Carla and Gladys Spizzirri had a lot of conflicted feelings about the house they were going to visit. They waited patiently to see 148 Jane Street, which was necessary before they could put it up on the market for the seller. They were curious about what this house had in store for them, but they also felt a little apprehensive and anxious. What they did not know was that something truly shocking was waiting for them inside the house!
A Regular Home
If you were to look at it from the outside, you might not even spare 148 Jane Street a glance. It looks like any other house in the city of Toronto. There was nothing striking about this street since it was plain and had no notable landmarks. It was not like there was anything all that notable about the area either. There were ordinary structures around the house, so many assume that the interiors would be the same.
Looking To Sell
Not many people have entered this house. Among the neighbors, most people only know that the same person has been living there as long as their memories served. However, this was not the whole truth. A long-kept secret was going to come out, and it all started when the owner called the realtor sisters. Carla and Gladys talked to the woman who planned to sell the house, but they had to inspect it first.
Just A Regular Day
It began as a normal day at the office were the Spizzirri sisters worked. Everyone was busy with the usual things, so no one had any clue that this day was not going to be like the others. They went about their daily routines, which normally involved picking up the phone, looking at houses, and trying to seal a deal. Carla and Gladys owned this agency, although this partnership was fairly new. They just decided to work together after seeing that they made a great team. They were a well-oiled machine together!
They have a lot of experience in the business, so they knew the business like clockwork. Not only were they good at it, but they also enjoyed the job. It was not really an industry that is full of surprises, but there are times when even veterans like them will stumble something shocking.
The Phone Rings
Who would have thought that realtors with their experience would be shocked by this house? They had no clue what was going to happen just yet. The truth was that they were onto something big, although they did not get this impression right away. As we all know, fate likes to toy with all of us. The office went silent right before the phone started to ring. Who could possibly be on the other end of the line?
A Call From A Stranger
The phone pretty much rings nonstop at the office. There was no reason for them to suspect that it was going to be a life-changing call. Upon picking it up, they learned that the caller was an older woman called Joyce. She was thinking of selling her home, although she was not fully convinced about it just yet.
They could hear the hesitation from her voice as she talked about wanting to sell the house. They could tell that she was not yet sure if this was the right choice. However, something told them that she was a persistent woman as well. There was a good chance that she was going to sell the house in the end.
A Different Kind Of Emotion
She was not like other people who were more than ready to put their house on the market. For these folks, this is the way to go. They always sound happy on the phone since it marked the start of something new. However, Joyce did not appear thrilled about the thought of letting her house go.
It is not unusual for realtors to develop a sixth sense when they talk to clients. Both Carla and Gladys sniffed out that Joyce was hiding a secret. There were times when one of those made it difficult to sell a property. In the past, they had to deal with many unpleasant things. It could easily make or break a deal.
Joyce was not one to hide any normal homeowner problems. They would later find out that she was not trying to conceal a broken water heater or black mold. No, it was something even bigger than those things. In the meantime, Gladys and Carla stuck to their guns. They were ready for a challenge.
No Way To Prepare
After all, they knew that they had the skills and abilities to sell nearly any house out there. In the past, they cemented their reputation by consistently doing a great job. Even though they had a lot of experience to their names, they were completely blown away by what they found inside this house.
When you spend some time in the industry there comes a point when you think you have already seen everything there is to see. They also thought that they could handle anything that comes their way. This was what they had in mind before selling the house. In the end, it was not close to what they imagined.
Carla and Gladys had been in the industry for 3 years. They bought and sold properties in the sought-after neighborhoods in the city. They were experts with the experience to back it up! Sometimes, they lucked out and had minimal work to do. Considering the way Joyce spoke, they did not have high hopes.
When Joyce called them about the house, she revealed something that they found surprising. It was a huge issue that would affect the sale of the property. The elderly woman told them that there was a surprise waiting for them as soon as they enter her house. The sisters were intrigued to hear such a thing.
A Living Legend
Joyce was already 96 years old when the story happened. The sisters were surprised to hear such a thing since she still sounded lucid and strong. Carla was impressed since their own grandmother had weak hearing. This surprise, however, does not measure up to the actual surprise waiting for the sisters.
