Not What You Thought
Oftentimes, there’s a lot more to things than you’d expect at first glance. We’ve all encountered something or someone, thinking that we knew all there was to that object or person.
But sometimes, something might happen that will immediately change your initial opinion, and you will learn that you were wrong. This phenomenon is something that often happens at yard sales!
On The Lookout For A Bargain
Why do people usually go to yard sales? The answer is easy: to find a diamond in the rough, some valuable item that has gone unseen; to discover something the worth of which has been invisible to other eyes.
But what if the worth of one of those items was miscalculated not only by the people who didn’t want it but also by the person who decided to buy it? This is what happened to Emil Knodell, the protagonist of this story.
The Story Of Emil Knodell
Emil Knodell, aged 67, was a Texas native and a retired marketing director, on top of a US veteran. Since his retirement, one of his favorite hobbies was scouting around estate sales and yard sales.
He had found a few bargains and had been surprised by the finding of a few rare items in his lifetime. But he couldn’t expect what he would find at his next yard sale in Missouri, Texas.
He Wasn’t Expecting Anything Special
In all fairness, after parking next to the yard and leaving his car, Emil didn’t expect to find anything out of the ordinary; to him, it just seemed like another run-of-the-mill yard sale.
Still, even those were fun for him. Every time he went to one, he ended up seeing something he liked enough to take it home. Sometimes he liked it as something useful at the house, sometimes, it was something that he could get a good price for, and sometimes he just wanted a souvenir from that particular yard sale. But this time was different.
It Seemed Like An Average Yard Sale
That yard sale was organized by some real old-timer, experienced company, which meant that all items would be thoroughly examined and precisely priced. In other words, no diamonds in the rough or overlooked valuables were expected.
In this kind of yard sale, usually, what you see is what you get, no more, no less. But apparently, some of the company’s employees forgot to take a second look at one particular item.
And Emil Stumbled Across It
Emil was strolling across the lines of items for sale, and, just as he expected, he wasn’t seeing anything too unique. There were some interesting and nice goods, sure, but nothing that he would call a bargain or nothing that he felt especially compelled to take home with him.
But suddenly, one specific object caught his attention.
A Mysterious, Antique Dresser
It was an old wooden dresser. It was made of wood with a white marble top, with some beautifully carved drawers. According to the appraisal, it dated back to the 1890s.
It looked nice, for sure. But Emil wanted to know if there was something more about the item that he hadn’t seen at first glance. He decided to take a closer look.
What Was Inside?
He looked at the sides and the back of the dresser, and he didn’t see anything special. Then, he decided to take a look at the drawers.
There was nothing inside either. Apparently, that was just what it was: a beautiful and antique wooden dresser. But there was something that Emil had forgotten to check.
‘What’s The Price?’
He asked about the price of the piece of furniture. It was $100. However, the price was $300 just two days ago. Apparently, nobody wanted that item, and the managers of the yard sale just wanted to get rid of it.
Gladly, Emil thought he had found a bargain. He bought the item, and he started carrying it to his car. That’s when he heard some strange, unsettling noises coming from inside the dresser. Something was rattling in there.
There Was Something Else
He stopped to find out what that was. He laid the dresser on the floor and checked the drawers again: there was nothing there, just like the first time he checked. He kept examining all the sides of the dresser to make sure he hadn’t missed anything.
And he found something unexpected: there was a secret compartment at the base of the dresser. It seemed specifically designed to hide something rather than just store it. His heart was racing as he opened that secret drawer.
A Secret Stash
When he finally saw what was inside, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
It was a stash of very valuable and antique items: gold coins, historical artifacts from the Civil War, jewels, personal mementos, and letters. That was a treasure; not only was it worth multiple times what he had paid for the dresser, but it was also a piece of history.
What Should He Do?
Emil found himself in a dilemma: what should he do about the secret, precious stash? He had only paid for an old dresser, and he had ended up with a lot more. But he was unsure of what to do with it.
The first thing he did was call an appraiser. The total value of the stash was calculated to be around $10,000. That was a lot of money.
But he thought about the ethical side of the incident: he had only paid for the old dresser, and that’s what he thought he was taking home with him. The managers of the yard had been clearly clueless about what was truly inside the dresser.
Also, some objects from the stash clearly would have some sentimental value to whoever owned them originally. So he made a decision.
And Old Ex-Marine’s Choice
He would return the stash to whoever was the original owner of the dresser, and he would just keep the latter. After all, it would have been unfair to follow the “finders, keepers” policy in this situation.
“I’m an old ex-Marine, and I try to do the right thing,” Emil explained later to the reporters that asked him about his story.
The Owner Of The Treasure
That same evening, he took the stash back to the managers of the yard sale and informed them of his discovery.
