The Most Disturbing Hoarding Stories on the Internet

Trista - March 31, 2021
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8. Out of sight, out of mind.

“My grandmother is a bit of a hoarder, but thankfully she put it in storage units instead of cramming it in her house and loves to give it away. I used to love it when I was little because I always had fun dress-up clothes. Later I realized that she never threw out my mom’s or aunts’ clothes – that’s what I was always playing with. My aunts have been helping her clear out her garage and many storage units over the years so that it won’t be such a problem. My grandfather was in the military and relocated many times, though. Then my mom says there must be storage spaces all across the country with her abandoned stuff.”

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Reddit user fancytalk at least has some good memories to look bad on, like playing dress-up with their grandmother. It is nice to see some good parts of these stories come out because they are primarily negative. Thankfully in this situation, which is even more uncommon, the hoarder has kept their belongings somewhere else, like the storage units. Most cases usually involve hoarders being literally surrounded by their belongings. However, they do have to wait to see about the other storage units, and who knows what will be in there if they haven’t visited them in decades. 

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7. Never eat expired food.

AuntIsHoarder is a Reddit user says, “My great aunt is a hoarder. I have not visited her house in a long time because she lives in Canada. Ever since I moved from Seattle in middle school, it is very hard to visit. […] My great aunt lived through the great depression, so we BELIEVE it is ingrained in her to keep everything regardless of its value. She will dig through the trash and find worthless stuff and keep it. Here are some examples. When I was in middle school, we were looking for something to eat. I found a box of fruit loops. Now, as FAR back as I can remember for my entire life, there have at a minimum been four fruit loop colors (red, green, yellow, and orange). The box I found had only 3 (red, yellow, and orange).

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My mom told me to go ahead and eat them, saying they would be fine because of the seal. They weren’t fine… Just as well, my cousin got sick because my great aunt made her pancakes with rancid butter. We have found full egg nog containers in the middle of summer. We don’t know how old they are because the expiration date doesn’t list a year. The situation is almost unbearably sad. It hasn’t been dealt with in any real way. She is really old and set in her ways (80+ years old). So really, the only way it will resolve itself is when she dies. […] She mixes valuable stuff in with crap. She might stick a $100 bill or a piece of jewelry in a pile of 20-year-old newspapers (God knows why!?) So basically, we will have to hand sift through every piece of trash, looking for valuable stuff along the way.”

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6. Like father, but not quite like a son.

Reddit user bake-kujira says, “My Dad is a hoarder. He and I both collect records. But his obsession is extreme. His house is full of collectibles and memorabilia. Much of it is actually quite interesting, possibly even valuable. There’s just so much of it. There are designated walkways in his house. What’s strange about it is how organized everything is. It’s chaotic but not messy. I’ve tackled my own hoarding tendencies over the past few years for fear of ending up like him. But I feel like I have a firm grasp on it. I go through routine purges where I sell off, donate, & trash things I no longer need or want. I take comfort in the fact that I find the purging a relief. Also, I fear the day my dad passes, mostly because his mountain of stuff becomes my and my two brother’s inheritance.”

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Thankfully, with those behaviors and tendencies, he was able to get in check on his own, and the cycle stopped at him. It is good to let things go that don’t bring you joy or serve you anymore. When something you once cherished brings someone else bliss, that is a gratifying feeling. However, knowing that one day he will have to go through all of his father’s belongings is scary. Thankfully it is all organized, and the possibility of it being sold as sets and collectibles is still fair.

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5. It pays to be prepared.

“An uncle-whose-not-really-my-uncle was currently moving. He’s a survivalist. The only radio they got was a mass-relayed American paranoia channel, and it got to his head. In his bunker room alone, he has sixty barrels of water. I’m not exaggerating. We counted it. SIXTY. At least thirty packages of toilet paper and paper towels. Copious amounts of canning, most of which I would assume is now inedible. Two tin garbage bins surrounded by live wired to protect electronics from an EMP. Six boxes of Irish Spring from the ’80s. Guns. Good lord, the guns. If it’s legal in Canada, he has it.

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I can’t make this stuff up. And his workshop… Jesus Christ… seven tons of screws. SCREWS! The hardware store doesn’t have that much! And I’ve only just brushed the surface. I’m going to find the Ark of the Covenant in there.” Reddit user Drando_HS explains how he is helping a family friend move, and they have a large bunker room. Now, being prepared is one thing, but this takes it to a whole new level! Some of these items, specifically the thirty packages of toilet paper, would have come in handy in 2020 with the pandemic, so there is a silver lining to this story. There is a fine line between stocking up for emergencies and having hoarding tendencies. It is hard to keep yourself in check if you want to be a prepared person but have issues with these behaviors.

