Centralia — an exploration

Last weekend, Clio, Zoe and I drove to Pennsylvania to explore the mining town Centralia.

We explored the options of investigating Lynnewood Estate, and spoke with the real estate broker tasked with selling the house. However, he quickly told us we would not be granted access, and he already had drone footage of the house so that pitch didn’t work. As for Dudleytown, it also seemed obvious that for a three week project, it would take us too long to get permission and find people to talk to, so we thought it would make more sense to find a place where we would not require permission to access, and would have an interesting story to tell.

Welcome to Centralia.

This Pennsylvania mining town is known because it has been condemned due to a mine fire of 1962, leading to the abandonment of the town, with only seven residents remaining to live out their natural lives. It has inspired many horror tales, from Silent Hill to other manifestations of Hell, despite the fact that no one had ever died as a result of the continuous fire. However, the images of smoke emerging from the ruptured ground  and the wasteland of an abandoned township made it ripe for myth-making.

Our project is to explore how people’s fascination of an interesting myth shape the exploration of what is essentially a quaint area that is anything but terrifying.