The Storage House That Went Viral on TikTok Has a Rather Mundane Explanation

TikTok is a social media platform known for producing viral videos. The videos that go viral vary considerably. Sometimes a house goes viral on TikTok. A large home in a small California city is the subject of the platform’s latest viral video. While the house has given millions of viewers a “creepy” vibe because of its unique design decisions, there is a perfectly mundane explanation for all of the former owner’s interesting design choices

A house in Placerville, California, has gone viral on TikTok 

A house in Placerville, California, has gone viral for an interesting reason. TikTok users weren’t fascinated by the house’s sweeping vistas. No one mentioned the wrap-around porches that take advantage of its mountain views, either. Instead, users honed in on the home’s less-than-typical use of its space. 

The kitchen, living room, and bathrooms in the viral TikTok house look typical for an older house. Several rooms feature custom built-in furniture, but again, nothing seems too out of the ordinary. Things turn toward the bizarre when the Zillow listing gets to a hallway lined with glass display cases. The hallway leads to a huge, warehouse-style room with high ceilings. Photos show the walls lined with shelves. TikTok users spent days speculating about the home. As it turns out, nothing strange was happening inside the viral TikTok house. TikTokers also took issue with a dance studio that looked out of place in the 4,400-square-foot house.

The reason for all of the storage space in the viral TikTok house is pretty mundane 

Several TikTok content creators openly discussed the house and why an owner would install so much storage space. One content creator questioned whether the house was the home of a cult. Several commenters wondered if the viral TikTok house’s owner was preparing for an apocalypse scenario. The New York Post hunted down the listing agent and learned that the former owner was neither a cult leader nor a doomsday prepper. 

A smartphone with the Tik Tok logo displayed. A viral TikTok house has everyone talking
TikTok logo | LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

According to the publication, the listing agent said the former owner of the home was a single woman with a shopping addiction. She purchased the house for just $50,000 in the 1990s and spent years customizing it to meet her needs, including the ominous-looking storage space dubbed “the room.” 

The ballet studio also has a perfectly innocuous explanation. The home’s owner reportedly used the space for exercise. The more than 18 acres of land surrounding the house were left mostly unused but can be developed if the future owner chooses. 

Did the home’s owner fill “the room” goods at some point? 

By the time TikTokers discovered the home, the shelves in “the room” were completely empty. The floor-to-ceiling shelves in the 2,000-square-foot storage space weren’t filled when the owners’ family decided to put the house on the market, either. The home’s owner, Jeanne Cleary, died in August 2021 before she packed all of the shelves. She was 89. Still, she had a lot of goods stored in the space. 

The Caldor Fire in Pollock Pines, California, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021
A wildfire burns in California in 2021 | Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

According to Kelli Griggs, the owner of the realty company that holds the listing, Cleary’s many treasures were donated to victims of wildfires. Giggs told The New York Post that the items donated, for the most part, were in new condition.

Placerville is a small city in El Dorado County. The city has a population of just 10,000 people. The family listed the house for over $1 million. This is the first viral TikTok house in the town.