Workers whose jobs require them to go into other people’s houses for a living deserve medals for bravery; they’ve learned to expect the unexpected because there’s no way for them to know what they’re walking into on any given day. From electricians to exterminators, these Redditors have seen it all. So, brace yourself as you read about the weirdest things employees have seen in customers’ homes while on the job.
I’m a realtor, and I was showing a house that was supposed to be empty. I knocked and rang the bell to make sure. Once inside, I walked into a bedroom and found the current tenant totally naked and absolutely slamming on an electronic drum kit in what was a mostly soundproof room. He never noticed I was there, but I’ll never forget him.
Back in my teenage babysitting days, I regularly watched three kids whose parents kept one of those ENORMOUS packages of hot dogs out on the kitchen counter. Everyone in that household would just wander by and grab a room-temperature hot dog as a snack whenever they felt like it. I babysat for them two to three times per week for over a year, and I saw those hot dogs every. Single. Time. I wonder about them all the time.
I’m a former babysitter, and this one house that I used to babysit at had a toilet in the hallway. It wasn’t a bathroom, just a toilet literally in the middle of a carpeted hallway against a wall that totally worked. It was parallel to the wall, not perpendicular—there was zero covering around it, and it faced the stairway.
So, if you used it, and somebody came up the stairs, you would be making eye contact. I never understood it. It looked like someone just set a toilet down for a minute. There was a full bathroom just six feet away connected to the hallway.
One seriously disturbing thing I found as a termite contractor was bones from a dead body. I was under a crawl space and found a bone that looked like a human femur. It turned out it was...I called for law enforcement, gave a report, and then got the heck out of there.
I installed sod at this lady’s newly built home. She was in her mid-60s, maybe. Anyway, she didn’t know where the valve to the exterior tap was in the basement, and she asked if I could go down and turn it on for her. No problem. I go down the stairs to the unfinished basement, and it’s pitch dark. I find a light switch and turn the light on—and almost screamed.
Suddenly, I see a 400-pound naked man asleep on a mattress just three feet away from me. The lady never mentioned this before I went downstairs...
In the 90s, I had a summer job at a small electronic repair shop. I had to deliver and reconnect an elderly woman’s 32-inch television (this was the tube kind, it was huge and heavy). I get to her trailer, and she answers the door. I’m greeted by a woman in her 70s wearing a thin cotton shirt as a dress that barely reached her mid-thigh and was essentially transparent, wearing no underwear, with everything on full display.
I kept my eyes averted as I hauled the TV in and reconnected it to the cable box and VCR. When I finished, she took me to her bedroom—crosses and crucifixes of all shapes and sizes covered all four walls. She pointed out gold plated ones, a crucifix made from olive wood from Israel, another of lapis lazuli, etc. She spent a good half-hour telling me the story of each one.
I used to clean pools with my brother during the summer, and we once walked into someone’s yard as they were slaughtering three big pigs. In the Dominican Republic, my family owned a farm and slaughtered animals for food too, so it wasn’t the slaughtering itself that was weird. But they were letting the pigs bleed out into the pool we were about to clean.
We dipped out immediately. No way we were gonna be able to clean it without draining the whole thing. The family was from Cuba; we had to tell them that in America, you can’t do things like that in the suburbs.
The strangest thing I saw was a jar full of bedbugs. They wanted to show us that they indeed had bedbugs. But you could see the dang things in the daylight all over the furniture. We knew...
I had a job doing estimates for insulation and other attic work. One time, I showed up at a house that needed an insulation quote, and as soon as they opened the door, I started gagging from a smell that was burning my eyes and nose. My first thought was that smells like ammonia. I fought through it and asked the owner where the attic access was, and he opened up the garage.
I kid you not; there were cat and dog excrement everywhere with water stains all over the concrete that was most definitely urine-soaked through permanently. The smell of ammonia was so overwhelming I thought I was going to pass out from oxygen deprivation. The waste was everywhere and piled on top of each other. You couldn’t take one step in the garage without stepping on it.
Still standing outside the garage door, I saw the access had no ladder, so I told the guy I would be right back with my ladder. I got in my car and took a few minutes to catch my breath, then called my boss as I noped out of there. My boss called animal control, but I have no idea what happened after that.
