Here Are The 7 Abandoned Ghost Towns to Visit in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania has a long history, a vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty. However, it also has a darker side, as seen by the numerous ghost towns that dot the countryside. These are communities that were previously prosperous but were abandoned for a variety of causes, including economic downturn, environmental calamities, or social upheaval. Some of these ghost towns are still open to visitors, but others are closed or have been reclaimed by nature. Here are seven of Pennsylvania’s most fascinating and spooky ghost towns to visit.


Centralia is possibly the most well-known ghost town in Pennsylvania and for a good cause. It is the location of an underground coal fire that has been burning since 1962, resulting in a hellish environment of smoke, steam, and sinkholes. The fire was started by rubbish burning, which ignited a coal seam and proved impossible to extinguish. The town was gradually deserted, and only a few people remain. The majority of the buildings have been removed or rotted, and the streets are overrun with vegetation. Centralia is predicted to burn for another 250 years, serving as a perpetual reminder of the risks of coal mining.

Frick’s Locks

Fricks Locks is a ghost town that was abandoned due to the construction of a nuclear power station. The town was formed in the 18th century by John Frick, a German immigrant who constructed a canal lock and mill on the Schuylkill River. The town thrived as a transportation center and farming hamlet until the 1960s when the Limerick Nuclear Generating Station was constructed nearby. The population were compelled to relocate, leaving the town in ruin. The settlement is now part of a historic district, with some of the structures restored. Visitors can join guided tours of the village to learn about its history and fate.


Lausanne is now a ghost town, having been abandoned due to a railroad bypass. Moravian missionaries created the town in the early nineteenth century, and they named it after a Swiss city. The community was formerly a halt on the Lehigh Canal before becoming a railroad junction. The town thrived as a coal mining and lumbering hub until the 1870s when a new railroad line bypassed it. The village quickly decayed, and by the 1930s, it was mostly uninhabited. The village is now part of the Lehigh Gorge State Park, where tourists can hike or bike along the old railroad tracks to explore the remnants of the settlement.

Rausch Gap

Rausch Gap is a ghost town that was abandoned by a flood. The community was created in the 1820s by German immigrants who lived in the Stony Creek valley. The settlement was a mining and logging village that also operated as a Pennsylvania Railroad station. In 1889, the town experienced a severe flood that destroyed many of its buildings and bridges. The town never recovered and was eventually abandoned. The town is now part of Swatara State Park, and tourists can explore the ruins as well as the cemetery, which contains the remains of numerous flood victims.

Yellow Dog

Yellow Dog is a ghost town that was abandoned following a strike. The town was formed in the late nineteenth century by the Yellow Dog Coal Company, which had a mine and a coke oven in the vicinity. The village was home to approximately 200 employees and their families, who resided in company-owned homes. In 1906, the town was the site of a violent labor struggle, when workers went on strike to demand higher wages and improved working conditions. The corporation hired armed guards and strikebreakers, resulting in a gunfight that left numerous individuals dead or injured. The strike was eventually settled, but the community never recovered its wealth. The settlement was abandoned during the 1930s, and the mine and coke oven were decommissioned. The settlement is now part of the Forbes State Forest, where tourists may observe the house foundations and the coke oven.


Alvira is a ghost town that was abandoned during a conflict. William Foulke developed the town in the early nineteenth century when he erected a sawmill and a gristmill on White Deer Creek. The settlement expanded as a farming and milling hamlet, with a school, church, and post office. The federal government captured the town in 1942 as part of its World War II campaign. The village housed an ordnance depot, which stored and tested explosives and ammunition. The occupants were evicted, and the structures were either destroyed or burned. The settlement is currently part of State Game Lands 252, where tourists can observe the town’s ruins and bunkers.

Concrete City

Concrete City is a ghost town that was abandoned after a lawsuit. The Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad established the village in 1911 as a model housing project for its employees. The settlement comprised of 20 concrete duplexes equipped with electricity, plumbing, and heating. The village also included a school, a playground, and a swimming pool. The town was regarded as a success until the 1920s when the railroad was sued by the state for failing to provide a sewerage system. The railroad chose to abandon the town rather than pay for sewer infrastructure. The settlement was abandoned by 1924, and the structures were left to degrade. The town is now managed by the Nanticoke Historical Society, and tourists can see the concrete dwellings and the graffiti that covers them.

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Pennsylvania is home to many ghost towns, each with its own unique tale and beauty. These ghost towns are more than just historical remnants; they are also tourist attractions. They provide an opportunity to learn about the state’s history, culture, and nature, as well as to experience the mystery and beauty of these forgotten locations. These seven abandoned ghost towns in Pennsylvania are a must-see for anybody seeking adventure, knowledge, or inspiration.

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