A Creepy Welcome: 45 Strange And Downright Scary Things People Found After Moving Into A New Home

By Anni K January 5, 2024

This article was originally published on mydiwise

Moving house is a taxing activity, and according to some, it can also be the start of a nightmare. From creepy dolls and messages to paintings and some inexplicable objects, people have found terrifying things in their new homes.

There are scary coincidences that sometimes happen too. And when we say scary, we mean exactly that. What would you do if you moved into your dream home only to discover some spine-chilling items left there by the previous owners or possibly, some intruders?

In this article, we feature shocking and terrifying things new homeowners found in their digs. Some of the entries are funny and bring comedic relief, but others still keep us up with nightmares. All in all, we are very thankful that these are not our homes. 

Very Haunted

These homeowners turned to the internet for help when they uncovered a series of peculiar symbols boldly written in red after removing their paneling. Taking just one look at this wall tells you that these are not ordinary signs you see every day.

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Luckily for them, kindhearted netizens assured them that most of them were actually fictional. Apparently, a number are from the popular TV show, Supernatural. So, maybe the previous owner was a huge fan of the series, and this was just something silly they did one day.

Dead Fish

This scene looks a bit fishy, doesn’t it? Okay, we’ll stop with the bad jokes, but this person just moved into a new home in a new neighborhood and found this dried-up, dead fish on their porch. Definitely some kind of weird message, right?

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Perhaps it was just a kid playing with dead fish, which is very odd, but children do wild things. They probably just left it on the porch of the empty house before the owners moved in. Or maybe it was a welcome gift from the friendly neighborhood troll!

Locked Up

We have so many questions about this one. An electrician took a snap of a basement of a house he was working on. Apparently, there was a prison cell below the stairs. We can’t help but feel like this is extremely reminiscent of a thriller movie.

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Why does it look relatively new? The stairs have a very modern style, and we’re confident the steel bars are either unused or freshly painted. We’d hate to think someone renovated an old cell because they still use it as one!

Ball & Chain

Have you ever seen cartoons where a character is shown wearing a black and white striped suit with a ball and chain secured to their ankles so they can’t run away? Well, this person found a ball and chain set in their basement. 

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In every horror movie where there’s a scene in a basement, it usually holds either a malnourished, badly-beaten captive or a monster. So, what exactly was kept down here by the previous owner? We’ll leave that to you and your imagination.

Run!

You never know when a cheesy pickup line could turn into a chilling statement. This person found a very unsettling message in a basement of a home that had gone up for sale. It read, “What’s a place like this doing to a nice girl like you?”

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Apparently, the home had only ever been owned by two families since it was built in 1817. We think other prospective buyers saw this and did the only thing you can do in such a situation. Run. Now, we’ll never feel the same about that famous line.

Cellar Candle

The next person on our list found a creepy candle in the cellar of their recently purchased home. It looked very mangled and had an eerie grey color, similar to that of a gargoyle. It had definitely seen better days.

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Our first guess was that a child had found it and used some sticks to scratch and poke at it when it was new and a lot softer than it is now. But we reckon it could make a great prop for spooky Halloween decorations. 

Smile Like You Mean It

We can go on for days about how creepy porcelain dolls are. These seemingly “cute” toys are a common theme in horror movies and a real phobia for some people: pediophobia. We may have just gotten that phobia by looking at this doll.

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This was found by someone who had a sleepover at their great-grandma’s home. So, it’s not too out of the ordinary since it belonged to family. It would have been much worse if you found it somewhere hidden in the corner of an old house you just bought. 

Destined

It’s common for people to carve things into walls and wooden planks in attics. Especially when it is just kids being kids. This man visited his girlfriend’s home, which she had been living in for about three months at the time. Until then, she hadn’t been to the attic.

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No one would have prepared them for what they found when they went up. Carved into the wall was the guy’s name, just above a pentagram! Such a creepy coincidence! It’s as if someone knew that he’d be coming up there. Either that or the previous owner had a kid named Nick.

Moving Things

What might be worse than finding a creepy coincidence in your attic, like your name carved into the wall or a creepy doll staring at you, is when you’re 100% sure you didn’t move something, only to find it in a different place than you’d left it. 

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And no, we’re not talking about a house with roommates. This person woke up to find the cover to the attic was moved to the side. Strangely, they couldn’t recall doing it, and since they lived alone, it was such a scary discovery. Was there a ghost living up there?  

Burn It

There is no way that people who actually collect dolls would think this one is cute enough to have in your home. It sure is one of a kind, but it’s one of the most horrifying dolls we have seen yet. 

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The person who took this photo thought the previous homeowners forgot this dolly and her creepy duck, but we don’t think they forgot it. Most probably, they left it deliberately because of its creepy smile and dead, black eyes. Yikes!

