Man Cleans Grandmother’s House, Discovers Her Secret Safe


Hidden Safe

He walked into what looked like disorganized clutter for years but knowing his grandmother, that is just how her creative process worked. He was standing in the middle of her ceramics room and had no idea where to start. Overwhelmed by the mess, he began to clear it when he stumbled upon something that made him gasp. He then realized what it was – a safe. Excitedly,​ he pried it open only to find incredible heirlooms that answered all his questions about his family tree.

The Call

He was happy to help out his grandmother when he received her call. They were close, and he would do anything for his loving granny, their family motto was “double happiness” which to them always meant that if one of them was happy, the other was too. As he opened the front door, he instantly came across the sweet smell of goods baking, and he felt like he was home. But then, his grandmother asked him a not-so-unusual request. She needed help clearing out a couple of things, most importantly, her ceramics room. She was getting too old to do it by herself, plus she couldn’t see the day she would ever get into that hobby again. He was happy to oblige and headed in the direction​ of the room, but once he opened the door, there was no turning back.

Long Day Ahead

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Not surprisingly, the door to her ceramics room was stuck. He nudged and wedged his way into the room where he was welcomed with piles and piles of stuff. He sighed, it was going to be a long day – he thought. He liked snooping around his grandmother’s things, he never knew what he was going to find. But he had no idea what he was in for.

Clutter On Clutter

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The room was cluttered beyond belief, filled with pottery, paint, tools and a ton of other materials. He didn’t even know where to start, but he just closed his eyes and pointed in a direction where he could begin his clean up. As he was doing so, moving objects into piles of “trash” or “keep”, he spotted something in the corner of his eye that seemed like it could be interesting. Little did he know what was genuinely lurking inside the dark closet.

Mysterious Closet

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The dark wooded closet was set up against the wall, but still, clutter was everywhere, and it was impossible for him to reach it straight away. The doors of the closet were boxed in, and random pieces of wood had fallen to its feet, crumbling down. It was apparent this closet was old, but more than that, it looked untouched. He mo​ved the obstacles away and cleared a proper path to get to it. His only mission now was the closet, leaving the piles of clutter behind for some other time. He was excited; he didn’t know what this mystery closet would hold. But soon, he would find out.

Junk Cleared

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The closet was filled with more clutter. As he began to clear the junk, all his excitement faded away. He thought this would be a gateway to an incredible discovery, but as kept setting stuff apart, something at the bottom of the closet made him look twice. At the bottom, the wooden tiles that made the floor of the closet had been lodged in place and appeared to be quite loose. He removed the contents until it was utterly empty, looking at the floor eagerly. When everything from the closet was tossed aside, he could finally see what he was looking at. And boy, it didn’t disappoint.

False Bottom

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He removed some wooden parts that seemed to be used to disguise his finding. Thankfully, they were so old that he could see his mysterious discovery without much hesitation – if not, he would have never have seen it. He had just stumbled upon a false bottom. But still, he thought this was incredibly strange. Who would have a false base in an old closet? He brushed some debris aside until everything became visible. His adventure was just starting, and he was ultimately scared and excited all at the same time.

A Safe?

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By removing gravel, he could see a metal object with a round piece of plastic in the middle. Instantly, he recognized what it was. The object hidden under the closet was an old combination safe. Once he knew what it was, he gasped. Forgetting his cleaning duties, he immediately went to tell his grandma his discovery. As she was already at an elderly age, she could not recall what was in it, or who even put it there. Of course, this propelled his excitement further. No one knew the combination to the safe, and the only way they could understand what secrets this safe held would be to break it open. He asked his grandmother if he could, and as she agreed. His excitement mounted. Little did he know what kind of secrets he was about to unleash.

Opened By Force

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He knew this was a once in a lifetime discovery, so with the help of the camera on his phone, he documented every step. Later, he went on to post it on a site called ‘Imgur’ and posted everything under the name of ‘Todirerl.’ With his father’s help, they pried open the safe. At first, it didn’t seem like they had found anything at all. But then, the investigation continued as more and more contents began spilling out. Todirerl was about to get a closer glimpse of his family tree, but he didn’t know that yet.

