How Doomsday Hideaways Have Really Changed in Priorities
If you received a Google Calendar notification that doomsday was only three days away, you probably wouldn’t be too choosy about your hiding spot- maybe an old haunted church, an abandoned Walmart, or, our pick, a Twinkie factory. Perhaps staying alive would be your top priority. Though for some, doomsday is nearly something to look forward to, as their hideaway is a mere luxury home waiting to be occupied. The standards of a solid safehouse have gone from the first known doomsday shelter, a literal DIY cave in the woods, to a luxury nine-bedroom and five-outbuilding millionaire sanctuary made for its occupants to survive for 30 years. Might we even say, thrive?
The first hideaway was built in Philadelphia, in the late 1600s, where it is rumored the original doomsday cult held their first meeting in Wissahickon Creek. There, German monks constructed an arguably decent-sized dugout, meant to hold 40 of them if Judgement Day were to strike. No way God’s finding them huddled in a forest hole with no door … Granted, it's the best they could do in the 17th century.
According to Ripley’s “The monks chose the location of their cave not only for easy access to clean spring water but because of its position on the 40th parallel,” the monks also practiced astronomy heavily.
The reason why the day of doom was anticipated? Well, it began with Johannes Kelpius, a 26-year-old Transylvanian (Dracula’s not the only Transylvanian) scholar who learned about Pietism. A vein of Lutheranism prevalent in the 17th century, which suggested one ought to have a personal approach to Christianity, living a life that portrays a commitment to God, aside from the commonly revered typical Christian duties. He was eventually added to a group called The Chapter of Perfection, which sounds like a Facebook Group catering to creepy dudes and celeb pics, founded by German Pietist and Johann Jacob Zimmerman. Anyhow, “the group believed they were on the brink of a new spiritual age and had to prepare for Christ’s return.” A sort of comeback album, if you will. And it would be quite the hit.
High Mountain, the name of the $17 million hideaway, lies in the Appalachian mountains, way way up there concealed by national forests, surrounding valleys, and 350 acres of I-don't-give-a-shit while the rest of the world gets slammed with judgment.
A “hideout” only by definition because you can’t literally find it -- it's far more a vacation home or retreat. Not an obvious location, High Mountain is highly secluded and comes with its own aircraft hangar with a helicopter for the owner to “use as they wish,” code for escaping the wrath of God. The “High Mountain’s elevation [means] trespassers would have an incredibly tough time making it through the steep cliffs and dense foliage." With solar and wind-powered just about everything, the land is made to be lived off of and not meant to be left in the event of an emergency. With a fireplace, planting beds for produce, fish ponds, water wells, and porches, Judgement Day could not come sooner for those inhabiting this land. Not to leave out the plethora of MREs (meals ready to eat) and plenty of water supplies for the lucky survivalists. Doomsday hideout or an improved lifestyle? If that's too pricey, you can enjoy a more modest one …. for $2 million.
It isn't unrealistic to want a hideaway in case the world collapses, as has been proven time and time again, most recently this last year. The desire to seek seclusion in case danger arises is natural. However, a fun place of seclusion as the world theoretically dies would be reserved only for some. In some ways, doomsday has been more of an environmental warning than anything. Though if you're really afraid of doomsday theories, here's a way to regain hope:
Also known as a water bear for its semblance to a bear-like swimming creature that can only be seen through a telescope. The tardigrade has survived all five mass extinctions, its existence averaging about 500 million years. Just know that there is a teeny, tiny creature out there living through it all, on the most literal level there is in the world, ever. And it's doing it without a luxurious mansion.
For more of Oona’s sarcasm and attempted wit, visit her website oonaoffthecuff.com.
Top Image: Steven L. Johnson