Posted by Dylan Vander Velde on October 31, 2019

13 Strange and Spooky Things Found on Job Sites


It's that time of year again: the days are shorter, nights are longer, and between evening storms and morning fog, there's a hint of eeriness in the air.


So, we figured why not celebrate the Halloween season with a list of creepy, scary, and downright strange objects found by construction workers out on the job. Read on...if you dare!



A 700-Year-Old Mummy

There's not a lot that lasts 700 years...unless it's well-preserved! In 2011, a very well-preserved mummified woman was found by a construction crew working on a road in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province of eastern China. She was determined to be a member of the Ming Dynasty, stood just under five feet tall, and was dressed in silk finery and buried with robes, slippers, and jewelry. Amazingly, her hair and eyebrows were still intact when she was found!


17th Century African Burial Ground

This next find hits a little closer to home: In 1991, during an excavation in lower Manhattan for a new federal building, workers discovered a 17th-century burial ground for Africans enslaved in what was then the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. The cemetery appeared to have been used between the 1690s and 1790s and sits between Broadway and Centre Street, near Thomas Pain Park.


Once the cemetery was discovered, construction was stopped and further archaeological excavation unearthed the remains of people buried there. Some individuals were even able to be identified thanks to the help of living descendants.


Two years after the initial find, the site was recognized as a national historic landmark, and a decade later, the remains of over a dozen individuals were ceremoniously reburied. In 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed the area as a national monument.


A Medieval Hospital

An apple a day keeps the doctor away...but not in this scenario. In 2013 in Madrid, the foundation of an ancient hospital was found when Spanish construction crews began excavating for a new Apple Store that was to be built there. Further research into the area found that the hospital dated back to the 15th century and was specifically used to treat victims of the bubonic plague. And while it was used well into the 19th century, it was closed and torn down in the 1850s.


Around Two Dozen Coffins

Back stateside in March of 2017, construction crews working on an apartment complex in Philadelphia unearthed more than a few fully intact human bodies and coffins. The remains are speculated to be from the 18th century, likely related to the nearby Betsy Ross House that was allegedly an old burial ground for the First Baptist Church.


The church moved around 1860, and all parishioner remains were supposed to be exhumed and reinterred, but it seems some corners were cut. The bodies discovered were sent to the forensics lab at Rutgers University in Camden for documentation and were ultimately laid to rest in Mount Moriah Cemetery.


18th Century New Orleans Cemetery

Another state, another unearthed cemetery. In 2011, before Vincent Marcello of New Orleans began excavations for his backyard swimming pool, he had a hunch he should check to make sure all was clear. So, he hired archeologist Ryan Gray to dig in the area before construction began.


Gray ended up uncovering 15 wooden coffins where the new pool was set to be installed. Upon further investigation, they turned out to be a part of the much larger Saint Peter Cemetery of New Orleans. And this actually wasn't surprising to those working the job: in the 1980s, at another building project nearby, bones and whole skeletons were also unearthed.


The coffins and remains found at this site were sent by Gray's team to the Louisiana State University to be studied and cared for, and Marcello finally got his pool.


An Unexploded WWII-Era RAF Bomb

During World War 2, Allied bombing campaigns dropped 3.4 million tons worth of explosives. And as many as 15% fo these bombs didn't explode. Instead, they disappeared during post-war reconstruction efforts and, as a result, many European and Asian countries continue to find unexploded remnants under buildings and other public places.


Which is exactly what happened Christmas Day 2016 in the Schwabian city of Augsburg in Bavaria. On that day, a 2-ton RAF bomb from WWII was discovered underneath a construction site, forcing the evacuation of 54,000 locals and serving as a chilling reminder of the violence and suffering of worldwide war.


The 2,200-Year-Old Long-Lost Temple of Pharaoh Ptolemy IV

Across the Mediterranean and a few years later, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced that construction workers drilling a new sewage drain in Kom Shakau village northern Sohag, Egypt uncovered the 2,200-year-old long-lost temple of Pharaoh Ptolemy IV. He was the fourth pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 221 BC to 205 BC.

At the beginning of this month, Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said construction was suspended while archeologists attempt to uncover the temple ruins.


More Human Bones

Back home in Hillsdale, Missouri, a crew at a construction site made a startling discovery after one of their trucks got stuck in a field.


After finding what appeared to be a human leg bone, the workers called 911 and an investigation was held. With the help of cadaver dogs, the medical examiner, and a crime scene unit, a human skull was also uncovered and no foul play was expected. After some examination, the medical examiner's office believes the remains may be historic.


And Even More Tombstones

As they were demolishing a site to make way for condos, contractors in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois were alerted that a nearby neighbor had noticed something in the soil stockpiles: tombstones and fragments of wood that looked suspiciously like caskets.


The neighbor called ABC7 in Illinois to investigate the findings, but according to both on-site contractors and representatives from the nearby cemetery confirmed there were no bodies buried in the caskets. While no bodies were found, it was still quite the learning experience about finding such discoveries on a job site.


A 33-Foot-Long Anaconda

You're probably used to seeing creepy crawlies on the job site, but this one takes the cake! After blowing up a cave while prepping to work on the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil, a 33 foot long, 881-pound anaconda emerged. Although the actual dimensions of the snake haven't been confirmed, the crew got a few pictures for the world to see.


A Severed Head

Skeletons are creepy enough, but there's something extra creepy about a dismembered head. Which is exactly what a worker found in the spoils that had been removed from a construction site in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, England and transported to a quarry in Cambridgeshire. There's no explanation for how the head ended up on the site, but they believe the man had been hit by a train and his head became stuck in a nearby bridge. Officials think the head could have been there for anywhere between 10 and 50 years.


Hundreds of Rats

Thought the giant anaconda was all Brazil had to offer? Think again: while demolishing some concrete, workers uncovered hundreds of rats living beneath the floors. With each chunk of concrete removed, even more rats would emerge. Check out the video if you think you can stomach it!


A Letter to Santa

With the winter holidays coming up, we'll end on a slightly less creepy note: 72 years after it was written and hidden, a letter to Santa Claus by a little boy named David was found in the chimney of a home being demolished by contractor Lewis Shaw.


The letter, which was written for Christmas of 1943, was miraculously found its way back to David thanks to the power of social media. Shaw tried to track David down on Facebook and by speaking to neighbors who still lived close by. With the help of a social media campaign, #FindDavid, Shaw eventually found David alive and well and returned the memento to its author.



Now it's your turn: what's the creepiest, weirdest, or scariest thing you've found on the job? Tell us about it in the comments!