They say that a person’s home is their castle. Anything that is near and dear to an individual’s heart is sure to be reflected in their place of residence. Nevertheless, there are some homes out there that may not contain the same objects as the rest of ours do. As people who spend a lot of time visiting others’ homes can attest, some folks keep some very bizarre, confusing, scary, and even disturbing things inside their humble abodes. Here are 42 wild examples of some of the most shocking things that guests or workers have ever seen in another person’s house.
1. 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.
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman
When I was in college, I once went to a friend’s parents’ house to find that they had several photos on the wall of my (male) friend as a small child with long hair, dressed in a blue dress along with his twin sister who was in a matching pink dress. His mother apparently used to enjoy pretending that her kids were both girls, and dressing them up in matching outfits of different colors (all girls’ clothes).
As if that wasn’t odd enough, they also randomly had a ton of photos of red peppers hung up on the wall alongside the family photos.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Don’t Let the Bed Humans Bite
I once read about a girl who had bad social anxiety and hid under her bed when the plumbers came to her house. As you may have expected, she eventually got spotted by the plumbers while they were working. Everyone freaked out, and she ran to hide in the bathroom until they left.
8. 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.
9. Dead Termites Tell Many 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.
10. 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. 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.
11. 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. What made it extra creepy was the fact that 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.
12. 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 cigarette butts.
There were also hundreds of cigarette 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…
13. The Outer Limits
I once did a job in a house that had a big sign at the entrance to the living room that said “This room is off-limits to all visitors!” in giant letters. From the hallway, it appeared as though it was made up like a living room, yet they clearly didn’t want anybody in there. It really makes me wonder what they were trying to hide.
I can only imagine…
14. Don’t Mention the War!
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...
15. Redefining the Term “Birdbrain”
Disturbing? Not at all. Weird? A bit. 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. It was absolutely adorable.
16. Painting a Grim Picture
I got called to paint a girl’s room one time. When I showed up, I could see through the front window that she was lying in bed motionless while holding her phone. When I rang the bell, I expected her to get up and let me in. Instead, she continued to just sit there in place and didn’t move. It was extremely creepy.
After a few minutes, she got up to let me in. As soon as I started painting, she just laid right back down and continued to stay there motionless as she had been doing before. It was very, very strange.
17. Modern Art
I once went to install a tube-style skylight in the bathroom of someone’s house. The owners of this house seemed to have a strange obsession with male genitalia. Virtually every decoration in the house was in the shape of private parts. It looked like some kind of bizarre joke that was taken to the extreme. Artistically, it was all very impressive.
Some of the sculptures looked like they were very high quality. Think Roman decor, marble and all. The bathroom alone consisted of a light switch, toilet paper holder, towel rack, shower curtain, hooks...all in the shape of you-know-whats.
18. Locked and Loaded
As a landlord, I once had to patch up a bullet hole in a shared wall/ceiling between two apartments. One tenant had decided to let his girlfriend play with his loaded gun. Naturally, she stupidly and accidentally fired it directly into their next-door neighbor’s apartment. The neighbor had been playing video games at the time and didn’t even notice the bullet coming through his wall and into the ceiling.
He had no clue that anything had happened until the gun-owning boyfriend pounded on his door in a panic and was relieved to see him alive. Whoopsie!
19. Head of the Household
I visited a friend recently who had a gynecology chair in his basement, with a cosmetology practice mannequin head on the upper left corner of the backrest. His girlfriend seemed pretty embarrassed when he proudly pointed out the "lady head chair" in the middle of their room.
20. It’s All Out in the Open Now
I design custom closets for a living, and I've seen multiple senior-aged couples who have sex toys of all kinds just casually out in the open in their homes with no shame. You would be truly surprised or even shocked at the number of examples of this I have seen. Whatever stereotypes you may have about the sex lives of senior citizens are completely wrong more often than many of us would care to imagine!
21. Bowling Gone Very Wrong
My uncle is a handyman and, one time, he went in to do some work for a local family and saw a toilet that was filled to the brim with feces. Not as in someone had just gone to the bathroom that day and forgotten to flush—as in, they knowingly never flushed but continued using the toilet with the old feces still inside there from before.