Exotic Pickles

Look, we aren’t here to judge anyone’s food preferences, especially if we don’t know them. But this was in someone’s fridge when they booked into a lovely, modern Airbnb. Shouldn’t you always check the refrigerator before you rent a home out?

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Not everyone will understand your odd collection of refrigerated snakes, and even fewer people will be comfortable storing their food next to it. Plus, this isn’t a snake you see often; it looks very exotic. Next time you check into an Airbnb, take a peek at the fridge before settling in.

Relief

One of the worst and most horrifying things you could find in your house is a body, right? You’d have to call the police and sit through a lengthy investigation. Also, you’d have to allow them to search your property to find out how it got there. 

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When this homeowner was exploring the attic of his new home, he got the shock of his life after seeing a bag that looked eerily similar to a body bag. Worse still, it had a note that said ‘Dead Body’ attached to it! Luckily, it turned out to be a Christmas tree.

There They Are

This picture can either be taken lightly and give you a laugh, or it can take a dark twist. This homeowner was renovating when they found someone’s dentures in the walls. The light version could be that the owner temporarily left it there and forgot about it. 

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We are sure they probably had a big laugh if that were the case. However, if it wasn’t an accident, it prompts the question, whose teeth are those, and why are they hidden in the walls? Also, what else could be waiting to be discovered within the mysterious house? Let’s hope that’s all for now. 

Table Legs

This odd table gives new meaning to the words “table legs” since they don’t usually come dressed up in boots and pants to match. This was left by the previous owners of the house. Does it make you laugh or creep you out?

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We laughed but also found the previous homeowners’ sense of style quite creepy. We would not appreciate them leaving this in a new house for us to find. They should have just taken it to the trash where it belongs!

Watching, Waiting

When you rent a cabin for the holidays, you expect to get nice rich wood furniture, a fresh breeze, and some holiday decor. And that’s precisely what this person got, except they found something else hiding in the Christmas tree.

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Yep, that’s a naked baby doll with pure white eyes just staring at the guests. No, thank you! Unless this was a silly little joke made by the owners, we know we wouldn’t be staying the night with that old doll just watching and waiting.

Free Grave 

This person had just bought a new home. We imagine they must have felt hopeful and excited about starting a new chapter of their lives there. Unfortunately, they got a little more than they bargained for. A very clear indication of a grave in their backyard! It looks pretty fresh too. 

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We can speculate that it was a small person buried there, but it is probably just a dog or another large pet. At least, that’s what we’re hoping since anything else would be illegal. Why would the previous owners not inform the buyers, though?

Mannequins Everywhere

Imagine buying a beautiful house after months of househunting, only for you to get to the attic and discover a collection of mannequins on the floor. Additionally, they all happen to be naked, with a couple of them missing several limbs!

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We don’t know about you, but this would definitely spook us. We can’t even decide what’s scarier between their lifeless eyes and the crawling baby mannequin. Our guess is that the previous owner had a store at one point before he decided to dump these guys here. We just hope we’re right!

Family Picture

When you rent out a room or house on Airbnb, you have to make sure that you remove sentimental and personal things because not everyone will appreciate your family photos. Especially when they’re pictures of everyone riding people instead of horses.

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We are starting to think that maybe some of these items are just planted in the houses as pranks because why else would you hang this in your home? It looks pretty weird. We wonder what kind of review the guest gave the owner of this house.

Pack Up and Leave

One person shared a creepy photo on the internet, stating that their mother found this strange statuette while she was raking leaves in the front yard. It might have been worse if it had been found in the closed-off backyard instead. 

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The scary one-legged body with skew eyes and menacing teeth just gives us the creeps. We would pack and leave everything behind without looking back because it just looked like it would haunt our house forever if we brought it inside. 

Welcome To Your Nightmare

The next person on our list found a very old Ouija board in their newly-purchased 100-year-old house. It is a little eerie since it was very old and probably used to contact spirits when ouija boards were all the rage. 

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But we actually find it very cool since it was made in spooky Salem, Massachusetts. We are also guessing worth something since it is authentic, old, and in pretty good condition except for the box. Say goodbye to the spirits and hello to some cash! 

Clowning Around

The original poster of this photo took it in the basement of an ancient house that belonged to a friend. Not only are clowns a bit creepy to begin with, but the fact that this particular one is pictured with a small and unhappy child makes this even weirder. 

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It looks like the child is either going to kiss away her soul to the clown, or the clown is about to suck it out like one of those dementors from Harry Potter. Plus, the dreamy style of the painting makes it more unsettling. 

Maybe It’s Decor

Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can rip the carpet of a house you just moved into only to discover beautiful hardwood floors in perfect condition. It’s rare, but it happens. Unfortunately, this guy ripped his and found something very sinister. A pentagram.

