Ohio Couple’s Home Renovation Leads to a Chilling Discovery and an FBI Investigation

By: | Last updated: Apr 11, 2022

A couple from Ohio got the surprise of a lifetime during a renovation of 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 plywood.

But they never thought for an instant that this treasure would launch a federal investigation. What did they find and why was their discovery such a big deal?

If the Walls Could Talk...

As work continued, they began to see clues. It was when they began to take down old sections of the basement walls that they started to reveal something odd. The husband noticed graffiti covering the room, which shouldn’t have been there, so he took plenty of photos to document what he was seeing.

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It was certainly unexpected and unusual enough that evidence might be a good idea. Now, he’s really glad that he did! But who put it there?

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What Secrets Were Hidden in This House?

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 that this room was going to reveal more to them about their home than they knew about.

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Little did they know, their discovery was going to be a wild adventure and definitely something that they would never forget. But what was it? Let’s get into all the hidden details!

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Hidden in the Ceiling

After removing a portion of the ceiling, the husband found something unusual lodged up high. 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.

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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.

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The Discovery of Something Odd

While he really hadn’t been paying too much attention to everything surrounding the object, he continued to work hard on the laborious project of getting it out.

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After all, he wondered what it was and why it was hidden there in the first place. However, he did make sure to use his camera to document what he had found.

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Strange Discovery: A Suitcase

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 secret: a giant object. After closer inspection, he realized it was a giant suitcase.

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What could be inside? Why would there be an old suitcase in the wall?

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It Was Heavy… What Secrets Did It Hold?

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 that suitcase had been stashed away in the ceiling. What could possibly be inside a container like this and why was it hidden? 

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Instinct told him to be careful, but adrenaline and curiosity made him continue. He wondered what treasures could be hidden inside. Taking a deep breath, he decided to keep going and find out what was inside this massive suitcase.

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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, so he waited for her to come home before going forward.

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After all, it was probably a good idea to have someone else around, just in case what he found was gruesome or dangerous.

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His Imagination Started to Go Crazy

​​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.

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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.

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Could It Really Be Nothing?

It was possible that it was really nothing. 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 forgot about.

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He was trying not to dwell on what it could be, but he filled his wife in on what he knew the moment she arrived home.

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Almost as Exciting as Christmas Morning

There’s a good chance that 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.

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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 about other options like old baseball cards or even rocks. What they discovered instead was quite shocking. Without further ado, they opened up that suitcase.

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Wrapped in Wax Paper

After opening the old suitcase, the couple found a bunch of odd bundles wrapped in wax paper. Neither the husband nor the wife could figure out what it could possibly be.

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They decided together to start unwrapping the paper to reveal what was carefully wrapped within.

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What Are These Things?

Their hearts and minds raced as they started to figure out what all of the strange bundles were inside of the suitcase. Picking each of them up, they still tried to determine what they had found and why it was so important that all of it stayed hidden.

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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.

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Cold 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!

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This was only one of the entire bunch they’d found hidden in that suitcase. There was even more where that came from!

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Who Did This Fortune Belong To?

After inspecting the cash more closely, they realized that these were not new bills. Even more baffling was the sheer amount of cash that was inside the suitcase.

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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?

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Is This a Joke?

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.

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They even said, “This doesn’t happen to us! What do we do? Where are the hidden cameras?” 

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Would It Be an Endless Amount of Cash?

Of course, if one stack was a ton of money, what would the others be? They began eagerly unwrapping the rest of the wax paper stacks. Would it be more money?

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The suitcase was heavy, perhaps the weight accounted for other priceless items or antiques. Would they find something even more valuable than cash?

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The Surprise of the Other Bundles

As you might expect, they were hoping to find more twenty-dollar bills. These stacks were adding up fast and they were curious about how much the total suitcase was worth. After removing the wax paper, they were in for another surprise.

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Instead of twenty-dollar bills, they found stacks of fifty and hundreds. The couple continued to wonder how much money could possibly fit in this one suitcase.

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Even Bigger Bills

The whole thing seemed impossible. The second package had bigger bills and the third even more money. What was happening?

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Where did this suitcase come from and why had it been tucked away in a hiding spot for all of these years?

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How Old Was the Money?

After finding a suitcase full of stacks in their own home, the husband and wife initially thought it was a funny joke. But then the realization of it all hit.

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Where did this massive amount of money come from? Finding this much money hidden away in a suitcase then stashed in the ceiling of the basement all seemed rather suspicious. Who hid it there and were they dangerous?

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Putting Together the Clues

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.

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But how much was actually there? And what other clues did they need to look at?

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Becoming Detectives

They realized that everything, from the suitcase itself to the money, was old. This meant that whoever put it there did so a long time ago.

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The couple was eager to get to the bottom of the mystery. 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.

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A Newspaper Gives a Clue

As they started to take the bundles out of the suitcase, they discovered another surprise. This time, it offered a few more clues as to why this was hidden in their home.

