New York apartments tend to be quirky. But for Samantha Hartsoe, there was nothing fun or cute about what she found behind her apartment's bathroom mirror. Starting as nothing more than a mission to find where cold air was coming from, Samantha soon discovered something beyond shocking. What she found behind her mirror was straight out of a horror movie, yet, she decided to explore a bit further.
It Started Out As A Curiosity For Why She Was Cold
It started as nothing more than a curiosity for why she was always cold. She wanted to find where the strange cool breeze was coming from in her bathroom. There was no way for New Yorker Samantha Hartose to know that the mission she set out to accomplish was going to put her in the middle of a real-life horror movie.
But, it's New York City, and real estate horror stories are almost the name of the game. What did she find? Keep reading.
A Weird Breeze Was Coming From Her Bathroom
This year, in 2021, 26-year-old Samantha Hartose was doing the same thing as many people in the world -- spending a great deal of time at home. But being home so much had her starting to realize a few different things about her Roosevelt Island apartment.
One thing being a strange cool breeze in her bathroom. The phantom draft was strong enough to blow her hair, but she had no idea where it was coming from.
Even With The Heat On, She's Cold
In her TikTok video that she has since put on Youtube, Samantha can be seen explaining the issue. In the video, she says, "no matter how high the heat goes, I'm cold. Right?"
"So, I walk into the bathroom, and I feel cold air blowing on me. And there's not a vent or anything." It begged the question without a vent or open window, where on earth was the cold air coming from?
She Feels Air Coming From The Door Frame
Samantha looked around during the TikTok video, explaining to viewers that she felt cold air coming from the door frame, particularly the hole where the doorknob latches.
So, she does what any freezing cold young person would do in this type of weird situation -- she tapes up the hole. In her TikTok, Samantha literally says, "I don't know why there's cold air coming through there, but we're not having it."
The Door Frame Wasn't The Issue
But even after plugging the hole in the door frame, there was a stiff breeze going through the bathroom! Where on earth was it coming from. Samantha was at a loss but continued to explore further.
She then realized cool air was coming through the light switch but "not enough air to blow this hard on me." Her hair was literally blowing in the wind, and she was nowhere near outside.
The Breeze Was Coming From Behind The Mirror
After a bit of exploring, poking, and prodding, Samantha finally found out where the weird cold draft was coming from -- the last place she would think, behind her bathroom mirror! That's right; the weird cold wind was coming from behind the mirror.
Talk about taking the creepy factor to a whole new level! Was it a two-way mirror the real estate agent failed to mention? Or was she about to stumble across something else altogether?
Curiosity Got The Better Of Her
Curiosity got the best of Samantha. During an interview with NBC New York, Samantha said, "Curiosity killed the cat; curiosity is going to kill me. I can't not know what's on the other side of my bathroom."
So, she began filming herself via TikTok, bringing her followers and whoever else wanted to tune in to her weird apartment mirror mystery. By the end, millions of viewers were watching as Samantha discovered something shocking.
There Was A Hole Behind The Mirror!
After realizing the source of the cold wind, there was only one thing for Samantha to do. She took the mirror off the bathroom wall. To her utmost shock, there was a fairly decent size hole in the wall!
How on earth did that manage to get there? And, better yet, who decided to put it there and not cover it up before leaving? In her videos, Samantha is seen peering through the hole. But it's quite dark.
It Wasn't Just a Hole, But A Room
At first, Samantha's friends and roommates think it's just an electrical room. But after further investigation, viewers can hear Samantha say, "there's a room back there!" So, just to recap.
This young New Yorker found a room behind her bathroom mirror solely because of a cold breeze that was moving her hair. The best part is that this isn't the end of the story. Samantha wasn't about to let that hole stand unattended -- she was going in!
Her Friends Weren't As Keen On The Idea
Of course, her friends and roommates weren't really keen on Samantha going exploring. One of her friends, John, can even be heard in the TikTok video saying, "What if someone is living in there right now?"
