September 21, 2023 | Taylor Medeiros

Nightmare House Calls

Sometimes when we visit other people’s houses, we’re surprised to find items that we’d never keep in our own homes. From pet raccoons to hoarding dirty laundry, everyone has their own personal thing. Even though people tend to have their own different interests and hobbies, the things found in these people’s houses were just flat-out bizarre.

1. No Water, No Problem

When I worked as a building inspector, we saw a house that had not paid their water bills and had their water service disconnected. What they did next was so disturbing, it’s impossible to forget. Their solution was to get a bunch of big blue storage bins from Walmart, cut a hole in one end of the lid, and pee and poop in those. They had five lined up in the living room. There were also four dead dogs they had hidden in a closet. I puked for the rest of the day. We obviously condemned the house.


2. The Pig In The Room

I, an electrician, did a call where the family had a full-size, massively long pig, living in their house. He was just chilling in a room right off the living room. There was another call where the older couple had very anatomically correct drawings of themselves on all of the walls. That was so awkward.

Other people's housesPexels

3. No Cleaning, Ever

As a loan officer, I had to go to a person's home to get loan documents signed pretty regularly. There was one woman...where do I begin? She was a surgical nurse in a big hospital. The house smelled so bad. I had to use the restroom and there was a huge cockroach smashed on the wall just above the sink, literally two inches from a toothbrush.

The tub and toilet had a black ring of dirt like they had never been cleaned. The dining room table was full of trash and empty cat food cans where they just opened the can to feed the four cats sitting on the table. It was absolutely disgusting!

Cockroach bug in house.Getty Images

4. There’s Two Of Them

I went into a woman's house that had a lifesize replica/mannequin of herself mutilated and injured. As it turns out, she's a semi-pro actress. She's been an extra in a dozen or so motion pictures. One of which was a B level hack film. The special effects crew made a latex replica of her for a couple scenes in the movie and they let her keep it afterwards. It was very real looking. From a foot away, you'd think it was a real mutilated body. Creepy, but I can't blame her for wanting to keep it.

Other peoples housesShutterstock

5. No New Relationships

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/girlfriends staying over!

Other people's housesShutterstock

6. Not The First Time

I’m a current realtor, but a former cable and fiber optic tech. The weirdest thing I ever saw in someone’s house was chicken intestines. They were just draped over a wooden bar hanging from the ceiling, dripping onto the floor in the basement. From the looks of the stains, this was not the first time they’d done it. The smell was indescribable.

Other people's housesShutterstock

7. Mistakes Were Made

I used to volunteer for a wildlife rescue and did a pickup at a very elderly woman's house where she had found a baby bird. When I got there, she carefully uncovered it from the towel she'd placed it in...and it was just a chestnut.

Other people's housesPexels

8. Kids These Days

I delivered pizza at a dealer's place. The building was locked down with kids monitoring the entrance. They told me which floor to go and which door to knock on, then followed me upstairs. The guy who answered the door looked basically Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2. Another guy was playing Fifa with all KINDS of illicit items casually left on the couch next to him. Mickey paid me, the kids escorted me downstairs and gave me a bag of pot as a tip.

Other people's housesPexels

9. Someone’s Always Waiting

I do pest control and when I climbed an attic ladder and switched on my flashlight, I almost had a heart attack. There was a person up there waiting for me! As it turns out, they kept a mannequin in the attic to scare squirrels. It didn't work and the squirrels were nesting two feet away. They obviously scared the heck out of me. I also found Her Royal Majesty, The Queen of England, in life-size cutout form in a basement closet. That also scared the heck out of me.

Other people's housesPexels

10. They’re Just My Daughters’

I worked for a moving company and we went into a lady’s house and kept finding needles everywhere. They were behind the furniture, down in the couch, and in the chair cushions. We stopped after a couple of minutes and refused to finish the job. It turns out that her teenage daughter was diabetic, and would just toss the lancet needles and syringes everywhere. She honestly didn’t understand why we refused to touch the furniture after one of the guys carried some cushions and wound up with a needle stuck in his shirt.

Other people's housesUnsplash

11. Just Get Out Of There

I was installing a security keypad in the master bedroom of a couple around Dallas, TX. I was instructed to put the thing right next to a collage of photos of this guy's wife. Think of it like a shrine. Luckily, she wasn't home and I tried to get out ASAP. Just as I finished the job, his wife made it home and I just got the heck out of there.

Other people's housesShutterstock

12. Not Your Typical Collection

I’m an EMT. The weirdest thing I ever saw in someone else’s house was of a man who collected/hoarded LED lights and toys. Imagine walking into a house full of boxes and boxes of LED light pens, light-up fidget balls, light-up cat get it. I'm talking about Edison's dream house. He also slept on an inversion table, didn't have a fridge, no TV, no radio, 1000s of books and magazines, and a hot plate with rows and rows of canned food. I miss him sometimes.

Other people's housesShutterstock

13. Cult Cleaning Contract

I know someone who runs a cleaning operation. Once they were contracted to "clean" a house that was the home of some kind of cult. He sent us the video: knee-deep in filth and garbage in every room, they couldn’t see the floor. Walls were covered with sheets of paper, news clippings, and extracts from the bible…It was unsettling.

Other people's housesShutterstock

14. Just Doing A Favour

I used to do home repairs for the Home Owners Association in my neighborhood a few years back. One day, I was tasked with replacing the cabinets in one of the elderly woman’s houses since she wasn’t able to do it herself. She kept the weirdest thing I've ever seen. Inside the cabinet was a literal jar of pee on a hot plate. She told me that she peed in a jar every week and kept it on a hot plate so that her granddaughter could pass the drug test that her job made her do. The worst part was that the whole cabinet smelled of her pee.

Other people's housesShutterstock

15. Better Not Steal

I did cable/internet for an old blind man who was a hoarder of vintage electronic equipment. He had TVs, stereos, amplifiers, audio mixers, projectors...the works. Whenever I went to another room of the house, he would make me clap my hands to ensure that I wasn’t picking anything up and taking it. He was super rude and weird, but looking back it was a pretty clever thing.

Other people's housesUnsplash

16. Not Where That’s Supposed To Be

I’m a realtor. Within the first month of getting my license, I showed a house that had stairs going to the basement that was made out of literal pieces of granite countertops, and bathroom floor tile on the wall beside the stairs. They made for a very careful walk down those stairs.

Other people's housesShutterstock

17. Too Many Of One Thing

My direct job was not to go to clients’ households, but I have been "asked" to do it before. The worst place I went to was a house filled from top to bottom with cat carriers. It smelled like urine and you only had a small walkway that led to the kitchen. Of course, we had to get a fridge into the house. To do that, we had to take the doors off. The client told us to take the old fridge away, and we said, "No, that’s not in the order". We left as soon as we put the doors back on.

Other people's housesShutterstock

18. Where’s The Sister?

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—that's when everything clicked into place. She looked at the full-length mirror and complained that her sister's TV was still showing the same thing. I got out of there as quickly as I could and left notes on the account in case she called in.

Other people's housesShutterstock

19. A Home Museum

I am a social worker and I do home visits. I had to see a family I'd never met while covering for another social worker. I walk in and the entire house looks like an African history museum with masks, giant maps, and about 10 or 12 stuffed animals that the family told me they had shot themselves. There were full-body dead animals everywhere. You couldn't turn without seeing some type of artifact.

Other people's housesShutterstock

20. Creepy Crawlies

The craziest thing I ever saw in a house was thousands of bed bugs. They were crawling all over the walls, the resident, and his motorized scooter. There's a reason some Home Health workers take an umbrella or large brimmed hat, think classical sombrero, into the home until they can assess for such issues. For those curious, I believe the home was eventually demolished.

Other people's housesPexels

21. It Keeps Watch

My friend from middle school had a massive Buddha statue in his living room. It was an otherwise completely normal American household, but with a completely massive, gold-colored Buddha that almost touched the ceiling watching over this white Protestant family. I never asked why.

