The Morrows had thought the property was a steal–18 rooms across two floors and just about everything about the house was high-quality pre-1900 joinery from when people knew what they were doing when they were woodworking. Its previous owner, one Mr. Daugherty, had kept it up well. A retired, divorced construction worker, he had installed a rather high security fence and zealously chased people away from his property. His death plus his heirs’ stated intention to have nothing to do with him meant fire-sale values.

Sam and Jenna Morrow found the place suited their needs, and the twins’, perfectly. If they had any complaint, it was that the heating and electricity bills tended to be rather high–a circumstance Sam blamed on old wiring and Jenna blamed on drafty windows and doors that had shrunk away from their frames.

Once old Mr. Daugherty’s privacy fence had been cut down to a reasonable size, the Morrows attempted to build a garage–the only architectural feature that the property lacked. Excavations for a concrete slab began, but were unceremoniously halted after a backhoe brought up reinforced concrete fragments and four live hand grenades.

After bomb squads from three counties responded and the Morrows spent a month in a hotel, the truth emerged: Daugherty had spent his twilight years constructing a reinforced concrete fallout bunker beneath his yard in anticipation of what, to him, was imminent nuclear war. Water leakage had damaged the corner that held the bunker’s armory–hand grenades and other small arms–allowing the backhoe to burst through. But everything else was as Daugherty had left it at his death: canned food, a ventilation system that piggybacked off the chimney, full electrical power that leeched from the main house, and a basement entrance so well-hidden that neither the realtor nor the Morrows had noticed.