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"I Found It While Painting": 20 Bizarre Things People Found While Moving Into A New House

Moving can be full of surprises — and sometimes when you're moving into a new house, you end up finding things from the previous owner that are very surprising.

Redditor u/Oblivious_Dude14 recently asked the people of Reddit who have bought a house, "What is the weirdest thing you have found left by the previous owner?" Some of these responses are truly shocking:

1."One of the kids' rooms has a shelf going all around the top edge, and when my kid was putting stuff up there, they found a letter from the previous kid. The letter welcomed them to the room and asked them to take special care of a rose bush in the front yard that was their special rose bush. My kid thought it was really cool to have that connection with the previous kid."

—u/catsaway9

A rose bush
Getty Images

2."The basement was FILLED with crap. Most of it was just junk, but I went to pick up what I thought was a small box only to realize it weighed 75 pounds. It was a wooden square with two thin masonite plywood covers on each side. On one edge were two bolts with cut wires. At the back of the basement was a rickety, gray cabinet with small tools, vials of mercury and a strange powder, and thousands of dice blanks, mostly without dots. Not too long after that, a guy whose friend grew up in the house came by, and he told me stories about his friend's eccentric father who was a part of the 'Dixieland Mafia' in the '60s and '70s as a traveling gambler. The enormously heavy box was an electromagnet. The dice blanks were for him to make his own loaded dice with a little bit of metal powder under the inlaid dot."

—u/GIjokinaround

3."At the school my friend worked at, a pipe had leaked and ruined a wall in the building. They pulled down the ruined wall and found a door to a fully furnished apartment with a coal-burning stove to heat it, early 1900s appliances, and decor. It was for the caretaker of the school."

—u/Used-Stress

A school bathroom
Getty Images

4."$1,200 in cash above the door on the inside of the closet. I found it while painting."

—u/whymetoo

cash hidden in a floorboard
Steven Puetzer / Getty Images

5."The first time I took a hot shower in our new home, the steam covered the mirror, only to reveal the phrase 'HELLO, I SEE YOU' in large finger-drawn writing. It freaked me out for a second, but it made me laugh soon after that. It was such an inconspicuous yet obvious thing to leave for the new homeowner (me)."

—u/Individual-Common-89

A man looking into a mirror in his pajamas
Andersen Ross Photography Inc / Getty Images

6."I've lived here three years and have been slowly renovating, since the house seemly hadn’t been touched since the '80s. I got a new kitten this year, and she was trouble, always getting into places she shouldn’t. She got in a closet under the stairs and behind a piece of drywall. I couldn’t coax her out, so I just pulled the drywall down and found her standing on a few old boxes. I pulled them out, and there was around $10k of silver and old coins that were put there in the '90s and forgotten about."

—u/currentlydrinking

7."The house was about 100 years old. After moving in, I went up to the attic and found a shoebox with a couple of old Army patches, a scout knife, some rock 'n' roll buttons, and a couple of letters. From the letter, I got a name and looked him up. He lived a town over. I called him and asked him if he'd like to come and get the box. A 60s-ish guy showed up and was really appreciative. The patches and the letter were from his older brother. He said he was about 12 and used to hang out in the attic and hide his stuff."

—u/CorgisHaveNoKnees

A box of old letters and photos
Image Makers / Getty Images

8."A basement room that was fully decked out as a 'dungeon.' Faux stone walls, a stocks (like where you lock your head and hands in a la ye olde England), candle scones on the walls, a metal-barred cage in the corner from floor to ceiling. Oh, and the closet had a load of toys, some normal and some...not so typical."

—u/DisIsDaeWae

a stocks to hold someone prisoner by the hands and head
Aarstudio / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9."A glass bowl. It was kind of pretty, with horizontal blue stripes. We kept fruit in it. We thought about dropping it off at the local charity shop, but never got around to it. Then, one day, I was at an antique fair, and I saw glass bowls for sale that looked almost identical to ours. I went home to get my bowl and brought it to be assessed. Turns out, it was a vintage Orrefors crystal bowl. The assessor valued it at around $800. We no longer keep fruit in it."

—u/khendron

Orrefors bowl
S-cphoto / Getty Images

10."My ex-wife found a lovely lockbox containing several nice pocket watches and family heirlooms. With a little sleuthing, we found the son of the man who originally built that house and reunited these items to the family. It was a wonderful experience from start to finish."

—u/fillsy84

11."These assholes stuck a little skeleton figurine dressed up in a little monk’s robe behind the exhaust vent in the furnace closet. I just about shit myself when I opened up that door and saw a tiny skeletal hand poking out. I thought it was a fucking dead baby."

—u/disqeau

closeup of a skeleton
Skaman306 / Getty Images

12."My house was a foreclosure. The previous owners let their kids dump a bunch of paint in the basement and paint on the basement walls. My favorite was some crudely painted boobs with the words 'herp dick' painted next to it. I've left it up for the entire 11 years I've been here. You don't mess with art!"

—u/TheBeardedVagabondo

13."I was showing a house to a couple, and we couldn’t believe the reported square footage. It turns out that most of it was basement — think Buffalo Bill’s basement, one that just goes on and on with random rooms. The place was vacant, the lighting wasn’t great, and when we got to a dead-end room and turned on the lights, there was this porcelain doll just chilling in the middle of the room. It was the only thing left in the house. The husband yells, 'Fuck this,' and we all run out. We ruled out that whole neighborhood as an option, for reasons."

—u/OkRegular7090

A woman holding a scary doll
Getty Images

14."My wife and I bought a house in the early '80s. While cleaning before we moved in, we found a WWII inflatable life raft with a water desalination kit, rolls of green grave grass, bins of beads to make rosaries, amateur paintings of Jesus Christ nailed to the wall, a Nazi knife, a grenade, an old cedar hope chest filled with cut-off bottoms of hundreds of denim jean legs, and a child’s potty chair filled with old poop. As you can imagine, we got a pretty good deal on the house — worth the small cost of renting the dumpster, calling the police bomb squad, and selling some of the artifacts."

—u/DadsRGR8

15."A diary of an American soldier in WWII, South Pacific Theater. Found it above a door when remodeling more than 20+ years ago. My wife and I tried everything we could think of to find a descendant, but to no avail."

—u/Factsaretheonlytruth

An old journal with a pen lying on top of it
Images Say More About Me Than Wo / Getty Images

16."The acreage my wife and I moved to three years ago had a bucket full of wrapped dinosaur bones. We took them to our local museum, where they confirmed they are roughly 68 million years old. Hadrosaur bones. Pretty cool."

—u/snarflethegarthog

Closeup of dinosaur fossils
Kevin Schafer / Getty Images

17."We had our air ducts cleaned before we moved in. Someone wrote 'fuck you' deep inside one of the ducts. We thought it was hilarious."

—u/Gotskilla

18."When some of my high school friends went off to college in the early '90s, they rented a house, and whoever lived there before hid weed all over the place. It was everywhere. Pull up the corner of the carpet? Weed. On top of the refrigerator? Weed. Back of the shelves in the hall closet? Weed. Either they were the most forgetful stoners ever or they did it as a surprise for the new residents."

—u/Careless_Leek_5803

closeup of marijuana
Martin Deja / Getty Images

19."A friend bought a house that had a zig-zag tunnel leading to a bomb shelter that was built under a pond, so it had a skylight to let in light. She boarded it up when she divided the house into apartments."

—u/DarrenEdwards

And finally...

20."We bought the house from the CEO of the company which we franchise from. It was her childhood home where her mother lived 'til the day she died. In true rich-person fashion, they didn’t care to clean out the house before selling it. They just told us we can do whatever we want with the old lady stuff that was there. We found a hidden box of spicy letters, from the old lady to her affair partner spanning many years. That was fun to give to the CEO."

—u/Britown

Got your own unexpected discoveries? See you in the comments!

These entries have been edited for length and clarity.