Editor’s Note: Given the popularity of our original 7 Spooky Things Found on Construction Sites post, we updated it to include three more eerie discoveries.
There is no shortage of examples of strange things being found on construction sites. Especially during excavation, it is arguably inevitable that you will unearth some unexpected items. Sometimes, you may even come across some treasures. In the spirit of Halloween, here are 7 spook-tacular things that have been found on site during construction:
When a construction crew started to work on building a new Apple store in Madrid, they came across something they hadn’t anticipated when they developed the plans. Workers discovered the remnants of a hospital from the 1400’s that was used to treat victims of the plague. Many of those who visited this hospital never made it out, as many people died of the illness. The hospital was closed and demolished in 1854, and hidden under the pavement of a public square. It wasn’t until they broke ground on the soon-to-be Apple Store when they discovered what remained of the building.
Crews were working on a construction site in Missouri when one of the trucks came to a halt while digging up an area. Upon investigating why the truck was stalled, they discovered what seemed to be a human leg bone. Startled by this discovery, they put the job on hold and called the authorities. Crime scene units and cadaver dogs were brought in, and a human skull was also found. The medical examiner’s office said the bones were very old, and it would take some time to examine them. Unfortunately, construction had to be stopped during the investigation. Talk about a “Dead-End”!
On a construction site being developed for new condominiums, workers found multiple headstones beneath the ground. During excavation, they found four headstones that had been broken into pieces and mixed in with other debris. Some of the pieces of stone had names that were plainly legible. The excavation team called the developers who owned the site, and discovered that this was once the location of a cemetery. However, there were no longer bodies buried there. Based on what was left of the tombstones, they were able to identify the individuals and confirm that the bodies had been moved to another cemetery.
The severed head of a 30-50 year old man was found in an active quarry in the UK. Police believed the victim was hit by a train about a decade earlier, and that the head may have been stuck in a nearby bridge. It is likely that when the structure was cleaned, the head became dislodged and ended up at the quarry. Police are still working to find out the identity of this individual.
A home renovation project was underway in San Francisco when contractors discovered a strange object under the garage. They had found the casket of a little girl, who was believed to have been buried 120 years ago. They decided to call her “Miranda”. Officials hypothesize that Miranda was left behind when a cemetery was relocated. The owner of the property wanted to bury Miranda in a cemetery, but the city would not issue a burial permit for Miranda without a death certificate. An organization called Garden of Innocence, which provides burials for unidentified children, took Miranda and laid her to rest. They hope to find out Miranda’s true identity in the future.
A construction crew in Brazil was blowing up a cave in preparation to work on a dam, when a 33 foot anaconda emerged from inside. It was claimed that this was the largest snake in history. Video footage of the encounter showed that the anaconda had died, so it was not possible to re-home it and further study the specimen. It’s unknown if the explosion killed the snake or if the workers killed it out of fear.
A $15M construction project in San Antonio was halted when workers discovered a very rare spider. The spider, known as a Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver, is an endangered, non-venomous species that lives in caves. It has no eyes and is almost completely translucent. This was only the second time this species had been found in more than 30 years. The project was green-lighted to continue again 2 years later, but only once the plans had been redesigned (to the tune of $44 million) to protect the spider’s cave habitat.
In the 1850s, a couple were renovating their home in Paris, France and discovered the mummified corpse of a baby when it fell out of the wall during demolition. A French physician named Louis François Étienne Bergeret performed an autopsy on the body, studying the patterns of necrophilious insects to determine that the infant had died several years earlier. This case made him one of the first forensic entomologists in history.
In 2011, Vincent Marcello had an archeologist dig up his backyard in New Orleans before construction began on his new pool. He took this extra precaution because he suspected he might find something morbid, given that his property sat on part of the city’s first burial grounds. Sure enough, they found 15 wooden coffins right where the pool was to be installed. The coffins were said to belong to the Saint Peter Cemetery in New Orleans. The bodies found in the coffins were transported to Louisiana State University to be studied and then carefully reburied.
The spookiest part of this story? Several coffins will (legally) remain, unearthed and undisturbed, beneath the finished swimming pool.
An average archaeological audit on a construction site led archeologists to the remains of a 2,000 year old Native American woman. The team of archeologists initially found some teeth, but it wasn’t until they discovered a toe that they realized the significance of their find.
The woman’s remains were found under a main road in Florida, and it was suspected that she was a member of the Tequesta tribe that had lived in the area a couple thousand years ago. Archeologists believe the woman died of a disease, based on the damage indicated by her remains.
Though it isn’t all that common, sometimes you can find some…less-than-pleasant things while digging up the ground. It might be an interesting piece of history, or a fascinating species of wildlife. So next time you’re excavating on site, proceed with caution. You never know what you may find lurking beneath you. Muahahaha.
We’re here to answer any questions you may have.