Features

I-Mockery.com's Road Trip to Centralia, PA
by: Protoclown

...CONTINUED

This is a pretty typical example of the kinds of tiny little towns we passed through on our journey through central Pennsylvania to get to Egg Hill. Just wanted to give you a sense of the area.


In one of those small towns we spotted a pizza place with a less than appetizing name... I'm betting the pizza from this joint is a bit soggier than most other places, if you catch my drift.


And of course, what road trip would be complete without the experience of getting pulled over for speeding in some backwards ass town where they don't bother to have the speed limit posted until after you pass through the speed trap... 35 miles per hour on this road. Who would have guessed?


And now for Egg Hill Church. A friend of mine who went to college near there told me the story years ago, and even though it's absurdly unbelievable, I always found it kind of fascinating. Now with all creepy legends, there are many variations, but the story as I heard it goes like this: one day, a long time ago (I don't know exactly when, but it was built in 1860, so anytime after that) the preacher in this church had a brain aneurysm which drove him completely insane, and he poisoned his congregation and then went downstairs to the sunday school and hacked up the children with a hatchet or an axe. After he came to his senses, he was so stricken with grief that he went outside and hanged himself on a nearby tree (other versions say he hanged himself in the bell tower). The legend had it that there were a bunch of gravestones outside that all had the same date of death (now verified untrue). The second part of the story as told to me was that back in the 1970s some kids from Penn State went there one night and decided to scare "the new guy" so they locked him in the abandoned church, and whatever he saw or heard inside scared him so much he died of a heart attack. It is bullshit? Almost certainly. But it does make for a rather captivating yarn, and ever since I first heard about the place and how creepy it was, I knew I wanted to find and see it for myself.

Unfortunately, thanks to the delays of getting pulled over and Dave's GPS device leading us astray quite a few times (to be fair, the area is not well mapped, but the next time Mr. T tells me "turn left, fool!" I won't be inclined to trust him), we got there well after dark, which made things way spookier, but didn't give us the best photographs. Fortunately I found a couple pics online that show the place during the day. Here is the church itself:


And here is the graveyard, as seen during the day. See how close that house is in the background? The guy in that house was out walking his dog, and he warned us not to go inside the church, or the police would be called, and we would be busted. Well, damn. So that meant we had to limit our photography to outside, but the church is all boarded up and covered with "No Trespassing" signs so technically we would have been breaking in if we'd done so.


So we had to make the best of it and take pictures outside, and at night. Not exactly ideal, but we'd come a long way, and it was better than nothing. I've tweaked these photos in Photoshop as well as I can to make things visible while still trying to maintain the feel of just how insanely creepy this place is.


I don't exactly believe that the story surrounding this place is true, but when you see the place for yourself it's completely understandable how such a creepy tale came about in the first place. It's the kind of place that looks like it could have hosted some pretty fucked up shit.


There was this huge, spooky, gnarled tree outside the fenced in area. Could this be the tree mentioned in the legend? It certainly looks creepy enough to have helped inspire that kind of story. Scott took a lot of pictures of this tree, and those "orbs" showed up in almost every one of them. Not that that means fuck all, but it's interesting. You can see a small, pale red one toward the bottom (the bright red light is just the reflection of a car's tail light).


Scott and I were the only ones willing to go inside the fenced in area. Not because the others were afraid of ghosts or anything, but because everyone else was a little too worried that the guy's warning to not go into the church extended to the grounds as well. So while Scott and I were wandering around inside the fenced in area, our other friends went back to hang out in the cars because they'd had their fill of picture taking and were ready to go. While we were wandering around, I heard my friend Sam shout "Jason!" with some urgency, as if the guy from the house had returned or the police had showed up or something. So I turned to Scott and said "Shit, Sam's calling us! We gotta go!" and ran back to the car. When I got there, they were all sitting calmly talking to one another. I asked Sam why he called me, and they were all like "Very funny, Jason." It took me a while to convince them that I wasn't fucking with them. Now maybe it was just all in my head because I was worried about the possibility that we might be trespassing just being in there, but I definitely heard him calling my name.

