According to some merch on your grandma’s countertop, “home is where the heart is.” Sadly, that’s not always how things work out in the real world. These people went over to other people’s houses, whether they were friends, family, classmates, or clients, only to stumble into utterly different worlds. From the harmlessly odd to the “wish I could unsee that” horror, here are the weirdest things people have seen in other folks’ houses.
1. Room For One More?
I rented a house with a couple of friends a few years ago. In the attic, we found what we would come to call the “Angry Room.” The stairs led up to the finished part of the attic, and through a heavy wooden door was the unfinished area with no windows or lights. Following the path of narrow carpet scraps as it snaked off into the darkness, you came to a rough door that latched only from the outside.
Next to the door was a pull-chain for the single, bare light bulb in the tiny room on the other side of the door. Inside, it was completely featureless, aside from the various metal brackets on the ceiling and two of the walls. The door had scratches on the inside and there were a few small holes in the walls. But hey, the rent was cheap and it was close to campus.
2. Shoe Polish Wake Up
I once had to stay over at my cousins’, who we were never close with, and only ever saw them once every two years at family gatherings or special occasions. So I got woken up at 6 AM the next morning, which was a Sunday, and got called to the living room. As I walked into the living room, eyes half closed, I see the whole family… sat on the floor, with all the pairs of black shoes lined up in front of them.
Task? Polish the shoes. I was told to join them. It was my first and last sleepover at their place.
3. Cult Following
In college, I rented a very old but huge duplex with six of my best friends. After we moved in, we discovered that while the basement had a concrete slab in the laundry area, most of the basement had an exposed dirt floor instead of foundation. One area of the basement was divided off with sheets and tarps into a few makeshift rooms.
Some of these rooms had furniture or mattresses. The largest “sheet” room in the center of the basement was about 15’x15’. In the center of this room was a pit about four feet in diameter and about 4-5 feet deep, dug into the dirt below the house. In that pit there was a variety of refuse, candles, and a shopping cart.
Stuffed into the cart was a mannequin, its body parts twisted and contorted to fit inside the space of the cart. It was so creepy, so we called it the cult room. Also, the house had a third floor, but since there was no fire escape, the landlord had padlocked the door. A few months into our lease, we decided to break into the third floor.
We simply unscrewed all of the lock hardware and opened the door. There were several other bedrooms upstairs. One was painted from floor to ceiling with a psychedelic mural that was a cross between an occult ritual and a scene from Heavy Metal. We also found a full-size rusty scythe. We did not go back up there.
4. Super Rich Kids
I’m a professional tutor in NYC for a major tutoring company. I’ve been to some of the most expensive apartments in the city. One client was an artist—in the living room, next to his kids’ artwork, were several HUGE authentic Picassos and some other crazy stuff. My favorite story, though, is that of the daughter of the CEO of a major motion picture studio.
I was trying to explain the concept of specific heat to her by explaining that the reason it takes water so long to boil is because it has a high specific heat. She didn’t get the comparison and thought water boiled on demand. She had never cooked anything before at the age of 17. Halfway through one of our lessons, a maid brought in a sandwich sliced into perfect triangles with the crust removed. Surreal.
5. Hanging With “Bud”
My partner and I were in Arizona during a road trip to verify locations we were using in a novel we wrote. We had been corresponding with a guy online and accepted his invitation to visit him, since we were in the area. We arrived at his home in Tucson and he showed us into his living room. Suddenly we were face-to-muzzle with a bighorn sheep!
After our initial shock, we found that the whole sheep was actually taxidermied, stuffed, and mounted. “I call him Bud,” our host informed us. “I got him about ten years ago on a hunting expedition. I thought of just having the horns preserved, but he was such a beautiful creature, I decided to keep him exactly as he was.”
Needless to say, my partner and I kept our mouths shut, but we got out of there as fast as we could, politely. It was creepy, disgusting and somehow just downright sick.
6. Sister In The Mirror
I used to install Dish Network for a living. I was installing for an elderly lady, who complained that her “sister’s” TV always showed the same thing hers did. I had a two TV installation order so I figured that would be OK. I finished the installation and was demonstrating the system when she looked at the full length mirror and complained that her sister’s TV was still showing the same thing.
Noped out of there as quick as I could, and left notes on the account in case she called in.
7. Pigging Out
I’m a face painter who does children’s birthday parties. I’ve never really had any super sketchy experiences. I have had a few run-down homes, but the kids pretty much always have fun. One time, I went to a house that was kinda messy and smelly, but no big deal. I started setting up my supplies when I heard a weird “peep” sound coming from above me.
I looked up to see a guinea pig running through a clear plastic tube that was attached to the ceiling. Then, I took a good look around the house and noticed that the whole place was totally covered with a network of plastic guinea pig tubes. The mom noticed me looking around and nonchalantly told me that they have something like 10 guinea pigs.
8. Just For Show
I used to deliver oxygen to people’s homes. I’ve seen plenty of weird things in my day, including lots and lots of hoarders. Nevertheless, this one definitely took the cake! This one guy didn’t want to let us into his house, but I had to do a home safety assessment before I could set up the equipment. He was anxious about letting me in because he said his house was a mess.
He kept telling me about his messy house and insisting that I didn’t come inside. I eventually came to find out that it wasn’t just messy. It was filled with 200 chickens. He was very proud of his show chickens and wouldn’t let them live in a barn or coop. The smell was unbearable. Other than that, though, he was a super nice guy!
9. Thinking Outside The Box
I used to work for a food bank delivery service that catered to homebound elders. I would always fill up two banana boxes (around a foot and a half by three, and a foot deep) with all types of food and then deliver them to people’s houses. One time, I was delivering food to a guy who I had been serving for over three years, and he asked me to come inside for the first time ever because he had hurt his foot and couldn’t walk over to the door.
As soon as I entered the house, I discovered something very shocking. It appeared as though he had never thrown out a single box from any of the three years worth of food deliveries that I had made to him. The boxes completely lined every wall and room of his house. He had even built a castle around his bed out of them, and a series of paths throughout the main floor.
He even had a structure that was almost like one of those pillow forts that you would make as a kid, but with boxes. I asked him if he wanted help in getting rid of them all, but he said no. Apparently, he found it fun to collect them and said that building stuff out of them helped him cope with his dementia. He’s actually a super fun guy! I hope he’s doing well.
10. A Bug’s Life
Now, my experiences in life might be slightly different than your average person. I worked for a plumbing company in Baldwin Park, CA for a while, and during that time probably visited 250 homes, roughly. So I’ve definitely been in more houses than not. We ran a special ad saying, “We’ll clear any drain for 79.99” so naturally we were very busy.
So , we’re in the van and the tablet dings, which means we have a new service request. We get the address. It’s down by the beach in Laguna Niguel. At this point, I’m already rolling my eyes in the passenger seat because that’s on the far end of our operating zone, it’s only a drain call so no commission really, and rich people are notoriously hard to work for in my industry.
We pull into the gated community and drive up to the house…This house is NICE. I feel like calling it a “house” is a disservice. This is a mansion. I mean white doric columns on each side of the door, lawn manicured perfectly, they even had a freaking fountain. We knock on the front door, and for about four minutes no one answered.
We shrugged and said, “Guess no one’s home.” Well, as we were about to walk back to the van, a very short, very old man unlatches the door and greets us. At this point everything seems okay. He’s wearing a country club kind of outfit. White polo, white shorts, loafers, and nice jewelry. But he has snow white hair, liver spots, and a general “oldness” to him.
So we head on in. There are marble floors, big fake plants, a small bronze bust of someone I don’t recognize, all kinds of nice things in the foyer. But it seems like a white room that’s never actually been lived in and is only used for “company,” which I’m guessing they never had. Again, everything seems normal here.
Once we walk further into the home, though, I start noticing the smell. Anyone reading this who has worked in a restaurant, the smell was similar to the drains in the dish pit area. Food and moisture and wet floor smell that’s been sitting for a while. We got to the kitchen where the drain problem was…Dude…The drain in the sink had backed up in their home. Because of that, they had stopped doing dishes for “a while,” which was what the man said.
No, these people stopped doing dishes 90 days ago at least. The two sink basins were STACKED with dirty plates. The counters on either side were STACKED with dirty plates. Their cabinets were empty because they had used all available dishes, and after those were all gone, they used Tupperware containers. Once those were all gone, they bought paper plates and were stuffing those into a garbage bag by the door.
THERE WERE ANTS EVERYWHERE. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough. THERE WERE SO MANY ANTS EVERYWHERE I THOUGHT THE COUNTERS WERE A DIFFERENT COLOR THAN THEY WERE. Truly a staggering number of ants. Swarming this huge stack of rotten food and plates and trash. The counters looked alive. Like a fuzzy counter top that moved.
