A haunted medieval well
For nearly two decades, Colin Steer wondered why his living room floor dipped a little near the sofa. We all have that spot in our house — that weird bump by the bathroom, the divot in the kitchen — and we never really thought to question what that’s all about. Well, a few years ago, Colin Steer found the answer. While replacing floor joists, Steer discovered a dirt-filled brick shaft underneath his home in Plymouth, England. Curious, he dug down about a foot, but his wife made him fill the hole back in, since he was, you know, digging a mysterious hole into the earth through their living room.
Women! They just don’t understand the siren call of a mystery hole.
Upon retiring at the end of last year, and clearly ignorant of an entire genre of horror movies, Steer and some friends poked, prodded, dug, and excavated, toiling away in the brutal and unforgiving land of That Spot in Front of the sofa. They eventually unearthed a 17-foot-deep medieval well. Since it appears on the 16th century plans, Steer knows it’s at least that old, but he’s still hoping to establish an actual construction date. That’s not even the disturbing part: Amid all the “unearthing of things that should stay buried,” Steer also found an old rusted sword stuck between bricks in the well’s shaft. As though somebody had fallen down there. As though somebody had tried to climb back out …
But rather than filling that clearly cursed hole with concrete, burning all of his clothes, and then moving to another continent, as would be prudent, Steer installed a trap door in his living room that opens right into the ancient, almost-certainly-haunted-by-fallen-knights well. He really likes that hole for some reason …
“We found these 31 love letters written by a soldier while he was in Europe in World War I. The soldier built the house in 1920. In March 2011 my brother cut a hole in the lath and plaster wall to add an electrical socket and found the wall cavity stuffed with these. They were all to the girl he married when he got home. Some were written from the trenches in France. I traced his family, and they were so happy. The letters are now at Dalhousie University being copied and preserved.”
‘Goonies‘ style treasure
In 1985, the town of Sroda in Poland decided to demolish an old building. Instead of the more common asbestos-and-body-of-missing-caretaker rubble that typically accompanies commercial demolition, the townspeople were pleasantly surprised to find a cache of gold and silver coins. Sadly, The Goonies had lied to us all about property law regarding ancient booty; the authorities promptly confiscated the loot.
Not to be outdone in the game of Just Plain Forgetting About a Fortune, Martin Kober of Buffalo, New York, recently recalled that he had a $300 million Michelangelo painting behind his couch, which had been sitting there for 27 years.
The painting depicts the Pieta, Michelangelo’s famous marble sculpture housed in St. Peter’s Basilica. The absurdly valuable patch of canvas used to hang prominently in the Kobers’ home until it was knocked off by a rogue tennis ball. After the incident, the Kobers wrapped up the painting, stuffed it behind the couch like a broken phone charger, and went about their other business, which was presumably strangling unicorns just to feel something again.