This is interesting because several years ago my friends Lauren (who was along this time) and Travis went there while in the area based on my recounting the story and they experienced a situation where they split up and then they each heard the other calling out to them, but when they reunited they discovered that neither one of them had been doing so. Does it mean the place is haunted? Not really, but it is pretty damned eerie. I know I heard Sam calling to me. I just don't know if it was real or in my head.


I like this picture because those red lights in the upper right look like demonic, glowing eyes looking out from within the church or something. It's almost certainly a reflection of a nearby car's tail lights, but it looks fucking awesome.


Here's another shot of the CREEPY TREE OF DEATH.


I like this picture because it's a nice contrast to the daytime pic of the church up above, because it's taken at almost the same exact angle. And look at all the orbs! MY GOD! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK BY IMPERFECTIONS IN PHOTOGRAPHY!!


Here you can see where the side door of the church is boarded up, but not very well. Scott and I went up and tried to get a peek inside through the rather large crack there, but you couldn't see much of anything. And since this side of the church faced the nearby house, we didn't want to linger by the door too long for fear of looking like we were breaking in.


Check out the pile of crumbled tombstones laying next to the church there...


This is I think my favorite picture from the whole trip. I just think the silhouettes look really cool illuminated by the floodlights of the house behind them.


And now I will leave you with a picture we just had to snap on our way back home. Coming into Egg Hill we passed by an aptly named road that just says it all about the area we were in, so we stopped to take a picture of it as we left town. Bible Road indeed.


So Centralia itself was pretty disappointing as far as creepy factor, and we didn't get to see Egg Hill in the daylight initially as we'd hoped, but it MORE than made up for the lack of creepy in Centralia. I mean, whether you believe in ghosts or think the legend is bullshit or what, it's just a creepy, eerie looking place if nothing else. It could be the most innocent place in the world, but I guarantee you that if you go there, especially at night, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up a bit.

I love going to check out spooky places like this, so if you have any suggestions of places worth checking out, let us know. I've got the east coast covered, and Roger's got the west, so if it's feasible for one of us to make it there, it might be doable for next year's Halloween season. Hell, if you have any cool stories about haunted places that we couldn't feasibly visit, share them with us in the comments section below this article anyway! I want to hear them!

I would also like to thank my friends Scott, Lauren, Sam, and Dave for taking (and letting me use) all these pictures!

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email Protoclown

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:


I-Mockery Visits The Hollywood Cemetery!

Reader Comments

Last of the Time Lords
Oct 27th, 2008, 04:12 AM
Cool stuff. That church is plenty creepy even if all the legends about it are complete garbage. I have a cousin whose into paranormal crap, and she completely wigs out whenever she gets a pic of an "orb", so getting those shots would have had her practically in cardiac arrest.
Fuzzball
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:26 AM
Nice article. That hearing your name being called part freaked me out because on saturday night (after the Krazyhouse club) we all went back to an abandoned hospice (our mate is the night manager of the building and we needed a place to stay since it was raining cold and the trains don't start til like 8am!) and shit was it creepy! Some rooms still had beds in others were empty, we did some exploring/genereal running around and i swear i heard Kysha call "Lisa..." but she was like "wtf? no i didn't". I think all ghosts have seen horror movies because they're pretty damn cliche. So we all camped in one room (right opposite a scary one you just felt as soon as you walked in) and predictably someone refused to sleep with the lights off so we left the hallway light on with our door open and who was on a mattress opposite the door? You guessed it. I swear stuff was walking past the door and hearing chairs creak in other rooms... moral is if you're ever in Chillinwall (sp??) in Liverpool don't stay at that hospice! was right next door to a church and creamatorium too.
oh wtf we're all going back and having a seance whenever we're all out again, if i take pics i'll post them in a forum
Pickleman's Uncle
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:48 AM
That spider is equal to OR LARGER THAN that quarter
:O
:O
:O
Amicable Herculean
Oct 27th, 2008, 10:05 AM
Dude! Spunkemeyer cookies ar te best! But yeah, Centrailia is a pretty boring place.
Commarade General
Oct 27th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Hey, wanna visit a really spooky town and have some money handy?