I mean, to think these people were living in this house is beyond me. They had ants all over the floor, crawling in the windows above the sink, and even in the carpet in the living room. Me and my boss look at each other in disbelief. We spoke to them, respectfully declined, and had them follow up with the owner of the company.
Basically, the guy was very wealthy early on in life. Bought the house and married. His wife was about 10-15 years his junior, but she was completely senile. The entire time we were in the kitchen, she was by the glass doors and sat at the breakfast table staring into space. The man himself was probably on the edge of dementia, since speaking to him was difficult because he would get off topic and completely forget what we were speaking about.
It was a very sad situation realizing that even though they retired with all this money, it does them no good. They were in serious need of a caretaker or live-in nurse. They could obviously afford it, but I’m not sure why that wasn’t happening. But anyways, I’ve never been so taken aback walking into someone’s home like that. It felt like a horror movie.
11. You Better Believe It’s Butter
When I was a kid, I went to my friend’s house for dinner. They ate straight butter like it was mashed potatoes. I was like, eight, and didn’t want to offend them, so there I was, eating freaking butter. My brain hurts just thinking about it.
12. Hidden Gear
My mom’s a visiting physical therapist. She used to work in a small city in the area, with some bad areas, and she had to do therapy for a rather overweight guy who was pretty paranoid about the people in his complex (granted most of us would be too) but my mom sat down on the couch and felt something hard underneath the cushion.
She had the guy get what it was, and it was a stick, with a large knife taped to the end. She had almost sat on the knife too. She asked him if there was anything else like that in or around the area she needed to work in, and he managed to remove multiple knives, makeshift spears, and a syringe-based weapon. He was HIV positive.
My mom discharged him shortly.
13. Old School Cat People
I went to a friend’s house and was greeted by the family’s cats’ ashes in urns. But not just any urns, and not just any place. All of the cats had Egyptian names, so their urns were designed to match the Egyptian God they were named after, and they were all lined up on a ledge in their screened-in porch, right by the front entrance. There were a good five or six urns, front and center, when you entered the house.
14. Granny’s Ready For Action
Spent the night at grandma’s house when I was probably 11 or 12 years old. I got sick in the middle of the night and was throwing up in the bathroom. When I was finally done, I looked up from the toilet and saw something I’ll never forget: my wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly grandma in her flannel nightgown with a.38 Beretta. Apparently I sounded like a bear.
15. “Hazing” Newbies
On my first call at this one client, he answered the door in an open bathrobe. Under which he was not wearing anything else. He and I stared at each other for a long moment in pretty mutual shock before he finally tied the bathrobe closed, mumbled something, and ran away (to get clothes, as it turned out). He came back, he apologized, I fixed the client’s very expensive computer and left.
I brought this incident up to my boss, who said, very offhandedly, that this gentleman did that often. It was apparently his way of “hazing” new techs, and he was only shocked because they had sent a female technician. On the upside, the embarrassment seemed to break him of the habit, since I never heard of him doing it again.
Why my boss didn’t warn me, I have no idea.
16. Not What I Had Been Expecting!
I was once called in to clean up a house. There were a bunch of used pregnancy tests lying on the floor of the teenage daughter’s closet. I didn’t say a single word to anybody about them.
17. What’s In The Bag?
I used to work in the field of pest control, and I once went to a student residence to deal with insects. I can’t remember exactly what type. Carpet moths or bedbugs, maybe? Anyway, that’s not the point of the story. This one room was fairly clean, but we have to spray all fabrics with the chemical in question anyway to prevent any eggs from having a safe space to gestate.
So, we are required to open up suitcases, wardrobes, etc.—that sorta thing. One of this student’s suitcases turned out to be full of used feminine products that she was saving for…who knows what reason. Actually, I don’t want to know. That was one nasty collection. I didn’t mention anything about it to her. I just finished my job and tried my best to avoid eye contact with her at the end.
18. Termite Tales
I am a journeyman house painter by trade and I have been self-employed in the profession for over 20 years now. About 10 years ago, I was going to paint an older woman’s home. She probably must have been no younger than 75 years old. I was painting her kitchen, along with the small attached family dining area. All of the furniture was moved, the carpets were out, and the pictures were off of the walls—this place was clearly ready for its paint job.
I always start by removing the faceplates from outlets and switches. I started with the first one, which had just two screws. I pulled the plate off and immediately found the outlet to be full of termites. Packed. They were all dead, thankfully, but this was in all likelihood an indication that something bigger was happening here.
I went and asked the woman about it and, once she saw what I was referring to, she called her representative at ABC Pest Co. to come over immediately. After explaining the situation, he was quickly on his way. I went into standby mode. I wasn’t going to paint anything if the house was coming down. Luckily, the client had purchased the paint and she was going to pay me by the hour—the project I was going to be painting was going to take me about five hours total, for a cost of about $125 altogether.
Well, the pest guy looked all around the house and pulled a few more outlet covers off with the same results—all packed with dead insects. He then changed into full coveralls and climbed under the house. He was only there for a few minutes, maybe three maximum. Then, out he came to declare the house a total loss. The floorboards, he said, were hanging on by a thread.
The walls were all soft and about to be pushed over. The entire house could collapse at any moment. If not for my discovery of these gross dead insect bodies, she never would have even realized this. I packed my tools and said my goodbyes. I told her not to worry about paying for my time. I had been there for about an hour, but she clearly had much bigger problems to deal with.
19. A Very Puzzling Discovery
I was a firefighter at an earlier point in my life. I once had a middle-of-the-night call to a mobile home for an elderly lady. We walked in and the home was totally dark, but as my eyes started to adjust I remember thinking to myself that her wallpaper looked a little weird. Oh, if I only knew what was coming. I kept looking around and soon noticed that the same pattern was on the ceiling too.
It seemed to some kind of weird inconsistent zig-zag, along with some rectangle shapes. As we began talking to the lady for a few minutes, my eyes slowly adjusted to the level of lighting in the room, and I slowly came to realize that the pattern on the walls and ceiling was not actually wallpaper at all—it was puzzle pieces.
For some completely unknown reason, this woman had taken apart literally hundreds of puzzles and glued the pieces all over her home. The more we looked around, the more we realized just how far she had gone with this. Pretty much every single surface of her mobile home had been completely covered—even the floors in some rooms.
I still have no idea what the reason behind this could have been.
20. Doll’s Well That Ends Well
I’m not quite sure if this should be considered disturbing or just plain weird. Either way, I used to help deliver furniture for my grandfather’s upholstery business. One day, we were delivering a couch to a rather expensive looking home. Right as we walked into the front door, we noticed that there was a floor to ceiling glass case built into the wall that was about 12 feet long and 10 feet tall.
The case was filled with these odd glass dolls of varying sizes. A few of them were at least four feet tall. Each one had a different outfit on. Here’s what made it extra creepy: all of the dolls were angled so that they were “looking” at the front door. The only person who was home the entire time that we were there was a weird, 75-year-old man.
21. We Didn’t Start the Fire
Long ago, I used to do estimates for a restoration company with regards to fire and water repairs. I had to go to this older couple’s house one time who had recently had a smallish fire in their bedroom. When I entered the home, it was seemingly normal. The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was that it smelled like smoke—but they had just had a fire, so it made sense.
Then, they took me to the bedroom to observe the mattress that had endured the majority of the effects of the fire, along with some of the wall above the head of the bed and some minor smoke damage to the ceiling. That was when it got weird. Next to each side of their bed was a giant 10-gallon bucket filled to the brim with butts.
There were also hundreds of butts spilled out all over the floor. I was just in awe at how they could live like this in their bedroom, especially since the rest of their home seemed tidy and normal. Also completely beyond me was why they wouldn’t bother to clean that garbage up after the fire, even if for no other reason than to prevent insurance adjusters from being able to blame them (rightly) for the fire and possibly not paying out.
“How did the fire start?” I asked, as I’m required to. “No idea!” the husband replied. Right…
22. Let It Bleed
I had a friend back in middle school and high school who lived in a country house that smelled like puppy poop. One time, I stopped over and there was a legit blood spatter all over their kitchen walls. No one seemed concerned or eager to clean it up. When I asked about it my friend’s mom about it, she just laughed it off and said, “Oh, that’s where Nip (my friend’s dad) got shot!”
I did not go back to that house ever again.
23. Cat Lover
Went to a party in college and the kid living there had BOXES of Cat Fancy magazine cataloged by month and year all over his room. When I asked about it, the dude just shrugged and said, “I’m into cats.” I was too nervous to ask more.
24. Not Lying About The Pet Lion
My parents were in a bowling league and would bring me with them. I made friends with a girl who hung out at the bowling alley because she lived in a home on an acre next to it. She invited me to come to her house while my parents bowled. I asked my parents and they said I could.
