"Not my parents, but my great-grandmother. She had a stroke in her eighties and died in a nursing home not long after. She led a very... let's call it a vibrant life. She traveled extensively and had all sorts of fascinating things scattered around. When her house was being cleaned up to be sold, my grandmother (her daughter) found a voodoo doll. The crotch was full of vicious-looking rusted pins, and it was at full capacity. No idea how she jammed all of those pins in there, or who she wished rusty crotch-death upon. We never found out" (Source).
Shutterstock/Angela N Perryman
"My father had Parkinson's disease for 42 years. He couldn't roll socks, so he only wore a pair of socks once and bought new ones. However, he never threw out any of the old socks. I found 250 pounds of socks, about 2000 pairs, in the house when he died. Not a single pair had been washed. I got the bright idea of tossing them into the washer for using them again. Most of them, certainly those that were likely 40 or 50 years old, just fell apart into lint" (Source).
Shutterstock/ Rachata Teyparsit
"When my twice-divorced father died, I and my siblings found what we have since come to refer to as 'The Bucket of Fun' on those occasions when we forget that we vowed to Never Speak About This Ever Again.
The Bucket of Fun was a 10 gallon industrial lidded bucket inside of which our dad had stashed a large collection of S&M equipment including a couple of leather masks, codpieces, a whip, some ball gags, and a system of restraints made from old automotive seat belts. The equipment looked like it hadn't seen the light of day for at least 30 years, but there it all was. Our dad was a very verbally and mentally abusive person, although oddly not a physical one, so while the Bucket was a surprise, it wasn't a huge surprise in retrospect.
Most of the Bucket was rightly thrown out with the rest of the waste removed from the house, except that my sister requested that she be allowed to keep the whip for some reason. But hey, she's an adult and that's her own personal business" (Source).
"I did not find something I was looking for. It was very strange that it was not there as my mother kept many, many things. I did not find her marriage certificate. I found all my Boy Scout merit badge cards and my first class rank card, but not her marriage certificate.
Years later as the internet developed more I did some research and found my parents were not married in Virginia where I was born, but in North Carolina. I sent for the marriage certificate. When it arrived, I examined it and found that it was dated two weeks after I was born. So, my second ex wife was right, I was a bastard and a son of b---h, and now I have the papers to prove it" (Source).
"When we were 17 or so, a friend and I helped my mother clean out her father's house after he'd died. While we were cleaning, I found a small piece of ceramic that looked like a cross between a funnel and a tea cup. Being pretty naive at the time, I asked my mom what it was. She said, 'that's a party bowl.' She went on to explain how it was the smoking bowl for large bong or hookah for smoking pot.
Then she proceeded to tell us about the time she helped my grandfather move out her childhood home. While cleaning up that house, she found a 6ft tall marijuana plant growing in the attic. When she asked her father about it, he told her that, 'When your mother used to get b---hy once a month, I'd go to the attic, clip a few leaves, and make her some tea to calm her down.' My friend and I both listened to these stories in open-mouthed amazement" (Source).
"A man cleaning out his mother's house after she passed in North Canton, OH, found a foot locker with baby human skeletal remains in it. After several months of testing, it came back that they were children of the mother, possibly twins. They have no idea how long ago they died. They're not sure if they were stillborn. The remains show no signs of injury, but that does not rule out foul play. With her being deceased, and no one else knew about them, they have nothing to go on" (Source).
"Liquor bottles. Probably at least 300 of them if not more, hidden in the walls, because my mother had begun remodeling my father's house and he was a hardcore alcoholic. Most of the bottles' labels had deteriorated, but they were almost all identical in shape and size. Once he switched to drinking a fifth of Jim Beam and a six-pack of Schlitz per day, he found a different way to dispose of the bottles.
It was an extremely disturbing sight to see all those bottles collected in big trash cans, hauled to the curb for disposal. It's a shame there was no recycling program back then, because he certainly helped fill the local 'dump.'
I literally never saw him sober. He died at the age of 67, a victim of the 1968 Hong Kong flu epidemic. We were astounded he lived as long as he did" (Source).
"My grandfather was a straight laced, proper gentleman. He cared deeply about appearances, both with grooming habits and relationships. Which is why we were so surprised when we found: -A huge stack of 70's dirty magazines. -A dick cozy. Not sure why, probably a gag gift from my nan (hopefully). -Guns, including a handgun and two rifles. We assume he inherited them from his father, as he was not a hunter, army man or gun nut. -In nearly every single pocket of his clothes in his closet and dresser, there was weed. Little baggies of weed, varying ages. Some were decades old, some recent. 30--40 baggies full of it. -In one room, there was a dresser that just had stacks and stacks of money. Big wads of 100's of dollars worth, all in a row.
