It is said that behind every closed door lies a secret, and it’s a premise that is used in plot lines of most horror movies. A family moves into their dream house only to discover it’s actually a house of horror. But finding weird and downright creepy things inside your home is not something that only happens in the movies. Real homeowners have actually experienced some pretty terrifying things after moving into their houses. From dead bodies to rooms long forgotten, and even supernatural carvings designed to ward off demonic infestations.
If you hear things going bump in the night, you may want to double check that creaky floorboard or look behind your bookcases because you never know what horrors might be hiding there.
1. Demon Traps
In 2014 archaeologists uncovered “demon traps” hidden under the floorboards of Knole House, one of Britain’s most important historic homes. Etched in the 17th century, a period which was rife with superstition and paranoia, these carvings were believed to ward off evil spirits and prevent demonic possession. Also referred to as witchmarks, the carvings discovered at Knole House featured interlocking V shapes thought to invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary. They were also specifically arranged to trap demons under the fireplace, thought to be a particularly weak area for demonic infestations.
Researchers summarized that the demon traps were placed in preparation of King James I visit to Knole House in 1606, which never took place. During King James I reign, his interest in witchcraft grew into a dangerous obsession leading to hundreds of victims being fed to the flames as Europe continued to be gripped by a witch hunt fever. The marks were discovered under the floorboards of the bedchamber earmarked for the Kings stay.
2. The Secret Attic
In 1839 during a visit to Norton Conyers in North Yorkshire, England, author Charlotte Brontë became intrigued by the legend of ‘Mad Mary’, the story of an insane woman who was kept confined within the remote attic of the stately home. Drawing inspiration from this haunting tale, Brontë wrote her famous novel Jane Eyre eight years later which included an eerily similar house to Norton Conyers and of course featured it’s very own mad woman locked in the attic. Yet, as Jane Erye achieved literary success, the once famous attic faded from memory and its location was lost to time when the staircase leading to the room was mysteriously sealed up.
However, in 2004 ‘Mad Mary’s room’ as it is still known to this day, was rediscovered during a renovation project. Hearing a hollow noise upon tapping the walls the owners of the house found a hidden staircase. The owners have kept the room as exactly as it was found and have now opened it up for visitors, although literary lovers beware, it is said the attic has a particularly “tragic feeling.” Perhaps Mad Mary lingers there still, forever destined to remain locked in the attic.
3. Old Burial Ground
If you thought this only happened in the movies, then you would be dead wrong. Helen Weisensel, a woman from Jefferson County, Wisconsin, discovered a long-forgotten cemetery underneath her house. During repairs to the foundations of the house, a workman was surprised when he uncovered the human skull of a man buried in the 1840s. The remains of a small child and more were eventually uncovered. After an investigation it was revealed that the cemetery had been sold many years before, and at the time it was a common practice to only move the headstones and any prominent citizens, but to leave the rest of the graves behind.
Despite what you must be thinking, Weisensel claims that she hasn’t experienced anything weird or paranormal inside her home thus far, and after a fifteen-month delay her home was fully repaired regardless of the bodies still resting beneath it.
4. Walls Full of Snakes
A married couple, Amber and Ben Sessions, bought an idyllic new house in a small, peaceful town in Idaho. Shortly after moving in, Ben found over 40 snakes in the yard one day. He didn’t make that big a deal out of it, and removed them from the property using buckets without his wife knowing of their unwelcome guests. However, soon after, the couple spent an entire night listening to the slithering of snakes. They had the feeling like the sounds were coming from within the walls, and it turned out they were right. As soon as Ben decided to remove a panel of siding, and hundreds of snakes came right out. As it turns out, their house was actually built on top of a big snake hibernaculum.
After consulting experts they found out that the only way to rid themselves of the snakes would be to raise the house and lay down concrete foundations. The eyewatering cost was an estimated $100,000 which left the Sessions no choice but to abandon their new home and file for bankruptcy.
5. Hidden Note
When Kerri and Jason Brown moved into their new five-bedroom house in 2005, they soon discovered a secret room hidden behind a bookcase. Stepping into it they stumbled upon a note which simply stated “You found it!” on the outside and on the inside this message:
“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.”
Unfortunatly for the Brown’s the note was not a joke. They soon discovered the house was filled with Stachybotrys, otherwise known as Toxic Black Mould. After some sleuthing, the Brown’s tracked down George Leventis the author of the note and former owner of the house and got the full story from him. The Leventis family with no money in savings to have the mold removed had stopped paying their mortgage and let the home go into foreclosure. But George Leventis knew the house could be re-sold, so to warn any new buyers he had left the carefully hidden note.
6. Live Artillery Shell
While Linda DeForest was exploring her new home in Goshen, Indiana, she found something strange in the basement, something she thought resembled a torpedo. Puzzled she immediately informed her husband who dutifully came downstairs and picked it up to inspect. Realizing it was something to do with the military he called in a friend, Joshua Blankenship, who was an army veteran and had just returned home from a tour of duty. Blackenship told them that it was either a lightweight anti-tank weapon or round for a mortar, most likely the latter. He then went on to tell them that it was very old and most worryingly of all it looked like it hadn’t been deactivated. Lastly, he added that DeForest should put the mortar down immediately in case it might suddenly explode.
After calling the police, who confirmed that it was indeed a live mortar round the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit came to take it away leaving the DeForest’s brand new home intact, albeit missing a piece of military history.
7. A Mummified Body
If you thought discovering that your house was built on top of a forgotten graveyard was the worse thing that can happen, this next story might change your mind. Jorge Giro couldn’t believe his luck when he snapped up his new home in Roses, Spain for such a rock bottom price at auction. The house, he was told had been a foreclosure and sat empty for six years after the owner had mysteriously disappeared.
However, the original owner hadn’t disappeared at all, in fact she was still in the house. The first thing Giro saw as he stepped into his brand new home was her mummified corpse. She had passed away six years ago and nobody had thought to check in on either her or the house. Probably not the welcome gift he had been expecting.
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