There's nothing wrong with home security, but if you find your "protection" involves shotguns hidden in cereal boxes and electrocuting microwaves, you've probably crossed a line somewhere. That would be the line between "safety conscious" and "deranged lunatic."
On the plus side, hey, you made a Cracked list!
#6. Louis Dethy's Death-y House
Louis Dethy was a Belgian family man. He had a wife and 14 kids and if that seems excessive to you, then holy shit keep reading.
Put yourself in Louis Dethy's position: You had a wife and a bunch of kids, but you cheated on your wife, because you are a cockhammer, and she took all of those kids away in the divorce. You, in turn, refused to forgive them for leaving you, and then your whole family turned on you (and rightfully so). Your mother (who paid for the house in which you live), is cutting you out of her will and leaving the house to your daughter. What do you, Louis Dethy, with your proud history of total dickishness, do? (Please just stop trying to think of what Louis Dethy would do, there's no way you're quite as street-rat-crazy as he is. You're never gonna get it.)
Dethy decided that, in the event that he got evicted from his house, whoever moved in was in for a festival of firearms. As a last-ditch revenge plot against his family, he rigged more than a dozen shotguns all over his house: a crate of beer that would trigger a shotgun when enough bottles were removed, a trunk full of money in the attic rigged to blow your head off, the television had a shotgun rigged to it and even the water tank had more shotgun.
"This'll teach them to get cheated on by me! Haw!"
He wrote out a series of codes and riddles to help him remember where the shotguns were hidden, because he was clever; but he forgot to consult them and eventually shot himself in the head, because he's retarded.
The traps were so well-hidden and elaborate that it took a military anti-mining team three weeks to disarm 19 of them, which involved taking the entire three-story house apart. By the way, there were supposed be 20 traps, according to Dethy's notes. The anti-mining team couldn't find the 20th, so they just assumed he hadn't built it, the kind of "eh, fuck it" attitude we look for in the Belgian military. Want to drive yourself crazy for a few hours? The final clue was "The 12 Apostles are ready to work on the pebbles." Our best guesses so far: 1) A shotgun wedged between a Bible and a DVD of Flintstones episodes or 2) A statue of some religious figure aiming a shotgun at your junk.
#5. Jumer Selimovski's Electrified Roof
In 2004, a man tried to stab Jumer Selimovski, who retaliated by shooting the man in the hand. Since then, Jumer hasn't felt safe, so he picked up his family and moved elsewhere. Even in the new house he didn't feel safe, believing he heard footsteps on his roof and swearing to cops that he was the victim of "disturbing events." We couldn't find any details, but this is Australia, where they wake up and have to kill five of the most deadly insects on Earth to go to the crapper, so we're guessing this was a bit more intense than your usual drunken shenanigans. So, with a family to protect, he did what any sane man would do.
Namely, he electrified the living shit out of his roof. Selimovski screwed two exposed wires into his gutters, carrying a 254-volt punch. If that doesn't sound like much to you, it's because you don't know much about roofs, or electricity--or if you do, you certainly don't know anything about combining the two. It was more than enough to give anybody hanging off his gutters burns, painful shocks, cardiac arrest and death.
Unfortunately, area fires that were astonishingly unrelated to the electrified death trap that was Jumer's roof ended up destroying the house entirely. Also, since Jumer was fairly new to the area and not officially a resident of the town, he was not eligible for disaster relief. And since the police had to inspect his house after the damages, he has since been convicted of laying a trap without caring who got hurt by it and will likely face fines. Well, that's what you get for... shooting a stabber and trying to protect your family? Really? This is the worst story we've ever heard.
#4. Langley Collyer's Trash Mansion
Let's go back to the early 1900s. Langley and Homer Collyer were both kind of nuts, but Langley takes the crown. Once Homer went blind, Langley dedicated himself to his brother full time. This sounds touching until you realize that meant he made sure his brother didn't visit a doctor or, really, anyone ever again. Did we mention Langley was a compulsive hoarder, winding up with 103-tons of useless shit by the time he died? Like, as in, a canoe in his attic and a car in his basement, neither of which he ever used? It's true, the mansion was like a lunatic museum of horseshit and the Collyer brothers were the curators, patrons and security guards.
Langley, since he had an engineering degree and a seemingly limitless desire to drag home huge piles of garbage, set about filling the mansion with this trash and turning it into a maze only he could navigate through. The maze was littered with tripwires that would drop massive amounts of the crap right on top of your head at any given moment. Not that you'd even get a chance to die in the maze. When a local bank tried to evict the Collyers, a team of locksmiths found that pretty much every actual entrance to the place was blocked by massive amounts of immovable garbage. The bank gave up trying to throw the Collyers out because they couldn't get into the place, and banks love throwing people out of houses. They eat that shit up. So, you know, point: Langley.
The logic of sticking your blind brother in the middle of a deadly maze for his "protection" notwithstanding, this was all part of Langley's plan. See, Langley wasn't paranoid, like Jumer, and he wasn't a drooling moron, like Ian Price; all he ever wanted was to be left alone. Is that such a crime? What about when it involves barricading your blind brother in a twisting fortress of garbage, loose antiques and (eventually, we'd imagine), human feces? Then is it a crime? Yes? Oh.
In 1947, after years of troubling gossip and persistent whispers about the strange Collyer brothers, the cops got a call that Homer was dead and finally went in to investigate. They broke in through a window and, sure enough, Homer was dead of a heart attack. A couple of weeks later, they found Langley, who in a fit of irony had triggered his own booby trap and been crushed to death under a huge pile of newspapers.
By the way, the chair Homer died in, better known as the "Collyer Death Chair" is currently owned by Babette Bombshell, star of the movie CockHammer. That has little to do with this story, it's just so rare that we get a chance to use the word "cockhammer" in an article.