Contaminated By Illegal Substances
We hate when these stories involve a family that only recently moved into a home. We suppose if you don’t find out before moving in, discovering the issue before you get too settled is the next best thing.
Shortly after one Oregon family came down with breathing issues, a neighbor suggested that the previous homeowners made contraband substances there. The family had the house tested, and results reported that the contamination level was at 80 times the state’s safe limit!
The Chapel Held Bones
In 1999, renovations on the Holden Chapel at Harvard University led to the discovery of human bones in the walls. “My first thought was, ‘Oooohh, an old Harvard murder,'” said Professor Carole A.S. Mandryk.
Joking aside, Mandryk said there was probably nothing sinister about the bones, even though they were jammed inside the walls of the chapel’s basement. “Some of the bones have metal pieces sticking out of them, as if someone was trying to construct a skeleton,” Mandryk said. That’s nothing too concerning, it was just a strange place to find human bones!
A Revolutionary Find
We’ve seen some outlandish findings thus far, but this one might take the cake. “In 2008 a head was found in the attic of a house” that belonged to an old man who had owned it for years. The head appeared to be that of the French king Henry IV.
That’s an incredible discovery, but was it really the monarch’s mummified head? “A team of 19 scientists revealed in British medical journal BMJ that nine months of tests on the skull led them to believe it was that of Henry IV,” CBS News reported.
Old Blueprints Could Be Important
As you’ve probably figured out by now, construction work can lead to a lot of entertaining and valuable findings. Some discoveries aren’t worth as much as others, but that doesn’t make them any less critical.
“My friend was renovating his 150-year-old Victorian, and the workers found a wooden box inside a wall,” one Reddit user said. “All the contents were related to the construction of the house—original blueprints, some tools used, receipts for supplies.” Those blueprints could be of use to someone, like a local historian!
Solving A Sad Mystery
It took 28 years for someone to find the remains of a New York woman after she disappeared. The sad part is that it was too late as they only found a skeleton in her now-deceased husband’s walls. Police declared that she had passed away from blunt trauma to her head.
The woman’s name was JoAnn Nichols, and authorities initially thought she had run away or ended her life. All this happened in Poughkeepsie, New York, where Nichols’ son had drowned three years before her disappearance.
How awful would it be to find out that dozens of snakes lived in the walls of your home? The prospect of that is too frightening for folks, so people don’t dare to dwell in one Rexburg, Idaho house. The Sessions family learned about this the hard way in 2009.
“After we moved in, it was really horrible,” Amber Sessions told ABC News. “There were snakes in the walls. We could hear them, and then our water tasted like how they smell.”
Tons Of Toxic Waste Have A Wicked Stench
While it’s already strange enough that someone would hide toxic waste behind a fake wall, it’s even harder to understand that no one did anything about it for two years. The barrels of waste were discovered on a piece of land that was originally a tar facility, but the Ministry of Environment in Canada took years to do something about it.
“It seems that whoever the perpetrator is in this situation has fled or passed on … so how do you deal with this situation?” asked Lynda Lukasik, executive director of Environment Hamilton.
A Secret Safe Filled With Coins
In 2013, a Reddit user was cleaning his grandparents’ old house when he found something unexpected. Underneath an old rug, he found a safe inside of a concrete floor. When the family opened the safe, they found a ton of coins that the grandfather used to collect. There were also huge stacks of wet dollar bills, still salvageable.
“I always dreamed of finding something like this,” the Reddit user said. It seems like a secret treasure from a movie! The family likely earned a lot of money from that coin collection.
Dozens Of Used Razor Blades Behind The Medicine Cabinet
According to Reader’s Digest, your house could have razor blades inside of the walls. Dozens of people have found used razor blades in their walls in houses built before the 1970s. Most likely, these blades are probably behind your medicine cabinet.
In the 1950s, architects built slots inside of medicine cabinets to dispose of razor blades. When people finished shaving, they could dispense their blades into the walls to prevent cutting. “We have found stacks of razor blades in the walls at least a dozen times when we do remodels and restorations of older homes,” said remodeling manager Richard D’Angelo.
