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Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia is a borough and near-ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from more than 1,000 residents in 1980 to only 7 in 2013—a result of the coal mine fire which has been burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia, which is part of the Bloomsburg–Berwick metropolitan area, is the least-populated municipality in Pennsylvania. It is completely surrounded by Conyngham Township.

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Many of the roads in Centralia look like this. The fire underground and the gases escaping have caused the roads to buckle and separate. It has also caused sinkholes in the area, which petrifies me, because I have this fear of falling into the Earth and dying. This link has several pictures of what the town looks like now.

Contributed by Bridgette Johnson

I've been fascinated by abandoned places for a few years now. Doing a Google search a few months back for the Top 100 Abandoned Places, sent me down a rabbit hole about Centralia, Pennsylvania. There is a fire burning underneath the ground, and it has been burning for 51 years now. The town is the inspiration for the video game Silent Hill. On May 27, 1962, firefighters in the town set the town landfill on fire in an attempt to tidy up for Memorial Day. What actually happened is that this somehow set a coal seam underground on fire, the fire that has been raging for over half a century.

Contributed by Bridgette Johnson

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