Pennsylvania Has an Abandoned Town That Most People Don’t Know About


Pennsylvania is a historically, culturally, and naturally beautiful state. However, it also possesses a sinister aspect that remains concealed from the majority of individuals. A town located in the northeastern region of the state, which was once prosperous and flourishing, is now deserted and deteriorating. This is the tale of the abandoned village of Centralia, which is unknown to the majority of people.

The Rise and Fall of Centralia

Centralia was established in 1866 as a coal mining town. It was called after the nearby Centralia Mine, one of the largest and most prolific in the area. In its heyday, Centralia had a population of over 2,000 people who participated in a thriving communal life that included churches, schools, stores, and social organizations.

However, Centralia’s fortunes began to fall in the 1950s, when coal demand fell and mines closed. Many citizens fled the town in search of better possibilities elsewhere, leaving abandoned properties and a dwindling tax base. By 1962, Centralia had fewer than 1,000 residents and was dealing with a significant issue: a subterranean fire.

The Fire That Never Dies

The source of the fire is still debated, but the most widely accepted view is that it was started by planned trash burning at a dump site on top of an abandoned coal mine. The fire started in the coal seam below and spread across the town’s network of tunnels and shafts. Despite multiple attempts by local and state authorities to put out the fire, it remained unabated. The fire burned the coal, resulting in hazardous gasses, sinkholes, and cracks that let forth smoke and steam.

The fire posed a major threat to the health and safety of Centralia’s remaining residents, who were forced to deal with the aftermath of the fire daily. The vapors caused some people to have headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues. Others suffered home and property damage as a result of subsidence and erosion. Some people lost their dogs and animals in the fire because they fell into the holes or suffocated from the smoke.

The Abandonment of Centralia

The federal government chose to transfer Centralia residents in 1984 after the fire became unmanageable and the town was declared a disaster area. The government offered to buy out the residents’ properties, and they had the option of accepting the offer or staying at their own risk.

Centralia was officially disincorporated as a municipality in 1992 after the majority of its population chose to depart. Only a few residents remained, refusing to give up their houses and land rights.

Today, Centralia is a ghost town, with only a few buildings and structures remaining. The fire is still raging and is expected to persist for another 250 years. The town is often off-limits to visitors because it is deemed unsafe and illegal to enter. However, some curious and adventurous people continue to visit the area, particularly the Graffiti Highway, a piece of the former Route 61 that has been closed and covered with graffiti by tourists.

The Legacy of Centralia

Centralia was once a vibrant community, but it is now defunct and forgotten. It is a town that has been destroyed by a man-made, unstoppable fire. The government and society abandoned the community, but its devoted and defiant citizens did not. It is a town that is both mysterious and tragic, as well as a lesson and a warning.

Centralia is a town that few people are familiar with, yet should be.


Centralia, Pennsylvania, was once a major coal mining village, but it is now abandoned and deteriorating. An underground fire that began decades ago continues to blaze beneath its surface, releasing dangerous gasses and generating sinkholes. In 1984, the federal authorities removed inhabitants, leaving a ghost town. Centralia’s legacy is a stark reminder of the dangers of unchecked environmental disasters.

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