We walk to her house, and when I get in, I nearly scream. There is a freaking lion cub chained to a coffee table in the front room. She asks me if I want to pet the lion, of course I do! I pet the lion, we hang out, and I go back to the bowling alley like nothing happened. I tell my parents and they are like “Sure, you pet a lion.”
Years later, I’m reading the paper, and the girl and her family have been apprehended for illegally having exotic cats. I showed my parents and had the best “Told you so” moment of my life.
25. Hoarder Central
I had a friend named David and he invited me to his house once. Little did I know that his family were horrific hoarders. You couldn’t see the floor of his house, and I was literally stepping in bowls filled with cereal. At one point, I saw a snake just slither through the refuse and immediately made up an excuse that I was sick so I could go home. What a nightmare.
26. Low-Hanging Fruit
I work in a job where sometimes I have to go deploy equipment in people’s homes. I was doing a project where I had to set up some stuff in the kitchen of a very nice vacation rental, which was unoccupied due to the fact that this was February in northern Michigan. The whole thing was decked out to the nines in cutesy, wealthy Grandma-type decor, except for the kitchen.
The only artwork in there was a painting of three fish with photorealistic genitals and testicles instead of tails, hanging above the stove so that it was the first thing you saw when you walked in. I have never been so disappointed that our project instructions forbade the photographing of property owners’ belongings.
27. A Real Horrorshow
Ohhhh boy OK. This happened a couple years ago. Hopefully I can remember all the details. So, my mom and I stopped at what was advertised as a garage sale in my neighborhood. They had a bunch of kids’ stuff in the front yard, and we were looking for stuff for my son, so we decided to check it out, but when we got close it was all in really bad shape.
No big deal, we think, let’s go inside. Looking back, this was a big mistake. As we are walking in, we’re greeted by a person we assume to be the owner of the house. He’s wearing black pants and a tiny leather vest with no shirt underneath. I see this now for the red flag that it was. He welcomes us and tells us everything in the house is for sale. Everything. Look anywhere you want, he says.
Open all the drawers. Look in all the closets. OK cool. He definitely DOESN’T say anything about there being anything weird in the house. First things first, the house is kind of trashed, but it still looks relatively normal. The only obviously weird thing is that they have a giant TV playing a crazy-looking horror movie. Super scary and gory.
He says the TV is for sale too, so maybe they’re just playing whatever is on to show it works. We look around and don’t find anything good and decide to go upstairs. Once upstairs, we proceed into the first bedroom. Looks pretty normal. Kind of small and furnished for a kid. Nothing we want? OK, move on.
The next bedroom looks like someone is sleeping in the bed. Oops—sorry! But no, it’s somehow worse. It is a full-sized human horror prop of a very realistic zombie woman, and oh god, in the corner is a very realistic prop of half a human crawling across the floor. These things looked so real, guys. We’re like, “Man, these people are serious about Halloween.”
We go to the next room, and it is set up like a full-on dungeon with creepy equipment and fake humans and piles of Barbie heads for some reason. We are seriously freaked out, and decide to leave as quickly and quietly as possible. As we’re walking out of the dungeon room, a woman comes out of the other room. We look at each other, wide eyed and silent, and all proceed out the front door to separately process our trauma.
28. Heiling A Cab Out Of There
Not me, but my parents told me this one. When they were first house shopping, they ended up checking out this really nice house in the city. Real estate agent is showing them around the place and they get to a little side room. The agent is showing them around, and my mom happens to glance into the adjacent living room.
Right above the fireplace was a massive portrait of Adolf freaking Hitler. The real estate agent was just like “oh yeah, that,” and said it belonged to the previous owner. They didn’t elaborate further.
29. Are You Seeing What I’m Seeing?
I was at my aunt’s house and she was a practicing Hindu, so she had a little area with diyas, pictures, and writings, and every now and again the deya would become unlit. So she would give me a candle and I would walk into the area and light it. Right by the deya, there was a statue with a lot of arms. While I was lighting it, out of the corner of my eye I saw the hands, as clear as day, change position. It went right from the top of its shoulder to its lap.
I never walked so fast in my life to get out of there.
30. Cooking Up A Storm
At the mall before Christmas about 10 years ago when I was 19, I ran into a quasi-friend from high school who I ran cross country with. He asked what’s up and if I wanted to go back and play some video games. We get to his place: dirty, nothing crazy for 19, but I have a super weird feeling. We play video games and drink beer for 30-45 minutes until I need to go to the bathroom.
He tells me the washroom is down the hall, but I guess I opened the wrong door because instead of the bathroom, I found a lab right out of Breaking Bad! I was shocked, to say the least, and got the heck out of dodge. I found out recently that he was hit by a truck while on his bike going to work less than two weeks after that. He didn’t make it.
31. Smokey The Friendly Ghost
I was about 14 and staying over at a buddy’s house one night. Their house wasn’t big so much as it was tall. Each level was maybe 900 square feet, but it was three stories tall. The bottom floor had a small bath and a living room with direct access to a kitchen. The second floor had two bedrooms and a bathroom, and the third floor had another bedroom and half bath.
Anyway, we were playing video games in his living room (attached to the stairs) when I suddenly smelled smoke. Almost like a campfire. I got up and walked around his living room a bit, and the smell grew stronger by the staircase. When I looked up, I saw a small tuft of grey haze working its way up the stairs and told him.
He yells, “YAAY THE GHOST IS BACK!” and runs to catch up to it. We ran up the stairs, following it, until it went into his bedroom on the second floor and just dissipated. It was the strangest thing I had been exposed to at that age. But around the same time every year, the same haze and smell will reappear, staying in the kitchen, go up the stairs, and “pass” in his bedroom. I witnessed it about two more times
32. Don’t Mention It!
I’m a property assessor. We occasionally need to do walk-throughs of new homes when they involve non-traditional builds and/or unique ones. I had made an appointment to review a new house that was in an older neighborhood. It was a beautiful house—modern, yet managed to not look out of place amongst the rest of the older houses that it abutted.
I was met at the door by the woman of the house, along with her two preschool-aged children. They all seemed like they were very nice people. So, I go inside and I’m doing a room-to-room inspection, making notes, asking about finishes, stuff like that. Then, I eventually get to the “spare bedroom,” and that’s when it gets weird.
Boom, the room is covered in a floor to ceiling Nazi shrine. It was very artistically done and was full of artifacts. One of the kids says, “This is our daddy’s office” and didn’t even bat an eyelash. These kids had no idea that any of these decorations were considered out of the ordinary by anyone outside their family.
I just kept my head down, kept on working, noted the floor and wall finish, and moved on to the next room. I thanked the lady for her time and hit the road. I definitely won’t be forgetting that experience any time soon. Personally, I have a bunch of Star Wars Lego in our spare bedroom—so this made for quite the contrast…
33. Redefining The Term “Birdbrain”
I was a medical equipment delivery guy for a couple of years. I once went into a dementia patient’s house and had to instruct his caretaker on how to set up a large E tank of O2. As I was kneeling down, my phone went off with my really low-key notification tone (which was just a singular beep). Well, at that precise moment, a pet bird that seemed to just suddenly appear out of nowhere seemed to have taken a shine to that noise, and instantly mimicked it perfectly in both tone and volume.
The caretaker and I looked at one another in shock, with her saying, “I’ve been here for six years and that bird has never made a peep before!” From then on, every time I delivered something to them and knelt down to re-educate the caretaker (as my job demands), that bird would instinctively “ping” me until I let my phone notification sound go off, after which the bird would celebrate by bobbing his head up and down and turning in a circle. Weird, but in a good way.
34. Wasting Water
I knew a girl who would get glasses of water and whenever she couldn’t finish the whole thing, she would dump the rest on the carpet because “it just absorbs it.”
35. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
I used to be a carpet cleaner. Probably the weirdest and most disturbing thing that I ever saw in a customer’s house was the gay couple who had an entire room filled with framed pornographic photos of themselves in different positions and outfits, and/or various states of undress. They insisted on getting to watch while I cleaned that room.
I just kept my eyes low and didn’t focus on any specific one or make eye contact with them at any point. I just kept about my business steaming the carpets and pretended that there wasn’t anything unusual about what I or they were doing. They tipped me well after I was done, so I kept my mouth shut for the most part and just made sure that whenever their address came up from then on that I was always the one who got that job.
I just wanted to make sure that none of my colleagues would have to be put in that same awkward situation.
36. Alternative Birthday Cake
Went to a school friend’s house for his birthday. That’s where I saw a cow tongue in place of a birthday cake. It wasn’t like they couldn’t afford a birthday cake either. They just had a cow tongue with a single candle in it. Why.
