99 Unhinged And Traumatizing Secondhand Finds That Explain Why Thrifting Is Not For Everyone

As Forrest Gump so astutely said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.” And as it turns out, anywhere you might do some thrift shopping is akin to a box of chocolates as well!

Below, we’ve gathered photos of some of the most terrifying and unsettling items shoppers have stumbled upon in brick and mortar and virtual secondhand shops, courtesy of the Thrift Store Hauls subreddit. Enjoy viewing these pics that might make you reconsider your upcoming trip to Goodwill, and keep reading to find a conversation with thrifting expert Hannah Rupp!

#1 Had To Convince Myself That Buying This Bear Was Worth It. Realized It Was A “Build A Bear” Store Display. Painted It Like A Washed Up Build A Bear

Image credits: QUEUE-Q

#2 No Eyedea What It Is, From Goodwill

Image credits: kenkreie

#3 $7.99 For This Creepy Alien Lamp. I'm In Love

Image credits: PM_ME_YOUR_HARIBO

Part of the fun of going thrift shopping is that you never know exactly what you’ll come across. It’s often a mistake to go in search of one specific item, unless you have hours to kill and various stores to visit, because you might end up going home disappointed. But when you allow the spirit of Goodwill, Humana or Oxfam to guide you through the store, you might stumble upon some amazing gems. Almost all of my wardrobe came from secondhand shops, and because I’m such an avid thrifter, I find a trip to a retail store to be incredibly boring. Of course they have my size, they have everyone’s size! And there’s no need to sift through piles or racks upon racks. Everything is perfectly laid out for you already, and to be honest, there’s no thrill involved.

Thrifting, on the other hand, is so much more exciting. And nobody knows that better than the members of the Thrift Store Hauls subreddit. This group, which has been around since August 2011, has amassed an impressive 2.6 million members. They share anything and everything they find, from amazing deals on fabulous items to creepy clowns that will haunt their dreams. And as you can see, today we’re highlighting the most unsettling corner of the subreddit.

#4 No Batteries Required

Image credits: Sirano_onariS

#5 "Garden Decor" For Sale On Fb Marketplace

Image credits: Whatshername_Stew

#6 Veggie Clown Portrait - Double The Scary, Double The Fun $16

Image credits: TOMTREEWELL

I cannot tell you how many trips I’ve made to thrift stores in my lifetime; I honestly couldn’t even begin to guess how many there have been. But as much as I love a great Goodwill, I will admit that there are always questionable items. About 95% of the store is full of things I would never ever purchase for myself, but that 5% of decent, and 1% of amazing, items makes the whole trip worth it. Plus, coming across these outlandish and frightening items makes the trip more entertaining as well. You don’t have to ever buy them, unless you need a gag gift or a great Halloween costume, but it’s still fun to see what you might discover!

Thrifting is exhilarating, but if you need some inspiration for why you should hop on the secondhand train yourself, we reached out to thrifting expert Hannah Rupp, aka The Outfit Repeater, to hear why “life is sweeter as an outfit repeater”. On her site, Hannah shares style tips, thrift finds, DIY projects and more, and lucky for us, she was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda about how she first got into secondhand shopping.

#7 My 5 Foot Tall Woody Woodpecker

Image credits: fun19922023

#8 Catch And Release

Image credits: RabbitBeard

#9 I Couldn’t Bear Leaving It Behind But I Have No Room

Image credits: bleucloud99

“I've been thrifting my entire life,” Hannah shared. “My mom would take my older siblings and me shopping at thrift stores when we were kids. I loved seeing the variety of stuff - I think that's what I still love about it!” As this list goes to show, there’s definitely no lack of variety in these stores!

#10 1970’s Rmic Hand Chair

Image credits: Responsible_Play_400

#11 $200 Was Too High For Me But My Mom Insisted On Buying This Adorable Cabinet For My Daughter's Disney-Themed Bedroom

Image credits: bunnybutt1982

#12 Found A Signed Gabriel Iglesias Action Figure At Goodwill And He Confirmed It Was His Signature On Twitter

Image credits: texastechtanner

As a thrifting aficionado, Hannah has certainly come across some interesting items in her time, so we were curious if she remembered any particularly bizarre finds. “One item that stands out was a Ziploc bag of kids' toys,” she told Bored Panda. “I noticed a toy inside that I was interested in, and I opened the bag to get it and realized the entire bag was soaked in condensation. Rather than forget the item, I reached inside and grabbed it. I used hand sanitizer immediately following the interaction.” Yeah, I think that would give any shopper nightmares…

#13 Sylvester Stallone Prop Found In A Thrift Store

Image credits: reddit.com

#14 Hell Yeah, Karen

Image credits: Cassie_1991

#15 Had To Pass - Little Too Big For My Foot

Image credits: DamnTheAdmiralty

As great as shopping secondhand is, even thrifting enthusiasts don’t buy everything gently used, so we asked Hannah if there’s anything she tries to avoid buying secondhand. “In my opinion, buying secondhand electronics or gadgets is a very risky gamble,” she noted. “Aside from possibly being old and unusable, it could be a fire hazard. Most thrift stores don't test their items beforehand, so you're taking a big chance on buying them!”