Then here in Mexico we have Real de Catorce. When Mexico was still a Spanish possession (1521-1821) silver mining was one of the most lucrative enterprises Spaniards had. So, in what is now the state of San Luis Potosí (named after the mining town of Potosí in Bolivia) many mines were created and towns were built near those mines. Real de Catorce was one of those towns. It was created in the 18th century and was functional until 1910, when the Mexican Revolution that started that year closed it down for good.

Now the town is a semi-vacant town, with many colonial buildings clashing with Art-Nuveau and a few modern ones, while it is still surrounded by mines -whose output is no where near Real de Catorce's one during it's hayday- but there is something eerie about the town. I don't know how or why, but when you're in it, you feel as if your energy is being drained. You go to wake up feeling more tired than the day before. Many of the residents are natives, so they have their own customs and traditions, so that just adds up to the weirdness of the town.

Besides, as most colonial towns in Mexico, it has a big cemetery with a colonial barroque chappel. Those thing are scary enough whith their paintings and statues of saints with cold, dead looking eyes. And in this cases, always, ALWAYS, they have a real sized figure of Christ after being lowered from the cross. This "statue" is made of a material native to the region -in another state they had one made of corn paste- and has a spooky story --the corn one keeps growing and growing since it was created, it's almost 400 years old and it still grows.

Man, I just scared myself by recounting all this items. But if you want to experience them from first hand, Come to Mexico! The place of weird ghost towns and zombie Jesus statues!

-Commanderraf
A person.
Oct 27th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Too bad about getting pulled over. Also, where did you get that MR T voice for your GPS? That would be awesome to have.
Can't touch this
Oct 27th, 2008, 02:18 PM
I would get GPS JUST for a Mr. T voice! Also, I've been to Pennsylvania...The whole state sucks. Also, Never go to Ohio. West Virginia is nearby and absolutely FILLED with creepy-ass tiny little almost ghost towns and shit like that. Know why 'Silent Hill' took place in WV? The entire fucking state is creepy.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 27th, 2008, 02:24 PM
Told as is, that legend would have to be bullshit. If a preacher were to suddenly develop a brain aneurysm, he wouldn't go crazy and murder his congregation, and he certainly wouldn't recover and commit suicide; he'd probably just, you know, die. I'd have made up something about demonic possession instead. Scarier and all.
Member
Oct 27th, 2008, 02:36 PM
I just wanted to add that I heard the voice too. I didn't understand what it said, but after Jason said "they're calling us" or whatever, I thought about it and realized it sounded like "Jason!". I thought it was Lauren's voice though instead of Sam's. We were on the opposite side of the church from the cars and house, near the woods, so the voice that we had assumed came from the cars also came from the direction of the church. After Jason ran back around to the cars I heard a wood-creaking sound from what sounded like the upstairs of the church.

Scott
...Pause at the Beginning
Oct 27th, 2008, 02:52 PM
You should have gone to southwestern PA and gone to Fright Farm. It's not creepy, it's just a big haunted house and hayride attraction. Also, Laurel Caverns. No spooky shit but Laurel Caverns is great.

