Abandoned Time Capsule


The Abandoned Time Capsule House

This is the story of a remarkable abandoned time capsule house, located along the backroads of Ontario Canada.  Finding an abandoned house in Ontario, much like any other province, county or state isn’t all that hard to do – take a drive along the backroads and just look for the signs, they’re everywhere.  Finding a good abandoned house is a little bit harder and takes a bit more patience and nerve.  Most abandoned houses have some personal items left behind, many have nothing of interest…but very few of the abandoned houses you will encounter have all of the previous occupant’s belongings, like this abandoned time capsule house.

In late 2013 an Urban Explorer had posted some amazing photos of an abandoned home he had visited.  This house was unique and an extremely rare find, it was a fully in tact home, all contents still in place as though the owners just disappeared one day, hence the name abandoned time capsule.  Inquiries to the homes location went unanswered, as is to be expected – and I don’t blame him for his hesitation.  Not long after, another well known Ontario Urban Explorer and his girlfriend had started posting photos from this house – again, discretion was key and locations were not revealed.

Abandoned Time Capsule House in Ontario Freaktography


Abandoned Time Capsule House in Ontario Freaktography

With some research, a few inquiries and a few hours my friend and exploring partner RiddimRyder were able to locate the abandoned time capsule house and we set out on a short road trip to shoot and explore this incredible abandoned house on the shores of Lake Michigan. We reached the house early in the morning as a fresh layer of snow covered the ground.

The sight upon entering this house is eerie, breathtaking……weird.  There is the usual smell of decay and years of abandonment that one comes to know – but to walk into a room and see so many possessions and belongings still in exactly the place they were meant to be, was unsettling.  We weren’t alone though, our furry and black-eyed welcoming committee had let us know they were in the ceiling and would stay there (hopefully) until we left.  We didn’t need the raccoon family to remind us that they were there though, there was proof everywhere that they had been living here a while, raccoon waste was all around and the familiar smell of raccoon was all over.

The Main Room:

As soon as you enter the house you find yourself standing in front of the dining room table, still with the table cloth covering it and with chairs placed as they would be. To your right is a hutch, atop it sits a clock, forever reading 3:43, below on the shelf, two sets of silverware – still polished, perfectly placed in their wooden case and ready for the weekend’s company. Mugs, candles and other trinkets placed throughout, the main cabinet doors would not open – the result of years of staying closed.

Next to this hutch sits a china cabinet, teapots, silver trays and platters, dishware, salt and pepper shakers…glass ware, all the essentials for entertaining friends and family.  Across the back wall are a number of cupboards, on the other side is the kitchen, they have created cupboards that open on either side of the kitchen and dining room.  Each shelf was full of plates, bowls, glasses, towels, decorative teacups, and sitting atop the cupboards were more porcelain and ceramic platters and serving trays.

The Living Room:

Once I got into the living room I felt at home, this family obviously loved music, there was an acoustic guitar on the coffee table, there were 3-4 record players sitting atop an old lift top record player/8-track player and on top of those record players sat her 8-track collection and beside the record player was a stack of vinyl records.

A red couch and two plush chairs were the main pieces of furniture, along with a very heavy wooden table and chair set in a corner.  As with the other room, this room also has a bay window with (what once was) a very nice and comfortable wood frame couch.  This room has the worst decay in the house; a hole in the roof was providing some much needed fresh air and was allowing a light sprinkling of snow to lightly fall in.

Just below this hole in the roof sits the wooden couch which has been eaten away by years of weather abuse.  The paint on the walls and ceiling are peeling away nicely, but the blue accents that surround the bay window give the place charm, and the blue blinds and curtains on the bay window refuse to fall to the floor.

Attached to the living room was a bedroom, it had a bed and a dresser and a nightstand….but it also had boxes full of newspapers, it was as though every single newspaper ever delivered to the house had been kept and placed into a box.

Also in this room was a hat box, full of fancy old fashioned lady hats, there were clothes and shoes and piles of personal items.  In the dresser I found a number of old photo albums, I opened some but others I left – over time when things stay in one place, they become a part of that place so moving a photo album meant ruining that photo album.  I did find a very interesting item inside a drawer that had been preserved in a plastic bag – it was a small book made of tree birch, inside were various lines handwritten accompanied by very very old photographs.  Someone had taken great care to create this and preserve it so I placed it back in its bag and right back where I found it – silly me I didn’t even take a photo of it. Also in this room were jars of preserved peaches and other disgusting looking things – I was terrified to drop one and break it as the smell would have been awful!  This room was nearly impossible to shoot as it was so rammed with stuff, so I did the best I could and moved along.


