If you’ve seen the movie “Silent Hill,” you witnessed a current ghost town that was once prosperous and populated. What you may not know is this seemingly fictional town actually exists.
“Silent Hill,” the town, was modeled after Centralia, Pennsylvania. This once-thriving town is now all, but empty. Only a few residents remain due to the hazardous conditions. It is ironically located near a town called “Ashland.” Visitors who don’t follow the detour will run into large road signs stating, “Area subject to mine subsidence and toxic gas emissions.”
In the early 1960s, Centralia was a bustling mining town. It was a town with stores, diners, and surrounded by homes and residences. There was an old abandoned mine used for burning trash. What residents didn’t know was that an exposed vein of coal remained open in the depths of the mine. As you can imagine, all the burning drifted towards this fuel. The fire spread to this vein and the rest is history.
Many attempts through the years were made to extinguish this fire, everything from countless gallons of water in the beginning to Federal attempts through the years. They haven’t stopped burning and scientists estimate the fires could continue to burn for 100 years or more.
The growing concern is the fire will continue to consume all coal underground and, by doing so, spread throughout the subterranean areas of the region. If this should happen, the surrounding towns would also need to be evacuated.
Want to learn more about this mysterious place? Here are some links: