Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Pennsylvania

Welcome to the A-Z challenge, where we'll be blogging our way through the alphabet throughout the month of April. My theme will be places--it may be a specific place, a state, or a country. It will be whatever I think is spooky, beautiful, or intriguing. I'll be rating each stop on the way with those factors, with 5 being the highest score, and 1 being the lowest score. I hope it will inspire any writers, or travelers out there in Bloggerland. So, thanks for stopping by, and enjoy!

P = Pennsylvania
Our tour stops in an odd place off of Route 61 in Columbia County. Be prepared there will be no amenities. There is a town in Pennsylvania and the population is 12. Welcome to the ghost town of Centralia, PA.
In 1962 this average American town went up in flames beneath the earth in a mine fire. Most of the town was bought out and relocated because the conditions in Centralia were inhabitable. The mine fire also spread into the town of Byrnesville which caused another town to be abandoned an relocated.

"This was a world where no human could live, hotter than the planet Mercury, its atmosphere as poisonous as Saturn's. At the heart of the fire, temperatures easily exceeded 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit [540 degrees Celsius]. Lethal clouds of carbon monoxide and other gases swirled through the rock chambers."— David DeKok, Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government, and the Centralia Mine Fire (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986) Taken from Wiki

From the quote above it sounds like hell on earth. Today very few homes remain, and after 50 years the fire still burns. The area looks like a field with paved streets with smoke that still billows up from the ground.

Enter at your own risk!

Biblio: Wiki, picture source


Mike Keyton said...

That is spooky. I'm surprised no entrepeneur has marketed it as some kind of theme park. Underground mines are fascinating. Much of Bath is riddled with old mines, some of which are in a parlous state. A bunch of Welsh miners were recently brought in to effect repairs. We have one burning mine in the Midlands - how long is your one expected to last?

Julie Flanders said...

I live in Ohio and have driven through PA several times on trips east but have never heard of this town or what happened there. How horrific!

Anonymous said...

Creepy. Reminds me of the Silent Hill movie. The MC goes to a town that has some fire burning that has been raging on for years and it's quite toxic. Inspiration maybe?

M Pax said...

I've not heard of that town. Wow. Definite fodder for a story...

Mina Lobo said...

Quelle bizarre. How is it possible that the fire still burns? Like, why hasn't local government sorted that out, already? (OK, there's not a local government, 'cause ain't nobody there, but still, there's government within a few miles' radius, surely?)
Some Dark Romantic