Centralia, Pennsylvania is the real-life version of Silent Hill. It’s population has dwindled since the devastating underground mine fire of 1962. Now only 10 people are classed as official residents of this dilapidated ghost town, and that might be because it’s so eerie… and dangerous- The roads are prone to collapsing due to the fire damage which makes it extremely difficult to live a normal life. The fire, which was most likely started by hot ashes irresponsibly thrown into the underground garbage heap, still burns today. The top picture shows a collapsed road with smoke billowing out, fresh from the fire. Nobody really has any definitive theories as to why the fire is still burning, and it’s unknown if it will ever go out. Some people believe it’s one of many portals to hell, while others believe it’s simple bad luck. Whatever the case, it sure is creepy.
Located in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, is the (near) abandoned city named Centralia. Known for providing inspiration for the Silent Hill film, Centralia was condemned by the state of Pennsylvania after a coal mine fire in 1962. Although no one knows for sure how the fire broke out, most accounts have something to do with fire being set to a landfill, which was planned carelessly close to an open mine pit. This fire then ignited a coal line. The fire quickly spread, and dangerous gases and vents of steam began to rise up throughout the town. Eventually people had to leave their homes as the fire spread underneath, causing danger of asphyxiation or poison by the toxic gases being emitted. The fire still burns today. In fact, it is estimated that it will still be burning for another 250 years.
Although the city was condemned, there are still around 10 residents living there today. In 2013, the state agreed to let them stay there for the rest of their lives, at which point their properties will be claimed and condemned by the state. While a few stragglers are allowed to remain, the state stresses the fact that Centralia is a dangerous place to visit.
These dangers include harmful gases being emitted from cracks in the road, and the tendency for the ground to suddenly give way, allowing the release of toxic fumes and thousand degree heat.
Despite the dangers, Centralia still remains a popular tourist attraction. People often come to view the abandoned PA Route 61 highway, which has since decayed and become taken over by nature. They also enjoy seeing the steam rise from the roads and random patches of land.
If you do decide to visit this place, proceed with Caution!