Unfortunately, he was also a hoarder. He was a neat hoarder, but we still found some odd stuff: -Probably every tooth brush he had ever used in a bathroom drawer, there were at least 20. -His closet was full of clothes that hadn't seen the light of day in decades. The dust was so thick that you couldn't see the colour or texture. -Piles and piles of VCR tapes, mostly unlabeled. -Christmas ornaments that were never brought out in my life time. Such as an inflatable reindeer that had holes, and tinsel that looked like dead animals. -Hats, hats everywhere. -Piles of pens that had run dry. -Bills that had been paid in the '80s, but for some reason he kept. -Dozens of flyers, invitations and papers from his time as a snooker referee. I can see keeping a few, but he had enough to run an advertising campaign. -Cans of soup, and frozen meat from years ago. Plenty of other long expired food.
There was so much more, but I'll cut it off here. The worst part is, my mother is a hoarder too. I had to throw out his junk while she was in another room, or else she has to keep it. I once let it slip that I had thrown out a couple of rusted, aging scissors, and she dug through the garbage to pull them out, a long with other random pieces of garbage 'But I might need these scissors!' Sigh" (Source).
"My mother passed away at the end of 2007. When my sister and I were cleaning out her bedroom, packing clothes to be delivered to various charities and help centers, I told my sister we should look under the mattresses. Not only hers, but also my father's bed (he passed in 1985). My mother used to joke about hiding money from the government, and said 'it's under the mattress.'
Well, my sister said to give it a shot. Under my mother's mattress, nothing. Under my father's mattress, there was an envelope. In it, there was a small note, yellow with age. On it were written two words: 'Ha ha.' That was it. My mother was not noted for her sense of humor, but my sister and I laughed over it. At least my mother put a smile on my face even though she was no longer there" (Source).
"My father died after having been completely incommunicado with my sister or I for 17 years. He just left one day and that was it. It wasn't too big of a deal for me, my dad and I had never been close. In truth, the story is that he didn't like me. He liked my sister. He was crazy about my sister.
We got a phone call from a lawyer one day who said we had to go put all his affairs in order. The bad part though is that my dad had had an video camera from the '60s, that took maybe 9 mm rolls. I remember the camera and the little rolls of film from my childhood. I found some in his bedroom, hidden. One of them was labeled 'Incest.' I hid them in a garbage bag and threw it away and did not ever mention to it to my sister. I don't know what was on it, I don't want to know, and I'm positive she didn't need to know. I had a very different perspective on who my dad might have been after that and I'm glad he disappeared from our lives" (Source).
Shutterstock/ Peter Cripps
"I was cleaning out some of my mom's stuff and I found her final FITREP (Fitness Report). She was a Lieutenant in the US Navy. Only upon finding this FITREP did I discover that she was part of the 'Crypto Violations Unit.' She told me long ago that she couldn't ever tell me what she did, and true to her word, she took it all to the grave. I can only imagine that my mom was a Crypto-Cop, running around and busting sailors for playing fast and loose with the codebooks. I guess I'll never really know for sure" (Source).
"Moving into independent living, when she was in her mid-80's and senile, wasn't like my mother had died; but she thought she was close, so I'll take a liberty with that and tell this story...
The strangest thing I found after moving her out was our Hoover vacuum cleaner that had broken when I was about 14. That is, more than 40 years earlier. The woman saved everything. But who cares, because I have a much better story: While my wife and I were cleaning out her house of everything and preparing it for sale, we discovered that she had money stashed all over the place. There were wads of cash clipped inside sleeves of clothing, in pockets of old coats, in envelopes taped behind and under furniture, wrapped in newspaper and hidden in a bag of linens, etc. There was even cash in envelopes of old, paid bills. There was cash everywhere. 20's, 50's, 100's. There was even an envelope with cash taped to the back of the old stove.
It was comical, although frustrating because we had to be very careful to inspect everything before tossing it into the dumpster. As I said, we pretty much threw away or gave away virtually everything, including disposal of her ancient gas stove that dated back to 1951. Once we were done, we went to see how she was doing in her new apartment. We were about to leave when she stopped me and said, 'I have something very important to tell you. The next time you are at the house, go into the kitchen and remove the bottom left drawer of the stove. Look far in the back and you will find a package wrapped in an old towel. That is where I hid my fortune." Gulp.
I tracked down the guy that I had hired to dispose of the stove. I asked him about the stove and he told me that one of his guys had wanted it for his apartment, but it was too heavy to take up to the third floor. My heart sank as I imagined the stove in a scrap yard somewhere. 'Where is the stove right now?' I asked, a bit hopefully. 'In my garage,' he replied somewhat uncomfortably. As casually as I could, I pressed on, 'Do you think I could take a look at it? My mother left something inside.' 'Of course.'
