Couple’s DIY Home Renovation Leads to Chilling Discovery and an FBI Investigation
One couple from Ohio got the surprise of a lifetime while renovating their vintage home. While working on the basement, they started finding clues that their new residence was more than just a place to live happily ever after. In fact, they found an amazing discovery after hacking away the homes old plywood.
They never thought for an instant that the discoveries they made would launch a federal investigation. What did they find and why was their discovery such a big deal? Read on to find out the chilling answers!
Taking Time to Construct Their Masterpiece
The suburban house the couple bought was a fairly large. The house had two main floors and a large basement. With a house this size the couple knew the entire renovation process would be a pretty long one.
Knowing the renovation could potentially take years and thousands of dollars, the couple knew they had to be smart about how they approached it. They decided to start with the top two floors and leave the basement for last.
What Secrets Were Hidden in This House?
Once the renovation process began, it went off pretty much without a hitch. Of course the couple faced a few setbacks along the way, but nothing out of the ordinary. They braced themselves for what they expected would be their most costly and time consuming area of the renovation—the basement.
They decided to scope out the room and see what they would be dealing with—they had no idea what they were in store for. However, as work continued, they began to see clues. It was when they began to take down old sections of the basement walls that something odd was revealed.
If the Walls Could Talk...
After pulling back the wallpaper, the homeowners noticed drawings and writings all over the place which were incredibly unusual. While they didn’t know what it all meant, they had a gut feeling this room was going to reveal more to them about their home than they knew.
After removing a portion of the ceiling, the husband found something unusual lodged in it. The object was lodged snugly between the rafters and caught him totally by surprise. Eventually, his curiosity got the best of him and he decided to go for it.
Something Hidden in the Ceiling
Whatever it was, it was lodged tight and he had to tug to get it out. It took a little bit of courage and effort, but he was eventually able to get it down for further inspection. As he kept working, he started to find other clues.
After pulling down parts of the walls and the rest of the ceiling, he noticed an incredible, oversized object. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a giant suitcase. What could be inside? Why was there an old suitcase in the wall?
Hot on the Case
The homeowner assumed someone stored the green-and-grey suitcase up there to ensure nobody else could find it. As he took it down, he was amazed at just how heavy it was. He wondered how long it had been stashed away in the ceiling. What could possibly be inside a container like this and why was it hidden?
Instinct told him to be careful, but adrenaline and curiosity made him continue on. Taking a deep breath, he decided to keep going and find out what was inside this massive suitcase.
But What Would His Wife Say?
Before opening the suitcase, he decided to call his wife. He didn’t want her to miss out on this exciting discovery. After all, it was probably a good idea to have someone else around, just in case what he found was gruesome or dangerous. So he waited for her to come home before going forward.
Of course, being alone with a mystery suitcase started to get his mind going. He realized it had to be something important or valuable for someone to want to hide it away in the basement ceiling. But who put it there and why? Were the owners of this secret suitcase expecting to come back to claim their baggage? The homeowner was increasingly curious as he stared at his discovery, waiting for his wife to return.
Could It Really Be Nothing?
It was possible that it was really nothing valuable or horrific—like bricks or papers, or some family photos that everyone forgot about. Perhaps the suitcase wasn’t purposefully hidden, but rather pushed into the ceiling for storage and simply forgotten about.
He filled his wife in on what he knew the moment she arrived home. There’s a good chance the homeowner’s were downright giddy when they finally got to open the suitcase together. They discussed what the possibilities could be before they started the process of finding out what was inside.
Almost as Exciting as Christmas Morning
They began thinking up a list of what could be inside the heavy case. Money? Jewelry? Heirlooms?
The homeowners tried to lower their expectations by thinking of other options like old baseball cards or even rocks. Without further ado, they opened up the suitcase.
What Are These Things Wrapped in Wax Paper?
After opening the suitcase, the couple found a bunch of odd bundles wrapped in wax paper. Neither the husband nor the wife could guess what they were. They decided to start unwrapping the paper to reveal what was carefully wrapped within.
Picking each of them up, they wondered who these things belonged to and how long they have been there. There had to be more to the story, and they were about to make a wild discovery.
Cold Case Hard Cash
Peeling away the waxy material, the husband realized what they were dealing with was money. In fact, what he held in his hands was actually a giant stack of twenty-dollar bills! After inspecting the cash more closely, they realized these were not new bills. Even more baffling was the sheer amount of cash that was inside the suitcase.
This discovery seemed like something straight out of a TV drama. Who put all of it there? And, most importantly, why did they do it? What happened to the owner of this money that made him unable to come back and claim his fortune?
This Must Be a Joke, Right?
The homeowners must have felt like someone was playing a prank on them. After their discovery, they told journalists that they were freaking out by that point. They even said, “This doesn’t happen to us! What do we do? Where are the hidden cameras?”
