-- A Home Renovation Unearths Artifacts That Lead To An FBI Investigation

 An Ohio couple was just getting excited about renovating their 1940s Cleveland home when they began to uncover strange signs. They’d just completed renovating the main living spaces on the first and the second floors and were now set to embark on the house’s basement.

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As they began to take apart their basement, they came across the most unimaginable windfall, which would quickly be followed by an astonishing find. That discovery would eventually be the subject of a protracted FBI investigation. What could the couple have possibly unearthed in their basement that would attract an entire federal investigation?

The Demolition

The basement renovations began in earnest, with the homeowners taking pictures as they worked to capture the moments. The walls were scrawled with strange graffiti but the homeowners forged on undeterred and obviously unaware of the shocking discovery that awaited them.

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As the husband tore down the aged ceiling, he spotted something so unusual that he immediately called out for his wife. The couple was about to discover something that would change their lives forever.

A Discovery in the Ceiling

Bits and pieces of the ceiling crashed onto the floor as the DIY homeowner suddenly noticed something hidden between the old, white, drop-ceiling and the subfloor above it. A vintage-looking gray and green suitcase lay propped against a pipe, perfectly squeezed in between the rafters.

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Someone had obviously gone to great lengths to hide the suitcase. The repairs ceased immediately and the homeowner shifted all his attention to retrieving the suitcase. He phoned his wife and asked her to make her way back to the house as soon as possible. Was the discovery worth the disruption? He would soon find out, and also the secrets that laid inside the suitcase.

Waiting For The Revelation

He was going to wait for his wife to return from work, the homeowner had decided. In the meantime, he dragged the suitcase outside and proceeded to document the entire process, and which he would later share on social media. While the case looked somewhat small, it was unusually heavy.

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Questions raced in his mind as he burned with curiosity as to what could be in the case. It would be a surprise, granted, but the homeowner was completely unprepared for the enormous surprise that awaited the couple inside the old green suitcase.

The Small Suitcase With Big Dreams

The homeowner’s wife finally returned from work to share in the excitement of the mystery. He carted the suitcase to the back garden but amidst the excitement, the couple decided to prolong the fun by playing a guessing game. They took turns in guessing what they were going to unearth inside the suitcase.

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Given the age of the case, the couple ran through a couple of guesses, antique sports cards, old recipes, priceless antiques. Would the old suitcase contain bundles of cash, the couple wondered as they exchanged conspiratorial looks? The speculation continued to fuel the growing anticipation and it was time for the suitcase to finally reveal all of its secrets.

Mystery Bundles

As the couple excitedly opened the old case, their first glimpses inside the case didn’t reveal a lot about the contents, or the good fortune they were about to discover. Naturally, they swooped in for a closer look. On the inside were rectangular objects, wrapped in yellowed wax papers.

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They were going to have to dig further in order for them to solve the mystery of the old suitcase. Would their efforts reward them as they surely had hoped?

Money Bundles

As the man peeled off the layers of the wax paper, his eyes suddenly widened. The suitcase was full of old money, in the literal sense. The first bundle he’d unwrapped revealed many $20 bills. What a stroke of fortune, the couple thought to themselves as they could hardly believe their luck. “These are all twenties! There may be a couple thousand here! We are freaking out at this point,” the man would later tell newspapers. “This doesn’t happen to us! What do we do? Where are the cameras?”

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But the more pressing question was, how much would their total windfall come to? There were still two more unopened bundles wrapped within the wax paper. The couple wondered if they would find more money, or perhaps something even more valuable.

More Money Bundles

The couple’s excitement continued to grow as they began to open the second bundle. They were hoping it would have another stack of $20 bills, but they were wrong. As they delicately peeled the wax paper layers on the second bundle, they discovered that it was a giant stack of $50 bills instead. The third one contained $100 bills. “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 would later describe the scenario.

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But where could the money have come from? For how long had the money been hidden in their house? The bills were clearly old, dating as far back as 1928-1934. How much could the old bills be worth, given they were now vintage notes? But as it later turned out, some of the bills would be extremely rare.

A Blast From the Past

From the style of the case and the age of the dollar bills, the suitcase was clearly super old. But how old, and where had it come from to end up in their basement ceiling? As questions raced through the couple’s minds, they began to wonder how long the money had been hidden in their home. But something at the bottom of the suitcase would provide surprising insight into the answers they were now seeking.

