Man Finds Secret Drawer In Old Yard Sale Dresser

More Than Meets The Eye 

It is important to remember that in most cases, there is more to an object than meets the eye. We often come across things and assume that we know all there is to know about them.

But when these illusions are broken, you often discover that your expectations and beliefs are wrong. You would be surprised to learn how often this happens at garage sales!

Finding The Treasure 

What is the reason behind people's attendance of yard sales? The solution is simple: to locate a hidden gem, some expensive item that has gone unnoticed; to discover anything of value that has been hidden from other's sight.

But what if the value of one of those goods was misjudged not only by those who didn't desire, but also by those who decided to purchase it? Emil Knodell, the subject of this narrative, experienced something similar.

US Veteran 

Emil Knoddel was a 67-year-old retired marketing director who has lived in Texas his whole life. Retirement oftentimes got lonely and boring, so he had to rely on his various hobbies to keep him entertained. His hobbies included searching for hidden treasures at yard and estate sales. 

He hunted down some really good prices and he had been stunned by his discoveries of unique items. However, he could have never anticipated what he would hunt down in Missouri, Texas. 

Nothing Out Of The Ordinary 

Emil honestly did not expect to find anything special at that particular sale.

Even if he did not find valuable items, he thoroughly enjoyed going to yard sales. He almost always found something that he liked. Sometimes it was practical items that he could use around the house, other times the items just looked nice. However, there was something different about this sale... 

What You See

That estate sale was put on by a seasoned veteran, which meant that every item would be meticulously inspected and accurately priced. In other words, no hidden treasures were anticipated. 

At sales like these, everything you saw was everything you would get. However, it appears that some of the employees of the company overlooked one key item. 

Locating It 

Emil was walking around inspecting the items and it came to him as no surprise when he did not find anything extraordinary. There were intriguing items that was for sure, but they weren't well priced and he did not feel especially drawn to them. 

However, one particular object drew his attention.

Something Special 

It was an antique wooden chest of drawers. It was composed of wood and featured a marble top as well as some intricately carved drawers. It was documented to be from the 1890s, according to it's evaluation.

It was an attractive piece, there was no doubt about that. However, Emil was determined to find something special about this wooden chest. He decided to investigate further.

Overlooking Something Important

He looked around the sides and behind the dresser but couldn't find anything noteworthy. He then decided to rummage through the drawers.

There was also nothing in there. That was, unfortunately, exactly what it was: a lovely antique wooden dresser. Emil, on the other hand, had overlooked something.

Strange Noises 

He inquired about the cost of the item and it was listed at $100. That was strange because a few days ago, the item was being sold for $300. Nobody seemed to buy that item, and the yard sale organizers just wanted to let it go. 

Emil was under the impression that he stumbled upon a steal. He immediately purchased the item and took it to his truck. That's when he began to hear strange, frightening noises emanating from within the dresser. There was a rumbling noise within.

Hidden Compartment 

He stopped in his tracks to locate the source of the noise. He opened the drawers to inspect them again, however, they were still empty. He inspected each side of the dresser just to ensure that he did not overlook anything. 

And then he found it, a hidden drawer at the bottom of the dresser! It appeared to be made with the intent of concealing rather than storing things. As he opened the secret drawer, his heart was beating.

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.

 Emil’s Decision

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

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 Scotts

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.

Warehouse Manager

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.

Thrift Store

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.

Creepy Christmas

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.

Something Inside

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.

An Urn

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.