Off to the garage we went. I got down on my knees and removed the left drawer. It was rather dark in the garage, so I simply reached back as far as I could and felt around. Suddenly I felt the texture of a towel and wrapped my hand around a package the size of a cigar box. I got up and put the package on top of the stove and unwrapped it. Wads of U.S. bills. My mother was senile, but she knew where she had stashed her fortune. I gave the contractor guy $500 for his honesty. In turn, he gave me his story. His grandfather had been a wealthy man in Mexico and a careful one. He was careful enough to hide the property titles to his various holdings so they would not be stolen or damaged. Unfortunately, after he died nobody benefited from his estate because he failed to inform anyone where he had hidden them" (Source).
"My mom's bed was placed in the living room, alongside the window. She had bought gifts for me and my brother and they were spread out neatly. There were two envelopes. Those envelopes had cards in them. On the inside, her last message to us. She had bought us cellphones along with prepaid cards were loaded with €10, as stated in the suicide cards. Prepaid money only lasts you so long. SIM-cards last you longer. Both were expired because they had been inactive for too long. That's how long she had been planning her suicide" (Source).
"My brother and his friend were paid to clean out the house of an elderly man in our town when he died. They were told there was little of value left and they could keep anything they could find. As expected, there wasn't much in the house, a few old baseball cards and an antique chair the grandson of the man didn't want. Then they started on the attic, which the grandson had obviously never entered. Behind the usual boxes of Christmas ornaments and photo albums, they found an old cradle that when they had it appraised was worth close to $1000 back in the early 1970s and an unlocked safe containing money from the early 1900s to the present day and gold and silver. In total worth nearly $30,000 face value but because it was in really good shape and was uncirculated for 50 years was worth far more. Doing the right thing the they called the grandson and told him about it. He didn't care, told them he didn't want anything else to do with his grandfather and to burn it if they wanted.
Well, they did not burn it, but kept the coins and donated the gold, silver and paper money to a local charity that helped people rebuild after fire, mostly because both mothers forced them. Apparently, that money when traded in was enough to build two new houses for people who had lost everything" (Source).
"I helped clean out my grandparents' home back when I was in college. After about the third day, my parents, my sister, and I met in the living room, and decided that there needed to be a new rule: We could ask what, but we should not ask why. It took considerable brainpower just determining what some of these things were... trying to figure out why my grandparents had them, that was really just too much.
They grew up during the Great Depression, and then became quite wealthy and materialistic. If you found something, you would also find the original packaging, and receipt. There were multiple backup sets of luxury items that were never opened, such as gold silverware and nearly two dozen place settings of extremely expensive china, still sealed in the box.
The oddest find, though, was in the basement. For 55 years, my grandfather had gotten the weekly newspaper from his hometown in Illinois mailed to him. He kept every one (we're just grateful it wasn't a daily paper!). In the middle of this stack, we found a woman's corset---and not in my grandmother's size, either. That was when we met up in the living room and created the new rule" (Source).
"This was with my parent's in law. He died first and she had a fall almost immediately afterwards making it clear she was never going to live alone in that house. My wife works long hours and there was really no-one else to do the sorting out but me. I made an inventory of the big stuff and collected all of that together but what took the most time and effort was the paper. There was half a small room full of paper. So I extended the dining room table and started to make three piles. Stuff to definitely throw away. Stuff to probably throw away. Stuff to probably keep.
A few days later I started dividing the 'to keep' pile into personal and financial. I began to separate all of the different bank statements in the pile and then realised that there was not just a couple of accounts, there were eight separate joint savings accounts in both their names all with substantial amounts of cash held. I started joking that whenever this bloke walked past a bank, he opened an account.
I then got witnessed authorities signed by my mother in law and certified copies of the death certificates and wrote to every bank where they lived and in the surrounding suburbs. I turned up another couple of accounts both with cash. I then proposed that we consolidate all of this money into one account. I went to the bank and the manager I was dealing with was very patient and helpful and once all of these tasks were done she said to me, 'What do you want to do with this other account in their names?'
'There is ANOTHER account???'
'Yes, a term deposit of ... [pause]... $10,000.'
He had eleven bank accounts" (Source).
"This happened to my grandmother as she was cleaning out her own grandmother's place following her passing. It's a revered family legend, one which I am keen to share.
Apparently, my great, great grandmother had once lost her dentures, due to her poor elderly memory. The family went nuts looking for them. They could scarcely afford to replace them. Unfortunately, they didn't find them. And so reluctantly, they scrapped together the funds needed to buy good old gran some new ones. She died shortly after. That's a few hundred bucks they'd never see again.
When clearing out her home, my grandmother opened the fridge, only to be greeted by the stench of old fruit and spoiled milk. She held her nose and withdrew a glass jar of peaches. It was then she took notice of something rather peculiar floating in the jar. You guessed it. It seems that peaches and dentures were always destined to float alongside one another in a grimy old jar" (Source).
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