A couple had been living in their home in Cleveland, Ohio for a few years already when they finally decided to give it a new look. Since they couldn’t renovate all in one go, they decided to just work their way up.
The plan was to begin with the basement, which they hadn’t really given much attention to aside from arranging and cleaning since they moved in. After that, they would proceed to remodel the ground and second floors. It sounded like a really solid plan. When they found markings on the basement walls, they started getting nervous about what else they would see in other parts of the house. What they discovered later was nothing anybody could have ever prepared for.
The decision to start with the basement turned out to be as ominous of what lay ahead. When it became clear to the couple that the markings on the cinder blocks behind the drywall were inscriptions, they had no choice but to move forward and try to find out more.
As it turns out, the markings were just the first of many secrets they would slowly peel off from the place they’ve called home for the past years.
They tried to overlook the fact that the inscriptions were on the walls and tried their best to continue with remodeling plans. After all, when they were done with the basement, the place would have an entirely new vibe to it.
Working on renovations was tough, but they were determined to finish the task and finally live in a new space. Working on the basement’s ceiling was a challenge, but that didn’t stop them from plowing forward.
The ceiling had drywall, too, which had to be taken down. The task was tough and slow because its age meant it had to be removed piece by piece. As the husband moved towards the center, he spotted a grey and green tin box in one of the beams.
Obviously, it had long been forgotten and was covered in thick dust. How could such a thing be hidden in here for so long — and what did it contain? The questions started to rush in.
He did not think twice about how to handle the box. He reached into the crevice and grabbed it while entertaining theories in his head. It was heavy, despite its size, and this made him all the more excited about opening it. But he didn’t want to experience the wonder alone. He whipped out his phone and called his wife, telling her to hurry back. He didn’t want her to miss out on the moment.
When the wife arrived, they huddled over the green box so they could both see what’s inside. Would it contain jewelry? Cash? Antique items? Valuable collectible cards? They fantasized about so many things. But when they finally unlocked it and lifted the lid, they were equally stunned by what they saw.
The first thing they spotted was a yellowing newspaper that has obviously gone past its best days. It was a copy of Cleveland Plain Dealer with the date March 25, 1951.
That meant the box has been in hiding for more than 65 years in this very ceiling. But, why?
It appears the case held more interesting things than a very old newspaper because the couple pulled out three bundles wrapped in brown paper.
From the outside, there was a hint of American green peering through the packaging, but they didn’t want to jump to any conclusions just yet. Still, their hearts had begun to race faster as they peeled the paper off.
When the first bundle of was opened, it contained a stack of real twenty-dollar bills. They were so surprised to see that it contained a significant amount of money.
They grew even more excited and nervous than ever. There were still two bundles that had to be opened. Could they contain the same thing? What else are they bound to find?
The second package held something even more intriguing. It had a stack of 50 dollar bills. When they opened the third one, it contained another stack of money, this time of 100 dollar bills.
What luck! But, the box wasn’t done revealing its juicy secrets just yet…
What did all of these mean? The couple was by now so overwhelmed by their discovery. The total amount of money in that small dusty tin box was $23,000!
Plus, it was not just any bundle of cash; the bills were dated as far back as 1928 and 1943, making them even more valuable than ever. Many of these bills are out of circulation and very rare. At first glance, the find could translate to a huge payday for the couple, but there was something more…
The couple couldn’t believe their good fortune! What should they do with what they found? They decided to ensure the safety of the box and its contents first and then decide what to do later. Then they went back to work the next day.
Apparently, the house held further surprises. When the husband went back to work on the rest of the ceiling, he found ANOTHER suitcase. How was all of this happening?
The second box was the same size as the first one, but this time it was much heavier. Theories raced in his imagination once again, especially after seeing what the first one contained.
He needed his wife to once again open it with him, so he made another phone call and told her to rush home. Could it hold treasures once again? Would it have rare items inside? The possibilities were limitless.
When they finally opened the second tin, the wife nearly passed out. It was filled to the edges with wads of American dollar bills.