I saw a woman with a jacuzzi in the center of her carpeted bedroom that she and her four foster children bathed in; there was no showerhead or curtain. They also all shared a toilet in her bedroom that had no walls or door around it. There was absolutely no privacy. All of the kids slept in the living room while she slept in the master bedroom. But that was just the beginning.
During my home inspection, I found three doors that had been completely plastered over and couldn’t be accessed. She informed me that one led to a full bathroom, and the other two were bedrooms. None were accessible, but she insisted that she used them to “store her tools.” I was so creeped the heck out.
There was no possible way for her to get to her “tools” from those rooms. The kids could have had bedrooms, and there was no need for anyone to be bathing or using the toilet in front of anyone else. One of them was a 12-year-old girl—imagine getting your first period in that home. I did everything I could to help the kids move.
My grandmother’s business was estate auctions. We found a literal skeleton in an attic once. It turned out that the house had been in the family since the 1800s, and the great-great-great-whomever had been a doctor at that time. Plastic skeletal models didn’t exist back then, so he kept an actual skeleton in his home office.
For generations after that, nobody had figured out what to do with it until we got stuck with it!
While working as a termite contractor, I noticed a plaque the size of a large clock above someone’s mantle. It had names where the numbers would be and a small trinket below each name. I wished I never asked about it because it turned out the “trinkets” were actually the preserved circumcision skins from all the men in their family.
There is absolutely no appropriate way to respond to something like that. I literally just left the room and acted like I never heard anything.
I volunteer for a breed-specific dog rescue and do home visits/inspections for people who want to adopt dogs. It’s usually mostly a formality to make sure the potential adopters know the quirks of this breed and are well-prepared to live with them. It also allows them a chance to ask me questions about living with this breed.
One home visit was in a rough part of town. A woman and her 17-year-old child were living in an elderly and incapacitated man’s home. They helped care for him in exchange for a place to live. The house was just generally not in great shape; it was cluttered and not super clean. The woman and her daughter lived upstairs in three small bedrooms, all with the doors shut.
They opened the first room and revealed they were using it to house foster kittens. The second room was the girl’s bedroom. They opened the door, and they’d just crammed it with junk; you couldn’t even get into the room. So the mom and daughter shared the third bedroom. But when they opened the door to the third room, the smell of ammonia instantly hit me. Then I looked inside—and saw something absolutely horrifying.
My eyes were burning; I felt like I couldn’t breathe. There was a mattress on the floor that took up most of the room. Lining the walls were 20-gallon aquarium tanks, all filled with rats: Dozens and dozens of pet rats in each one. There were no bedding or toys for them, just bare glass, food, and water. The glass sides were covered in pee from the rats trying to climb out with their pee-soaked paws.
The woman mentioned she had cleaned those aquariums the day before. I felt so, so bad for those poor little rats. The way she spoke about them, I could tell she loved them very much. She just clearly couldn’t care for them the way she should have. I only stayed in the room for a couple of minutes before wrapping up the visit.
I had a pounding headache from the overwhelming smell. I have no idea how they actually slept in that room. That was the only home I ever visited that I didn’t recommend as an adopter.
This isn’t really bizarre, but I got tasked with removing a rattlesnake from an elderly lady’s home. What I found was her adult toy lodged between the furniture and the wall while it was still on and vibrating. The poor thing thought it was a snake’s rattle. I turned it off (with gloves) and told her that I removed the snake! It makes me laugh. She was a sweet lady.
I’m a building inspector. I came across a dead body—well, skeleton. This was an abandoned house vacated years ago, and there was a trust that just automatically paid the…whatever. So, no one knew. That actually wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was when I opened the front door. I always shove the door open fast and look everywhere as fast as possible to make sure it’s safe. Then I walk fast to the middle of the room and do a 360, looking everywhere quickly.
So this house. I open the door, and it seems clear; I jump to the middle of the room, and it still looks clear. So then I look up...and scream. Every inch of the ceiling in the entire house looks like there’s tulle everywhere. It wasn’t tulle. It was spider webs. I have SEVERE arachnophobia. I ran screaming through the house, taking pictures as fast as possible, because that’s the job—and then I came across the body.
I screamed all the way out, not because of the body but because of the spider webs. Omg, I’m freaking myself out. Again.
