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8 Shocking Items Unearthed During a Home Renovation

Many of us dream of finding time capsules and secret treasures of the past as children. Well, it turns out that it actually happens in real life from time to time, and quite naturally, it tends to occur during a home renovation. Strange items can pop up when you’re pulling your home apart in order to revamp it, as the following 8 stories prove. If you’re planning a renovation, be prepared for the unexpected, as you may dig up some pretty surprising things that have been hiding in your home. These are some of the craziest items found by people during their renovations.

1. Monopoly floorShocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, monopoly floor

Image source: Reddit

One homeowner living in California was in for a great surprise when he took off his carpet and revealed the floorboards underneath. It turns out that the previous owner had turned the floor into a living Monopoly board - an actual replica including everything from the traditional ‘pass go’ square to a potentially troublesome ‘go to jail’ space next to the door.

Hundreds have commented on the photo of the Monopoly floor when the man shared it on Reddit, one user even demanding: ‘Start pulling out all the other carpets in your house to see what other board games are underneath!’ That suggestion, however, was shot down. 

2. Money (a lot of it)Shocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, dollar bills

Image Source: Stored

A contractor from Ohio named Bob Kitts found a staggering amount of $182,000 while he was working on a bathroom renovation. The banknotes date back to 1927-1929 and some of the bills are so rare that one currency appraiser valued the treasure at up to $500,000. 

Kitts decided to do the right thing and gave the money back to the homeowner - for a cut, of course. The homeowner offered to give him 10% but Kitts demanded 40%, and unfortunately, the feud escalated to the point that the two were only able to communicate through lawyers. And that is before the descendants of Patrick Dunne, a wealthy businessman to whom the cash originally belonged, chimed in. After lengthy and costly court proceedings everyone who claimed the money came out with just a fraction of it. 

3. A 17th-century 'witch bottle'Shocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, With bottle

Image Source: Stored

An ancient stone flask dating back to the 17th century was discovered in the South London borough of Greenwich in 2014. It was immediately recognized by scientists and archeologists for what it was - a vessel that was usually hidden by the ill or dying when they believed they were being persecuted by a witch. 

An investigation began to establish what it contained. The findings are not for the faint-hearted - it turns out that the anti-witch potion included fingernail clippings, urine, and a small heart-shaped piece of leather that was pierced with a nail. These happen to be the exact ingredients cited in court records from 1682, explaining what a man should brew in case he suspects his wife is a witch. 

Related: Some of the Strangest Things People Have Found

4. A human foot

Shocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, foot

That is certainly one of the most alarming and creepy items on the list. “I was helping a friend renovate her new house and discovered a human foot under the floorboards,” shared one homeowner on Reddit. “The foot was all wired together so that the bones didn’t separate when it was moved,” The end of that story is much less sinister than you’d imagine, fortunately. 

The homeowner called the police, who traced the foot back to a local university. They believe the foot was used as a teaching tool for students, but understandably, they admitted it truly gave them a scare. 


5. Old lettersShocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, old letters

You can learn a lot about your family history when digging up old items in the family home attic. Even more so if you happen to land some old letters. This is exactly what happened to one woman who shared her unbelievable story on the Family Handyman website. 

“While getting ready for some work in the attic, I found some 30-plus-year-old letters written to my dad from his mother. She had died 20 or so years before. I read the letters and realized they were written to him while he was in prison. I asked my mom about the letters and she admitted to me that my dad had been in prison for murder. My dad still doesn’t know I know.” 

Related: These Heartwarming Vintage “Bookmarks” Will Make You Smile

6. Vintage cansShocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, vintage cans

Image source: Reddit (left), Reddit (right)

Finding vintage, or even antique beer bottles and soda cans during a renovation is something that happened more than once. One Reddit user was in the midst of a bathroom revamp while he stumbled on a hidden bunch of vintage-looking beer bottles and cans. “It seemed the preferred brand back then was Rheingold,” he commented on his find. Rheingold was a beer introduced in New York in 1883 and was a popular working-class beer until operations were shut down in 1976.

Another user named Eric shared a picture of some soda cans he dug up while working in his backyard. After some googling, it turned out the funky cans date back to 1977. Tip: if you happen to find some of these vintage cans and glass bottles, don't throw them out, as they may be rare and cost a pretty penny among collectors.

Related: 6 Lost Treasures Rumored To Be Hidden in the US

7. A cemeteryShocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, cemetery

Image Source: Twitter

While not exactly something found in a private home renovation, we simply had to share this remarkable story. One of New Haven’s best-kept secrets is an old graveyard found in the crypt of Center Church-on-the-Green. The 137 gravestones beneath this New England structure hold the area’s founders and earliest citizens and are dated between 1687 and 1812. 

Parts of the graveyard were moved when the church was built but it turns out this segment was preserved in its original place. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy even unearthed a colonial skeleton.

8. A 1950s time capsuleShocking Items Unearthed During Home Renovations, 1950s time capsule

Image Source: Bored Panda

This story, too, happened in a public building rather than a private one and is the most recent one on the list, too. In 2019, a custodian at the North Canton Middle School was repairing lockers when he discovered a bag wedged behind a piece of detachable metal. Although the bag itself was dusty and dirty, the contents were very well preserved. They belonged to Patti Rumfola, who attended the High School which was then Called Hoover High, and lost the bag in 1957.

The contents included personal belongings such as stationary, a comb, a powder compact, a library card, the baseball team schedule, and even a few photographs. All in all, it was a perfect time capsule of what life was like for a 1950s teenager in Ohio. 

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