Gravestones, tarantula skins and animal skeletons: Strangest items British homeowners have found in new properties

Gravestones, tarantula skins and animal skeletons: Strangest items British homeowners have found in new properties
Gravestones, tarantula skins and animal skeletons: Strangest items British homeowners have found in new properties

Whilst it’s nice to be left useful items, such as white goods, curtains or window blinds when moving into a new home, some of the items left behind by vacating occupants are a little disconcerting. According to the poll, as many as one in five new homeowners have discovered something deemed to be ‘unusual’ in their homes, with some of the more common stranger items revealed as pet ashes and Ouija boards.

Whilst over half of new homeowners have found useful items in their homes left by the previous owners, as many as one in five have found ‘creepy’ items that they weren’t expecting.

The study was conducted by home interiors specialist Hillarys,, as part of their ongoing research into British home life. 2,399 Britons aged 21 and over, all of whom stated that they purchased and moved into a new home in the past three years, were quizzed about their home situation after moving in.

All respondents were initially asked, ‘Did the previous owners of your home leave you anything useful when you moved into the property?’ to which over half of respondents (58%) stated that ‘yes’ items were left behind. When asked what these were, the top responses were ‘kitchen utensils’ (30%), ‘curtains/window blinds’(23%), ‘white goods’ (18%) and ‘furniture’ (15%).

Following on from this, all respondents were then asked ‘Did you find anything odd left behind when you moved into your new home?’ to which one fifth of respondents, 22%, stated that ‘yes’ they did. Wanting to delve a little deeper, all respondents were asked to name the strangest things they’ve found in their homes. Once all responses were collated, researchers highlighted the weirdest items as follows:

  • The gravestone of a family dog
  • A collection of shred tarantula skins
  • A box full of animal skeletons
  • A collection of dolls with their eyes removed
  • A bundle of photos with faces scratched out

According to the poll, some of the more common strange and disturbing items left behind were revealed as ‘ashes of a former pet’ (3%), ‘Ouija boards & black magic items’ (2%) and ‘soiled or bloody clothes’ (1%).

Finally, all respondents were asked if they noticed anything else unusual about the home after purchasing and moving in, with 16% stating they found odd messages written on the walls underneath paint or wallpaper, a further 12% found strange stains underneath carpet and flooring and 5% found what looked like scratch marks around the home.

Tanya Irons, spokesperson for, commented on the findings:  “You never truly know what’s happened in a home before you move in. Whilst estate agents have to tell you so much information in accordance with the rules and regulations, they have been known to twist or dial down the truth. I’d definitely be weirded out to find some of these items in a home that I came to purchase, but that’s not to say there’s anything creepy or haunted going on, it could just be the previous homeowners looking to play a prank.”

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