A house with a cave that commentators suspect is part of the Underground Railroad has a video of TikToker doing numbers.
A video of her cousin’s house, which has a large tunnel underneath, has gained 2.6 million likes for @moodycakes on TikTok. The poster, which identifies as Maya and her cousin as Steven in a follow-up video, actually fell down the stairs on her first attempt to walk through the tunnel.
The video is captioned: “This time I fell on the Underground Railroad. ”
“I have really big bruises on my back,” Maya told The Daily Dot of the fall. “But other than that, I’m fine, luckily!” I’m so lucky to have fallen like I did. And there were people behind me carrying a little child so happy that they weren’t the ones who fell.
There is a sign in front of the cave door, which says “Enter the cave at your own risk”.
In the second video shared by Maya, she and her cousin enter the cave, through the basement, giving way to a concrete hallway and finally the mud tunnel lined with bricks. Her cousin, Steven, can be heard describing the different bricks, claiming that the red brick was added by the owner of the earlier house, while the darker brick was there before.
The tunnel, according to Steven, was blocked at the end when a street was built on it. It used to be farmland.
The brief view of the tunnel makes people clamor for a longer visit and more historical context – people want to know more.
“He’s got to do a whole show because I need to see it all and know the story now,” wrote @ mrs.ferrick. “I am invested.
Maya has not yet verified that the house is part of the network. However, according to an article in TheBurg by historian Jason Wilson, the town where the house is located – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – was an important hub for escaped slaves, meaning that various Harrisburg homes were part of that. history.
Maya told the Daily Dot that a third part and Q&A is underway, where she and her cousin will talk more about the history of the house after speaking with the local historical society.
Another user said he wanted to know more about how his cousin came to the house and why he bought it.
There were few or no tunnels and underground pathways used to give passage to those escaping from the southern United States. The use of tunnels or secret basements is often considered a myth, according to historians Eric Foner and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Underground Railroad was a network of people who aided runaway slaves, rather than a physical device.
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* First published: Jul 11, 2021, 10:06 a.m. CDT
Brooke Sjoberg is an editorial intern for The Daily Dot and studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the life and arts editor of the Daily Texan and an editorial intern for Texas Connect magazine.