By Rebecca Chitolie


THIS WOMAN has explained exactly why she chose to live in an underground bomb shelter in her friend’s garden with online followers urging her not to lock herself in – in case she entombs herself underground forever.

Caitlin Johnson (42) has been living in an underground bunker in Southern California for just over one month and intends to continue to do so for 12months as a social experiment while her fans express their concern that she might die through lack of medical care in an emergency, being locked in, or even a car parking on her hatch leading her to starve to death. Others have quipped, they do not know how she survives without uber eats.

The reason for this unique living arrangement is not because Caitlin believes doomsday is on our doorstep, she insists she lives underground, “to save money.”

Caitlin’s rent is only approximately £395 per month for her bomb shelter, which is a one bedroom bunker with 18 extra bunks in the garden of her friend’s house in the suburbs of Southern California.

She plans to stay in the subterranean abode for a year, so she can save enough money to buy a home above ground, and so far she has revealed that utilities in the bunker are actually free due to the water being on a well, and everything is able to be covered by solar power.

She’s documenting her experiences daily on her TikTok account, undergroundgirl1, which has sparked a flurry of opinions. Some have concerns over her lack of daylight and fresh air, urging her to “watch your health,” while others confess, “My fear of getting locked in there would never let that happen.”

Originally built in 2012 the bunker is just over 1,100 square feet,  Caitlin has only lived in her bunker for a matter of weeks, but she’s already discovered a few perks that come with this way of life, in addition to her safety in case a catastrophe does hit, that is.

Of course, one of the biggest perks of the bunker is its affordable rent. (Though Caitlin admits this bunker would likely cost more than $500 per month, if she wasn’t renting from a friend.)

Caitlin is excited rather than scared of the prospect of living in a bunker for a year, and compared the experience to the reality show Naked and Afraid, where people challenge themselves to live out in the wilderness for weeks.

“Some people go on ‘Naked and Afraid,” said Caitlin.

“I guess living in a bunker is sort of my ‘Naked and Afraid.

“I figured it’d be a really fun adventure for a year.

“Just to know that I could do that.”

It appears she is not alone though, as bunkers are rising in interest this year. Companies who build these bunkers say interest has risen this year by 30% to 50%.

While most bunkers are uninhabited “backups”, some home hunters like Caitlin see them as a place to survive and wait out today’s exploded housing market.

“My friend bought a house a couple years ago, and it came with a bunker,” said Caitlin.

“I just pitched the idea, ‘Hey, why don’t you just rent it to me? And then when you guys want to sell the place, we’ll know that everything’s in good working order down there.

“I just figured with the cost of housing right now, and the interest rates, I’ll just stay here for a year.

“And, you know, see if everything kind of calms down a bit.”

Caitlin explained there are unexpected benefits, one being her productivity while working from home and not hearing the hum of a city, however it is easy to lose track of time.

“One of the biggest perks that I didn’t realise was that you can get really good-quality sleep,” said Caitlin.

“I’m so used to living in cities, that when I’m down there, your mind isn’t buzzing.

“You can focus, I’ve got so much work done down there, just because there’s no outside distractions.

“I’ve bought a daytime lamp which mimics the sunrise and sunset every day. I can set it so that it feels like the sun is kind of waking me up.

“The first like three nights, I slept for like 12 hours. It’s so quiet, and you’re just knocked out. And so I’m like, ok, I can’t do this. I have a job, you know?.”

Although Caitlin is comfortable with her living situation so far, many of her TikTok followers voice concerns over the potential risks of living underground.

“People have asked, what if someone parked on top of that door?” said Caitlin.

“I try to explain people’s fears by pointing out things, like the door hydraulics are so strong, it would flip the car over.

“Plus the “entrance” to the home is not in a public parking lot but in the backyard of my friend’s house.”

Caitin has also been asked what she would do if she was hurt or incapacitated while in her underground home and couldn’t call for help, which she explained is not any more concerning than a similar risk in an above-ground home.

“You know, it would be the same thing if I was an old person in an apartment,” she said.

“If I had a heart attack, I’d have to call or have an emergency button.

“My friend and I check up on each other a lot.

“Although this hatch is too heavy to push open, if the hydraulics ever failed, there’s a hand pump to open the door. Plus there’s a second hatch accessible from the other side of the bunker.”

Some commenters joked that Uber Eats deliveries might be difficult.