Other people's housesFlickr

22. Items On Display

I saw a client whose entire house was a trophy room of big game. They had a wall built specifically to mount an elephant head onto. Two months after I met them, their entire house burnt down in a wildfire. All those animals lost their lives for nothing.

Other people's housesShutterstock

23. Thinning Them Down

Once, I carted off eight garbage bags filled with mostly foam take out containers from the cabinets of a client's kitchen, and also thinned down their receipts they kept to just the last year or two. They had about 10 years' worth! They also had dozens of Raid cans at their front door. I found out why soon! I was bitten all over my legs by fire ants!

Other people's housesPexels

24. What Else Is Hidden?

I’m a contractor. I found a bunch of government IDs, with the same face and different names behind a wall. I told the client and he called 9-1-1. I bet that's not the only thing hidden in that house.

Other people's housesPexels

25. Six, Six, Sweet

I went to a patient's home, and the house number of her address was 666. When I met her, she was the biggest bible thumper you've ever met. Everywhere in her home were bibles, crucifixes, and she was the sweetest lady.

Other people's housesPexels

26. Why Him?

The weirdest thing I ever saw in someone else’s house was a Shrine to Penny Hardaway, the men’s basketball coach for the Memphis Tigers. It was just a massive conglomerate of Penny Hardaway memorabilia taking up an entire living room. The homeowner was of no relation to him.

Other people's housesWikimedia.Commons

27. Really Earning The Tips

I’m a DoorDash driver in my free time. I got one order for literally 20 two-liter bottles of Orange Fanta. I thought it was for a party, but no, it was for one guy. This guy looked really horrible. He was pale, sweating, and overall really unhealthy looking. He sat on the stairs and asked me to bring it into his house. I was very concerned about him, but it wasn't my place to say/do anything outside of what he hired me to do. I masked up and earned that $5 tip.


Other people's housesShutterstock

28. Works Of Art

The best thing I ever saw in someone else’s house was in the house of H.R. Giger. You know...the creator of the famous Alien from the movies. His collection, after he passed, was later turned into a museum as far as I know. There were models of all kinds, not just the Alien in life-size. Also, there were so many paintings and sculptures which he did for work and in his free time. He also had things that were given to him as gifts, but not created by him, like a full Predator-Model.

Other people's housesWikimedia.Commons

29. Read The Room

When I worked as a housekeeper, there was this one Airbnb we would clean. In the office, there was a giant bookshelf full of books, but upon further inspection, we realized that they were literally all books about the Third Reich.

Other people's housesPexels

30. Needs New Kids

I once delivered a new oven to a guy who must have been in his 70s or 80s and who had three adult sons living with him who were in their 40s or 50s. The lounge was just three computer workstations and all three adult sons were gaming while their dad ran around after them. They barely looked up as we hauled the old oven out and installed the new one.

Other people's housesShutterstock

31. No Things, Ever

The strangest thing I ever noticed in someone’s house was that they didn’t have a single thing in the kitchen cabinets, ever. There were no plates, no silverware, no cups, pots or pans. There was nothing. Not even an ounce of food. Their stove wasn't even hooked up. The fridge was full of water bottles and sodas. They had a deep freeze with boxes and boxes of microwave food "for emergencies".

They literally ate every single meal from a fast food place. Once, I mentioned wanting spaghetti while I was there, and they flipped out because that was special occasion food. You went to sit down restaurants for that, and it was expensive.

Other people's housesShutterstock

32. Waiting For Too Long

I did home hospice nursing for a few months. You’d be surprised how cluttered and dirty even homes in nice neighborhoods can be. I had one house I went to where the patient had vomited all over the carpet hours before. The family member said they didn’t clean it up yet because they were waiting for someone to bring them carpet cleaner.

So, they laid a towel over the vomit pile/chunks. Mind you, this carpet was matted and stained all over. It didn’t need a specialty cleaner. They could have used any cleaning product they had on hand and it would have been better than waiting hours.

Other people's housesShutterstock

33. Definitely Not Takeout Food

My childhood best friend grew up in an extremely messy house. He was one of about eight children. We were digging around his house for a VHS when it was 2001 and I was 12, when I found a styrofoam takeout container. Something hard was rattling around in it. I feared that it would be old dried-up food, but succumbed to my curiosity and proceeded to open the box. I instantly regretted it.

