Coming home after a vacation or even just a day of work can be a wonderful experience or a terrible one. Returning to the place you are most familiar with and feel safest in is nice, but not if something has gone wrong in your absence.
All kinds of things could occur when no one is home to prevent them. Pets could get into things they shouldn’t, destroy stuff or just make a horrible mess. A water tank or pipes could rupture, flooding the house for hours or days and leading to extremely costly damages. Fires, natural disasters, crimes… all kinds of things can make coming home a nightmare rather than a pleasant ending. This list will share some stories posted by internet users from around the globe of the absolute worst things they have ever had the misfortune to come home to.
45. An Empty Home
I came home from a business trip with 3/4 of the furniture at my house gone. My wife of 20+ years had left me for her high school sweetheart and moved across the country to be with him. She took everything she wanted and left me with divorce papers. Hard to imagine a 5000-square-foot house with nothing in it. Depressing for sure.
Got home after work, sat down on my couch, caught a glimpse of something in the corner of my eye. Turn towards the love seat and see a squirrel sitting on top of it. Look behind the love seat and see that my air conditioner side paneling was torn to shreds and all over the floor.
Chased the squirrel out and made better side paneling, but the squirrels never stopped trying to get in. It was horrible hearing them scratching and gnawing. My landlord tried putting up some wire fencing around the window hoping to prevent them from getting in. Instead, they would manage to get in and then forget how to get out. So they would be trapped between the wiring and my A/C, panicking and gnawing at the window sill and I’d feel bad for them and despise them at the same time. This went on for a long time and I now hate squirrels and window A/C units.
My friends printed and framed a particularly good photo of one of those squirrels attempting to get in. And bought me a squirrel throw pillow.
43. Should’ve Waited 30 Minutes
We went on vacation for three weeks, driving across the country. I told the now-ex, “Let’s turn the water off.”
“No, we can’t, I’m running a load of dishes.”
“Shoot, honey, we can wait 30 minutes for them to finish.”
“No! We have to leave.”
When I came home, the door wouldn’t open. Turns out, the icemaker water control solenoid decided that it had been working for too long, and stopped holding the water back. There was mold everywhere. Everything in the house went into the trash—clothes, bedding, furniture, etc. They took up all the flooring down to the slab, and the bottom four feet of drywall, down to the studs. It was a six-month rehab job.
42. A Frightening Realization
I go to turn on the light and… nothing. The electricity is off. Go to the electricity box outside and turn it on and go back inside: The house has been cleared out of all valuable things. I hear a whirring sound and realize it’s the old VCR video tape rewinder rewinding the videotape. I put it in in the morning as I left home with my baby son. And then it dawns on me: that tape only takes about three minutes to rewind… The burglars must have turned off the electricity seconds after I left home with my baby in the morning. They were watching me leave from inside the garden…
41. Fever Delusions
I was 13 and came home from school. My mother was walking around the house without clothes and delirious. Randomly picking objects up and dropping them. Calling me by a name that wasn’t mine. I called 9-1-1 and a neighbor.
She had a fever of 104. It was bacterial meningitis. She was in a medically induced coma after that, required brain surgery and then months of antibiotics. She had amnesia after that and was never really the same.
40. Wasps Beat Sheetrock
My dad came home to find a wasp in the house. And then another. And then another. He investigated. Heard a buzzing coming from the dining room. An entire nest of wasps had been living in the walls and chewed through the sheetrock (or whatever it is they did) and were now pouring into the house through the hole.
39. Ran Away For Spray
I left home one morning and noticed a handful of fruit flies buzzing around the kitchen. Thought nothing of it, figured I’d buy some traps later. Came home to hundreds of them, everywhere, along the walls and ceilings in every room. I literally ran down the street to a Rite Aid and bought all the bug spray and traps they had.
