By 1984, Pennsylvania officials urged residents to relocate and get out of Centralia. Congress offered over $42 million collectively to Centralia residents to help them with relocation costs. In 1992, all homes and buildings in Centralia were claimed through eminent domain. Many have since been demolished. Despite this, some residents refuse to leave what has now largely become a ghost town. Centralia‘s zip code was removed by the United States postal service in 2002. At the present time, the town looks like that of an abandoned town. Plants and grass are overgrown. Smoke can be seen from cracks in the old roadways.
Centralia is still accessible by foot. Some individuals like to explore it, but there are many signs indicating that the area is unsafe. Of the few residents who remained over the years, most were evicted between 2009 and 2010. Although they contested their eviction, it seems plausible that the eviction was done out of concern for their safety and well-being. As of 2013, there were 8 remaining residents of Centralia. After a lawsuit and legal battle, the residents received money and permission to live in Centralia until they die. It is estimated that the underground fire may continue to burn for 250 years. It is believed that it will continue to spread if it is not somehow extinguished.
Centralia has been the focus of many books, news articles, and television shows. It even served as the main inspiration behind the video game and movie, Silent Hill. Some people consider Centralia to be the real silent hill. Musicians have even been inspired by Centralia and have written songs about it.
Here are some photos of Centralia, the ghost town.
Here you can see the cracks in the road from the underground fire.