37. The King Is Still The King
First week freshman year, my new roommate and default best friend tells me we’re going to a board game night somewhere. I figure “screw it, I’ve got no new friends yet, maybe this is the way to do it.” So we go, and it ends up being at some sort of church house, but that’s fine I guess. We play some train board game and have an alright time with some people. They seem a little weird, but not enough to really throw me off. Well, not yet.
So the game wraps up, and me and my roommate are about to go home when the pastor says “Wait! You haven’t seen the bathroom yet! You’ve gotta see it, everyone sees my bathroom!” Okay…So we open the door and walk into this little bathroom where every single square inch of the walls, sink, toilet, ceiling, and floor are covered in Elvis memorabilia.
Posters, tickets, photos, albums, lyric sheets, everything you can imagine. And mounted above the toilet is a creepy, mostly realistic Elvis animatronic singing head. Needless to say, this was discomfort I had never felt before. It was beyond being a fan or obsessive or any of that. It was really frightening.
So we turn around to him holding a guest book for us to sign. Obviously, I made up an email and phone number so he wouldn’t email me or call me, and then my roommate, a devout Catholic, tells him he appreciates it but he’s Jewish and he just wanted to come with me while I checked out their small group. That was a weird night.
38. Armed And Dangerous
I had a friend back in high school whose family owned lots of guns and had them lying all over the house along with live ammo. I’m talking like a borderline hoarder house where the place was crazy cluttered, but interspersed with the regular household items were numerous rifles leaning against various walls or on shelves, and live rounds looking like it was just swept toward the walls after having been dropped or dumped out.
I recall his dad saying something to the effect of, “just be careful not to start a fire, cause this place will go up.”
39. Pet Cemetery
My friend lived in a really big, really nice house with a couple of siblings, and they always had a bunch of pets at a time. We were playing outside one day, and I noticed there was a 10-gallon tank on the table, with their deceased pet mouse in it. They also had their dead turtle in a plastic bag just casually by their back door.
These things were there for months if I recall correctly, and I remember one time her brother was trying to be funny, I guess, and he started violently smashing the turtle corpse with a shovel. I have no idea why they would just stick their dead pets outside and then leave them there, especially with so many kids around.
40. The Floorwich
I knew people who left whole items of food left for days on the floor. Toddler not interested in that apple? That’s fine, just leave it there on the floor where he threw it. It will work its way under a piece of furniture and out of sight if we give it some time. Once, I went to these people’s house and there was an entire sandwich sitting in the corner of the living room floor.
I was so distracted by it I didn’t really hear much of what was said during that visit. I just sat and stared at the floorwich.
41. Now That’s Disposable Income
TV repairman here. I’ve seen my fair share of nasty houses, a couple outright hoarders, etc. But I’m going to go with the most memorable sign of money. I was working on a bedroom TV and there were a couple maintenance or plumbing guys working in the bathroom attached to the room. The homeowner was bumbling around, and at some point, the plumber says to her “we just got a call and the new tub finally arrived from Italy. We can get it installed next week if we pull out the old one today, but you won’t have a bath in the master bath over the weekend.”
She goes “Paul, don’t be ridiculous. We have nine other bathrooms in this house I think I’ll survive a couple days.”
It really wasn’t the worst in any way, it was just absurd.
42. Here We Go
I was about 10 and staying with a friend. We were completely asleep when her mom and dad came in and woke us up and calmly said we were all going outside now. It was summer, so it wasn’t too cold or anything. We all went outside (her three older teenage siblings and her parents and the two of us), but it was the middle of the night, so it was extremely strange.
Then the bomb squad showed up. And the reason was fully insane. Turns out, there was a grenade with the pin still in it from WWII in their garage—my friend’s dad would stay up super late cleaning and organizing his late father’s belongings, and he came across it that night. My parents ended up coming to pick me up a short time later, and the bomb squad took the grenade, I believe.
43. Oh, You Don’t Have One?
I’ve talked about this before, but still it was super weird. I was out late with some coworkers at the apartment of one of our bosses after a team outing with a lot of drinking. It was me, two coworkers who were about the same age as me, another coworker who was several years older than us, and our boss, who was probably in her late 40s.
We were all hanging out on the balcony out back when some of my boss’s neighbors told us all to come over. Our boss told us to go and meet these guys because they were awesome, so we went. When we got there, they introduced themselves and gave us all a drink, even though we all already one in our hands.
Then they gave us a tour of the apartment. It was pretty normal, until they got to their bedroom. They point to the wall across from the bed and say, “And this is our leather wall…” The two coworkers who were around my age and I all exchanged baffled looks. It was literally a giant piece of plywood that had been upholstered and put up on a wall. I don’t know if it was just a weird decoration or a bedroom thing, but they were really proud of it.
44. Hanging With The Grand Wizard
I was friends with my little league baseball coach’s son. One day I was invited to their house for a “play date.” As I walked through the door, I saw a huge framed white cloth with some weird symbol; I didn’t think much about it because at the time I didn’t know what it was. My coach noticed me looking at it as I entered the house and said “My granddad wore that, its been in the family for years.”
Naturally, I was like oh, ok, whatever, and thought nothing of it. Now that I’m older, I realize the horrible truth. It was a KKK robe. The worst part? I’m not white.
45. Now That’s What I Call A False Alarm!
I’m a fire alarm inspector. I was once working in a cheap long-term hotel and knocked on a door only to be greeted by a very large man dressed in nothing but a purple bikini, who opened the door while half asleep. I entered the room to test the smoke detector and tried my very best to keep my eyes away from the general direction of where he was standing.
I just did my job and pretended that nothing unusual was going on. A few minutes later, I got a call from my supervisor informing me that we needed to test that alarm right away. So, I just stood there staring at the wall, desperately hoping and praying that the test would be successful so that I could leave and not have to stay in that awkward situation for who knows how much longer.
46. The House Of The Rising Dolls
My boyfriend is a locksmith. During the 2008 recession, Las Vegas had hundreds (if not thousands) of homes that were getting repossessed or abandoned on an almost constant basis. The company that he worked for would have him go out and change the locks to keep people out, and usually, this happened in the middle of the night in order to limit the possibility of running into (ex) owners of the properties.
I sometimes tagged along, mostly to explore some of the ridiculously big houses that people had just left behind, but also to help out some of the time. This one particular house that we went to looked totally normal from the outside, and you couldn’t tell it apart in any way from any of the other cookie cutter, similarly planned development homes.
However, on the inside, there were a bunch of those creepy old “time out” dolls on the shelves in every single room. In case you have never seen one of them, they are a kind of doll that stands up against the wall with its hands up to its face—and to make it even more creepy, they usually have no face. They look like a child hiding their face or pouting after being put in a time out.
Now, when I say that they had them in every room, I really mean EVERY. SINGLE. ROOM. And not just one, but dozens. They were totally lining the walls. Not laying down, but standing up against every wall of the house. The house’s electricity had been shut off, so all that we had was our flashlights. Walking into each room, it did not get any less creepy seeing doll after doll.
My boyfriend was already afraid of dolls, and this experience just made it so much worse. When all was said and done, we counted 63 of them altogether—but there might have been even more for all we knew. We didn’t exactly stick around after the job to find out!
47. Amateur Archaeology
When I was dating my first girlfriend in high school, I was invited over to her house for dinner and meet the parents, etc. At one point I was talking with her father in his study and noticed lots of old-looking phallic objects on the shelves in the room. On closer inspection, they were mummified penises, dozens of them. Turns out he was a urologist and an amateur archaeologist.
48. Yes, Women Can Be Mechanics Too
I don’t typically go into other people’s houses, I’m a mechanic who does house calls, which occasionally brings me inside to wash my hands or use the bathroom. The best one was when I was doing a job for a man who broke down at his girlfriend’s house. After the job was done I asked to go inside to wash my hands and he says it’s fine.
I’m washing my hands at the sink and suddenly this woman comes out of a room in nothing but her birthday suit and gives me a confused look.
Her: “Who are you? What are you doing in my house?”
Me: I’m the mechanic…
Her: You can’t be the mechanic, you’re a woman. [Person I worked on the vehicle for] must be cheating on me! With a white girl at that! What has this world come to.
Me: Well, to be fair, I’m not white, I’m mixed, and, I assure you, I am indeed the mechanic.
Her: No, women cannot be mechanics, and I don’t care what you are.. [begins to cry]
So… The strangest thing I’ve ever seen on a house call was an overly-paranoid, mildly prejudiced, woman who refused to put on any clothes. I tried to calm her down, but it didn’t work. Apparently, the guy got dumped that night and it was all my fault. I now ask for a hose to wash my hands.
49. Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Used the bathroom at a friend’s party and saw a machete. Because, you know, “Just in case, man.” It’s literally nothing more than a real machete that hangs in their bathroom, so if someone breaks in while you’re fighting dirt dragons, you aren’t at a total disadvantage. Everyone there was surprised when I said I’d never heard of it. I now keep a bathroom hammer handy, because dangit, it’s a great idea.
50. Gotta Improvise Sometimes
The weirdest story I have was when I was visiting an old high school friend a few years ago. She had married this big jerk and had two daughters back-to-back. When you walked into their trailer, it looked like they had this enormous flat screen TV that almost took up the whole living room wall.
But when you walked down the hallway past the little girls’ room, the back of the TV was sticking out into the girls’ bedroom. It was one of those old, old obsolete TVs, and they had cut a hole in the wall to make it look like a flat screen. There was only enough room for both of their baby beds on either side of the back of the TV. I’ll never forget that. Who does that?
51. We’ve Been Framed!
There was this kid I went to high school with who had always seemed pretty normal overall. Then I went over his house one day, and the wall along the staircase was completely, and I mean completely, full of framed pictures of random people’s families—as in families that he was not a part of. Some of them were even the families of other kids from our school.
There were literally dozens and dozens of pictures going all the way up to the second floor. I asked him what the deal was with all the random pictures of different families up on the wall, and he told me that he and his family have this little game where they each try to secretly take a family photo from the walls of anyone’s house who they are invited to.
It didn’t matter if they were friends, friends of friends, even complete strangers—if a member of this kid’s family was in someone’s house for any reason, the game was on. They would then collect them and decorate their home with them. It wasn’t just the staircase. Every single room in the house was full of framed pictures of random families that they had stolen over the years from different homes.
From house parties, holiday parties, sometimes even open houses when they pretend to be interested in buying a home in the area. It was insane how many pictures they had stolen over the years and put up on their walls.
52. Leopard Love
I used to work for a carpet cleaning company. I’ve had some interesting stories but this one always takes the cake. We had this program where we hired special needs people part time. So we hire this new guy, Bob. Bob’s a rather large fella, not the fastest thinker but real nice to work with. Bob and I showed up to clean a couple rooms in this couple’s mansion.
It was immaculate, two gay men in their 40s. Never mind the paintings of half-naked dudes all over the walls. So part of our job is to move furniture to clean under them. I had Bob help move the bed, and this giant two foot leopard print veiny dong rolls out like a dead possum. Bob stares. No words spoken… I clean around it, kick it under the bed and move it back.
Bob and I finish the job and get in the van to leave. Bob turns to me and says, “where did they get that leopard’s wang, and what are they gonna do with it?”
I still cannot tell this story without laughing.
53. Retro Stylings
I used to deliver furniture to some very rich and occasionally eccentric people. I delivered a sofa to one older gentleman who lived alone. Impeccably well-maintained house with lots of custom touches. Really custom. But most of the appliances and furnishings were really old, and were from like the 60s and 70s.
Most notably, he couldn’t stand listening to his refrigerator kick on and off all night, but he liked his (rather old) refrigerator so much that he couldn’t bear to part with it. So he removed the elements from the back and bottom, ran piping down into the floor via a few small holes, and set up the “working” parts of the fridge on an upright frame in the basement.
54. A House Is Not A Home
My sister-in-law’s house she shared with her baby daddy. We knew they were living in squalor, and we were finally able to track them down. No edible food in the kitchen, broken glass littered the living room floor, kids running around in their underwear, no power but they had an extension cord run to the neighbor’s house so they could watch TV.
No working toilets. They pooped in buckets and dumped it in the back yard occasionally. Five children were living there, too. The oldest was seven and had never been to school. He was illiterate except he could read some words for food so he would know what to grab from the grocery store down the road, so he and his brother didn’t starve.
At seven, the only word he could spell correctly was “cookie.” Now, I cannot tell this part without crying…and I’m a full-grown man. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type this, but I’ve got to tell this story because the sadness of this broke my heart. The oldest boy was so desperate for any type of normalcy that he had cleaned about a 3×3 foot area of one remote corner of one bedroom hidden behind a bed.
He had meticulously picked the dirt out of the nasty carpet and had wiped the walls down as best he could. There, neatly lined up against the wall, were his little shoes with the laces all carefully folded into each one and the few Matchbox cars he owned carefully lined up in perfect order. That was the only part of his world he could control. I’ll never forget seeing his little island and those little shoes among the chaos that was that house.
That day, right after physically dumping the “parents” out of their bed and screaming at them to “clean your freaking house,” we essentially took the two oldest to save them—the other ones had been dumped with other people at the time. We called the Department of Social Services on the way home, and in short order got the other children permanently removed.
Fast forward six years later. We adopted the two oldest boys, and the other siblings (eventually six in total, five at the time) were also adopted out to other families. All are doing amazingly well, and we have regular get-togethers for the kids. They are all great kids. That little illiterate boy who had never been to school? He’s now a tall, handsome, well-spoken honor roll student in advanced math classes going into seventh grade.
The younger one is very musically talented and wants to be a neurosurgeon—he had brain surgery, so he knows about that profession. Our boys are both A/B students with mostly As, are polite, and trustworthy kids. They are growing into fine young men that any parent would be proud to call their sons. I shudder to think what could have happened had we not tracked them down and took them.
55. Always Follow Your Nose
My wife and I were touring a home we were considering buying. Old, vacant awhile, fixer upper, but LOTS of potential. Couldn’t get around a smell that followed us through the house, though. Got upstairs and the smell was worse. Opened up a bedroom door, and there were strategically placed human poop piles all over the floor, filling the room. Driest and oldest in the far corner. Relatively fresh closer to the door. We did not buy the house.
56. Scaring You
I used to work in door-to-door sales so I saw quite a lot of stuff. But I’ll never forget this one. One time I knocked on a door and the screen door was shut but the door behind was wide open and I could see right down the hallway into the house. This guy (who I can only assume was waiting for someone else) literally jumped round the corner at the end of the hallway, totally nekkid, locked eyes with me and screamed and hid round the corner again.
He very awkwardly asked why I was there and I explained, in between fits of laughter, and said I’d leave him to it and I hope he had a great day. Another time a guy opened the door at 11:30am holding a bottle of Jack Daniels that he was drinking from and invited me in. He had three teeth and no shirt on. I politely declined.
I went into a lot of houses where people just obsessively hoarded anything and everything, from figurines to travel mugs to old newspapers.
57. Oh, You Were Serious?
One time a girl I knew said she had a skeleton in her closet… I laughed, being drunk, and figured she was talking figuratively and that she was about to tell me a story. Nope, she took me to her closet, and sure enough there was a skeleton hanging in it, staring back at me. Real skeletons look like real darn skeletons, not the stuff you see in classrooms. Discolored bones and weight to the thing.
So…Her grandfather was a doctor, and I gather if you donate your body to science, there is not a lot of paperwork, so if you’re not careful you can end up as a joke ornament. Now, I do admire her for her dedication to the joke, but the thought of sleeping in a room with a dead person in your closet still freaks me out.
57. What In The Name Of Josh
I had a family friend growing up, and went over to his house all the time for sleepovers and whatnot when I was around 8-10. Their family was relatively normal outside of a few strange rules, and they liked me and were pretty pleasant. They were VERY Catholic, though, which could be why they were a bit weird to me.
Anyways, there was one thing they did that was very strange. If I was over for dinner, they would always put on a Josh Groban CD and crank it up fairly loud. Then for some reason, at the end of dinner, usually when “You Raise Me Up” came on, everyone was required to quickly drink a relatively large glass of milk.
I didn’t really mind doing it, and there wasn’t really a fishy ulterior motive (the old “kids need strong bones” idea). But it was just so odd to me that Josh Groban was always a part of it.
58. Next-Level Cheapskates
When I was 12, my friend asked me over for a sleepover. He lived in a pretty big house in a nice neighborhood, and the family was upper middle class. Anyway, here’s the weird part. They refused to feed me. The dad told me to stay upstairs while they all went and had dinner. I was only 12, so of course I didn’t know what to think.
He tried to be normal about it, he said “we’re gonna have dinner, stay up here and I’ll bring you something to drink, what do you want? We have coke, lemonade, (etc).” So I stayed upstairs and drank coke and played Nintendo. My friend didn’t bat an eyelash. Apparently this was a normal thing. Later, when I told him I was hungry, he acted like I was bothering him.
He ended up sneaking into the kitchen and grabbing a can of tuna fish and just handed it to me with no can opener. When I asked if he could open it, he said “I don’t know where the can opener is.” Ended up using a butter knife. Next weird part: it was the middle of winter and they didn’t use heat. At all. So it was obviously freezing cold in the house.
