It’s amazing what can lurk in a secret room beneath your basement…all the years you lived there, yet you never knew…
That’s what happened to Alexandra Poulos, whose parents purchased the home she was born in, back in 1974. From the outside, and even from the inside, it looked just like any normal Pennsylvania home. But this Lansdowne property was hiding an age-old, one entrenched in history and tradition…
The house, located in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, is a grand white, colonial-style structure, the perfect place to raise a young family. But what’s this hole in the basement floor?
As you can see, the house is grand, but nothing unique for the area it’s in. Little did the family know what else was there.
No one can know for sure whether it’s connected or not, however, Alexandra told reporters that she grew up having strange dreams in the house, “I would have random dreams about there being other rooms in the house. I’d look it up on dream meanings sites and people always thought I just had a crazy imagination,” she said.
Turn Of Events
Sadly, Alexandra’s mom passed away in 2008, and just seven months later, her brother also tragically died. At the time, Alexandra persuaded her father to sign the property in her name, which he did.
Even though most folks told Alexandra to sell the house she refused, as there was a lot of sentimental value for here there. As she told reporters, “My mom and brother. they were still there to me.”
As Alexandra was living in a property elsewhere, she rented the family home out to some new tenants, and everything seemed to be going well, at first.
As with many houses of this age, it wasn’t long before issues started and the home improvement needed to begin. A cracked sewer pipe in the basement was the start of the problems, as well as her tenants.
As soon as the work started in the basement, Alexandra recalled some weird stories that an old neighbor used to tell her dad. “She told my dad, ‘You know there’s a basement under your basement,’” she said, “[But] my dad just thought she was crazy or whatever.”
Alexandra’s interest was sparked when she did some research into the history of the area. She found out that a house, just a few minutes away from her’s, had some connection or other with the Underground Railroad, which consisted of a network of covert routes and safe hiding places used by the abolitionists to smuggle slaves to freedom across the U.S. in the 19th century.
While carrying out the badly needed repairs to her basement, Alexandra was shocked to discover that her house had more to do with the Underground Railway than she ever had imagined.
Alexandra’s suspicions were confirmed when she got her contractors to reveal the space beneath her basement. But what was the significance of this room, if any?
Many Americans would rather forget history, in terms of the slave trade of black people back in the first half of the 19th century.
This man, Levi Coffin, a well-known Quaker from North Carolina, did a lot in his dat to help the plight of the enslaved people, who were smuggled through underground networks. He worked closely with people like Harriet Tubman, who also helped end slavery.
There was an elaborate escape route for slaves, which came to be known simply as the “Underground Railroad.”
Many have speculated that the tunnels were used not only to traffic slaves, but also to save them. But what does Alexandra’s house have to did with it, if anything?
Fugitive Slave Act
A quick history lesson: While Pennsylvania has always historically been a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act technically required officials and citizens to assist slaveholders attempting to recapture runaway slaves.
Alexandra might want to believe that her house has something to do with the Underground Railroad, but not so fast. Historians like Rachel Moloshok from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, said it could simply be a hidden room, used to hide valuables.
Other commentators, as well as historians also refute the grand claims about the Underground Railway. They say that it would have been far too expensive to build such a network at the time.
Moloshok told the press that Alexandra’s house may have had something to do with the notorious Underground Railway, “The region, in general, historically, has been known as an abolitionist sympathizer area. The only way to really follow up on that would be to research who the owners were in the past and follow up on property records and see if there were people who were known to be vocal abolitionists… Then you can make inferences.”
Alexandra still hopes and believes she can prove the connection between her home and the Underground Railway. But only time will tell if she manages to turn those hopes into a reality.
[Featured image credit: www.theepochtimes.com & en.wikipedia.org]