They picked them up carefully and started to count how much they had in total, and then they were completely floored.
The total face amount of all the cash they discovered from the two boxes reached $45,000. Were they being tested? Then they decided to talk to the house out loud: “This was a wild ride for us and I hope you all enjoyed it, too. We are boring people and have been dumping our extra money to pay off our mortgage and that is where this money will go, too.”
It was too surreal for the couple and the reality of them having such a huge amount hadn’t really sunk in fully — or maybe they didn’t want it to just yet — so they decided to go back to work once again the next day.
The house was not done with the couple yet. When the excitement over the boxes had waned a little, they moved forward with their renovation plans. They finally finished the basement and had been making finishing touches on the first floor. It was time to start with the second floor.
When they first moved in years ago, they already found a small door up there but never really got around to finding out what it had inside. All the while, they thought it was just a storage area for the water heater. So when the remodeling project reached this level, they were finally compelled to open it. And they were in for another round of wild rides.
Behind the door was not just a storage space for the heater; it was a secret room that could fit several people. They couldn’t contain their excitement and nervousness.
There were scrap cuts of carpeting on the floors that seemed to create a path that lead to yet another discovery.
Now this was all getting creepy. The space was dark, so the husband asked his wife to wait outside while he explored its contents.
It was a large space that ran deep — and at the end was another door. “This is getting crazy,” the husband thought. Who built this house and why are there so many secret spaces? What were its owners trying to hide?
The second door was locked from the outside with a master look, plus a supporting bolt. Should he open it? If it was locked from where he was standing, was the owner trying to keep something from getting out?
The fear didn’t deter him from finding out, though. This was his house now and he should know what’s going on. He ran downstairs to get some tools. He had to find out what lay behind the door, and whether it was intentionally locked or not.
When he managed the break the door open, he was relieved to find that it didn’t have an animal or, worse, a person inside.
However, it was covered all over in soundproofing board, including the walls, ceiling and floors. This was getting weirder and weirder. Was he in danger? What was going on with this house?
It was not empty. Lying on the floor was a large black leather briefcase that was closed.
He was unsure of opening it at first, plus the room really had an eerie feel. But since he was so curious about what it contained, he decided to skip calling his wife and open it on his own.
Inside held another set of valuables, including jewelry, watches, rings, silver ingots, and envelopes filled with other countries’ currencies.
Why the need for different types of money? He wanted to make sense of it all but couldn’t find a suitable explanation.
As if that surprise wasn’t enough, when the husband looked up he spotted a black safe on the wall.
He had a really bad feeling about all of this. He suddenly felt that he was about to discover something dangerous.
The fireproof safe was unlocked. When he opened it, he felt a bit relieved that it didn’t hold huge stacks of questionable money once again.
He reached inside and found a handwritten letter in black dribbling ink. That’s when chills ran up his spine. “Save yourself,” it read. He wanted to run to the door and but found himself bolted to the floor in sheer terror. Save himself from what?
Scared out of his mind, he tried his hardest to believe that all this was just a hoax. There was something else inside the safe. He reached in once again to retrieve it.
Hands trembling, what came out was six videotapes with the handwritten labels “IV,” 95,V,” “I94,” “II95,” and “III95.” What did the tapes contain?
It wasn’t right anymore. Finding a hidden door in his house with a strange soundproofed room and old tapes was too weird.
He took the tapes downstairs and didn’t touch them for days, fearful that he would find out the dark past of his beloved home’s previous inhabitants.
The contents of the tapes made his jaw drop. He didn’t sleep at all on the night he watched them and reached out on Reddit in the hopes that someone might be able to help him make sense of what he saw. Shortly after, he got a surprising message — it was from the FBI.
Now, the details of the tapes have been locked down and secured pending an investigation. The Feds had taken them in as part of the evidence on a criminal case. Little is known about the issue since then and the couple has remained quiet about everything.
All that said, this surely makes one reconsider having old houses remodeled, no matter how much your heart already calls them home.