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An old newspaper, dated March 25, 1951, from their hometown paper, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, lay at the bottom of the suitcase. A quick calculation revealed that the money had been hidden in their ceiling for at least 65 years. What would the value of those bills be today, the couple wondered, and were there any more astonishing secrets?

A Most Pleasant Windfall

Of course, 65 years later, many of the bills in the old suitcase were now worth far much more than their face value. A number of them were, in fact, star bills that had never been in circulation and were more than 70 years old. When the couple contacted a lawyer to help with valuation and ascertaining the current value of their newfound treasure, they gasped at the figure - $23,000! “This was a wild ride for us, and I hope you all enjoyed it, too,” the man would later say on social media as he posted his pictures on Reddit.

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“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,” he commented about their situation. The couple eventually went back to their home renovations. But the mystery was far from over as they would unearth more surprises, some of them horrifying enough to get the feds involved.

And The Surprises Keep Coming

The couple had to eventually settle down continue with the more important task of completing their renovations. As they pressed on with the work, they slowly began to discover that their $23,000 fortune in old bills was just a small part of a large mystery.

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As the Cleveland resident tore down the basement’s old drop ceiling, he noticed a second suitcase within the rafters. What would the suitcase contain, he thought, would lightning strike twice in their 1940s home?

One More Mystery Case, Another Windfall?

The eager resident still had to wait around for his wife to come from work before opening up the second mystery case. He placed the first case beside the newly discovered suitcase. He then took pictures of the two cases together and for the first time, noticed that were almost identical.

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The second suitcase was clearly not empty and the homeowner was flushed with anticipation as he pondered over its contents. Would it be filled with treasures like the first one or would his anticipation come to nothing?

Mysterious Contents Revealed

With their lucky discovery still fresh in their minds, the couple wasted no time in opening up the second suitcase. But this time, instead of bundles of old money wrapped in wax paper, the second case was filled with money, neatly lined up and organized into denominations.

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The couple balked at the discovery even as their visual calculators tried to work out how much money they were looking at. Was there an end to the string of surprises they were currently encountering as they renovated their home?

A Much Larger Fortune

As it turned out, the second suitcase had clearly been better concealed for a reason – it held a much larger fortune than the first one. They anxiously counted the money and discovered that it was $45,000, and which they determined to channel towards their home renovations.

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They could hardly believe their luck. However, their stroke of luck still hid a mystery that would attract the FBI.

A Secret Door

With the knowledge that their house hid secrets, and valuable secrets at that, the couple began to discover spaces they’d noticed but never stopped to really look at. And the first space they wanted to check was one that hid behind a secret door. It had an innocent-looking door, just like any other utility access panel.

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The door opened to the space that housed the hot water heater, at least according to the realtor who’d sold them the house. The couple decided it was about time they explored what lay behind the mysterious door. But little did they know that their curiosity was about to lead them to a discovery of the home’s biggest secret.

The Space Behind The Secret Door

As the small, white door slowly creaked open, the couple immediately realized how wrong their realtor had been. They’d clearly purchased one of the most unusual houses. For starters, there was no utility room behind the small door. The space was too small for a hot water heater section.

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Secondly, there was an entire room lurking behind their wall with swaths of carpet along the floor. The room had clearly never been used for years. But why would someone go to such great extents to conceal the room?

Not What It Looks Like

Their eyes grew wide with concern about what they would find within the dilapidated spare room. They’d lived all those years in the home and never once imagined that there could be a spare room hidden behind the wall. The man asked his wife to stand back as he ventured into the rough and dark room.

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As he walked across the room, he quickly realized that there still more mysteries, including another door, only this time, it was bolted with heavy locks. No one was supposed to find this room much less try to access it. What could be hidden inside this room given the tight security levels?

Bringing Down The Door

The house was clearly protecting a lot of secrets and the man was determined to keep pressing forward to discover all of them. Not even an intimidating heavy duty door lock was going to stand in his way. He quickly fetched the necessary told and began hammering away at the door, determined to force his way through.

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His persistence would soon pay off and also lead to a more shocking discovery. With all the mysteries popping up all over the house, surely something was not right about the house.

A Disturbing Environment

As soon as the lock snapped open and the man pushed the door open, an eerie feeling swept over him. There was something wrong with his home. Discovering all the treasures was a fun, exciting, and welcome stroke of luck but what lay behind the door gave him the chills. The door ushered him into another room which seemed hidden for decades from the Cleveland home he’d bought. It was a strange-looking room covered with heavy soundproofing material and a white plastic tarp.