And yeah, lots of rural places can be scary at night. Western PA, western VA, West Virginia, and other places in the region are good for that. Tiny little towns that consist of nothing more than a gas station and a creepy bridge.
Forum Virgin
Oct 27th, 2008, 03:25 PM
I must defend Mr. T from the vile accusations leveled upon him, here. When I was entering the destination, we didn't have a precise address to give. So instead of putting in a street address, I put in a zip code and an interstate that Lauren had reckoned was the right one. So yes, Mr. T did in fact lead us away from Egg Hill, but that was only because the destination he'd been given to find was not exactly Egg Hill.
is hopped up on goofballs
Oct 27th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Yeah, we're pretty bad with posting what the speed limit actually is in PA...sorry about that. You missed the best part of central PA besides State College, though, and you were really close to it too: Goddamn Knoebels Amusement Park. It's the only amusement park left anymore that's not just after every single penny of your dough, plus the food kicks ass. Check it out the next time you're up this way.
Forum Virgin
Oct 27th, 2008, 06:17 PM
While we are on the subject of creepy places a buddy of mine works nights at a hotel here in Michigan. It used to be a big mob hangout. Al Capone had stayed there a couple of times and everything. A mab boss actually got shot in the hotel bar. There is a newspaper framed on the wall talking about it and everything. Since my friend works at night there isnt any other employees and sometimes you can hear a vacum running in an empty room. Or you can hear footsteps in empty hallways. Even the ice on the fountain pop machine will come out by itself.
Riot Control
Oct 27th, 2008, 06:26 PM
Commanderraf: Remember that a lot of spooky people also go to Real de Catorce for nothing more than some peyote.

Protoclown:Those red lights are simply scary. I look at them and I truly believe it is some demonic entity lurking around.
Space Cowboy
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:12 PM
I once went with a group of friends to check out a graveyard that was supposedly haunted by the spirit of an Indian chief ( I live in Minnesota, so it seemed fairly feasible)

Upon reaching the graveyard, we were disappointed to not only not see any ghosts, but that the graveyard was maybe 50 square feet big and full of French-Canadian immigrants, which would make them probably the least frightening type of zombie I could imagine.

As we're walking back to the cars, I start to hear this faint children's music, like from a music box or something. It was faint, but loud enough to know that it couldn't be coming from the "nearby" buildings (The closest being more than 100 yards away) and of course, I just think I'm imagining it and scaring myself, so I turn to my friend to tell him and laugh it off. His eyes are the size of fucking dinner plates as he's saying "Please fucking tell me you can hear that too" before I have a chance to speak.

Actually scared now, I nod to him and we both run back to our car ahead of the rest of the group, claiming to them we were merely just cold and not wusses.
Forum Virgin
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:55 PM
if anybody wants the TRUE Centralia experience, may I recommend the weather to be cold and rainy...and it must be at night. The last time me and some of my friends went it was a spittin image of the smokey dreariness of Silent Hill. The only thing that would have made it better is the distant howling of a air raid siren in the distance.
PS the ground at Centralia in certain spots is extremely weak, so one wrong misstep could send you hurtling to the bowels of coal fire hell...
Forum Virgin
Oct 27th, 2008, 07:57 PM
o yeah and rizzo - goddamn right about knoebels!!! ride the phoenix forever!!!
Suicidal Chipmunk
Oct 27th, 2008, 09:39 PM
I've only been to one Halloween based "event". It's the Homer Mill, in Michigan, and it's pretty amazing. It's actually Alice Coopers favorite haunted house attraction in the country. I've gone the past two years with a couple of my bodies, and it was really fun both times. The first time i went was last year, and when me and my buddies got there, we were really really early (it was like 5 pm, and still light out) and we thought it wasn't going to be very scary at all. But, since we got there so early, we were the only people there, which seemed to make everything 10 times worse than normal. The scares were actually so frequent one of my friends started getting angry at the workers and yelling at them whenever he got startled, which was funny in retrospect, but we were to busy shitting ourselves to laugh at the time. The weird thing about it though, was that the first few rooms weren't even remotely frightening. They were actually just plain silly. But everything got WAY worse the further in we got. And we discovered that apparently, my friend Steven is afraid of clowns , and I'm afraid of heights. It was really fun and i was psyched to get the chance to go again earlier this year. When we got there this year though, it was later in the night (about 8 or 9) and there were a lot of people in line. When we finally got in, it wasn't even all that scary. Hearing the people in front and behind you screaming just ruined the experience and spoiled all the scares. Plus, since it was so much later, the workers seemed tired, and not really into what they were doing.It was still fun, but in a more "laughing at all the stupid people behind you screaming" kind of fun. So yeah, if anyone ever gets the chance to go, try and go early, before anybody else shows up. Going through that haunted house with only a few friends makes everythinga lot better, and the fact that it's light outside is barely even noticeable once you get inside the house. It's really dark in most of the rooms in the house.