When I thought I was done with these two rooms I had taken a look around the living room and in the corner I noticed a tall wooden thing with a fancy doily draped over it.

On top of that were some old records and candles. But these weren’t normal records, they were thick and heavy. I figured this must be another hutch or something, so I curiously lifted off the records and doily and placed them on a chair.

Abandoned Time Capsule House in Ontario Freaktography


I lifted the lid to this “wooden thing” to learn that I was standing before an early 20th century Gramophone, complete with a turn crank on the side, replacement needles and wipes to clean the records and it was spotless.  I was so taken aback by what I was seeing and capturing photos of it that I didn’t even think to drop the needle, turn the crank and let the music play from her speakers one more time – this is my biggest regret and this is my reason to return some time soon.

The Kitchen

The kitchen was almost immaculate, atop the stove sat a clock, permanently set to 2:15. On the walls hung decorative pots and ceramic plates. On either side of the stove hung mothers cooking utensils and at the end of the room sat a daybed with a yellow skirt.

There was a door that leads to a small hallway to head upstairs, but behind that door I noticed something, some kind of a wall mounted china cabinet.  This china cabinet was full of perfectly placed ceramic cats, china tea cups, glassware, decorative teapots and salt & pepper shakers, these were obviously some cherished items and they were just as they had been in the days of this homes life.  I would take a mental note to come back and shoot these details with my 35mm lens, right now I’m focusing on the rooms as a whole, the fine details can be shot once I have taken all this in.


On my way upstairs I’m overcome by smell of raccoon feces, they must spend a lot of time of here.  The layout of the upstairs was interesting, the main room seemed to be a master bedroom, with a wall to wall closet that couldn’t be accessed with so much stuff in the way, a queen sized bed still made and some dressers..and books, hundreds and hundreds of books.  Attached to this master bedroom were three other bedrooms and a bathroom.  Old family photos graced the walls in very elegant looking frames.  The furniture in this house is the stuff you see in an antique store but never think to buy, or a high end furniture store that sells expensive dressers and hutches that you will never afford…only this stuff is the real deal, it’s heavy and it’s well constructed.

Books – did I mention books?  Each room in this upstairs is full of books, books on addiction – alcohol and drugs, books about Jesus, books about God, books about religion…more books about Jesus.  Books about death and how to cope, books about faith, books about coping, books about positive thinking.  Novels, poem books, song books, Bill Cosby’s book, a book by George Burns, books about science, entire encyclopedia series, books about war, books about peace……and magazines, and then even more newspapers.

The bathroom was probably the most interesting room upstairs, at first I wasn’t going to shoot it because it was too dark and there was no source of natural light – at a glance it was just a mess, a pile of clothes in the bathtub, piles of junk on the floor and a bunch of old clothes hanging from the curtain rod – nothing of any interest.

Then I decided for some reason to turn on a light switch, suddenly this uninteresting dark room turned into a giant pink and green treasure chest stuck in the 1950’s. It is very odd to find that the power in this home is working, and a bit unnerving. First thing we did was open the medicine cabinet, just as cool as the one downstairs, I’m certain there are products in there with ingredients that have long been deemed dangerous and illegal to consume, Hair Dye, Band Aids, lotions etc.

Across the main wall sat a green vanity, on each side of the vanity was a chest of drawers, I opened one of the drawers and took out a pink box but didn’t open it.  I called Riddim over and said I think this will be cool, lets open it together – we weren’t disappointed!  It was mothers perfume kit, a very old perfume kit, in the corner sat one of those puffers that you see women use in old movies or in old cartoons.

Abandoned Time Capsule House in Ontario Freaktography

We each took turns getting shots of this before closing it and placing it back where we found it.  Next it was another drawer, it took some elbow grease to open it – years of abandonment seem to make things stick – but again, I was not disappointed by what I found. Grandpa’s shaving kit, the stuff you only see in museums or old fashioned ads.  Straight blade razors, Gillette Blue Blades, manual hair trimmers, old haggard looking toothbrushes, I don’t know why I was so fascinated by this stuff.  I took out a few other items that I found interesting and set them up for a photo and then carefully placed everything back where I found it.

