A DIY couple from Ohio, Like many new homeowners, had big dreams for the renovation of their home in Cleveland that was originally built in the 1940s. They had renovated the main living spaces on the first two floors, and then they turned their attention to the basement. When they began demolishing the existing structure there, they started to uncover strange signs. The signs soon led them to an exciting windfall, but then that windfall was followed by an even more astonishing discovery, and eventually resulted in an FBI investigation. But what had the couple unearthed that would have been so shocking that federal investigators had felt compelled to get involved?
The renovation of the basement had begun simply enough. Although there was some graffiti that had been drawn on the walls of the basement, the unsuspecting couple were undeterred. They could never have known what was hidden there, so they continued on, and took pictures as they worked to document the progress of their project. The husband then started to tear down the aged dropped ceiling by hand, which proved to be a daunting task. He was then faced with a discovery that had him calling for his wife. The couple had discovered something that would change their lives forever.
The pieces of ceiling crashed, one by one, to the floor. That's when the DIY homeowner began to notice something. There, hidden between the old drop ceiling and the subfloor above, was a suitcase that had been wedged perfectly between the rafters. The grey and green striped suitcase looked old and was propped up against a pipe, and it was obvious that someone had taken great care to hide it there. The home repairs came to a sudden halt, and the homeowner removed the suitcase from the rafters and called his wife, asking her to come home from work urgently. He would find out later that his discovery had certainly been worth the disruption. What mysteries were lying in wait within the vintage suitcase?
The homeowner hefted the suitcase outside while he waited for his wife to return home from work. He continued to document his discovery and intended to share it later on social media. He had noticed that the small case felt incredibly heavy for its size, and he speculated as to what could be inside. Could he ever have imagined the momentous surprise that waited for him in that old green suitcase?
As soon as his wife returned home, he saw that she was eager to share in the excitement of the mystery. The couple then decided to prolong the fun by guessing as to what could be contained within the discovered suitcase before opening it. It was clearly old, so he guessed that it contained antique sports cards, and his wife thought it was filled with old recipes. The man then carried the suitcase to the back garden. Maybe it would contain cash? or priceless antiques, perhaps? Their anticipation only grew as the couple guessed what they might find. Finally, it was time to open it.
The couple opened the small case with excitement, but their first glimpse inside didn’t reveal much about its contents. Or about the good fortune they would discover within, for that matter. Looking inside, they saw bundles of yellowed wax paper which was wrapped around mysterious rectangular objects. The couple had to dig further still to entirely reveal the secrets of the little green suitcase.
The man started to tentatively unwrap the first bundle of paper, and as he peeled away layer after layer it became apparent that the suitcase was packed with money, and old money, at that. The first bundle of wax paper revealed itself to be an enormous stack of $20 notes, The couple could not believe their luck.
The man described what was running through his mind to reporters later: “These are all twenties! There may be a couple thousand here! We are freaking out at this point,” and he added: “This doesn't happen to us! What do we do? Where are the cameras?”
And that was just the first bundle. How much would the incredible windfall amount to, and what did they find within the two other bundles of wax-wrapped paper? was it more $20 bills, or maybe even something more valuable?
The couple’s excitement didn't end with the unwrapping of the first bundle. They had hoped that their good fortune meant that there would be more $20 bills hidden in the remaining packages. So again, they began carefully peeling the layers of old wax paper away. But those bundles weren’t full of $20 bills. To the couple's shock, they contained $50 and $100 bills. But their astonishment only grew as they unwrapped more money.
“The second package didn't have any twenties. It was all fifties! What is going on here? There could be 5 grand here! Wait! The third package is 100s! This is out of control!” The man later exclaimed.
But where on earth had the money come from? The bills were very old, with the dates on them ranging from 1928 to 1934. But how old had the suitcases been? And how long had the money been hidden there, between the layers of their home? And just how much were the old bills — some of which were extremely rare — worth?
It had been obvious that the suitcase was old, judging from the shape and style, as was the money it contained. But exactly how old was it? And where had it come from? How long had the money been hidden for? Something in the suitcase provided our homeowners with some insight into the mystery they had found. At the bottom of the case, there was an old newspaper-- a copy of the couple’s hometown paper, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, to be precise. This newspaper had a date: March 25, 1951. Based on the age of the bills, as well as the old newspaper, it appeared that the fortune had been hidden in the Cleveland home for over 65 years. So exactly how valuable were the old banknotes? And what mysteries still remained?
Some of the notes in the old suitcase were star bills that were never circulated, and many of them were worth more than their face value as they were all over 70 years old. The couple needed help to ascertain the value of their unexpected treasure, so they consulted a lawyer. It turned out that the money they had found in the suitcase was worth $23,000, and the couple was ecstatic about their windfall.