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Why would anyone soundproof a room which was clearly hidden from the public and from the house itself? It can’t have been for a good reason. As the couple continued to unearth more artifacts, what began as a fun home renovation mystery would eventually become a federal investigation.

More Treasure To Uncover

One of the first artifacts the man discovered as soon as he walked into the room was an old, brown leather briefcase. The couple had a warm feeling that the briefcase may contain more treasure given the contents of their first two suitcases they’d discovered in their basement.

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But with the strange and hidden nature of this particular room, all bets were off. There was no telling what would discover. Would it be something far more unsettling? They would soon find out.

Someone’s Most Prized Possessions

As was now becoming the norm, the Cleveland homeowners took a short break to take pictures of the mystery briefcase. They had so far been fully committed to documenting their home renovations and the mysteries they’d discovered. They pried open the briefcase and to their amusement, discovered that it held what seemed to be someone’s prized possessions.

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It was full of seemingly valuable antique jewelry like watches, rings, and four silver ingots. There were also a few envelopes stuffed with cash from several foreign countries. Even an antique wooden box, clearly someone’s most valuable worldly possessions. Scarcely had the couple pondered their most recent discovery than they felt the need to uncover more mysteries. The room, of course, was not in short of supply of mysteries.

The Mysterious Black Safe

As it turned out, the briefcase wasn’t the only valuable case hidden in the secret room. A black, Sentry safe was also stashed away in one of the corners of the room.

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Given the room’s intimidating setup, the man was incredibly nervous about opening the safe. It had to have more sinister items other than a few old watches and foreign currency. He would soon find out.

A Stern Warning

As he successfully forced his way into the safe, he noticed a note, scribbled in dripping black ink. It lay on top of the contents and therefore hard to miss. The message needed no further explanation, a clear warning in rough bold writing; “save yourself.” The man swallowed hard as he took in the words, a warning clearly meant for anyone who discovered the suitcase. Or was it a pun or a mere joke, a quick thought flashed across his mind before he quickly resumed to a state of astonishment.

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For the first time, it began to dawn on him that the mysteries of the house may now be beyond him and he might need to call for help. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it but something was truly not right about the room. But it was what he was about to discover next that would eventually prompt him to call in the authorities.

Final Warning

As he dug deeper into the safe, he noticed two words painted underneath the top cover. The words seemed a little vague at a casual glance but they were clearly intended as a further warning; “Do Not.” Of course, the automatic question popped in his head; do not what?

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He dug deeper into the bottom part of the safe which seemed to contain a series of old videotapes. He carefully removed the tapes and inspected them for any clues, wondering what the tapes would show.

A Disturbing Revelation

The tapes seemed to be in great condition and even looked newer than most of the contents they’d found in the suitcases or the briefcase. All but one of the videotapes had been labeled but they hardly revealed anything. The labeling was something of a mysterious and indecipherable series of letters and numbers, 194, 1195,11195, IV, 95, V. They seemed like dates, or Roman numerals, which would mean the tapes were quite new. That was it. The discovery proved a little too much for the homeowner.

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There was still the possibility that the previous homeowners were pulling a prank on them, fooling any new homeowner who discovered the room. But it was the contents of the tapes that would eventually make the couple realize it was time to engage the authorities.

Recordings Of Horrifying Past Events?

The man’s curiosity got the better of him and after tossing and turning in bed for a few nights, he decided he must know what was on all those tapes. He found an old VCR, popped in the tapes, and pressed play, burning with anticipation.

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What he saw on those tapes would forever be etched into his memory. Their charming old house was nowhere near what you would call an ordinary house.

An FBI Investigation

The man was filled with regret and he wished he had never looked at those tapes. He had immediately contacted the FBI after watching the mysterious tapes. The Feds had swooped in and confiscated the tapes before setting up an investigation. The media was awash will all kinds of speculations, some of them indicating that perhaps the tapes contained footage of harrowing crimes that had been carried out in the secret soundproof room.

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We may never know the exact details of what really happened or the actual story behind the tapes and the treasures hidden in the couple’s home. Had they been hidden by the home’s previous owners? The mysteries triggered more questions than answers.

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Do you know your home’s past, the secrets lurking behind your walls, in your ceiling, or on the floors? What would you do if you discovered money and treasures hidden in your house?

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