Inside was a small brown shriveled up snake-looking thing. I stared at it for a few moments trying to process what it was, when I heard my friend’s mother call out "Oh that's just my son’s umbilical cord!" I was completely shocked...especially because that particular child was already about three and a half years old at the time.

Other people's housesShutterstock

34. Down The Drain

My husband was renting a small two-bedroom apartment with his now ex-wife. Her sister came to stay with them for a while trying to get on her feet and get into school, and work. After a heavy storm, the landlord came to check on the apartment and went into the basement. It was completely flooded with several feet of water.

He said there was no way the storm did that and found that there was a burst pipe as well coming from the bathroom. As it turns out, the sister was flushing those wet wipes down the toilet and it finally overloaded it. They found her closet full with wet wipes, used. There were literally hundreds of them. She never showered apparently. She just wiped down with wipes and piled them in the closet or tried to flush them.

Other people's housesShutterstock

35. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Clutter

Back when I worked for a moving company, there was a woman who wanted to make a donation to the rich old folks community. It turns out that she collects Christmas stuff. We go in, thinking it's maybe a few trinkets and such. Nope. There were several trees, large paintings, massive nutcrackers, and the works.

This woman had it all. At first, you think, "Okay, she's a little eccentric". But, going past the foyer, you realize she lives in a three story house and literally everywhere you look there is Christmas. It turns out she had been collecting Christmas stuff since the 70s.

Other people's housesShutterstock

36. Put Together And Falling Apart

I just recently had a client who was fairly normal on the outside...clean cut, steady factory job, decent car, etc. Then I walked into his house...I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Inside his house, the roof was rotted through, there were holes in the floor, dead rodents in the kitchen cupboards, and so much more. But that's not even the weirdest part: He kept talking about his "wife," but it was abundantly clear that no one lives there with him. This guy has a completely normal life on the outside, but is definitely off.


37. All The Way In The Back

In my career, I have seen many, many dirty hoarder homes. This one elderly gentleman was very nice—but he had the craziest thing in the back bedroom. In an upper corner, was a very large beehive that was active. It extended through the home to the outside. He said that when he first noticed it, he simply shut the door and stopped using that room! I don’t think he was even getting honey as rent payments.

Other people's housesUnsplash

38. Proceed With Caution

I went to a house with a leak that seemed to be coming from a second-floor bedroom. I was then warned by the homeowner that the bedroom belonged to their son who was currently locked up and that they had not gone into the room because their son threatened to kill them if they did. I opened the door just enough and took a peek inside only to see a string tied to the other side of the door.

As my eyes follow the string, I see that it leads to a shotgun. I disengaged the string from the door handle and went about doing my job. To this day, I don't know why I decided to proceed through that door cautiously, but I am glad I did.

Other people's housesShutterstock

39. No Laundry, No Exit

I worked in the IT department at school when I was on college staff. The other folks in the IT department would be called in to fix someone's network connection through wired Ethernet and occasionally come back with stories. There were usually just bongs and other illicit materials. But some rooms were truly horrifying. It turns out that some students not only don't do laundry, but enter and exit their rooms through the ground-floor window, meaning that the door is actually not navigable for the dirty clothes and other junk on the floor.

The department policy was that staff would not enter a student's room alone. More than once, the student who wanted their network connection fixed was glad to see the IT people. However, the student's girlfriend, who just woke up in their bed and may have been looking forward to a lie-in and/or wake-and-bake before morning classes, was somewhat surprised to see the IT people. The IT people were never warned that there would be a different person in the room. Not even with a scarf on the doorknob.

Other people's housesPexels

40. Don’t Forget To Clean Up

I did residential HVAC for a few years, so I've seen a few hoarder houses. The worst was an older lady who had most rooms full of what seemed like garbage. At the end of the day, I was working on the thermostat and placed my screwdriver on a random pile because I needed both my hands for a second. I went to pick up my screwdriver and finish up.

