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An in-depth View
Film and Song
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Mine Fire History
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Satellite, Aerial Photos
360 Virtual Tours
Downtown Panoramic
Centralia Multimedia
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Memories of Centralia


Panoramic Virtual Tours:

Mine Fire Hot Spot
Downtown Centralia Mainstreet Centralia Damaged Hillside

 
 
   
Knoebels Amusement Park (only 15 miles from Centralia!) 
Ghost Towns
Area 51 - Groom Lake
Abandoned PA Turnpike
Defunct Amusement Parks
Abandoned Places

  

Photo Updates:


Centralia in HDR

July 2006 360? Virtual Tour of Downtown Centralia PA

Centralia's Neighbor:
Byrnesville, Pa

Zeisloft's Mobil
Gas Station

July 5th 2008
Centralia PA

Centralia PA 2008
January Photos and 
commentary by
Donald Davis


2006 Photos


2005 Photos
of Centralia


 

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2004 Photos
of Centralia


2003 photos

of Centralia

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2002 photos

of Centralia

360 Degree Virtual Tours of Centralia PA
 

Fire In The Hole
by Kristie Betts
A fictional story based on Centralia
 

The Little
Town That Was

by Donald Hollinger

 

RESIDENTS TO SAVE THE BOROUGH OF CENTRALIA - FACT SHEET #6 - MARCH 1984 - This "Fact Sheet" was transcribed from a photocopied, original March 1984 newsletter from a Centralia organization called "Residents To Save The Borough Of Centralia".  Read the News Letter here


130th Anniversary
of the 1877 Shamokin Uprising and the Great Railroad Strike .. Read More

 

Centralia Today
A Photo Documentary
of Centralia today.

 

Mine Emergency Response Program
Details from the
Saskatchewan
Mine Rescue Manual
 

 

 

Is Centralia Haunted?

  
Located in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, Centralia's story began in 1841 as a coal boomtown community called "Bull's Head".  Bull's Head was later incorporated as borough of Centralia in 1866 by the local coal companies who mined the rich Anthracite coal from the area surrounding the small town.  For the town of Centralia these rich deposits of Anthracite coal proved to be a double edged sword, when in 1962, the coal beneath the town caught fire.  Through the 1980's and 1990's the fire slowly tore their town apart politically from above and and physically from below. Nearly all of the homes, businesses and buildings were torn down as families left their beloved town behind and the Zip Code of 17927 was revoked.  Centralia was disappearing.  Today it is merely a skeleton of what it once was.

 
    
Ghost Towns
Visit Ghost Towns across America

Abandoned PA Turnpike
Did you know Pennsylvania
has an abandoned Turnpike?
Defunct Amusement Parks
Amusement Parks of Yesterday
Abandoned Places
Abandoned Locations from all over
Area 51 - Groom Lake
The Top-secret military base.

As people from near and far learn of the story of Centralia, they come to visit.  Most are awestruck by what they see.  A grid work of  streets without names, without homes.  Remnants of properties such as steps to a front door that is no longer there.  A few abandoned buildings scattered here and there, surrounded by smoldering hillsides and devastated wastelands.  3 cemeteries remaining on the grounds of a church that was torn down years ago.  Only a very few occupied homes remain. 

While no lives had been lost that can be directly attributed to the mine fire, what has been lost is the soul of a community.  With any strange or unusual occurrence comes rumors and stories.   Centralia is no different in that respect.  Walking amid the ruins of this modern day ghost town gives one the feeling of supernatural forces working under foot.  From visitors to the town, stories arose from these ashes.  Some were stories from visitors who left in fear after thinking they saw a person or thing, heard odd sounds and some felt they were being watched.  Others go as far as to say Centralia is the gateway to Hell.  Imaginations can run wild.  As Centralia becomes a modern day ghost town and the fire encroaches upon the grave yards of the abandoned town, rumors have circulated that Centralia is haunted. 