I’m a painter, and in the process of covering the clothes in a wardrobe with plastic and masking up, I uncovered a box hidden by the clothes hanging over it. It had possibly the biggest strap-on kit I’ve ever seen; it was easily a 10-inch plus. I should mention I mainly do repaints of retirement homes. Them old folks are wild.
I used to work in front line child protection. I’ve seen hoarder homes that were unsafe to enter; in one place, the laundry was the dog’s bathroom, and there was months-old dog poop everywhere, crank labs, and all sorts of stuff. One of the worst things I saw was a poop-smeared room with a regular baby crib that the parents had put a lid on, turning it into a cage. The child was five.
I’m a plumber. I went down to service the boiler in the basement, and the homeowner walked me through their “red room.” One wall had all the whips and spanking utensils, and another had all the chains, cuffs, and ball gags. There was a glass cabinet where one would expect to find fine china or expensive trinkets, but nope—it contained vibrators of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
There were not one but two “intimate” swings hanging from the ceiling, a giant sawhorse with rings mounted to it, a medieval-looking rack, and a small cage. I mean, to each their own and all, but at least give a fella a heads up before you walk him through the set of Fifty Shades of Grey!
I would frequently go into homes in all conditions with buyers and sellers. I’ve seen people living in the most deplorable conditions and dealt with so many odd people. There was a really cool historic house listed in a good neighborhood. The guy was a hoarder, and he had torn off all the plaster and filled the walls with books. The books were in every room of the house. Floor to ceiling.
I’m a former pest control tech. I got sent to a house for stink bugs or something benign like that. When I walked into the kitchen (the first room I entered through the garage), I didn’t even have my shoe covers on yet, and I picked up a bed bug off the floor. I asked the residents if this was what they were seeing, and they confirmed that it was.
I decided to humor myself and go upstairs to the bedroom, where I found walls that seemed to be more bed bug than paint. They were even in the attic and basement. I came to find out that the people who called us were actually the homeowners’ son and daughter-in-law who lived out of state, and they hadn’t seen them in over a year; they only flew in because they hadn’t heard from them in a couple of days.
The mother had fallen down the basement stairs, and the father was bedridden. The mother was fine, no broken bones, just old and weak. They were also too prideful to ask for the help they desperately needed. Thankfully, their family could get them the help they needed, including making the home entirely functional from the first floor until they could move into a smaller home.
The most random thing I found were some Emmy Awards. I house-sit for a family two to four times a year, and it turns out that the husband works for some sports channel and gets awards for it. Yes, I’ve held one; they’re heavy and cold.
I’m a midwife, and during a postpartum visit at my client’s home, I saw that the couple kept two big pigs as pets. They were living with them in the house and even had their own room. Super chill pigs.
I used to live in South Florida and worked in an apartment complex. One day we cleaned out this apartment after the tenants moved out. It wasn’t too bad as it was mostly clean, but the shocking part was finding a severed goat’s head in the fridge (on a platter, not just stuffed in there). It was skinned and everything.
It startled the heck out of me, and I wasn’t sure what to do. The supervisor said it was no big deal, and it was common among the Haitian population to use the whole head for a stew.
I work in the construction appraisal field. I do several interior inspections a week, and it’s common for the homeowner to forget certain sensitive items. I received a routine job to inspect a damaged roof with some interior water damage. I arrived at the house out in the country. The outside was very run down and hadn’t been kept well in years.
The majority of the roof was tarped, and any wood showing was soft and rotting. Here begins the bad part. I got out of my car to be greeted by two small kids; I’m awful at ages, but I’m assuming both were under the ages of 10–12. They were vibrant redheads with crystal blue eyes. Sadly, both siblings had sores covering their bodies.
Their lips were chapped and infected, and their mouths and noses had scabbed over from having runny noses. Both appeared to have pinkeye and very bad teeth. Very politely, they lead me to their home. Once at the door, I met their grandmother, who had bruises on both forearms. Once she opened the door, a horrible stench came from the house.
Because the woman was elderly and noticed my initial gag, I tried to be polite and went inside. Once inside, the scene was out of a horror movie. Black mold and dirt covered the house ceiling and walls. Four feet of food and debris from the kids covered the walls. The carpet was sticky and had a slight catch when I walked on it.
There were dishes piled up in the kitchen, with black trash bags full of garbage and food lined up along the walls. The whole house was swarming with flies, and in the kitchen, maggots owned the sinks. With the door closed behind me, the smell was almost unbearable. Trying to be polite, I asked if she was having septic or plumbing issues as well.
She said yes, but that nobody would help her. Out of curiosity, I went to look. The smell was coming from the basement/bedroom. It turned out the toilet had backflowed and covered the whole basement area, and from the look of it, it had been days. But I wasn’t ready for what I was about to see on my way back up to the main floor.
I saw that one of the bedroom doors that had initially been closed before was now open. A brief look inside showed a baby, who couldn’t have been more than a year old, sitting in a moldy kid chair while flies buzzed around his bald head. His mother was sitting on the floor and leaning against the bed with a pipe laying next to her, creating a brown mark on the carpet.
Sick to my stomach, I walked upstairs to get my bearings and figure out what to do. On my way out the front door, the older woman looked at me and said, “Help us.” Now I was like, holy smokes, what is going on! I asked the lady what she’d just said because I wasn’t all on earth at that moment. She began to bawl and said, “Help us!”
That time it clicked. I told her to go get the two older kids and sit in my truck. I snuck back in, grabbed the baby, and then also got into the truck. Fast forward. We called law enforcement and CPS while we hightailed it out of there. The elderly woman was being held against her will by her junky daughter and her pimp/dealer boyfriend.
While waiting on the officers, I called my boss, who got me in touch with the company’s team of lawyers about my involvement, blah, blah, blah. I hung up because I couldn’t deal with corporate stuff at that moment. The officers arrived and then proceeded the next four hours of waiting, interviewing, and working with them.
But there was a happy ending! Months later, I received a call with the good news that the woman, along with the help of the rest of her family, were raising the kids while the junky mother went to prison for a very long time. I will never forget that day or those kids’ faces. The moral of the story: Don’t do drugs.
I worked for 18 years as a cable/telephone service technician in a large metropolitan city. Once at a sketchy building at eight in the morning when it was -20 Celsius, I went out on the balcony to check an entry cable, and there’s a dude buck naked out there high as a kite looking at the sun. We were probably on at least the tenth floor, and it was so cold.
He didn’t notice me.
The homeowner did this for the thrill of the shock, I think. I was 21ish, and he was a friend of a friend I was just meeting for the first time. He was a man in his mid-30s who—I came to find out—liked boys in their late teens and had every possible thing in his house to attract them: Every gaming system, large TVs, a speed boat, jet skis, you name it.
As we went through the house, I was getting creeped out a bit, and then he said he was going to show us his game room. I was a little confused as we had just looked at the room with the giant TV with the PlayStation and stuff. He led us down into the basement, and that's when my gut told me to get out. The basement was a full playroom: St. Andrew’s cross, stocks, swings, etc.
But the things I remember most were the three-foot-tall cone bolted to the floor and someone in a full gimp suit strapped to the wall. I noped the heck out of there. I enjoy a good dungeon, but this guy was extra creepy. I was expecting the door to close and trap us down there. Now I would have made sure the person on the wall was there consensually, but being 21, I ran for it.
As a cable/telephone service technician, I’ve seen some horrors in the apartment of someone with extreme schizophrenia living in government housing. This disease tends to make people think that they are being monitored; so often, in a bout of extreme mania, someone with it will tear out all of the phone and cable wiring in their home, only to later realize that they still need it. So, then they would call for service repairs.
I had one lady I went back to a couple of times who had written on every square inch of her apartment walls—sentence fragments, different thoughts, and things that she seemed to write in different voices. She had cut a 1x1 foot hole in her wall around her phone jack and ripped all the wires out. I patched up what I could and assured her we wouldn’t bill her.
She also cornered me at one point and tried to tell me that it wasn’t her writing on the walls and that people would come at night and do it.
While working as a carpet cleaner, I went to a couple of hoarder houses, including a place that was borderline animal-hoarding, but this one woman’s house always stuck out to me. She had two teenage daughters. Her house was very average, and it wasn’t in a terrible part of the city, though the city itself is notoriously nasty.
So we went in, and it was pretty bad. There was so much black dog hair that I thought their bright red carpet was a deep crimson red. I nearly had to peel the hair up in sheets. The daughters’ rooms were so full of clothes and stuff on the floor there was only a four-square-foot space I could actually get to. Eventually, I made it down to the ground level of the house, and I opened a door to inspect what needed cleaning.
