You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.
Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.
The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.
Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.
The idea was to make it accessible to visitors and use the cave as a tourist attraction, and the small structure was eventually built into a two-story house. But it was closed to the public in 1954 after the land was purchased for limestone mining and it remained closed for nearly 70 years. (In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "How rude.") Sometime during that 70-year closure, the home that contains the cave was purchased by Dara Black, and in 2021, it reopened to the public.
Currently, the home is occupied by Black, but to gain access to the cave you can simply book a tour. The best part about booking a tour is that you only have to make a donation to enter. It's a pay-what-you-can sort of setup, but since someone actually lives in the home, you can't just pop in and ask for a tour. You have to go during the "open house" times available.
According to the Black-Coffey Caverns Facebook page, they treat the tours truly as an open house, complete with snacks and drinks. There's a waiting room area where people can chat and eat their snacks while they wait for the tour to start. They also offer cave yoga once a month. According to Uncovering PA, the tour takes about 45 minutes to complete and there are about 3,000 feet worth of passageways.
Imagine living on top of a cave and just taking strangers on a waltz under your floorboards essentially. It makes me wonder if the house is quiet at night or if you can hear echoes of the cave sounds while you're trying to sleep. From the Facebook page, it appears that the cave doesn't have any lights, but there were pictures with some Christmas lights mounted to the cave walls. Otherwise, you have to use flashlights.
Hopefully, no mischievous children decide to play hide and seek or you just might have to call in a rescue crew. Literally. But what an unbelievable "pics or it didn't happen" kind of story to tell. It's not every day you run into someone that has a door that leads you to an underground cave.
If you want to see what a cave tour looks like starting from the outside of the house, check out the video below:
“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”
Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.
PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.
The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.
"We’re not medical professionals. We’re like a sidekick, really. The person has the option to choose what they want to do," Mia, a YouthLine volunteer, told PBS NewsHour. "They’re like the hero of the story. We’re just there to assist them to make that choice."
The uniqueness of this program is the fact that teens are helping teens, and while that may seem strange to some, William Brangham revealed to PBS NewsHour that research shows teens actually cope better with stress when interacting with peers. A study from 2017 shows that interacting with peers after a particularly stressful event helps calm emotional upset.
Surprisingly, the program isn't new. It's been around for 20 years and has mostly received calls from Oregon, but since 2021, calls have been coming from all over the country. Since fielding crisis calls can take a toll on anyone who does it, YouthLine has worked to combat the impacts on the volunteers.
"Woven into all of the mentoring, all of the training are these—these safeguards for these young people, that we have contact information for their parents. We can reach out to them if they need to. They do check-ins every day after every shift. We underestimate the capacity of what young people can do to help other young people. As adults, it’s easy for us to say they can’t do that. But they can," Emily Moser, YouthLine’s director told PBS.
The program won't solve the mental health crisis amongst teens, but it can certainly help fill in the gaps.
Watch the full segment below:
The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.
In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.
The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.
But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.
"I'm feeding the baby," Sainte-Marie told him. "See? He's drinking milk from my breast."
Sainte-Marie didn't show anything that anyone could reasonably find objectionable, but she didn't have her baby hidden under a blanket, either. From Big Bird's point of view, he could see exactly what was happening, and Sainte-Marie appeared perfectly comfortable with that.
Big Bird contemplated her response, then said, "Hmm…that's a funny way to feed a baby."
"Lots of mothers feed their babies this way," Sainte-Marie said. "Not all mothers, but lots of mothers do. He likes it because it's nice and warm and sweet and natural, and it's good for him. And I get to hug him when I do it, see?"
Their conversation continued with Sainte-Marie answering Big BIrd's questions with simple, matter-of-fact, nonjudgmental answers, and it's truly a thing of beauty. Watch:
That segment was filmed 46 years ago, and it's hard to believe some people still take issue with seeing a mom breastfeed out in the open. We've seen waves of education and advocacy attempting to normalize breastfeeding, and yet it wasn't until 2018 that every state in the United States had laws on the books protecting breastfeeders from being cited or fined. Even now, some moms still get flack for not hiding away in a bathroom or a car to feed their babies.
Sainte-Marie recently spoke with Yahoo Life about how that segment came about. She had gotten pregnant during her second season on "Sesame Street" and she had her baby with her on set all the time. She'd breastfeed off camera, and she asked one day if the show could do something about breastfeeding.
"The reason why I did that really was because when I woke up from delivering my baby, I was in the hospital, and over here on the table was a big basket of stuff from some formula company. And I preferred to breastfeed, but the doctors didn't understand about breastfeeding. They hadn't learned it."
Even today, according to the CDC, physicians generally lack adequate breastfeeding education and training, so as far as we've come with education on this subject, we clearly still have a ways to go.
Watch Sainte-Marie talk about how she came to share breastfeeding with the "Sesame Street" audience:
Thank you, Buffy, for providing a beautiful example of how to talk about breastfeeding that's just as relevant today at it was four decades ago.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.
Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.
But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.
Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.
The video, which now has 6.6 million views, shows multiple instances of Boazman hunched over and exhausted, completely unable to take care of her other kids or keep her house from falling into disarray. It’s a brutal, miserable sight.
