It’s the stuff of supermarket checkout stand tabloids:
“OWNER FINDS SECOND AUTHENTIC COPY OF MONA LISA [or something similarly ridiculous) BEHIND LOOSE STONE IN NEW HOME. “
And while Da Vinci probably never stashed away a second print of his smirking muse, there HAVE been all sorts of odd – and sometimes valuable – things found by new homeowners. Typically they’re found in homes recently vacated by longtime, or even multigenerational, tenants. Often they are historical homes dating back to a time when stashing your valuables inside your walls was considered the height of security.
But what are some of these great/strange/disturbing finds? Fortunately, there’s the internet to help us answer that question. Here are a few of our favorites.
Mummy? Who’s that man in the attic? Superman?
This trio of weirdness was compiled by oddee.com. The most conventional of the three finds is a non-mint copy of Action Comics #1, which was used as insulation inside a home the owner bought for $10,000 (the torn comic was still sold for $175,000). The other two anecdotes are more disturbing: One was an actual mummy (turns out it was purchased by the finder’s grandfather as a souvenir in North Africa, and was possibly a fake). The other: A very much alive ex-boyfriend who had been spying on his former girlfriend from the attic, sleeping next to a vent and going to the bathroom in cups. Gross.
Those wacky Brits
Forget Brexit. After you consume this fun infographic, you’ll wonder why the European Union ever took in the oddball residents of the UK. Among the finds shared by the Leads Building Society.
- A mummified iguana (what’s with the mummies?)
- 30 Betty Boop Clocks
- A toilet made into a rocking chair
- An abandonded donkey (presumably alive)
- Coffin (twice)
- A secret room behind a book case
- A cannonball
- A velvet codpiece (hawt)
There’s some practical advice out there too.
The Penny Hoarder has some really great recommendations on places to look if you are buying or renovating an older home. Look under loose ends of carpet, in crawl spaces, attics and top shelves, and even in the ceiling, if possible.
… you can’t tear open a ceiling just for the small chance that there’s something valuable in there, but you can look for clues. Maybe part of the ceiling has already been removed and can be removed safely again. A drop ceiling might have tiles which are easily lifted, so you can take a look. An attic can provide access to a ceiling as well.
This article is a super read not only for those moving into old houses, but those moving out, or perhaps auctioning or selling the estate of a deceased loved one. One takeaway: CHECK THE PAGES OF BOOKS. One thrift-store shopper found $20,000 cash inside a book he paid a few pennies for.
One final article, from This Old House (which we all love), takes a moment to ponder the moral and historical implications of some finds, and offers recommendations on how to proceed if you do discover something that may be of significance to the former owners. It’s a lengthy, thoughtful read about the emotional side of discovery – not just the thrill of finding a small fortune.
Though that’s pretty awesome too.