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Joy of Home Ownership: Buried Mystery in the Backyard

Our pal Carl of the Warehouse was digging in his backyard early one morning, and found this a mystery buried

Soon I realize it's not a simple concrete paver. It looks almost like brick. Then like a brick wall. What's that doing here? I trace it across a foot, discovering a pattern. It looks like "NNNNNN" and I think nothing of it, just wondering what on earth the previous owners were thinking. Suddenly I realize it's not an abstract pattern. They're letters.

It's a man's name.

Oh please tell me there isn't a casket running up under the hedgerow, next to the deck, next to the great room of my house. I picture a silent Puritan funeral, heavy black robes, and a guy with a concrete mixer.
Our house was the first house on this entire tract of land...but it's only 35ish years old.

What *is* that thing? What should Carl do? Dig it up or leave it buried? Link - Thanks Carl!

Update 5/10/08: Carl has found a second object next to the one he dug up recently.

Actually, I can't tell if it's a grave or something else. It looks to small to be a grave and there look like 4/5 names on the concrete. I guess I'd keep trying to figure that one out. That's definitely different.
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Given the size and the names "Morris" and "Fluff" there's no mystery except for the number of pet carcasses inside. Three nicknames like that are a bit much for one cat.
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Before you dig first thing you need to do is find the neighbors who have lived there the longest and ask them if they know anything about. It might just be a bit of 60' or 70's left over architectural element.

Your house is not that old and something like like wouldn't be just skipped over by the builders as what you describe is very shallow.

If I had no option I would sure as hell dig it out, pay the neighborhood kids, get Indiana Jones on that shit.
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A time capsule would be nice: some vintage Playboys, a can of Schlitz, some lawn Jarts (the deadly kind). As a kid I used to bury matchbox cars in my yard. But, I'm afraid this is something dead. Real dead. "No, you can't have another gerbil. Remember what happened to the last one?" OPEN IT, OPEN IT, OPEN IT, OPEN IT... Man, this is worse than Christmas.
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"Dad, we can't move. What about Fluff and Morris and Tony. What if the people who buy the house decide to dig a hole there? We can't just leave them."

"how 'bout we pour concrete over them and then no one will disturb them."

I say open it. It's probably cats and gerbils and such, but you (and we) will never know until you open it.
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As a child in Tennessee, I once dug up whole a lot of sand dollars at the base of a tree in a yard on the block...I went to the bank and couldn't trade them in for sh*t.

the first is true/the latter,not.

Champs: possible pet carcass. Although, what kinda pet would be named Anthony?
Greg: a can of Schlitz? If it's that , then I'll give you my entire collection of movie star toenail clippings.

I think its a sacred boy scout virginity burial ?
I remember.
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Oooh; remember the movie Poltergeist? That house was built on an old cemetery. I see this mystery ending very badly.

Sell the movie rights now while you can!
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Well, looks like he's put dirt back over it!! How on earth he could do that is beyond me. I'd be obsessed trying to find what the heck it is.
He really should've called some people out there to get them up and open them to see what they were if anything.
UGH I wish I hasn't found this post.. I want to know what they were!
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This is weak, there's no ending to it! Damn, after tempting people like that, that guy'd better watch out in case neatorama readers start creeping in and digging up his back garden so they can find out for themselves.
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Who was Anthony? And how did he manage to write his name in solid cement?
He must have been much smarter than his sister Lisa -- about whom we know nothing.
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This so cool! The most interesting thing I've found in my garden is a paperweight carved with patterns (probably manufactured). But a couple of streets down they found some students who went missing twenty years ago in a family's garden...
I know it's really morbid but I find stuff like that really interesting.
But at the moment I'm reading Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen and this is creepily similar... O_O
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Dude probably made it up.
It's like the Angel they dug up on the Simpsons. In a week, he'll be advertising sneakers with it.
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If this was a grave or time capsule it would have a date on it. MUST be buried treasure. Full of rare gems and gold bullion or priceless antiquities. Open it before the pirates steal it from your yard.
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Well, it either used to be legal to bury family members in your backyard in Tennessee, or it wasn't but people used to do it in Nashville anyway. I know more than ONE person who moved into an old house and actually DID find an actual grave, complete with marker and casket, in their yard.
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This is quite obviously a hatch to an underground station. If he chooses to open it, I certainly hope that he is a good typist and has some time on his hands.
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Plasmator: it must be his destiny that he found it. Some of the commenters are relying too much on science and reason!

Maybe one day he'll have to figure out how to move the US?
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The Register ( had an article like this some time ago. It turned out that the "headstones" were flawed headstones or rejects from some monument company that got used as pavers for a path or patio.

I'm sure there's no shortage of people who'd get a kick out of using headstones as pavers. And then the next owner just covered them up (or let them sink into the soil) rather than dig them up and dispose of them.

Next mystery!
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Sorry to be logical, but they're probably some kind of over-engineered foundation for a trellis or swing or something. The bent over bolts held the sill/lumber to it. When the structure came down, Tony thwacked the bolts over when he buried it so no one would impale their feet when walking over the thinnly covered foundation.

I agree, check with the neighbors. Likely something the kids used when they were little and Tony took down when they were out of the house.
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