When someone buys an older home, they're also buying the history, character, and strange quirks that come with their new house, apartment building, or farm. With a lot of homes being upwards of 100 years old, they're bound to come with some crazy stories.
A Reddit thread recently asked homeowners and realtors to share their stories about the craziest houses they have bought and sold over the years, and what they had to share is beyond insane. The following stories have all been edited for clarity and readability.
"The lady next door to me died and wasn't found until she was more liquid than solid on her living room carpet.
The family couldn't pay the back taxes or something and the house went to HUD to auction. HUD paid for some cleanup, but not to replace the carpet, only steam clean it.
It finally sold and I was talking to the guy who was flipping it, and before I could mention the death, he asked if the house had a water leak under the foundation. When they ripped up the carpet and pad to put down the new flooring, it was really dirty and got all over them and their clothes.
I told him what happened and how HUD went cheap on what to fix before the auction, he got green as a pea and started puking right there on his side of the fence."
"When we were looking to buy a house, we looked at one in which the father of the family committed suicide. You could tell which room it was because it had clearly recently been sheetrocked and painted. It didn't really bother us though, and we didn't get any creepy feelings.
We chose not to put an offer in because the rest of the house needed a lot of work."
"My grandma sells/rents houses in the Denver area. A few weeks ago, I had to help her evict a few college bros from one of her properties.
This is a cottage style home, no second floor, no basement. These guys literally dug a hole in the wood floor and made a basement where they've been throwing trash away for the last year.
It was a living room with a tv and a couple armchairs and a giant hole in the ground filled with ice cream wrappers, pizza boxes, and old smokes."
"My parents were realtors and also flipped houses.
When I was growing up, I used to help them a lot, usually by cleaning. When I was 12, I was helping with a house that was infested with roaches, and I noticed the closets were smeared with feces and children's handprints. There were fingernail scratches on the insides of the doors as well.
I asked my parents why this was the case, and they told me the old tenants used to lock their toddlers in the closets for days."
"I went to visit my sister in California and once I flew in, I wanted to shower. Well, I took a long enough shower that the mirror was all steamy when I got out. Except for one tiny dot in the middle of the mirror. My immediate thought process was 'oh weird. I guess if you draw on a mirror with expo it won't steam around it.' So I went to go investigate and upon looking right up to it I realized it was a camera.
I freaked and ran out to her room and dressed then went and told her. We went around our back and looked in a utility closet type thing that looked like it was in line with her room. Sure enough, the drywall had been cut away and re-patched at some point. We cut it open and while there was no camera there was a little lens still stuck to the mirror. It's really freaky to think whoever was getting actually spied on and if they ever actually knew."
"My extended family used to live in a really old house located just north of London. Previously, it used to be Queen Victoria's stop when she was traveling in the area.
I'm told my uncle (mum's sister's husband) when younger never believed in ghosts or spirits and would be the first one to call it a load of rubbish. He was sleeping one night and was awoken by a man staring at him at the end of his bed, dressed in an old army uniform. My uncle froze for a few seconds, panicked and flicked the bedside lamp on and then the man vanished.
He refused to sleep in that room from that night onwards.
We later found out that the man was a previous owner who had returned from the war to find his wife having an affair. He was so furious that his wife reported having told her he would do the worst thing possible to get back at her.
He took his twin sons (toddlers at the time), went to the back of the garden where there was a forest, and shot them both dead before killing himself.
The funny thing is that since my family bought the property, my uncle had twin sons, my mum had twin sons and my uncle's brother (who is also a part owner of the property) had twin sons.
The weirder part is that my brothers and my uncle/aunties kids were playing near the forest when they were in their early teens and kept on saying they heard boys laughing but couldn't see anybody there (not knowing the house's history)."
"A couple bought a house in the 1980s and called me about a year ago wanting to sell it. As we were talking, the wife started telling me about her difficult pregnancies and how she'd been pregnant many times but lost them all. I felt bad for her, but I was wondering what this had to do with anything. That's when the husband piped up and said, 'After the last one, I didn't know what to do. I came home, and the first thing I thought to do was remodel the kitchen. I had to break something!'
He went on about his impromptu kitchen demolition (dishes still in the cabinets and everything). The guy was devastated that they'd lost another baby. He said he was ripping out a corner and he always knew there was a dead pocket there because the span was like three feet, but the closet behind it was only two feet deep. He ripped out the drywall and found a ball of cloth. As he pulled back the layers, he realized it was the skeleton of a baby. It was wrapped up with a teddy bear. He called the police but they never got any type of follow-up on it.
Another time, I was speaking with a realtor about going to a closing where the seller was late. An hour went by and he was still a no-show. The agent was calling and getting no answer. She knew the seller's nephew who let her in once or something, so she called him. He drove over to check on his uncle. He opened the door and there was the uncle, dead on the floor. He was wearing his coat and had one shoe on. He died putting his shoes on before he left to go to the closing. The buyers still bought the house, but it took a few extra weeks to close."
"A friend was doing a demo on a house that previously belonged to a builder/owner, and the guy had a hidden passageway from the back of the master closet to the back side of the mirror in the second bathroom. There was a one-way mirror and his vantage point conveniently faced the all-glass shower and toilet."
"I've been in the residential property management industry for 14 years and have managed/leased thousands of apartments and single-family houses. A historic building I used to lease apartments for was formerly an insane asylum and prior to that was a hospital. The building itself was on the national historical registry. Thankfully, I never had a bad experience there except for one unsettling thing in a stairwell, but I did meet people over the years with stories.
Certain things are required for historical landmarks and restoration tax credits in this particular city, so many of the apartments had to maintain certain features of the original design/architecture like some old tile was still on the walls and floors. The thing that creeped me out was the basement. Even after 50 years on most days, you could catch a whiff of formaldehyde. Some days were more pungent and distinct than others. Of course, being the basement, it also had the addition of that musty basement smell. Since this was once a hospital, obviously it had a morgue.
There are a handful of apartments in the basement and the original tile on the floor marked where the morgue actually started. In one of those apartments, there is a bedroom with two incredibly spacious walk-in closets. If you haven't already figured it out these two massive closets are the old body lockers with the original latches on the walls next to the entrance to the closets. I still for the life of me cannot understand how anyone could live in that apartment because I wouldn't even go into that apartment by myself."