If you’re a fan of Silent Hill, what you may no know is that it was based on real-life abandoned town, Centralia, that’s more bone-chilling than the movies.
This eerie ghost town is an abandoned coal mining borough in Pennsylvania, USA. Abandoned in the 1962 after a coal mining fire that still burns under the surface of the town, the town was quickly abandoned.
Originally a thriving coal mining town with around 2,000 residents, Centralia’s population soon dwindled to only around 1,000 residents in 1980 to just 63 in 1990. Today, there are just 5 residents living there, making it the least-populated municipality in Pennsylvania.
The original cause for the Centralia mine fire is still up for debate, but some say it was due to trash being thrown in a landfill near an abandoned strip mine which ignited a coal vein. The coal fire spread through the labyrinth of coal mines beneath the town, creating a giant underground inferno that still burns today.
Centralia has been burning for 60 years and has given the ghost town a big name in the paranormal community as well as being the inspiration behind the Silent Hill franchise. Some say it’s a gateway to hell, but this is probably just due to the imagination of visitors who see the underground inferno pushing steam out the ground, giving it an incredibly spooky vibe.
Tourism has increased over the years as the idea of visiting a ”ghost town” intrigued many thrill-seekers.
Centralia became even more popular during the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic as it was something for quarantined Americans to do while still adhering to the social distancing as the town in all but abandoned, though the dangers for visitors is still present.
On April 6, 2020, Pagnotti Enterprises buried Graffiti Highway (one of the main road leading through Centralia that has an incredible display of graffiti) under truckloads of dirt due to concerns about liability as more tourists visit the area during the coronavirus pandemic.
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