A Ghost Town Equipped with Ectoplasmic Mist

Centralia:

Located in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania, was once a mining town thriving and populated by over 1000 people. In 1962 a fire tore through the mines and it still burns under the town to this day. I have heard many say that the fire burning under this town is from an underground landfill or trash fire. This misconception is based on speculation that the mines caught fire from a standard practice of fire fighters burning trash at a nearby landfill, and the fire being extinguished improperly. They still do not know how the mine fire started.

This was a world where no human could live, hotter than the planet Mercury, its atmosphere as poisonous as Saturn’s. At the heart of the fire, temperatures easily exceeded 1,000 degrees [Fahrenheit]. Lethal clouds of carbon monoxide and other gases swirled through the rock chambers.[3] – David DeKok (1986)

I believe there are now only 2 remaining homes in the town of Centrailia to this day, at least that is all I could see when I was there, even though the post office revoked the zip code in 2002.

Before I arrived in Centralia I imagined a scene as if I was walking in the depths of Hell, I imagined the cinematography of the movie Silent Hill, the town from that movie was supposedly based on this town

When I arrived, It was much different. It was eerily beautiful. I pulled up and immediately I saw mist rising from the ground, surrounded by rubble, of what looked like streets that had been crushed up and pushed out of the way, there was grass growing, and cemeteries perched behind the rising mist, beautiful mountainous scenery.

First Glance upon pulling up in Centralia

I got out of the car and began exploring, walking down the streets made out of rubble, I was losing sunlight, and I wanted to see it all before the sun went down.

(I’m not going to lie, I envisioned a zombie invasion as soon as the sun set)

I went down and explored the streets that were once lined by homes, now completely abandoned. Lone stop signs sit perched at corners of empty streets, and power lines no longer connected by wires lining other portions of the street. It was a strange feeling, knowing I was standing in a ghost town, that was once so alive. and not only is it a ghost town, but it is on fire.

Why are we stopping again?

A once highly populated street of Centralia

The mist itself isn’t all that impressive, but the town becomes more and more impressive as you allow your mind to wander about what things used to be like here. and then you visit the cemeteries, two of them, right there by the fires, I can only imagine what will happen if the fires move in that direction and begin to engulf the cemeteries. for now they are beautifully intact, and I think perfect for the entire ambiance of the town.

Beautiful view

Centralia Sunset

As the sun set in the town, I knew I didn’t have enough time to explore and I would have to come back , and I definitely will go back again, I am planning a zombie shoot there very soon, but for now I wanted to share with you how awesome this place is. I think this is an amazing day trip, It may be a tad smelly and not seem like everyone’s cup of tea (or noxious gas) but it is a ghost town on fire, and you can’t get much better than that.

Notice the grave stone off in the distance

Not to mention someone drew a penis on the street. that in itself is a good reason to visit.

The Penis, and my friend Jeff

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I Guess They Really Meant No Trespassing!

For those of you that know me, or have heard me on Strange Frequencies you know that I am not a trouble maker (well maybe a little). But this weekend I found myself face to face with trouble, and  it was for something I have preached about time and time again!!!!

When I was young I may have done stupid things while searching for something to do, I admit I have gotten kicked out of cemeteries late at night by the cops, they usually just told us to find something more productive to do. However, when I decided to get “real” about this field I always said I would never EVER trespass, or go any place I was not actually invited, by the owner to attend.

I blame Jeff Belanger.

Ok no, I don’t blame Jeff Belanger, I mean, I could blame him but I haven’t read his book and I am sure he says don’t go somewhere if there are posted signs. I have been really enjoying myself visiting crazy places here in PA, the idea was to enlighten all of you and allow you to see what I have been up to. This time I went to Frick’s Lock PA.

The story behind Frick’s Lock is nothing all that spooky, Its not even all that interesting really, It was a town that thrived at one point, and then good ol’ government came in and built a Nuclear Power Plant right next to the town, deemed it unlivable, and bought all the houses and land and kicked the poor three eyed folk off the property. I am not sure why they never tore the houses down yet but they still sit, perched next to two billowing Nuclear stacks of goodness, all boarded up looking so lonely and begging for pictures to be taken….

