SheZowRaisedByWolves over on Reddit writes, “Redditors who go into peoples’ houses for their job, what is the strangest/creepiest thing you’ve ever seen or experienced?”
And here’s 16 of the very best, spookiest answers:
I used to volunteer for a wildlife rescue and did a pickup at a very elderly woman’s house where she had found a baby bird. When I got there she carefully uncovered it from the towel she’d placed it in, and it was just a chestnut.
I’m a pool guy, I go into people’s backyards to clean their pools.
One week, it was a 4 day week due to a holiday, so I’m not going on the scheduled days, I’m cramming 5 days of work into a 4 day week.
It’s a hot summer day, and I walk into the backyard of this house, get through both gates, and I’m met with an odd sight. These 2 kids, maybe 14 or 15, are absolutely butt ass naked, cuddled on a poolside recliner. I look at them, they look at me. I immediately turn around and they run inside.
I see the owners all the time, but I’ve never seen these kids before. Next week I go, the wife was outside, and we started chit chatting. I ask her if she’s had any visitors recently, she says no. I let her know that I saw some kids in her backyard, and she cut me off. She says, “Yeah, suprised you haven’t met them, lemme introduce you.”
They were brother and sister.
They cancelled service within 2 months.
A couple of years ago I worked for a cleaning company. One of my first days on the job, I was cleaning a woman’s house and entered a room on the second floor that – I kid you not – was full of only clocks and mirrors. I’ve never been so aware of my own mortality.
“Dead body” might not really be surprising, here, but I still cant eat certain foods after experiencing it, and certain smells make me sick, too.
I was working for a condo building, letting air conditioning guys look at units within condos. I was just a key holder. One of the last units of the day was a condo, knocked on the door, no answer, opened the door, immediate waft of foul smell. Just some rotten eggs, maybe?
Enter the unit, see some moldy bread on the counter, sweaty looking cake (condensation) on the stove.
“Its pretty fuckin rank in here” I say to the guys. I look into the bedroom and see an older black woman with kindof a bad blonde dye job, hunched over in bed, in a bit of a yoga pose? (“sat up” in bed, but head at feet, legs crossed) Im immediately embarrassed. “Sorry ma’am, I didnt know you were home!” I said.
No movement.I take a step closer. “Ma’am?”
“Shes fuckin dead, dude.” One of the air conditioning guys says, as he hurries out of the unit. His only evidence is the smell, and my tone of voice when I said “Ma’am?”
I step a little closer, the womans skin is “bruised” and has mouldy patches on it. This is not a “yoga pose”, this is a “settling in to the bed” pose.
Some facts I later learned from the police: Shes a young caucasian blonde woman (i.e. not an older black woman). Last diary entry 10 days prior, pill bottles and last will and testament on the bedside table.
Food I cant eat: wonton soup (first thing I tried to eat, 8 hours later). Smell I cant handle: dirty fridge (e.g. mouldy items left by careless coworker)
I also no longer fantasize about how cool the zombie apocalypse would be.
edit: Sorry for the Rorschach-esque narration. Im on mobile so that was the fastest way to tell the story. Funny side note, the 9-11 operator spent a full 2 minutes trying to get the security guard to touch the body, to make sure she was not actually still alive.
Also I got the employee of the month award, and a $100 gift certificate.
Though, it was admittedly a slow month.
Back when I was a door-to-door salesman, I had a bunch of odd experiences, ranging from the mildly odd to the terrifying.
1) One dude decided to give me a tour of the giant backyard shed he used for fermenting wine. It was actually pretty interesting, he explained a lot about how he did it and what it was like running a home winery. Didn’t buy anything from me, though.
2) One dud did buy stuff from me, waited until I stepped out to print him his receipt, and was waiting for me wearing nothing but a (very short) bathrobe. That just so happened to fall open as he was receiving his receipt. He then asked if I’d like to stay for coffee. I did not stay for coffee.
3) One dude invited me in, waited until I’d walked into his front room, then locked the door and blocked the doorway. He then just started *screaming* at me. He was screaming about how “You’re right out of school, right, and you think you know FUCKING EVERYTHING, and you don’t know SHIT. You’re just a NAIVE FUCKING IDIOT, and *YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE WORLD*-”
This went on for five minutes. He never physically touched me, but he screamed at me the entire time and it was fucking terrifying. Eventually he let me leave “God, just *leave*” and I bolted out of there like a bat out of hell. I still wonder what the hell that guy’s deal was.
FINALLY one for me! I’m in insurance restoration, we deal with houses that have caught on fire, or any insurance problem, really. Long story short, a woman’s house catches on fire. Woman has a deep freezer in the garage with the body of every cat she has ever owned since the 80’s….Guess who stumbled upon it, after the power had been out for a week?