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There was a newspaper at the bottom of the suitcase. Their first instinct? Well, they had to check the date of the publication!

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March 1951

The newspaper came from decades ago and was from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It was certainly older than they thought, but it gave insight into when the suitcase was put in the ceiling of their basement.

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Judging by this 1951 newspaper and the fact that the bills themselves were also decades old, the couple believed it was fair to assume that this suitcase had been stashed inside this Ohio home for five to six decades.

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Should They Contact the Authorities?

Discovering an old newspaper and stacks of money from a long time ago was certainly curious. Did it warrant contacting the police? What would you do if you were in this situation?

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And how much was that old cash really worth now, anyway? The Ohio couple were filled with more questions than ever before.

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More Clues to the Big Money Mystery

The couple started to look at the bills more carefully. Some were marked as star note bills. Star notes are rare bills that are denoted by a printed star next to the bill’s serial number. This is to note that the special bill was printed to replace a faulty set of banknotes. Furthermore, because of their rarity, they’re typically worth more than their face value.

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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?

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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 steps in the process.

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Curious about the final grand total? Through their discussion, they learned that the cash totaled around $23,000 in today’s money.

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Back to the Grind

After a week of fun surprises, the fun was over. The couple returned back to their normal lives and their basement renovation project.

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After all, they were ready to enjoy their new home, even if it still had a few surprises left for them.

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Wait… There’s More?

As the husband got back to pulling out sheetrock and renovating the basement, he made another shocking discovery. There was another suitcase hidden away!

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These suitcases were definitely hidden for a reason, but the question became- why were they left behind? He wondered if this one contained old money, too. And, if so, how much?

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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.

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Knowing what the last one contained, he knew she would be just as shocked, excited, and nervous. These crazy discoveries caused a rollercoaster of emotions.

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Posting to Social Media

The husband posted the couple’s adventure on Reddit. “This was a wild ride for us and we hope you enjoyed it, too!” he said.

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The man also went on to claim they were “boring” people who usually dumped all their extra money into their mortgage, which was what they had planned for the suitcase money.

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Documenting Everything with Photos

With this new suitcase, the husband knew this was another big find, so he made sure to document everything with his camera. After all, there was no telling if this suitcase would contain more money or something even more exciting.

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Would there be more newspapers or perhaps a note that gave further detail as to what this money was from and all about?

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The Second Suitcase

It was an easy choice to keep the renovation project going. However, they didn’t realize that their home’s secrets were even bigger than they could have ever imagined.

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Plus, that first suitcase was nothing compared to what came next! Let’s find out what the second suitcase contained.

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Finally, They Could Peek

After his wife finally returned home, they were able to take a look at what was in the second suitcase.

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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?

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No Wax Paper This Time

After the first suitcase had been loaded with money, they assumed this second one might be very similar. Sadly, they did not find a windfall of money wrapped up in wax paper this time.

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But what was in the second suitcase was even more shocking and incredible than they could have ever imagined. So, what did they find?

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More Money

This other case they found was full of money and neatly arranged. It may not have come neatly packaged in wax paper, but it was money all the same. In fact, this time the amount totaled more than ever before.

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The couple was shocked by their luck. They were starting to see a pattern, the more the furthered their renovations, the more discoveries they started to make. Was there more money or other items left to be found?

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A Case of Nerves

As we 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!

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But this didn’t solve the mystery. This was just more mysterious evidence. This left them wondering why it was happening and what else was hidden within their home.

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What Other Secrets Did the House Keep Hidden?

As the couple continued their basement renovation project, they wondered how many other secrets their house had kept hidden from them.

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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?

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A Secret Door

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.

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What was this door and why was it important? The couple was about to find out!

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Would They Find More?

The couple was even more determined to uncover all of the secrets of their home. They began looking deeper and deeper into this mystery.

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They were trying to focus on their home renovation projects, but they were also looking for more clues at the same time. The couple was very curious as to what was going on.

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Should They Call the FBI?

As they kept working, they were curious about the findings they kept stumbling upon in their home. Were they dealing with matters a bit out of their league and over their heads?

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However, they didn’t once think it would be a good idea to call the authorities or contact the FBI.

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House of Secrets

The determined couple kept looking for more possible clues. They were shocked again when they figured out the next place they needed to look.

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Their house was a mysterious place and they needed to continue to search it for clues.

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A Secret Door To A Secret Room

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 super valuable.

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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.

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That's Not A Hot Water Heater!

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.

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What they found was even better and even more chilling!

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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.

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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 old briefcase for safe keeping. There were also envelopes full of foreign currency from all over the world, along with an antique wooden box.

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The Big 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. They had no idea what was ahead for them to find.

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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.

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Save Yourself!

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?

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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 that something wasn’t adding up, and there might be something in this safe that could reveal a dark secret. Nevertheless, they looked deeper into the safe.

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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.

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Did they dare watch these tapes? What could be on these tapes that the owner felt the need to lock in a safe inside of a hidden room? As the couple kept searching, the situation just kept getting creepier. What else happened in this room?