It was the door to the garage, and it was wall to wall FULL of garbage bags stacked about five feet high. So I quickly shut that door and repressed it. I walked into the other room and went to move a chair—some style chairs are easiest to move if you reach under a cushion to grab the frame. Well, guess what? Surprise guys, there was a broken pipe.
So I just freaking pushed the chair over. Mind you; I was still ripping up the carpet hair in sheets at that point. I moved the couch, and it was a reclining couch with a steel frame, and those things are notorious for rusting. But that’s no big deal, and we had a chemical that could eat rust in seconds. I poured the chemical on the rust that sat around where the couch’s entire frame was on the carpet, but it didn’t dissolve.
Eventually, I caught a whiff of it. It was poop. It was dog poop. There was so much dog poop under that couch it was matted into the carpets. So, I eventually cleaned that up and put everything back so I could get the heck out. During all this, I half-filled a five-gallon bucket with wet hair (human and dog), which is the most I’ve personally seen. Wet hair doesn’t take up much space, so that was a buttload.
I used to do home health care, and I’d just go in and help people with the everyday things they couldn’t do because of their condition. I had this really sweet older lady with a bad case of psoriasis. Her floors had a layer of dead skin covering nearly every square inch of the apartment. It was even in her dog’s water bowl.
I did my best to keep it clean, and I visited twice a week. Each time it was just as bad. I can still smell it if I think about it.
My coworker and I had to fix an abandoned crack house. The rug was pretty cool, and I thought we could save it until I lifted it up and saw there were literally thousands of used needles underneath, mostly uncapped too. Oddly, the same house had a perfect condition ping-pong table in it; everything else was stripped or destroyed, including tiles from the walls, but not the ol’ping-pong table.
I also won $20 at the same house by opening a sealed fridge that read: “Don’t open.” It stunk so bad that my coworker and I threw up in sink...bonding times, ya know? I spent the money on beers for us.
My dad works painting houses. The local rental agency hired him to reno a suite that had just evicted its tenants, and they paid him extra to clean it as well. There was an awful smell that he couldn’t figure out the source of until he finally started cleaning the kitchen on day two. That's when he found it. The evicted tenant had taken a poop in the dishwasher and ran a quick cycle before leaving—it was coating the whole interior.
I once walked into an apartment that had Christmas decorations everywhere. They were all over the place in a one-bedroom apartment with a maybe 70-square-foot living room/kitchenette. This wasn’t anywhere near December; I’d delivered to her several times over the months, such as in February and July. She was an older obese woman living in what I kind of assumed was a retirement community.
I felt bad for her, if anything. It seemed like she was lonely, and she was a friendly enough person, but it still felt like “attack of the Santas” in there regardless.
I used to install tile floors. We were working this job at a very nice house, with great homeowners. They had a couple of younger boys running around the house. I would guess the boys were around the ages of four and five. There was another crew at the house installing carpet at the same time we were there. The workers had to remove the furniture in the bedrooms before installing the carpet.
They removed the top mattress from the parents’ bed and carried it to another room. Well, the homeowners failed to remember that they had something hidden between the two mattresses. So now there was a huge bright red “adult toy” sitting there out in the open. The best part was when one of the boys came into the room and saw it.
Not knowing what it was, he grabbed it and ran out of the room, running around the house looking for his parents to ask them what it was. He found his dad first, who told him to go ask his mother. So, the boy ran off, holding it above his head, yelling, “Mommy, Mommy, what is this?” Everyone could hear him and was watching at this point. We had never seen something so funny, and we could not help laughing.
I’m a plumber. This guy’s apartment was mostly on the second floor, with a second entrance, den, and washroom on the first floor (the rest of the floor belonged to another apartment). Buddy decided he didn’t need the downstairs area, so he just used it as a compost pit—he literally just threw all his organic trash down the stairs.
The pile was like five feet tall and eight feet across.
There was this one house I will never forget. It was full of phalluses. There were pictures on the walls of phalluses. There were phallic statues, carvings, paintings, flags, tapestries, lamps, table legs, drawings, etc. The chairs and couches were all upholstered in phallic fabrics. Even the armrests on the chairs and couches were phallic-shaped, so if you put your arm on them, you would be grabbing the heads.