@emilyboazman TIKTOK THINKS THIS IS TOO GRAPHIC.🙄😤 they keep flagging my videos and warning my account.😤 #hyperemesisgravidarum#severemorningsickness#hyperemesisgravidarumpregnancy♬ original sound - Emily Boazman
“TIKTOK THINKS THIS TOO GRAPHIC,” the mom of three wrote in her caption. In an earlier video she shared that having to focus on surviving each day left her feeling guilty for not being able to take care of her two daughters. While her husband cooked and cleaned up every night, the girls would play during the day and “destroy the house.”
Boazman’s video soon received a flood of comments from other moms who had gone through similar experiences. Many felt that it robbed them of the joys of pregnancy and made them not want to get pregnant again.
“Hyperemesis gravidarum absolutely destroyed me. I couldn’t function. It took such a beautiful thing and turned it into my nightmare 😔,” wrote one person.
“Hyperemesis is why I will no longer have any more kids…I almost died with my last…it’s such a real dangerous thing and people don’t understand that,” wrote another.
While there is no cure for hyperemesis gravidarum, there are some treatments that may help. According to WebMD, doctors might recommend lifestyle changes (such as smaller, more frequent meals and drinking through a straw), or supplements like ginger, vitamin B6, thiamine or an electrolyte drink. In some cases, certain medications or even hospitalization is required.
As for Boazman, having gone through HG does not stop her from wanting to become pregnant again. In a subsequent TikTok she shared her goal to have five kids. Fingers crossed for smooth sailing on the next two rounds.
Here are the 11 best pieces of advice.
Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.
“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.
Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.
“Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave,” Christine wrote on Instagram. “We will continue to be a strong presence in each other’s lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family.”
She decided to end things after Kody admitted on the show that he wasn’t attracted to her.
“It was terrible to hear. And it’s super embarrassing,” Christine said in a December 2022 episode of “Sister Wives: One on One.” “It was almost a relief. I’m not going to keep fighting for this, and I’m not going to keep trying and I’m not going to keep doing this if you’re not attracted to me.”
Now Christine is ready to put herself out there, so she asked her 1.1 million Instagram followers for some help with dating at the age of 50. "I’m dating again!! Holy. Hell. Awkward. Dating online is crazy! Any advice for dating at 50?!" she asked.
Her fans didn’t disappoint, chiming in with advice on everything from safety to the type of men to avoid. Here are the 11 best pieces of advice.
"Run away if they think love should be multiplied not divided." — lindzerrs
"Don’t talk or text too much before the first meeting and when you do meet only go for drinks after work. If it goes well you can always keep the date going and have dinner but if not, you just say goodbye after the drinks and you’re done!" — Laura_Lee1966
"Definitely get on BeenVerified to check backgrounds!!" — marijobakale
"Choose a man who knows your worth and is totally and wholeheartedly dedicated to YOU and only you. It’s what you deserve." — just_stacey_e
"You look great! As far as advice goes, have a series of code words that you have to text a friend at various times throughout the date, including one that means you are at home & safe. And make sure that the person receiving the codes knows what the plan is. Just stay safe. And have fun!" — msgirlinhouston
"At this age, we know what we want this time around and what we are and aren’t willing to put up with! We get to call the shots this time around. Best of luck." — only1lou
"Our mind can play tricks on you and your heart can fool you but your gut never lies…..listen to it." — kimbarone122
"Christine, as someone who's been through it, talk to them in person asap! Texting/online isn’t a true idea of who they are and how they interact with you. Also, don’t be afraid to tell someone kindly when you’re not 'feeling the spark' with them. You might attract a lot of great guys that you know right away you’re not 'into' —don’t be afraid to cut it short and then you’re not wasting yours or their time." — rhonda.f
"Stoked for you!! My advice for dating at any age is to always be 100% authentically you. No false pretenses. No facades. Bring all your flaws, all your weirdness, all your imperfections, all your fabulosity to the table from the get-go. Will it scare some folks off? Of course! But that's the point. Better for them to realize that it's not a match early on, before you both waste time." — tamaramethyst
"Be careful that the guy isn’t trying to get his 15 minutes of fame." — step0515
"Go 'shopping' at Home Depot or Lowe’s." — stylebyjennsmith
No, you're probably not losing your hearing.
It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.
So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.
They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.
But with today's technology, microphones are so small they can be strapped just about anywhere on an actor. This allows the actor to move about the set freely and speak at a normal volume without worrying that their words won't be picked up. So then why can't we hear them? Turns out it's super complicated…and also not.
"A lot of people will ask, 'Why don't you just turn the dialogue up?' Like, 'Just turn it up.' And...if only it were that simple," Kendrick said before explaining, "If you have your dialogue that's going to be at the same volume as an explosion that immediately follows it, the explosion is not going to feel as big. You need that contrast in volume in order to give your ear a sense of scale."
Sure, you may be thinking, well that kinda explains it, but why do the music and other cinematic noises sound like they're beating on your eardrum while the dialogue sounds like the actors are whispering every line? That doesn't seem very balanced. There's more to it, and again, it falls back onto technology.
In the video, they explain how our televisions are too thin to hold large speakers facing in the correct direction, and until this video, it didn't dawn on me that the speakers to my television are indeed in the back. No wonder we can't hear. The actors are quite literally talking to our walls.
And there's more. Check out the full explanation in the video: