Structures are regularly demolished to make way for new construction or for renovations. They might also unintentionally uncover some fascinating secrets that are kept behind their walls in the process. In fact, the items that individuals have found hidden behind walls are endless, ranging from vintage banknotes to women’s shoes. In light of this, the following are a few of the most fascinating items that may be found inside walls.
1.After spending over $10,100 on renovations, a guy discovered a rare comic book within the walls of the house he had purchased. Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, had his debut in this comic. Afterwards, it brought $175,000 at auction.
For $10,100, a contractor by the name of David Gonzalez bought a home in Minnesota. Later, as he was remodeling the 1938 home, he discovered, between the newspapers that had been used as insulation, a copy of an uncommon comic book.
This was a 1938 issue of Action Comics, No. 1, which introduced Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. There are currently only approximately 100 copies of this comic remaining, and very few of them are in good shape. This comic is so uncommon that a near-mint copy sold for $2.16 million in 2011.
But Gonzales’ copy only brought in $175,000 because it wasn’t in such excellent shape. Had his copy’s cover not been torn during a conversation with his wife’s aunt, it might have brought in a higher price. Experts estimate that Gonzalez spent roughly $75,000 on this rip. [1, 2]
2. One of Norman Rockwell’s most well-known pieces of art is the painting Breaking Home Ties. The original painting was found in a hidden space behind the walls of the home of a cartoonist. It had spent almost thirty-five years hiding there.
The well-known painting Breaking Home Ties is attributed to American painter Norman Rockwell. The original of this picture was found in cartoonist Don Trachte’s home in 2006, hidden behind a wall.
in first, it was believed that the original painting was on exhibit in the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Norman Rockwell Museum. However this finding demonstrated that the one housed in the museum was a fake.
It turns out that Trachte paid a mere $900 for the original Rockwell artwork when he purchased it in the 1960s. He then faked the painting and concealed the original, most likely in the 1970s. After that, it was kept a secret for roughly 35 years.
As stated by Trachte’s son, it seems likely that the cartoonist wished to keep the picture in the family. His precise motivations remain unclear, though.
Eventually, a museum made the decision to put the imitation and the original together. The original painting was then sold by Sotheby’s Auction House in November 2006 for a sum of $15.4 million. (2, 3).
3. A man in his building found a neon light flickering behind a wall in 2012. After being on for almost 77 years, the light was probably responsible for more than $17,000 in electricity costs.
A neon light was discovered shining behind a wall in Clifton’s Cafeteria in Los Angeles in 2012 by Andrew Meieran, the new owner of the establishment. This was something he discovered while remodeling the building.
Most likely, the light was erected around 1935 when the structure housed a restaurant with a woodland motif. Backlit by neon lights, murals were on show there at the time. One such light was then sealed over in a basement restroom nook in 1949. However, nobody seemed to remember to unplug it for some reason.
Meieran removed the covering after witnessing it glowing behind the wall some years later, revealing six rows of neon tubing. The light is thought to have cost more than $17,000 in electricity costs because it was left on for such a lengthy period of time.
Moreover, this light is even more uncommon to locate, considering that most neon lights only endure 20 to 40 years. [1, 2]
4. A beehive containing over 80,000 bees was discovered within the walls of a beach house in Florida. After having the bathroom’s shower wall ripped out, the homeowners found it. Measuring almost seven feet in height, the beehive extended from the ground to the ceiling.
The last thing anyone would want to picture when considering all the possible items concealed behind walls is a massive beehive. An unfortunate Florida family, however, was limited in their options in this respect.
Even though the family occasionally was stung by bees, they were able to live with their unwanted visitors for a while. However, they quickly became weary of the incessant buzzing sounds and made the decision to remove the “nice” bees. Elisha Bixler, a professional beekeeper, was enlisted to assist them with this.
The family’s past encounters, nonetheless, had not equipped them for what they were about to witness. A seven-foot-tall beehive was discovered within the family’s shower wall after Bixler tore it down. This massive hive, which housed 80,000 active bees, extended from the floor to the roof.
Thank goodness, Bixler was able to apprehend the bees and bring them securely to her farm. [1, 2]
5. A New York City woman found her entire apartment behind her bathroom mirror—a hole in the wall. There were three bedrooms and a ton of junk in this abandoned flat. When the woman discovered this, she was investigating the cause of a cold draft in her restroom.
Samantha Hartsoe’s story would have ended very differently if she had been in a horror film. Fortunately, though, she discovered a hidden three-bedroom apartment when she ventured inside an odd gap in her bathroom wall.
Hartsoe discovered a draft in the toilet of her Manhattan home, which sparked the whole episode. However, in her search for this draft, she discovered a massive hole in the wall behind the bathroom mirror. Then Hartsoe climbed through the breach, arming herself with a hammer, a mask, and an improvised headlamp.
There was only a pile of trash and a few open windows in the eerie hidden room. Hartsoe afterwards said that she had anticipated seeing someone there, particularly after seeing an empty water bottle. But after a careful examination, she came to the conclusion that the area was inhospitable.