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Clues on 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? A secret code for whoever once owned them? The couple had no idea how old these tapes were or how long that safe had been in the room. Unlike the contents of the suitcases they found earlier, these tapes seemed newer than 1951.

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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.

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Curiosity Takes Over

The couple decided to just forget about the tapes and go on with their home renovations. They didn’t want to get involved in something that was above their heads, and possibly dangerous. As the days passed, they began to wonder more and more…what was on those six video tapes?

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Finally, they decided to watch the tapes. A few days had passed, but 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 anyway. They were wrong.

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The Secret of the Tapes

The couple was not prepared for what they saw on the tapes. They knew one thing for certain now: their house in Cleveland, Ohio was full of dark secrets. The secrets on the tapes are not public knowledge, so we don’t know what was on them. But we do know one thing.

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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, and they wished they had never found the old safe or the contents inside.

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Renovations Turned into a Crime Scene

The local authorities immediately decided that this was a matter for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI showed up to their house and declared it a crime scene. Agents showed up, confiscated the tapes, and started a full-fledged investigation.

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The husband of the Ohio couple had been taking photos of his discoveries from the very beginning. He couldn’t believe that all of these things were found in their own home. He posted to Reddit excitedly to share the things they found in the secret room in their home.

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The FBI Investigation

Once the couple got down to the police station, the FBI questioned them about how they found the hidden room. They also questioned them about their earlier finds: the suitcases full of money.

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They seized all of the jewelry, watches, the briefcase, the note, and the tapes. Luckily for the couple, they had already invested some of the money they found into their mortgage and home renovations.

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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.

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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.

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RIP To The Wild Reddit Thread

During the time that the couple was questioned, the police noticed the following that the husband had gained on Reddit. He had been posting updates and photos of the entire discovery on a Reddit thread, and the story was gaining popularity. 

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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 that the husband take everything down.

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Keep It Confidential

Now, we can only speculate what was on those tapes that were found in the hidden room. It seems definite that whatever it was, it was a very dark and sinister secret, especially because the FBI responded immediately and quickly confiscated the tapes.

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It has been twelve years since the tapes were discovered. Hopefully, the investigation will 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. One thing is for sure: if those walls could talk, they would have a lot to say.

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Not the Only People to Make Crazy Discoveries

The Ohio couple’s discovery was shocking and quite a unique situation, however they were not the only ones to find something old and unusual in their homes.

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Imagine uncovering a literal manhole right beneath the floorboard of your home! That is exactly what a California couple documented for all of TikTok to see.

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Another Family’s Shocking Discovery

A woman named Jennifer Little was cleaning and moving furniture in her Central California coast home when she uncovered something strange under the carpet in her room. 

 

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Jennifer moved big pieces of furniture that stood over thick carpet and uncovered a manhole, much to her surprise. She immediately told her husband what she had found. 

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What Could it Be?

It is hard to understand the initial shock of finding an entire room below your home. One’s mind might go to some pretty disturbed places.

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What if it was something created for illegal or even monstrous activities? The curiosity of Jennifer and her husband really began to pique.

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What They DIscovered

Jennifer’s husband took it upon himself to investigate what Jennifer had found. They opened the manhole and were met with an abandoned area.

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Inside there was cobwebs, dust, and trash. They quickly realized as they moved deeper and deeper inside the room that they had discovered a bomb shelter.

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People Were Prepared

The curious couple also uncovered the shelter was stocked with items meant for survival in case of emergency. Inside there were two bunk beds, urinals, metal cans, trash, posture rest, glass jars, metal cans, and some very large spiders.

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There was also rainwater dripping down the walls and the steel door was filled with rust due to this. The room had been there for 50 years. 

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Storage Room

Jennifer also commented on the ‘storage room’ that was that was apart of the bomb shelter. According to Jennifer, it was outside of it, which was odd.

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This would mean that you would have to leave the shelter to get to the storage room, which is mightily inconvenient in the event of a nuclear attack.

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Sharing Their Discovery

The couple were so excited by what they had discovered that they decided to go public with it on the app, TikTok. In one of her videos, Jennifer explained that that these types of bomb shelters were actually normal for homes that were built in the 1950’s.

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History buffs might remember that the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States was occurring around this time.

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The Cold War

The Cold War was during March of 1947 through December 26th, 1991. A was an intense period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States.

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The rivalry between the two superpowers put many Americans on high alert during that time, fearful of a nuclear attack from the Eastern European rival.

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Instructionals Were Common

Booklets detailing how to create shelters were common during the madness and tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.

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In this booklet, they are showing how to build both basement and above ground shelters for the layman.

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Their Discovery Was Well Received

Jennifer’s TikTok videos were incredibly well-received, garnering more than 1.5M views. People from all around the globe found the bomb shelter intriguing.

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Some people also commented about the possibilities of what the shelter could be repurposed for, with some suggesting that it could be remodeled as a mancave or used in case of a zombie apocalypse.

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