The Ghost Town that Burns | Centralia Pennsylvania

One day you wake up in your home and go about your business. The day is beautiful. The trees are lush and green. In a sense, it’s just another day. You take your dog out to play on the quiet and desolate streets. Living in the Country has its benefits. Not many people or traffic to worry about. You can roam freely with your dog as you play fetch. Suddenly the ground begins to rumble. You freeze and think about what it could be, but before you can react, the concrete opens up, a plumb of hot air raises through the air and you fall into a fiery inferno. Centralia Pennsylvania is now condemned. It’s a ghost town that burns to this day. In fact, scientists say it will burn for the next 250 years.

centralia Pennsylvania route 61
centralia Pennsylvania route 61

Silent Hill- A Ghost Town that Burns

Silent Hill is a well-known video game about a creepy town where a darkness lays. The town is covered in ash. The ash continually falls like beautiful snow, painting the streets grey. Centralia Pennsylvania inspired the game and the movie. 

Unlike the video game, Centralia is not a place where monsters hide. Pyramid Head will not search and destroy the local towns people.

However, the real life inspiration for this video game came from similar scary stories. The fire that burns underground creates sink holes at random. Gas emissions are highly toxic, carbon monoxide poisoning is high.

The local preacher of this town once condemned the city for its criminal acts. He said the city will burn but the church will be spared. Today, the church still stands.

The population of Centralia has dwindled throughout time. Only 7 people live here now. The 7 remaining people are allowed to finish their lives. However, once they die, the state will own their homes and condemn the land for good.

How did the fire start?

It seems the stars aligned to form a destructive force in Centralia. Known as a coal mining town with vast mines under the city, this town created lots of jobs. One of these jobs was to protect the mines from the surface of the town. The town proposed building a protective barrier. However, production lagged and they did not get to all the open mines in time.

Some say the firefighters had a yearly bonfire. Usually, the firefighters always extinguished the fires once the party was over. However, this time the fire was not completely out and the burning embers fell into the coal mine.

little by little the towns people began to realize the strange and unusual occurrences that heat creates. Gas stations began to overheat and smoke escaped from cracks in the ground.

Currently, the roads are closed. Smoke still rises. Ashes continue to fall and many artists use this burning ghost town as inspiration for their next work of art.

centralia Pennsylvania
Much like a scary movie or video game, the town has an atmosphere to inspire any horror movie lover…
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