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This symbol is usually associated with demonic rituals. So, you can imagine the shock they felt when they saw it. We wonder what went through their minds at that moment. What would you have done if you were in their shoes?

Strange Things

Someone shared a photo of something weird they saw while working at a client’s house. It was a dark-toned barbie doll nailed to a cross with actual nails. We have heard of black Jesus before, but barbie jesus was something we’d never imagined.

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Especially a naked, wild-haired barbie on a cross. Maybe their previous statue broke, and they needed a quick replacement, and all they had was a doll? Either way, this definitely qualifies as one of the strangest things people hang on their walls.

Someone Wanted Out

It’s common to find something accidentally left behind in the attic of a home you just purchased. Maybe an old book, some trash, or even some drawings by a kid who played up there. However, what you wouldn’t want to find are bloody handprints.

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This person found some hand prints that were smeared on a wall in what looked like it could be old blood. It’s very creepy, to say the least. Was this someone pulling a prank, or was someone held hostage up there? Looks like a case for the detectives. 

Pest Control 

Aside from the things we mentioned you could respect to find in an attic of a new home, sometimes you can also find some bugs. Occasionally, you could also come across a rat or two. However, this new homeowner stumbled upon something worse than a cockroach.

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At first glance, you may think it’s just a bad patch job on drywall, but it’s not. That’s actually a gigantic paper wasp nest. We just hope the person called pest control right after snapping this photo and didn’t try to inspect it themselves.

Cabin in the Woods

If you’re a fan, you have probably seen many horror movies involving a cabin deep in the woods. This group of people rented a cabin once, and let’s just say the decor choices made by the owners were questionable. Especially the coffee table centerpiece. 

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Yes, a fake hand in a glass jar was what the travelers found on the table when they arrived. It might be a funny play on classic horror movies and the stories around cabins and the woods, but we are not sure we would have laughed.

Roanoke Nightmare

If you are familiar with the Roanoke Colony and the legend that goes along with it, this room reminds us of the creepy stories surrounding it. Maybe this person was a fan of the story and decorated a whole room inspired by it. 

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The most unsettling part is that the skulls all have human-like skeletons made from sticks and branches. We wonder what this room was used for. Maybe some weird rituals? Whatever the case, we know we wouldn’t spend another second in this house after stumbling into such a freaky scene.

Check for a Hose

This person just moved into their new house that was supposedly quite old. However, the basement did not seem to match that description. Don’t those tiles look like they were deliberately installed so it would be easy to hose down the room after a gruesome mess?  

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Of course, it could have been just to keep everything nice and clean, but since basements are known to be dirty or dusty, at the very least, this looks a bit too clinically clean. We don’t want to imagine what could have happened here. 

Doll Guardian 

This person was startled to see a creepy doll staring at them when they slept over at a friend’s house in the guest room. The eyes seem to be a bit damaged, which adds to the doll’s eerie and unsettling demeanor.

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However, if you look a bit closer, the room seems to be full of other toys, which makes things a bit better. It’s probably just a toy that was left in there with the rest. Still, it doesn’t make it less startling to wake up to. 

Stepping Out

This is a single pair of footprints that the new owners of this house found on their porch. Weirdly enough, there weren’t any other trails that led toward or away from the home. It’s almost like someone just appeared for a second and vanished. 

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But the truth is, it is more likely that someone sprayed a pair of shoes on the porch to decorate them and accidentally got some of the paint on the deck. It doesn’t sound as scary now but the other version would make a good campfire story.

Ham or Human

Finding an odd, meaty chunk of something you can’t identify in your basement is weird enough, but seeing it in an Airbnb you only temporarily rented, is a bit worse. It would mean that the owners probably kept it there for a reason. 

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If the owners had done a proper inspection before listing this house on the platform, they would have known this would be odd to keep around. However, it looks like they didn’t. We can only hope that’s an old ham and nothing else. 

Scratches

Finding scratches on your door, wall, or anywhere else on your property is never good. Unless you are 100% sure they’re from a naughty house pet or maybe a known wild animal. But if you’re not sure, then it’s super scary, to say the least. 

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This is what someone found at a home they had just bought. Very odd scratch marks on the door of the staircase leading to the basement. That doesn’t look like it could be an animal. We hate to go there, but the patterns make us think it could have been a person.

Creepy Bathroom Friend

This creepy statue was found in the bathroom of a cabin someone had rented. There is a lot to unpack here, like the fact that he has his pants dropped, there is a plunger on his head, and he’s sniffing his finger.

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There was a time when these sorts of things were popular for some reason. And while it might be funny for a moment, it would be weird to have it in your house permanently. Well, unless you have a penchant for strange non-sensical figures.