Right next to it, was a bowl of used sanitary napkins. After, when I was leaving, the lady reminded me to vacuum. It wouldn't have bothered me if I had actually made a mess but I know I did not. I know this because I put down a drop cloth to avoid placing my tools in cat vomit and anything else that was on her disgusting floor.

Other people's housesShutterstock

41. All And Nothing, Simultaneously

A long time ago, I was a delivery guy for a furniture store. We were delivering a futon to this guy in a rather expensive high rise. He met us in the lobby. Right away, I knew something was off. He had long grey hair, was partially bald, had pale white skin like he hadn't seen the sun in years, was very socially awkward, and stank of stale old darts.

We got up to his room and all the curtains were drawn, completely dark in there at midday. There was no furniture in the entire place. There was no TV, no stereo, nothing. BUT, every inch of the wall was lined with Barbie dolls. I kid you not...Barbie dolls. When I say every inch, I mean it. Even the kitchen counters had Barbie dolls. It was the weirdest darn thing I’ve ever seen.

Other people's housesShutterstock

42. Don’t Tell Anyone

I used to install cable for Comcast. I was at a customer's house inspecting the lines in the basement. The customer was following me around from a slight distance, which I thought was a bit odd. I opened a door to a room and there was a table with at least 100 pounds of weed piled on multiple tables. He quickly grabbed me and shut the door.

He yelled, "You can't go in there," but he was too late. He then looked at me and said, "You're not going to tell anyone about what you saw here right?" I told him I used to sell bulk in college and assured him it would be our secret. He gave me a $200 tip and I went on my way. There were also multiple times I found people's grow rooms.

Other people's housesShutterstock

43. It Was Just A Baby

A strange thing someone I know had in their house was a pet raccoon. That had free roam of the entire house. I was friends with twins growing up, and their dad owned his own construction business. While demolishing a house, he accidentally injured a mama raccoon and ended up taking her baby home to the family to keep as a pet.

I did not know this when I visited their house once and saw the thing emerge from a laundry basket in the hallway. I completely freaked out. The two brothers were trying to figure out why I was reacting that way. I'm still good friends with them to this day and this incident occurred in the mid 80s.

Other people's housesPexels

44. Two Times The Strange

I was at a house for a cable TV service call. The customer, strangely, wasn't home, so I called him. He said, "I will be home in five minutes, and don't freak out, but I have a tiger on the truck". When he got there, he had a tiger in a cage on the back of his truck. I got to pet the thing, feed it a little—but that was just the beginning. I then went on to see his venomous snake collection, his hand grenade collection, and his hot sauce collection.

The very next day, I was at another service call, and asked the customer to get to the pole in the backyard. He told me that he has a tiger in the backyard, so I shouldn't freak out. I got to pet the thing, and feed it a little. I had been working cable for 18 years to that point, and had never encountered a tiger in all that time. I have been working cable for seven years since, and have had no further encounters with tigers in that time. But, for two days consecutively, I visited homes with tigers.

Other people's housesShutterstock

45. Under The Layers

I had to go check an apartment because we’d had a tip that there could be moisture damage. The apartment belonged to a retired older man and apparently when he had a nurse visit him at home, they had made the report to building maintenance. When we got to the bathroom, me and my partner saw something that haunts me to this day.

The ceiling was black. The walls were black. Everything was covered in a solid black wall of mold. The man living there had no sense of what it was or what it meant. That mold had to have been growing for quite a while, and I have no idea how long he had lived there breathing it in, without no one even coming to visit to see and report it. I have no idea what happened to the apartment or the resident, but I’m sure the bathroom had to be fully made anew and I’m hoping the man is living somewhere safer.

Other people's housesShutterstock

46. Just Trying Their Best

I shadowed a home health therapist once. We went to a house where we had to tuck our pants legs into our socks because of fleas. We drove down this dirt road, and I thought we were going past these abandoned single wide trailers, but then we parked in front of one. This trailer didn’t have steps to enter, you had to boost yourself up. What I found inside broke my heart.