I used to install Dish Network for a living.
I was installing for an elderly lady, who complained that her “sister’s” TV always showed the same thing hers did. I had a 2 tv installation order so I figured that would be OK.
I finished the installation and was demonstrating the system when she looked at the full length mirror and complained that her sister’s tv was still showing the same thing.
Noped out of there as quick as I could, and left notes on the account in case she called in.
I own and operate my own HVAC company, and that experience combined with working for other, larger contractors over the last 10+ years has had me work in thousands of peoples’ homes doing service and sales throughout a very large service area. I’ve been in homes ranging from multi-million dollar homes where I don’t even meet the owner because they want privacy, to single wide trailers where there may have been a methlab in the back room.
Creepiest thing happened when I was in my very early twenties, fresh into the trade. Pulled up to a manufactured home secluded in the backcountry, that had boarded windows and no stairs to the porch. Thinking I was at the wrong house, I started pulling way when a very large ~30 year old man comes running out yelling to me that I’m in the right place.
I walk into the home and am overwhelmed with a putrid stench. The home isn’t filthy, but it’s cluttered into the point of borderline hoarder status. While I’m working on the furnace, the dude is playing Call of Duty on a 60″+ flatscreen, at full volume/bass on a very loud surround sound. Dude was so caught up in the action he was screaming at the TV like he was in live combat.
When I finish up diagnosing the problem, I walk into the living room and the dude looks at me like he forgot I was there with a terrified look on his face. I ask if I can talk to him for a minute so I can give him the rundown and quote. He walks up to me, and as I start explaining the work done and quote it’s like I’m talking to a brick wall, complete nothingness in his eyes. After I finish talking he just stares at me through an awkwardly long moment of silence. I kinda wave at him like, hey man, you aright? Eventually he snaps out of it and just hands me a credit card. So I tell him okay, let me do the repairs and we’ll square up the bill after. He nods, goes back to the couch, and cranks the CoD again.
I finish the work and walk back in the living room with the invoice, and this time he jumps up and yells, “what the fuck man?! you can’t just walk up behind me like that!” Dumbfounded, I apologize and let him know I’m done with the work. He signs the invoice, I give him his copy. He then apologies for blowing up, and goes into normal human mode telling me about how he’s a middle eastern war vet with PTSD, and sometimes can be a bit edgy/jumpy. He goes on to tell me that he lives out there alone with very minimal human contact, and that I’m the first person he’s seen in a long time. He then starts telling me more about himself, and how his injuries sustain in the service keeps him confined to the house. I can tell he’s enjoying the human contact at this point so I hang around and bullshit with him for a bit.
After a little while, he pulls out a bag of weed and mentions that he uses medical cannabis for relief. He asks me if I want to smoke one with him, and I politely decline being as how I’m at work, need to drive, etc. He gets kind of offended, but I thank him and let him know I need to get going. He asks if I can just hang out for a minute longer, and feeling sympathetic, I oblige.
Now this is where shit gets really weird. The dude smokes down a couple bowls while holding relatively normal conversation, then out of nowhere he starts going on about how his wife, family and friends have basically abandoned him, and how much he resents all of them for it. Feeling legitimately bad for the dude, I continue to talk with him for a bit and try to steer the convo away from such a dark place. Now the dude is super baked, and out of nowhere I see that lifeless look in his eyes again. He stops talking, and starts just staring at me again. Feeling a bit alarmed I let him know I’d really better get going, when all of the sudden he says something along the lines of, “I see things, man.” I reply, “oh, umm, what ya mean?” He says, “Beings, man. Figures. They’re constantly watching me and make my life a living hell.”
Not knowing what to say, I just kind of reply something like, “oh… damn, that’s fucked up, do you see a professional about this kind of thing?” He says something along the lines of “I tried, they tell me that I’m the problem when I know *it’s not me,* it’s them, the beings. They’re everywhere. They’re all around us, right now as we speak.” I tell him no, brother, it’s just me and you here right now, it’s all good. He says, “what you can’t fucking see them?!” and I tell him no, we’re good man, it’s just us. He starts getting a fiery look in his eye and says, “you’re just like the rest of them, telling me I’m the fucking crazy one. *You all* try to put me on this medication rather than just fucking *listen to me.”*
Starting to feel spooked, I just tell him the kind of stuff like, “hey I’m on your side my dude, and they’re just trying to help you, I think you should trust your doctors,” etc. So I start to kind of move toward the door and let him know I’m gonna head out, and that I hope he finds relief. He jumps up and goes off on me about how I’m just like the rest of them, and I’m just going to leave him up there, all alone to die. Feeling a combination of threatened and bad for the dude, not knowing what to do, I just try to comfort him some more and deescalate, as I can see he’s still got that crazy look in his eye. He follows me toward the door, rambling more about the things he sees and how everyone is against him. I notice a small arsenal of guns right next to the door and start to go into panic mode like this dude might do something fucking crazy.
