There’s something truly enchanting about abandoned places. Sure, they’re pretty creepy and often lend the perfect setting for Hollywood horror movies. But if you can look beyond the stigmas attached to these empty lots and silent hills, you’ll be exposed to a certain kind of beauty that thrives in these places.
One example of such a place is Graffiti Highway, which is located in a Pennsylvanian ghost town called Centralia, which is about two hours from Philadelphia. Once bustling with life, the town has quite a colorful history. But everything changed in 1962.
The city was in the midst of Memorial Dat preparations. Town officials made the decision to burn all their excess trash just before the big parade. Unfortunately, the blaze hit a live coal vein that ran beneath Centralia, leading to massive fires which totally destroyed the small town.
The fire rapidly spread across the mines under the city. The townspeople tried their best to put them out, but even after they were doused with water, they would start up again. In the mid-1980s, residents were offered a relocation and relief fund package to help them restart their lives. Over 1000 people accepted the offer and subsequently had their former homes demolished.
Since the early 1990s, the almost one-mile stretch of Route 61 has remained abandoned. The town was still burning, but by then, barely anyone knew of its existence. Only a handful of brave wanderers would dare to tread on the abandoned road, often leaving behind graffiti to show they were there. There was no one to clean the road or protect it from the elements.
The town came back onto the radar with the release of the movie “Silent Hill” in 2006. The amount of graffiti on the abandoned road steadily rose. By 2010, most of the former highway was totally covered in artwork and the names of passing visitors, giving it the name Graffiti Highway. It’s now a popular place to stop by for people looking for an alternative adventure.