Recently the movie Silent Hill has fueled rumors.  Silent Hill by Sony Pictures, is a story about a small town in West Virginia called Silent Hill.  When researching the different elements of Silent Hill, screenwriter Roger Avary came across the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania.  Centralia planted the seed for what developed into the cinematic version of the town of Silent Hill.  The movie invites the audience to explore their fears of the unknown.  Yet, Silent Hill is a horror film and a work of fiction. For more about the connect of Silent Hill the movie with Centralia click here.

Centralia on the other hand is a real town.  A tangible location that can be visited and explored.  Quite frequently it is.  Centralia is not a tourist attraction.  The dangers are real.  The story of Centralia is real.  People visit the town and leave with a deep impression on their soul.  Some people swear there was more to the visit than sight seeing.  Some leave with their own stories.  Occasionally a story emerges that makes you wonder if there really is a soul of Centralia.  Disturbed by its fate, haunted by its past.  Possibly the disturbed souls of those departed, buried in the three cemeteries in Centralia who can not rest knowing the town they grew up in, worked in, lived in and loved is now gone.  Lost to fire and the incompetence of those who could have stopped it from taking the town and their final resting place from them.

There is the story posted on a bulletin board a few years ago of Ruth Edderson who visited in the fall of 1998.  Ruth and her friend swore they saw a couple of people walking out of the smoke who appeared to be wearing mining helmets.  The two figures walked up out of the large subsidence hole behind the grave yards and de-materializes like the smoke rising out of the same hole.

 

 

 

Scott Sailor of Mays Landing NJ, wrote in an email: 

"I visited Centralia last weekend with a couple of friends and I thought I might share a very weird experience I had while exploring the town.  We were there for about an hour and a half and were checking out the interesting locations that I heard about, like the burning hill side, the crack in Rt. 61 and the streets without homes.  We were in the area next to an old cemetery, on the east side of the town, east of Rt. 61.  We had just checked out the old tombstones and were getting a whiff of smoke from the east of that so we walked down the old gravel road to look around.  We found a slag covered hill side with steam coming out of it and were pretty fascinated by some fossils we found, when we heard what sounded like a voice saying something in-auditable from down below where we were.  All three of us heard it.  We figured it was someone else checking out the area too so we sort of ignored it.  Then we heard it again, a little more clearly.  A few words and it sort of sounded like "leave this place".  At that moment the hill we were standing on started steaming more than a few moments before and it really stunk, like rotten eggs (sulfur I guess).  Well, it sort of spooked us so we figured we better head back to the car.  As we were walking back, in the area of the cemetery, we heard it again, not the same words and not clear but something like "why ... why did you do that."  What was even weirder was that it wasn't like someone was yelling it out of the bushes, it was quiet, and kind of closer and we couldn't figure out the direction it was coming from.  Too weird.   We got back to our car and didn't see any other cars or people the whole time we were there.  We left and weren't sure what to make of it.  We really weren't sure we wanted to talk about it.  All I know is I'm not going back.  When I got home I found out that the area where I we were walking was near the location that was where the fired started, across from the cemetery.  I just thought I'd let you know about it.  Something is not right about that place."

Jim and his girlfriend Laurie emailed this in the fall of 1999:

