People have a huge fascination with time, specifically the past and the future. Time capsules can be a great way for past generations to communicate directly with future generations across the span of many years. People take important items that are representative of the times or significant to their history and bury them in containers underground to be opened at a future date. Unfortunately, a lot of time capsules will go unopened and undiscovered because they are randomly buried underground. Some time capsules will be destroyed by weather conditions and the changing climate as well.
Time capsules are mostly filled with things like newspaper clippings, family treasures, artifacts, and photos. News and pictures from the past can offer a lot of insight into the world these people once lived in. It can also be super interesting to discover a time capsule buried by a distant relative, which can lead people to discover new things about their family history. However, the things that were found in these 15 time capsules just disturbed the people who had the misfortune of opening them.
These people opened time capsules to find things like creepy messages, fortune-telling notes, disturbing videos, and even human remains. Sometimes it is best for things to stay in the past and that’s likely the case with the startling things that were uncovered in these old time capsules. The people that unearthed these time capsules are probably wishing they had not gone digging. These are 15 of the creepiest things to have ever been found in time capsules.
15 This Strikingly Relatable Message From Albert Einstein
A time capsule was created in 1939 to promote New York’s World Fair. It was buried 50 feet underground in Flushing Meadows Park. The capsule contains a message from Albert Einstein. He spoke about the “inventive minds” that he believed would create “inventions” that would “facilitate our lives considerably.”
The message pointed out that humans have “learned to fly” and are “able to send messages and news” across the world without difficulty. However, Einstein noted that people lived in “fear of being eliminated” from the “economic cycle” because they suffered for “the want of everything.” He also spoke about how people “kill each other at irregular time intervals” across different countries. His message is still relevant to this day, which is just creepy when you think about it, because that was nearly 100 years ago.
14 This Message To The ‘Socialist Society’ Of The Future
A time capsule was discovered in Russia in 2012 underneath a Lenin statue that was addressed to the “Socialist Society of 2024.” Strangely enough, the capsule was discovered exactly 33 years to the day that it was buried. It is believed the container was buried in the 1970s by members of the Soviet Komsomol youth organization. The creepy message was handwritten on a piece of paper and confidently stated that the message’s readers would still be communists and that they do not “feel sorry” for themselves because they were “certain” the people of the future would be “better” than they were.
The message also contained ritualistic praise for heroes in their history. It used to be a common practice among Russians in Soviet times to place time capsules underneath statues of Lenin. The capsule was thought to have been placed underneath the statue of the former Russian leader to recognize the 55th anniversary of the Komsomol being renamed after him, with the official title being the "Russian Leninist Young Communist League."
13 This Message That Predicted The Bad Times Ahead
This time capsule contained a message in what appeared to be a lemonade bottle and dated back to 1935. The container was discovered in the United Kingdom in 2016 by some masons who were restoring some stonework at Southampton Guildhall, which is a part of the city’s Civic Center.
The message eerily predicted that some troubled times were coming. It included the names “Stanley Jeffery, George Groves,” and “Fred Pearce” and warned: “Mussolini threatens war.” The creepy note was written in pencil on the back of what appeared to be an old cigarette carton. Some further research revealed that the message was referring to the Abyssinia Crisis, when Mussolini rejected the peace treaty offered by the League of Nations the day before the letter was written. The note correctly forecasted Mussolini’s rise to power.
12 This Eerie Note From Grandpa
This guy discovered something hidden in his grandmother’s ceramics room that his late grandfather had hidden many years prior. He stumbled upon a false bottom in one of the cabinets and underneath was a safe. His grandma said that she didn’t know what the safe was, and urged him to find a way to open it. He took the box outside and forced it open with a chisel. Inside, he found a time capsule, left behind by his deceased grandfather.
On the front of the box read a line from Dante’s Inferno: “Abandon All Regret Ye Who Enter Here.” Inside was a bag that had Chinese calligraphy on it that translated to: “Double Happiness.” He opened the bag to find a pen, plastic box, suede pouch, and a small lamp, but the creepy note on the front had him spooked enough to give the rest of the time capsule to his grandmother to search through.
11 This Old Mental Hospital Film
Some construction workers in Indiana came across a time capsule left in 1958 on the grounds of a former mental hospital. The capsule contained a film with a message to people in the future about electroshock therapy and psychiatric drugs. The doctors speaking on the film seemed to be optimistic about the way psychiatry would progress in the future, specifically saying, “When the psychiatrists of the future open this time capsule, only they will be able to tell how well we’ve solved our treatment problems, not only today but in the future. We are sincerely appreciative...”
Unfortunately, a lot of the audio from the recording was lost or damaged, but a conversation about “electroshock” and the “problems of the future” could be heard. They discussed whether electroshock was the right answer for treatment or whether something like “insulin shock” or “some other drug techniques” would be more applicable in the future.
10 An Entire Apartment
This was a bit of an unconventional time capsule that was discovered. An actress and socialite named Madame Florian fled Paris from the Nazi soldiers in 1942 and left her entire apartment with her beloved belongings behind. The woman continued to pay for the apartment for the next 70 years, until she died of old age at 91 years old. The apartment remained completely intact and her family members discovered it years later. The unit was totally untouched and all of her old treasures remained inside, including a painting that was worth over $2.2 million. They also found a creepy stuffed ostrich and some old Disney stuffed animals including a vintage Mickey Mouse.
The family had no idea the woman even had an apartment in Paris until they were sorting through old paperwork, discovering the payments she had made over the years.
