Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.
My eyes just popped out of my head. I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.
Friends of mine rented a house and one time during a party a guest leaned against a wall and fell right through. Someone had patched a giant hole in the wall with newspaper and painted over it so it blended.
Isn't that how John Christie hid one of his victim's bodies?
My personal example is extremely mild compared to these. Three years ago, my sister and I were looking at house listings in this neighborhood near us. The houses were older (many built in the 1920's), and for years and years, this was the neighborhood of choice for doctors at the 3 local hospitals. My sister made a list of the the 4 cutest houses listed, and we took a drive.
Imagine, late September in Michigan: clear blue skies, maples ablaze with red, orange and gold, children playing quietly while parents raked leaves. Norman Rockwell land.
For the 4th house on the list, my sister read the address: 123 Chippewa (the neighborhood is known as Indian Village, hence all the Native American names). Well, from the front, it was nothing much. Solid brick, but a little dark. We drive along the side street, and I can see a sun room along the back. The glass is dingy, and maybe it was the broken tricycle I could see, but the place just looked sad. I glance at my sister: this was the place she wanted to check out? She is puzzled, looking from her list to the blah house: why did she want THIS place? Along the back, we get a good look at the garage: roof almost completely rotted away, door hanging on one side. "Are you stoned? What made you so interested in this place?"
"I don't know," she muttered. Then suddenly, she says, "Go to 123 Cherokee!" (2 streets over). Ah, much better. Absolutely adorable cottage with landscaping to die for. That was the one she wanted to see.
As it turns out, we didn't buy the cottage, but another house between the two. The dark place was torn down. We often say that the house we got is haunted with happy ghosts, because we feel the love and happiness whenever we walk in (even the cat, who hates change, loved it immediately), and the cottage went to another happy family.