38. Poor Paw!
My dog had had surgery on both paws. Husband decided after a few days that he trusted him without the cone of shame. I arrived home to find bits of white cotton scattered down the hall. I followed them to find the living room floor covered and the dog in his bed with a paw swollen to twice its usual size after he’d shredded the bandages and ripped out his stitches. Worst treasure hunt ever.
37. The Hatching
Eight billion baby praying mantises in my house. Over the fall, my daughter went out into the woods and collected every praying mantis cocoon she could find and put them in a shoebox in her bedroom. They all hatched in the early spring while we were visiting my parents for the day…
36. Wanted To Know
My dad had cancer and we were taking care of him for almost a year. I went away to my cousin’s birthday party for the weekend and came back to him almost gone. I appreciate that my mom didn’t want to ruin my weekend but I never would have forgiven myself if I missed his passing.
35. Just Went Out To Dinner!
Once my family returned from dinner out (a few hours at least) and upon entry back into the house, we noticed water leaking from the garage roof. Turns out, our top floor toilet tank had cracked and water had been continuously pouring and was cascading down the stairs, through all three floors—a ridiculous amount of damage.
34. Stricken Kitten
I came home to injury trails all over the house. My cat got hurt for some reason—I still don’t know how to this day. It was a long cut on one of her hind legs. Brought her to the vet, stitched her up and she’s good now.
I’ve made sure to check for any and all sharp objects around the house.
33. Bad Sally!
When I was in about sixth grade or so, my family and I adopted a dog—Sally—whom we had found abandoned with her pups. We found the pups a home and decided to keep Sally. Little did we know, the mom had separation anxiety.
Before I left for the school bus one morning after my parents had gone to work, I was to put Sally in her kennel, but she absolutely REFUSED to get in. Knowing I was already running late, I just gave up and left.
When I came home that afternoon, it was pure destruction. The blinds had been destroyed, she had scattered all my things on my desk on the floor—including a small fish tank—and the house had a myriad of broken objects throughout. Let’s just say my parents weren’t too thrilled, but I managed to persuade them to keep her.
32. Dorm Delirium
My best friend and I came back to my dorm room after a night out and found the door wide open, a bloody blanket on the floor, and an empty room.
Turned out that my roommate had fallen off her lofted bed, cut her shin on a piece of metal on the bed, and was so disoriented that she went into a different (unlocked) dorm room and fell asleep on that person’s bed.
My best friend got sick in the water fountain after seeing the blood. We ended up eating our post-night-out Taco Bell cold in an ER waiting room while my roommate got stitches. A very memorable night!
Came home from visiting my wife’s family over Christmas break. She had asked a friend to come by and feed our cats, and the friend agreed. When we got back home, there was no food or water in any of the cat bowls, and one of our cats was sitting in the corner not moving. This cat was a terror and never just “sat in the corner” so we knew something was wrong. We took him to the emergency vet where the vet said he was severely dehydrated. Unfortunately, he had some sort of brain damage and we had to put him down.
When we confronted the friend she said she went by every day—we have determined that to be a lie.
30. No Injury, Just Horror
Kid decided to remove diaper after going number two, then smear it everywhere. Wife was covered in it and everyone was screaming. When I walked in, I assumed someone was severely injured.
29. A Harrowing Fall
I came home and found my front door wide open, my parents missing, my neighbors on my front lawn (we don’t talk to my neighbors) and blood all over our grass and the nearby wall.
Turned out my father, who knows how to do professional landscaping/tree trimming/gardening etc., was trimming the tree in our front yard when a branch broke and he lost his balance. He fell backward and ended up landing on our neighbor’s fence, which is topped by steel spikes. One of the spikes went into his leg, though he apparently didn’t even notice or feel it so he pulled himself off the fence without a problem, but when he tried to stand he collapsed onto the lawn. He had to have emergency surgery, but survived. His wound was so bad that when he made it to the hospital, a police officer and doctor confronted him because they figured he had to have been attacked and tried to get him to admit it so that they could find the culprit. It was an incredibly scary moment, but that was 17 years ago and he is fine today, though he did end up eventually getting his revenge by chopping that tree down.