“This was a wild ride for us, and I hope you all enjoyed it, too,” the man commented on his Reddit post. “We are boring people and have been dumping our extra money to pay off our mortgage, and that is where this money will go too.”
But when the man posted the final message on his Reddit post, he had no way of knowing that this was only the beginning of the home’s mysteries. The couple, thinking it was the end of their surprises, pressed on with their home improvement project. Little did they know that there were more treasures and more surprises waiting. And finally, something that was horrifying enough for the FBI to get involved.
The excitement of the unexpected windfall eventually died down, and it was time for the couple to continue with renovations to their basement. They never would have expected that the first case containing $23,000 worth of bills wouldn't be the end of the mystery that they had stumbled upon in their own home. The Cleveland homeowner continued with his task of demolishing the basement’s old drop ceiling, and he quickly discovered a second suitcase hidden inside the rafters. What mysteries would another suitcase contain? Would it be another welcome windfall? And would it be the final mystery that they would find hidden in their 1940s home?
For the second time, the man waited for his wife to return home from work before he unveiled the mystery inside the second suitcase. The two cases seemed to be identical, so he pulled out the first suitcase and took pictures of the two side by side while he waited for his wife to arrive. Would this suitcase contain a small fortune, as the first one had? Was it also filled with priceless treasure? Or would it contain something else entirely?
The couple wasted no time to discover the contents of the second suitcase, anticipating a similar treasure to what had been in the first case. They quickly realized that the outsides of the two cases were identical, but the contents of the second case were slightly different. Instead of carefully wrapped bundles of money, this case was packed with banknotes. The money had been arranged in an orderly fashion and organized into denominations. How much money was in this second suitcase? Where had it come from? And what surprises were still to be revealed to the couple as they continued on with their home renovation project?
The windfall contained in the second suitcase surpassed even the treasure that was revealed in the first case, much to the couple’s surprise. The second suitcase had been even more concealed for an obvious reason — inside was $45,000. Once again, determined to put the money toward the cost of their home and continue on with their home renovations, the couple was amazed by their luck. But there were more mysteries to be discovered in their home, and they had no idea that the fortune that they had discovered hidden in the basement’s ceiling was just the beginning. And one of these mysteries would lead to the involvement of the FBI.
Now the couple was motivated to discover more, and they knew their house hid some secrets. They started exploring the spaces in their home that they had noticed but had previously thought nothing of. The first place they felt needed exploration was hidden behind a secret door. This door seemed innocent enough, and it looked like any other utility access panel. The DIY homeowners surmised that the door was only an entrance to the space that housed the home’s hot water heater as this is what their realtor had told them. Inspired to explore, they then decided that it was time to look behind that mysterious door. And this curiosity led them to uncover the home’s biggest secret yet.
As soon as they opened the small white door, the couple realized that their realtor had been mistaken... or they had been deceived. They had believed that they had purchased an ordinary house, but this clearly wasn’t the case. Behind the small door, there was no utility room, and the area wasn’t only large enough for a hot water heater. They had discovered an entire room lurking behind the wall. Clearly, this room had seen use over the years, and it was evident by the wear on the carpeted floor. They couldn't help but wonder: Why would someone go to such great lengths to hide this room?
After having lived in the home for several years, how could they not have realized that hidden behind the wall, there was a dilapidated and unexpected spare room? The man was concerned about what they would find lurking within it, so he told his wife to stay back while he ventured into the darkness alone. As he walked over to the other side, he discovered even more mysteries to uncover. On the opposite side of the room, he had discovered another door. This door was different from the door to the false "utility" room. This door had heavy locks, sealing it firmly shut. It was obvious that someone didn't want this room to be discovered. What could be possibly be hidden inside this heavily secured door?
After coming this far, the man knew that he he had to press on to discover what great mystery his home was hiding. He wasn’t going to stop because of a lock, no matter how intimidating or tough it might be. Determined to force his way into the room, he retrieved his hammer and got to work. His perserverence soon led to a startling discovery. Was there more treasure? Or was there something more sinister afoot? With all these secrets hidden in one house, surely something was horribly amiss.
After he broke the lock, the man had opened the door and quickly realized that something was wrong with his home. The treasures had been fun and exciting and a most welcome windfall, but what lurked behind this door was surely something much more sinister. The door had opened to reveal an entire hidden room, and it was obvious that it must have been unopened for decades, hidden behind the walls of the old Cleveland home. However, this was no ordinary room. The walls had all been completely covered with a heavy soundproofing material and plastic tarp. But why would someone soundproof a room that was hidden in the eaves of a home? it couldn’t be for any good reason, surely? more artifacts were still to be found by the couple as they explored the space that would give light to the room’s mysterious past. What had started as a fun home renovation mystery eventually warranted calling the authorities.
