There really is no limits to what can become a hit reality television show these days. It is all about what people find interesting enough to keep watching, week after week. The content is not even important if viewers are watching. This is how Storage Wars was born.
Storage Wars is the hit A&E Network reality show about a group of veteran buyers, or bidders, that go to storage facilities to try and purchase units that have been abandoned by their owners. In the state of California, where the show takes place, the law states that the storage units may be auctioned off after three months of non-payment.
Over the years, the show found itself in the middle of a few controversies including one of the show's main bidders, Dave Hester, being involved in a lawsuit claiming that the show was planting items inside these storage lockers to make for better television. Although A&E never did come out and apologize for any wrongdoing, they also did not deny it.
So whether or not the items inside these storage units are the real thing, they still make for some interesting television, especially the crazy things that they have found over the past 12 seasons. Some of these items range from the ridiculous to the downright weird and we found 25 of them for your entertainment.
25 Beekeeper's Outfit and Equipment (Dave)
Whenever a bidder takes a chance on a storage unit, they are risking a lot of time, energy, and money into something that could turn out to be a dud. One of the main rules to follow when preparing to bid is that you cannot touch anything inside the unit, but you can take a look and glance around the room before the bidding begins.
Dave Hester did not see the Beekeeper equipment when he decided to risk it and go for this unit but it turned out to become quite the interesting pull for the man that continuously gets on everyone's nerves with his cocky attitude and annoying bidding habits.
24 Dog Tread Wheel (Mary)
Mary is a fireball on the show. She comes across kind of dorky, and a little dumb, but it is all an act because when the bidding starts, she finds ways to sneak up on even the best of them and steal lockers right from under their noses.
During an episode in season eight, Mary bought a unit for $775 that featured quite the array of random items including a walking cane, dog crate in the box, and a mysterious giant hamster wheel that looked like an industrial fan at first. She had no clue what it was so she brought it to a person who would and come to find out, it is a doggie hamster wheel used for exercise.
Whatever happened to walking your dog?
23 Glass Balloon Inflating Machine (Mary)
Storage Wars is not always predictable. Every now and then, they come across a unit that is stocked full of absolutely junk. These types of lockers will end up going for very little and most bidders pass on it because they do not want the hassle of going through it and hauling the stuff off.
But Mary saw this as a chance to make a little profit and she stole one for $50 that looked to be nothing more than a few basic household items. But when she got into it, she noticed a working glass machine that she had no clue what it did. Turns out, it was a balloon inflating machine used by entertainers, and clowns. It was used to blow up a balloon and then fill it up with various other items, or more balloons.
22 My Little Pony Collection (Jarrod & Brandi)
It is rare to find a complete collection of anything, let alone one that is extremely valuable. But then again, this is Storage Wars and most of the times, the lockers have at least one item of possible value. When Jarrod and Brandi purchased this unit, they had no idea they were about to inherit one of the largest My Little Pony collections ever seen. So they brought it to a specialist and got them appraised for nearly $1,000 after just winning the storage unit for $50 earlier in the day.
21 Body Piercing Equipment (Mark)
One of the show's most entertaining guest stars was a bidder by the name of Mark Balelo. He showed up on random episodes sporting the most stylish suits or clothing anyone could wear to a storage auction that came complete with his man-purse that was stacked full of cash.
The group would always make fun of his fanny pack and the cartoonish way he presented himself, but it was all in good fun. He sadly passed away shortly after appearing on an episode of Storage Wars and has been sadly missed. One of his craziest finds was when he discovered a complete setup used for body piercings.
20 Vintage Peep Show Machine (Barry)
At $7,000, the vintage peep show machine he found became one of Barry's biggest finds during his brief stay on the show. It is also one of the most unique items anyone has ever pulled from a storage unit. This giant spinning wheel was created back in the early days of the 20th century and was used to watch films by cranking it and watching the images spin around in a circle, like a flip book. This was the early days of a portable dvd player and it was huge. It earned the "peep show" title because many of these machines were used to watch dirty movies, so to speak, back before anyone knew about, well, y'know.
19 The Comic Book Store (Darrell)
One of the reasons Darrell Sheets has been given the nickname "The Gambler" is because of his consistent ability to hit the jackpot on storage units, every once in a while. He bids on many of them, good or bad, because he sees something that could be worth a ton. He is willing to gamble big time just to get that one big payday.
So it was not very surprising to see that he ended up winning a storage unit full of an entire inventory from a comic book store. There was everything from vintage comic books to valuable action figures still in mint condition in their original box. Everything.
18 Two Humped Camel Saddles (Mary)
When Mary goes hunting, she only bids on the storage units she thinks has unique items of value, and things that she simply likes. When she decided to buy this locker of junk for $150, which no one really wanted, she had no idea that there was a secret saddle sitting in the back.
