Saturday, October 03, 2009
Homer Lusk Collyer (November 6, 1881 – March 21, 1947) and Langley Collyer (October 3, 1885 – March 1947) were two American brothers who became famous because of their snobbish nature, filth in their homes, and compulsive hoarding.
The brothers are often cited as an example of compulsive hoarding associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as disposophobia or 'Collyer brothers syndrome,' a fear of throwing anything away. For decades, neighborhood rumors swirled around the rarely seen, unemployed men and their home at 2078 Fifth Avenue (at the corner of 128th Street), in Manhattan, where they obsessively collected newspapers, books, furniture, musical instruments, and many other items, with booby traps set up in corridors and doorways to protect against intruders.
Both were eventually found dead in the Harlem brownstone where they had lived as hermits, surrounded by over 130 tons of rubbish that they had amassed over several decades.
Learn more about Langley Collyer, free from the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.