So many people have stories of backyard surprises. I’ve found countless things in my backyard over the years. There were the usual finds: toads, toy parts, a groundhog tunnel. Last year, I found a hybrid duck swimming in my pool. I pulled out a bunch of carrots while removing weeds from some flower beds two summers ago, and I don’t even have a garden. I’ve also buried things in my backyard. When I was a kid, I buried my pet budgie in a box in the backyard of my first home. I wonder if the current home owners have discovered poor Chirpie yet.
While the jury’s out on whether it’s creepy or common to find pet remains in your backyard, there are things that everyone would agree that they wouldn’t want to find buried on their property. I, for one, wouldn’t want to dig up anything potentially cursed in my backyard. That includes ancient talismans, human remains, and voodoo dolls. I haven’t met a person who jumped for joy at the thought of living over a burial ground either. Then again, one man’s creepy is another man’s unique. As you scroll through this list of creepy things found buried in people’s backyards, you be the judge as to whether unearthing these items would send a shiver down your spine.
15. Mastodon vertebrae
Whenever I hear a story about an extinct creature’s bones being found, I shudder to think of the many ways in which humans could be next on the chopping block. Eleven-year-old cousins Eric and Andrew were building a dam in the stream behind Eric’s backyard when they discovered a strange-looking rock. The rock turned out to be a 13,000-year-old mastodon bone, specifically a vertebrae. Mastodons have been extinct for 10,000 years. Andrew and Eric bet $100 on what the bone could be: Andrew thought it was a dinosaur bone, but Eric didn’t agree. Eric’s mother thought it was a cow bone until a paleontologist told her otherwise. The boys considered selling the bone on eBay. If you hurry, you might still find it for sale.
14. Live bombs from World War II
In Orlando, Florida, thousands of homes rest on what was once a World War II bombing range. Consequently, rockets and bombs from this period have been found in backyards across Orlando. Some of the bombs are live. A $10 million cleanup was arranged in 2008 to clear the bombs away, but the leader of the cleanup was never able to give a 100% guarantee that all bombs had been cleared. 126 rockets and bombs were found on school property alone. Two people suffered minor burns after discovering bomb fragments. How creepy is it knowing that your whole life could go kaboom at any second?
13. Baleen whale fossil
Way back in 1978, Gary Johnson took notice of a large rock sticking out of the ground in his backyard in California. To his untrained eye, the rock looked somewhat like a bone. He called an expert, who said the rock was worthless. The rock remained in Gary’s backyard for more than 35 years. Fast forward to 2014, when Gary saw a news broadcast about a 12-million-year-old sperm whale skull being discovered a few hundred yards away from his own backyard. This time, Gary called a paleontologist from the Natural History Museum. The rock wasn’t a rock, but the 14-16-million-year-old remains of a very rare baleen whale. Boy does that first expert look like a moron now.
12. Cold War fallout shelter
The Zwick family shared their Wisconsin backyard with an underground fallout shelter for ten years before actually exploring it. I don’t blame them; there could’ve been human remains in there. Fortunately, the contents of the shelter were relatively benign. The fallout shelter was built during the Cold War era, and came complete with food, clothing, medical supplies, tools, flashlights, batteries, and other survival items. There was also an oven, a space heater, and some lamps inside. Oh, and don’t forget the toilet. Wouldn’t it be a nightmare to be confined to a fallout shelter without one of those? The fallout shelter is a reminder of the fear that gripped Americans during the Cold War. What would you do to survive a nuclear attack?
11. Grenades and TNT explosives
World War II ammunition seems to be a common backyard find, and not just in North America. A man from the Czech Republic found his own share of historical ammunition while digging out tree stumps in his backyard in 2013. He did what any sane person would do: he called the police. The police helped the man dig up hand grenades and TNT explosives originating from World War II. Talk about an explosive discovery. One wrong twist of the shovel and it could’ve been all over for this man. Remind me never to dig up tree stumps in my backyard unsupervised.
10. False teeth
Pandora the dog was digging in her backyard in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as dogs do, when her mouth chomped down on an unusual object. She bounded into her house to proudly show off her find to her owner, Lucas Alves Magalhães. When she opened her mouth, Lucas beheld a most terrifying sight: Pandora was wearing a set of dirty dentures! An elderly couple owned the house before Lucas, which might explain why there were dentures on the property. But why would they be buried in the garden? People sometimes bury cursed objects to prevent others from suffering from the curse themselves. Which begs the question: is Pandora possessed? She looks like she came straight out of Goosebumps with those false teeth.
9. Hunting rifle
It’s not out of the usual to think of a hunting rifle being found in someone’s backyard. But would you find it any creepier if the person who owned the backyard wasn’t a hunter? A man living on Templemont Drive in Calgary, Alberta discovered a plastic bag containing a pillowcase in his backyard. Strange, but it gets stranger. Inside the pillowcase was a hunting rifle and a cell phone. Bet you weren’t expecting that combination. The perplexed man called the police to report his disturbing find. Had a murder most foul occurred on his property? Or was he being framed for a crime he didn’t commit?