I was sleeping on the floor and all I had was a blanket. I remember telling him I couldn’t go to sleep because I was so cold. He ended up waking up his dad, who came in with a pile of blankets and dropped them on the floor next to me and walked back out. I wrapped up in them the best I could, but it was still unbelievably cold.
The next morning, they had breakfast and I was downstairs with them, but there was nowhere for a guest to sit at the table. There were four of them and they were having a sit-down family breakfast while I just awkwardly paced around the living room. I would occasionally make eye contact with my friend, and motioned for him to bring me some food, but he ignored me.
I didn’t want to say anything out loud because I thought it was against their “rules” or whatever. The next weird thing: they wouldn’t let me use their phone. I asked the dad if I could use the phone to call my mom to come get me. He picked up the phone and asked me the number. He dialed it and spoke to my mom himself and told her I was ready to be picked up.
I was only 12, but I knew I didn’t want to be that kid’s friend anymore. So I stopped talking to him after that. I remember the car ride home, my mom stopped and got me McDonald’s and I ate so fast. She was not happy about them not feeding me, but we just forgot about it and moved on. To this day I still don’t know what that was all about.
They were a very religious family, but they were Christian, and I usually had the opposite of that experience at other Christian friends’ houses. I also thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that they had money and my family was poor and we lived in a “bad” part of town. Maybe they didn’t want my broke germs on their silverware?
59. You’re Next, Buddy
I was a delivery driver and went on a delivery to a house pretty far out into the country. The woman who answered the door was probably mid-40s, and she only had lingerie on. She asked me to come inside since she forgot her wallet and it was cold outside, then talked about how “her husband usually pays but he’s not here.”
Oh, and I forgot to mention, as soon as I stepped inside, I was surrounded by the mounted heads of every game animal I could think of. Not one space was left on their walls. And directly to the right of the door was a full taxidermied mountain lion. I noped the heck out of there as soon as I got the cash.
60. A Garage Sale You’ll Never Forget
When I was in high school, my mom came home from a garage sale with a coffin. It was a wooden antique from England, and it was from the 19th century. It had screw holes in the top, which lifted all the way off. The couple who sold it to her were getting rid of it because they disagreed about what purpose it should serve.
The wife wanted to keep using it as a coffee table with blanket storage and the husband wanted to turn it into a rifle rack. My mom thought it was great as a coffee table, so my siblings and I spent the next few years asking our friends, “Would you like a blanket from the coffin?” while we watched TV. So yeah, high school was fun.
61. Everyone Has Their Own Idea Of Special
Few years ago I was volunteering with the city council helping people clean their houses after the neighborhood I lived in had been flooded. One house belonged to a Chinese couple who ran the local convenience store. They had asked our crew to help remove water damaged carpet from the ground floor rooms of their house so it could be thrown away.
As we were removing this carpet, we realised that it ran in one piece under a closed door and into a locked room, so we asked the lady of the house if she wanted us to cut it off at the door and leave whatever was in the locked room behind, or if she wanted to open the room and have us remove the carpet in there also. She responded, “I’ll check with my husband what to do. That’s his special room.”
This lead to some nervously puzzled looks from our crew. What does a middle aged Chinese man who owns a convenience store keep in his “special room”? Eventually, the wife came back with a set of keys and told us that we could remove the carpet in the room and she unlocked the door. We all crowded around as the door opened to reveal..
A room with carpet up the walls, a mirror ball on the ceiling, a stage at one end with a PA standard sound system, a projector, and in the corner just about the fanciest karaoke machine I’d ever seen. Special room indeed.
62. The Things We Do For A Return Deposit
I moved out of my apartment and told the girl living there that I’d be back the next weekend to clean MY room and the common areas (living room and kitchen and bathroom). She was notoriously dirty and I wanted to make sure that I received my deposit back. I took the items that I paid for (she was incapable of shopping for items).
I took the remaining toilet paper, leaving the partial roll, my shower curtain, my pans & plates & dishes, my food and the rest of my stuff. I came back a week later to find: Rice covering the floor. She didn’t have pots or pans, and instead of buying one, she attempted to cook using one of her plates. By the evidence of the half melted plate on the stove with congealing food in it…why she didn’t use the microwave, I’ll never know.
She had also melted a kettle to the back burner. I had to buy two replacement burners for the stove. She stopped using the toilet when she ran out of toilet paper, left it unflushed and started using the bathtub. Bits and pieces still clinging to the back of it where the shower head wouldn’t reach. Plates stuck to the floor under the couch.
Snotty tissues covering her bed, so she was sleeping in her snot tissues. (She had flunked out of the graphic design program and took it rather hard) Food IN the bed (crackers, pancakes, syrup were just some of the recognizable foods). Food EVERYWHERE actually. I found that she had been stashing her empty slim fast cans in her dresser.
There were just so many things to clean…it was gross.
63. Something Rotten In The State Of This House
Back in eighth grade, I was the only person to show up at my friend’s birthday party other than his extended family, who all lived in the same mountain “neighborhood.” His whole house had this nasty smell to it, like rotting plants. I’d never been there before and didn’t want to be rude, so I just ate party snacks in the kitchen while we waited for other people to arrive.
I finished some watermelon and asked where the trashcan was. My buddy and his mom directed me to a sight I’ll never be able to unsee. It was the kitchen’s “backdoor,” which lead to a six-foot drop and a pile of decomposing fruits and vegetables. They also had just set up a downhill zip line, which was pretty dope except that you had to drop off at just the right time to land on an old track high-jump mat instead of the rock/metal pile behind it.
My buddy’s sister nearly died when she did a full flip and missed the mat. My family, who had come to pick me up, and I just stared at each other like “Did you just freaking see that?” while my friend’s mom just calmly said “Oh dear, let’s get you cleaned up…” and my buddy shouted at his screaming sister “I told you to let go Linda, but no—you just had to do it your own way and that’s why you got hurt!”
64. When The New Is Old
We were getting something out of his dad’s closet when I noticed there was a ton of expensive electrical equipment in the back of it, all still boxed up. I asked him about it. Apparently, his dad keeps everything new he gets for a year before he unboxes it and actually uses it. He didn’t know why, and it still boggles my mind.
65. Big Brother House Owners
I’m in and out of thousands of houses every year, so I’ve seen a lot. One of the strangest was finding hidden cameras (the people were moving in that day, so not theirs) set up in the attic and pointing into bedrooms and bathrooms. Also in the same attic (it was a big one), was a completely furnished hidden room that was only accessible from the attic. Needless to say, the homeowners were pretty freaked out.
66. Preparing For The End
I’ll give you a story with a bit of a twist. I am a plumber by trade and although most of my work is with processing plants and factories, occasionally our boss will do a favor for a project manager or other high level contact. We were asked to go and install an RO System (it’s a type of water purification system) at someone’s country home.
Most people have no need for water that pure, a filtration system and UV treatment is way more than enough, but if the client wants to pay for it, then he gets what he wants. So me and my coworker drive to this guy’s house in the middle of nowhere. It’s a pretty standard looking house nothing out of the ordinary. We go inside and he brings us down to the basement to this big steel door and a set of steps leading further down.
This guy had excavated and over the last few years built an underground bunker. Think of the place in 10 Cloverfield Lane, but this was way better built. It was still rather spartan as there was no furniture yet. But this place was massive, possibly about 5,000 sq. ft. of living space. There was an air filtration system that would bring fresh air in and pump it out to several spots on his property, a series of buried reservoirs to hold fresh water pumped from his well (after it went through his newly installed RO).
He had power from a mix of the grid and a small solar plant on the roof of his house and another in a field away from the house, as well as a backup generator. There were shelves in the walls with lights installed for growing small crops, even one room that he said will be dedicated to raising a couple of chickens. This man was geared up to survive the end of the world, and had spent a ton of money to do so. I have seen a lot of preppers before but this was a very different level of prep.
67. Keeping The Garbage Clean
I work in the restoration business, deal with insurance companies claims for water, fire, mold etc. I had just started my job a month before I was sent to the worst house I’ve ever been in. There was a house that the bank took from someone because they defaulted on the mortgage. I was sent in to clean the house out, she was a hoarder.
She had no running water and had not once taken her garbage bins to the curb. Not even kidding, they were the cleanest things on her property, two garbage bins that were spotless, not a spec of dirt inside them. The house however had 18” of garbage covering the WHOLE floor of the house. Pringle cans everywhere full of her waste.
A pile of used pads beside her bed, as high as my waist and about four feet in diameter. Tea bags piled from the top of the counter, to the bottom of the upper cabinets. A pile of used toilet paper taking up every bit of her bathtub and about four feet higher than the top of the tub. There was a spot under all of the garbage where she burnt clothes and a big burn mark into her hardwood floor. Mouse poop everywhere. And somehow that’s not even the worst part.
