This week we visit the real life town that inspired the 2006 movie Silent Hill… Centralia, PA.
Located in coal mining country of eastern Pennsylvania, the town once boasted a population of a thousand people in 1981, but now has been all but abandoned with a population of ten. The reason for this is a fire that has been burning beneath the town since 1962. No one knows the exact cause of the fire, although some of the theories circulate around a fire starting at the city landfill that spread into the mines along a vein of anthracite coal. As the years went on, the fire spread closer to the town, with telltale signs of smoke and steam rising from the ground. No matter what methods were used to cut off the fire or stop it in its tracks, nothing worked. Eventually, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, amongst other gaseous byproducts, were being detected in the residents’ homes. Sinkholes also began to appear. It is these elements that were included in the movie adaptation of the popular game series.
Today, the town is all but abandoned, with most of its residents having long ago relocated to other areas. Those who remain are determined to stay until their dying day. Centralia itself still exists as long as the townspeople who refused to relocate still live, as per a court order. Eventually, the town will be a memory, but one that has a creepy vibe about it when the steam and fog rolls on in.
Until next time Addicts,