Not only was it an animal saddle, it was a specialized saddle built for camels with two humps, instead of their customary one. Why would a camel saddle that is only used for such a specific type of camel being stored in a storage unit in Southern California is beyond us. It stood out like a sore thumb in a locker of trash.
17 Gas Mask (Jarrod & Brandi)
This storage unit was a bad idea to begin with. The entire bidding process began with a sarcastic bid from Jarrod & Brandi, making fun of Dave Hester's incredibly annoying, "Yuuuup!" Then, the next thing they know, they are eating it and having to buy this unit for $450.
Right after starting to take a look at the items in the locker, they come across a vintage canteen that had been sealed shut a very long time ago. After risking their safety to open it up, they found out it was nothing but stale air. That's when they came across the gas mask, which looked to be old and used at least once.
16 The Elvis Collection (Dave)
Newspaper clippings used to be more valuable, back before social media and cell phones, that is. But then things changed and people stopped reading the newspaper, leading to the eventual demise of newspaper clippings holding any value.
However, older pieces of newspapers from various moments in history actually still have a lot of value. Just ask Dave Hester, who wound up bidding on a unit he had no clue featured tons of newspaper clippings from the day Elvis died. Those clippings, along with many other Elvis collectibles tallied up to become one of the bigger finds on the show ever. It was valued to be worth around $90,000.
15 Vintage Baby Doll (Jarrod & Brandi)
Any toys made in the 1930s, that are still in good shape today, can come across creepy because of the material used to make them and the style. So when Jarrod and Brandi run into a locker full of nothing much, they run into a bin with a vintage baby doll that makes Brandi freak out around it.
It was in a very old trunk and came with a ton of clothes, making it even creepier that someone would store this thing in a storage unit for all these years. But after opening the trunk and looking over it, they realized this had to be old and it had to be brought to someone who knew more about them.
14 Vintage Architectural Tools (Darrell)
What looked like a box of dental tools actually turned out to be very old tools used by architects in the 1800s when designing buildings, creating projects, and maps. This specific tool box was probably dated close to the 1930s and was not really in perfect condition, but was still very good. The appraiser would eventually reveal the price of the item to be $1,000, making Darrell's $575 storage unit purchase turn into a major profit of close to $1,600 on the day. They do not call him a gambler because he plays it safe now, do they?
13 World War II Minesweeper (Ivy)
As hot as it gets in Southern California, the temperature was boiling when the cast headed down to Lancaster for a day of bidding during the 9th season of Storage Wars. Since he is a hustler for packed lockers that he can use to fill his stores, Ivy took down Dave in a very small bidding war to take home a locker of nonsense items.
After spending $1,500 on a locker that he should have gotten for half that, he discovered an old army container, and helmet, that had a mysterious item. When he got to the shop to get it looked at, it turned out to be an old World War II minesweeper that was used to find mines hidden in the ground. At $400, it was the featured item in a locker that brought in close to $4,400 in value.
12 Snake "Stuff" (Ivy)
In one of the largest storage unit auctions ever in the state of California, the crew headed to Chatsworth, California to take part in a gigantic 100-vault auction. This auction was so stacked that everyone walked away with something, including Ivy, who purchased a vault he considered to have some valuable treasures for his store.
As he was searching through his newly acquired vault, he opened a box that had snake bones, enclosed inside a plastic display case. He continued through the box to find even more snake items like the tool used to hold them, as well as protective clothing, and various other snake related things.
11 Antique Medical Bleeder (Darrell)
Back before hospitals had state-of-the-art electronic equipment, and antibiotics that could cure just about anything, they had to be creative with ways to cure people. So doctors came up with an invention called a medical bleeder. It was used to drain the blood from a person that was afflicted from various different illnesses or diseases.
The tool would drain the blood from the body to help control the overall balance of it inside your system. It is suspected to help lower blood pressure because it reduces blood volume. The device is the size of a wallet but was still one of the craziest items you would never consider being on the show.
10 Vintage Dental Equipment (Barry)
Every now and then, the show will feature an item so ridiculous, it almost feels as if it can't be real. As the winning bidders scour through their storage units, they end up coming across something that has no reason being in there, and that is where the idea that the show is fake.
However, having never denied the claims that this stuff was fake, A&E continues to air the show and the bidders go through the same routine, over and over. They buy a locker, find one rare item, and get it appraised. Barry found one in season two when he came across a box with vintage dental equipment. Inside the box was a tooth puller that was 200 years old and basically just loosened the tooth before pulling it. Talk about painful.
9 Human Skeleton (Dave)
When going through a locker, Dave Hester found himself uncovering something very scary: a collection of human bones complete with the skull, hands, and arms. Everything was there to complete the set of bones and create a perfect human skeleton. For his sake, he brought to an expert to get details about whether or not it was real.
