You might have been to a housewarming but probably not like this one. Tik Tok user known as @MoodyCakes, otherwise known as Maya, posted to TikTok the newly discovered cave under her cousin’s house. And, along with 2.8 million likes, Maya and her viewers are wondering if this cave may have been part of the underground railroad network!
After watching the 2 videos the family has posted of the cave-tunnel-thing in suspect, viewers are dying to know the history of the house… and the facts behind the underground railroad network. So- here is what we know.
It looks as if (TikTok User: @Moodycakes and her cousin are going through a tour of the house as they go through a network of doors throughout the back of the house you can see a long stair walk heading down to what they say is about 30 feet underground.
One of the commentators headed down to visit the secret cave commented “Harriet Tubman was through here for real for real. Wowww” In awe of the steep stairway leading underneath the house.
Ok so. First off- the term ‘Underground Railroad’ wasn’t actually an underground railroad like you may picture. It was actually a network of people offering shelter and aid to escaped enslaved people from the south.
The Quakers are considered to be the first organized group to actively help escaped enslaved people and in the early 1800s networks of routes and shelters were established for escapees. Harriet Tubman and others like abolitionist Isaac Hopper helped form the underground railroad. Hopper played a hand in establishing safe havens all across the 14 states and formed a web of informants to learn the plans of slave hunters(per history.com).
This network extended throughout the 14 Northern states and helped guide one hundred thousand enslaved people from freedom!!
These hiding sites included private homes, churches, schoolhouses, and more. And the journey to freedom was around 800 miles. And 6 whole weeks.
So. The house is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania which WAS an important hub for escaped slaves.
Harrisburg is very close to the Mason-Dixon line that actually separated the slave states from the free states… which made it a hub because of the number of free blacks… helping runaways! According to Britannica, “The Mason-Dixon line the named birthed from two Englishmen Charles Mason and Jerimiah Dixon. The dispute arose over conflicting claims to the territory from the Delaware River westward.
Despite how fortunate it was that Harrisburg is so close to that separation, however, it actually made it more dangerous to shelter there. Because slave catchers looked much more closely in those areas. So, the fact that this cave is so hidden, dark, and mysterious checks out!
Maya and her cousin are currently working on getting a historian down there to get more history on the blueprint of the house. The guy who built the house worked on the underground network and tried renovating it before he sold it over to the current owners. The cave underneath the house leads out to a road that was later closed off due to reconstruction.