And they were piled up all the way to the top, so there’s no telling how long it had all been gathering or how long the oldest parts had been sitting there for. The bowl was just totally crammed full of hardened stool, which had clearly been an accumulating scenario. He said he had never seen or smelled anything that repulsive in his entire life.
22. Just Hanging Out With the Old Gang
Staying at someone’s house while out of town one time, I once saw a room full of dolls, including a life-sized stuffed clown, all hanging from the ceiling of the entrance to the bedroom and facing towards the bed. After staying an entire weekend in that room, I can now say without hesitation that I have been thoroughly creeped out by almost all dolls ever since.
23. The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon
I once helped to renovate an old building that was a house but converted to a business. It was super run down by the time my employer had bought it. We did a ton of work on it, including removing the subflooring and ceilings. While doing all of this work, we found a hidden cellar in the back suite (in what was likely once the kitchen or mudroom).
The spot was completely filled with trash, as well as random odds and ends. There were GI water ration cans dated 1956. Meanwhile, in the middle suite, we kept finding spoons in the ceiling as we were taking it down. It was weird as heck.
24. The Barbers of Seville
I accompanied a friend to her grandparents’ house one day many years ago. While I was there, I couldn’t help but notice that they had an electric shaver physically bolted to their kitchen wall, almost as if it was meant to be a decoration of some sort. The thing clearly stood out, but as far as I could tell it was just an average, ordinary electric shaver.
I honestly have no idea what the story behind that could possibly have been!
25. I’m Definitely Not a Fan of This One...
Many years ago, while I was out on a job at a customer’s house, I saw the body of a dead mouse in a trap. Not too weird...except for the fact that it was tied to a ceiling fan and swinging around the room. I would not hesitate to count that among the strangest things I’ve ever seen in a person’s house. Who would want to live in that kind of an environment?!
26. Nothing Funny About This Discovery
I was a delivery boy in high school and would occasionally deliver to people who genuinely freaked me the heck out. The main recurring one was an incredibly large man with elephantiasis, a very devastating disease caused by small parasitic worms. It's tough to maintain a positive outlook on life after seeing something like that.
Seeing the way this poor fellow had to live, plus the smell that permeated his house, is by far the most disturbing thing I ever experienced in my career delivering food to people’s houses.
27. Something About This Just Stinks!
When I was a child in elementary school, I had a good friend who seemed pretty normal in class. We used to play together all the time during recess. Then, one afternoon, he invited me over to his house for a play date. At his house, I discovered that his family had a pet skunk. That’s right, a skunk. And not one with the stink removed, either.
What pet store in the world would sell that, you ask? No pet store! As it turns out, their pet skunk was just a regular stray animal that they caught from off the street. Let’s just say my parents didn’t let me go back to that house too often after that...
28. Weird On So Many Levels
I tutor privately, so sometimes I meet clients at their homes. One lady who I tutored many years ago had a giant shrine to serial killer Bob Berdella in her living room. I thought that this was pretty weird—not only because she was glorifying a murderer, but also because women who are attracted to serial killers usually tend to gravitate toward the more attractive ones.
29. Poor Little Puppy
During an apartment inspection, we once found a neglected dog. The dog was a very sweet golden retriever who was clearly starved for attention. It was apparently being left to just pee and poop all over the floors of the apartment unit. It probably hadn't been outside in weeks based off of the smell and the general condition of the unit.
We went outside, locked up, and called the property manager to have her come by. While we were waiting, the guy who lived in that apartment came home. The look on his face when he saw us there was terrifying. The manager talked to him and they agreed on a plan about cleaning up the mess. The manager also gave him a time frame in which to get the unit back to "normal."
The other maintenance guy decided to stay with him for a while that evening. When we left the unit, he was sure that the guy was so depressed and embarrassed that he might have committed suicide that night. It turned out that he had very recently gone through an extremely rough divorce where his children had been removed from his life with almost no warning.
His life had been spiraling out of control ever since. Unfortunately, I left the company before I learned how it all ended. I hope that he is doing better now.
