An underground mine fire gone seriously wrong led to this modern ghost town northwest of Philadelphia. In 1962, a fire accidentally spread to the town's old, underground mines and created sinkholes that spewed smoke and toxic fumes across the community. In 1983, most of the town was evacuated, and in 1992 its real estate was claimed under eminent domain and condemned by the state (delivering the final blow, the ZIP code was officially recalled in 2002). Despite the fact that Centralia's fire is still burning today — and expected to burn for another 250 years — four residents still live in the doomed town as of 2020 (sounds like they’re playing with fire, if you ask us). Only five homes remain standing in this town.
Entering a ghost town in the USA provides the chance to see a snapshot of life in the past—it’s not always Wild West towns with the saloon door swinging open and closed; it’s sometimes a more modern place where everyone had to jam for some reason. You get to walk around and wonder about these mysterious lives and why people cleared out. You may find furnishings still intact, dishes still on the table as if the inhabitants just wandered away for a moment. Bring your camera to document the eerie rooms and yards where once, people bustled around leading busy lives. And sometimes, just like the name says, you might encounter a ghost still mulling over their tragic bad luck.