The two dudes that lived there were both artists, and they made all of it. It was the weirdest freaking thing I think I have ever seen.
I was covering another department by doing a home care call. It wasn’t the sketchy neighborhood that bugged me so much, and it wasn’t the run-down house exterior that made me judgy. But the fact that the stairwell had almost separated from the wall was a nope for me. So was the shirtless husband with a smoke dangling from his lip who tried to corner me as I beat a retreat.
The final straw that had me call for a welfare check on the wife was the fact that on the way out, I tripped over a mostly mummified dog.
I worked as a process server delivering eviction notices. I had a special issued license that allowed me to enter the premises I was evicting. It gave me the right to be on any property I was evicting for, and it allowed me to enter without permission. I never used that right because who the heck would believe me—that’s a great way to get yourself shot.
Sometimes, people would invite me inside to read over the paperwork and answer a few questions. I maybe went in twice ever. Well, this one apartment had received two prior notices, and I needed to write a statement of the condition of the place. I got to the door, knocked, and an old Hispanic man answered. The notice was for two people, so I needed him to get the other woman.
He told me, “You go do it!” Meaning for me to come in. He turned and went through a plastic curtain that was right in front of his door. It had blood sprayed all over it, and he was screaming for me to come inside. I have never noped so fast out of something. He was not even by far the worst experience I had with that job, but it made me nauseated for sure.
I used to work as a cable/internet and residential AV tech for different companies. I’ve found LOTS of long lost “adult” toys behind the dressers in the master bedrooms. I just learned to ignore and work around it; it got way too weird and embarrassing for the customer the one time I tried to bring it up. The worst thing, however, was not “bizarre,” rather just disgusting.
I used to get paid by the job, not by the hour (thank the gods I have a normal job now). I once got an add-on job at the end of the day, about 40 minutes from my house. It seemed like an easy 50 bucks for an in and out—just run a new drop and add a cable box. It was also far away from the normal area, so I knew I wouldn’t have to pick up any leftover work.
So I was stoked. I drove out to the job location, and it was at a small single-trailer house. Even better! No attics nor extra nonsense, and all their satellite equipment was up to date. Perfect scenario. I got to the front door, gave a knock, took a few steps back, and heard some barking. The customer had dogs—noted. I’d make sure she put the doggos in a spare room.
The customer opened the door. “Afternoon, ma’am. I’m ‘BahamutMS’ with ‘satellite serv—’” As I was talking, I got hit with the absolute worst cat pee smell possible. It literally felt as if someone slapped the heck out of me with a toilet bowl rag. I’d been in some crazy houses and learned to hold composure through extreme stuff. But this broke me.
It broke me like a brick under the fist of a Shaolin monk. I gasped for air, and my eyes watered like Niagara Falls. The customer then looked at me like I was a jerk. So, I composed myself, and she took me inside. I immediately got hit with more waves of the pee scent, and then the smell of dog poop hit too. I couldn’t believe it.
Oh, how the weavers of fate were cruel. I then got greeted by her many roommates, kids, and animals. I think there were at least 10 people and six animals in this place. The kids were playing on the floor. The customer said, “The new box is going back here.” She walked me down the hall and through the living room, past the kids.
All the while, she was making these weird kicks with her feet. I looked down. Oh God, why did I look down? There were piles and piles of dog and cat excrement littered all over the floor. She was kicking it all to the side to make a freaking walkway for me. At this point, I thought to myself, that’s it. Turn around and just leave. Screw this. Your supervisor would have your back 100 percent.
But then I thought about the lost time and lost cash. If I canceled the job, I wouldn’t get paid. Dang. Let’s at least see. I got taken all the way back to the last room. She knocked, and someone answered, “Come in.” The customer left, and I walked in. Thank the gods. It was clean. It was the most beautiful clean room.
In the middle of the room was a woman in a wheelchair and her boyfriend, welcoming me like angels. I immediately closed the door behind me. We all stared at each other for a bit, as if, like Jedi, we were passing our feelings and understood what the heck just happened out there. The dish and cabling were on the same wall as their room, so I committed to the job.
