25 Quirky And Unexpected Stories Shared By Those Unpacking In New Homes

Published 7 months ago

Moving into a new house is an exciting adventure, filled with the anticipation of creating a home in a space that was once someone else’s. However, what happens when you stumble upon unexpected treasures, or perhaps, peculiar artifacts left behind by the previous owners?

A Reddit thread posed this very question: “People who bought a house, what is the weirdest thing you have found left by the previous owner?” In response, some individuals shared their intriguing and sometimes downright bizarre discoveries, offering a glimpse into the curious world of home ownership.

More info: Reddit

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#1

Image source: catsaway9, Suzy Hazelwood

It’s not really weird but I think it’s kind of a nice story

One of the kids’ rooms has a shelf going all around the top edge, and when my kid was putting stuff up there they found a letter from the previous kid. The letter welcomed them to the room etc and asked them to take special care of a rose bush in the front yard that was their special rose bush. My kid thought it was really cool to have that connection with the previous kid.

#2

Image source: LateralThinkerer, jeff covey

Before I met her, my wife got a call from someone she worked with saying they’d just bought an old house and in the city, and in it was a steamer trunk with her family name (not a common one) carved into the woodwork on one end.

As it turns out, it was the trunk that her great grandfather used when he came over from Germany, and it made the trip to my wife’s hometown when he met her great grandmother on a visit, and subsequently moved to her city to marry her. We now have it and it’s full of family portraits and albums.

#3

Image source: Used-Stress, Wendelin Jacober

Not my house, but the school my friend worked at.

A pipe had leaked and ruined a wall in the building, one of the oldest schools in the city. It was a beautiful property. Anyways the pipe leaked so they pulled down the ruined wall and behind the wall found a door.

A fully furnished apartment was there. Had a coal burning stove to heat it. Early 1900s appliances and decor. It was for the caretaker of the school.

#4

Image source: disqeau, Iván Rivero

These a******s I bought a house from stuck a little skeleton figurine dressed up in a little monk’s robe behind the exhaust vent in the furnace closet. Just about s**t myself when I opened up that door and there was this tiny skeletal hand poking out, I thought it was a f*****g dead baby.

#5

Image source: Individual-Common-89, Preslava Glushkova

First time I took a hot shower in our new home. The steam covered the mirror, only to reveal the phrase “HELLO, I SEE YOU” in large finger drawn writing.

It freaked me out for a second, but made me laugh soon after that.

It was such an inconspicuous yet obvious thing to leave for the new homeowner (me).

#6

Image source: Factsaretheonlytruth, Alina Vilchenko

A diary of an American soldier in WW-II, South Pacific Theater. Found it above a door when remodeling 20+ years ago. My wife and I tried everything we could think of to find a descendant, but to no avail.

#7

Image source: OkRegular7090, ChadoXX

Wasn’t a purchase, but I was showing a house to a couple and we couldn’t believe the reported square footage. It looked like a nice 1700 sq ft house in a semi rural community, but the square footage on the listing said about 4,500. I was sure it was a typo. Turns out most of it was basement. Think Buffalo Bill’s basement that just goes on and on with random rooms. Place was vacant, lighting wasn’t great, and we get to a dead end room down there and turn on the lights and there is this porcelain doll just chilling in the middle of the room. Only thing left in the house. Husband yells, “f**k this” and we all run out. We ruled out that whole neighborhood as an option, for reasons.

#8

Image source: Gotskilla, Michael Coghlan

We had our air ducts cleaned before we moved in. They also inspected them with a camera. Someone wrote “F**k You” deep inside one of the ducts. We thought it was hilarious.

#9

Image source: PutinontheRiitz, Rodolpho Zanardo

Probably buried at this point… but I chopped off the tip of my thumb w an axe, and kept the tip of it in a small plastic jar (think urinalysis jar) that the hospital gave me. I put it in my freezer and kept it there for about 4 years.

When I moved out I got three states away in a U-Haul when I went ?

We left the finger

I can only imagine the new owners surprise

#10

Image source: DisIsDaeWae, Chris Marchant

A basement room that was fully decked out as a “dungeon.” Faux stone walls, a stocks (like where you lock your head and hands in ala ye olde England), candle scones on the walls, a metal-barred cage in the corner from floor to ceiling. Oh and the closet had a load of toys, some normal, some….not so typical.

