Sisters Gladys and Carla Spizzirri are real estate partners and they had been wanting to look inside a specific house for some time. One day, the owner of that house, which is located on 148 Jane Street, made a decision to sell. This allowed interested parties to find out for themselves the secret that the house was hiding. To say the least, they were really surprised by what they saw.
A Regular Home
From the outside, the property on 148 Jane Street looked like other homes in Toronto, Ontario. The street is simple and fairly plain, and there are no notable landmarks. Also, the area has nothing particularly notable. The property was surrounded by structures that were regular-looking, so you would think the interiors of the home would also be regular-looking.
Looking To Sell
Few people have been inside the property, and other people only knew that the same people lived in the house for a very long time. The house was a mystery. Then, realtors Gladys and Carla received a call from the owner who was thinking of selling the house. Needless to say, the real estate duo had to first see the house for themselves.
Just A Regular Day
For the sister real estate duo, their day at the office began fairly unexciting, and everyone went about their usual routine. Before Gladys and Carla Spizzirri started their own agency, they didn’t work together. However, things changed when they discovered that they worked well when they were a team. They have developed a perfect system – one looks for listings to sell and the other speaks to potential customers. They realized they were efficient and effective together, so they kept at it.
After years of being in the business, Gladys and Carla have learned how it works. The duo was great at their job, and truly enjoyed it. Having been in the industry for some time, they were rarely surprised by anything. There are still exceptions, though, and one of them was this.
The Phone Rings
From time to time, there are still things that shock even professional realtors! At the time, the Spizzirri sisters had no idea they were onto something huge. No one knows exactly what the future holds, right? Well, the phone at the real estate office started ringing, and it was the call that changed the sisters’ lives forever.
A Call From A Stranger
The phone at Gladys and Carla’s office never stops ringing, so they answered the call the same way they always do. The caller made them rethink things, though. Joyce, an older woman, called the office since she was considering selling her home. However, no final decision had been made yet.
When Joyce told them she was thinking of selling her house, she seemed hesitant. The way she talked and her tone made them think the older woman was not really keen on the idea. However, it was clear that she was persistent. They could tell she would probably sell her house. Then, Joyce told the real estate sisters a secret that was completely unexpected and the situation changed for them.
A Different Kind Of Emotion
Many people who make the decision to sell their homes think they are going in the right direction, so when they get in tough with a realtor, they seem happy. They consider this a sign of a new beginning. Joyce, however, did not seem excited or happy that she was selling her house.
A sixth sense is not uncommon for real estate agents to have while talking to clients. Both Gladys and Carla felt the caller was keeping a secret, which could make it difficult to find a buyer for her house. The pair knew from experience that something unpleasant in the past could still negatively affect the sale of a house.
Joyce was not actually trying to hide typical problems that homeowners have. The water heater was working well and there was no issue like black mold. It was a much bigger secret, but the real estate sisters were persistent and decided to face the challenge.
No Way To Prepare
Gladys and Carla are pretty confident that they could list just about anything. They had always done well at their job and are constantly looking for new opportunities. Even though they have plenty of experience, the duo were still not prepared for what was to come.
Gladys and Carla thought that since they had spent a long time in real estate, they had seen everything. They had successfully dealt with things which most people would give up on, so the pair believed they were capable of handling practically anything. Before the sisters arrived at Joyce’s house, they were already trying to come up with possible things that they might find there. There were some crazy ideas that came to mind but the reality was not like anything they had imagined.
Three years in real estate have helped Gladys and Carla become familiar with Toronto. The sisters bought and sold several properties in the city’s popular neighborhoods. Occasionally, the pair would luck out and snag a property which needed only minimal work and practically sold itself. Although they had no idea if Joyce’s home was like this, the duo did not get their hopes up.
It did not seem like Joyce wanted to sell her house, so Gladys and Carla had to check the property so that they will know why. When Joyce first got in touch with the realtors, the older woman told the duo something rather surprising which would definitely affect the property’s sale. She hinted at something that would surprise the real estate agents as soon as they stepped inside the house.
A Living Legend
At the age of 96, Joyce was still lucid and could hear quite well. This impressed Carla Spizzirri as her own grandmother did not have good hearing. It was amazing that 96-year-old Joyce was in really good shape, but the bigger surprise was waiting inside her home. Something more incredible was in store for the rel estate duo.
While Gladys and Carla were on the way to see the house, they had no idea something unbelievable was waiting inside. From the outside, the home did not look really different from other properties on the street. However, as soon as the sisters went through the doors, they finally saw what Joyce was talking about.