When the two women went to the house to pay a visit, they had no idea what was waiting for them inside the ordinary-looking house. It did not seem different from the other houses on the same block. However, they would soon figure out just what Joyce had been hiding all her life. Needless to say, they were shocked.
A Looming Disaster
Joyce informed them that she called the place her home for seventy years already. In those seven decades, she did not change the house. The only exception was the kitchen, which she remodeled and upgraded in the past. Carla and Gladys started to dread the visit. This likely meant it was in bad shape!
When the sisters drove to the house on 148 Jane Street, they both felt skeptical about this situation. They knew that it was pretty much impossible for an elderly woman like Joyce to maintain the house by herself. For their own sake, they knew that it was a good idea to prepare for the worst.
It was getting closer and closer to the day of the inspection. They started to feel more worried. Among others, they were worried about the time and effort that it was going to take to clean the house. It was also possible that she was a hoarder. Were they going to find junk and debris from seven decades ago?
Not All Bad
The good thing about it was its location. They knew that this will at least make up for whatever she was hiding. This area was seeing climbing housing prices for quite some time already, so they could fetch a great price for it. They came up with a pretty high figure for it, but they still had to see it for themselves.
So Far So Good
The house was located in a Toronto neighborhood called Old Mill. To many locals, it is ideal. They already handled properties here, and they got good princes for those houses. They did not have a single clue that this one is going to be worth even more. After crunching the numbers, they arrived at $968k!
Still So Hesitant
However, this was not at all definitive. They still had to consider the condition of the house. If there were things that needed to be repaired, they would need to factor that in. There was another problem here. Joyce did not sound willing to let go of the house. Could the sisters change convince her to do it?
Making Up Her Mind
When she called for the first time, she still had some hesitations about selling the house. Carla and Gladys were not glad to hear this. Joyce eventually told them that she has arrived at the decision to sell it after living there for 72 years! We are sure that this was not an easy choice to make after all that time.
The way Joyce spoke gave them pause. Could it be that this woman was just sad about giving up her house of 72 years? Or was she scared that she would be unable to sell the house for some reason? They understood if she felt attached to the house. However, it was going to be hard if it was the other case.
Before they arrived at a decision, Carla and Gladys knew that they must make it to 148 Jane Street and inspect what it had to offer. They knew that it was going to need repairs before they offered it up to buyers. Among other things, they must see how much maintenance has gone into this house in the past.
They settled on a time and date to pay the property a visit. By doing this, they could see what had to be done with their own two eyes. Not once did they think they would find something like this there. In fact, we doubt that a lot of people would figure out what secret Joyce had in her house.
Before the sisters could drop by, they only had the location of the house and a photo of its exterior to estimate the price. Without seeing the actual condition of the property, there was no way to see if this was reliable. They also had to consider the fact that it looked just like the other houses on the street.
A Decision At Last
Joyce had already made up her mind. She would sell the house, so the realtors only had to check the house. Eventually, the day of the inspection finally arrived. They got there and were greeted by Joyce herself. After taking a look inside the house, they were immediately stunned by what they saw.
They did not have a single clue that they were going to see something like this. After they went through the front door of the house, they could not do anything but stare in wonder. The interiors of the house were nothing like they imagined they would be. Was this a good thing or a bad thing? Let us find out.
What they learned was that Joyce was the sort of woman who always took good care of her house no matter what. The house was stunning from the inside. The sisters were also surprised at how well-maintained the house seemed to be. It was basically in perfect condition! Was there a catch here?
Gladys and Carla were shocked to see the excellent condition of this house. The two of them felt like they just won the lottery! It was like a time capsule. The sisters did not expect to see this whatsoever, but they were thrilled to find out that it was worth even more than they had originally thought it did.
The Designer Herself
There is more to the story than that, however. The house was, essentially, a huge time capsule. Go through the door and you will feel like you have returned to the ‘40s. This is because that was the decade that Joyce moved in and started decorating the place. She chose everything there by herself!
Carla and Gladys only got more amazed the more they saw of the house. They also saw that each one was cleaner and lovelier than the last. In fact, it was the cleanest and best-maintained house they ever saw! It was a special house that served as an homage to a time long past. Joyce took good care of the house, and they finally understood her hesitation. However, there was something that might be an issue when it comes to selling the house. What could it possibly be?