He then follows me outside, so I turn around and try to shake his hand and part ways. He starts walking to my side like he’s going to try to get behind me, so I’m like “what the fuck are you doing dude?” While he’s still rambling nonsense. So I said fuck it, bee-lined for my truck to get the fuck out of there. He followed me at a fast walking pace, still rambling as he stares me down as I get into my truck and reverse away as quickly as possibly. As I drive away I still see him standing there looking like a fucking crazy man.
This happened probably ~8 years ago, so I’m a bit blurry on some of the details, but it was probably one of the more unsettling experiences I’ve had. There was only a short period of time where while talking to him did I feel like we were actually communicating on a normal level, and after he got super fucking stoned is when he just lost it.
Not only was it unsettling, but it was sad. I still feel legitimately bad for this dude and hope he was able to find relief and happiness. I notified my office staff of what happened and that they may want to notify the proper authorities for a welfare check, and to my knowledge they did, though I’m not sure if anything ever came of it.
One thing is for certain, and that’s anyone with a combination of severe PTSD, depression and likely schizophrenia definitely shouldn’t smoke cannabis. I’m a regular cannabis enthusiast myself, and am damn glad I didn’t smoke with that dude, because I really wouldn’t have been able to handle that situation if I’d been stoned out of my mind.
So yeah, that story ended up being a bit longer than I’d expected. I’ve had all sorts of crazy shit happen while working in peoples’ homes, but that one really sticks out in my mind.
Few years ago I was volunteering with the city council helping people clean their houses after the neighborhood I lived in had been flooded.
One house belonged to a Chinese couple who ran the local convenience store. They had asked our crew to help remove water damaged carpet from the ground floor rooms of their house so it could be thrown away.
As we were removing this carpet, we realised that it ran in one piece under a closed door and into a locked room, so we asked the lady of the house if she wanted us to cut it off at the door and leave whatever was in the locked room behind, or if she wanted to open the room and have us remove the carpet in there also. She responded, “I’ll check with my husband what to do. That’s his special room.”
This lead to some nervously puzzled looks from our crew. What does a middle aged Chinese man who owns a convenience store keep in his “special room”?
Eventually the wife came back with a set of keys and told us that we could remove the carpet in the room and she unlocked the door. We all crowded around as the door opened to reveal..
A room with carpet up the walls, a mirror ball on the ceiling, a stage at one end with a PA standard sound system, a projector, and in the corner just about the fanciest karaoke machine I’d ever seen. Special room indeed.
When I was young we used to clean up after fires. The soot goes everywhere, so everything has to be cleaned (insurance covers it).
Even dildos, polaroid nudes and all other sex toys. We would have to go through their drawers and clean everything, and I always warned them. This was in the late 80’s, so there was no internet then, but at that time Polaroid nudes were popular.
As for creepiest, I once had to attempt to clean a fancy chair that had had a rotting corpse on it for weeks. The chair was expensive, so we had to prove to the insurance company that it wasn’t cleanable.
For 20 years, I’ve spent my summers designing home theater systems. After the installers finish, I go by the house a few days later to check on things. Fully 75% of the time I hit play on the DVD player, porn starts playing. (And yet I forget to check before hitting play, every damn time. Not sure who’s dumber. Me or the clients.) Oh..and the recent one…Went by the client’s house to do the usual check-in. He showed me his “Wall of Heroes” in the foyer. It consisted of framed, autographed pictures of Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Henry Lee Lucas. (And a few others I’m forgetting.) Plus some framed letters from them. “Wall of Heroes”, indeed.
My wife is a Physical Therapist who does home health visits. She has seen some shit.
* Several hoarders. People who have bizarrely huge collections of curios like snow globes, crosses, and one lady who had a disturbingly huge collection of Princess Diana memorabilia.
* Several old guys who tried to subtly proposition her for sexual favors. Then there was the one old guy who was recovering from a knee replacement and flat out said something like, “I haven’t had a blowjob in like 20 years. Is that something you do?”
* Crazy cat ladies. They are real. And sometimes their houses are infested with fleas.
* There was a lady who had experienced a stroke and had lost a good chunk of her impulse control as well as mobility on one side of her body. Every single time my wife saw her, there were two dildos on her kitchen counter, in plain view of the living room where my wife worked with the patient.
When I was in college I was a pizza delivery driver for a small local pizzeria in a very upscale area. I saw some weird and/or cool stuff, but this one stands out. This takes place over a couple of weeks.
