Hoarders are more than a popular reality television show. Hoarding is a real and sad problem. Before the general population became aware of this though, there were two brothers that were known for the peculiar behavior.
Homer Lusk Collyer and Langley Wakeman Collyer lived in Manhattan in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As they were rarely seen, rumors followed the brothers around. They compulsively collected furniture, books, musical instruments and numerous other items. They would then set booby traps in their home to ensnare any intruders.
Both sons allegedly attended Columbia University. One studied law and the other engineering. Both men were eccentric. They became recluses over the years and rarely left their New York City brownstone. In 1917, after they failed to pay their bills, their telephone was disconnected. In 1928, their gas, electricity and water were turned off.
In 1947, the police got a tip that there was a dead body in the house. They forced their way in and had to search through mounds and mounds of junk before they found his body. He had died of malnutrition, dehydration and cardiac arrest. The next month, a workman found Langley's body not ten feet from where his brother was found. He had been crushed by falling debris while bringing his brother food.