8. Lucrative marijuana stash
Mack Reed was in the process of installing solar panels in his backyard in Los Angeles in 2012 when he stumbled upon a green bag in an underground vault. What was in the bag? $175,000 worth of marijuana and hash. Mack called the police, worried that the owners of the stash would return to claim it. Police suspected that the stash was hidden in Mack’s backyard during Thanksgiving weekend, after Mack posted on Facebook that he was at the Grand Canyon. Mack left this note on the doors to the vault for the owners of the stash to find: “We found it and called the LAPD. They confiscated it and now are watching the place. Sorry.” Think twice before you let people know on social media that you’re away from home.
7. Antique church bells
Churches can be beautiful and romantic. They can also be creepy, especially if a creepy religious cult built them. Churches are also featured in many a horror movie about possession, giving them an unsettling air. It goes without saying that you might not want to find church artifacts in your backyard. A man from the Czech Republic found two large church bells in his backyard in 2013. They were 400 years old, and had been stolen from a nearby church eleven years prior. Could the theft have been an act of one of Satan’s disciples? Or was the theft just your typical petty crime? You decide.
6. Immigrant pliosaur bone
John Lambert found a peculiar bone in his backyard in Suffolk when builders were digging a foundation trench for a wall in 1997. He placed the bone in his garden shed, where it remained gathering dust for sixteen years. In 2013, he remembered the bone and took it to Ipswich Museum to have it examined. The bone turned out to be a limb bone from a pliosaur, a marine reptile that terrorized the seas 60 to 250 million years ago. The pliosaur, the scariest animal in the sea, is credited with having the strongest bite of any animal in the world. What’s odd about John’s find is that the pliosaur wasn’t native to the English sea. How did the bone wind up in his backyard?
5. Mystery object
Ali Hiuser and her sister were digging for worms in their backyard in Kitchener, Ontario, preparing for an upcoming fishing trip, when they found something that wasn’t a worm. It was a large, bluish object that the sisters didn’t recognize. At first, they thought it might be a meteorite, but an expert shot that theory down. Another expert determined that it was definitely not a gem. One expert believed that the object, whatever it was, was buried there deliberately. Strange. The mystery object was eventually identified as a type of glass, one which comes in many different colours and is commonly found in garden ornaments. It might be glass, but it’s still creepy.
4. Alien meteorites
Radivoke Lajic, a 50-year-old man living in Bosnia, has a collection of meteorites in his backyard. Six to be in fact. His house was struck by meteorites six times, the first time being in 2007. It’s strange for a house to be the repeated target of meteorites, since the chance of being hit by a meteorite is ridiculously small. Scientists are trying to figure out why this is happening. They’re looking into magnetic fields around the property. Radivoke has a different explanation. He thinks that aliens holding a grudge are attacking him. He’s convinced that they’re playing games with him, but he doesn’t know why. Do you think that aliens could be responsible for the meteorite strikes?
3. Cursed money
In 2011, Wayne Sabaj, a man in his fifties living in Illinois, stumbled upon a bag of $150,000 buried in a nylon bag in his backyard while picking broccoli from his garden. He was unemployed at the time, so the find was a fortuitous one. He told police about the money, intending to claim it for himself if it wasn’t claimed by the end of 2012. Wayne’s 87-year-old neighbour Dolores Johnson claimed the money as hers. She explained that she buried the money because it was cursed. Dolores suffered from dementia, so nobody paid attention to the cursed bit. Big mistake. The money was awarded to Dolores’ daughter, minus a reward for Wayne. Strangely, Wayne died just ten days before receiving the money. The curse lives on.
2. 1000-year-old human remains
A fourteen-year-old boy from Salt Lake City was doing what fourteen-year-old boys do: digging a trout pond in his backyard. The digging was uneventful, until the boy unearthed the 1000-year-old remains of an American Indian. Anyone who watches horror movies knows of the dangers of finding Native American bones buried underneath your property. Think Pet Sematary, The Amityville Horror, The Shining, and of course, Poltergeist. The boy’s family had better hope that their house isn’t sitting atop an Indian burial ground. If it is, then you’ll be seeing their story in a theatre near you very soon.
1. 1700s’ cemetery
Vincent Marcello lived in a luxury condo in the French Quarter of New Orleans when he discovered something seriously creepy underneath his property. He wanted to put a swimming pool in his backyard, but he knew that his condo was built on a burial ground, the St. Peter Cemetery to be exact. So he hired an archeologist to do a test dig. What did the dig reveal but a historic cemetery dating back to the 1700s. A total of fifteen caskets containing human remains were removed to make way for the pool. Once again, as horror movies show us, you do not want to be living over a cemetery of any kind. At least they removed the bodies; that is, if they found them all.
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