(P.S.) If anybody does check it out, make sure to stick with your group in the room with all the curtains and the strobe lights. I circled around that room for 10 minutes trying to find the way out of that room, the strobe lights were blinding me, and no matter how many times i heard that woman in the middle of the room scream, it still scared the crap out of me. (Sadly, the woman wasn't screaming when i went through this year)
(P.P.S.) The restaraunt in the Homer Mill is also pretty good. :^D
Forum Virgin
Oct 27th, 2008, 09:46 PM
If you guys are ever near the Louisville KY area, you really should check out a place called the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. From our friends @ Wikipedia:
A sanatorium (also sanitorium, sanitarium) is a medical facility for long-term illness, typically tuberculosis.
A synopsis of the place:
www.underworldtales.com/waverly.htm
The official (RE: boring) website:
www.therealwaverlyhills.com/
Forum Virgin
Oct 27th, 2008, 10:24 PM
Centralia was an inspiration for the movie, not the game. The game had all that fog because of the graphical limitations of the PlayStation.
The Goddamned Batman
Oct 27th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Commanderraf: Thanks for the tip, but that's probably a little far out of my range at this point. Who knows, though--maybe Roger could make it down there sometime!

MS-DOS4: I don't know. The GPS belongs to my friend Dave (Sarcastro, who posted below). He didn't really lead us astray so much as the area just isn't well mapped though.

Mister Tea: I agree, and I'm sure there's probably a slightly more credible version of the story that involves demonic possession or something instead of the aneurysm. You know how these stories go though, they get told over and over and details change over the years. I just recounted how I remember it being told to me.

Military Messiah: Dude! You didn't think that was worth mentioning while we were there? The noise you heard up in the church? That's kind of a creepy little detail there.

Ozzie: Oh man, that must have been freaky as hell. I envy you for that. I've been out ghost hunting to graveyards and Civil War battlefields many times, but never have I experienced anything like that!

fugmunky: I don't doubt that you're right about that. Unfortunately we only had so much time and we wanted to check out Egg Hill too...

SlimJim: Holy SHIT that place sounds AWESOME! I'm definitely putting that on my list of places to see. And the great thing is that it's easily reachable for me in a day. The only thing that concerns me is that website mentions that it's "being rennovated"...I'd be afraid I'd get there and it would be like arriving after the party's over.

Brunbb: That actually makes some kind of sense.

And to those of you who suggested "haunted hayride" kind of attractions, those can be fun, and I appreciate the suggestions, but I'm looking for things that are a little more genuine, you know?
lurking on the walls
Oct 27th, 2008, 11:40 PM
http://www.offroaders.com/album/cent...re-history.htm a slight history on Centralia is in the link I posted here. It's sad that you couldn't get any pics you'd dee worthy for the site.

On another note, the orbs in the creepy tree, they're basically supposed to be ghosts... Did you lose power to your digital cameras at any point around that church?

Also, if you ever take a trip up to Canada, check out Newfoundland, it's where I'm from, and there are plenty of ghost stories around this area, from suicide, to a man getting lost in a small wooded area for 10 days and coming out traumatized and mentally destroyed. He was perfectly sane when he went in to them. If you want to hear more Newfoundland stories, or for me to go deeper in to telling you the one mentioned, feel free to contact me some way.

Member
Oct 28th, 2008, 12:16 AM
Quote:
Before hitting up Centralia proper, we had arranged to take a tour of a coal mine in the next town over, which I believe was called Ashland. Fortunately the mine that we went into was not on fire, which is important to note, or I would be dead while writing this.
At least you're not dead and we don't have to use Zombie killing tactics on you...

Quote:
And of course, what road trip would be complete without the experience of getting pulled over for speeding in some backwards ass town where they don't bother to have the speed limit posted until after you pass through the speed trap... 35 miles per hour on this road. Who would have guessed?
Plus out of state plates. I think they just wait for that...

