People Find in their Walls

Shocking Things People Found in their Wall in the Last Decade

The 15 MOST SHOCKING Things People Found in Their Wall in the Last Decade

In recent news, homeowners pried away siding on their house to find bootlegged alcohol from the Prohibition era.

It appears the owners knew that a bootlegger built the house back in the day, so to find contents hidden away that confirm that story is exciting. The story didn’t stop there, though.

It turns out the bootlegged alcohol is actually worth about $1,000 per bottle!

This got us thinking, what other objects hidden behind walls have been found by homeowners?

Here is a list of shocking things people found in their wall in the last decade.

#15: WWI Love Letters

One man found love letters from a WWI soldier hidden in his wall. While they don’t necessarily have monetary value, they probably meant much more to the recipient at the time they were received.

Assuming they were read before being hidden away behind the walls!

One man found love letters from a WWI soldier hidden in his wall.

#14: Action Comics #1

One of the most valuable comic books of all time was found hidden in the walls of David Gonzalez’s home. This comic book (image below) sold for an incredible $175,000 at auction.

A picture containing text, sign, vending machine  Description automatically generated

How many properties would you buy after finding this in your walls and selling it for that amount?

The reason it sold for so much? It happens to be the comic book with the very first appearance of Superman. Pretty neat!

#13: A $15M Painting

This is a cool story.

Two brothers were going through their deceased father’s home when they found something hidden in the walls.

It was a Norman Rockwell painting (right) valued at many millions of dollars. The catch is there was already the same Norman Rockwell hung on the opposite wall.

Two paintings of the same thing, one hidden and one hanging on the wall for display.

Apparently, the father had hidden the original from his wife during a divorce and instead hung a self-painted FAKE!

Say what you want, but the father/husband must have had a steady hand for the fake to never be noticed as such.

#12: Secret Tunnel Filled With Black Mold

This is an interesting one.

New homeowners stumbled upon a secret door in their new home that led to a hidden tunnel filled with toxic mold — so much so that the previous owner left a note saying they had to move because the mold was so bad.

The note read:

Hello. If you’re reading this, then you found the secret room. I owned this house for a short while and it was discovered to have a serious mold problem. One that actually made my children very sick to the point that we had to move out.

The mold that the tunnel and home contained was Stachybotrys, which is referred to as toxic black mold.

Not something you want to find after purchasing a new home!

#11: Briefcase, Money, and a Creepy Note

A homeowner on Reddit found something shocking in his new home.

In addition to a hidden crawl space, he found an old briefcase, some watches, videotapes, and money. There was also one creepy letter that read: “Save yourself.”

This person found a creepy briefcase filled with money, silver, and video tapes alongside a note that said "Save Yourself."

I feel like there are two camps here. Camp one finds a note like this and, though startled at first, might make some fun out of it by trying to find the backstory on who left it there and why.

Camp two would treat this note the same as Ace Ventura treats bats by getting the hell out of there.

Whatever camp you fall in, that’s a heck of a discovery.

#10: Cold Hard Cash…and Bourbon

A couple found a 50-year-old safe hidden in the wall with $51,000 inside. $51,000! Can you imagine?

A couple found this 50-year-old safe hidden in the wall with $51,000 inside. It also held a bottle of bourbon and a book titled A Guide for the Perplexed by E.F. Schumacher.

This story and others like it really make you think about how much money is hidden behind walls.

Who knows — it could even be enough to increase inflation!

Other contents in the safe were a bottle of bourbon and a book titled A Guide for the Perplexed by E.F. Schumacher.

#9: Leonardo da Vinci Artwork

Leonardo da Vinci's Battle of Anghiari | Visit Tuscany

Finding artwork of any kind within your walls would be exciting. It would likely send you on an endless quest trying to find the no-name artist who used to rent or own the home, eventually leading to you hanging the painting somewhere to share a quick story when you have guests over.

Imagine the no-name artist being Leonardo da Vinci!

That’s what happened in Italy when researchers discovered one of the artist’s “lost” works had been hidden behind a fake wall that was painted over.

See #5 here for more details.

#8: Harvard Human Bones

In 1999, Harvard thought they had a Crimson-style murder on their hands when human bones were found in the wall of a chapel.

The true story behind these bones is that the building wasn’t always a chapel. Prior to converting, the building held studies of science and medicine. The bones were used to create a skeleton for examination purposes.

While it didn’t turn out to be nearly as scandalous as predicted, it was still shocking to find human bones during a renovation project.

#7: Hidden Toxic Waste

Finding toxic waste anywhere tends to be bad — b

Finding hidden toxic waste in your new home is much worse.

One owner paid $266,000 for their new home just to find hidden toxic waste, which lead to a cleanup that cost millions of dollars.

Apparently, if the old homeowner cannot be found or has passed, then the new homeowner becomes responsible for cleaning up the waste. This article says the old homeowner, the one likely responsible for hiding toxic waste, died many years ago.

It will be tough to find ROI on that deal!

#6: A Live Missile

In April 2011, a man was remodeling his bathroom when he stumbled upon a very active weapon of warfare.

The Wisconsin native found a live Korean missile with a five-inch explosive head on it! The prior owners of the home were in the Korean War and collected “souvenirs” from it.

Though a great piece of history, the whole being active thing doesn’t sit well with me. I would call the authorities and calmly exit the building.

#5: BATS

There have been reports of people finding mummified cats and even large beehives within their walls.

I’m sure you’re thinking, Ok, that’s not too bad.

People have also reported finding hundreds of bats located behind their walls. You can be an animal lover and handle the mummified cat, a few big beehives, and even some spiders…but BATS?!