Only one problem, this modern day ghost town is under 24 hour video surveillance, is now owned by Exelon and they are NO JOKE about arresting you the second you walk on to the property.

Myself and my very adorable friend Charlene, (who might I add just simply exudes innocence) decided to go past the sign that said DO NOT TRESPASS!

We were in there for a total of 7 min, came out and were greeted by a very kind (but very serious) police officer who did not think my niceties were anything less than annoying. After I begged for forgiveness and admitted to my stupidity, the officer simply said “Yup, it was stupid, and your being arrested.”

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON’T ARREST ME! ORANGE IS NOT MY COLOR!

I will spare you the annoying details of the long conversation, phone calls and favors I had to call in from family that happens to be law enforcement, or the part where Charlene almost passed out, and I swear to you she said NOT ONE WORD the whole time (except I believe “I hate you Robyn“.

We made it out by the skin of our teeth, and I learned a valuable lesson, a very valuable lesson that I actually say all the time and clearly don’t follow. If you are thinking about visiting a strange and interesting place, please research the number of arrests that happen from trespassing, (300 per year here at Frick’s Lock) and if you see a sign, DON’T DO IT! Trespassing is in fact a misdemeanor, which means you will have a criminal record, and I don’t have to tell you that most jobs require background checks these days and you could be completely screwing yourself over.

Here they are, The pictures of Frick’s Lock, the modern day ghost town… so you don’t have to go in there and screw your life up….

 

House after the 2nd No Trespassing sign!

 

 

Large Estate in Frick's Lock

 

 

At the entrance, Before I crossed the line!

 

In summary: the place was wicked awesome, not worth almost getting arrested. Don’t blame Jeff Belanger for your legend tripping mistakes, I am sure there are plenty of other things you could blame him for. And most importantly don’t go where you are not supposed to go.

Love you, mean it.

2010 Mothman Festival: An Interview With Jeff Wamsley

The Mothman Festival, which takes place annually in Point Pleasant, WV is just around the corner.  Celebrating the local paranormal legend it draws its name from, The Mothman Festival will kick off it’s 9th installment Saturday September 18 and run through the 19th.  I had the chance to catch up with Jeff Wamsley, the driving force behind this event, to get his thoughts on this year’s festival, as well as the sightings that sparked it all.

“I was born and raised here in Point Pleasant.  I was 5 years old when the sightings started,” Jeff says.  “We lived a few doors away from (original witness) Linda Scarberry, so as I grew older and saw books like John Keel’s “The Mothman Prophecies,” I realized that this stuff all happened real close by.”

What happened was the Mothman, and it is among the most talked about stories among paranormal enthusiasts.  For those that don’t know much about it, Jeff recounts the details:  “Point Pleasant first saw this thing on November 15th 1966 up in the TNT area.  Two young couples saw it.  7 feet tall, giant wings and glowing red eyes.  From there on out over 100 reported sightings were filed; tons of UFOs too.”

But the intrigue didn’t stop there.  In the wake of these sightings, more strange things started happening.  According to Mr. Wamsley, “many Mothman and UFO witnesses were approached by strange looking men dressed in black who warned and threatened them about speaking to the press, newspapers and media.  Many witnesses were intimidated into keeping quiet, and some are still silent to this day.”  Unfortunately, Jeff himself has had no luck getting them to open up either.  “Believe me, I have tried to get them to sit down with me and talk about what they saw.  Not going to happen.”

Jeff is aware as anyone that the story of Mothman can sound a little far fetched, and understands why some might be skeptical of it.  But, as he puts it, skeptics are just a part of the story.  “It would be hard to believe this stuff unless you had encountered it or spoke to people who did and I have.  These people are not professional liars by any means.  Too many people saw it and described it the same way.”

Aside from growing up in the area, Mr. Wamsley operates the world’s one and only Mothman Museum.  It is here that folks come to check out props from the film John Keel’s book inspired, as well as grab a souvenir or two, be they books, pins, t-shirts and more.  Simply put, the story of Mothman, as well as his hometown, are important to him.

