10 of the Strangest Things Found in Storage Spaces

Self storage units are used by people from all walks of life, from average families to the neighborhood eccentric to some of the world’s most famous celebrities. Have you ever wondered what treasures may lie behind the metal doors? Here are some of the strangest things ever found in self storage spaces:

1. Grandma’s body.

While most of us would never dream of stashing a loved one’s ashes in a storage unit, apparently some people do exactly that. There have been several reports of urns full of cremated remains found inside storage units, which seems like a strange way to honor a deceased loved one. In an even stranger case, a Florida family kept their grandmother’s body in a blue casket inside a storage unit for 17 years following her death. When the storage unit owner notified the family that the unit would be sold for unpaid rent, they responded that the contents couldn’t possibly be put up for auction, since they included a relative’s dead body.

2. A live hand grenade.

It’s not all that unusual to find guns or ammunition in a storage unit, but recently a man in Michigan found something with a little more fire-power. After finding a live hand grenade, he called the police, and the bomb squad arrived to detonate the grenade. Thankfully, no one was hurt by this dangerous surprise. Now that’s an explosive discovery!

3 Never-released Michael Jackson tunes.

Not all strange finds are bad ones. Over 250 original songs by Michael Jackson were once found in a storage unit belonging to his father, Joe Jackson. The songs – some of which were recorded with Tina Turner – were apparently recorded while Michael was between contracts. That means that no recording companies had a legal claim to the songs, reportedly worth millions of dollars – making the lucky buyer a Smooth Criminal.

4.  Aretha Franklin’s clothes.

After a fire in her home, Franklin apparently used a Michigan storage unit to keep her clothing and hats safe. However, she eventually stopped paying for the unit, and her iconic wardrobe was sold to the highest bidder. Even the fabulous fashions of the Queen of Soul weren’t immune to the auctioneer’s hammer, sending the lucky bidder home with her legendary wardrobe.

5. A treasure trove of Burt Reynolds’ weird belongings.

Some of the many oddities found in Burt Reynolds’ storage unit include a horse carriage built by Dolly Parton, a framed letter from Burt’s doctor about a 1955 surgery on his spleen, the bill of sale for Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger, and the canoe from the 1972 movie Deliverance. And that’s only the start of it. There was so much weird stuff in Burt’s storage unit that its contents formed the basis for a kitschy celebrity museum in Florida.

6. Old Space Equipment.

Some of the weirder storage unit finds deal with a different kind of star. Spike TV’s Auction Hunters showed the bidding action at a storage unit auction close to Florida’s Cape Canaveral. One of the winners uncovered a NASA rocket and countdown clock in the unit he had purchased. The old equipment had been stored there after the spaced program they were part of was discontinued.

7.  A million-dollar comic book belonging to Nicholas Cage.

Back in 2000, Nicholas Cage filed a police report after an extremely rare comic book was stolen from his home in Los Angeles. More than a decade later, the comic book (Action Comics #1 – worth more than a million dollars) turned up in an abandoned storage unit. The man who purchased the storage unit at auction contacted a comic book dealer, who happened to have been the same person to have originally sold Cage the book. He recognized it instantly, and Nicholas Cage has reportedly been reunited with his comic book.

8Thousands of dollars in cold, hard cash.

A San Jose man bought a storage unit at auction, later realizing that it contained thousands of dollars in rare coins, and gold and silver ingots. Worth more than half a million dollars, the gold mine was stored in an unlikely treasure chest: a blue Rubbermaid container. The anonymous buyer paid $1,100 for the stash at a storage unit auction.

9. Rare cars.

In 2009, a 1937 Bugatti 57S was discovered in an English storage garage, where it sat untouched for half a century. One of just a handful of these original supercars ever made, experts believe it to be worth as much as $9 million. A surgeon, Harold Carr, apparently put the car in storage after buying it in the 1950s. When he died in 2007, his nephew uncovered the rare car.

10. Knight Rider.

And that’s not even the only rare car to ever turn up in a storage unit! In the United Kingdom, one storage unit company was shocked one day when a customer drove up in a copy of K.I.T.T., the famous Knight Rider car. Normally, most people putting their vehicle in storage have an old work van or a daily driver they don’t have space for, so you can imagine the employees’ flabbergasted faces when Michael Knight’s K.I.T.T. drove up.

Anything you imagine can be found in a storage unit. Usually, the only glimpse the public gets behind the metal doors is when the renter has failed to pay for the unit, and the contents are offered at auction. If these are the weirdest things that have been found in self storage facilities, just imagine what’s been stored there and never been seen!


Jennifer D’Angelo contributes writing on a variety of subjects to companies like Next Door Self Storage. When she’s not writing or working, she likes trying out new vegetarian recipes at home.


  1. Deborah says

    I went to a couple storage auctions with a friend who owned a second hand store. I lived in Hawaii at the time and so many people get up and move for one reason or another at the drop of a hat. Needless to say I had a blast.
    I enjoy watching storage wars & another auction show on ‘Tru Tv’
    I can see if I indulged in this myself I would turn into a hoarder, another show :-)

  2. Brandy says

    this is a big money making industry. I have relatives that pay on these units for years. Sadly 1. most of their stuff is junk that isn’t worth what they pay over time to store it,They just don’t get around to going through it 2) most of them have a house and don’t get that they could finance the building of a shed with the money from their monthly payment and at least eventually pay it off. 3) when they want something from said unit that they are paying on, they are too lazy to go get it and buy or borrow another one. If I was to go to one of those auctions, I’d be the one ending up with the junk unit.

  3. Pam@IW says

    I love the storage war shows too! You can get addicted to some of those shows, between storage and pawning, LOL. We have only used a storage space one time and it was only for about four or five months. It was when one of my sons was in between apartments. I am amazed when I watch Storage Wars what they find in those bins and why on earth people would not take some of it or at least let a relative or friend have the option of having it.
    My husband keeps saying he wants to go to the auctions and bid but I want nothing to do with that. I am not a hoarder and I do not want other people’s junk in my house. I wonder how often you really get a great find?

  4. snickers says

    As a estate cleaner of homes, you would be surprised what you find in people’s homes. I always have several containers set aside with things that I feel should never go on an auction, but I leave it up to the family to make the decision. You would be surprised when families are feuding, what is put on an auction. I always wondered if people put things in storage so debt collectors, ex’s, etc, would never know they had them. They would rather walk away and just forget those things, than to let someone else enjoy them.

  5. Deborah says

    I know its something I could get addicted too.
    Pam, My couple experiences nothing jaw dropping was found but my friends goal was household items, clothes, ect for their second hand store. The bid never got that high on that style locker. There were a few they wished they could bid on but it got to high and was to risky for them.
    What was interesting and something I was never aware of and I can’t say it happens everywhere but in Hawaii some people live in them. Its a very cheep and electricity is free. I don’t know if its legal but as long as they don’t do anything to bring attention to themselves they get away with it and its better then being homeless and camping on the beach.
    We saw a locker one time we went and it was obvious someone had been living there. The auctioneer didn’t act like it was any big deal.

  6. Roozerdo says

    Not in a storage bin, but once at an Estate Auction, my husband bid $10 on a medal file cabinet, and it have over $200 in stamps in it, along with all kinds of writing material.

  7. Jessica says

    I would like to point out that even though all these would be awesome to find, there was once an incident where a man killed his family and stored their bodies in a unit for 17 years… Just saying that should be somewhere on this list.

  8. Matt says

    i work in self storage. think about it like this if you had thousands of dollars worth of stuff in your unit surely you would pay the small amount to get it back. even if you had to beg borrow and steal to get that money. In terms of people passing away its a long process involving lawyers who are trying to find family members. if no family members are found the unit is filmed and sent to individual auctions to recover monies owed. TV makes a lot of this stuff up. don’t be expecting a load of gold etc. If you had a million dollars in gold would you put it in a metal box so easy to break into?

  9. Suzanne R (SuzySweeps) says

    The list above of strange findings in storage units has given me a much larger insight as to why so many people go to storage auctions, as well as watch television programs like “Storage Wars”. How amazing it would be to buy a unit for a small price, all to find a large stash of cash to retire on!

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