No way. Not happening. I’m running for the fences on them just like Ace Ventura!

#4: Royal Decapitation

In 2010, a journalist in the UK followed clues that led to finding a 400-year-old skull in the attic of a French tax collector.

The skull turned out to be that of King Henry IV.

Henry IV of England - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The skull was taken from its grave in the 1800s during the overthrow of the monarchy. Then it was placed in the attic of a house.

The things people did back then…am I right?

#3: A 100-Year-Old Ouija Board

Ouija boards are creepy on their own, but one found in an abandoned house behind the walls? Downright terrifying.

According to the construction worker who made the discovery, the board was concealed in a wall and positioned with its writing upside down.

I’m not sure if the upside-down part is superstitious at all, but if finding something upside down were a sign of bad things to come, it would probably be a Ouija board!

Let’s hope he left it where he found it…

A picture containing text, indoor, tool, wood  Description automatically generated

#2: Dead Bodies

This one is the most shocking of all. Or is it, if it’s #2 on our list? It’s certainly nearly the most shocking.

In 2013, the body of a woman missing for 28 years was found behind a false wall in the basement of her Poughkeepsie, New York home.

Her husband, who reported her missing in 1985, is believed to have committed the murder, though he died just a few months before the body was discovered and was never questioned.

I’m not sure how many dark basements you’ve entered in your investing life, but I’d say this would be the absolute worst-case scenario.

#1: Live Children

At the end of our list is truly the most shocking thing someone has found in their walls — a living child. Yes, a person found another living person, a child, alive and in the walls. This is not a “Oh, he was in there hiding for a few hours” situation.

This is a child who was hidden against his will inside the walls of a house until someone discovered him.

Two years after he disappeared with his mother, 6-year-old Richard Chekevdia was discovered hidden in the walls of his grandmother’s home in Illinois.

Ricky disappeared in 2007 after a contentious custody dispute between his mother, Shannon Wilfong, and his father, Michael Chekevdia. After reports by police stating that the boy had rarely been allowed outside and a judge finding that Ricky had been denied access to medical care, education, and contact with his peers, the police went looking.

Following up on a tip, they approached the boy’s grandmother’s house, where they found Ricky and his mother crouched in a hiding place behind a bedroom dresser.

The hiding place had been custom-built for the two of them. Wilfong and the grandmother were charged with multiple crimes, and the child was removed from the hiding place.

What Could Be Hiding Behind Your Walls?

That’s it for our list of the most shocking things people found in their walls in the last decade. Have you found anything in your walls you think should have made this list? Leave it in the comments and perhaps you will make our next list!

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Alex Zurn

Alex Zurn

Alex Z. is a former professional basketball player with five years’ experience as a mortgage professional in the secondary markets. He is also a multifamily investor and property manager of four years, and has been tracking the economic status of the housing market and first time home buyer journey for two years now through his Instagram account (@howofhousing) and website, When he is not analyzing new deals, getting to know new markets, or creating content, Alex loves to travel, spend time with close friends and family, and will (one day) get a new dog and name him “Kobe”.

1 thought on “Shocking Things People Found in their Wall in the Last Decade”

  1. user nameGary Wofford says:

    We bought a home in Pueblo, CO that was built in 1892. We kept smelling urine in the attic and found 200-300 bats living above the ceiling in the attic. We simply waited for winter when they migrate south, and plugged the holes that they used to enter. We informed all of the neighbors that we were evicting the bats and that they should check their homes for possible entry points. The next summer, we kept seeing bats fly around and asked the neighbors. In fact, one of them didn’t plug his entry holes and had inherited all of our bats. We did get them in the house occasionally, but they were pretty easy to shoo out. There were many old homes there with bats in the belfry. We were not the only ones.

    In the same home, the son of the previous owners had been murdered. It was a big story in the news nationwide because the murderer had killed 3 people that same night. After he had killed the son of the last owner, he chopped up the body and mailed different parts to random addresses around Colorado. The killer is still on death row in Colorado. The last owner (his parents) claim that it was likely a drug deal gone bad. When we moved in, we did some cleaning and found pot pipes in the form of a skull in the kitchen cabinet where it was hard to see, as it was the top shelf. I am sure the parents would have been very embarrassed to know this. We found several other drug related items around the house that the last owner missed when they moved out.

    The police were very aware of this house because of the history of the murder. When we had been living there for about 6 months, my wife had taken our daughter to ballet practice. It was near performance time, so their practices lasted until late at night. I went to bed and my 5 year old son was put to bed, as well. At about 10:30, the doorbell rang. I crawled out of bed and made my way downstairs. Halfway down the stairs, I was met by two police officers with guns drawn and pointed at me. I asked why they were in my house, and they reported that the burglar alarm had gone off. They said I should cooperate with them since there were 23 officers hiding in the bushes around the house ready for battle. I informed them that my M.O. was not to break into a house and put my son to bed while I robbed the house. I had earlier heard an alarm going off in the neighborhood. I told them it was the neighbor across the street whose alarm was sounding earlier. They escorted me across the street with an officer holding each arm. When we got to that neighbor, she was all distraught that she couldn’t remember the password to turn off the alarm in her home. It happened to be the last owner of our house and her daughter had been living in the house across the street. When we bought their house, they moved into the house across the street until they completed building their new home. She had also forgotten to change the address associated with their account at the alarm company, so when their alarm was tripped, the alarm company had our address on file as the place of the alarm. One of the neighbors saw me being escorted across the street and commented, “Well, he finally killed his wife.” It was quite the talk of the neighborhood for a while.

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