28. Best Friends Disturbed
My wife and I left our two cats home over the weekend. Something spooked them or something, so they each thought that the other was a foreign intruder. Apparently, this included a fight inside the litter box (which had a couple days worth in it). Long story short, both cats were totally covered in dirt, neither had used the litter box since so there were presents everywhere, they had been sprinting all over the apartment so everything else was covered in the stuff, and they would completely freak out and hiss the second they saw one another.
All we had to do was get them close enough to recognize each other (through their now brown coats of fur), and they were totally chill, best friends again. The humans, on the other hand, had days of cleaning to do after that.
27. Not Ok
Mom was being sick; I entered the bathroom to help her, she stood up, walked out of the bathroom and said: “It’s time.” She packed her things with dad’s help and left to the hospital. She was a doctor and she stayed at the hospital for her last month of life—she had lung cancer.
She said she was “ok” after ending her treatment six months before. She was lying but at least she preserved my innocence for a while.
Life has never been the same.
26. A Happy Bleeder
Blood. Blood everywhere. My 700-square-foot apartment looked like a family had been attacked in it.
I was working a 12-hour shift at work and had a friend stop by to check on the dog. She immediately called me to tell me the walls were covered in the stuff, the carpet was soaked, splatter everywhere. My dog comes running up and he, too, is covered in it. He is wagging his tail in pure joy that someone is home, activating the blood sprinkler. He had two deep cuts on his tail from a glass bottle he broke. I left work immediately to take care of him. Get home and the sprinkler is going off again and on its highest setting!
I call the vet that is across the street from me and let them know the situation and that we’re coming over. I try wrapping his wounds in towels and tape them so he isn’t splattering everything in a five-foot radius. Alas, he is such a happy dog and his tail is too strong for my bandage. It slips off in, like, two tail wags. We walk to the vet and I’m trying to sign in while simultaneously holding a towel around my dog so he doesn’t make a mess. The vets clearly didn’t believe the severity when I told them the situation, because when they saw the amount of blood going all over their pristine lobby they started panicking and trying to get a mop to clean it up. We waited in the lobby for maybe fifteen minutes. There was a lot to clean.
Cleaning the apartment took me about eight bottles of peroxide and four hours of cleaning with the help of a few other people. I’ve never seen that much blood before.
Over a course of a couple months, we tried staples, stitches, glue, and a combination of all of them at once. His happy tail was too happy for any of them to work and his wounds wouldn’t shut and heal. We ended up having to amputate his tail. Now he is a proud member of the wiggle butt nub club.
25. Broken Home, Broken Promise
My one-year-old son’s empty room after his mother and I split up. We planned on 50/50 custody but she took everything. I closed the door and didn’t open it for the three months that I had to live there. I came from a broken home and promised myself I’d never do that to my child; I’d felt like such a failure.
When I was around seven, I came home from a family weekend away and walked into my room towards my cove. I had this hanging chain that you put your beanie babies on. As I passed it, it seemed like there was a bunch of dust particles in the air around me.
I started moving my hands in front of my face as if to push the dust particles from blocking my view… that was when I realized.
These were not dust particles, but rather hundreds upon hundreds of tiny baby spiders. While we were gone, tons of eggs hatched and I was walking in all of them hanging from the ceiling on web strings.
I immediately ran screaming into the shower and refused to go back in for days after my dad got rid of them all. That was the end of me having beanie babies, time to grow up.
23. Maybe Seen Too Many Horror Movies
I got home at midnight after hanging out with friends at a local restaurant, and I walk in my house to see my then two-year-old sister (I live with my parents still) standing in complete darkness, the only light being a red Christmas light. I screamed and wound up waking my mother. Apparently, my very young sister might be a sleepwalker…
22. Dusting The Toys
I had been out of the country for three days at a music festival. Came home to my front door crowbarred in, and my entire house trashed. They had taken my TV, DVDs, laptops, etc.