To which Samantha kind of bypasses, only to say, "the weirdest part is that they didn't fill in either side of the hole." That's the weirdest part? How about the part where there is a mysterious hole in your bathroom leading to another room?
One Roommate Compared The Discovery To Parasite
Being the devil's advocate that he is, John wasn't stopping there. After putting it in everyone's mind that someone might be living on the other side of the hole, he had to go and say, "Have you watched the movie Parasite?"
Long story short, for those who aren't familiar, Parasite winds up showing a character who has been living in one of the main family's basements, something that actually has a secret, hidden entrance. Sound familiar?
Samantha Wanted Answers
But Samantha wasn't going to let something as little as a horror movie plotline get the better of her. She was going to go exploring. In the video, she even says, "I need more answers."
"I have to go in and figure out what is on the other side of my bathroom. Like what if someone is living in there?" That is one scary concept. But, hey, curiosity got the best of her!
Could She Fit Through The Hole?
With a chill at the thought of someone living behind her bathroom in a rundown-looking room, Samantha begins looking at the hole again. Before climbing through, she takes a long look at the hole, asking her friends, "do you think my hips can fit through here?"
They agreed she would. Now, it was time to prepare for her journey to the other side of the hole. Talk about a weird version of Narnia!
Time To Prep With A Mask And Flashlight
Equipped with a facemask, and a makeshift headlamp that was comprised of a tie-dyed headband securing a flashlight, Samantha was ready to climb into the mysterious hole in her bathroom. But not all of her friends were keen on the idea.
Once again, John was the outlier, being cut off while saying, "I really don't think you should.." It was Samantha who spoke over him, saying, "Are you going to be there for me or not?"
It Was Time To Crawl Through The Hole
Of course, they're all laughing during the banter, with John ultimately telling his friends that he would be there for her. And with that, Samantha climbed onto the vanity, gripping the wall for stability, and mentally prepared to climb through the hole in the wall.
Now the question was, what in the world was she going to find on the other side of the wall? Was there someone living there? Samantha was about to step into a real-life horror flick.
Samantha Grabbed A Hammer For A Weapon
Equipped with nothing more than a hammer for a weapon, something to which John said, "Mean it when you swing it," Samantha got ready to make her journey. Not before telling John that meaning it when she swung the hammer was actually not bad advice.
After a little prayer, saying, "God, please take care of me," Samantha tightened the bun in her hair and got ready to make the cross over to the other side of the hole.
Getting Through The Hole Was Harder Than Expected
The thing is, getting to the other side of the hole was way easier said than done. At first glance, the hole looked a bit wider than it actually was, making it difficult for Samantha to wiggle her way through.
But after a bit of creativity and maneuvering, the New Yorker managed to find an angle that allowed her to slip through the hole and to the other side of the wall.
She Had To Think Fast
With only one leg left to bring through the hole, Samantha's TikTok shows her realizing that she has nothing to hold on to on the other side. She was going to have to make a faithful drop to the ground...with one leg dangling outside.
Thankfully, before she took the plunge, she found a pipe that was able to hold her body weight. So, she safely made it to the ground on the other side.
Eventually, She Made it Through
With John telling her, "you're on the other side of the dimension," Samantha mentally prepared herself for her impromptu exploration. At first glance, the other side of the wall actually looked like another dimension, a mirror image of her bathroom.
Above the hole, there were lights; behind her, there was a door, and beyond the door, it looked like a small hallway. Where on earth was she, and what was she about to find?
There Was A Lot Of Trash Littering The Floor
After walking around, it was clear that Samantha handled stumbled into another apartment. More specifically, a three-bedroom apartment that had definitely seen better days. There were full trash bags littering the floor, a toilet placed in the middle of the floor and not plugged into any plumbing, and more than a few boxes.
At one point during the video, Samantha can be heard whispering into the camera, "what is wrong with me?"