A Looming Disaster
Joyce told Gladys and Carla that for seven decades, she had lived in her home. In those 70 years, the older woman had not had work done on her house except upgrading the kitchen. When the duo heard this, they started to dread going to the property. If it was neglected, the house would probably be in bad shape!
As the real estate sisters were on the way to Joyce’s home, the pair felt some scepticism about everything. They assumed that the older woman had not maintained her home in good condition as she did not have help. Gladys and Carla prepared themselves for the worst.
As the day of their visit got closer, Gladys and Carla became more and more worried. The duo were concerned primarily about how much time and effort would be needed to clean the house if it were not maintained. They really do not like going to a hoarder’s home and it was possible that Joyce had filled her home with junk and debris she collected throughout the seven decades she lived in the house.
Not All Bad
On the upside, Gladys and Carla thought they still got lucky since the property is located in an area where housing prices had been rising for some time. The pair knew they could sell the house a good price. After saying goodbye to the older woman on the phone, the realtors started crunching numbers so that they could get an idea what price the property could fetch. The figure was higher than what they initially had in mind, so they were pleased. This meant bigger profit for their company.
So Far So Good
The property is in the Old Mill neighborhood, which is a location many Torontonians consider ideal. Gladys and Carla have sold houses in the neighborhood that fetched impressive prices. However, at the time, the pair did not know exactly how much Joyce’s house could be sold for. After doing the calculations, the sisters estimated the property’s value to be at $968,000!
Still So Hesitant
However, the real estate duo were not completely sure about the figure since they have not inspected the interiors of the house. They needed to consider how much it would take to fix up the house to meet adequate standards of living. What’s more, they had one more issue to address. It seemed Joyce was really hesitant to sell her home and they were wondering whether they could convince her to do it.
Making Up Her Mind
When the older woman first contacted the real estate duo, it seemed Joyce had not made up her mind about selling her house. Gladys and Carla were understandably worried about this. However, the older woman did say she was planning to put her house up for sale even if she lived there for 72 years. If you have lived in a place almost all your life, we bet it is really hard to leave it. For Joyce, her house was full of wonderful memories.
The way Joyce talked made Gladys and Carla pause. Was the older woman upset about letting go of her home of 72 years? Or perhaps there was something that she did not tell them. It is natural to feel bad about leaving a place that you are attached to. However, if Joyce was in fact keeping something from them, the realtors would surely have a full plate…
Before the real estate duo made a decision on whether to take on the project or not, they decided to do an inspection on 148 Jane Street. They thought it was likely that the house needed repairs before it could be offered to prospective buyers. However, they also knew that it depended on what the house’s maintenance had been like over the years.
Gladys and Carla set a time and date for dropping by the home. The visit would allow them to know how much fixing up the house needed. Little did they know that they were about to come across something completely unexpected in the home. The two were quite surprised when they finally saw the thing Joyce had been hiding.
Before Gladys and Carla came over, the pair could only estimate the property’s value based on a photo of its exterior and its address. Without more information, they could not make their estimate more reliable. What’s more, the home looked very much like other houses on the block.
A Decision At Last
At last, Joyce came to a decision. She was putting her home up for sale, so Gladys and Carla only needed to see the house for themselves. The day finally came for the sisters to conduct their inspection. The pair came to 148 Jane Street and the older woman greeted the realtors at the front door. Once they finally went through the door, they were stunned by what they saw inside.
Gladys and Carla had no idea what awaited them in the house and they were not ready for it either. When they stepped inside, the realtors could only stare in amazement at the house’s interior. It was surely not mundane and Joyce was clearly not a hoarder.
As a matter of fact, Joyce took care of the house like any other traditional woman. On the inside, the house was certainly stunning. For Gladys and Carla, it was a surprise to see the great care which went into maintaining the home. It was basically perfect – the furniture, the décor, and even the knickknacks were great. The home was sparkling and impeccably clean.
The real estate duo were amazed to see the excellent condition of the home. The two felt like they had hit the jackpot! They did not expect this at all, but they knew the house could be sold at a higher price – more than what they thought at first since it was in incredible condition.
The Designer Herself
What’s more, the home was a large time capsule. Stepping into the house made you feel like you traveled back to the ‘40s. Joyce started to live in the house around that time, and she decorated it to her liking. The flooring, furniture, wallpaper, curtains, and more were chosen by the older woman herself. So cool!
As Gladys and Carla looked around the house, the realtors were thrilled that all the rooms were very clean and attractive. It was easily the cleanest and best-maintained house they had ever encountered in their years in the business. Although they could see that a lot of effort had gone into taking care of the lovely home, they understood why Joyce was hesitant. The house was in incredible condition on the inside, but there was something about it that might be a dealbreaker.
The realtors were concerned about the house being decorated rather femininely wherever you looked. Even though the home was amazing and well-kept, male buyers might not find it appealing since the décor was too floral or too pink for many men. The pinks, purples, and golds in the rooms would likely not appeal to a lot of male clients and some women as well. Redecorating a whole house would require plenty of money, time and effort.
Out of all the parts of the house, the most unique was the basement, which was more like an acquired taste. The perfect man cave could be found there, complete with a wet bar and wood paneling. Obviously, a man spent plenty of time there and it must have been Joyce’s husband’s private space. The room was a retreat from all the florals and pastels all over the house.
Apart From That
The house was gorgeous, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about the backyard, which clearly saw some neglect. At some point, the owners installed AstroTurf but the effort to do some landscaping ended there. Even though the backyard was lackluster, Gladys and Carla knew that the property could still go for a great price. The sisters thought they needed to get some inspectors there who could check for any hidden damages and flaws which needed fixing before they started selling the house.
Sometimes, a house can look great but have severe hidden problems. There may be issues with the foundation or perhaps the walls have mold. Although things like these often mean a huge drop in the price, Gladys and Carla were confident the house was perfectly fine. However, even if they were really confident, there was still a possibility that something unexpected might turn up. When inspectors came to the house to check everything, there was another huge surprise.
Beneath It All
As soon as the home inspectors arrived at the house, they started doing their work. They scoured every part of the house, so it took a while for them to finish inspecting everything. They discovered that the house was in perfect shape. They relayed their discovery to everyone else, who were shocked. The home could be offered to prospective buyers as it is! In fact, all the realtors had to do was go to the office to start offering the house to potential buyers – the duo had never experienced something like this before!
It Is On
When the real estate duo got to the office, they placed Joyce’s house up for sale. They priced it at $699k, and even though they knew this was expensive, something quite exciting happened. A bidding war started between potential buyers after they saw the beautiful home. Joyce’s house was a great choice for people who wanted to buy a property in her neighborhood.
Blast To The Past
The incredible home with gorgeous interiors soon became viral and news outlets even picked up the story! As the popularity of the house grew, its price also skyrocketed. For people who had followed the story, the house must have felt like a museum. Stepping inside it made you feel like you went back to the ‘40s. Joyce opted not to change anything, so everything practically remained the same!
While the house remained mostly the same, Joyce did reveal that one part of it had some renovation. In the ‘60s, there were modern conveniences installed in the kitchen because she wanted to be more efficient when cooking. Even though the update was in the ‘60s, the appliances in the house were still in good working order. This should not be a surprise, though. Joyce took great care of her home and it was certainly a time capsule home.
Where She Went
The time has come for Joyce to let go of her masterpiece, which took decades to create. In the past, she worked as a seamstress and never had professional training regarding interior design. “I’ve always tried to be individual, and follow my own styles,” Joyce said to HGTV. The older woman put her home up for sale since she wanted to spend the rest of her twilight years in a retirement home.
A History Lesson
Joyce and her husband moved into their home on 148 Jane Street in 1942, during World War II. Many people were actually curious if the new owners of the property were planning a makeover or if they had no intention of changing the interiors. To this day, we don’t know what the new owners did to the house but since it isn’t a heritage site or a museum, the buyers are free to do anything with it. Hopefully, they do what is right.
Not The Furniture
There was actually a catch in purchasing the house – the furniture wasn’t part of the sale. Seeing as the furniture pieces played a major part in the home’s feel and design, we hope the buyers read the fine print so that they would not get disappointed. Joyce’s daughter wanted the furniture, most likely due to the memories, so she inherited it. Even without the furniture, it is still worth it to buy the house.
After Seven Decades
Joyce was only 24 when she began living in the house and in the 72 years that she lived there, she did not neglect to take care of the house. Even though she spent her later years mostly in the master bedroom, it still looks immaculate. The chairs and bed looked absolutely brand new. It is really hard to believe that they are from the 1940s.
Joyce explained to the press that her personal design style is tone on tone pieces. She also said that she is into matching designs and soft colors. Because of her talent and skill, she was able to make her home inviting and comfortable. Since Joyce paid attention to detail, things went well together and her home did not need repairs and did not look old even after 70 years.
