Probably no would argue that there is something enchanting about abandoned places. The peaceful grace of human absence just feels so haunting but compelling at the same time. Surely enough though, almost nothing is truly abandoned as some adventure seekers wander in from time to time to remind the nature that quickly creeps back in to claim the abandoned place for itself, that people have not completely forgotten about it. The same happened with this abandoned part of Route 61 in Pennsylvania. The one truly special thing about it though is that people who set foot in it after its abandonment rarely leave without leaving their mark on it.
“Fun with a side of sad and creepy” is a review on TripAdvisor that probably best describes this place
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The Graffiti Highway is located in Centralia, Pennsylvania, about two and a half hours northwest of Philadelphia and has quite a colorful history. However, its history began to dim in the spring of 1962 during Memorial Day preparations.
The nearly one-mile stretch of Route 61 has been abandoned since the early 1990s
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The town officials decided they would deal with the excess trash by burning them before the big Memorial Day Parade. Little did they know that the landfill blaze would hit a live coal vein under the town and would cause fires leading to the town’s demise.
The mine fires in Centralia, Pennsylvania posed a real threat to its structural integrity
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The fire slowly spread around the mines under the city. The fires would start and be doused and then start again – nothing could stop them from coming back. Therefore, in the mid-1980s, the government decided to relocate as many residents as possible and provided more than $42 million to help that. More than 1000 people accepted the offer which led to 500 buildings getting demolished.
Nearly 1000 residents living around it were relocated and their houses demolished
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Once a thriving small town became a ghost town. Only a handful of people were still aware of the still-burning town still existed. Only a few wanderers would step on the abandoned road from time to time. Some of them started leaving their graffiti markings around the 2000s.
The road section itself was left to the elements
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The always burning ghost town came back in the eye of the public after the release of the movie “Silent Hill” back in 2006. With the rise of popularity, the amount of graffiti on the abandoned section of Route 61 accelerated as well. Most of the highway was covered in artwork and names of the visitors by the year 2010. Hence, it got dubbed The Graffiti Highway.
For some time, people didn’t have much interest in the area but then some curious adventurers found interest in the abandoned area
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It seems that they figured the abandoned highway would make the perfect canvas and started marking it with its first graffiti
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The abandoned area even served as an inspiration for the famous movie “Silent Hill”
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After its release, Centralia got much more popular amongst adventurous souls who didn’t hesitate to leave their graffiti markings on Route 61
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Most of the highway got covered by the year 2010, that’s when it got the notorious name of the Graffiti Highway
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