Almost forgot the best bit—the only DVD they left untouched (out of a collection of 200+) was a copy of Marley & Me. I truly think it was their final “screw you” as they were leaving.
21. A Series Of Unfortunate Events
After learning the oil and gas company shut down after four years of my employment, I got home at 10:30 a.m. Both my neighbor and the Leasing Office manager were outside, watching me carry my “office/desk box”. Inquiries were immediate: “Hey, insert name, why are you home so early? What is in that box?”
Then I learned the generator was hit by “mean birds” and was out of service. That means, all the groceries I just bought were sitting in the fridge and I had no job, with the added bonus of no electricity. The power didn’t “turn on” until later the next morning. I knew this was a sign of twists and turns to come, and boy have they!
20. Brownies Are Not For Dogs
An old dog of mine had become sick after getting ahold of a large batch of double fudge brownies at some point during the day, and by the time I got home, I walked into a house with no less than 25 separate puddles (yes, puddles) of stench. Poor fella had to eat bland boiled chicken and rice for a week.
19. Cat Dinner Party
Years ago we would camp for weeks at a time, coming come a few times a week to do laundry, feed the cats, etc. Our cats had a doggie/kitty window and could come and go as they pleased. Came home one night to my cat having guests and serving them bunny. It was a fluffy mess.
18. RIP Butch
New Year’s Eve, came home at one a.m. or so and the front porch was messy. Neighbor’s dog was scared of the fireworks and came over to our porch to hide where our 16-year-old dog was. They’d fought in the past, but this time he couldn’t hold his own and the other dog injured him badly. He died two days later (after we stitched him up and seemed to be getting better, but nope.) That dog was tough as nails and sweet as can be. RIP Butch.
17. A Mess That Was Almost Much Worse
One of our bathrooms has a shower with a rim that is two inches above the drain. The sewer outside got clogged it backed up in that shower and over that edge and was almost about to reach my carpet. I had to use all my towels and old clothes to absorb the mess and had to run out buy mops and buckets and clean up until plumber arrived.
16. New Homeowner’s Crash Course
Pittsburgh received an ungodly amount of rain this spring/summer. Neighborhoods flooded, houses slid down hills, and the point went underwater. Needless to say, it was a good year for a new homeowner like myself to discover how water affects a home.
Two months after purchase, I come home from night class (was at work since 4:45 a.m.) at 9:45 and the house smells and feels damp. I knew something was wrong and my gut was sinking.
Let me preface that my basement hates me. So much has happened in that basement over the past two months that opening the door to the basement is enough to trigger a day’s worth of anxiety, let alone having this sinking feeling there may be water down there.
I make it 1/4 down the stairs and immediately I know there’s water down there somewhere. I can smell it. I peer over to the other side and there’s water pouring in from the exterior basement door and the back half of the basement carpet is soaked. Like, it’s black it’s so soaked. Fortunately, the unfinished side has a drain and vinyl flooring, so there was no issue over there, but between the humid, damp, and musty smell of the finished side and all of the house centipedes strewn about the room enjoying the bad environment, I was feeling downright defeated. Before I started cleaning, I discovered a large maple leaf clogged the surface of the drain in my the exterior walkway to my basement and caused the entire walkway to pool up with rainwater. I was up until 1:30 a.m. that night shop-vacuuming the water out of the carpet. I’m very fortunate the carpet is all-weather, so I could allow it to dry over the next few days. I promptly purchased a dehumidifier and atrium drain the next morning. To this day, I am still paranoid every time I come home.
15. A Father In Need
My dad, sitting at the foot of his bed, in tears. I am so glad I got home when I did. I was out with friends and something was telling me I needed to get home ASAP, so I left early. I just gave him a huge hug.
