After removing some carpet, a woman discovered a manhole under a dresser in the master bedroom of a California home. Armed with a camera, she opened the manhole cover and showed social media viewers what she found below the house.
Jennifer Little, an estate manager, made quite the discovery when she moved a 400-pound mid-century modern dresser and some carpet from the master bedroom of a central California home. Underneath the dresser and carpet was a manhole, and when Little opened it, she made an unexpected discovery.
Hidden under the manhole cover was an underground Cold War-era bomb shelter, and while that might sound bizarre to you or me, Little explained that nuclear fallout shelters were actually “pretty normal” at the time the home was built in 1951. Although she didn’t state where exactly the central California home was located or whether she owned the house, Little did treat social media users to quite the experience.
Jennifer Little posted a video about the secret room on TikTok under her @kitty_girl_california account, quickly wowing viewers with her discovery as she gave a video tour of the Cold War-era shelter, which people have since been urging her to fix up. In the clip, a man is seen dusting off the cobwebs at the opening of the manhole before going inside, leaving viewers excited to see what was below.
Thankfully, Little didn’t disappoint. In the footage, Little reveals that the abandoned shelter features two flat bunk beds for sleeping, a bedpan urinal, and glass bottles that were strewn above. Perhaps the strangest item by far, however, was a vintage Stauffer’s “Posture-Rest” machine that was popular at the time. Known as the “Magic Couch,” the vibrating chair was sold as a weight-loss device in the 1950s.
The people who built the house also added hidden ventilation in the walls, the Daily Mail reported. “People were so afraid of a nuclear bomb happening on the California coast, especially in central California because it’s so exposed,” Little explained, revealing that the “unusual” discovery was actually “pretty normal,” considering the time the home was built.
In follow-up posts, Little went on to explain that the musty bomb shelter’s stone foundation was leaking and the room was in disarray, covered with over 70 years of dust. “After 50 years it was clearly not weather-tight, but we still found some treasures,” Little said of the abandoned room.
The house also featured a dry storage room for the bomb shelter that was covered with cans and supplies that had fallen over on the floor. The storage room wasn’t actually connected to the bomb shelter, though, which Little found confusing. “I’m not sure why they built it this way,” she said. “You’d have to leave the shelter to go into the dry storage room.”
After her first fascinating video was watched over 8 million times with thousands of people commenting, Little uploaded additional footage. In another clip posted of the shelter, a man wearing a fire department jacket was seen investigating the shelter before climbing out of the manhole and letting out a laugh. “Not every day you get to do that, right Rob?” someone joked as he emerged from the underground room.
While some joked about the shelter sending their claustrophobia through the roof, others mused about the usefulness of the shelter. “Well if there is a zombie apocalypse at least y’all be safe,” one such user quipped while others insisted that the bomb shelter could be useful now: “Normal for back then? Like…I think we need them now more than ever.”
Indeed, while this discovery is a fascinating glimpse of days gone by, it’s also an eery reminder of what could be. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that our fellow Americans were taking such seemingly extreme precautions out of fear for their lives. Let’s hope fallout shelters and the need for them continue to be a thing of the past. While it’s great to be prepared, it’s also reassuring that, for the most part, we live each day without that kind of dread.