A woman was stunned to find a secret "underground railroad", possibly used to smuggle slaves, beneath the floor of her family home.

Alexandra Poulos told America's ABC that she'd always known there was something unusual about the property in Pennsylvania.

"This is such a weird, odd story," she said.

The 43-year-old, who grew up in the house, claims she had dreams about "other rooms" as a child.

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The home has been in the family since 1974 and has been rented out over the past few years.

"I just love it so much. I started renting it out, and now we have awesome tenants."

It wasn't until recently when the basement was being renovated that Poulos made some inquiries, after remembering a rumour a neighbour told her father.

"There was a neighbour out back, an old doctor and his wife," she told the ABC.

"She told my dad, 'you know there's a basement under your basement'.

"My dad just thought she was crazy or whatever.

"For the past couple weeks, I've been looking stuff up on the history of homes in the area."

When workmen arrived, Poulos asked if they could "dig a little deeper," and to their amazement found a huge hole leading to an unknown room two metres below.

Alexandra Poulos knew there was something special about her family home. Picture: ABC
Alexandra Poulos knew there was something special about her family home. Picture: ABC

"I get a call saying, 'You're not going to believe this. They found it,'" Poulos said. A large hole in the basement floor leads to a previously unknown room 14 feet (4.2m) below. "I said, 'You're joking.' I swear to God, they found it. It's a whole other area of the house."

Poulos's tenant Jerry Sanders said "It's just suspicious because I think what we found might have predated the house being built.

Bizarre basement find

"It's about 14 feet deep and maybe about 6 to 8 feet wide by about 15 feet long. It's a nice-size room."

Historian Rachel Moloshok said there are plenty of reasons the hidden room may exist and didn't discount the possibility of an underground railway.

"The region in general historically has been known as an abolitionist sympathiser area that probably did have a good number of people who have been involved in or were sympathetic to anti-slavery activism, including potential participation in the underground railroad.

"The only way to really follow up on that would be to research who the owners were in the past and follow up on property records and see if there were people who were known to be vocal abolitionists, based on the actual documentation of that," she added. "Then you can make inferences."