How to access 'hidden' Facebook Messenger inbox

Many Facebook users were surprised to find out about the social network's 'secret' inbox, where spam and unfamiliar messages are filtered to.

People who message you on Facebook are usually those you have accepted as 'friends', but from time to time a stranger will send you a message.

When that happens, Facebook uses a 'message request' feature, which sends you a notification if someone you are not friends with tries to contact you.

But it turns out this isn't always the case. Facebook will only notify you if it 'thinks' you might know the person. Anything else is filtered out as spam.

But what if those 'spam' messages aren't actually spam? So long lost friend trying hard to contact you? Or some unknown person trying to give you important message and they can only reach you through Facebook?

It turns out there is a hidden folder in Facebook Messenger where all these neglected 'filtered' messages end up.

Here's how to find it:

- Go into the Messenger app

- Tap on the Settings icon

- Tap on "People"

- Tap 'Message Requests'

- Scroll to the bottom and tap 'See filtered requests'

For the most part, the messages that appear in this hidden inbox are exactly what you'd expect - spam and messages from people you've never ever heard of (or want to hear from).

However, as is the case of one man who discovered a message about his estranged father urging him to contact the hospital as his father was dying.

Michael Kendall, 29, from Greater Manchester discovered a message from a woman he had never met telling him that his father was dying in a nearby hospital and might not make it through the night - sent two years before.

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