There are some truly unsettling stories of weird things founds in walls out there. Just try Googling «stuff found in walls» some time, and brace yourself for a rather gnarly trip down the rabbit hole. Or better yet, stick around and read this curated list of some of the creepiest, most horrifying, and downright weird things discovered hidden behind walls.
1 Mummified Babies
Numerous instances of mummified infants turning up inside people’s walls have been recorded. In one case from July 2007, while renovating a house, contractor Bob Klinghorn discovered the corpse of a baby wrapped in a local Toronto publication dating back to September 1925. The infant appeared to be roughly four months old.
2 Witch’s Bottles
It was once a common practice to store witch’s bottles within the walls of one’s house to ward off a witch’s curse. These bottles typically contained the urine, fingernail clippings, and hair of an individual, as well as nails, brimstone, and a scrap of leather or cloth cut into the shape of a heart with a pin punctured through the middle. The bottles were believed to lure negative energy away from the person and into the bottle instead. While numerous witch’s bottles have been unearthed, their seals have almost always been broken, leaving their contents eroded over time. However, in June 2004, a 17th century bottle with its contents still intact was unearthed in Greenwich, London. It was the most complete witch’s bottle ever discovered, and it gave tremendous insight into superstitions and practices of the era.
3 Mummified Cats
Far more morbid practices than witch’s bottles were implemented during the 17th century to protect homes from evil spirits. Namely, some builders would seal a live cat into the walls of a home, perhaps because of the feline’s association with witches. One such notable discovery occurred in December 2011, when construction workers came upon the unfortunate kitty while performing routine maintenance on Pendle Hill in Lancashire — a spot, incidentally, notorious for its witchcraft-related happenings.
4 Hidden Cameras
Imagine you’re living in a nice rental house in a suburban neighborhood with your significant other. Everything’s going great, until you see a warning about your landlord on a rental forum site, alerting potential tenants that he’s been known to secretly monitor intimate moments via hidden cameras. You search your home, and discover there is not one, not two, but multiple cameras hidden within the walls, light fixtures and smoke detectors, and that furthermore all these devices are connected to a shed near your house that only your landlord can access.
That’s exactly what happened to a couple in Sydney, Australia in April 2016. Their landlord, Masaaki Imaeda, had set up his shed as a personal entertainment cave. He had a leather recliner, a footrest, and a television, where he watched the couple shower, get dressed, have sex—you name it. When they made this horrifying discovery, the couple alerted authorities and promptly arrested Imaeda. The property owner «pleaded guilty to multiple charges of using an optical device without consent and observing a person in private without consent to obtain sexual arousal,» according to Candace Sutton of news.com.au.
Imaeda was sentenced to 17 months in prison for his crimes.
5 All the Snakes
An expecting Idaho couple moved into their dream house in September 2009. That dream soon turned to a nightmare when the Sessions realized their house sat on top of a poisonous snake den, which allowed the slithery serpents access to their walls. Amber Sessions described the experience as «living in Satan’s Lair.»
6 Human Bones
While preparing for renovations in the old Holden Chapel at Harvard University, contractors discovered several human bones in July 1999. At first, it was thought a possible murder mystery had been uncovered, but it turned out the bones were likely remains from the chapel’s stint as an anatomy and dissection lecture spot. Some of the bones even had metal pieces lodged in their ends, suggesting the bones might have been someone’s scrapped medical skeleton project.
7 An Entire Arsenal, Plus Pre-1980s Pennies
Not much detail on where and when this occurred, but a man renovating his new home made a rather shocking discovery: a hidden room behind the stairwell of the basement. What was in the room? Pretty much an entire arsenal of guns, bullets, a dummy grenade, and a safe, which the homeowner could not open. He also found a metal crate full of pre-1980s pennies, meaning the previous homeowner was likely stockpiling for a collapse of the U.S. government. Pennies made before the 1980s are forged from actual copper, meaning they would be a highly-sought-after commodity if the dollar were to lose its value.
