These renovators had no idea what they were walking into.

New York City has a long history of hoarders, but when renovators recently came to clean one Lower East Side apartment, they had no idea what kinds of horrors they were about to find.

Earlier this week, contractor Martin Fernandez filmed himself and his renovation crew cleaning out the apartment that had previously been owned by a compulsive hoarder who’d left the apartment a rotting mess.

Around the room, the unnamed resident had strewn half-eaten food and empty bottles of liquor, causing roaches and other bugs to take over and blanket the floors. Elsewhere, wires, boxes, and unused exercise equipment sat in every nook and cranny of the apartment. Nearly every square inch of the residence was covered with fetid trash.

Perhaps most horrifying was the discovery of a dead cat that the previous tenant had owned. The cat’s corpse was found under the bed and already heavily decomposed.

Apparently, this is a hallmark of the truly disgusting homes that Fernandez and his team have had to clean out. Fernandez told Gothamist that these disgusting homes almost always contain dead cats, mice, or other small mammals.

Even at this level, hoarding is a psychological phenomenon that affects tens of millions of people around the world. In America alone, The Washington Post reports that studies show that six percent of Americans (19 million people) exhibit some kind of compulsive hoarding behavior.

And New York City, in particular, is infamous for its hoarders. Chief among the city’s hoarders are the notorious Collyer brothers, who amassed some 120 tons of junk in their Harlem home throughout the 1930s and 1940s, before ultimately dying due to causes directly related to their hoarding.

And as the video above shows, 80 years after the Collyer brothers, New York’s legacy of outlandish hoarders carries on.


Next, read up on five of the world’s most unusual mental disorders.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.
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