When the man entered the second heavily locked door, the first artifact he had discovered was an old brown leather briefcase. Considering the previous finds in suitcases in the basement, the couple anticipated more treasures. But given the hidden nature and strange setup of this room, would they find more windfalls within this briefcase? Or would they find something far more disturbing? The couple quickly found out.
The couple had committed to documenting their home renovations and the mysteries that they uncovered, so they took a short break to snap some pictures of the briefcase. After they had taken the pictures, they excitedly opened it. They were not disappointed with its contents. Within this briefcase there appeared to be someone’s most prized possessions: antique jewelry, watches, rings, 4 silver ingots -- and It all seemed to be valuable. They also found envelopes that were stuffed with foreign cash from a variety of countries. Lastly, there was an antique wooden box. Contained in the briefcase were all of someone’s worldly treasures, but just what were they doing hidden in a secret room? And why had someone left them behind? The couple had a feeling that this room had even more mysteries to uncover, so they didn't dwell on these questions. And the hidden room would not disappoint.
The homeowners then discovered that the briefcase wasn’t the only case of value in that hidden room. Secreted away in the corner stood a black Sentry safe. The man was certain that it would contain something far more sinister than foreign currency and old watches, and he was nervous to open it. Taking into consideration the strange setup of the room that had been covered in tarp and soundproofed -- for unknown purposes -- The man’s hunch soon proved to be well-founded.
The man forcefully opened the safe. The first thing he saw was something that confirmed his darkest suspicions. Sitting there, on top of the contents, there was a note. On the note two words were written roughly in dripping black ink: “Save yourself". Was the note merely a joke -- a silly pun about the safe? Or was it an ominous warning to the new homeowners? The man had to dig deeper, and then it became apparent that there was something truly wrong about the room. The couple soon came to the realization that the mysteries in their house were beyond their bounds. What they soon discovered made them decide that it might be time to call in the authorities.
As the man continued to rifle through the safe, he would found something that did nothing to soothe his worries. Painted in white on the top of the safe were two words: “Do not.” Do not what? The lower compartment of the safe seemed to contain what looked like a series of old videotapes. The man breathed deeply and pulled the tapes from their hiding place. What, upon further inspection, would the tapes reveal? And what was hiding beneath?
The man began to inspect the videotapes after removing them. They appeared to be newer than the other contents in the suitcases found in the basement, as well as in the briefcase found in the mysterious room. Otherwise, they revealed very little. Five of the six videotapes were labeled, but the labels did little to describe their contents. The labels were mysteriously inscribed with a series of letters and numbers: 194, 1195, 11195, IV, 95, V. Perhaps they indicated years and Roman numerals? This would, indeed, mean that the tapes were more recent. The man tried to put them out of his mind...this new discovery proved to be too much for him. These tapes simply must have been left by the previous owner as a practical joke, fooling the next person who stumbled upon the hidden room... surely? The man’s curiosity eventually got the better of him, but what he found would jolt him to the realization that he and his wife were way out of their depth. The contents of the tapes would make the couple realize that they needed assistance from the authorities.
The man’s curiosity ate at him. He had several sleepless nights before he decided that he simply must know what was on the videotapes. He pushed them into an old VCR and hit the play button. The scenes that he watched on those tapes that night were truly horrific. The homeowners' charming old house in Cleveland was no ordinary house. It proved to be something much darker. But what exactly did the couple watch on those old videotapes?
The man’s curiosity had led him to discover something that he later wished he hadn’t. Whatever the man saw on those tapes made him contact the FBI immediately, and they seized and confiscated them. They then launched a full-scale investigation. What scenes were on the unmarked videotapes? We may never truly know. The media got hold of the story and speculate that the videotapes were recordings of horrifying crimes, that were all carried out in the mysterious and soundproof hidden room. So what was the real story behind those tapes and the home’s secrets? If the tapes contain footage of crimes, were they related to the old suitcases filled with money that were secreted in the basement ceiling? And the briefcase of treasure hidden in the hidden room? Were the money, treasures, and videotapes a part of the home’s history, or were they merely hidden away in the house by the previous owners? The mysteries that were uncovered by the couple performing renovations surely raises many questions: Do you know your home’s past? If you find money hidden in your house, What will you do? What secrets could be lurking behind the walls, in the ceilings, and under the floorboards of your house?