Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Visiting the Real Silent Hill

My brother had been talking about taking a quick trip to Centralia, the real Silent Hill, so my family decided to go, too. We loaded up the car and went to spend the weekend with him.

The population of the town has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 9 in 2007,[30] as a result of a 47-year-old mine fire burning beneath the borough.

In 1962, an exposed vein of coal ignited, possibly due to the burning of garbage at the borough landfill. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful; the fire is still burning and will continue to do so for the indefinite future. Adverse health effects were reported by several people due to the carbon monoxide produced.

In 1984, Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted buyout offers and moved. Today a handful of occupied homes remain in Centralia. Most of the buildings have been razed, and at casual glance the area now appears to be a meadow with several paved streets through it, and some areas are being filled with new-growth forest.

Route 61 had to be moved after the underground fires ruined the road. It's been taken over by teens who have re-named it Graphity Highway. The road is now host to lots of naughty drawings. If you know anything about the movie or video game, then you understand the significance of the sirens. While we were walking on the road, the sirens went off! It was too surreal because we had been talking and joking about the monsters all day. We were a half a mile or so from the entrance, so there was no running to the car.

The local cemeteries are still maintained as well as they can, but the rolling of the land has knocked down many of the stones. The town had a large population of Russians and the headstones clearly show their influence.

In researching the different elements of Silent Hill, screen writer Roger Avary was inspired when he heard of Centralia, Pennsylvania, and decided to base the film on it.

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Reader Wil said...

Spooky! Thank you for telling about this Silent Hill! It must have been quite scary for you to walk in an empty town.

3:19 AM  
Blogger RuneE said...

I have heard a bit about that fire - it is frightening in every aspect of the word.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I have read about the mines that burned before but not sure if it is all the same one. Must be a disaster for the local people.

Thanks for helping me to make history.
Pick a Peck of Pixels

6:24 AM  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

That is wild!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Never heard of it. Thanks for the educational tour. It's very intriguing and sad too.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It is always interesting to research ghost towns. Centralia is a special case as it became a ghost town because of an unending underground fire.

In Northern Ontario there are many ghost towns from which people just walked away from when a remote mine closed.

There is even a ghost township on a large island in Lake Huron.

Our neighbouring community, Desaunliers, is considered a ghost town with only a few homes left. It used to be a small hamlet centered around a saw mill and a railroad siding.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Coy said...

Very interesting story Gretchen. I do remember reading about this back when it began, thanks so much for the update.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

The real scenario of Silent Hill is pretty amazing, it reflects the dangerous roads and the isolated city, that was the main scenario from the movie. This film gets me so excited like the generic viagra pills. buy viagra viagra

12:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home