It was also the middle of the summer when I had to go in, was about 25-30 degrees Celsius out over the four days I was there. We filled two MASSIVE dumpsters up with garbage. That was easily the worst four days of my life.
68. An Exclusive Club Right In Your House
I moved to another town when I was about seven, to a house in a middle-class neighborhood. There were tons of kids my age there, so I luckily made friends quickly. So, I go to this girl’s house for the first time and she’s showing me around. There was this room locked, right at the entrance, and she told me that was off-limits. It sounded ominous, and I didn’t like it at all.
Turns out it was just a living room, with posh carpets and sofas and art pieces of dubious taste. They would open it just when they had “important” people over. I later found out that all my friends’ houses had one of those. Every single house in the neighborhood. Another friend once decided to sneak us in because she wanted to show me something (some weird glass sculpture) and her mother went absolutely ballistic.
That was when I realized why my house had two front doors right next to each other. My parents never really cared and turned the “guest living room” into a TV room. Middle-class people are bonkers.
69. Underground Black Magic
While I live in a modern city-state, remnants of the past remain. Black magic is practiced here by a few, though largely underground. Someone I knew used to keep several preserved fetuses in a bottle as a sort of talisman. Known as “kumanthong,” people who keep it believe that it can bring luck and fortune to its owner.
Similar to raising a child, it has to have regular meal times, treats and toys to keep it happy—so that it will abide by its owner’s wants and demands. I won’t link a photo here. Google the term and you’ll find more info on it if you wish.
70. Cats On Cats On Cats
I was building an addition to an existing house. The owners were… they were a weird pair. Husband and wife. The husband looked like Gollum and the wife looked like Hagrid. They were both very slow mentally and they smelled terrible. Like they bathed in pure ammonia. Even the new addition started to smell. The more we sealed it up the more it stank. And we hadn’t even opened them up to each other yet.
At the time I wasn’t anybody important on the crew, so I’d never had occasion to enter the house itself. Until one fateful morning when I was there early. The power to the exterior outlets had been cut and the electrician hadn’t installed the new ones yet, so I decided to run an extension cord from inside the house.
I opened the back door (intended to become a hallway entrance) and the smell nearly knocked me over. It was like the ammonia smell that clung to them, but ramped to 100x. Breathing shallowly through my mouth I ventured into the dimly lit interior. The living room, or at least I think it was a living room, was a literal maze of containers.
Cages. Eighteen inches tall and a couple feet square, all stacked one on top of the other. As my eyes adjusted I thought they were filled with rabbits. The ones by the door were stacked such that I could see over them; elsewhere and against the walls they were stacked to the ceiling. Each and every one of them with an occupant.
I stepped closer. Not rabbits. Cats. Hundreds of cats. Each cage containing at least one, some two or three. Each stacked four or five high. I got the heck out of there and immediately called the local animal shelter. They came in, rescued all those poor animals, and I actually adopted two. They had a tough start, but they’re very happy now.
My neighbor once asked me to feed his cat for him while he was out of town. Nice guy, mid 30s, lived alone, ran his own landscaping company. He would sometimes cut our grass for us when he was out cutting his on his huge landscaping mower. So I mean, yeah, of course, I’ll feed your cat for a few days. I had no idea what I was in for.
Bible verses were written in red marker on every inch of every mirror in his house, and there were an odd amount of mirrors. Like, multiple full length mirrors in just his living room, absolutely covered in tiny red Bible verses. I never really looked at him the same after that.
72. An Author’s Secret
When I first got into advertising copywriting, I worked on a book account. I often got to meet the authors (such as Stephen King and Erica Jong) of the books, which was always a treat. I was with the account exec and our producer at the home of a famous author (she writes horror novels), who was in a wheelchair.
The AE wanted more ice for her drink and the author asked her if she would mind just getting it for herself. 30 seconds later, the AE called out for my help. Puzzled, I went into the kitchen. The AE, without saying a word, opened the freezer door. That’s when my jaw dropped. There to the right of the ice bin, next to some frozen food items, neatly stacked in plastic sandwich bags, were at least 50 dead, colorful little parakeets!
In shock, but not wanting to offend the author, we both got a few ice cubes for our drinks and, as casually as possible, rejoined our group. Neither one of us drank another drop of our drinks! I still get the willies just thinking about it. Fantastic author and great creepy books! The author still had about 10 live parakeets in cages in her home.
73. Getting A Head Start For The Coroner
I am doing part-time freelance nursing at the moment. One of the cases I attended was a rather large house in the middle of nowhere for an elderly man. When I was let in by his caretaker, I saw the old man lying in a box, which was disguised as a bed. I was told it was because the family knew he was on his last legs and eventually he will pass on, so the box was his pre-coffin for the undertaker to take to the parlor and it’s a norm for their family to do this.
Creepy, but that wasn’t even the worst part. While I was waiting for the antibiotic drip to complete, I looked out the window and saw the backyard of the house, all the coffins of deceased family members were all above ground and you could open the window to see them in the coffins, preserved from the day they passed.
They were only lowered into the grave once the decomposition began despite the preservatives. Apparently, it was part of their beliefs and family traditions.
74. Children Eat Standing
My mother tells this story that when she was a child, at a friend’s house, the children were not given the privilege to eat at the table. They ate standing at a kind of shelf mounted to the wall. Meanwhile, she was there and got to eat sitting at the table, with the adults, since she was a guest. So. Weird.
75. Lannister Children
I’m a pool guy, I go into people’s backyards to clean their pools. One week, it was a four day week due to a holiday, so I’m not going on the scheduled days, I’m cramming five days of work into a four day week. It’s a hot summer day, and I walk into the backyard of this house, get through both gates, and I’m met with an odd sight.
These two kids, maybe 14 or 15, are in their birthday suits and cuddled up on a poolside recliner. I look at them, they look at me. I immediately turn around and they run inside. I see the owners all the time, but I’ve never seen these kids before. Next week I go, the wife was outside, and we started chit chatting.
I ask her if she’s had any visitors recently, she says no. I let her know that I saw some kids in her backyard, and she cut me off. She says, “Yeah, surprised you haven’t met them, lemme introduce you.” They were brother and sister. They canceled service within two months.
76. Cat Food
I’m a firefighter/EMT so it’s pretty normal for me to find a body, but one horrible discovery will always stay with me. There was this middle aged guy who lived in his van out in a parking lot somewhat out of town. He never bothered anybody, so the authorities just let him stay there. It was around the middle of July in Arizona (so about 105-110 degree heat) and we got a call to go check on him. Nobody had seen him for a while, and somebody had complained of a foul odor coming from his van.
We all knew what we were gonna find, but nothing could prepare us for what we actually came across. I opened the back door to his van and a cloud of flies flew out so thick you couldn’t see through it. I was immediately punched in the face by a horrid stench, and when the flies cleared out we finally got a look at what was in there. The guy had been gone for at least two weeks and his cats had survived by eating the fleshier parts of his body.
I’ve seen my fair share of messed up stuff, but something about a guy who had been in a van for two weeks in Arizona summer heat with cats eating his body that just sticks with you.
77. Who Needs A Doggy Bag?
The family’s dog literally ate at the table. He would bound up and place his hind legs on a chair and forepaws on the table and eats. They treated the dog like a KING at that house. And no one skipped a beat.
78. Sticking To The Budget
This wasn’t actually at my friend’s house, but something weird they did. 10-year-old me got invited to a friend’s birthday party at Pizza Hut. It was great back in the early ’90s. I showed up and his mom had made a complete spaghetti dinner… and taken it to Pizza Hut. We sat and ate spaghetti, while the paying customers gave us the weirdest looks.
She brought in her own HUGE pot of spaghetti, her own oven mitts, and off-brand 2-liter bottles of cola. She did actually go to the counter and get paper plates, cups, and silverware. Super awkward.
79. The Potato Drawer
My Russian friend had a potato drawer. Just a normal silverware drawer… but it was filled with nothing but potatoes.
80. No Proper Family Dinner Time
When I was growing up, my parents placed a huge emphasis on eating dinner as a family at the table. Whenever I ate at a friend’s house, they almost never ate together. It blew my mind learning that most families don’t eat together.
81. Hanging Moose
A college friend has a moose-head mounted on the wall above his fieldstone fireplace. He has the moose’s glass eyes wired to small pneumatic devices that open and close the eyelids at random—or when he pushes a signal button near his chair. Company will be sitting there in his living room, and all of a sudden, they’ll lose their minds when the moose will blink its eyes, or let out a recorded “moose mating call” when he pushes another button.
It’s amazing to see the look on people’s faces when they don’t know he has it rigged for special effects.
