People Who Enter Strangers’ Houses For A Living Tell Their Worst Horror Stories

Voting Rules
Vote up the worst houses.

Rarely do we get to glimpse into the lives of a total stranger in such a private place as their own home. All the hopes, troubles, and secrets these people and places hold might tempt one to peer in the windows or through the cracks in the door when the chance presents. However, sometimes it's for the best the curtains are drawn and the door is locked.

But the people you'll find below have no choice. They enter strangers' homes regularly for work, be they handymen, house appraisers, or cleaners, and these are the scariest things they've seen on the job. So sit back in safety and read their stories instead, and don't forget to vote up the ones that'd make you find the exit the fastest.

  • 1
    830 VOTES

    No Exterminator Could Fix This

    Posted by u/karlverkade:

    I worked in pest control.

    We got this call from this known sketchy area... So I get to this place, and there's like four families living there and I don't know how many pets. But there's dog doodoo all over the house. On the carpets, on the furniture. The bathrooms apparently have no running water and are just filled with trash. The bathtubs and sinks filled with full trash bags.

    I'm like, "Good morning, what seems to be the problem?" in my most professional voice.

    They're like, "We have roaches." I'm like, yeah, I'll bet. I say, "Sure, show me the trouble areas."

    They say, "Well, they're mostly in the furniture." In the furniture?! They take me to this old-style dining table, and they remove the extension leaf, and in the table grooves are just thousands upon thousands of roaches, climbing on each other, spilling out onto the carpet now and crawling everywhere. And I'll never forget this. Here I am, standing in the middle of a carpet littered with dog poop, roaches literally pouring out of furniture, and one of the guys looks at me kind of condescendingly and goes, "Careful where you spray that stuff, boy. I hear it's toxic."

    As I sprayed, roaches would come pouring out of everywhere. I'd spray in the kitchen cabinets, and they'd just pour out of the crevices, crawl up the walls, onto the ceiling, and then fall off onto the floor. As soon as I had to start dodging falling roaches from the sky, I said, "Welp, that'll about do it! Give it about 48 hours for the spray to spread to all the roaches." Which I completely made up. I raced out of that house and into the truck and felt like I had crawling things all over me for the next two days. Took about 17 showers. My boss called later that afternoon, chewing me out for not finishing the job... I told him if he wanted one more account so badly, he'd have to come do it himself. I could tell he didn't believe me, but was a little taken aback by my forcefulness, as I'm normally a pretty passive guy, so he complied.

    Sure enough, I get a call from him a few days later. He's like, "So I've been doing this for 40 years, and that was the worst house I've ever seen. I'm never stepping foot inside that place again." Oh and their check had bounced.

    830 votes
  • 2
    890 VOTES

    "They Didn't Fit Right"

    Posted by u/altaccfor****1:

    I was a student on a placement in community mental health services. I went out on a visit to see a man who was just recently discharged from a medium secure hospital. He had schizophrenia / psychosis. We were going in for a routine checkup.

    I knock, he opens the door, and this incredible stench just hits us in the face, and I thought I was gonna throw up right there. But alas, my supervisor urges me to go in. We walk into his house, and it just smells so bad. My eyes were watering. I keep my composure, we chat to him, and I notice some black thing on his kitchen table, looks like rotting food/mold/tiny, dead mouse... I don't know. So after chatting, I casually ask him what that black thing is and if he needs help cleaning it up.

    "Oh, it's my toes."


    "Yeah, I cut them off, they didn't fit right on my foot."

    Needless to say, he was immediately readmitted. He reportedly cut them off with a kitchen knife and then [cauterized the area] with a lighter. I believe he had to have his entire foot/below knee leg amputated because it got infected.

    890 votes
  • 3
    776 VOTES

    She Nearly Joined Her Husband

    Posted by u/Harvard-23:

    A neighbor called the police after noticing the mail piling up outside of a neighbor's house - never ever a good sign. I go [do a check] with a back-up car. No answer at the door, so we try to look through all the first-floor windows when my partner spots a foot in the hallway. We forced entry and found the eldery female barely alive. She had fallen two days earlier and had a broken hip. Fire/rescue came and got her to the hospital in time. I know, not the weirdest thing finding her.

    But we had to grab all the prescription medicine we could find to take to the hospital. It was then that we found her mummified husband sitting in the bedroom chair. Examiner said he had been there about six months.

    776 votes
  • 4
    695 VOTES


    Posted by u/TheCityPerson:

    The worst story I heard was from my aunt who was a cop in Charleston, SC. She said she got a call to an apartment complex where they complained of something red coming down the walls. When they walked into the building, she said it smelled so bad that she wanted to puke. They pushed through and went to the apartment above the complainant's. When they entered the apartment, the smell got much worse, and in the bedroom lied a man who had [expired] weeks ago. His body had decomposed to the point where his skeleton was visible, and the juices had completely soaked the bed and carpet and were going through to the complainant's apartment.

    695 votes
  • 5
    719 VOTES

    This Wasn't In The Job Description

    Posted by u/UKMustang:

    It was the middle of summer in a heat wave. Got sent to a bungalow belonging to an elderly resident to install an extractor fan in the en-suite of his bedroom. The gentleman was going to be away on holiday during the install, and had left a key in an outdoor wall safe, so we could get in and do the work. Nice easy job. 

    So I pull up to the house, knock on the door, even though I know he’s not been in for three weeks at this point (force of habit, you never know). No answer, so I punch the code in and get the key out the wall safe.

    I put the key in the door and opened it.

    Instant gag reflex.

    The smell was so bad I’ll never forget it. It was like a vomit smell almost, very unique though. I put on my respiration mask from my bag and pushed on.

    I opened the door to the bedroom, smells even worse. “Jesus, what’s this guy been doing in here?” Kept gagging, but walked on.

    Then the worst part.

    I opened the door to the bathroom. Instantly vomiting in my mask, my legs turned to jelly, my stomach doing cartwheels.

    The gentleman was in the bath. Dead.

    He’d obviously been there a long time. Three weeks, at least. I dropped my tools and ran outside. I took off my mask and wiped my face. Shaking and sweating horribly, I had to sit down. I took me a few minutes, but I rang the police (they didn’t seem fazed, which surprised me, but I suppose they’ve heard it all).

    Lit a cigarette and rang my coworker, while waiting, and told him what had happened. (He later told me he knew I wasn’t joking, as my voice was so rattled.) He arrived a couple of minutes later and was actually very comforting (which is a rare thing with the British building trade, it usually all banter and p*ss taking). I don’t blame him for not going inside.

    Few more minutes later, the police arrived. I was still in the same place I sat down when I’d come out the building. I could not get up, I was almost frozen in fear. One of the policemen was very sympathetic and helped me up. I gave a statement, and they gave me a lift home.

    Will haunt me for the rest of my life, but for those asking, I’m okay now!

    719 votes
  • 6
    645 VOTES

    At Least He Tipped

    Posted by u/Supertech46:

    As a telephone technician, I once had to repair a shorted phone jack in a back bedroom and the resident forgot that there were STACKS of money and coke on the dresser right across from where I was working. He was right behind me, and he KNEW that I saw it so I tried to play it off and get the hell out of there.

    Waiting outside of the room, he hands me $500 from one hand and while brandishing a 9mm in the other, tells me, "You didn't see anything, right?"

    Still haven't seen anything.

    645 votes