Still, rumors circulated that Hartsoe avoided her bathroom for as long as the British Isles’ walls.
Shoe hiding inside walls has been a prevalent practice throughout the British Isles since at least the early modern era. People are increasingly finding unusual, ancient shoes inside of homes and other buildings as a result.
In 2014, Laura Potts, an Englishwoman, began remodeling her Georgian house close to Norwich. When she went to check on the progress of the construction one afternoon, she saw a woman’s shoe on a window sill.
Other than being tiny, tattered, and worn out, the shoe itself wasn’t all that unique. The fact that a plumber discovered it within a chimney wall pocket is peculiar, though.
Historians claim that shoes were frequently employed as charms to ward off evil spirits and “witches” from homes. Additionally, as chimneys serve as entryways into homes, these shoes were traditionally tucked inside of them to ward off ghosts. (Refer to source)
7. A couple in New York found whiskey bottles from the Prohibition era inside their house. Their house is almost a century old, and it was built by a notorious bootlegger who probably concealed the alcohol within the walls.
A couple in New York had been told that a well-known bootlegger had constructed their 100-year-old house. They dismissed this as a myth at the time since they did not think it to be true. However, they were forced to reconsider their position after discovering something unexpected inside their walls.
When the couple made the decision to restore the house, they had been residing in it for just over a year. They made the decision to take down the exterior skirting that ran the length of their mudroom during the remodeling. They discovered bottles of alcohol from the Prohibition era inside the walls. Later on, they discovered an additional batch of identical bottles—more than 66 in all—beneath the mudroom flooring.
The bottles, which were of the Scottish whiskey brand Old Smuggler Gaelic Whiskey, which is still produced today, had been wrapped in straw. A few of the bottles, which are estimated to be worth $1,000 apiece, were also filled. The pair did state that they intended to taste-test one of the full bottles before keeping it. [1, 2]
8.2019 saw the discovery of rare gold coins in a medieval French home by building workers. The coins were discovered within a metal box set into the wall. These were probably struck in gold during the administrations of Louis XIII (1610–1643) and Louis XIV (1643–1715) in France.
One never knows when or how they might come into a cache of extremely rare gold coins. However, the walls of an old French mansion could be a useful site to seek for them if you happen to have one nearby.
In late October 2019, a historic mansion located in Brittany, France was being renovations by a group of construction workers. There they discovered a curious metal box set into one of the walls. Then, to their amazement, the box was opened to show a hoard of precious gold coins dating back centuries.
A few days later, another set of coins in a cloth pouch were found by the workmen above a wooden beam. They had found roughly 239 unusual gold coins in all.
Following that, the owners of the mansion notified the authorities and sent the valuables out to be examined. After that, archaeologists discovered that Louis XIII and Louis XIV were the kings who had the coins struck. France had been ruled by these kings from 1610 to 1643 and from 1643 to 1715, respectively.
The coins brought in over €1 million ($1.2 million) at auction in 2021. [1, 2]
9. A love letter discovered within the walls of a restored home was addressed to Betty Miller. Written on April 19, 1944, the letter was signed by a man who goes by “Walter.”
The Massachusetts Greenfield Police Department shared information about an enigmatic letter on their social media page in 2017. They discussed how a buddy had discovered a love letter hidden inside a property during renovations in this post. The police then appealed for information from the public to learn more about the history of the letter.
One “Walter” (who only goes by that name) wrote the letter on April 19, 1944. The letter, which is addressed to Ms. Betty Miller at 360 Chapman Street, even waxes lyrical about Walter’s feelings for her. He says, “I have always thought more of you than any other girl, and I still do,” as an example.
Luckily, the mystery was quickly solved by the police. But by then, Ms. Miller had already passed away, so the police were unable to give her back the letter. Despite not marrying Walter, she was able to pursue a happy life, therefore the narrative ended happily. [1, 2]
10. A builder found two green lockboxes inside a wall in 2006. Enclosed in these boxes were envelopes containing $157,000 in money from the Great Depression. In another wall, he discovered a cardboard box that contained roughly $25,000.
In 2006, an 83-year-old house’s toilet wall held approximately $157,000 in Depression-era cash that contractor Bob Kitts found. This money was kept in multiple envelopes with the P. Dunne News Agency’s return address on them. Then Kitts discovered a cardboard box containing roughly $25,000 inside another wall.
He presented Amanda Reece, the owner of the house, the money right away, excited about his discovery. But the two of them couldn’t agree on how to divide the money, so the Dunne estate was eventually made aware of the situation. The estate subsequently filed a lawsuit to assert its ownership of the funds.
Consequently, the heirs of the estate received the money contained in the envelopes bearing the Dunne address. Kitts and the estate were the only ones left to claim the remaining funds after Reece chose to give up all of his claims. After that, Kitts received 13.7 percent of it from the Cuyahoga County probate magistrate, with the Dunne heirs receiving the remaining portion. [1, 2]