Over 4,000 Game Pieces
Imagine peeking under your floorboard to find thousands of game pieces, from cards to toy soldiers. That’s what happened to an English man in 2011. Archaeologists found pieces of silk, pins for clothing, and building blocks.
This room in the old home was likely a nursery. Archaeologists found scrapes of what were expensive foods, such as oranges. “It’s been really amazing how many objects have found their way under the floorboards, and how complex the stories that they can tell are,” said archaeologist Mark Newman.
A Solution To A Winchester Mystery
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is not a normal building. The owner, Sarah Winchester, believed that her house was haunted. She constantly changed the architecture around her home to “avoid” the spirits, resulting in bizarre rooms and staircases.
Even the stained glass windows were strange. Historians couldn’t figure out who created the windows until an archaeologist found a note inside one of the Winchester’s walls. The letter was addressed to John Mallon, one of the best glass artists of the 1800s. He created the Winchester’s strange windows–mystery solved!
A Risque Monopoly Board Game
In 2003, a man from Fresno, California, was renovating his home. He ripped up the carpet, and when he did, he found a giant Monopoly board. But it wasn’t regular Monopoly–it was a 1930s “strip Monopoly” game.
This adult-only version of Monopoly had risque pictures all over the board. It was also way oversized, encompassing almost the entire rug. The owner wanted to make lifesized pieces for the board, but he never did. He posted the board on Reddit, and people were fascinated. Who knows if guests will play in the future?
A Creepy Doll Head
In December 2020, a couple went viral on Twitter for posting something straight out of a horror movie. The poster found a doll head inside of her sister’s basement wall. Not only that, but the doll head was peeking out of the wall!
“My sister moved into a new house and found this in the wall of her basement,” the poster said. If we found that in our basement, we would move. According to one Twitter user, it is called a “cellar baby.” It was a trend in the late ’60s and early ’70s–albeit a creepy one.
Medicine From The ’80s Is Definitely Expired
A lot of people have old medication in their cabinets. But in 2020, a man discovered 40-year-old drugs behind his medicine cabinet. When the man checked behind his medicine cabinet, he discovered old Band-Aids, antiseptics, perfumes, and caffeine tablets.
These products from the ’80s are definitely too old to use. But some of them, such as some lotions and aftershave, might seem nostalgic to some people. Some of the companies, such as Jergen, are still in business. Although it was fascinating, the man likely wouldn’t make any money off of it.
A Love Letter From 1944
In 2017, a Massachusetts resident had to call the Greenfield Police Department after finding something in his wall. No, it wasn’t anything bad–it was a love letter from 1944. The letter was addressed to a “Miss Betty Miller” from “Walter.”
This story sounds like a romance movie, and it has a happy ending. The police were able to track the letter’s owner and return it. Irene Fournier, Betty Miller’s sister, said that Betty eventually married Walter. Although the couple is no longer around, their families get to see the old, lost letter.
Shoes To Protect Against Evil
In 2014, a woman in the British Isles was renovating her home. Inside the walls, she found shoes. And these weren’t new shoes; they were from the 1840s. The strangest part is that many people in the British Isles likely have shoes inside of their walls.
According to the University of East Anglia, people used to place shoes inside their walls to ward off evil. “A man in the village did tell me not to take it out of the house as it will bring back luck,” she told BBC. “But I have, and nothing’s happened.”
Back when more people believed in and feared witches, it was commonplace to store witch bottles in the walls. The practice was believed to act as a protective field against curses. One would place personal items like fingernail clippings or hair into the bottle along with a piece of cloth in the shape of a heart.
The idea was that the contents would absorb the negative energy so that the person wouldn’t be impacted. That’s what someone must have been up to when they placed a 17th-century bottle with such contents into the wall. It was discovered in London in 2004!
An Arsenal And Copper Pennies
A homeowner was just trying to renovate his home when he stumbled upon something that said a lot about the previous owner. Hidden beneath the basement staircase was an arsenal, which included a dummy grenade!