82. Confused About A Lack of Stuff
That “weird house” was mine. My mom is a hoarder. When I first visited a couple of friends’ houses, I was seriously shocked at the fact that there was space for all of their stuff. Little bit of standard clutter, but there were no overflowing boxes of stuff. They didn’t have to spend ten minutes shifting boxes, clothes, and papers just to get to the washing machine. Their closets held all their clothes. We actually SAT at the dining table.
I swear I asked someone once, “Where’s all your stuff?”
83. Hey Mike
I dated a girl who had a life-size Michael Myers statue in her living room, year round. She really liked Michael Myers. Needless to say, I screamed like a girl the first few times I stayed there overnight, and had to get up for any reason.
84. Awkward Apartment
A friend of mine had converted her loft space into a spare room, which her ex-boyfriend moved into after they split up. They were not living together prior to the split. I always found that a bit weird, because he had to go into her bedroom and pull down the loft ladder to access his own room. It must have been awkward when they had new boyfriends or girlfriends staying over.
85. Living In The Past
I went to an estate sale, where the homeowners had a normal, small, two-story house in a decent neighborhood. The place looked totally normal…and then we went inside. It was decorated like a Medieval castle. There were even two “throne” chairs, that had the most detailed, fancy wood carvings on them that I’ve ever seen.
There were tapestries on the wall, swords hanging on the wall, very detailed chess sets, etc. Their house was so strange and not normal at all. I was in awe that someone would decorate their home like that.
86. Bad Grandpa
My friend lived with her grandpa, who never thought about putting clothes on, from the moment I met him when I was about eight to his passing 20+ years later. Cooking, helping us with our homework, heck—even gardening. He did it all in his birthday suit. And so, he didn’t have dementia. Dude just hated clothes. Honestly, he was a fun guy.
87. Vending Machine House
Went to my friend’s dad’s house last month to help pack her belongings, and spotted a Blue Bunny Ice Cream vending machine in her living room. One of the selections was Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets. So awesome.
88. Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up!
I was visiting at a friend’s house when their mom stopped the movie we were watching to make all the kids clean the house. I sat awkwardly on the couch until she suggested I’d get to hang out with my friend sooner if I helped. I vacuumed the carpet and the mom picked up a tiny piece of popcorn and literally said: “You missed this.”
My friend and I were 19 at the time.
89. Isolated Dad
My friend’s dad. When I was a kid I used to stay for dinner, as kids do. But the dad would not eat with us. The mom would make a plate of food, take it down the hall and slide it halfway under the door to the basement. A few seconds later the plate would slowly slide under the door. Nobody at the house seemed to think this was odd but I thought it was weird.
The other odd thing this family did was, every weeknight at 7:00 on the dot, the family would clear out of the living room so the dad could come and watch Star Trek. Once the show was over, he would go back into the basement and the family would move back into the living room. What? The father was quiet but seemed to be normal other than those odd habits. The family thought none of that was weird and my friend thought it was “funny” that my dad ate with us at dinner.
90. Too Old for Diapers
I was an adult literacy volunteer and I went to this couple’s trailer. A five-year-old kid walks in shirtless, wearing a diaper. At first, I thought it was a joke. Then, I thought maybe developmental issues. Then the mother says “About time ta change ‘at diaper ain’t it?” And the boy said defiantly, “You ain’t gonna change my diaper.”
91. Serious Anger
My friend’s mom often threatened to take out the whole family when she was angry. This was very scary to me but my friend hardly thought anything of it. She just acts like that was normal mom stuff.
92. One Messed Up Home
My ex-friend. His dog peed in the house so much that parts of the floor were warped. He would stand on the first floor and pee down the basement stairs because going upstairs took too long. He didn’t want to grab a garbage can so he grabbed a hammer and knocked a hole in the wall. Proceeded to stuff chicken bones inside of it.
He lived with his dad. They have a giant painting of a spider on the wall. Creepy as heck. All of the bush trimming in their yard was done with katanas. They rarely mowed out of fear of hitting a kunai or piece of broken blade. They had three neighbors live next door to them within four years. I blame the turnover on the fact that when a machine stopped working, they took it in the backyard and beat on it with sledgehammers and pipes.
Once at 3:00 AM, their microwave broke, and the authorities were called after they beat on it for an hour. They had an area rug in the middle of the living room. If there was flat pop in a can they poured it on the carpet and tossed the can in a bin for recycling. They didn’t want to get the bin full of stale pop…
All of the furniture was from street corners, just because. He dragged a futon home three miles to put in his room. Nothing wrong with reusing things but this futon was barely functional and covered in garbage. The son showered once every two weeks. He somehow had attractive and smart girlfriends all the time in high school. None of us could understand it, since they too would go back to his place.
He tossed sandwich parts he didn’t want (tomatoes, onions, certain meats) behind his TV dresser. He would leave the window open and told me it was so animals could get the food. Thought he was joking till I saw a squirrel running out with some bread he tore off.
93. Taking The Chance
When my brother and I were kids, we would often comment that our next-door-neighbor’s house smelled like pee. One day my brother was playing video games with the kid from next door at his house, and asked to use the restroom. The kid said, “We just pee here,” and started peeing in the closet. My brother peed in there too.
When in Rome…
94. Birth Memento
When I moved cities in grade two or three I didn’t know anyone. I met someone the first day and he invited me to his house that weekend to stay over. Everything was great, we played GameCube and stayed up until 3 am—the latest I had been awake up to that point. He said we had to sleep in the basement so that we don’t wake his parents when we went upstairs.
We go downstairs with our sleeping bags and immediately I knew something was wrong. The worst smell I’ve ever experienced filled my nostrils the further we descended. In the corner of the room was a bed covered in what looked like crusty blood and some pus-colored streaks. Turns out his mother had a home birth the week before and kept the sheets as a memento.
I never went back after that.
95. Momma Scrub-A-Dub
I spent the night at a friend’s house in sixth grade. He lived with just his mom, his dad wasn’t in the picture, and he was an only child, so they had a close relationship. Like…too close. We were having a great time until his mom called him for bath time. With her. Like, together. They even left the door open like it was nothing. It was not nothing!
96. Obsessive Father
One summer, when I was about 13, a friend of mine had a girl from her school who invited us over to go swimming in her pool. We go to her place and are shown to her room to change. As I’m changing my friend suddenly whispers “What the heck?” I turn around and see a bunch of used sanitary pads lined up on this girls desk.
She comes to join us in her room and my friend flat out asks her what the pads are all about. She says, very plainly, “They’re for my dad so he can check that I’m not pregnant.”
97. Hereditary IRL
My friend’s family has a shrine for her grandma. When I first saw, I was like “Oh, she probably passed, and this is a way to commemorate her,” since we also have a little “shrine” for my grandma. I was on Facetime with her later on that night when I got home and asked about it. And it turns out that her grandma is VERY much alive and healthy.
She explained that she thinks her family is a cult with her grandma as the leader, and I don’t know…every time I go to her house, I freak out just a tiny bit.
98. Disappear This Miss, Please
I may or may not have carried a heavily intoxicated girlfriend and a large amount of substances out of my bosses house (CEO of a very large company) while she was covered in her own filth so his wife wouldn’t catch him as she arrived home from her sister’s house a day early. Yeah, not my best day on the job, that’s for sure.
Here’s the full story: My old boss regularly cheated on his wife with any number of women. Well, he calls me one day, because we are friends away from work, and asks me to come to his apartment ASAP. I drive over there, and he’s blitzed, and this chick is laying naked in her own filth mumbling about something.
He says he has to shower and clean up because his wife is ten minutes away so please “Get that out of here.” I grab the girl and help her to her feet and cover her up with a t-shirt. As I’m walking her out he yells for me to grab the party bag. The only bag is a Dopp kit. I grab it, jump in my car and drive off.
This chick is blasted! She doesn’t know where she lives and is sure she’s having a heart attack. So, I calm her down somewhat and reach in her purse and find her ID. Luckily, she has her current address on it and I take her home. I drive back to my house and pull into the driveway and remember the Dopp kit.
I open it up and there’s a LOT of illegal substances in there. I got a steak dinner and a few beers later that week from the boss. Needless to say, I no longer work there.
99. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
I found a very large, colored-in black and white photograph in an ornate gilded frame in the attic. The photo showed a young child in a white lacy dress, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, standing on the steps of a city building with a pony. The building in the photo was clearly a style of architecture that isn’t found anywhere near where I live.
Also, the child was the ugliest child any of us had ever seen. Scary ugly. I wasn’t even envious about the pony—that kid was just so ugly. We hung the photo in a prominent spot, and would make up a story about the person/pony/photo, taking turns. We left the thing in the attic when we sold the house. Didn’t seem right to take it.