#11

Image source: GIjokinaround, OWN FILTERS

My first house purchase in 2005 – bought an old farmhouse that was built in 1923. The basement was FILLED with c**p – we told them they needed to clean it all out before closing, but they didn’t do it. The realtor asked if we wanted to postpone closing, and we decided no – some of the stuff looked interesting enough. Maybe it will be worthwhile to go through.

Most of it was just junk. Then, about half way through (we were working our way from one end of the basement to the other, because you could barely walk through), I went to pick up what I thought was a small box, only to quickly realize it weighed at least 75 pounds. Upon further inspection, it wasn’t a box, but a wooden square, 4″ wide and about 12″x12″, with two thin masonite plywood covers on each side. On one edge were two bolts with wires coming off that had been cut.

Very strange – had no idea what it was, but thought it was interesting. So I put it aside and we kept going. At the very back of the basement once we cleared everything else out, was a rickety gray cabinet, built into the house. Inside, were numerous strange small tools, vials of mercury, vials of a strange powder, and thousands – literally thousands – of dice blanks. Some actual dice, but mostly blanks without the dots. they were all in little boxes labeled “dice blanks”. Also very strange…

Not too long after that, I met a guy and upon learning my address, he said “can I come over?My best friend grew up in that house”. He came by, and proceeded to tell me stories for an hour and a half about his childhood best friends eccentric father: Someone who was a part of the “Dixieland Mafia” in the 60s and 70s, and who made a living traveling around the US as a traveling gambler. The enormously heavy box was an electro-magnet. And the dice blanks were for him to make his own loaded dice with a little bit of metal powder under the inlaid dot, so he could set up his own table with the the electromagnet underneath, and turn it on when he wanted to persuade the dice. He told me many other stories, including that there was “no doubt in his mind that he had killed someone”. Pretty fascinating.

#12

Image source: CorgisHaveNoKnees, cottonbro studio

Not weird but sort of touching.

The house was about 100 years old. After moving in I went up to the attic which was a bit difficult to access. I wasn’t sure what I would find.

All that was there was a shoebox. An old brand; anyone else here remember Red Goose shoes?

In it was “stuff,” a couple of old Army patches, a scout knife, some rock n roll buttons and a couple of letters.

From the letter I got a name and looked him up. He lived a town over. I called him and told him if he’d like it to come and get it.

So a 60ish guy showed up. He was really appreciative. The patches and the letter were from his older brother. He said he was about 12 and used to hang out in the attic and hide his stuff.

It was nice to reunite the box with it’s owner.

#13

Image source: fillsy84, Giallo

My ex wife found ( behind a drawer in a built in cupboard) a lovely lock box contains several nice pocket watches and family heirlooms- the great part was that with a little sleuthing, we found the son of the man who originally built that house and re-United these items to the family – it was a wonderful experience from start to finish

#14

Image source: snarflethegarthog, Diego F. Parra

The acerage my wife and I moved to 3 years ago had a bucket full of wrapped dinosaur bones. Took them to our local museum where they confirmed they are roughly 68 million years old. Hadrosaur. Pretty cool.

#15

Image source: fiftythousandyears, Karl Bednarik

Didn’t buy the house.. rented. Built in 1904. There was a walk in closet food pantry in the kitchen with built in cabinets. The cabinets on one wall, after living there for a year, I noticed had a gap between the wall and the cabinet. Drunk, I put my hand back there and something move. I scooted it out and it was a small box.

Turned out to be a violet ray from the late 1800s. Designed by Nicolas Tesla. It still works, too. But the last time I plugged it in it electrocuted me slightly. I still have it!

#16

Image source: DadsRGR8, Tom Fisk

My wife and I bought a house shortly after we were married in the early 80s. Cleaning before we moved in we found a WW2 inflatable life raft with a water desalination drinking kit; rolls of green grave grass (the stuff they put around open graves in cemeteries so your feet don’t get muddy); bins of beads to make rosaries; amateur paintings of Jesus that were nailed to the wall in the attic (nailed not hung); a grenade casually forgotten behind tools on a shelf in the back shed; an old broken cedar hope chest filled with the cut off bottoms of hundreds of denim jean legs; a child’s potty chair (filled with old poop) hidden under a built in bench in the dining room.

