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SYFY WIRE skeletons

Halloween Comes Early: Goodwill Employees Find Actual Human Skull in Donation Box - What Happened?

The skull does not appear to have any connection to a crime, other than freaking out Goodwill employees.

By Matthew Jackson
Skulls in a catacomb

People donate all kinds of weird stuff at Goodwill. Look in among the usual clothes, toys, and old pots and pans and you'll never known what you'll find. Case in point: Employees at a Goodwill location in Goodyear, Arizona got quite a shock this week when they went through a donation box and found what appeared to be an actual human skull among the items.

Sounds more like something out of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights than a random thrift store find — but it's true.

According to a police spokesperson in Goodyear, a city in Maricopa County just outside Phoenix, the skull was discovered in a box donated by unknown people, then turned over to police when employees suspected it was genuine and not just another Halloween decoration. 

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In a video posted to Goodyear PD social media earlier this week, GYPD Public Information Officer Lisa Berry went on to explain that the skull was then transported to the office of the medical examiner for further investigation, since the officers agreed that it did appear to be human. Medical examiners in Maricopa County confirmed that the skull is from an actual human, but that it appears to be "historic" and "ancient" and not from a recently deceased person. That means, according to Berry, that the skull has no "forensic significance," which means there's no indication that the skull is actually associated with a crime. 

You can check out the skull, complete with a single false eye that suggests it was someone's decoration at one point or another, in the post below:

The question now is what happens to the skull next? The donation was left anonymously, so police will have a hard time tracking down exactly who left the skull, and why, though we would imagine if they left it at Goodwill they either didn't realize it was genuine or just wanted it gone. Will the police keep it in an evidence locker? Will it be turned over to scientists to determine its exact origin and age? Will it become a prized mascot at the local Goodwill? We don't know, but it's a hell of a way to kick off the Halloween season. 

Want more Halloween frights? Get yourself some tickets to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, or check out the massive lineup of horror offerings over on Peacock — and keep an eye out for everything from Chucky Season 3, to Five Nights at Freddy's and The Exorcist: Believer coming in October.