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Alabama Original: You Slept Where? Earth House

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In the Rocket City, we talk a lot about space travel. But what about heading in the opposite direction?

WAAY 31 heads to Madison to visit a home beneath Earth's surface this week for a special "Alabama Original: You Slept Where?"

"It was just always interesting to us," said Earth House owner Holly Shelton.

Holly and her husband Dustin Shelton own one of North Alabama's few Earth Homes. 

"It's easy access in the front," said Dustin. "You can just walk in and walk out."

"We're trying to bring that earthy aesthetic from the outside in," said Holly.

There may be a few other "earthy aesthetic" Earth Houses that exist across North Alabama, but this is the only one you can sleep in.

"Weekends seem to stay pretty much booked," said Dustin.

If you want to spend a night underground, rent the Earth House for you and your family to stay. The place is fairly new to the rental market. The Sheltons bought the home in 2017, and in November 2020, the unique stay made its short-term rental debut.

"It's a neat experience, getting to meet people from everywhere and sharing that community spirit with everybody else," said Holly.

The couple said most of their guests are out-of-towners here to visit family or see all the Rocket City has to offer.

"We have quite a few people stay here to go visit the Space & Rocket Center," said Holly.

From the outside looking in, the home looks tiny — almost like a cave! But once you're inside, you'd have no idea you're completely underground.

"It's underground, but it's built into the side of a hill," said Dustin.

By the way, could the Earth House keep you safe in a tornado?

"(It's) more resistant than most things," said Dustin.

Regardless if the weather is good or bad, the Earth House definitely leaves its mark on North Alabama.

"(It) brings some tourism to the area and offers a unique place to stay," said Holly.

The cost to stay in the Earth House is $89 per night. The home is just minutes from the United States Space and Rocket Center.

Looking Ahead:

Next week, WAAY 31 visits a tiny home in Huntsville that's making a big splash. It's another "Alabama Original: You Slept Where?" that you'll see only on WAAY 31.

For all of Luke's past "Alabama Originals," click HERE.

If you have an idea for a story, email Luke at

Earth House Owners Dustin and Holly Shelton on the significance of their unique stay to Huntsville, how renters react to the home and how you can spend a night underground

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