Abandoned Time Capsule House in Ontario Freaktography

The last room to see was a bedroom that looks more like a library, I had to step over mountains of raccoon feces and piles of junk to get in, the scene once in is truly overwhelming.  Books stacked every which way, on every wall in every nook and cranny possible.

The bed was still neatly made and on the walls were some group photos and an insignia of some sort. A desk area was pretty cluttered with a few personal items, if specific interest was one of those old Colonel Sanders plastic piggy banks they used to give out at Kentucky Fried Chicken, there were actually 3 of them that I found in the house.

In and around this desk were stacks of magazines and files and binders stacked to the ceiling. Underneath and on either side were filing cabinets packed full of paperwork and bills and medical files, inside one drawer I had found what I thought was a recipe box, it turned out to be some kind of an inventory of the homes contents, including clothing. The two pages I looked at were the inventory of candle holders and of her fur items. In one of the bedrooms I had opened a dresser drawer to find it packed with neatly organized fur scarves and cuffs for her coats.

Back Downstairs

Downstairs, I switched to my 35mm lens that is great for capturing small details and close ups. I investigated a bit more into the china cabinet and admired the silver platters and teapots in there and I had a closer look at the silverware on the hutch, this stuff was immaculate! I went to the wall mounted cabinet in the kitchen and checked out her cow and gnome themed salt and pepper shakers.

The piano is the main highlight of this room and I love nothing more than to find a piano in an abandoned house, I lifted the cover off the keys to find them in amazing condition, but like the gramophone in the other room – I didn’t play it, I just admired it.  Atop the piano was a very large music book, I flipped through the pages just to get that whiff of old book smell!

Abandoned Time Capsule House in Ontario Freaktography

That was it – I was done, except for some exterior shots it was time to move on….but wait, the piano bench – don’t those usually open and have space for stuff inside? I take my camera back out of the bag and go open it only to see one of the most incredible things I have seen to date..

A musical time capsule, untouched, no dust exactly as it was meant to be. I immediately noticed the bright shiny horn, beside that was a wooden recorder, surrounded by books of sheet music, atop the sheet music were three small silver harmonicas. In the corner was a red plastic case, curiously I lifted the case – it was heavy. I opened it to find an immaculate silver harmonica – I had never seen one this big before. They must have had a great time in this house playing music, between the guitar, piano, recorder, harmonicas and the record players and 8 tracks, music was obviously a huge part of this family’s life.

With the door tightly closed, everything put back just the way it was and with the lights turned off the racoons could now come back out – we were on our way to a few more destinations. But we would mostly be thinking about this house the rest of the day and into the days, weeks and months following.

In the coming weeks and months a handful of other explorers would visit this house, trying their best to keep this home a closely guarded secret. The last thing anyone wants is to see this home become looted by thieves and vandals. Once individual took on the task of delving deep into the history of this home, it’s history and the family who owned it. It was discovered that there was a living relative in the area, a daughter who had lived here and who is now elderly herself, This explorer took a risk in contacting the woman, do inquire about this home and why it is in this state. Contacting someone who has lived in a home you have just entered without permission is a risk – but sometimes it’s necessary.

To maintain privacy, the information obtained by the explorer and the elderly woman have been held back from this story – but the good news from it all is that the home has been reclaimed and the valuable and rare items that had been hidden for so many years will now move to a new home to be enjoyed once again, instead of falling victim to time, elements and decay.
“When the Music’s Over – Turn Out the Lights

– The Doors

12 thoughts on “Abandoned Time Capsule

  1. Sur Facebook on voit la photo d’une femme .J’ai été surprise en voyant sa photo car elle me ressemble.je ne crois pas avoir de famille en Ontario.On dit que nous avons 7 sosies quelque part et bien elle en est une de moi.Je sais que je ne peut pas vous demander son nom mais je suis contente que tous ces trésors soient récupérés.

  2. My experienced eye suggests something else. I read the claims between daughter and church, but it seems that the story is not complete. The house has many scenes that lok “planted” with many objects dating from different decades, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, (like the music system). I believe the house was more or less left with furniture inside, but at some stage it was lent or allowed to be used to some movie production as a scenery cast, whwere many more items were added and placed in places and afterwards abandoned again.
    The amount of consumer items from different decades placed together in some places actually tells me they were planted. My opinion.

  3. As an example, the book by Dan Greensburg Porno-graphics was published 1969, chances are it was bought in the early 70s. So to start with the house was not abandoned 50 years ago, but much later, so many items from the 30s and 40s that are placed as normally consumed (not memorabilia) are in contrast with the time it was abandoned. This suggestes a created scene, possibly for some movie in the 70s or 80s that we are unaware of.

