Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Centralia: Land of the Dead

Well, not really. As much as George A. Romero would love it, Centralia isn’t totally dead. But it’s close.
I mean, having your zip code revoked in 2002 is kinda low. Then again, having a population of less than 12 is even lower.
Centralia has been the site of a 46-year old coal mine fire, located beneath the sleepy little Podunk-PA town. At just the right times of year, you can smell the burning coal and see the thin gray smoke pouring out of the ground like some sort of evil representation of Hell. The stench of rotten eggs permeates the area, and abandoned buildings line the road like some sort of… ghost town.
I took my youngest brother, and my girlfriend, out there one Wednesday in July –my day off- and every one of us were amazed by what we found. Or rather, didn’t find.
It’s like that town from Silent Hill, with all the smoke floating around. I bet it’s creepy as hell at night.
You’d think with the air quality as bad as Mexico City, people would leave? Well, most did. The town had a population of over a thousand in 1962, then the mine caught fire, and it has dwindled down to almost nothing ever since.
Wikipedia has a good article on the place, check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania
This place holds a special meaning to me, because I’m studying to be an engineer: THIS is what happens when you fuck with Mother Nature. Show her the respect she deserves, and shit like this won’t happen. Because of a few careless idiots, the area’s economy was devastated, and lives were uprooted. Not to mention the ecological impact of such a site. Centralia is what I interpret the concept of “hell” as looking like. Just an empty town, with a few condemned souls wandering around in a state of mental anguish. Tired, lost, and unable to conjure up a single happy thought. It’s as close to Hell as I’ve been in my life. The fate of this town is our fault. We demand coal, and other fossil fuels that cause accidents like this to occur. Until we ease our dependence on non-renewable resources, there will still be “Centralias” all over the world.
Lets this place serve as a warning to us all.

-AK






Stand beside Her, and guide Her, through the night with a light from Above





A wise choice, my friend.


No way!


Not us. Not too social either.





Thats the kind of attitude Jersey needs!



Ashland, the neighboring town.






Out in the MIDDLE of nowhere.



57 Channels and there nuthin on.


You should see his reaction when its time to do Christmas Card photos.













Anthracite Coal: Its whats burning beneath us.








We'll, actually, him.





40 year old 40 oz.







Dr. Jones




Didn't work.




More will follow sooner or later.

-AK

2 comments:

Tails said...

Hi.. wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about this thing! :) I haven't read all your entries but I browsed through some and will read the every one in its entirety ASAP

Fada said...

Centralia is on my wish list of places to visit. Great work!!!!!