He also asked to be put in contact with whoever had sold them the dresser so their identity could be verified as the relative or relatives of whoever left that treasure there for their descendants.
A True Example
Finally, someone appeared and rightly demonstrated that the stash belonged to him. Emil gave it back and took the dresser home, glad to have followed his Marine moral code regardless of the temptation. Truly an example to follow.
Emil isn’t the first person to find something unexpected in what just seemed like a yard sale or thrift store bargain. However, some discoveries, like the one Joshua Scott found, are much more sinister and grim.
Joshua Scott is a 9-year-old boy from Dothan, Alabama, who recently had the fright of his life. He went into a thrift store expecting to find some presents for his younger sisters.
After searching for a while, he thought he had found a cute thing to give to the youngest of his siblings; Amy, a 4-year-old girl. Little did he know that he was about to experience the creepiest, eeriest episode of his entire life.
The last few months hadn’t been easy in the Scotts’ house: Joshua’s mother, Jessica, had been fired from her waitress job in a restaurant.
Even though she was applying for other jobs in the service industry, nothing was coming out of it so far. Now, the family was just relying on Joshua’s father, Andrew, to make ends meet.
Andrew had been working at the same warehouse for almost fifteen years now. Some time ago, he had secured a management position, which paid enough to support his family.
However, things were a bit tight financially for the Scotts. That year, they had to cut a lot of their usual expenses. They wouldn’t be able to go on vacation to Florida like they always used to. And that wasn’t all.
Christmas was right around the corner, and the family could foretell that that year’s presents would definitely be a lot less fancy than what they were used to.
It wasn’t like they would have to go through severe hardships, but they were aware that that year would be a bit of a bummer compared to the previous ones.
Joshua Had A Plan
Joshua was well aware of that. After all, he was 9 years old already, so he knew what was going on. Besides, he was getting less pocket money from his parents.
Joshua had been buying presents himself for his parents and his two sisters for a couple of years now with the little savings that he had. And even though he didn’t have much that year, he intended to stick to the tradition. So he came up with a plan.
He decided to go to a thrift or charity store to see if he could get something cute within his modest budget. He had been in some of those on a couple of occasions and found vintage clothes at bargain prices.
So he got on his way and walked to the nearest thrift store he knew of. He didn’t know what he was getting himself into.
Joshua walked through the door of Second Chance Thrift Store in his neighborhood in Dothan. He stood there for a minute, staring at the aisles and all the old items people had given away.
He knew that somewhere in the middle of all that worn-out stuff, there had to be a true bargain that his parents and sisters would love.
Looking For The Perfect Gift
So he started strolling through the aisles, closely examining all the exposed items. Clothes, furniture, homeware, toys… There were so many possibilities! But what did their parents need in the house at that moment?
His thoughts were racing, trying to figure out what their parents would appreciate the most. And that’s when he saw it. Instantly, a broad smile spread across his face.
A Teddy Bear
There was a teddy bear sitting on one of the racks. Joshua smiled the moment he saw it, immediately thinking of his sister.
The teddy bear looked quite antique, probably from the 50s or something like that. But still, it seemed to be in a perfect state; the fuzz was clean, and there were no bald spots. It was almost like no one had ever touched it since it was made ages ago.
He Didn’t Know The Dark Truth
Right then and there, Joshua knew he had found his sister Amy’s present. She loved plush toys and could never get enough of them.
After a while, he found something else for his parents: a vintage blouse and an Italian coffee maker, both in a surprisingly good state, looking as if they were new. But Joshua didn’t know what he was taking home with him.
Coming Back Home
After he got home, he hid the presents under his bed. Now, all he had to do was wait for Christmas Eve and place them under the tree during the night.
A few weeks went by, and that was exactly what he did. Little did he know that his family would experience the scare of their lives the following day.
When morning came, all the family rushed to the tree to open their presents. Joshua’s parents were delighted with what the kid had found for them in the thrift store.
Amy, Joshua’s little sister, also loved her teddy bear. At one point, Jessica asked her to pass it to her so she could see it. Jessica held and felt the bear, and she spotted something strange. That’s when things took a creepy turn.
There was something stocky and heavy inside the teddy bear. After feeling it and turning it around for a few seconds, Jessica found a zipper in its body.
She opened it, reached inside, and pulled out some sort of container from within the teddy bear’s body. She removed the lid and looked inside. Her face instantly went pale.
It was a funerary urn with someone’s ashes stored inside! The next day, the family drove back to the thrift store and asked about the plush toy’s origin.
As it turned out, the teddy bear was made by a funeral home from Philadelphia and designed specifically to store an urn. The Scotts couldn’t keep the teddy bear after hearing the whole story. Fortunately, they managed to get another plush toy in exchange from the thrift store.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.