There were also pennies that date back to before the 1980s, which was when the coins were still made from actual copper. The craziest part is that there was also a safe that couldn’t be opened. We don’t even want to know what could have been inside.
A Secret Corridor
In 2011, a family from Greenville, South Carolina, uncovered what many of us dreamed about as kids. They were moving a bookshelf and stumbled upon a secret corridor! Though the intriguing found seemed glamorous at first, it was anything but.
The secret room actually has a serious mold problem. The owners found this out because within the corridor was a note from the previous homeowner. It indicated that he and his family moved out due to the mold issue. In the end, the new owners also had to move, but they at least had a note proving their case.
Hidden Vintage Wallpaper
One Reddit user was pulling back wallpaper in their old farmhouse when they uncovered this! After three layers of other wallpaper, this vintage edition came through. The design features two space crafts flying in front of planet Earth!
Back before the internet, people didn’t have such easy access to images of space. Artwork like this that depicts outer space would have been quite the sight, especially one that covers an entire wall. Still, future homeowners continued to layer over it, unaware that one day the vintage wallpaper would be a treasure in its own right.
Artwork Underneath The Wallpaper
One Reddit user was helping a friend redecorate their home when they discovered this beneath the wallpaper. The artwork depicts two women on top of what looks to be a checkerboard. The background features sweeping hills and there’s also a well.
Even more impressive is that the painting has a border that makes it look as though the wall opens up to the scene of the women. We would guess that an artist used to own the home and have to wonder how long the piece was buried beneath wallpaper.
Layers Of Paint From Former Homeowners
One incredible thing about older homes is that they sometimes leave traces of the many people who lived there before. In this case, a piece of the wall broke off in the corner to reveal dozens of layers of paint!
It looks like rock strata and is so defined that you can see each color that the wall was once painted. The previous owners all seemed to love vibrant colors in the home, which makes the current owner’s pale walls seem bland compared to what they used to be.
This aspect of the home wasn’t hidden from the homeowner, but it’s still unnerving nonetheless. The Reddit user who proudly posted this photo mentioned in the caption that their apartment features original cell doors from when the home was a police station.
We can’t imagine how anyone would feel comfortable sleeping in a space that once held criminals. You can even see the little compartment where officers could pass food and water to the captives without opening the door. We wouldn’t exactly call that welcoming.
A Paw Print
This find could be seen as adorable or frightening depending on the person who discovers it. On the one hand, the paw print engraved into the brick is a cute piece of memorabilia. There must have been a canine on the property when the bricks were being made and somehow they stuck a paw in the mold.
On the other hand, this seems reminiscent of handprints appearing out of nowhere in horror films. Perhaps the dog is a ghost still haunting the house! Either way, it’s an intriguing clue, or at least a cool detail dog lovers would enjoy.
This Reddit user was putting some elbow grease into their basement when they discovered this mysterious drawing. It was behind a wall on a block of cement and looks like it’s in the style of the cave drawings from thousands of years ago.
The image features a group of people holding hands and some holding what appears to be either jump rope or feather boas. Though the images seem positive, there’s something eerie about cement paintings that look like they predate modern society.
This home had a few friends waiting to greet the new residents. We aren’t talking about ghosts, fortunately, but we do mean mice! The holes in this floorboard look like they were modeled after the home of Jerry in Tom and Jerry.
As cute as that show was, we’re fairly sure that real-life mice aren’t quite as charming. This homeowner is probably going to want to call a rodent specialist ASAP. With any luck, the holes were from a while back, especially since the home dates back to 1741.
A Questionable Chain
The first thing wrong about this 1930s home is that it has a huge hole in the wall. But that’s not the part that we’d be concerned about as a homeowner. The really disturbing part is that there’s a chain in the hole for no apparent reason.
There’s something about rusty chains that just doesn’t sit right. Odds are it was used for something completely harmless that is well beyond our knowledge. Still, it looks like something straight out of a horror film and makes us question the person who built the house.