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4. An artist’s take on hoarding.

Reddit user DubwooferMusic recalls, “My Grandpa called me to ask me to help clean out his deceased brother’s house. I had never been there, but I agreed. As we were driving up the lane, I noticed there was quite a bit of trash in the yard. We got out of the car and went in through the garage since that was the only door that would actually open. This guy had an old Rolls Royce — not sure how he was able to afford it — that was filled to the brim with papers in every seat except for the driver’s seat, which looked like it had been completely eaten away by mice.

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Once we were in the house, things didn’t look much better. It was a two-story house, and the first floor was filled nearly to the ceiling with papers. He had been an artist and had thousands of sketches in his house, literally. The upstairs was completely different. The floor was completely empty. There was absolutely no furniture or anything. It was completely bare. The walls of the entire 2nd floor, however, were completely covered with paintings and sketches, from ceiling to floor. I was only able to see part of the upstairs because the floor had rotted and collapsed in the majority of the rooms. It was still pretty interesting, though.”

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3. Doll collecting or doll hoarding?

“My great aunt hoarded porcelain dolls. She ordered them from some TV programs constantly and paid hundreds for some of them. Her house was like a maze of dolls covering every possible surface. When I was little, she brought me through it to pick anyone I wanted to take home with me, and I was excited at the time. I remember trying to find the one I originally liked after going through the whole house, and I just couldn’t pick it out again because I couldn’t tell which it was. It was sad. I still have the doll I ended up choosing, though.”

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It is a good thing Reddit user gingeroh is not afraid of dolls, or else her aunt’s house would have been off-limits. One saving grace of this hoarding story is that there is little to no garbage. When you don’t have to deal with waste, you also don’t have to deal with the smells, bugs, or rodents, so this is a win-win situation. A little creepy but still better than garbage. It is hard to imagine how many dolls there were in this house, but there were so many that the Reddit user couldn’t find the doll she wanted… that’s a lot. 

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2. It’s a moving day!

This Reddit user, swamperloader, has a bit of a different story than we have heard so far. It doesn’t have to do with any family, friends, friends of friends, or distant relatives. This story actually has to do with his job as a mover. Dealing with hoarders would be a risk you would have to take if you wanted to work for a moving company. However, the moving company should provide all the necessary sanitary equipment you would need for a job like this. Thankfully, it sounds like this story is boxed new items that the hoarder has saved and not trash. 

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“Furniture mover here; pulled up to a small one-bedroom basement apartment, and thought, “Oh, yeah, easy day.” Wrong. When we walked in, the place was stacked floor to ceiling with brand new in box furniture, with tiny isles in it that you had to walk sideways to get through. The customer was an elderly lady who had been collecting it for years and years, saving it to retire into a really large country house in the middle of nowhere.” Hopefully, this older woman got to enjoy her new furniture, out of the box, in her new country home.

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1. Hoarding is sneaky and insane.

Reddit user bernanner recounts, “Get ready. It’s long. I had some family friends for a long time, even before I started school. The slow progression of their hoarding was something to see. Little things, habits were where it started, and then those seemed to spiral out of control. Some of the things I saw were just disgusting. Toilet paper was never on the roll. But when you picked it up to use it, there were used tissues inside the roll from where someone blew their nose. The washer and dryer in the bathroom were always covered in clothes. Soon, it seemed like they just bought more instead of doing laundry. I remember as a teenager using their bathroom and used pads would be open on top of the trash.

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It was hard for me to keep track of how many animals they have: fish, a bird or two, cats, and dogs everywhere. They once got in trouble for a horse in the backyard in the city. They have farm property with more cats and dogs, horses, and goats. On their farm, they built a house about 20 years ago. Outside was finished, but inside never was. It’s full of stuff and would require a lot of cleanups. At some point, the house in town closed on the porch. We watched that extra room fill up. The last time I stayed there, I was probably 13. I’d wrecked my bike, and they offered me band-aids that were soaking in the water on the kitchen counter. I declined. I ate tuna out of the can and yogurt because of the pre-closed seal. That night, I saw meal worms crawling through my friend’s carpet. I went home, and my elbow was infected. Super painful.”

 

 

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