Tuesday, April 4, 2017

10 Crazy things homeowners have discovered inside their walls

When we buy a house and move in, our main focus is how it looks, or what's on the outside of the walls. However, homeowners over the years have found some pretty crazy, profitable, and even horrifying surprised when they looked inside the walls. In fact, in centuries past before there were banks (or before people trusted them), and even during our Great Depression, folks used to store all kinds of money and valuables inside the studs of their walls, trying to keep them safe for a rainy day.

From money to coins to art and a whole lot more, here are 10 crazy things have found inside their walls.

1. A priceless Leonardo da Vinci mural
In 1502, a wealthy Italian statesman commissioned young artist Leonardo da Vinci to paint a scene from the famous Battle of Anghiari, which turned out to be about 20 feet long and 10 feet high. Almost fifty years later, another Italian, Giorgio Vasari was hired to paint over the Florence fresco, but he couldn't bring himself to cover up his countryman's work. So he built a false wall over da Vinici's mural and then proceeded with his own work. The original mural wasn't discovered until 1970 when a researcher discovered the words "cerca trova” painted on a flag in Vasari’s mural, a clue he left that means  “seek and you will find."

In 2012, investigators used technology to scan the wall and take pictures of the hollow space between the outer fresco and what was inside. They did find black pigment that matched up with other da Vinici paintings of the day but, incredibly, the investigation into the hidden painting went no further because of red tape and a battle of interests between parties wishing to claim the priceless mural. 

2. Stash of hotly-contested cash
When Ohio contractor Bob Kitts was doing some work to renovate a bathroom, he discovered $182,000 in cash stashed inside the walls of this Depression-era home. Instead of doing the right thing, Kitts grabbed the cash, later calling the homeowner, who offered him 10 percent of the loot if he returned it. Kitts held out for 40% and the issue was never resolved, but when the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper ran a story on the dispute, descendants of the home's original owner, a wealthy Depression-era businessman, filed suit in court to recoup the money. After a lengthy and ugly legal battle, each party received only a fraction of the original amount, with only the lawyers making a hefty sum.

3. The first Action Comics ever made
Long before Spiderman and Superman dominate the comic book market, there were Action Comics, and that's exactly what one lucky homeowner found inside of their walls when they were doing demolition. It was actually Issue #1 of Action Comics from June 1938, which later sold at an auction for $175,000.

4. Newspaper from the day President Kennedy was assassinated
One homeowner found a newspaper from November 23, 1966, with the first-morning headline after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated the day before.

5. A secret bunker with ammunition, a grenade, and plenty of pennies
Some old timer must have been getting ready for the end of the world because a later home owner found a secret room inside the walls of his basement, complete with a box of ammunition, a grenade, and thousands of pennies. 

6. A secret servant's kitchen
It's one thing to find something stashed within the walls, but entirely another to find a secret undiscovered room. That's exactly what these homeowners found when they finally started clearing out piles of junk inside their home, which had been in their family for generation. They were shocked to find a door that led to a very old servant's kitchen in their basement.

7. A wall mural by Keith Haring
In the 1980s, New York City modern street artist Keith Haring was one of the most iconic in the world, and his work exploded in value upon his death. So when these home buyers purchased a space in Manhattan and saw a Haring-esque mural on one of their walls, they did a little research. It turns out it was an original work of art by Keith Haring painted on their wall when the property used to house the Visual School of Art.

8. Love letters from a soldier during WWI
When brother and sister homeowners started opening up the walls in their new home to do some remodeling, they were shocked to find a treasure trove of love letters, written from a soldier overseas during WWI to his stateside sweetheart. Based on the names the information in the letters, the homeowners were able to track down the still-living Veteran, and were delighted to find out that he'd ended up marrying that same woman!

9. A giant Monopoly board 
This young couple was pleasantly surprised when they ripped up an old carpet in their home, finding not hardwood floors underneath, but a giant-size board game. In fact, their entire floor of this room had been painted with a huge Monopoly board.

10.  Snakes in the walls - not on a plane!
Do you freak out when you see a spider on your kitchen floor? How loud would you scream if you saw a snake in your house?! Well, these horrified homeownersowners opened up the walls to their home and found thousands of slithering live snakes, which must have been living and breeding rapidly in the walls for years. 

Even I couldn't sell that house! (OK, yes I could.) 

If you enjoyed these, look for 10 more crazy things homeowners have discovered inside their walls, coming soon! 

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