DIYers knock hole in wall to find 'old man' lurking in the brickwork

A DIY hole in a wall that looks like an old man in a hat
Can you see the old man in the hole in the wall? (Image credit: SWNS)

When a pair of DIY renovators started chipping away at their chimney, they didn't expect the outline of an old man to emerge from the brickwork.

But that's what Wendy Manik, 54, and her husband Armo Manik, 52, discovered after opening up a blocked fireplace at their property in Royton, Hertfordshire.

The pair were removing plaster from the chimney breast in their living room when they uncovered the breeze blocks, indicating they'd identified the fireplace opening. 

The plan was to remove the rubble so they could have a log burner installed to heat the home in the winter months as part of their house renovation.

While Armo headed outside to grab some more heavy duty tools to remove the breeze blocks, Wendy noticed that the hole they'd made in the plaster bore an uncanny resemblance to her grandfather.

'An old man with a brown hat on and a slight hunched back with a grey coat'


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When Armo returned to the room a short while later, Wendy, who works as a full-time carer, asked him if he could see something hiding in the plasterwork. Without revealing that she could see the outline of an old man, he also said he saw the figure complete with a brown hat.

"As I was sat about four foot away from the wall, I instantly saw an old man with a brown hat on and a slight hunched back with a grey coat on," Wendy told The Bristol Post. "It kind of looked like a grandad — it made me think of my grandad, actually."

"I asked Armo what he could see when he came back into the room, without telling him what I could see, and he said it looked like an old man as well. It was sad knowing it had to be re-plastered but obviously we were decorating and renovating so I took the photo as remembrance."

The couple have since continued with their restoration project, renovating on a budget.

Another picture of the hole in the wall with an old man shape

Can you see the old man in a grey coat with a brown hat? (Image credit: SWNS)
Amy Willis

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.