The bones were real, but were not part of any kind of malicious event. They were used for medical schools, or universities, to study the human skeleton. The expert knew it because of how they were professionally cleaned and had nylon strings keeping them all together. He walked away with a human skeleton worth $1,670.
8 Chicken Eyeglasses (Barry)
Barry is always coming across something that is either unique or strange. Yes, those words mean the same thing, but when it comes to Barry, each one of those words can be used to define different things. When he bought a cheap storage locker for $350, and almost finished looking through it without any luck, he came across a box full of these weird little glasses.
As it turns out, these glasses were once used in the 1940s and 1950s for chickens. That's right, chicken eyeglasses. The owner would put them on the chicken to prevent each of them from pecking their eyes out while also being stylish. Yes, stylish. It was a unique way to accessorize your chickens and Barry hit the motherload, making $500 on the lot.
7 Stripper Pole (Rene)
The idea of a stripper pole is not crazy at all. But then someone decided to start selling them on the mainstream, so people could use them at home for exercise, or whatever other reason they wanted. But when it shows up inside a storage unit, it is no longer attractive, it is actually quite sad. Who would put something like this in a locker and forget about it? Why would anyone do that? The sole purpose of something like this is to use it, not store it. At least we got to witness Rene attempt to break his femur with a stripper move he definitely should not have tried to do.
6 Wooden Bust W/ Glass Eyes (Barry)
This was one of those items that we had no clue what to call it besides exactly what it was, a giant wooden head with these creepy glass eyes. It was hidden inside a locker that was won by Barry, who arrived late to begin with and was just trying to catch up. He bought an apparently useless locker for $1,525, according to everyone else.
But Barry had spotted something that he just had to own. It was a small box that was hidden in the rear of the unit. If you know anything about Barry, he loves to buy vintage boxes, especially when they are closed. After he discovered this wooden bust, with a full set of teeth and two crazy glass eyes. Oh, and did we mention the window into the brain in the back of the skull that had an Obi-Wan Kenobi looking figure starting out of?
5 Breast Enlargement Machine (Dave)
Dave Hester has a way of annoying his competition, and a lot of the show's fans, but he is actually not a horrible person. When he is away from the pack, he is quite the comedian, you just have to pretend you do not know who he is.
That is, except for the time he went to a beautiful plastic surgeon with a breast enlargement machine he pulled from one of his storage lockers. Instead of simply learning about his precious item, he just had to creep out the doc with his badly timed puns including telling her he planned on keeping them for his own personal entertainment after he found out they were not worth very much, and were used.
4 Whale In A Jar (Brandon Sheets)
When Darrell Sheets and his son Brandon ended up going off on their own, it wasn't to compete with one another, or because they had issues. It was simply so Brandon could learn how to play the game. Some times you have to let children fall down so they know how to get back up again.
However, Brandon was never as lucky as his father, for the most part. He did hit a few great lockers, but for his overall time on the show, he was mostly a guy that would buy duds. One time, he was rummaging through his newly purchased locker and found a jar of what he could only claim was "whale stuff." Even the experts were curious about how it ended up in a storage unit.
3 Voodoo Items (Jarrod & Brandi)
Of all the creepy things we have seen on Storage Wars, the moment Brandi won a storage unit and uncovered a deer skull, we knew something was going on and wanted no part of it, just like she didn't. As they continued scouring the unit, they ended up finding even more insanely creepy items like a bag of chicken bones, a bat on a stick, and various other unique voodoo items. However, it was the human hair that really sent us running for the hills with this unit.
2 Professional Clown Costume (Kenny)
Clowns are creepy. Since buying storage lockers is a big gamble to begin with because you never quite know what you are going to find, opening one and uncovering a full clown costume, along with a helium tank and various other clown accessories, including shoes, has got to be the weirdest thing to happen to Kenny in his career.
But he was not scared of clowns and, after finding the costume, proceeded to try it on, all the way down to the big floppy shoes. After he clowned around for a few minutes, he decided to take it to a real professional and see if there was any value in it. So he meets a guy who is a professional clown, at a private club with exotic dancers.
Crazy is an understatement.
1 Frank Gutierrez Artwork Collection (Darrell)
Artwork is not really a crazy item, it is probably one of the most normal things the bidders can find in these abandoned lockers. Over the course of the show's 12 season history, there have been many different units that have featured some kind of artwork, or painting. But none of them ever came even close to what Darrell Sheets found in Season 3.
He found one of the biggest collections of artwork by any artist, ever. It almost seemed as if this was Frank Gutierrez's personal locker he used to store his work. There was several pieces of art, of all shapes and sizes, that ended up being appraised for close to $300,000, making it the biggest find in the show's existence. How crazy is it that an artist would store that much valuable artwork and just leave it? Maybe it was owned by a fan, or maybe someone was going to sell it, but lost the unit before having the chance.