14 Creepy Things Found in People’s Houses
Realtors, home inspectors, funeral directors, and house cleaners all have access to homes, which means they're all privy to our creepiest of secrets.
He'll take that "to go"
Lorne Caplan, who provides death-cleaning services in New York and Connecticut has seen some downright disturbing things since founding Free Home Cleanup. Usually, Caplan can tell what's in store just by observing the condition of the home's exterior. But appearances can be deceiving, as Caplan discovered when he entered a seemingly charming home only to be "nearly knocked unconscious" by the smell of raw sewage. Turned out the homeowner had such a serious hoarding problem, he'd rendered his bathrooms unusable and had taken to relieving himself in styrofoam takeout boxes (which he couldn't bring himself to throw out).
In a hoarder's home piled five-feet high with garbage, Caplan decided to start with the basement because its staircase was the only one in the house not completely blocked by stuff. Once down the steps, Caplan was pleasantly surprised to see no evidence of mold or water-damage since many hoarders allow their basements to become water-damaged... until he came face to face with a mummified possum. If you're not lucky enough to live in a creepy home of your own, you can stay at one of the world's spookiest places.
On another job, Caplan recalls, the whole house smelled of mold. "We didn't see the source... until we opened the basement door and saw something moving." That's when he flicked on his flashlight and spied a family of raccoons, frolicking in several feet of filthy water. Don't miss the 11 creepiest things found on security cameras.
Where baby carriages go to die
In the attic of a 200-year-old farmhouse in Ossining, New York, Caplan and his team found a collection of vintage prams. As if that weren't creepy enough, on closer inspection, Caplan realized that each one contained one carefully swaddled, fully-preserved corpse... of a small animal. Most were dogs and cats, but there were also squirrels and raccoons, totaling more than ten in all. Eww! If that spooked you, wait till you read ghost stories from the most haunted places in the world.
What's that? Nothing, honey
Just as Los Angeles realtor Chantay Bridges was close to brokering a sale on an otherwise lovely home, the house inspector noticed droplets of a viscous, amber liquid on some of the interior walls. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed that the attic contained a large beehive. The honey had begun seeping from the hive in the attic to the rooms below. "We had to call in a bee company to remove the hive before the sale could go through," Bridges tells Reader's Digest.
This apartment comes with a tenant. Hope you don't mind
When Emile L'Eplattenier, a real estate analyst with fitsmallbusiness.com was starting out as a realtor, he landed what he thought was an exciting rental property: a two-bedroom "floor through" (one that takes up the whole floor of a building). But he went to see the place, he noticed the owner was reluctant to open one of the doors to one of the rooms. Upon being pressed, the building owner finally replied, "That's where my friend Kevin lives. That won't be a problem, will it?"
This place is for the birds
Once, when L'Eplattenier brought a client to see an affordable apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a powerful stench in the lobby practically overwhelmed them. The lobby appeared clean, the garbage area was clean and tidy, and the apartment itself was pristine and perfect, but the client was so put off by the odor, he couldn't bring himself to sign a lease. Upon further investigation, L'Eplattenier discovered that the building superintendent had been keeping a large flock of birds in the basement, and not doing a good job of cleaning up after them. While a flock of birds is pretty creepy, it doesn't come close to these 13 other scary things found in people's basements.
So THAT's what she used the oven for
Elizabeth Fournier is a funeral director and founder of Cornerstone Funeral Services and Cremation, a one-woman "green" funeral service in Boring, Oregon. Since part of Fournier's job is coming into the home of the recently deceased to collect the body for burial or cremation, Fournier has been privy to her share of secrets that only the dead can tell. For example, in the oven of an elderly woman who was known to have never cooked, Fournier found a perfectly set-up and maintained three-story dollhouse.
The man with the fabulous shoes
Fournier took care of arrangements for a deceased, highly regarded businessman known for his conservative views. She was surprised to find that one of his bedroom closets was filled with a display of gently worn high-heeled shoes that would make Carrie Bradshaw envious—and the shoes were all clearly large enough for the man to have worn. "He didn't have any other feminine clothing," Fournier tells Reader's Digest, so the family deduced that he simply enjoyed walking around the house in women's heels, perhaps simply enjoying how the heels sounded and looked on all of his very nice hardwood floors.
What the fork?
"On my very first funeral job 27 years ago, at the home of the deceased, the family went into the bedroom to gather clothing for the man to wear for burial but found the closet door was jammed," recalls Fournier. "Turned out the closet was filled to bursting with large plastic bins containing... forks. Silver and stainless steel forks." The family said this guy always had joked about collecting a fork from every restaurant at which he ate. No one had ever believed him.