Rusty And Old

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The rusty safe was medium-sized, and he expected this to be filled with many valuable things. But as he opened it, this didn’t seem to be the case. At first glance, he saw old pieces of paper and a bundle of black cloth. Still, the mystery of such find had his heart racing. As he began going through the contents, he knew he had stumbled upon something unusual, and documented everything one image at a time. But still, one crucial question kept going through his mind. Who put everything in this safe? Who’s, was it?

Dante’s Inferno

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He looked closer, and saw that one of the papers said, “Abandon All Regret Ye Who Enter Here.” You may recognize this as a quote from “Dante’s Inferno,” but with ‘regret’ instead of ‘hope.’ That’s when he knew who this safe belonged to. The safe was his late grandfather’s. And it was filled with incredible mementos. But then he saw an insignia that was way all too familiar to him.

Insignia Symbol

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The symbol on the black cloth got everyone’s attention. They had seen it before but could not place where. He took a picture of it and went back to show his grandmother. That symbol was etched in his brain since he was a little boy, and now, after seeing it in the safe, the intensity of it grew tremendously. He knew it must be something of importance, maybe the family’s sigil? But still, his grandmother couldn’t place it. There was a lot more left to explore though, and Todirerl was going to be given a lot more surprises.​

First Unfold

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He began to carefully unfold the black cloth, then realized that there were items tucked into it. He found two photographs, a leather pouch, a pen, a plastic box, and a lamp. But it was the photographs that made him realize just what kind of treasure he had in his hands. The contents were all worn and rusty, it seemed incredible how it seemed like he had just traveled back in time. As he looked at the photographs closer, he could not believe his eyes! This was a lot more than he could have ever expected from an old brown closet.


Imgur / Todirerl
The picture showed a lady who was dressed in the garb of the era when it was taken. Todirerl later realized that this woman was indeed his grandfather’s grandmother! He couldn’t believe it, so many years and generations had passed, and he was over the moon with his find. Little did he know; his findings would not stop there.

Dapper Man

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He saw the next photograph and chills immediately went up and down his spine. How could this possibly be? The second photograph showed a man wearing a dapper suit, round glasses and holding a pipe. The man turned out to be his grandpa’s father. The pictures were worn and yellow, with moisture eating at the corners. But they were an invaluable heirloom. And yet, those weren’t the only items that told the story of this incredible family.

More Treasures

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Everything he found in the safe had an incredible value for the family, this meant they were learning more about their roots and were in complete awe when they kept opening compartments just to find more unusual items. He also went on to find a gold pocket watch in a pouch, but was anything worth some money? As he thought this, he turned the pouch over, and little pieces of paper came tumbling out. Was this the answer to his question?

Pristine Collection

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He turned to see what mysteries these papers were, and when he did, he covered his mouth and gasped. There, right in front of him was a pristine collection of stamps. He soon realized the stamps were from a wide variety of countries, and some of them didn’t even exist nowadays. He found stamps from the Soviet Union, Zaire (now Congo), Katanga (now a province of Congo), and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (a territory disputed with Morocco), among others. This incredible collection was souvenirs from his late grandfather’s expeditions. But then, he noticed a white plastic box. Could there be more things inside?

Shiny Valuables

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With excitement coursing through his body, he opened the white box and indeed, it was full of goodies. At first glance, it looked like a lot of coins from a long time ago. He could not believe how incredible that day had been, starting with a call from his grandmother to now delving into his family’s past. But then, as he began to sort out the coins, he stumbled upon something that made him immensely proud to be part of the family he had grown up in.

Coin Collection

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The coins, like the stamps, also hailed from a wide range of countries and eras. There were coins from Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), New Zealand, Jamaica, Pakistan, Cuba, and Venezuela, among others. Some were quite rare, like a 1921 silver dollar from the U.S. which is thought to be worth a lot of money. But there were other things in the box worth even more from a personal perspective.

Proud Blood Line

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Aside from the coins, the plastic box contained a WWI medal and a pin with a crest, presumably given to the man’s great-grandfather after serving in World War I. The crest was particularly interesting, as it showed a lion that could either be the coat of arms of Norway or the royal arms of Scotland. One commenter suggested it was given by the British Empire to Commonwealth troops who served in combat. But that was not all; when Todirerl posted all his findings on the internet, commenters knew the insignia that was on the black cloth. It’s a Chinese character for the word “double happiness” which was always their family’s motto. Now they know where it came from!