8 A Live Korean Missile
While remodeling his bathroom in April 2011, a St. Francis, Wisconsin, resident discovered a 20-inch-long Korean missile with a 5-inch explosive head inside his wall. He and his wife carried the missile outside and phoned the police. The bomb squad was then brought in to detonate the bomb. Neighbors told the couple the previous owner had served in both World War II and the Korean War, and liked to bring souvenirs home. How the missile ended up inside the bathroom wall, and why it was live, will likely never be known.
9 A Secret Corridor Contaminated with Toxic Black Mold
In November 2011, after moving aside an old bookcase in their new home, the Brown family of Greenville, South Carolina, discovered a secret corridor. Hoping for perhaps buried treasure, the couple instead found a note inside. It read: «You Found It! Hello. If you’re reading this, then you found the secret room. I owned this house for a short while and it was discovered to have a serious mold problem. One that actually made my children very sick to the point that we had to move out…» The note went on to invite the new homeowners to get in touch with the man who wrote the note, which the Browns did. However, history did repeat itself, as the house and its mold problem made them sick as well, forcing them to leave. Fortunately, the family was able to get their money back.
10 A Murder Victim
The body of a woman missing for 28 years was discovered behind a false wall in the basement of a Poughkeepsie, New York, home in July 2013. Her hands were bound and her body was concealed both inside a plastic bag and a plastic container. Her husband had reported her missing back in 1985, but he could not be questioned, as he had died in December of 2013, several months before the discovery of his wife’s body. Even so, it is likely the husband, in fact, murdered her.
11 400 Barrels Of Toxic Waste
An Ontario man found 400 barrels of toxic waste hidden behind the walls of his property in February 2017. According to a report from CHCH, the owner had already discovered 400 barrels containing dangerous, cancer-causing substances before knocking out the wall in question and revealing the additional 400 (that’s a total of 800 barrels). The building’s previous owner, John Currie, once operated a tar product business at the location, and apparently had a record for inappropriate waste disposal.
12 Hanging Little Green Army Men
From a redditor whose username has been deleted: «My dad found a bunch of green army men tied up hanging in his wall. They were doing renovations and decided to knock down a wall. Underneath the plaster, in the space between the two plaster pieces, there were dozens, dozens of green army men, tied around their necks with string hanging down. «Bonus: In the backyard they found several buried doll heads. Old ones too, they were porcelain. Not all the dolls, just the heads.»
13 A 100-Year-Old Ouija Board
In February 2016, a construction worker discovered a 100-year-old Ouija board hidden within the walls of a house in an unnamed location. According to Blumhouse.com writer Gregory Burkhart:
Apparently, a previous tenant had found it necessary to conceal the board where it would not be found. Their reasons for doing so may be unknown as of yet, but given the spooky reputation of the ouija — and the fact that this one was buried with the printing upside down — it’s entirely possible they were concerned for their own safety.
After posting a photo of his discovery on Reddit, several people warned the construction worker to leave the object alone, as it seemed likely the previous owners of the board got rid of it for a reason. Despite this, however, the worker seemed to determined to also find the planchette. Here’s hoping the man is okay.
14 Percolating Meth Residue
Days after a couple moved into their new home in October 2012, they began to experience breathing problems and other complications. Turns out, the previous occupants had used the home as a meth lab. Researchers say that even after a «proper» clean up, the toxins can linger within the walls of homes for long periods afterwards. In this case, tests revealed contamination levels to be 80 times over the safety limit.
15 Thousands of Spiders
A St. Louis couple was forced to flee their home in October 2014 when thousands of brown recluse spiders — whose bites can be deadly — began pouring out of their ceiling and «bleeding» out of their walls. Apparently the previous owners, who sold the couple the house, failed to disclose any massive spider infestations when the put their home on the market.
16 Child Pornography
Firefighters responded to a blaze at the then-unoccupied home of a New Jersey Pratt Institute Architecture professor in January 2012. They managed to douse the fire, but while checking for pocket flames inside the walls, they made a horrifying discovery — a magazine featuring prepubescent girls in sexual poses. Shortly thereafter, the professor arrived at the scene, at which point he was held on suspicion of child endangerment.