#16 Catch And Release - Really Didn't Smell Very Good

Image credits: amobogio

#17 Best $2 I've Ever Spent

Image credits: sonicsink

#18 Did I Just Find A Serial Killer?

Image credits: Turbulent_Capital_94

If you’re interested in diving into the world of thrifting yourself, but you’re (understandably) a bit frightened by the photos on this list, Hannah recommends to “pick a store and just focus on one section and really take your time examining everything.” And always make sure to check the item for any damage or imperfections before buying it, Hannah warns. "Thrift shopping gets easier with practice, so just keep going, exploring, and enjoy the experience!”

If you’d like to gain more tips for your next secondhand shopping journey or hear more wise words from Hannah, be sure to check out her site The Outfit Repeater right here!

#19 Scary Find In The Goodwill Bins

Image credits: iamfunnys0metimes

#20 Goodwill, Find Of The Day :) 4$

Image credits: Natesantiqueshop

#21 A Steal For Only $25!

Image credits: waink8

Every thrift store is a little bit different, so you’re always in for a surprise when you go out shopping for something used. But if you live in the United States and you come across something that is genuinely concerning or unsafe, it might be a violation of Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations. According to the CPSC, when in doubt, throw it out. “Products used in the nursery, especially cribs and bassinets, have caused deaths and have been the subject of numerous recalls of millions of units,” they explain on their site. “Do not sell any broken or wobbly nursery furniture or durable infant product that is missing parts, even if it has not been recalled. A baby’s life could depend on it. The risk is too high.”

#22 Newest Addition To My Creepy Thrift Collection (Seriously, Wtf...)

Image credits: keetzkeetzmf

#23 Maybe The Best, Worst Thing I’ve Found Yet

Image credits: ThiftLife

#24 Catch And Release

Image credits: ellie-the-rifle

The CPSC also notes that resellers are not required to test products for safety, so, as Hannah noted, shoppers must be extremely cautious when they’re purchasing anything that might pose a risk. And if you come across an individual or business selling products that violate the law, don’t be afraid to report hazardous products right here. Secondhand shopping should be an enjoyable experience, and sure, you might come across items that are bizarre or a bit unsettling! But no one's safety should be compromised by a simple shopping trip. 

#25 Where I Am Going, There Are No Roads…

Image credits: KatzDeli

#26 New Friend, Found At Savers

Image credits: lilacmacchiato

#27 Catch & Release Cookie Monster Head

Image credits: lowlife9

Normally, I’m a huge proponent of thrifting, but I have to admit, seeing these photos doesn’t make taking a trip to Humana or Goodwill seem too appealing… We hope you’re getting a kick out of these terrifying items, pandas, and remember to keep upvoting the ones you find most bizarre. Then, after you’re finished scrolling through this list, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring unexpected items found in secondhand shops, look no further than right here!

#28 Hard Pass, But Thanks For The Nightmares

Image credits: operachick209

#29 Catch And Release And Run And Hide. Scary Footstool!

Image credits: DiggityShack

#30 Found At Goodwill, Couldn't Pass Him Up For Our Home Theater. We Call Him Fes!

Image credits: jus_havin_fun

#31 Creepy Catch And Release. These Plates Were Terrifying

Image credits: pterribledactyls

#32 Say Hello To Charlie. Charlie Was A Mistake

Image credits: glytxh

#33 Catch And Release: Hockey Themed Nightmare Fuel

Image credits: Cerberus1349

#34 Found These Nightmares Wall Sculptures But Only Took Home One Of Them

Image credits: AliEffinNoble

#35 Christian Dior Wool Skirt For $14 At Uptown Cheapskate! Came With A Tag, Too... If It's Fake, It's Still 100% Worsted Wool. Pockets, Too!

Image credits: goldenglizzy

#36 I Was Out Thrifting And Came Across This Halloween Mask

Image credits: id0lize

#37 This Old Lady Was Selling Her Painted Baby Dolls At The Flea Market And Nobody Had Bought Any, It Was $20 But I Couldn’t Find It In Me To Haggle Her Down. She Told Me She Made The Suit By Hand. My New Fav Office Decoration!

Image credits: Apostleguts

#38 Found This T-Rex Fossil Shower Head At Goodwill

Image credits: reddit.com

#39 That Time I Found Two Winnie The Pooh Costumes. One Fit Me And The Other Was A Dog Costume That Fit Betty, Our Boston Terrier

Image credits: Downhome

#40 Saw These “Custom” Air Forces On Facebook Marketplace

Image credits: Reasonable_Can_9903

#41 We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1955

Image credits: bevans052

#42 We Found This Massive Print Secondhand. My BF Immediately Knew He Wanted It

Image credits: poshfiend

#43 The Goodwill Outlet Bins Are A Scary, Scary Place

Image credits: Electrical-Pin-8830

#44 Creepy Haul At A Local Value Village

Image credits: BeautifulJustDaWayUR

#45 Jesus H. C. And R

Image credits: notallthereinthehead

#46 Best $2 Thrift Store Find Of My Life!!

