This photographer found $7,000 in an abandoned house

A photographer stepped into an ancient abandoned house in the rural wilds of Ontario, Canada, and found an astounding find. When thousands of dollars were discovered among a lifetime of historic memories, what appeared to be a decaying home stuffed to the rafters with abandoned family things turned out to be much more than it appeared.

An urbex (urban exploring) acquaintance gave abandoned photographer Freaktography, who goes simply by Dave, the location of the mystery property, and he couldn’t resist having a peek around the supposed time warp mansion. He had no idea what he would discover among the rubble…

Shrouded in mystery

The decrepit home in eastern Canada was captured in the midst of a snowfall, set within a dreary, cold environment. David found entry impossible due to the snow, and the roaring winds and unpleasant weather further add to the mystery surrounding this lonesome property.

A deep and dark history

According to Dave, the tale of the house begins around the turn of the twentieth century, when a Polish family immigrated to Ontario and settled in the property. They allegedly made a living by selling orchard produce at a roadside kiosk that was well-known among locals. They unexpectedly upped and went in 1985, leaving the house stuck in time.

Personal belongings abandoned

The family clearly departed in a hurry, judging by the heaps of possessions and family pictures littered over the home, leaving behind priceless treasures like this one. But why did the prior residents go so quickly?

A family secret

According to family members who informed Freaktography’s Dave, the couple had three children, but their eldest son developed a drinking problem as he grew older. He allegedly struck a pregnant mother and her two-year-old toddler while driving inebriated one day in 1979, killing them both. He was imprisoned for three years as punishment, which destroyed his family.

Saddled with shame

According to reports, the pious family battled with their son’s problematic history and went into hiding, no longer selling their fruit to local supermarkets or visiting their church. When their son was allegedly jailed for drink-driving again in 1984, the guilt was too much for them, and they departed for good after his grandma died.

Steeped in secrets

The house has been abandoned and stuck in time for 35 years, left to degrade and rot. Discarded pots and pans rest in the kitchen sink, trash litters the floor, and a disused mattress is pushed up against the wall. The mattress, unbeknownst to urban explorer Dave, had a mystery that the family had left behind…

Reminders of yesteryear

The house is filled with antiques from bygone eras, such as this ancient hand-crank laundry wringer in a kitchen nook. It was manufactured and sold in Canada by the T. Eaton Company, sometimes known as Eaton’s, to wring out clothing after they had been handwashed in a pot.

Untouched interior

The kitchen cabinets are still overflowing with outdated household items. Several of the old tins and food cans look to be undisturbed since the owners moved out. This dusty bottle of Labatt’s IPA beer has not been opened, but the Imperial Blend tea tin appears to have withstood the test of time.

Vintage homewares

David discovered this old Edgeworth Pipe Tobacco container from the 1950s while filming the house for his Freaktography YouTube channel. The one-of-a-kind tobacco was considered to have a very rich flavor; we wonder whose member of the family it belonged to.

Derelict family space

The crowded living room, no longer a nice family place, nonetheless includes old family portraits scattered around and a 1979 calendar. According to Dave, who spoke with relatives of the former residents, the adjoining living room houses what looks to be an old hospital bed, which was brought in for the family’s grandmother when she was unfortunately battling cancer.

A window to the past

Amid the detritus in the living area discovered this liquor license, which depicts life in 1952 when it was granted. From 1927 until 1962, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario awarded liquor licenses following the repeal of prohibition. The passport-sized book required the family to keep track of the booze they purchased.

Hidden treasures

It’s also evident that the family was major music aficionados, with a number of record players sprinkled throughout the house and an old radio hidden away in a corner below. We can only image the hours spent huddled around this beauty while music wafted through the home.

Exposed to the elements

Moving upstairs, it is evident that 35 years of negligence have taken their toll on the building. Because of the roof holes, the interior of the house is now exposed to the elements, and the four bedrooms have lost their battle with Mother Nature.

Crumbling walls

This deep green wallpaper has been impacted by humidity and is now broken and peeling inside one of the bedrooms. You can barely make out the pale traces left by missing picture frames, however one appears to have been left behind and neglected.

Rundown attic bedroom

While the upper bedrooms are run-down and crowded, they contain a treasure mine of antiques and personal objects that have been stacked up and left to rot. This wet and unpleasant attic apartment was once a cozy and cheerful bedroom under the eaves.

Well-preserved photos

Surprisingly, this photo album has survived among the rubble and appears to be in fine condition. Additional relics from the home’s previous life include this little portable radio and a pinstripe suit jacket that sits beneath the album and was most likely worn to family gatherings and formal occasions.

A thrifty household

This old sewing machine may be seen in one of the bedrooms. The hand-crank manual machine with gold ornamentation, which was most likely used to produce garments for the family, has been collecting dust for many years.

Memories of yesteryear

What was once a beautiful dresser has become a dumping ground for trash and things, including an old Vaseline container and even some dentures. But, despite the odds, this magnificent black and white wedding photo, most likely of the family, has survived, providing a glimpse into the home with a history.

Dusty dressing table

A dust-covered dressing table with a mahogany-framed mirror houses an antique radio, baseball, and jewellery box, though whether it still carries the family treasures is unknown. A mystery key lies above the radio, and we can’t help but wonder what it unlocks…

A lost record player

This Ledo record player sits next to the dresser, and we can just see it crackling away into the early hours, spinning the hottest tunes of yesteryear. That would have been the pinnacle of sophistication back in the day, with built-in speakers. We’re curious whether it still works today.

Reduced to wrack and ruin

Nature has taken its toll on this room more than others, with plasterwork cracking and wetness rapidly spreading across the walls. Where there was once a bed, there are now mountains of trash, coated in dust and detritus gathered through years of neglect.

Abandoned belongings

It’s difficult to fathom what this bedroom looked like before nature took over, but this storage container hints to the former occupant’s preferences. A old record is hidden under one of the shelves, and the regal craftsmanship of the unit alludes to the space’s former grandeur before Mother Nature closed in. The place is nearly like an abandoned hoarder house!

Historic high-tech homewares

When the lid is raised, what seems to be a basic storage container is discovered to be another record player. The Mason & Risch phonograph, in addition to playing records, would have captured and played back noises – a very high-tech piece of kit for your ordinary household, though the family’s affluence would soon become clear…

Glamorous gowns

Elsewhere, this lovely gown appears to have spared the same fate as the rest of the property. The lovely light green lace and silk item has been left hanging over a bedroom doorway, as if waiting for its owner to return.

Family heirlooms

This comb and mirror set, which was also left behind, would have belonged to the enigmatic owner of the clothing. These historical relics, kept in a box, haven’t stood the test of time as well as their surroundings.

Childhood memories

These old school and college books are in another of the bedrooms, maybe one of the family’s younger members’. The artifacts, which are surrounded by rubbish and a little tray of money, provide a fascinating glimpse into life growing up in mid-century Canada.

Frozen in time

A number of exquisite silk clothing, visible here hanging on the back door of one of the bedrooms, were among the belongings left behind in the aftermath of their abrupt departure. But there was something much more fascinating hidden downstairs, which urban explorer Dave discovered on his visit…

A secret stash

A large sum of money was discovered in a yellow plastic bag hidden under an overturned mattress in the kitchen. The money was mostly in American dollars, with a few Canadian dollars thrown in for good measure, totaling $6,800 (£5,260).

Mysterious origins

Therefore, why did the family conceal their wealth? The hoard was exceptionally well organized, wrapped with elastic bands and labeled in pencil with dates ranging from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. It’s unclear how they got the money, although it’s been reported that the notes were collected from their fruit stand and held as undeclared revenue.

Returned to the rightful owner

Dave made contact with the family’s grown-up daughter, who was now the owner of the property, along with her brothers, after discovering the huge cash. He reconnected the money with its original owners, who were now married and residing in northern Canada. The house is still standing today, and the family has began the massive work of cleaning up the neglected property. With any luck, the next chapter in the home’s history will be happier than the last one…

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