30. The Label Says It All
I once went into a house where there was a box on the table that was simply labeled “Poop knife.” I did not ask questions, and I did not ever go back there again. I did rush home and wash my hands over and over again. I didn’t even want to think about how dirty anything that I might have touched while in their house might have been.
31. Dead On Arrival
I used to do apartment maintenance for a few years. We started implementing quarterly inspections and, on the very first day after the change, we opened a door and the smell that came out was indescribable. The guy who was with me was ex-military, and he instantly warned me that we were about to find a dead body. My stomach dropped.
In the maintenance community, it tends not to be a matter of "if" you will ever find a body, but "when." My partner told me that he would go in alone if I was uncomfortable with it, but I went in too. We didn't find a body. What we did find was a mountain of trash that covered up the entire dining area. There was so much trash everywhere, including a large amount of old food packaging, that it literally created a smell resembling rotting human flesh.
Think about that for a minute.
I was once inspecting an oven that a tenant had complained was smoking. Yup, it definitely was. The tenant seemed to have thought that an oven could be used like an outdoor grill. He had been cooking meat directly on the oven racks, and all of that glorious fat and grease had just piled up and accumulated in the bottom of the oven and the little drawer underneath for months.
How he didn’t burn down the whole dang building is beyond me.
33. 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.
34. You Dirty Rat!
I was a paramedic in Oakland, and I was once in a home where a child had just been bitten by a rat in her crib. As we were standing there talking to the mother about her options, another rat appeared, walked up to one of the firefighters, and bit him on the boot. The firefighters quickly stomped the rat to death, and its body was later taken to the health department for testing.
That was definitely a strange situation.
35. 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.
36. 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!
37. All the Lonely People
I once had to deliver food to a man who I think had HIV or AIDS back in the days before we had any real treatments for them. He had what looked to me like hundreds, if not a thousand, of injection marks all over his body, along with a massive pile of old needles lying in the middle of his floor. I will also never forget the smell of this guy’s home.
It smelled as though he had never bathed or showered in his entire life. He lived all alone in a small mobile home that had metal stairs going up to reach the door—and by the time I reached the first step, the smell was usually already upon me. Sadly, this guy and many of the other customers who I had to deliver to lived horrible and lonely lives.
This particular guy would often tip me with wet, crumpled up bills that smelled like him.
38. Animal House, Literally!
The first time that I went over to my old friend’s house, I had no reason to suspect that anything was strange about her or her family. On the surface, they seemed completely normal. That is, until I noticed that they had installed a doggy door in their living room, despite not owning a dog or any other pet. When I asked why they had this, I was informed that it was to encourage raccoons to come into the house, because my friend’s family found it fun to feed them.
They apparently did so on a regular basis. As weird and crazy as this sounds, they were all completely serious and very nonchalant about it while explaining it to me.
39. A Trip to the End Zone
The weirdest thing I ever saw in someone’s house wasn’t an object, but an action. I’m an electrician and I was once troubleshooting a bad electrical outlet in the bathroom of a former NFL player. I was taking all the outlets apart and following them to see if I could trace out the source of the problems when the customer came into the room and started talking football.
We were still in the middle of talking when, to my utter shock, he just walked over to the toilet in the middle of the room I was working in and started taking a poop right in front of me. I tried my best not to look, but there was nothing but a little pony wall in between us. The funniest part was that he didn’t even stop telling his story the whole time that this was going on! It was crazy.
Eventually, I walked out of the room because of the smell. He came out a few minutes later and just acted as if nothing had ever happened.
40. What’s in Your Wardrobe?
I used to deliver pizza for about two years, give or take. I had to deliver to this one local motel on a pretty frequent basis. One day, I showed up at the motel to deliver an order and a large lady (I’m talking around 6 feet tall and 220 pounds) answered the door decked out in, shall we say, a very sexually charged outfit.
She clearly thought that it was someone else knocking, and she answered the door ready to get down to business. As soon as she saw me there holding the pizza, she immediately slammed the door and put a robe on. She apologized profusely and then tipped me $10 for the situation.
41. 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.
42. 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 steal 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.
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