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Welcome to Hell, Pennsylvania

The town of Centralia located in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, was once a busy town filled with people, banks, a theater, their own school district, you know…town stuff. That is, until hell rose from the depths and took over.

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Ok, yes, I’m being rather hyperbolic here, but the town was hellish enough to serve as inspiration for the film adaptation of the “Silent Hill” video game, as well as feature prominently in a number of horror novels. What turned this prosperous little community into a smoking ruin?

In 1962, and nobody knows exactly how it started, the extensive abandoned coal mines under the town caught fire. And NOTHING could be done about it. The streets cracked open, fire and burning steam poured out, eventually making the town all but unlivable. By 1981, things had gotten out of control. Sinkholes were opening up, toxic carbon monoxide gas was billowing out of the cracks in the road…something had to be done. In 1984, Congress allocated money to relocate the residents and most of them gladly accepted the offer. By today the town has ten (stubborn) residents and all but a few of the original buildings are gone.

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You can still visit the town, more hellish in the winter as the heated steam is that much more visible in the cold weather. The roads are undrivable, cracked so wide open and covered with graffiti. Strangely the graveyards remain immaculate; former residents pay to keep their loved one’s final resting places in good shape. It does one speculate as to why more horror movies don’t get filmed there. Looking for a Hellmouth? We got your Hellmouth.

 

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