A Water Bottle Proved Someone Had Been There
While the trash bags, boxes, and random toilet were strange in their own right, there was something else Samantha found that hinted towards a "tenant." During her exploration for the "ghost apartment," Samantha stumbled upon a bottle of water.
In the video, she's heard saying, "Okay, so there's signs of life." Yet she was unafraid. Was it her mission to actually find someone in the weird, creepy apartment located behind her bathroom mirror?
She Had So Many Questions
Leaving the water bottle alone, Samantha continued with her exploration. In one room, there were windows looking outside. How in the world has no one seen the inside or even mentioned this apartment?
There's no way that her landlord didn't know about the vacant and extremely dirty three-bedroom apartment on the property. Right? While Samantha couldn't answer that question, she knew one thing for certain; the apartment was freezing.
It Was A Whole Other Apartment
Continuing on with her TikTok video, viewers can see the inner workings of the apartment. The video shows how the walls are torn down, exposing pipes and wires, and how the molding is all but destroyed along the door frames.
It's actually the first time Samantha acknowledges the fact that she's stumbled upon an entire residence. In the TikTok video, she says, "Wow, this is a whole other apartment." There are even stairs!
The Creepiest Discovery -- Stairs And A Front Door
Walking down the stairs, Samantha comes across what is arguably the creepiest discovery. There is a door at the bottom of the stairs. The worst part? The door is slightly open! Very quickly, the video shows Samantha closing and locking the door.
Hey, the hole is technically connected to her own apartment, after all—no need for strangers to be making their way to her apartment through the hole. After looking through the abandoned apartment, Samantha turned around and headed back.
Someone's Landlord Is Getting A Phone Call
Back through the hole and standing in her own, well-lit bathroom, Samantha jokes on her TikTok video, saying, "Made it out alive," flashing a thumbs up to the camera. Putting the mirror safely back on the wall, Samantha says what viewers undoubtedly had been thinking the entire time.
She says, "my landlord is getting a really fun phone call tomorrow." Samantha then proceeds to shadow box in front of the mirror while saying "No."
More Than One Interview Happened Post-Discovery
Needless to say, that was one adventure Samantha most likely could have done without! But it did make for a good viral video for everyone who wasn't directly involved. Since the video, Samantha has been called for more than one interview.
During one chat with New York magazine, Samantha explained how she really thought she was going to run into someone in the other apartment. There was even a water bottle in there!
She Expected To Find Someone Inside
During the interview with New York magazine, Samantha said, "I was kind of expecting there to be somebody, especially with the water bottle being there. And that definitely put me on edge."
No one could blame her for being a bit on edge either, especially those who have seen the chilling video she took of the abandoned apartment's surroundings. No one likes exposed pipes and ripped-up floors, especially in a freezing cold space!
Samantha's Roommates Were A Bit Scared
While talking to NBC New York, Samantha explained how her roommates and friends weren't exactly thrilled with her curiosity, saying, "Every corner I would walk normal and then be like [moving her head] to check. My roommates definitely thought I was going to be dead. When I came back, they were excited."
The thing is, who wouldn't be excited to see their friend crawl back through a mysterious hole in the wall?
Ellen Gave Her $10k
Since her video went viral with over 18 million views, Samantha has been invited to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. There, she spoke to the host about her experience with the hole behind her bathroom mirror.
By the end of the virtual talk show, Ellen did what she's known to do; the host gave the broke New Yorker a solid chunk of change. Presented as money in a hole in the wall, Ellen wound up giving Samantha $10,000!
Even The Building Manager Is Scratching Their Head
In the end, even Samantha's building managers don't have any answers where the abandoned apartment is concerned. So, in the meantime, she's steering clear of the bathroom as much as humanly possible.
Ironically, Samantha did tell NBC New York that she "Felt better sleeping there that night than I should have any other night" after exploring the apartment. Who knows, maybe this is only part one of the thrilling mystery behind the hole in her New York apartment bathroom!
Meet Mr. And Mrs. Kapsidis
Megan and Bobby Kapsidis are Arizona natives who bought a Florida home together in 2009. The couple remains in Sierra Vista, Arizona, while Bobby's mother lives in the Florida home. A few years after purchasing the home, they decided it was time to do some remodeling.
The couple flew across the country on vacation in order to fix up the kitchen. Bobby is a handyman and figured he could handle the job on his own.
Let The Demolition Begin
When Bobby first began the demolition, he started by beating at a small overhead space. The protrusion didn't seem to serve much a purpose and was an easy launching pad since it was out of the way of the kitchen's functioning spaces.
Once the out layer came down, the inside looked like you'd expect of drywall. Without any reason to stop, Bobby continued hacking at the thing until he made a little more headway.
Bobby Made Headway, Literally
Finally, a considerable piece came loose. The entire outer layer fell apart, and Bobby was beginning to be able to see inside the strange ceiling protrusion. Though it still wasn't obvious what, if anything, the space was intended for, the answer hit Bobby in the face.
It turns out the space wasn't useless after all. Things were stored up there, and one of those things fell down and hit Bobby's face. He and wife Megan rushed to observe the mystery item.
What Is This Thing?
The space above the ceiling, as is the case with most empty space behind walls, was full of pink, fluffy fiberglass insulation. Megan thought that perhaps the area used to be a crawl space that was used for storage. But if that was the case, it had since been packed with insulation and was no longer intended for storage.
Bobby cleared out the insulation material from what seemed to be a strange bag, while Megan continued recording what was happening.
It Was Definitely Vintage
An empty alligator purse from Cuba was discovered. The couple assumed it might be of value. The rare purse was certainly unusual by today's standards. Wearing animal skin has become less popular as animal rights activists have pushed to end animal cruelty.
The alligator purse would likely be looked down upon in modern America, even if it was a fake. The owner more than likely would have been older, presumably leaving it there decades ago.
Is This Thing Real?
The couple discovered that the purse was in fact made out of a real baby alligator. Its skin was spread across the bag, and its head, arms, and feet remain intact along the front and back.
The rare bag would likely be of value, especially considering how carefully crafted and well preserved it is. However, what they found next was priceless. Bobby continued wacking at the ceiling to see what else might be in there.
They Found Something Else In There
Megan told reporters that Bobby decided to tear the ceiling down at eight o'clock in the evening, and sure enough, everything came crashing down. Insulations and items fell like rain all over the kitchen. Amongst the mess was a treasure that melted Megan's heart.
First, a stained, dusty note fell out that seemed to be some sort of invitation. Next, a large book fell down. But it wasn't a usual book, it was a photo album.
Megan Takes To Social Media
As they began flipping through the album, they discovered it was a record of a 1963 wedding. The vintage momento seemed like too much of a treasure not to return.
Megan had already been posting to Facebook in regards to the demolition, and then to the mysterious items. Now, she sought to expose the findings in an effort to find the owner who left the items in the ceiling. She figured such intimate photographs must have been missed.
The Note Explained Everything
The note that had been found was, in fact, an invitation. The paper was addressed to wedding guests by Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Lau, on behalf of their daughter, Marguerite. It was a wedding invitation for a ceremony to be held at St. Thomas Apostle R.C. Church in New York.
Addressing the couple by the father's first and last name is one indication of how old-timey the writing is. Another is the fact that the parents of the bride did the inviting, rather than the couple getting married.
This Is The Church
Saint Thomas the Apostle RC Church is photographed from the outside and inside here. The beautiful couple were married at this alter, at 3 p.m. on September 14, 1963, according to the invitation.
Photographs of the couple and their wedding party filled the album. Megan and Bobby found themselves transported to this important moment in these strangers' lives. It seemed to be their duty to find out who these people were, and how to get their treasures back to them.
The Couple Saying Their Vows
At the altar of Saint Thomas the Apostle RC Church, Marguerite and Joseph said their vows. The couple committed to remaining together until death do they part, but as far as Bobby and Megan knew they could have split up by now.