I actually enjoyed my conversation with the couple. They were super sweet and very understanding of how messed up that all was. I got my ticket signed off, wished them a good day, stripped in the back of my van, put my clothes in my trash bucket, called child protection services, and drove my happy butt home with the dirtiest 50 bucks I’ve ever made.
I’m a paramedic in a regional area in Australia. We used to go to a very small town about 30 minutes away to see the same patient every other week. The patient was never particularly sick; she just didn’t care for herself well. She was an older lady, probably in her late 60s, and she lived with her adult son. The house was horrible—old, falling down, full of garbage. It was a classic hoarder house.
They both lived in the same room, in what should have been the loungeroom. Presumably, they shared a bed, as there was only one and no lounge or recliner, just dining chairs. None of this was so bad that I thought about it very often, though. What really got me thinking was the large, visibly used “adult toy,” which was usually located on the bedsheets or sometimes on the computer desk. I had nightmares about that thing.
I go into people’s homes to see their kids for speech therapy. The most bizarre thing I’ve seen was a sanitary pad (unused, thankfully) stuck to the wall. Nobody acknowledged it was there, and I didn’t want to point it out. The strangest part is that I’ve seen this happen in two different homes!
I was doing a remodel of some old and shabby condemned apartments. People were still living in them even though they were supposed to be out. Every time we went into a new apartment, the people who were living in them would just up and leave and never come back. I went into one dude’s apartment and found a joint rolled up in a one-dollar bill (he could’ve bought a whole pack of rolling papers with that dollar).
The dude didn’t have any furniture or anything. The only other thing we found in there was a framed copy of his own birth certificate hanging on the wall. Who hangs up their own birth certificate?
I clean houses. One guy had his Snap-on toolbox in his closet, and instead of seeing naked women on the wall like I’m used to (my stepdad is a mechanic), he had posters of a young Queen Elizabeth II.
I was a firefighter at another time in my life. I had a middle of the night call to a mobile home for an elderly lady once. We walked in, and it was dark, but as my eyes started to adjust, I thought, oh, that’s weird wallpaper. I kept looking around and realized, huh, it’s on the ceiling too. There were weird inconsistent patterns and rectangular shapes.
My eyes adjusted some more while we were talking to her. Finally, I recognized what I was seeing. “Are those puzzles?!” She had glued hundreds of puzzles together after she completed them, and then she glued them to every surface of her mobile home—walls, ceiling, living room, and bedroom. Every square inch was covered.
Weird...But you do you, especially in your own home.
A few years back, I worked as an electrician. I found a guy with a loaded weapon lying next to him after he had tried to blow his head off through his mouth, but he had “missed” the vital parts. It was the most disturbing sight I've ever seen, but he was still breathing and in a coma state of mind. I heard later that he passed that same day.
I used to deliver oxygen to people’s homes. I saw plenty of weird things and lots of hoarders, but this one delivery took the cake. A man didn’t want to let us into his house, but I had to do a home safety assessment before setting up his equipment. He was anxious about letting me inside because his house was a mess. He kept telling me about his messy house.
I came to find out that his house wasn’t just messy—he’d filled it with 200 chickens. He was proud of his show chickens and wouldn’t let them live in a barn or coop. The smell was unbearable. Other than that, he was a super nice guy.
I’m an electrician, and I was troubleshooting a bad outlet in the bathroom of a former NFL player. I was taking all the outlets apart and following them to see if I could trace out the home runs when he came in and started talking football. We were in the middle of talking when he just walked over to the toilet and started taking a dump.
I couldn’t see him, but there was just a little pony wall between us. He didn’t even stop telling his story; it was crazy. I walked out because of the smell. He came out a little later, and it was like nothing ever happened.
My boyfriend is a locksmith. During the 2008 recession, Las Vegas had hundreds or thousands of homes getting repo’d or abandoned. The company he worked for would have him go and change the locks to keep people out, and usually, this happened in the middle of the night to limit the possibilities of running into the (ex)owners of the properties.
I sometimes tagged along, mostly to explore some of the ridiculously big houses that people had just left, but I helped some of the time. This one house looked totally normal from the outside; you couldn’t tell any difference from any of the other cookie-cutter, planned development homes. But inside, in every room, were these “time out” dolls.