The floor was rotten through to the ground in places, and there was a grandmother with six young kids in there. This is including the one we were seeing who had hydrocephalus. Unfortunately, the mother never got it treated, and neglected the child nearly to the point where they lost their life before grandma found them and took the "baby". The grandma was really trying her best, but this place was the most unsafe place I had ever ever seen. I hope they got out of there.

Other people's housesUnsplash

47. Dedicated To Journalism

I had a friend many years ago who was a scientist. He was very intelligent and fun to be around. The first time I went to the house he owned with his partner, who was also a lovely person who had a good job in social service, he gave me a tour around the house. He proudly showed me the "newspaper room" they had in the back. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

In it were years worth of every day's daily newspapers, stacked in piles around every wall up almost until to the ceiling. The consensus among other friends was that it was a bit OCD, but hey, whatever. I can't really remember what happened to the newspapers, but I think he ended up growing out of it eventually.

Other people's housesUnsplash

48. Keeping All The Things

My dad's business partner bought a home on our street after the lady who lived there passed. She didn’t have any living relatives. My dad was tasked with getting the place cleaned out and ready for contractors since we lived across the street. The woman who passed was always a nice lady and we’d often hang out with her on her porch, where she taught my sister and I to knit.

We were never invited inside and never really asked to be. At my age, I didn’t really think anything of it. Anyway, my dad was REALLY excited to show us the place but kept a secret what was so "crazy" about it. We walked in to find out she was a hoarder! The entire house was filled with massively tall piles of junk, save for the walking paths through each room which were actually quite neat and the bathroom which only had a pile as tall as the toilet seat.

What was strange is that it didn’t even smell much at all! I’d seen hoarding TV shows and they always noted the horrible stench. It definitely didn’t smell good, but all the junk was basically brand new things still wrapped up in their packaging or their store bags. It seemed she just had a shopping addiction but was still a neat lady.

Other people's housesShutterstock

49. A Pond With Waterlilies

This one is mind-blowing. When I was around 18 years old in New York City, I worked for one of the top antique/art restorers in the city. We walked into this lady’s apartment to polish some of her antiques when I looked up and saw this huge painting on the wall. It was a pond with waterlilies. "Is that a freaking Monet? Oh, there's Renoir. Hmm. Another Renoir. Oh, there’s a Picasso!"

This woman came down the hallway and asked me, "Who are you?" I told her who I worked for and she said, "Come here". Standing there with a mullet, Van Halen tee shirt, and purple sweatpants, I thought I was in trouble. She grabbed my hand and said, "I’ve had people come here from all walks of life and have no idea what they are looking at and you just named every artist on these walls from a casual glance!"

She then proceeded to show me her 100+ million dollar art collection! She then made me a sandwich! The maid later told me, "She doesn’t even make her own sandwiches!" She was a nice, sweet, and rich old lady.

Other people's housesPexels

50. No Warning Signs

I was working as a locksmith and got a call to rekey house. I spoke to the client before I showed up, and she seemed like a completely normal lady. I showed up, we talked for a moment outside, and it was a completely normal house from all looks. She's an RN, and there were no warning signs that she was weird or a hoarder.

She goes to open the door and let me in and starts acting sheepish. She starts apologizing and says something like, "Excuse the mess". I said, "Oh, don't worry about it!" Then the door opened...and my stomach dropped. Actually, I should say the door partly opened, because it couldn't open all the way because of all the trash on the floor. It wasn’t just hoarding boxes or collecting weird stuff, but it was just garbage, rotting stuff, pee, poo...just piles of it.

There's a nine inch wide walkway through the garbage that's six inches deep of compressed garbage, to-go boxes, fast food bags, name it. She walks through to the living room, sits down on a couch that can't be seen due to garbage everywhere, and a cat appears out of nowhere and sits on her lap lovingly.

She seems, for all practical purposes, like a completely normal functioning adult. I looked it up. It's some weird form of the hoarding condition, but just rotting waste. She seemed so normal. I did the job and left, feeling bad for her. It still kind of freaks me out. There's no way you're guessing this nice nurse lady is actually a garbage keeper.

Other people's housesShutterstock

Sources: ,

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