  4. I Agree with Luis. Too good to be true. I thought the same thing about how items from different eras were all together. How did no one ever find this before? Other people had found and explored this place previously, yet not one of them took a single thing? Not even a salt shaker or teacup? Theres still electricity? Who was paying the bill? Whose name was the bill in? Who was picking up the bill from the mailbox every month? Didn’t the relative they found ever wonder what ever became of the house, or ever went to check it out? Didn’t she wonder where all her grandparent’s stuff went? If there wasn’t some sort of alien abduction on these people, where did they just up and leave to? Didn’t any concerned friends or relatives ever go to the house to check on them?

    So many things don’t make sense with the story…and as Judge Judy says “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true”…so many things don’t make sense with this…

  5. I don’t agree that you can’t have items from all era’s in one place. I’m 33 yet my house has all sorts of stuff in it from as early as the 1930’s, mainly radio’s, books and electrical items.

    We now live in a society where just because something is more than a couple of years old it is deemed unsuitable for use and discarded like an old newspaper, your flat-screen TV may last 5 years, but back when these things were made you had to work damned hard for them and you got what you paid for. The clocks, radio’s, TV’s etc in these pictures will all probably still work too, and oddly, those books don’t need to be recharged in order for you to read them, they still work, so why should they have been thrown away?

    The power is probably still on because someone forgot the local disconnect at the main breaker cabinet or substation, because the house isn’t normally consuming any power then they won’t notice a significant ‘imbalance’ from what the customers meters read as compared to the main meter that supplies the street or block. If someone was living there then the power company would probably notice. Also because the place is so old, it’s not necessarily true that the power will be connected in a conventional manor, some places were simply wired to the substation with a fuse and nothing else!


  6. I am so jealous of all the AMAZING shots! Man I’d love to share an experience like the one you had in this house. Its so sad to see a place like this. Thank you for respecting it and leaving it, essentially, as you found it. Very good on you.

  7. I don’t agree with the ‘staged’ comments. Having visited my dad’s great aunts farm in Ontario 20 or more years ago and spending several days inside the old farmhouse, there were many items that dated well back in the to late 1800”s as well as more current items. The house had an old farmpump at the kitchen sink and a wood stove/oven, but was wired for electricity, though they still used the ancient icebox. Medical packaging such as bandaids, aspirin and cough syrup change through the decades, but the vintage knick-knacks, china and other memorabilia are treasured by the inhabitants of the house for years. My grandparents home, when we went through everything after my grandmother died, had all new furniture in the living room, but an antique chest stowed in a closet that had my grandfathers naval uniform during WW2 as well as a box of his letters to my grandmother while in the Navy and a cup and saucer my uncle brought back from occupied Japan. The new furniture went to Salvation Army, but the antique maple ‘hope chest’ graces my home today, letters, naval uniform still safetly tucked inside the cedar lining. Her teacup and saucer displayed proudly in my china cabinet, a memoir of my uncle and his navy service. These items deserve our continued respect and historic conservancy, unlike the cheap trinkets in souvenir stores today. Keep up the great work, keeping a linkage to our past reminds us of where we came from, the values our predecessors past on in the work they did, on the farm, in the villages and in the metropolis of our challenged cities of today.

  8. Not staged, simply a statement in how society has changed.

    Previous generations did not throw everything away, you did not waste, what you worked hard to get wasn’t simply discarded. Homes were in families for generations and each generation added to the home. There is furniture dating from early 1900’s then more added in the late 1930″s-early 1940″s then again in the 1970’s. This was the normal progression of the life of a family home.

    The family home was the family’s foundation and safe haven,not a stopping spot, full of plastic junk with a short lifespan to match the modern short attention span.All to be thrown out with little thought.

    It is more likely that the bills remained paid on the house through a legal office or government administrator when the owner became I’ll or infirm. Being rural may have fallen between the cracks.

  9. I know this is an old thread but I’d like to say it’s not uncommon to have many different eras in a home. They pass down pieces and heirlooms. Sad that this is a disposible society nowadays. I have depression glass.. I have a handmade wood trinket box from my great grandmother. I have so many things from this century, the last one (1900s) amd the one before it. Are they valuable? Not in monetary ways, but yes, they tell the story of my family. In my livingroom alone I have pieces from decades ago sitting right next to something I purchased last year. Just my 2 Cents

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