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The Real Silent Hill - Centralia, PA - Underground Mine Fire Burning Since '62
For those who are unaware, Centralia, PA has a mine fire burning deep underneath the town. The fire started in the trash pit back in 1962 and has been burning ever since. Estimates put the duration of the burn (From this point) in centuries - 250-500 years or more. Roger Avery, director of the "Silent Hill" movie, has said part of his inspiration for the movie was from Centralia. He was told about Centralia when he was a child by his father. He and the production crew for the movie visited Centralia as well.
I edited a video late last night (1am). It has some good shots of the highway, smoke from the fire, the church, etc. I've only edited 1 other video ever, so it's nothing amazing.
Click here for the video:
Once a thriving mountain town with thousands of people, on top of a massive deposite of Anthracite coal (the longest burning coal in the world), Centralia has deteriorated significantly over the years. Currently the population estimate is under 7 people. As of yesterday it seems only 2-3 houses, a church, an autobody style shop, and the municpal building remain.
Route 61, the main north-south thru-road, has had problems as well. The only Route 61 has subsided extensively. That part of the road has been closed, and a new road around it has been established for several years now. As you can see from the image below, it is not somewhere you want to drive your car. Though a Jeep, or other four wheel drive vehicle makes for a fun time:
As you heard from the video, this is the most people I've EVER seen here on one trip:
This part of Centralia is the ridge that runs west to east:
In the distance you can see new wind turbines that were added over the last 2-3 years:
You can also see the church:
Which upon closer inspection, is really quite near to the church in "Silent Hill" - closer shot:
One of 3 cemetaries in town:
Heading out of town to the East provides some great trails. There are some nice powerlines trails, and intersecting trails that provide some mild wheeling. Nothing too crazy, but it can get a little sketchy at times. Some shots here:
Since I'm sure some of you enjoy the "smoke" photos - here are some older photos with the smoke:
Self portrait of me hanging out in one of the smoke filled holes:
Here is a "drive around" video of the town. You can see one of the remaining houses, and the rest is .. well, just empty streets.
The video is here:
More trips, more videos, more photos in the future. I'm open to recommendations on what you would like to see more of when I head up there next time.