14. Bad Exchange
I went on an exchange study trip abroad. The university helped me to sublet my student accommodation to a Chinese exchange student while I was away. Before returning home, I called the department secretary for some study-related stuff, and she quietly asked, “How much have you heard?”
It turned out that the Chinese student had trashed the apartment, then ran away to another country without a trace. The janitor had to get in there because of the smell to remove some garbage, and, of course, the rent had not been paid. It was only due to the department of secretary putting a lot of pressure on the company that had sponsored the student to pay my rent that I was able to keep my place. I still had to spend a week cleaning and had to throw away a lot of stuff.
13. The Tiniest Screams
The screams of five mice stuck in glue traps.
I was in college and coming home for the winter one year and my mom had a minor mouse infestation. She decided to buy these glue traps to catch them and they were effective, however, unlike regular mouse traps that kill them instantly these just trap them and let them die of exhaustion and/or hunger.
When I got home that day, five of them had gotten caught in the traps and were screaming their lungs out in desperation. It was such a terrifying symphony of screams and I had absolutely no idea what was going on when I walked through the door and worried that something had happened to my dog Snoopy. He was fine and after I called my mom she explained what was going on and asked me if I could take care of them, which was also a terrible thing to come home to.
I came home from Christmas Eve with the grandparents and there was a pack of pit bulls (like five of them) tied up right outside the door. They were barking and going crazy, completely blocking access to the door.
I was a child, so to me, it was Cerebrus himself lashed to the front door of my house. I’m already not into dogs because I was attacked by one as a toddler. Even as an adult, a barking dog just kind of makes me freeze and go blank. So I have no recollection of what happened, where we went, who handled the dogs.
It turns out that my mom had a stalker and he had tied the dogs up at the house in some kind of weird leap of stalker logic. Like he thought she would call him for help or something? I don’t know.
11. Lazy Husband To Beat All Lazy Husbands
I came home from working at a call center. I started at five a.m. so I could be home for lunch and still have some day left to do things and spend time with my kids. I walk in the door and my husband, who was a stay-at-home dad for our two- and three-year-old children, was fast asleep and snoring on the couch. In the kitchen, the freezer door was wide open and most likely had been for hours. This was a drawer-style one on the bottom of the fridge, so the silver lining was that neither kid had fallen and had it closed on them. Those tubes of yogurt we kept in the freezer were all over the house, partially eaten having been bitten open with the rest melting into the carpet. Kids were in the youngest’s room, the entire toybox empty and them sitting in it—still in pajamas with overflowing diapers. Oh, and we had one bedroom wall entirely covered in scribbles.
Two screaming, needy toddlers couldn’t wake him up all morning but I yell, “What the HECK!?!” and he bolts awake. The first thing he does? Make coffee, while I change the kids and clean up. We had a yelling match outside and I took the kids to my parents. There had been a lot of bad stuff before and came after until we divorced, but I still look back at that as one of the real straw breaking the camel’s back moments. I quit my job shortly after making him be the breadwinner because obviously he couldn’t be trusted to care for them.
10. Innocence Billed
I was 12 years old and messaging a strange guy from another country that I had met online who claimed to be 12. Little ol’ me forgot about international fees. I came home to mom and dad sitting waiting for me in the living room in our big armchair villain-style, with a stack of reports on my mom’s lap: the $800 phone bill, how many texts were sent between me and the guy, and what was said in those texts. This guy was bad and pulled me into very awful conversations multiple times, and being pretty innocent I went along because… that’s what you were supposed to do, right?
And when my parents pulled the bill, they saw every word exchanged between us. My parent’s faces were so heartbroken and upset and disturbed when I came in, I’ll never erase them from my brain.
9. Nothing At All
Nothing. Literally nothing.
My home was destroyed from the Camp Fire. That was pretty much everything I owned and it burned so hotly even metal was melted. Nothing salvageable. I can’t afford to replace most of what was lost so I’ve just been getting more and more depressed. I only look forward to sleeping and I’m spending more and more of my time in bed.