They felt worried that the house might not appeal to most male clients, maybe even some women. It was beautiful, but it was much too feminine with all the pinks and florals. It would take a lot of effort to change the décor of the house if a potential new owner wanted to do such a thing.
There was one room that looked nothing like the others, however. There was a man cave of sorts in the basement. It had wood panels and a wet bar. We think that it looks perfect, although a few tweaks can make it look even better. This must have been where her husband spent most of his free time!
Apart From That
The house was truly gorgeous, but the backyard was not in great shape. It was rather neglected, and the only sign of landscaping was the AstroTurf installed. Despite this, the sisters knew that this was too big of an opportunity to pass it up. They knew that could make a lot of money from this incredible house.
Even though the house looks amazing, they knew very well that it was possible for it to have hidden flaws. Could there be foundation errors or mold in the walls? These things would make the price go down. The sisters were confident that it would be fine, but they asked the inspectors to check it out.
Beneath It All
The inspectors got there and went straight to work. They took care to search the house thoroughly for anything that might be hidden from their view. It took them quite some time, but the results astounded them. They learned that the house was literally in perfect shape! Joyce truly did take care of it very well.
It Is On
This meant that Gladys and Carla did not have anything to do put to make a listing for 148 Jane Street. They went online and put it on the market with the asking price of $699k. People saw how gorgeous the house was, which launched a bidding war. You would not believe what happened after all of this.
Blast To The Past
As expected, the beautiful house became an internet sensation. The news even ran a story about it. Not many people expected to hear that a 96-year-old woman can keep a place this pristine. It only became even more popular as time went by. Everyone was amazed to hear about this museum-like house.
The place has not changed much ever since Joyce bought it in the ‘60s. Only the kitchen saw changes in the past. In the ‘60s, she made the decision to modernize it and add the conveniences she needed to make cooking more practical and efficient. Even though most things were old, they all worked!
Where She Went
A seamstress by profession, Joyce thought of herself as an interior designer of sorts. If only she decided to go after her passion in the past! What was next for her? The media found out that she was selling the house to pay for her retirement home stay. She no longer wanted to worry about taking care of a house. She explained to HGTV, “I’ve always tried to be individual, and follow my own styles.”
A History Lesson
She and her husband moved into 148 Jane Street in 1942. Back then, the Second World War was not yet over. Everyone was thinking about the war that engulfed the world. They relocated to the two-level brick house and made it their own. While they are free to renovate it to their liking, we hope that the person who eventually moved in did not change anything about it!
Not The Furniture
However, there was one catch to buying this property. Whoever won the auction will not get the furniture in the house. We are sure that these pieces had a big part in the feel of this place. Instead, the furniture pieces went to the daughter of the homeowner. She did grow up with them, after all.
After Seven Decades
Joyce had been 24 years old when she bought the house and moved there. At last, it was time to let go of it. She did not ever let the house fall into neglect. Even though it did not look anything unusual from the outside, anyone who takes a peek inside will surely be blown away! Everything is still so immaculate.
She explained that she liked tone on tone pieces, matching designs, and soft colors. The house is enough proof that she was a fan of pastel aqua, purple, blue, and pink. They looked great on the house and made it even more inviting and comfortable. She made sure to pick pieces that went well together.
The Intricate Details
The three-bedroom house came with two bathrooms with wallpapers and wall to wall carpeting from the post-war era. She also liked floral sweeps, gold touches, metallic wallpaper, and baroque patterns. The house had fireplaces installed, which is important if you want to survive the Toronto winters. The rooms were decorated and planned down to the last detail. It deserves to be turned into a museum!
The Best Part
While the main floors looked gorgeous, we daresay that the basement is just as amazing. The laundry room had wooden cabinets that looked fantastic with the washing machines in the room. Although they probably came from a different period as the other things in the house, we cannot blame her for this.
Follow In Her Footsteps
Joyce did not just enjoy decorating and looking after the house, but she managed to maintain it to such a high standard. We are glad to hear that her hard work paid off in the end. Could we say the same thing for John Sims when he bought a new Arizona house? Read on to see what secrets it had…
John just bought a new house in Tucson. His friend was the previous owner of this property, so he did not worry much about it. As his friend gave him the keys, he also left John an intriguing message. He informed the new owner that there was a mystery on the property!