These are only the things that came to mind first. As you can imagine, we got a pretty good deal on the house. It was worth the small cost of renting the dumpster, calling the police bomb squad and the hassle of selling some of the artifacts.

Oh! When we pulled up the carpet in the living room a few years later we discovered the floor beneath it was custom linoleum tile inlaid with geometric shapes depicting soccer players and soccer balls. ??‍♂️

#17

Image source: acheron53, Tnarg

Tucked away in a crawl space under the kitchen, the previous owner placed a dummy with a horrifying Halloween mask on it. Went in to replace a pipe and had to replace my undies.

#18

Image source: Ok_Explanation_5201, Nikoli Afina

Some 1937 children’s gas masks in boxes. Including one with my name written on it!!

#19

Image source: 83VWcaddy, Pixabay Pixabay

We bought a house being foreclosed on. We gave him an extra month after closing and 2k to help with his move. Still had to have the sheriff come remove him. Any who, was doing some cleanup and remodeling before we moved in. Whole house was carpeted. When I started ripping it out there was a giant blood stain that started in a downstairs spare bedroom that then trailed up to the master bath where there was another stain. His wife had left him so I had to call the realtor to find out if anyone knew where she was. Turns out he had shot a deer in the yard and gutted it in the house. What a hassle. Had to rip up and install new subfloors. My vegan ex wife was not thrilled.

#20

Image source: zerbey, Kaboompics .com

My parents house. A previous owner fancied himself a DIY guy we think. First week we’re in the house we call an electrician to get Economy 7 installed. He shuts off all the breakers, questions why the house hasn’t burned down, and wonders how the hell the house passed inspection. So, two weeks into our new house they have to get the whole place rewired for a small fortune. Over the last 40 years it seems every time they renovate something new and interesting thing shows up. Recently the kitchen sink kept clogging. After a brief search we found the drain was routed under the kitchen floor and concreted over. It had finally cracked under the weight and was leaking into the foundations.

#21

Image source: currentlydrinking, kevser

Lived here 3 years, slowly renovating it since it seemly hadn’t been touched since the 80s.

Got a new kitten this year and she was trouble. Always getting places she shouldn’t.

She got in a closet under the stairs, and behind a piece of drywall. Couldn’t coax her out, so I just pulled the drywall down, and found her standing on a few old boxes.

Pulled them out, and it ended up being around $10k of silver and old coins that it seems were put there in the 90s and forgotten about.

#22

Image source: BoS_Vlad, Insomnia Cured Here

4 original Disney animation cels from Snow White (1937) the first full length animated movie. The most valuable one being an oversized master cel used as a background for the smaller cels to be photographed over. While the overall price at auction for original Disney cels has for some reason dropped over the past 40 years at one time about 25 years ago the 4 I bought with my house were worth around $60K. I display them in my new house after selling the one I found them in. I love them and will leave them to my kids who should really appreciate them during and after their 2037 centennial when their value should skyrocket.

#23

Image source: pet_zulrah, Dominika Roseclay

Not really weird but they left a typed out and printed note about the house and how to take care of it. Detailing all the plant life in the backyard and how to prep for the winter. Described how to take care of the hot tub and gave random tid bits about the electrical.

They were good people lol

#24

Image source: khendron, A Baker

A glass bowl. It was kind of pretty, with horizontal blue stripes.

We kept fruit in it. We thought about dropping it off at the local charity shop, but never got around to it.

Then one day I was at an antique fair and I saw for sale glass bowls that looked almost identical to ours. I went home to get my bowl and brought it to be assessed.

Turns out it was a vintage Orrefors crystal bowl. The assessor valued it at around $800.

We no longer keep fruit in it.

#25

Image source: giraffe_cake, Pixabay

We bought a house that has scrabble tiles in the most weird places.

In the gutter, redoing the garden, they’re buried and scattered there, they’re embedded into the skirting boards, under the kitchen units, and even behind the bath panel when I replaced it. I’ve yet to go in the attic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I found a few there. It has become a little joke between me and my partner when we will next find some scrabble tiles.

Its probably not the most weird, but it did give us a chuckle as to why there were so many scrabble tiles hidden about the place.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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home, surprising things, surprising things found at new home, things left by previous owners, weird things found at new homes
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