Image credits: brandysbutthxle

#47 I Found This Pretty Nifty Cycling Jersey Today At Gw

Image credits: jennjenn1184

#48 Yogi Bear Wearable Head! ($5)

Image credits: oncethedustclears

#49 I Paid 28 Cents For This. Come At Me Cannibals!

Image credits: Vegetable-Language45

#50 I’m Intrigued

Image credits: Other-Custard8323

#51 Bossons Chalkware Of Moriarty For $7 At An Antique Store. Super Happy With It!

Image credits: brittlovesbooks92

#52 The Weirdest Wallet I’ve Ever Seen

Image credits: mrsblanchedevereaux

#53 Someone In One Of My Fb Yard Sale Groups Wants 300 Whole Dollars For This Nightmare Of A Trash Can Topper

Image credits: SamusAran47

#54 C & R At Goodwill- Wooden Moose

Image credits: codeesins

#55 “South Korea Perhaps”

Image credits: Familiar-Apple3568

#56 Found This Today There’s Buttons For A Funny Or Inspirational Quote

Image credits: lilybug11000

#57 I’m Afraid Of This Wood For Sale On Facebook Marketplace

Image credits: Extreme_Distance6241

#58 Catch And Release (Might Go Back For Him)

Image credits: bsharp1982

#59 Catch And Release Spider Eyes Nightmare Fuel

Image credits: MrBite_the_Bullet

#60 My Thrifted TV

Image credits: fun19922023

#61 Snatched This 1970’s Ceramic Witch On Broom! ?

Image credits: renisiman

#62 Did Not Buy (Too Scared)

Image credits: swagmasterjenny

#63 This Horrific Vintage Rushton Plush Bunny Rabbit. Included In A Mystery Box Lot Of Vintage Plush For $2!

Image credits: Downhome

#64 In Line With Todays Jesus Post, I Found This Very Scary Virgin Mary That I Almost Bought But Decided I Couldn’t Justify The Purchase…

Image credits: Extremiditty

#65 Creepy Face, Poor Grammar, Perfect Mug

Image credits: elizabethany6

#66 This Top Depicting A Truly Iconic Moment Of Our Times

Image credits: AmaLMa

#67 Meesa Thinks My BF Found The Best Worst Thrift Today. 99 Cents

Image credits: filmbuffy42

#68 Do We Enjoy Nightmares? Oink

Image credits: StupidPockets

#69 Passed On This Nightmare Fuel In Carmel, In If Anyone Wants It

Image credits: InvestigatorFun8070

#70 A Nightmare I Found Yesterday

Image credits: avengingspark35

#71 Super Cute Snuff Bottle I Got Awhile Ago

Image credits: boxoffingernails

#72 Today's Catch And Release

Image credits: PinkPeacockFinds

#73 Catch And Release. These Creepy Cats Trapped In A Plate

Image credits: winning_at_life

#74 My Estate Sale Ancient Statue

Image credits: fun19922023

#75 Catch And Release-Literal Foot Stool

Image credits: Ocean12air

#76 My Son Is Obsessed With Poppy Playtime, But All The Merch Is Ridiculously Expensive. I Found These Two For 25 Cents A Piece

Image credits: TartofDarkness

#77 Lodge Cast Iron Fish Mold Pan

Image credits: ToxicStardust

#78 Love Rummage Sales >:)

Image credits: radium_eater

#79 Need I Say More?

Image credits: Dull-Seaworthiness73

#80 Bridal Bingo! [& Other Estate Sale Finds]

Image credits: lexikhaos

#81 Facts Of Life

Image credits: Aimerfii

#82 Thought I Found Jerry Springer Gold

Image credits: postbologna8

#83 Omg No Catch Only Release

Image credits: Eclectic-Nerd

#84 Catch And Release. These Walked So Heely’s Could Run

Image credits: stfx2012

#85 Catch & Release Clowns

Image credits: BACON_QUEEN69420

#86 An Unopened Talking Psyduck Figure From 1998 For $10

Image credits: Tronesos_Azurnat

#87 Catch And Release

Image credits: Careless_Coast_5411

#88 Vintage Wwf At The Thrift!

Image credits: Darkhorse089

#89 If I Had The Space, I'd Bring Em Home

Image credits: Natesantiqueshop

#90 Actual Catch And Release

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#91 Catch And Release Of Whatever This Is

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#92 This Sealed Big Mac Tin From 1996 Contains Candy That Is 27 Years Old

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#93 Meet... Boy Lamp

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#94 Vtg Gremlins Christmas Ornaments For $3 A Piece!

Image credits: boxoffingernails

#95 Terrifying Disembodied Baby Head Plate Found In Bakersfield. Nightmare Fuel

Image credits: haleybarth

#96 Radical Dude! Catch & Release, Bummer Bud

Image credits: 0DIV

#97 Kewpie ... Ashtray?

Image credits: gal_tiki

#98 Two Spooky Things

Image credits: SymbioticWoods

#99 I Found This Today, I Am Not Sure Why, But The Worst Part For Me Is That Its Like $2 More To Get It New On Amazon. Catch And Definite Release

Image credits: gold5alli