So I’ve Heard
His friend explained that there was some rumor about the backyard. Apparently, people believe that there is something buried down there. Sims was the current owner, so it was up to him to dig it up and find out if there was any truth to that. He could not help but feel intrigued upon hearing this.
We cannot blame John for the curiosity that he had about the house. As soon as his friend informed him about this rumor, he was intrigued. He half-jokingly asked his friend for a shovel! They simply laughed it off, but John knew that he would actually try to solve this mystery.
A New Project
He was determined to figure out what was hiding in the backyard. John started to put his plan in motion. Was he going to find anything at all? This was the only way to find out. Even though he knew this meant making a mess in the yard, it was a minor setback for him. He was not going to give up without trying!
He started to work in his yard, although he was not having a lot of luck. For one thing, the elements seem to work against him. The notorious heat was making it hard for him since it went up to the hundreds. Despite this, he continued to work. Nothing was going to come in his way!
He made four different holes in the backyard but came up empty. There was a chance that there was something lying underneath the grass. Could it have collapsed or broken down before he even got there? He was starting to feel disappointed, but he knew that he merely had to think outside the box.
John saw something that helped him out a lot with his search! He found the municipal records of that part of Tucson. He went through the documents until he saw the one that he needed. Apart from this, he also saw a document that said Whitaker Pools worked on the property in 1961. What this did mean?
Taking It To Another Level
There was no pool there, so what did they make? He knew that it was important to refocus the search. With these records, he knew that it was a good idea to hire consultants with metal detectors. Can you tell just how serious he was about the whole thing? The team came over and started to scan the yard…
X Marks The Spot
It is not surprising to hear that he was ecstatic when they went off twice. He placed X on top of these spots. At last, he finally had a lead. This gave him an idea of how to go about this treasure hunt. He started to dig up the areas where they went off. The shovel soon hit something big. What did he see?
His shovel made contact with a metal object. He was thrilled, but he also wondered if it was a septic tank. He started to dig more carefully in case this was true. It was a good thing that he proved himself wrong as he continued working on the spot. What did he find there instead?
John could see that he just uncovered an entrance of some kind right in his own backyard. It looked like a hatch. He started to clean up the area surrounding it and opened the lit. He also tried not to inhale since he knew it was possible for there to be toxic gas fumes or mold. What he saw amazed him.
Upon opening the lid, he saw a bunch of sharp blades three feet below the ground. After looking at it even more closely, he saw that it was a spiral staircase that led downward. Many people would have jumped right in, but John decided to hold back. There was a good reason he decided to do this.
John was a careful man who knew that it would be foolish to do this without preparing for it properly. You see, John is a fire department captain, so he knew better than anyone that something dangerous might happen. For one thing, the structure might not be stable enough to support his weight.
There was no way for him to execute such a plan on his own. He enlisted some of his pals for the project since it was important to have a backup should anything go wrong. He was used to rescuing others, so he knew that it might collapse when he went exploring. There were many things he had to do first.
The Master Plan
Even though he could not wait to uncover its secrets, he still wanted to navigate this safely. He had no idea what was hiding down there, after all. Together with his friends, he came up with a plan on how to do this. They created a blueprint and figured out the best way to solve this mystery.
Before anything else, they must fix and reinforce the concrete structure that surrounded the stairs. They did not seem safe since a lot of rust has accumulated over there over the years. Even though he was tempted to climb in, he knew that this was not a good plan whatsoever.
The entire team worked hard to put several concrete layers and secure the rebar in the hatch. They had to ensure that the structure would not collapse when they used it. They added new concrete batches to give it more stability. We are sure that John could not help but wonder what this hatch led to.
However, there were a few things that made the project difficult for them: the heat! Even worse, none of them knew if this direct and intense heat would affect anything below the ground. They set up a tent over the site to ensure the safety of both the team and the hole. Aside from that, they put up a Sonotube cardboard structure around the hatch to prevent causing any damage.
Another thing they had to do was to provide a source of light inside the hatch. This was why they added an electrical line on the site. They also placed a black pipe down there for fresh air. After working hard on the site, it was time for them to make their descent. What mysteries would they find down there?
Ready To Go
They were done with the expansion of the entrance. Thanks to all their hard work, the hatch looked a lot better than it did at the start. Despite the heat, they kept working until they got to the most exciting part of the project. They agreed that it was finally secure enough to go inside the hatch!
Even though they finished reinforcing the entrance, they still needed to secure the stairs. The structure was covered in rust. Even though it looked fine, John did not know if it could withstand his weight. It was impossible to repair it from up high, so they had to look for another way to get down there.
Another Way In
John needed to look for a way to enter this hole without going down the stairs. The entrance was far too deep and narrow for him, so he decided to place a ladder there. It all began when his friend informed him of the rumor. At last, it was time for him to put a lid on this mystery! What could be down there?
John The Explorer
He used the ladder to get into the hole. He was the first person to explore it in half a century! As he went down the shaft, he saw that an underground complex was hiding below his property. It was not full of dirt or anything like that. It was empty! However, he did see an arched doorway.
A Bit Of The Past
Inside this chamber, there was a ceiling of fiberglass. However, the material was already falling apart! As soon as he saw this, he figured out that it was not secure just yet. They still had some work to do. The fiberglass could fall and harm a person standing below that area!
From what he could see, the structure had not been used extensively, if at all. There was some wear and tear there, although this was expected. After all, it did not see any upkeep or maintenance for fifty long years. It was empty, but they managed to figure out what it was. This was no swimming pool!
A Historical Find
They found out that it was a nuclear fallout shelter! John would soon learn that his property was not the only one with something like this. It was created back in the Cold War when there was lots of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Thanks to the mass paranoia, so people had bomb shelters made on their property. Whitaker Pools took advantage of this by offering this service.
In the Tucson area, bomb shelters like this one are not exactly rare. Back then, people did not think it was an overreaction to have one built. Anyone who did so would even be applauded for taking care of the family. Before you judge them, you should know that the nuclear war threat had been very real.
They kept 18 ballistic missiles in Tucson. These things were capable of crossing the whole continents and measure 110 feet by 10 feet. They could be launched in only 58 seconds and then destroy 900 square miles in one go. Each missile came equipped with a 9-megaton nuclear warhead. It was a secret project back then, but there are still some theories that some missiles had been left behind.
Most rockets have since been disabled now that the threat of war is no longer around. This also the same reason they sealed or destroyed many nuclear shelters as early as the ‘80s. That was the time that US-USSR relations improved. This bomb shelter was built in 1961, around the same time as the Cuban Missile Crisis. That was the closest the Cold War ever came to becoming a full-fledged war!
He talked about his findings on Reddit. Of course, it was only a matter of time before it went viral. John was proud of what he discovered and knew he was not the only one with a story like this. His post allowed him the opportunity to get in touch with other property owners with their bomb shelters. His friends told him to turn it into a cigar bar or a wine cellar, although he decided that it would be best to store Cold War furniture and memorabilia here. How does he plan to do such a thing?
He created a GoFundMe campaign to help him achieve his goals. “Hi, I’m John and I need some help restoring a vintage Fallout Shelter that I have uncovered in my backyard,” he said. The interior seemed to be in good condition, but he wanted to rebuild the upper entryway before working on the interior. On top of this, he wanted to replace the stairs to make sure that it was perfectly accessible.
Civil Defense Museum
There was no way he would give up such a great opportunity! After finding the bomb shelter, he made up his mind to use it as a HAM shack, man cave, and the Civil Defense Museum. He read about Tucson during the Cold War. For him, there was no better use for it than as a memorial. He began to look for memorabilia like Geiger counter, water supply barrels, HAM radios, and sanitation kits from that era.
The story got a fair amount of attention and got shared 430 times. He managed to earn some funds for the project too! He had a goal of $2,000 and made $350 of this. As you can see, people supported him in this! He already finished the staircase using this money, so it is now possible to go inside without risking your safety. He also shared the progress with the folks who donated money to the project.
It took him quite some time to rebuild the stairs, but he did not want to do this without careful consideration. He widened the top step by 2.5 times and secured it to the wall. After the stairs, the restoration project went more smoothly. We hope that more people would support this amazing project!