Hi, My name is Jim.  About a month ago, my girlfriend Laurie and I were coming back from Knoebels and we decided to take 61 home and stop at Centralia to take a look as we did once before.  First let me say, we're not superstitious.  In fact we're quite the opposite, we like checking out abandoned places and old buildings, old cemeteries and that sort of thing.  We've seen a lot of old, abandoned homes over the years but the one we checked out in Centralia about a month ago really gave us a fright.  It was a white abandoned twin home, up on a side street, on a hill.  There were two units and both had red numbers sprayed on the front which indicated from what I gathered the homes were probably set to be demolished in the near future. So we decided to check it out.  The back door was open so we went in.  The some of the first floor windows were boarded up, making it dark but we explored the old house a little.  We were on the second floor in the hallway, near the stairs that led up and down to the first and the third floor.  The door was open leading up to the third floor.  Laurie was in the hallway while I was at the top of the steps that lead downstairs.   At that point we heard foot steps coming down the stairs from the 3rd floor.  It sounded to me that the steps were coming down the ceiling above the steps going down to the first floor so my first thought was someone coming down out of the attic (or third floor bedroom).  At first we were startled and thought someone else was in the house.  As the foot sets sounded like they were about to reach the 2nd floor hallway, Laurie looked into the stairwell, expecting to see someone.  There wasn't anyone there!  At the same time, I looked down the steps to the first floor and saw nobody.   We just stared at each other for a few seconds.  I said, You want to leave? She said yes.  We made a bee line down to the back door where we came in and out to the car.  We drove a about a hundred feet and stopped to look back at the house, looking at the windows.  I mean, we expected to see someone  looking out at us.  Nothing though.  Really weird.  Like someone walked down those stairs but we couldn't se them! Freaked us out.  Anyway, I don't know what to make of that.  You wouldn't know who used to live in that house?  Not even sure where it was or what the numbers were but if ever I thought a house was haunted, it would be that one. Sort of changed my impression of old vacant homes.

- Jim

Whether these stories have any validity or alternate explanations is difficult to say.  Sometimes people see what they want to see.  Some folks believe they are more open to these types of experiences.  In the end everyone believes what they want to believe.  Some believe Centralia is haunted.  For some, that is what draws them there. For others it is reason to never visit in the first place.

  
Other Links of Interesting
      
Ghost Towns
Visit Ghost Towns across America
Abandoned PA Turnpike
Did you know Pennsylvania
has an abandoned Turnpike?
Defunct Amusement Parks
Amusement Parks of Yesterday
Abandoned Places
Abandoned Locations from all over
Area 51 - Groom Lake
The Top-secret military base.
 
Underground flames erase a community
  
Ghost Towns

Abandoned PA Turnpike
  
Defunct Amusement Parks

Abandoned Places
  
Knoebels Amusement Park

 

 
  Mine Fire History Mine Fire History Historical Photos
  Pictures From Today Mine Fire Chronology Visiting Centralia
  Centralia Then & Now 360? Virtual Tours Scientific Study
  Satellite, Aerial Photos Downtown Panoramic Centralia Books

  

Other Interesting Things

 

 


 

So you want to Visit Centralia PA?  What you should know before you go to Centralia PA.

 


 

What's near Centralia?

Plan your visit around one of Pennsylvania's best kept secrets located only 15 miles up the road from Centralia...


Knoebels
Amusement Park

Click Below for
 more details...

Knoebels
Amusement Park

 


Silent Hill & Centralia
Centralia PA inspires screenwriter Roger Avary during the making of the movie Silent Hill.
Read More Here...

 

Remembering ...
Byrnesville PA
By Mike Reilley

 
  Books about Centralia
  Maps of Centralia
  Around Town Today
  Local Attractions
 
  Personal Notes
  Additional Reading
  Haunted Centralia?
 
  Gerry McWilliams and
  the album "Centralia"
  
  Silent Hill Inspiration
  Other Mine Fires
  Search Centralia
  Centralia Sites/Books
  
Panoramic Virtual Tours:
Mine Fire Hot Spot
Downtown Centralia Mainstreet Centralia Damaged Hillside
  
 
  Centralia Infrared


Centralia PA in B&W Infrared
Infrared Photography
by Donald Davis

Video Tour
in Infrared of
Centralia PA
by Donald Davis

  

The Little Town That Was
by Donald Hollinger
 
  
Made in U.S.A. - 1987 movie that was filmed on location in Centralia PA See the opening Scene that started in Centralia during the peek of the mine fire disaster

 
 

 

Is Centralia Haunted?
Explore the possibility

  

  

  

Is there Hope
for Centralia?

Maybe...

Through the use of Nitrogen-Enhanced foam the Pinnacle mine fire was extinguished by Cummins Industries, Inc.  Cummins proposes to tackle the Centralia Mine fire and bring an end to the 
40 plus year fire.

Read this White Paper which evaluates the effectiveness of remotely applied nitrogen-enhanced foam to aid in efforts to isolate and suppress a mine fire.