Of course, if one stack was a ton of money, what would the others be? The suitcase was heavy, perhaps the weight accounted for other priceless items or antiques. Would they find something even more valuable than cash? They began eagerly unwrapping the rest of the wax paper stacks.
Surprise, Surprise: Unwrapping the Other Bundles
As you might expect, they were hoping to find more twenty-dollar bills. However, they found stacks of fifty and hundreds instead. These stacks were adding up fast and the couple was curious about how much money could possibly fit in this one suitcase.
The whole thing seemed impossible. The second package had bigger bills and the third even more money. What was happening? Where did this suitcase come from and why had it been tucked away in a hiding spot for all of these years?
Assessing Their Discovery
After finding a suitcase full of stacks in their own home, the husband and wife initially thought it was a funny joke. But then reality hit. Finding this much money hidden away in a suitcase stashed in the ceiling of the basement all seemed rather suspicious. Who hid it there and were they dangerous?
By looking at the state and age of the bills, they could tell the money had been there a long time—perhaps even since the 1920s and 1930s. But how much was actually there? And what other clues did they need to look at?
Putting All the Clues Together
They realized that everything was old, from the suitcase itself to the money. This meant that whoever put it there did so a long time ago. If they could figure out a better time frame of when the suitcase was hidden, they may become that much closer to understanding the story behind it.
As they started to take the bundles out, they discovered another surprise. This time, it offered a few more clues as to why the suitcase was hidden in their home—there was a newspaper at the bottom of the suitcase. Their first instinct? Check the date of the publication!
Headlines for March 1951
The newspaper came from decades ago and was from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Judging by this 1951 newspaper and the fact the bills themselves were also decades old, the couple believed it was fair to assume this suitcase had been stashed inside this Ohio home for five to six decades.
Discovering an old newspaper and stacks of money from a long time ago was certainly curious, but did it warrant contacting the police? And how much was that old cash really worth now, anyway? The Ohio couple were filled with more questions than ever before.
Should They Contact the Authorities?
The couple started to look at the bills more carefully. Some were marked as star note bills, rare bills that are denoted by a printed star next to the bill’s serial number. Because of their rarity, they’re typically worth more than their face value.
The special bill was printed to replace a faulty set of banknotes. What this meant is that they never actually made it to the public, and they were likely over seventy years old! The mystery deepened further. Where could these have come from?
Getting Legal Help
It was an amazing find, and they weren’t exactly sure what to do with their discovery. They decided to call a lawyer to help with the next step in the process.
Curious about the grand total? Through their consultation, they learned that the cash totaled around $23,000!
Getting Back to the Grind. Or Maybe Not...
As the husband got back to pulling out sheetrock and renovating the basement, he made another shocking discovery. There was another suitcase hidden away! He wondered if this one contained old money, too. And, if so, how much?
Waiting on His Wife
Unfortunately, the homeowner was alone again when he found the second suitcase. And this one was heavier than the first! He decided it would be a good idea to wait for his wife to come home. Knowing what the last one contained, he knew she would be just as shocked, excited, and nervous.
When his wife finally returned home, they were able to take a look at what was in the second suitcase. It was as if the couple had gotten lucky and won a hidden fortune twice now! Plus, if they found two hidden treasures already, could more be left to come?
No Wax Paper This Time
After the first suitcase had been loaded with money, they assumed this second one might be very similar. Their suspicions were correct. This other case was full of money, neatly arranged. It may not have come packaged in wax paper, but it was money all the same. In fact, this time the amount totaled more than before.
The couple was shocked by their luck. They were starting to see a pattern—the more they renovated, the more discoveries they started to make. Was there more money or other items left to be found?
A Case of Nerves
As mentioned, the second case had more money that the first suitcase. So, how much did they find? It was worth over forty-five thousand dollars! But this didn’t solve the mystery. Instead, it was just more mysterious evidence, leaving them wondering why it was happening and what else was hidden within their home.
As the couple continued their basement renovation project, they wondered how many other secrets their house had kept hidden from them. Was there more money or something even bigger? Should they check every wall and crevasse of their home or would the secrets be confined solely to their basement?
A Secret Door is Revealed
About the same time they found suitcases of money in their basement ceiling, the family noticed a strange door on the second floor of the home. After this discovery, the couple was even more determined to uncover all of the secrets of their home. They began looking deeper and deeper into this mystery.
They were trying to focus on their home renovation projects, but they simultaneously continued looking for more clues. Their realtor had told them that the secret door upstairs housed their hot water heater. But, that wasn’t true at all. In fact, it housed something super small and valuable.
That's Not A Hot Water Heater!
The small secret door actually opened up into a much larger room that looked like it was used often in the past. However, the dark secrets they would uncover here were tucked away in the corner of the room.
Opening the door, the couple discovered something astonishing and exciting. Not only was the real estate agent completely wrong, but it wasn’t anything close to being a hot water heater closet. What they found was even more chilling!
