There’s something eerily beautiful about abandoned places – they look surprisingly calm yet still manage to make you feel as if someone’s watching you. Perhaps this feeling is what attracts urban explorers to the abandoned stretch of Route 61 in Pennsylvania. That, and the fact that the road is almost completely covered in graffiti, making it look like a colorful river flowing through the Pennsylvanian forests.
People have completely covered this abandoned one-mile stretch of Route 61 in graffiti
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Nicknamed the Graffiti Highway, this stretch of road is located about two and a half hours northwest of Philadelphia. The story that lead to the road’s abandonment began during Memorial Day preparations back in 1962.
The road has been abandoned since the early 90s
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The officials of a nearby town named Centralia decided to burn the excess amount of trash before the Memorial Day Parade. However, by doing so, they accidentally ignited a live coal vein located underneath the town. This lead to major fires and eventually to the town’s demise.
The integrity of the road was compromised due to the Centralia coal fires
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Even though firefighters tried to extinguish the fires, they kept on coming back so by the mid-80s, the government relocated as many residents as they could. It cost over $42 million to relocate over a thousand people and demolish 500 buildings.
Over a thousand residents of Centralia were relocated due to the rampant coal fires
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Centralia slowly started to become a ghost town with barely any residents remaining. Sometimes people would wander to the town and leave graffiti markings on the abandoned road.
The one-mile stretch of road was completely abandoned
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After the movie “Silent Hill” was released in 2006, Centralia caught everyone’s eye once again. Soon enough, more and more urban explorers began flowing to the town, leaving graffiti markings on the road as they left. By 2010, nearly all of the road was covered in paint, leading to it being nicknamed The Graffiti Highway.
The road remained abandoned for a long period of time
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Some visitors would occasionally leave graffiti on the road
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After “Silent Hill” came out in 2006, more and more explorers began flowing to the town
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Slowly but surely, people began to cover the abandoned road in paint
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By 2010, all of it was covered in graffiti, leading to the road being nicknamed The Graffiti Highway
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