While not out on a delivery, the drivers answer the phones to take orders. I took an order from an obviously drunk man. Fast forward a few days, and take another order from the same guy, again he is very drunk. A few days later I come into work and there is a message posted by the phones to not take orders from the address of the drunk guy. He had written bad checks to pay for the pizzas he had ordered.
He calls again. Drunk. I tell him we cannot take his order because of the bad checks. He begs me. It sounds like he is crying. I say it’s OK if he pays cash. He says he will. Another driver gets sent with the pizza and instructions to only accept cash. About 20 minutes later the driver calls to say that the guy doesn’t have any cash. The guy wants the driver to bring him to an ATM. I tell the driver just to come back. When the driver gets back he’s almost in tears. The guy is pathetic. He’s wasted drunk and there are bottles scattered all over his beautiful place. I put the pizza on top of the oven, since after the shift we get to eat the mistakes.
The guy calls back. He’s crying, begging for food. I tell him there’s nothing I can do. He says he hasn’t eaten in however long. Again, I buckle and tell him I’ll give him the pizza after the shift if nobody wants to eat it.
A few hours later the pizza is still on the oven, so I drive it over to the guy’s house. I knock on the door, I can hear something going on inside but no answer. As I turn to leave, the door opens and the guy invites me in. I try to decline. I just want to give him the food and leave, but he insists he wants to pay me. We walk into the kitchen and there must be a hundred empty vodka bottles. He pours himself another vodka and he gets his check book. He offers me a drink and I decline. He apologizes for the way he answered the door. He said hookers have been coming over and stealing from him.
In the middle of writing the check, we are making small talk. I don’t recall exactly how, but I try to tell him he needs to get some help; rehab. Suddenly, there’s a knock on the door and gets really scared and shushes me. He said it’s probably a hooker coming back to steal more.
The door opens and a woman walks in. I’m really freaked now, thinking it’s a murderous hooker. She’s obviously freaked by my presence. It’s his wife. She tells me she’s his wife and wants to know who the fuck I am. I tell her I’m just delivering pizza.
Once we get everything sorted out, she’s a bit dubious, but pleasant. She tells me the guy’s sad story. He fell off the wagon, so she left him and knows all about the hookers, etc. and has frozen his money.
She writes me a personal check for the pizza with a generous tip, which I cashed and after giving the pizza place its cut, split the tip with the other driver, about 10 bucks each.
Fast forward a few days. I’m back at work and the boss hands me a letter. It is from the woman thanking me to my boss. My kindness convinced her husband to go back into rehab. My boss asked what was I thinking. It was none of my business to get involved; got fired.
felt sorry for guy on two week bender. get fired for my trouble.
Edit: I just wanted to add a thanks to everybody for all of the kind comments and clarify a few things that in my attempt to keep it short may have been unclear.
1) I was never quite sure why I got fired. I know it had to do with this, but in general my boss was a good boss and very open-minded. It was a dodgy situation that I got a driver into and I walked into a dodgy situation too, even though it was on my own time. What I remember most clearly about the conversation when I was shown the letter and fired was that my boss said that it was none of my business.
2) I didn’t really do as much as I should have to encourage the guy to get help. I was in an uncomfortable situation with a drunk and I didn’t want to piss him off. I think his estranged wife showing up when she did with a third, neutral person there was probably more influential than anything said.
I used to do pest control. While baiting a house for roaches I made my way to their bathroom…and on top of the toilet tank there was a decorative bowl. Nothing out of the ordinary right? Well the bowl wasnt full of extra tp or washcloths..it was full of white-cheddar cheeto puffs.
Not my job but I guess I was working. Been divorced for a couple years and I was helping my girlfriend move into a new apartment. I’m putting stuff away in a kitchen drawer and I find a 15 year old photo booth pic of my ex wife and her sister. They looked to be in their early teens.
Just turns out my ex sister in law was the previous tennant and that was her junk drawer.
Edit: Was creepy for about an hour. Showed it to the girlfriend and asked if it was hers. She went to the same high school as me and the ex so it might make sense, nope. It was a basement apartment in a kinda wealthy dude’s house so next time I saw him outside I showed him and he confirmed the sister in law was his last renter. Mystery solved!
Boiler repairs…4 sons in the house, playing xboxs, all mentally ill, rooms two foot deep in takeaway trays.
A duck and a rat loose in the other room, the mother was just in her underwear with a fresh kidney transplant scar around her middle, the hot pipe had snapped off the washing machine and was running the combi boiler flat out, she had tied the pipe into the sink,’ How longs it been like that for ‘I said…about 6 weeks she said, the bottom had dropped out of the wall units because of the steam.
The carpet in the duck/rat room was sodden with piss and crap,.I went into the lads rooms, they never flinched or acknowledged me, one was holding the controller but the tv was off.