Bidding on the contents of abandoned storage units is a job for some and a hobby for others. And there’s nothing wrong with that. After all, you can make a few bucks. However, you can also end up with the shock of your life, as a couple of people learned this year.
With Halloween coming up, I decided to take a look at the most spooky things recently discovered in storage units. But watch out. The creepiest things found in storage units so far in 2012 may make you think twice before going to that storage auction!
A Stalker’s Storage Unit, as Creepy as You Imagined
The only time it’s acceptable to keep around a headless doll is the five minutes between the dog ripping the head off and you discovering it. When someone stores a headless doll among knives, it’s a problem! Robert Dewey Hoskins, re-arrested after escaping from a mental hospital in February 2012, was convicted of threatening to murder Madonna, and that headless baby doll was found in his storage unit in Long Beach. LA Weekly reports on the 10 Creepiest Items Found in Madonna’s Stalker’s Storage Unit. Besides the headless baby doll and dozens of knives, Hoskins kept a very scary clown mask, a sumo wrestler baby doll, a Barbie backpack and so much more.
I think Madonna and the rest of us can breathe a little easier knowing that this man is now back in the mental hospital! However, I’m not sure how the guy who bought the auctioned-off stuff feels. According to CBS News in Los Angeles, the man who bought the storage unit contents earlier this year said that it was strange to see all the Madonna memorabilia, but it made sense once when he figured out whose unit he had bought. LAPD detectives took photos of the contents of the storage unit, but they didn’t take the items as evidence since there are no active investigations. Personally, I don’t blame them for not wanting a headless baby doll hanging around.
A Former Medical Examiner’s Hobby Revealed
Some people like to take their work home with them, but Dr. Michael Berkland, a former medical examiner, took his work to his storage unit in Pensacola. When I say “work,” I’m talking about body parts from more than 100 people! All of this creepiness was discovered in August 2012 when some poor soul bought the contents of Dr. Berkland’s unit at a storage auction. It seems that Dr. Berkland’s “hobby” included the storing of 10 brains, as well as other body parts like lungs, hearts and tissue samples. The Pensacola News Journal has the whole grotesque story.
Dr. Berkland was thrifty as well as creepy, keeping a heart stored in a Dodge’s convenience store Styrofoam cup. Police noted that formaldehyde was leaking from the cracked lid. The body parts, harvested during private autopsies performed inside funeral homes in Florida, were also found inside Tupperware containers, trash bags and specimen cups. Interestingly, Dr. Berkland was fired from his job as a medical examiner in 2003 for failing to complete autopsy reports in a timely manner and for keeping a big backlog of cases. Ah, too many trips to his storage unit!
We all Keep Creepy Family Secrets, Right?
Unit B8 in U-Stor Self Storage in Clearwater, Florida held something that couldn’t be auctioned off when the family fell behind on payments in January 2012. When the storage facility manager told the family that the contents were going to be sold, the truth came out. Among the banana boxes and old TVs, rested grandma’s skeletal remains! Authorities identified grandma as Ann Bunch, born on January 1, 1900. Since the woman’s death in 1995, her remains had been stored inside a painted blue coffin in a storage unit that wasn’t air-conditioned.
So, for 17 years grandma’s remains rested inside a warm storage unit! The body had been properly prepared for burial by a funeral home in Alabama, hence the lack of odor. The Tampa Bay Times reports that there was nothing suspicious about the woman’s death, and everything else in the storage unit was just normal stuff.
Are you afraid of what you may find inside storage units at auction?
What’s the creepiest thing you’ve bought at a storage unit auction?