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When you think of a self-storage facility, what comes to mind? You probably aren’t picturing the cleanest, brightest, friendliest place in the world.

But sometimes, self-storage facilities – and the units inside them — go beyond creepy and into the realm of straight-up scary. They’re private, somewhat isolated and the perfect place for bad guys and creepos to store things they wouldn’t want in their own house.

These are some of the quirkiest, grossest and most terrifying things ever discovered in self-storage units.

1. A human leg

When Shannon Whisnant won an auction for a storage unit in North Carolina, he found a meat smoker inside. And when he opened up the meat smoker, he found a human leg.

That’s right — not barbecue spare ribs, but a human leg. 

The in-tact extremity belonged to man whose leg had been amputated after a plane crash. He kept the leg in storage so that when he died, he could be buried as a whole person.

This story gets even weirder: There was actually a dispute over who should get to keep the leg.

Girl at the window

2. A bunch of rats

This story is not for the faint-of-heart.

One woman in California learned that hard way that rodents also love self-storage units. Turns out, a family of rats had made a nest using her son’s baby blanket. Try not to hurl.


3. A hand grenade

A Michigan man won an auction for an abandoned storage unit in 2011. When he started cleaning out the unit, undoubtedly looking for treasures, he found something pretty scary: a live hand grenade.

Yep, you read that right. The grenade was in a gun case with the pin still intact. He drove the case to the local police department immediately, where the bomb squad was called to destroy it.

Can you imagine waking up one day to learn that all of your belongings had been blown up because some guy kept a live hand grenade in the unit next door?


4. The body of a missing woman

Some really horrible stuff happens in self-storage units. Like really, really horrible.

Last year police in Colorado Springs discovered the body of a missing woman in a storage unit. Yikes.


5. An entire family

Across the country, families are struggling to make ends meet. When that happens, they may find themselves without a roof over their heads.

One family of five lived for two months in a self-storage unit in Pittsburgh with no electricity, no toilet and no running water. Once they closed the doors to their unit for the night, all they had were their cell phones for light.

Man in the window

6. A coffin (that wasn’t empty)

When a Florida family fell behind on the payments for their storage unit, the company notified them that their unit would be auctioned off.

The family protested because there was something with sentimental value inside the locker—grandma’s body. The family had stored their grandmother’s blue coffin inside their unit from 1995 to 2012. By the time police got inside the storage unit, all they found were her skeletal remains inside the coffin.

If that doesn’t give you the heeby jeebies, I don’t know what will.


7. 40 frozen cats

A storage unit in New York contained two large freezers.

And inside those two freezers were 40 dead, frozen cats, which a man discovered after he won the unit at auction for $150. One of the cats was skinned. 


Read enough?

Here’s an idea: Don’t store your belongings yourself in a traditional self-storage unit.

Let Closetbox’s team of professionals pick up your items and store then in a private vault at our clean, secure storage facility. You won’t have to worry about a thing — nothing creepy here.

Not convinced? Keep reading.

8. Bed bugs

Here’s a super gross story: One man recently posted on a bed bug forum, asking whether he should keep his stuff in a storage unit to kill the pests. But upon closer inspection, he had already stashed his stuff in a storage unit. “The unit is a metal shed-like building with other units near it,” he wrote.

I’m sure his storage neighbors would be super stoked to learn that this man had intentionally stored his bed-bug-infested belongings next to their stuff! What a nice guy.


9. A burglar

To a criminal, a storage unit may seem like easy pickings. It can’t be too hard to cut the lock and access all the goodies inside, right? Is anyone really paying that close of attention at self-storage facilities anyway?

One burglar in Missouri got stuck inside the storage unit he was trying to rob. When a security guard saw the door ajar on a unit, he quickly pulled it shut and locked it. He later heard someone trying to get out of the locker and called the police, who discovered the burglar.


10. Bloody crime scene evidence

This story is truly frightening. A man opened up a storage locker in Colorado and found an ax, a blood-stained rope and bloody socks. These items were stashed inside a manila envelope with the word “Evidence” written on the outside.

The locker, which was abandoned and auctioned off, had belonged to a sheriff’s lieutenant. Turns out, the evidence was connected to the unsolved murder of a 17-year-old girl. The sheriff’s lieutenant has been charged with official misconduct and abuse of public records.


11. 100 body parts

After conducting hundreds of autopsies between 1997 and 2007, a former Florida assistant medical examiner decided to keep a few souvenirs — in his storage locker.

Police say Michael Berkland stored more than 100 body parts, including brains and hearts, in his storage unit. He kept them in formaldehyde in specimen cups, trash bags, styrofoam cups and plastic containers. The worst part? Some of the containers were leaking. Oh my.

Hospital beds

Read enough?

Here’s an idea: Don’t store your belongings yourself in a self-storage unit. Let Closetbox’s team of professionals pick up your items and store then in a private vault at our clean, secure storage facility. You won’t have to worry about a thing — nothing creepy here.