“Not every small town like Point Pleasant has its own monster,” Jeff jokes.  “The festival was started almost 10 years ago to get some folks to visit Main Street.  Now there is nowhere to park during the festival.  I really feel I owe my hometown something.  It was a great place to grow up.  It just happened to also be the home to UFOs, Men in Black, and giant things that flew around.”

If you are interested in heading to Point Pleasant for the Mothman Festival this year, Jeff says you can expect plenty.  “Lots of people, food, guest speakers, vendors, live bands, hayrides, bus tours.  We try to bring something new each year.  It’s just a big family reunion for all who come each year.  Its always good to see old friends who like to hunt for Mothman.”

Myself, as well as my friends and fellow co-hosts on Strange Frequencies Radio, Bobby Nelson and Robyn McKinney, will be back again this year and look forward to enjoying the festivities.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

For more information about the Mothman Festival, including speakers as well as restaurants and accommodations you might want to check out in the area, please visit www.mothmanfestival.com

Van Sant Bridge – Solebury Township, PA (Crybaby Bridge)

I must have been no older than 15 when I visited “Crybaby Bridge” for the first time, The legend goes like this:

::A young unwed mother gave birth to a child, and since it was such a disgrace to have a baby without a husband, she threw her crying newborn over the edge of this covered bridge and it plummeted to it’s death, she then hung herself from the inside of this covered bridge. If you park in the center of the bridge you can hear the baby crying, and sometimes hear the sound of the poor woman’s feet scraping across the top of your roof::

Lets take a look at Van Sant Bridge together.

As you can see, there is not a very steep drop off the side of the bridge, though I am sure if you threw a baby off the side you could do some serious damage to the baby. (I would be crying too). Its a small bridge and what you can not see in this photograph is that it is surrounded by houses, beautiful, upscale suburban homes. In fact when I visited again as an adult one of the home owners came outside and told me they love to “screw” with the people who show up here because there is absolutely nothing haunted about it. Now I will give you my experience as a teen and my experience as an adult.

TEEN EXPERIENCE:

Myself and about 5 others drove through insane (spooky) back roads and through suburban neighborhoods before the time of GPS by the way, and finally happened upon “Crybaby” bridge. we did just as we were told to do, we drove up, parked right in the center and turned the car off. We listened for the sounds of a crying baby, and sure enough we heard something that sounded EXACTLY LIKE A BABY! we all freaked out screaming, the driver turned on the car as quick as could be and we zoomed away. That was literally our experience. Fun, right?

ADULT EXPERIENCE:

Myself and two other “investigators” (note: I’m older and I am now called an Investigator) show up at the bridge. We used our GPS to navigate through suburbia, the drive was a lot less spooky this time around. We arrived and took out our “equipment” and began investigating the location. This is when the Solebury Township Police showed up to ask us what we were doing, and when we told them they basically laughed in our adult faces, needless to say they left us alone and we continued with what we were doing. We each took a recorder and we placed them on the ledges on either side of the entrance to the bridge, we sat and waited…. nothing happened. Well not exactly nothing, remember as I mentioned earlier one of the owners of the surrounding homes came down to talk to us about how frustrating it was that all these people kept disturbing the neighborhood over this “nonsense”. He also informed us that there were vandals that put graffiti all over this historical bridge (that always makes me cringe), but said he has lived there for over 30 years and absolutely nothing has ever been seen, except the wildlife, like little families of red fox……

RED FOX!

At that very moment a little bell went off in my constantly racing ADD brain, could it be these fox making the sound of a crying baby? It didn’t take much time to figure out that female red fox when fighting sound exactly like a baby crying..  in my adult eyes and in the words of Scooby and the gang, Mystery solved.


I don’t think Van Sant Bridge in Solebury Township is haunted by the ghost of a poor lonely (easy) girl who killed herself and her baby, I think it is a nice historical place that you can listen to little red fox fight.