The residents of the 'real Silent Hill' want you to leave them alone


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That’s a pretty good longread.

I remember wanting to go check out the fires as a kid in the '70s, AND I am a fan of the first three Silent Hills, but for completely unrelated reasons. Now this crap is going on, I’m not so sure.

Side note: I always thought Pyramid Head was wearing a hat/helmet of some sort…not that it was actually his head.


“Centralia, PA has been on fire for 53 years”

Some Fire Department they have there…


We’ve got one of those near where I live.
A mine fire, that is. I don’t know if it’s haunted. Been burning for over 130 years.



Radiolab did a bit on this city:


Harpers published an excellent story about Centralia about 10 years ago:

Also - there are no residents of Centralia anymore, so they can’t be left alone. It’s 100% depopulated.


There were still 10 people living there as of the 2010 census, and the article mentions that there are still 5 or 6 people there today.


The longer the Powers That Be wait before diverting the Susquehanna into the mines, the worse the damage will be in the end.


I’ve been there twice, and can confirm there is no one living in Centralia today. There were a couple houses standing when I first went a decade ago (when the Harpers article was published), but they’re gone now. There are still residents in Ashland and Mt Carmel however. The whole area fascinates me; it was clearly a thriving community at one time but is barely hanging on today.


We got lost and drove through there about 30 years ago. it was creepy, but I figured out what was going on when I saw the smoking pipes sticking out of people’s lawns.


I wonder how often they get cosplayers with big pyramids on their heads walking the streets. The novelty must eventually wear off.


There was a second Silent Hill movie?


Centralia provided the inspiration for the fictional township of Valkenvania in the strange 1991 movie “Nothing But Trouble” with Demi Moore, Dan Akroyd, John Candy and Chevy Chase. I don’t really know what to say about the movie. So bad it’s good? More than likely it is just bad.


It’s the fire department who started it, actually

They decided to do a big controlled burn of garbage on a patch of land that no-one realized had a stretch of the local coal seam directly under it.


Possibly the worst movie I ever saw in a theater. Pure garbage.

On another note,: I really do want to visit Centralia (if I ever get around that area)


How awesome is that.

[note sarcasm]


Yes, I’d be interested to see it. Another interetsing abandoned town is Chaiten in Chile. It was buried in volcanic ash that washed into town down the river, following an eruption of a nearby volcano.

DSC_6509 by Winky, on Flickr


I’d like to point out the fact that there’s a common misconception about Centralia being the inspiration for Silent Hill. It wasn’t. Centralia was, however, Christophe Gans’s inspiration for the version that appeared in the films… which shared little with the original version of SH. Other than the fog, as it did not rain ash in the first game… it was snowing. Do not confuse the movies with the whole of Silent Hill. The games are way different and infinitely better.


Also… In the original version in the games… There are no coal fires beneath the town. Most of what was in the movie was not in the game… at all. In conclusion, Centralia is NOT the “real Silent Hill” and never will be.