Eerie Hallway 

We know that most basements and attics are dingy, dusty, and dark by default. Nevertheless, some are worse than others, like this one. We can’t imagine having to walk through here because we’d always fear that something would jump at us from the darkness. 

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This was a hallway that led to the basement of a house someone had just bought. The whole place just had a solitary bulb. We shudder to think what would happen if the lights were out and you had to take a candle down there only for a mysterious breeze to blow it out. 

Comfy Seating

Lock the doors to your basements if you have weird furniture like these people. Especially if you are renting your home out to the public on a site like Airbnb or if you’re hosting family for the holidays. Seriously, what is this thing?

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It certainly gives new meaning to the term fur-niture as it looks like a chair made entirely from teddy bears. Sure, in our heads, it sounds very comfy, but in reality, the result looks quite disturbing and a bit horrifying. 

Oddities

Art is subjective, right? It won’t ever appeal to every person looking at it, but as long as it makes you happy, you should enjoy it. But when you’re renting out a vacation home, it’s better to keep some of the ‘unique’ pieces in your private collection. 

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This was snapped at a vacation home someone had rented. Oddly enough, it was hung above the urinal. What was the story behind it? Does the flower man ensure you always have a good urinal experience, or is it the opposite?

Hoarders

You always hope to get a good room when you visit your family members. You wouldn’t want to visit hoarders who tend to hold on to random stuff and store it in the guest room. If you happen to have such relatives, be prepared to see something like this weird mannequin. 

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This figure stared at someone who was visiting their uncle for the holidays for an entire night from the closet. Imagine waking up and seeing this in an ocean of darkness at night. It’s definitely a sure way to get nightmares!

Literal Cabbage Patch

These dolls are called cabbage patch kids, and they were extremely popular a few years ago. However, they are not easy to come across nowadays since Barbies reign supreme on that front. This homeowner found one half-buried in his yard. 

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It looks like it had been there for a while. Maybe the child who played with it thought if you planted the doll like an actual cabbage in a cabbage patch, it would grow and produce more dolls. We wonder when they were hoping to harvest.

Tomb or Grave

This person shared a photo of the backyard of a home their parents were planning on purchasing. Is that an altar to a weird shrine, a mini tomb, or perhaps a grave? Also, we wonder who spent hours arranging all those rocks.

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The most important question would be why they did this. Maybe, and we really hope that we are right, it was a child bored during the holidays, so they built a little mountain of rocks to play with their action figures.

Blind Date

This was a photo someone found in their basement after moving into their new home. It seems to be a picture of a woman making some food in the kitchen while wearing a funny paper bag with a smile on their head.

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Maybe she was camera shy, or maybe the person taking the picture didn’t want to release her identity to the world. Let’s hope it was just a silly joke and that the old kitchen was redone before the new owner bought the house. 

Precious Memories

Usually, you capture precious memories on camera and proudly display them throughout your house to remind you of the good times. But the ‘sad’ truth is that what you might consider cute may not necessarily translate as such to everyone.

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Or, in this person’s case, whatever the previous homeowners thought about this picture. It was found in a cabinet above the refrigerator. Why was the photo in the kitchen? More importantly, why is the person in it so photogenic, and where can we learn to take such pictures?

Odd Art

This person had just moved into their new home and was setting up their office desk when they realized that their girlfriend had placed this statuette on their desk. While it’s not super creepy compared to some on this list, it is odd. 

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Like we said, art is subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We think that the fact that it’s a body with a book for a head holding its head in its hands means it has a deeper meaning. However, it’s not our style. 

Single Chair

This is rather a large object to ‘forget’ in your attic when you move out. Usually, you find books or old lightbulbs and other supplies stashed away up there, but it is rare to find something like a vintage rocking horse.

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That’s what the previous owners did to this rocking horse, though. Now, we have to wonder along with the new homeowners, why they chose to leave it behind. Was it a nice gesture, or was it actually haunted? We wouldn’t want to hang around long enough to find out. 

Strong Cage

We just hope that the cage this thing is in is strong enough to keep it in there once it turns out that it is actually a sinister doll that wants to take revenge on your entire family as soon as you move in. 

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This odd creature/doll was found on the back porch of a house after the new owners moved in. We really hope it was just the result of an adult indulging a child’s whims by putting it in a cage like you would a pet parrot.

Shallow Grave

At first glance, this may appear like a simple backyard with some leaves that need to be raked up. However, once you look again, you will discover that there is a perfect body-shaped hole right in the middle of it.

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We know it looks a bit too shallow for a grave, but it could have been a temporary one. Maybe whatever was buried was moved right before the new owners moved in. Always remember to check out the backyard before placing an offer on a house.