What’s the weirdest thing you’ve discovered on the job? We count down some of the most bizarre builder discoveries.


Working on a building site is an unpredictable job. Countless jobs to do, machinery all over the place, and you can never be quite sure when you’re going to get your lunch break. Not only that, builders can wind up uncovering the strangest bits and pieces. Whether its working on an old property or digging up some earth, who knows what you might find?

We’ve been looking into some of the more unbelievable builder discoveries. Some are spooky, some are sparkly, and some are just downright bizarre.

6 of the weirdest examples of builder discoveries

Can you top their tales?


Hundred-Year-Old Ouija Board

Ouija Board

Of all our builder discoveries, this one is by far the freakiest. While working on an old property, a builder removed a heating vent expecting to find nothing out of the ordinary behind it. He was mistaken. What he discovered was a spooky Ouija board.

If you’re not familiar with Ouija boards, it’s basically a collection of letters, numbers and phrases used to contact the dead. You ask the spirits a question and they answer using the board – it’s essentially a ghost-pager. Weird right?

It gets weirder. This particular Ouija board was close to a hundred years old. Why had it been kept behind a heating vent for so long? Is that the only part of the house that gets good reception to the other side? Or was it just used to plug a draft? We may never know, but the builder who discovered it was more than a little creeped out. Didn’t stop him posting it to Imgur, though.


16th Century Treasure

What would you do if you were on site and you dug up an old pot during a job? Bin it? Leave it? Use it as a decorative door stop? Builder Richard Mason decided to do none of these things when he uncovered an old piece of pottery during a house renovation on Lindisfarne. Instead, he put it in the back of his van and forgot about it.

It wasn’t until eight years later that he decided to spruce up the pot and give it a clean. He tips it over and what comes out? A pile of gold and silver coins.Turns out the pot contained coins from all over Europe, dating back as far as the early 16th century.

When asked about the discovery, Richard was delighted: “I’m absolutely tickled pink. Discovering something this rare doesn’t happen every day and my dad’s been doing this job for years. I’ve never really found anything of any value of significance before”.

So what happened to those coins? Richard did the noble thing and donated them to a museum for everyone to enjoy…including his dad.


60 Year Old Christmas List

Christmas listNot all builder discoveries have quite as much festive magic as this one. Lewis Shaw got quite a surprise while demolishing a fireplace in a house in Reading. Within the fireplace he came across a Christmas list written by a young boy named David. Well, he was young when he wrote it – the list was dated at 60 years old!

Here’s what he wrote: “Dear Father Christmas, Please can you send me a Rupert annual, and a drum box of chalks, soldiers and Indians, slippers, silk tie, pencil box and any little toys you have to spare, Love David”. Did David leave the letter in the fireplace so that Father Christmas would see it on the way down? Who knows.

What we do know is that Lewis didn’t want the list to go undelivered. So he managed to track down David and return the six-decades-old list. Talk about a blast from the past!


Unexploded Shell

From undelivered Christmas lists to undelivered explosives! Back in 2007 a builder working at the site of the new Whitchurch community centre in Winchester Street made a terrifying discovery. It was an unexploded shell, roughly 6-8″ long.

He showed the shell to his supervisor before being told to quickly (and carefully) put it down. The street was closed off as police arrived along with a bomb disposal unit. It was decided that a controlled explosion would have to take place. The only problem was they were missing one crucial ingredient: something to cushion the explosion.

200 sandbags later the shell was detonated. Fortunately there was no damage as a result and the builders could (cautiously) get back to their work.


Rats…Rats Everywhere!

rats under the floorPrepare to feel your skin crawl. When you’re working on an old property it’s not uncommon to find a rat or two scurrying about the place.

What’s a little more unusual is to find an army of rats living under the floor! While a group of builders were digging up the concrete floor in one property, they were greeted by a hundred or so rats that had been using the floor as a holiday camp. You can see the video of the grand unveiling here.

We could give you more details on this builder discovery but it’s frankly just too gross so we’re going to leave it there.


Have you made a weird or wonderful discovery on the job? Know of any other weird and wonderful builder discoveries? Post a comment and let us know or get in touch on Twitter.

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