They weren't sure if they were looking for a couple, or if the couple had deceased, if Marguerite still held the last name Garguilo, or if one of them were now a widower. All they knew is who this couple was more than sixty years ago.
Meet Mr. And Mrs. Gargiulo
More traditional wedding dresses were known for their expansive skirts, embellished in this classic pose where the bride and groom gather atop the bride's spread out dress. The couple is gathered close together, while Marguerite's hand rests atop Joseph's.
Megan told reporters that Bobby and her wedding photos were all digital. Since she knew that this couple had, at best, copies and, at worst, only these physical copies, she felt even more compelled to return them.
The Pampered Bride
A wedding day tradition that many couples still hold onto is taking photographs of the bride getting ready. The bride's big reveal is an important element of a wedding, and it's the job of the bridesmaids to ensure she looks perfect.
Here, Marguerite's friends look excited as they prepare her sleeves and vail. Though the album was so old that it'd turned yellow, the emotions captured in it still feel fresh.
The Women Pose For The Camera
It's amazing how meticulously the bridesmaids match. Their dresses, headpeices, and boquets all are precisly the same. Looking back at old photographs as these, we can see how trends have evolved with time. For example, it's unusual for bridesmaids to wear a veil at a wedding nowadays. But here, they're wearing shorter, off-colored versions of the bride's vail.
Though the photographs are black and white, the design of the gowns pop. Had the photographs been colored, the album would hold less of that vintage feel.
Family Members May Like To See This
While the bride and groom are the first to come to mind who might want the album back, the rest of the family also is without these cherished memories. The next morning, Bobby returned to the space and found another album.
This album was the same as the first, only smaller and it said "Our Children's Wedding" on the cover. Megan deduced that this must have been the parents' version of the wedding album, meaning that the family likely would be missing all of their documentation of the special day.
The Couple Had Some Character
For such a traditional Catholic family, this photo certainly has that edgy humor of the 1960s. While the other photos show a more modest married couple, in this photograph Marguerite holds a lip to her finger while holding up a "Do Not Disturb" sign.
Meanwhile, Joseph gives the "okay" sign with a big grin. Like most newlyweds, they probably couldn't wait to consummate the marriage. Especially for someone from Catholic descent, it can be a moment to look forward to.
Where Are They Today?
Megan posted photographs on her Facebook account of all that she and Bobby had found. It was important to include as many details as possible so that someone might identify something.
Crisp images of the bride and grooms' faces, clear posts of the invitations that read the address and date, and distant photos of the album itself all could be indicators to someone who had been there or at least heard about it. In the post-Megan encouraged people to spread the word.
Everyone Started Sleuthing
One of Megan's Facebook friends happened to be a genealogist. She suggested the mystery bride might be Marguerite Bojna, who had remarried in 1994. Mrs. Bojna's middle initial is an L. Noelle pointed out that the marriage index said that Marguerite Lillian Lau married Joseph Garguilo in 1963.
Cynthia posted a link to a Marguerite Garguilo's Facebook page, saying that this woman resembles the bride in the photographs. The next step would be for Bobby and Megan to reach out to the candidates.
We Found Her!
After going viral, Bobby and Megan appeared on the news. All of the publicity had people talking and wondering about the mystery wedding album. After a trip to Marguerite's home ended with no avail, Megan was more committed than ever to find this woman.
Sure enough, Megan was at last successful in finding the mysterious Marguerite. She posted to Facebook that she and Bobby went to visit with the elderly woman, and said she was, "the sweetest lady and both of us were very emotional reminiscing about her wedding day."
Marguerite Remains A Mystery
While we would love to say that Megan spilled all the beans about this photographed couple, and why the album was hidden for all this time, she instead chose to stay vague on behalf of Marguerite's wishes. She wrote that Marguerite, "wants to keep her memories personal and enjoy them with her family and friends for years to come."
Speculation has since circled about whether Marguerite and Joseph split, or if he passed first. However, the clashing information is unverified. If you really want an answer, you'll have to sleuth for it yourself.