The Story of Centralia, Pennsylvania

You may have heard that Centralia, PA is considered a ghost town. Here’s the brief story as to why.Censign.jpg

On May 27, 1962, a mine fire started burning under Centralia, PA. As a result of this, the town’s population has drastically decreased from over 1000 residents in 1981 to only 7 residents in 2013.

It is suspected that the fire started from the deliberate burning of trash down in the mine, igniting a coal seam. The mine continues to burn to this day and is estimated to burn for another 250 years.

Many of the buildings in town have been leveled and most of the properties are condemned under eminent domain. The US Postal Service even revoked the ZIP Code 17927. The remaining 7 residents are allowed to live out their lives there, but no new residents can move in due to safety reasons.

The fire causes the town to be filled with smoke and ash. This has led to Centralia becoming a fairly large tourist attraction. It embodies the aesthetic of a “ghost” town, in more than one way.

This aesthetic has inspired many horror stories. It is a common reference when referring to physical manifestations of hell and has inspired the film Silent Hill, the books Strange Highways and Vampire Zero, and the 1991 movie Nothing but Trouble.

Have you been to Centralia, Pennsylvania? We’d like to know about it. Let us know what you think in the comments below!


One thought on “The Story of Centralia, Pennsylvania

  1. I remember this incident. I remember a urban legend that the fire was actually started in someone attempting to open a portal or summon a demon within the mind. Some of those horror movies were good.

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