Lost my home and job all at once. I dunno what I’m gonna do. But the town is gone. So many houses and business that might not even get rebuilt.
8. Dead & Done
I got a call during D&D that my great-grandma had passed away, so I knew I was gonna get home to something different. I didn’t expect to get home before the funeral home retrieved her body, and it was really weird to see it in a familiar chair that looked exactly like someone I knew.
It could’ve been much worse, though. My grandpa works hospice and we both have much darker, drier, and more cynical senses of humor, so we were just quietly bouncing off of each other in the living room next to her while everyone else was on the other side of the house.
7. Goats Everywhere!
Goats everywhere inside our house. We left the house for the day and someone didn’t completely close the front door. We had a small tribe of goats at the time. they somehow managed to escape their enclosure, find the open door, and make their way inside. Once inside, they proceeded to destroy the house as only goats could do. They ate everything paper-based, such as money, letters, bills, and mail. They made a mess on everything, including the beds and couches they took leisurely naps on. They destroyed what limited art we had and ate many of the kid’s toys.
It took several days of cleaning to get the house not to look and smell like a barn.
6. Full Of Flies
A kitchen full of flies. They’d hatched from somewhere near the kitchen window, I’m guessing in the gutter or something.
Hundreds of the things buzzing about. I felt sick but managed to shoo most of them out.
5. Too Quiet
Probably 12 years ago now, my sister got her four kids (ages six months to eight years) taken away. CPS gave them to my parents and since I was a 13-year-old, they basically became my siblings. I helped raise them, taught them basically everything from reading/eating/playing games etc. Basically being an older sibling. Two years went by and one day I got home from school and it was dead quiet. I still remember the sound. My dad was home, so I asked where they were and he told me some lady from CPS came and got their coats/some clothes and took them away. And that’s the last we’ve heard of them. That was it. No goodbyes or nothing. They probably don’t even remember me at all.
4. Nobody There To Help
I was like 15 (33 now) and came home super excited to get my father’s camcorder as myself and about six to seven friends were in this “movie making” phase. We’d come up with scenes, act them out, and I’d edit them later using a pirated version of Adobe Premiere all just because (and being the techie, to learn). Anyway, that’s kind of besides the point. I walked into my house, turn the corner into the hallway and find my mother passed away. Heart issues. She had some ongoing problems the doctors couldn’t exactly figure out so this wasn’t the first time she had an “episode” but it was the first time she had one when someone wasn’t around to be able to help her. RIP Ma.
3. From Sweet To… Sheet
One morning when we were leaving for work, my wife noticed that the dog had eaten half a pack of sugarless gum. At the time, we did not know that the sweetener in sugarless gum, xylitol, is dangerous for dogs. We just went to work. We were fortunate in that her health was fine, as xylitol can be deadly. She was OK, but we came home to a ghastly smell in the house. The dog was sitting in half-inch-deep liquid number two in her crate. She was coated head to toe in it, and was excited to see us and wagging her tail, sending a spray four feet in every direction. It took hours to clean her and the room up, and days to get rid of the smell.
2. Mid-Bake-Session Realization
I got home from work one day while I was in the Air Force, and found my house empty. Wife, kid, and dog all gone. Pot of cold, uneaten mac and cheese on the stove and the other three counter tops full of cake pops in varying states of completion. Like she just decided mid-baking session that she was leaving me.
1. The Worst Day
A bunch of cop cars and cops standing around in the yard, it was a hot sunny day. I don’t remember who else was there except my ex-mother-in-law. I had just dropped off my 3-year-old at my grandmother’s house but my one-year-old twins were in their car seats in the back, and I opened the door and was told my husband passed away inside the house. I took the twins out of their car seats and sat in the grass in the sun with them and I don’t really remember how long I sat there.