The Intricate Details
The are three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the house. It also comes with wall to wall carpeting, wallpapers reminiscent of the post-war era, metallic wallpaper, baroque pattern, floral sweeps, and gold touches. In addition, the home has fireplaces, which are important in dealing with the Toronto cold. A lot of thought and careful planning went to each room. The hardware and cupboards were tailor-made and customized. The color choices were also masterful, and all the rooms had color schemes which was chosen after much consideration.
The Best Part
The home’s main floors are stunning, but the basement may just be our favorite. The laundry room had wooden cabinets and laundry machines which look amazing beside each other despite the fact that they were from a time period that was different from that of the other things in the house.
Follow In Her Footsteps
Joyce enjoyed decorating her home and caring for it very much, and she managed to maintain the house to a standard that few people can achieve. In John Sims’ case, however, the house that he purchased in Arizona had not been properly maintained by the previous owners. His new home was stranger and quite spooky…
John Sims bought a house in Tucson, Arizona. Since the previous owner of the property was a friend, John was not worried about the home. However, when the friend gave John the keys, he also left an odd message. According to the friend, there was a mystery about the property and nobody had figured it out. John had no idea that receiving this piece of information would start an amazing series of events.
So I’ve Heard
Apparently, there was a mystery surrounding John’s new backyard. According to rumors, something was buried there. Now that John owned the property, he could do whatever he wanted with it. As he was bringing in his belongings, he felt desperate to know more.
Understandably, John got very curious about what wasburied in his backyard. He became intrigued when his friend shared the rumor with him. John half-jokingly told his friend that he wanted to borrow a shovel. They laughed things off, yet John knew he needed the proper equipment for the job.
A New Project
Determined to find out the secret which his backyard was keeping, John started working on the project. He knew the possibilities of what he might find in his backyard were limitless, but he also knew that he would make a lot of mess. However, this was just a minor setback for John. He knew he couldn’t let the matter go unless he got to the bottom of things. John started to dig.
John began working on the yard even if it seemed the elements were against him. Naturally, the Arizona heat was stifling, and the temperature rose to three digits in Fahrenheit. John kept going, hoping that he would discover something worthwhile. However, even with determined labor, he did not find anything. John kept going instead of giving up.
John had dug four holes in the yard, but he still came up empty. Despite the disappointment, John knew he could not give up. He started to think that he should look at things in a different way to locate the thing buried in his yard. An idea suddenly came to him.
John thought of getting the area’s municipal records to help in his backyard search. He went through the documents and found what he needed. He came across a document that states the company Whitaker Pools built something on the property in 1961. However, he did not understand why a swimming pool was built underground.
Taking It To Another Level
John knew it was best that he refocus his search now that he had documentation and he decided to do things the smart way. He hired consultants who utilized equipment, such as metal detectors, and they searched the backyard together. It was apparent that things were getting serious. At first, there was nothing, but then, the detectors suddenly went off.
X Marks The Spot
John was thrilled that the metal detectors went off, and it did so twice. He marked the spots with an X. This time around, he was not searching blind, and the search became more focused and effective with the help of the professionals he hired. John quickly began to dig up the spots which he marked. Soon enough, he hit something with his shovel.
John’s shovel hit something metal, and while he was ecstatic, he paused. Initially, John thought it was a septic tank, but then he thought it could be something else. He knew caution was needed to avoid causing any damage. Then, he found out what it was that he discovered.
It seemed John found some kind of entrance that was like a hatch. After cleaning the area around the lid, he tried to pry it open. John made sure not to breathe in too much since he had no idea if there was mold or toxic fumes inside. He peered in carefully and felt amazed by what he saw.
Under the lid, John discovered a series of blades, but after looking at them closely, he realized that they were a spiral staircase which leads downward. While many people would immediately jump at the chance to check out this kind of discovery, John hesitated. Even though he felt overwhelmingly excited, he hesitated for good reason.
John knew that without serious preparation, it was foolish to proceed even if it was done carefully. He is actually a fire department captain and he knows it could be very dangerous just climbing down into the space. He knew the structure beneath might not be stable, so he thought up a plan. However, he could not carry out his plan alone.
John called up some friends to ask for help. Part of the plan was to have backup just in case something went wrong. His experience in rescuing people made John realize that if the lid happened to fall on him, he would not survive. Before they could explore the underground space, they had complete an important task.
The Master Plan
Although John was really excited to start exploring what he found, he wanted to do it in a safe way. Since he did not what was in the space below, John and his friends thought up a plan on how to go about the whole thing. They also made a blueprint and planned how to proceed.
