Back in the summer of 1983, my family spent the night in Lawrence, Kansas on our way to New Mexico. It's not the shortest route, but we wanted to stop at the Truman and Eisenhower museums, so that's the route you take.

While there, it was quite humbling to see "tornado shelter" signs everywhere we went. We were even given tornado safety information as part of our check-in at the motel. Yes, Toto, we're back in Kansas. Clearly, it was and IS and par for the course for Sunflower Staters.

Additionally, we had already started seeing previews for The Day After, a TV movie about a nuclear attack on--you guessed it--Lawrence, Kansas. I kept thinking, "Can we just get out of here?"

AN ARMAGEDDON SHELTER IN TENNESSEE?

I was well aware of all the tornado shelters, but there were no brochures about where to go in the event of Armageddon. And Tennessee was TOO far a drive.

But Tennessee is home to a castle that was built with the intention of WITHSTANDING Armageddon. As in BIBLICAL Armageddon.

It's called the Millennium Manor Castle, and it's located in Alcoa, Tennessee, just south of Knoxville. As you can see, it is certainly a fortress, but while it IS a tourist attraction, you can only look at it from the road; its Facebook page indicates it is now a residence, and you can see the scaffolding in the picture above.

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MILLENNIUM MANOR CASTLE IS NOW A RESIDENCE

Even though it isn't advertised on the site's Facebook page, the owner HAS apparently given private tours.

THE HISTORY OF MILLENNIUM MANOR CASTLE

So let's get back to the reason for its existence in the first place. When William Nicholson was giving up 10 years of his life to protect himself and his family from the apocalypse as outlined in the book of Revelation in the Bible, I'm certain he didn't think there would one day be a sign posted on the property alerting passersby to the presence of a "zombie outbreak shelter."

No, he, legit, was working to create a shelter that would protect his family from Armageddon, which he believed was right around the corner. Growing up in a Baptist church, I heard that a lot, too, but mostly in sermons given during Revival weeks.

As it turns out, Nicholson passed away in 1965 and never got to see how his castle/shelter would do in the event of Armageddon. And, sadly, he died without leaving a will, so the property was abandoned.

But it's someone's home now and renovations are underway. What was once a castle meant to be a safe place in the event of an apocalypse is now just someone's really cool home.

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