Pennsylvania is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Pennsylvania is a state with a lot of history, culture, and natural beauty. Its empty areas hold secrets. People are interested in well-known ghost towns like the Eastern State Penitentiary and the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, but Centralia, a lesser-known ghost town, has its own unique and scary story to tell.

The Town of Centralia is on Fire

Centralia was founded in 1866 in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, and did very well as a coal mining town. At its busiest, the town had more than 1,000 people living in it. It had churches, schools, shops, and a fire station. In 1962, however, a fire started in a landfill near an old mine hole, starting an underground fire that is still going strong today.

The fire broke up the ground, released toxic gases, and caused some areas to fall. There were many tries to put out the fire, but they all failed. Residents had health problems, such as headaches, sickness, and breathing problems. Some people saw smoke and flames coming out of the ground and could feel the heat in their shoes. Todd Domboski, 12, was in his garden in 1981 when a sinkhole swallowed him up. It turned out to be 150 feet deep and full of hot steam and carbon monoxide, which is very dangerous.

Centralia: A Land of No One

The fiery situation in Centralia got national news, and the government stepped in to help residents move. Congress set aside $42 million in 1984 to buy homes and move people to safer places. Most of the residents agreed, but a few rejected. In 1992, Pennsylvania banned the town and used eminent domain to take it over. After a long court fight, a settlement in 2013 let the remaining residents stay until they died, but they lost their property rights and could no longer use city services. In 2020, there will only be five people left in Centralia.

Today, Centralia is a ghost town, with only the remains of houses and streets left behind by nature. The underground fire is still going strong and is expected to last for another 250 years. People who are interested in interesting places, urban explorers, and graffiti artists are drawn to the town’s unique features, such as the “Graffiti Highway,” a part of Route 61 that has been painted over with graffiti. Still, going into Centralia is dangerous because the ground is unstable, the air is dirty, and there are police checks.

In the End, a Legacy in Ashes

Many people don’t know about Centralia, but it tells an interesting and sad story. The town burned down because of an uncontrollable fire, forcing most of its people to leave. There are a few strong-willed people living in this ghost town. Centralia is a moving warning of the dangers of coal mining and the strength of the human spirit. Finding out this town’s history is an interesting thing to do.

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