The first thing on the list was to fix the concrete structure around the stairs going down. The stairs was unsafe because of the rust they accumulated. Even though he was becoming more tempted to just climb in, John knew that he had to be smart about this.
John and his friends secured the rebar in the hatch and set down several layers of concrete to ensure the structure would hold when someone goes down. While they were doing this, John wondered what could be waiting inside. However, he was not aware something was going against him.
The unavoidable and intense Arizona heat slowed down the progress. To protect what was inside the hole as well as themselves, the team set up a tent over the project. They added a Sonotube cardboard structure near the entrance to prevent damage to things as they worked.
To illuminate what was inside, John and his friends set up an electrical line. In addition, they installed a black pipe to be able to funnel in fresh air. They were finally reaching their final goal. More than five decades later, the mystery of the underground cavern would be solved at last.
Ready To Go
The entrance looked better after they widened it. Despite the Arizona heat, they pressed on and were almost at the part where they were most excited about. At last, John felt it was okay to climb down and explore his discovery. At last, the team can now go inside.
The outer part of the structure may have been reinforced, but the stairs were still unsafe. They had accumulated rust, and John was not sure of the weight the stairs could manage. The stairs had to be repaired from the inside. John had to find another way to go inside.
Another Way In
John had to come up with a way to get inside without using the rusty stairs. The entrance was too narrow and deep to jump in, so John thought of inserting a ladder. Feeling really excited, he descended the ladder. John was itching to solve the mystery.
John The Explorer
John climbed down the ladder and went into the shaft. There, he discovered an entire complex underground. However, it was totally empty. He walked through an arched doorway and he saw something that made him speechless.
A Bit Of The Past
Inside the chamber, John could see the ceiling was made of old fiberglass and it was coming apart. He knew it was not secure and there was more work to do, but he could not give up now that he knew what was in his yard. He knew that there was more to uncover.
It seemed the previous owners of the house did not use the structure. With no upkeep for more than half a century, some wear and tear was to be expected, but the underground structure was actually in good condition. Although it was empty, John and his friends knew what it once was.
A Historical Find
The structure is a nuclear fallout shelter that was built during the Cold War. When the tensions were at their highest, there was mass paranoia, which led to bomb shelters being constructed. People wanted bomb shelters instead of swimming pools, so Whitaker Pools expanded their services. John realized there were others like him.
There are actually several bomb shelters like this in the Tucson area. When these shelters were built, people did not see them as an overreaction. If a man had a bomb shelter built, people thought he was simply looking out for his family. During that time, a nuclear war happening seemed to be possible. What’s more, Tucson had another secret.
Tucson, Arizona used to be home to 18 ballistic missiles capable of flying across whole continents. Each one could destroy a 900-square-mile area and was capable of being launched in just under a minute. At its tip was a nuclear warhead weighing 9 megatons. Obviously, it was a secret project, but the question is if there are still missiles left behind.
Thankfully, they disabled most of the rockets when the threat of war disappeared. In Tucson, most of the nuclear shelters were destroyed or sealed in the early ‘80s. The shelter in John’s backyard had been built in 1961, when the Cuban Missile Crisis was happening. Clearly, it is a historical relic although John did not know it would become big news.
John posted on Reddit about his discovery and his story soon became viral. Thanks to the post’s popularity, he could connect with others who had bomb shelters in Tucson. John wanted to collect Cold War memorabilia and furniture in order to bring back the relic to life.
John created a page on GoFundMe and explained, “Hi, I’m John and I need some help restoring a vintage Fallout Shelter that I have uncovered in my backyard.” Since the interior is in good shape, he plans to rebuild the shelter’s upper entryway first to secure it. Then, he is fixing the inside and changing the staircase.
Civil Defense Museum
John decided to make the shelter into a Civil Defense Museum, a man cave, and a HAM shack. He wants the shelter to become a memorial. This is why he started gathering Cold War memorabilia he can put on display, such as Geiger counters, HAM radios, sanitation kits, and water supply barrels.
John’s story was shared 430 times online, and he was able to raise enough money to begin the shelter’s renovation. His goal is $2,000, but he has already made $350. With the initial funds, John completed the stairs safely, which made the climb down less worrisome and easier.
Since John opted not to cut corners, rebuilding the shelter’s steps took a while. Aside from widening the top step, he secured it to the wall. After the stairs were completed, the restoration process got smoother. The entire process really impressed people. Some even made a donation after seeing the progress of the work, which John decided to share with other.