Spooky Underground Bunker Mimics Above-Ground Life in the 1960s

Redfin / Redfin

Back in the '60s and '70s, bunkers weren't just for the overly paranoid or doomsday obsessed. According to The Washington Times, "by 1960, nearly 70 percent of American adults thought that nuclear war was imminent. By 1965, an estimated 200,000 shelters were built—but that’s just an estimate. It’s hard to know exactly, because people didn’t talk." 

Since bunkers were so popular, it makes sense that they ranged in extravagance. To make these underground prisons more appealing, people like Girard B. "Jerry" Henderson fluffed them up with every amenity possible. His company, which was called Underground World Home Inc., created over-the-top bunkers that offered features like artificial sunlight, working bathrooms, and fake trees. Henderson's underground suburbia promised to be almost as good as the real thing—plus the appeal of no pollen, intruders, or radiation.

You can see one of these relics, which went on the market after foreclosing in 2012. The eerie shelter, at 3970 Spencer Street in Las Vegas, looks just like a regular home in the 1960s. It has a working kitchen, a Jacuzzi, a pool, two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and even a dance floor. The 5000-square-foot space is located below another home, which is traditionally above-ground. Thanks to the manually operated sky and artificial trees, it almost looks like it's really outside (but not quite). The spooky bunker looks completely untouched by time. 

In March of 2014, the home was purchased by a shadowy non-profit called Society for the Preservation of Near Extinct Species for a cool $1.15 million. There is little to no information about this Nevada-based operation and it's not clear if the organization's name is just a joke, considering their purchase. The sellers, Seaway Bank and Trust Co. in Chicago, were also a little flummoxed on the details. "I have no knowledge about who the buyers are. I just signed the deed," William Bates Jr., general counsel for Seaway, told VEGAS INC

[h/t So Bad So Good]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.