Moving into a new house or apartment is an experience often accompanied by the excitement of making an unfamiliar place feel like home. Yet no matter how many pictures we hang, the previous residents of the space seem to always linger in the scuffs on the wall. Or, perhaps, in the spaces behind the wall.
For these 20 homeowners, the spaces between the plaster proved to be a treasure trove of unbelievable oddities, ranging from the fascinating to the deadly. It just goes to show: you never know what could be lurking behind the walls inside the place you call home…
1. Mummified Cats: Live cats were once sealed into the walls of homes in order to protect the occupants from evil spirits. This practice was popular in 17th-century England, and there have been dozens of reports of mummified cats tumbling out of walls all over the UK.
Through the Shattered Lens
2. A Live Missile: In April 2011, a Wisconsin man was remodeling his bathroom when he discovered a 20-inch Korean missile with a five-inch explosive head in his wall. According to neighbors, the home’s previous owner was a Korean War veteran who liked to bring home “souvenirs”.
3. Hidden Cameras: There are always risks when it comes to renting a home, and this couldn’t have been truer for one Australian couple. They were horrified to find dozens of hidden cameras in the walls of their rental home.
4. A $15M Painting: Two brothers discovered that their late father hid a priceless Norman Rockwell painting (right) in the walls of his Vermont home in order to keep it from their mother during their divorce and hung a self-painted fake (left) in its place.
The Newport Daily News
5. Hanged Army Men: During a renovation, a homeowner was delighted to find a number of army men figurines hidden in one of the walls. However, this find turned morbid quickly as he discovered that the figurines were all dangling from strings tied around their necks. Yikes!
6. A Missing Boy: In 2007, four-year-old Ricky Chekevdia and his mother, Shannon Wilfong, disappeared amid a heated custody battle. After two years of searching, Ricky and Shannon were discovered in a hidden room built into the wall of Shannon’s mother’s bedroom.
NY Daily News
7. Lots of Snakes: When an expecting Idaho couple moved into a new home in 2009, they couldn’t wait to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. What they got instead was the hiss of hundreds of venomous snakes slithering up from the nest below their house and through every crevice of their home.
snakeman / YouTube
8. A 100-Year-Old Ouija Board: Ouija boards are creepy on their own, but one found in an abandoned house? Downright terrifying. According to the construction worker who made the discovery, the board was concealed in a wall and was positioned with its writing upside down. Let’s hope he left it where he found it…
9. Lots of Bees: When brown ooze begins pouring out of the walls, it becomes a question of who to call next: an exterminator or an exorcist. For one Colorado homeowner, it was the former, as a whopping 60 thousand bees had taken up residence in her walls.
10. A Da Vinci Mural: It’s one thing to have the wealth and influence to commission Leonardo Da Vinci to paint a mural of the Battle of Anghiari, but to then commission another artist to cover that mural? Insanity. Luckily, artist #2 felt the same and constructed a fake wall to hide Da Vinci’s painting.
11. Action Comics #1: One of the most valuable comic books of all time, this issue is known for featuring the first appearance of Superman. Rather than sitting on someone’s bookshelf, however, the comic book (below) was found behind a wall and sold for an astonishing $175,000 at auction.
12. Lots of Bats: When a Canadian man discovered hundreds of bats living in his attic and walls, he worked tirelessly to sealed every entry point. Unfortunately, bats like to return to the same place every year, and every single one managed to crawl their way back inside the home.
13. Witch Bottles: In a similar way, those who were wary of witches would often seal a glass bottle filled with hair, fingernails, and urine in their walls to ward off curses.
14. Toxic Waste: After removing 400 barrels of toxic waste from his property, an Ontario man discovered an additional 400 barrels behind a basement wall. Apparently, the previous owner was known for having some sketchy business practices.
15. Lots of Spiders: If snakes and bees weren’t bad enough, imagine spiders pouring down from the ceiling and “bleeding” out of the walls. That’s what a St. Louis couple got in 2014 when thousands of deadly brown recluse spiders forced them to flee from their home.
Missouri Department of Conservation
16. A Strange Treasure: A safe in the basement? Predictable. One buried in the backyard? Not bad. But one hidden in the wall of a kitchen? Now that’s just weird. The contents of the safe in question were odd as well: $50,000 in cash, a bottle of bourbon, and a copy of E.F. Schumacher’s “A Guide for the Perplexed”.
17. Meth Residue: Shortly after a couple began experiencing breathing problems in their new home, they discovered that the previous residents had been using the space as a meth lab. After having the house tested for toxicity, they found that the walls contained contamination 80 times over the safety limit.
18. Human Bones: While preparing an old chapel for renovation, construction workers at Harvard University were shocked to discover a small collection of human bones. Initially believed to be the remains of some unidentified murder victim, the bones were later confirmed to have been left over from the chapel’s time as an anatomy lab.
19. The Head of King Henry IV: While most of us store things like baby toys and old furniture in our crawl spaces, others prefer to stow away 400-year-old heads of French monarchs. That’s right: during a search of a retired tax collector’s attic, a journalist stumbled upon the petrified head of King Henry IV in a hidden wall space.
20. A Body: In 2013, the body of a woman missing for 28 years was found behind a false wall in the basement of her Poughkeepsie, NY home. Her husband, who reported her missing in 1985, is believed to have committed the murder, though he died just a few months before the body was discovered and was never questioned.
Whoever thought that a simple wall could be the perfect hiding place for so many strange and surprising things? Maybe there really is something behind those bumps we hear in the night…
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