This Haunting Road Trip Through Pennsylvania Ghost Towns Is One You Won't Forget
Fill up the gas tank and get ready to hit the road on a road trip to several eerie ghost towns in Pennsylvania. However, start by coming along on a virtual tour of some of the towns that sit forgotten by time.
A couple of notes before we start our virtual journey. If you head out on the road for real – and we hope you do! – always ensure that you are on public property. Avoid trespassing on private property and stay alert to your surroundings to ensure your safety. But, just as important, have a blast! Off we go on our road trip to several ghost towns in Pennsylvania. (See our detailed directions here.)
2. Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
Let’s start where most Pennsylvanians’ road trips start: On the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This time, however, you’re heading to an abandoned stretch of the turnpike that now sits abandoned. The 13 miles haven’t been used since 1968. You’ll have to leave your car behind – no motor vehicles permitted – but you can bike or hike down the abandoned railroad which takes you through tunnels that, once pristine, are now littered with graffiti and covered on the outside with greenery. Read more about the Pike 2 Bike Trail.
Please note that you’ll only be able to catch a glimpse of Centralia as you pass by town. The once-popular tourist destination is now considered private property. You could get into legal trouble if you trespass.
Centralia is, perhaps, the most famous of all ghost towns in Pennsylvania. A fire started in the mines in 1962 and continued to burn, eventually chasing townspeople from Centralia. Today, less than a dozen people remain in their homes in Centralia where the fire continues to burn to this day and could conceivably burn for several hundred more years. The rest of the town has been officially condemned. Interested in learning more? Click here to watch a five minute film on Centralia.
4. Fricks Locks
Once a bustling 18th century village along the Schuylkill Canal, both Fricks Locks and the canal now sit abandoned. Fortunately for ghost hunters and others to whom the ghost town beckons, Fricks Locks earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places to ensure its preservation. Join a tour of Fricks Locks, which are typically help from May through October, led by a guide from the East Coventry Historical Commission.
5. Eckley Miners’ Village
Time stands still at Eckley Miners’ Village, which was founded in 1854. Today, the village is a museum that takes visitors back to a simpler time. Stroll through the village to see buildings stuck in time: Slater Picker’s House (1854), Immaculate Conception Church (1861), and the Company Store (1968). Plan your tour of Eckley Miners’ Village by visiting the village’s official website here.
6. Concrete City
Concrete City is, quite literally, a concrete city of what was once modern day housing built in 1911, by the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, for whom it perceived as its most important employees. Those who spoke native English and who worked in such respected positions as technician or shopman earned the privilege of living in the housing complex that featured amenities like street lamps, a community swimming pool, and a baseball field. The buildings housed 40 of an estimated 1,700 employees. Concrete City became a ghost town in pretty much the blink of an eye when the company and miners abandoned it in 1924.
Ricketts, a lumber town turned ghost town, played a pivotal role in the development of Pennsylvania in the early 1900s. Long ago, from 1890 to 1913 to be exact, Ricketts was a busy, happy town with homes, businesses, a two-room schoolhouse, and a hotel comprising the downtown area during its heyday. But, eventually, the boom turned to bust and by 1914 only a handful of residents remained in Ricketts. The rest set off in search of better opportunities.
Like many towns in Pennsylvania, Fallbrook earned its place in history books because of its massive success as a coal mining town in the late 1860s. By the turn of the 20th century, however, the coal had all been mined, forcing miners and their families to abandon the town. Fallbrook has now stood abandoned for over a century, becoming a popular spot for tourists and ghost hunters to visit. In fact, ghost hunters claim that Fallbrook Cemetery is haunted.
9. Ghost Town Trail
Let’s now end our virtual road trip the way we started in: On foot or on bike. The 36-mile Ghost Town Trail passes by the remains of what were once vibrant towns, such as Bracken and Scott Glen. Plan your trek along the trail by visiting the official website of Indiana County, PA.
Have you been to any of these ghost towns in Pennsylvania? What did you think? Let us know in the comments. Here are seven other ghost towns in Pennsylvania you might want to visit, too.
More to Explore
Ghost Towns In Pennsylvania
What are the most haunted places in Pennsylvania?
If you’re in the mood for a Pennsylvania road trip, you certainly can’t go wrong making Gettysburg your destination, especially if you’re fascinated by the paranormal. (It goes without saying that it’s great for history buffs, too.) Gettysburg has been called the most haunted city in Pennsylvania and in the United States. Gettysburg National Military Park, the Jennie Wade House, Sachs Covered Bridge, and Farnsworth House Inn are all worth a visit, especially if you want to experience the paranormal. You might even want to stay overnight at The Gettysburg Hotel, rumored to be the most haunted hotel in town.
What are the creepiest cemeteries in Pennsylvania?
Cemeteries are generally peaceful places where souls find their eternal rest. However, some of the cemeteries in Pennsylvania are haunted. If you’re looking for creepy places to visit in Pennsylvania, look no further. Coulterville Cemetery, in McKeesport, might leave you with chills – especially if you hear the haunted cries of the orphans, all of whom perished when a fire consumed their orphanage many years ago. Hans Graf Cemetery in Marietta is said to be haunted by a howling white wolf. If you walk around the cemetery seven times during a full moon, you’ll meet your death, at least according to legend.
Are there haunted battlefields in Pennsylvania?
Gettysburg Battlefield is, without a doubt, one of the most haunted places in Pennsylvania and perhaps even the United States. The site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, the battlefield attracts tourists from all over the world. Some of those tourists tell tales of a young man, in a floppy hat, asking if they’d like him to snap a photo of them. In some cases, he gets in the photo. However, he suddenly disappears after the camera shutter has clicked. Others tell of a misty fog that rolls in over the battlefield as the sun begins to set with apparitions of soldiers in the distance.