9 Tales From Auschwitz Prisoners
Horrific tales from prisoners at the Auschwitz Nazi camp were buried in the ground like time capsules so that someone would eventually dig them up and hear their stories. Gruesome testimonies were discovered among the grounds of the old imprisonment camp around 1995 in Poland. They were later translated to English and provided a lot of new insight into the Holocaust.
Researchers found unsettling evidence of the appalling acts that took place in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Jewish prisoners hid important documents and scrolls as well, written by members of the Sonderkommando, or Special Squad, a group of predominantly Jewish prisoners who were forced to work in the crematoriums.
8 Nazi Memorabilia
A copper cylinder was buried in 1934 at the Ordensburg Krossinsee, which was a former Nazi training camp in Poland. The container was discovered in what is known today as the Polish town of Zlocieniec, which was actually part of Germany until 1945. After slicing the time capsule open with a chainsaw, researchers discovered that it contained “sinister” Nazi mementos that were addressed to followers of Adolf Hitler.
An original Nazi badge was found, along with two volumes of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as well as coins, letters, and photos. Items inside of time capsules commonly perish over the years due to poor packaging, but they were amazed to discover that everything inside of this Nazi time capsule was “perfectly preserved,” as if it had been left there only a few days prior.
7 This Historically Accurate Note
In 1995, a man named Greg Wilkinson wrote a note, speculating about politics and technology in the near future and buried it in one of the walls in his house in Sydney, Australia. He remarkably predicted that China would rise and become one of the most powerful nations and that the “warped interpretations” of Islamic religion would start a “holy war.”
The man had not intended for his letter to be opened for another “50-80 years,” but it was discovered by a local tradesman in 2016. The letter also described the landscape of the country back in 1995, including the price of things like bread, milk, and gas, who the current Prime Minister of Australia was, and what technology he used to write the message.
6 Mummified Infant Remains Packed By A Peter Pan Fan
A woman was absolutely startled when she opened a trunk that she found in her apartment building’s basement in 2010. She discovered the mummified remains of two children, along with lots of Peter Pan memorabilia that were wrapped in LA Times newspaper clippings from the 1930s.
The trunk included an original copy of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and a membership card to the Peter Pan Woodland Club. Strangely enough, the trunk belonged to someone by the name of Janet M. Barrie. The woman who discovered the trunk handed over the items to the police, who tested the remains for DNA, concluding that the infants were Janet’s offspring but that she was not related to J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. It is not known what the two infants’ cause of death was.
5 Remnants Of Hiroshima
During the Japan World Expo in 1970, two identical time capsules were buried. One was opened in 2000, while the other will remain sealed and buried for another 5,000 years. In both time capsules there contained one slinky, glass eyeballs, and the blackened fingernail of a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor.
The box also had other items that relate to the arts, as well as the natural and social sciences of the times. The capsule that was opened in 2000 was re-sealed and will continue to be reopened every 200 years for inspection. Both time capsules are set to be opened in 6970. Human fingernails are made of keratin, which does not decompose, so the remains should still be intact when the capsule is opened thousands of years from now.
4 This Creepy Kid's Message
A construction crew in Albuquerque, New Mexico uncovered a time capsule from the late sixties near an old elementary school. Most of the papers were filled with childish notes and pictures of their favorite television shows and cartoon characters, but one message they read was slightly disturbing. The child wrote that he was “dead” and that his favorite subject was “spooking the police.” He said that he was born in 1900 but was now “dead,” but that he was also “10 years old.”
He added that he liked to play the guitar and informed those who did not know that a guitar was a “board with strings.” He ended by saying: “See you later, savages." The unsettling note is creepy enough to spook any grown man.
3 Someone’s Mother
A woman from North Carolina bought a $30 freezer from a neighbor, who had told her they used it as a “time capsule.” She opened her new freezer and was horrified to discover the remains of a human body inside. The woman called the police and the body was later identified as the previous owner’s mother. Traumatized, the anonymous woman told a local news reporter, “She sold me her frozen mother for $30. How do you do something like that?”
The woman recalled that she hadn’t seen her neighbor’s mother for a few months and that the neighbor said she was leaving town shortly after selling her the freezer/time capsule. She actually told her that she was headed to West Virginia to visit her mother in a nursing home.
2 A Criminal's Trophies
While sifting through the woods with his metal detector, a man discovered a creepy time capsule filled with what appeared to be a serial killer’s trophies. The pack of plastic wrapped in tape included girls' belongings, including photos, clothes, a teddy bear, a camera and a medallion from 2003 for “Girls Pee Wee” softball. The guy who discovered the package was totally weirded out because he couldn’t “imagine some girl coming out here and burying her own stuff,” so he took all of the items to the park rangers office.
Serial killers are known for keeping trophies of their victims hidden away.The man did not think he would ever hear back from the police, but the Sheriff’s office actually did get back to him. He informed him that they were more likely thinking that these were items of memorabilia, noting that the area was well-populated, which would not have been a good place for a criminal to stash evidence of killings. However, the police are testing the items for DNA to see if it links back to any open cases.
1 Someone's Private Stash
Construction workers who were building new dorm room buildings at Illinois State University were surprised to find multiple time capsules that former students appeared to have buried on the campus grounds. One of the strangest things they uncovered was a packet of personal lubr*cant.
Apparently, the story behind this is that a student nicknamed ‘Slimy Jim’ was known for charging “a nickel for a handful of lubr*cant and a dime for a half packet of Astrogl*de.” It took Slimy Jim 15 years to graduate and after he left, the school started out giving away free lube and condoms.
Sources: safe.co.uk, listverse.com, huffingtonpost.com, paleofuture.gizmodo.com, littlethings.com, youtube.com dailymail.co.uk, blacksheeponline.com, dailymail.co.uk, slate.com, themoscowtimes.com,