If you have never seen them, they are dolls that stand with their fronts against the wall while holding their hands up to their faces (even more creepily, they usually have no faces), and they look like kids hiding their faces or pouting after being put in a time out. When I say they were in every room, I mean EVERY SINGLE ROOM, with not just one, but dozens, lining the walls.
They were standing up against every wall of the house. The house’s electricity got shut off, so all we had were flashlights. Walking into each room, it did not get less creepy seeing doll after doll. My boyfriend was already afraid of dolls, and this made it so much worse. Altogether, we counted 63, but there might have been more.
I used to be a pool guy, so I used to go into people’s backyards to clean their pools. Once, it was a four-day week due to a holiday, so I was cramming five days of work into a four-day week. It was a hot summer day, and I walked into the backyard of this house. As I made my way through both gates, I witnessed an odd sight.
I saw two absolutely butt-naked kids, maybe around 14 or 15 years old, cuddled on a poolside recliner. I looked at them, and they looked at me. I immediately turned around, and they ran inside. I’ve seen the owners all the time, but I’ve never seen those kids before. The next week I went back, and the wife was outside, so we started chit-chatting. That's when I learned the chilling truth.
I asked her if she’d had any visitors recently, and she said no. I let her know that I saw some kids in her backyard, and she cut me off. She said, “Yeah, I’m surprised you haven’t met them, lemme introduce you.” The two kids were brother and sister. They canceled their service within two months.
In high school, I had a friend who babysat for this one family. One day she asked the parents what to make the kids for dinner, and they told her to just grab a roast out of the freezer. So she found a big chunk of meat and left it in the slow cooker all day. But when she served it, the kids complained that the meat was too tough and chewy, and they refused to eat it.
When the parents got home, she asked them what kind of roast she had dug up. That's when she learned what the "meat" she'd just cooked really was. It turned out she had actually served a placenta from one of the children’s births that the parents saved because they were planning to bury and plant a tree over it.
I used to be a carpet cleaner. I’ve seen everything except a murder scene. I used to work in some of the nicest houses in my state, but I also spent a lot of time in the ghettos cleaning places for landlords or tenants so they could attempt to keep their deposit. Back when I was new to the job, I didn’t know where I stood, so I wasn’t willing to turn down any work.
On one of my first jobs, I went to this grody apartment complex in a pretty nasty area. We went in and checked the place out, and there were three guys inside with a single couch, bed, dresser, TV, and nightstand. That was it. The place reeked of stale cigarettes and moisture, was a bit moldy, and all the carpet was brown. It was off to a bad start—and it was going to get so much worse.
One of the three guys was sitting on the floor eating cereal, and they all looked borderline homeless. This wasn’t too outside the norm, and in any case, who am I to judge if you’re trying to better your life? So we got started. We left for maybe 10 minutes to get the equipment and came back. The dude who called us for the job passed out on the couch, and his boys were standing in the kitchen, keeping an eye on us.
Now, whenever we clean a place, we move the furniture, clean under it, and then move it back. Well, this dude in short shorts had passed out on the couch from drugs. The work we were doing wasn’t quiet, so we asked his friends to move him, but they just stared at us. So my coworker said, “Screw it. Grab the other side.”
We moved the couch with the dude still on it, and he still didn’t wake up. It was super awkward for me because I was brand new to the job. So, I just went with the motion, and then my coworker started going into the bedroom. We usually don’t move beds for multiple reasons; we just try to get under them as much as we can.
But after my coworker went in there, one of the customer’s friends asked, “Are you going to clean under the bed?” Without missing a beat, his other friend yelled, “NO! DON’T CLEAN UNDER HIS BED!” At that point, I was standing far back enough that I could see under his bed. Underneath were women’s heels—about 50 pairs at least, and they looked big.
So I looked over at the dude on the couch, and I noticed he has completely shaved legs. So again, I was new; I couldn’t be annoyed, so I kept working. I went to move the nightstand, and his vibrator rolled off as I moved it. So I just kicked it back under. Again—awkward. But aside from all that weird and awkward stuff, I think the thing that was the weirdest was the condiments.
This freaking dude had mustard and mayo packets all over the surfaces of the few pieces of furniture he had in his bedroom. It was all lined up and organized, nice and neat, and it was next to his vibrator on his nightstand. I’m not sure if this dude was making burgers in bed or what, but I was happy to get the heck out of that place.
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