The Brown Briefcase
The first thing the couple found in this mysterious hidden room was an old, worn-out brown leather briefcase. The couple expected to find more cash inside, but this time, the contents were more than just money.
Inside of the briefcase were loads of antique jewelry and valuables like watches and rings. They looked like someone stashed all of their prized possessions in this case for safe keeping. There were also envelopes full of foreign currency from all over the world, along with an antique wooden box.
A Safe Discovery
The couple was confused by the contents of the old briefcase. Nevertheless, they went further into their newly discovered hidden room to see what else was there.
In the corner of the secret, soundproof room, hiding in the dark, there was a black safe with a lock. The husband didn’t want to wait to crack the safe’s code, so he forced his way in. What they found inside was almost too terrifying to imagine.
An Ominous Warning
Inside of the safe was a white piece of paper with black ink bleeding through the paper with the words, “SAVE YOURSELF.” The husband and wife suddenly felt the chill of the room in their bones as they pondered what this could mean. Who needed saving? And what was this room used for?
At first, the couple thought that this was a practical joke. Maybe the previous owner of the house had a strange sense of humor. However, deep down they knew something wasn’t adding up, and there might be something in this safe that could reveal a dark secret. Nevertheless, they looked deeper inside.
The Mysterious Tapes
Inside the lid of the safe, the words “DO NOT” were written in white ink. What did that mean? The couple wondered if this message was meant for them, or if it was meant for someone who was in this room in the past. They felt nervous as they kept looking into the contents of the safe. Lying under the creepy “Save Yourself” warning were multiple video tapes.
Did they dare watch these tapes? What could be on them that the owner felt the need to lock them a safe inside of a hidden room? As the couple kept searching, the situation just kept getting creepier. What else happened in this room?
Unraveling the Tapes
Some of the tapes were labeled with numbers and letters that didn’t seem to make any sense. Were they the dates the tapes were made? Or maybe a secret code for whoever once owned them? The couple had no idea how old these tapes were or how long the safe had been in the room. However, unlike the contents of the suitcases they found earlier, these tapes seemed newer than 1951.
At first, the couple made the decision not to watch the tapes. Who knows what they would see if they watched them? The contents might be too disturbing to bear, and they were already starting to wish they had never found this secret, soundproof room in the first place.
Curiosity Takes Over
The couple decided to just forget about the tapes and continue with their home renovations. They didn’t want to get involved in something that was above their heads, and possibly dangerous. But, as the days passed, they began to wonder more and more what was on those six video tapes.
Finally, they decided to watch them. The couple sat down with their VCR and decided to see what all of the secrecy and fuss was about. They thought it was probably just a practical joke. But sadly, they were mistaken.
The Grand Unveiling
The couple was not prepared for what they saw on the tapes. They now knew one thing for certain: their house in Cleveland, Ohio, was full of dark secrets. To our dismay, the footage on the tapes is not public knowledge, so we don’t know precisely what was on them.
However, there is one thing of which we’re certain: The contents of the tapes disturbed the couple so much that they immediately called and informed the authorities. The couple wished they had never started renovating their home, because then they would never have found the old safe or the contents inside.
Renovations Turned to Crime Scene
The local authorities immediately decided this was a matter for the FBI. The Feds showed up to their house and declared it a crime scene. Agents arrived, confiscated the tapes, and started a full-fledged investigation.
The couple was called to the police station where the FBI questioned them about how they found the hidden room. They also questioned them about their earlier finds—the suitcases full of money. Luckily for the couple, they had already invested some of the money they found into their mortgage and home renovations.
The FBI Makes Some Requests
Their Ohio home became the scene of a crime—and the FBI combed over every detail. However, we still don’t know exactly what crime was actually committed. In the end the Feds seized all of the jewelry, watches, the briefcase, the note, and the tapes.
This story was a wild one from beginning to end. A once quiet street in Ohio quickly became the scene of an intense FBI investigation. The couple were getting a crazy amount of attention, especially from their Reddit post, but all of that was unfortunately about to change.
RIP to a Wild Reddit Thread
The husband had been posting updates and photos of the entire discovery on a Reddit thread, and the story was gaining popularity. During the time that the couple was questioned, the police noticed the following he had gained.
People wanted to know exactly what was on the tapes and what was happening in this mysterious house. However, the police declared that the information was part of an ongoing investigation. They requested the husband take everything down.
Keeping It Confidential
Now, we can only speculate what was on those tapes that were found in the hidden room. It seems likely that whatever it was, it was a very dark and sinister secret, especially because the FBI responded immediately and quickly confiscated the tapes.
It has been twelve years since the discovery. Hopefully, the investigation will likely be solved, and the contents of the tapes will be released to the public. If any further updates arise, we’ll be sure to update this article. However, one thing is certain: if those walls could talk, they would have a lot to say.