As for creepy locations, up and around my hometown (Erie, or as it goes around this time of year, Eerie, PA) we've got Axe Murderer Hollow and a few other supposedly haunted spots. Never been to any of them myself, so I can't vouch for the coolness factor of them, but we do have a Horror Festival every year, with movies and horror actors and the like. Nothing A-list (I'd say, unless you're a horror fan) like the one Rog went to, but it's a good time. Might want to check it out next year (or, y'know, whenever *laughs*)
Member
Oct 28th, 2008, 04:06 AM
I live in WV and in defense of it's "creepiness" factor it is only scary to people who live in the city or highly populated areas. If houses with big-assed yards in the middle of the woods=creepy then I guess we are then. I mean I live less than a mile from "slaughterhouse hollow" and it isn't the least bit crepy here. Unless you are afraid of the dark that is.

You want to be creeped out, try going to the old prison here. Apparently they have started to run a spook house in it during october. I haven't went yet, but the prison itself is scary enough without the doctoring, so I can only imagine.
Cast "Summon Boat"
Oct 28th, 2008, 05:13 AM
It's hard to trust a city called Centralia... it's the worst kind of portmantea! ...ONE THAT MAKES SENSE.
Cell Regenerated Deadite
Oct 28th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Looks like an ideal location for a remake of: "Motel Hell", "Phantasm", "Night of the Creeps", "Return of the Living Dead" or maybe "My Bloody Valentine"
Fake Shemp
Oct 28th, 2008, 04:44 PM
I grew up within a few miles of the Danvers State Mental Hospital in Danvers MA. Back in the late 80's we used to be able to drive around the grounds at night for a pretty good freak out. But that was when it was still open and functioning. Little by little it was closed down and all the residents redistributed around the area, which definitely added to its creepiness; the emptier it got, the darker it would get at night. Eventually it was closed down and as of right now I've no idea what still remains of it. But if just exploring the grounds at night was spooky (and keeping an eye out for cops and security once they chained the access roads off), actually going inside, at night, with flashlights would have been something I'd have paid good money to have been able to do. Check out the film Session 9 for more of what would have (or still would, if any of it is left) made creeping around inside Danvers State Mental Hospital the perfect thing to do around the Halloween season.
Forum Virgin
Nov 6th, 2008, 05:08 AM
Great article, that town has seemed facinating since I first heard about it! Shame they keep tearing it down.

Check out the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpikes.
http://www.rays-hill.com/turnpike/home.htm
Imperial Stormtrooper
Nov 12th, 2008, 12:58 AM
I'm thinking of visiting Centralia in full Stormtrooper regalia. I'll post pics when/if I do. Great article though.
Forum Virgin
Nov 23rd, 2008, 09:58 PM
Heres one for you on the east coast, a bit of a hike for you guys, but deffinatly worth it; Spider's Gate Cemetary. Accroding to legend entering each one the supposed gates to the cemetary (mind you you hear alot of "The 6th gate is between that rock and that dumpster" )but still has a really nice, creepy feel too it. Heres a link with more: http://www.strangene.com/cemeteries/spidergate.htm
Forum Virgin
Dec 7th, 2008, 02:32 PM
If you ever travel down to Mexico, go see the Mummy Museum in Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a wee bit far down to travel, but the museum is super creepy, as you can see from the first link. Basically all the mummies there were all residents of the town at some point from the colonial era.

Not for the squeamish, since there are mummy children Dx

Also, there is a seperate hallway of just random oddities, such as a guillotine, a "vampire skeleton", and a coffin with spikes.

The best part are the caramel mummies as souvenirs. Delicious!
Resident psychopath
Dec 20th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Well one time I was working at a haunted house and I was in one of these halls of mirrors by myself waiting for people to get to this room. So I was sitting there waiting, I walked by one of the mirrors, no reflection. I assure you these mirrors were perfectly normal and were supposed to reflect. I go to the next one, no reflection. Then I heared rushing waster like it was in the room with me. For those who are curious it was Knotts berry Farms halloween haunt. In this maze called Killer Clown Kollege which is located near Xcelerator and pretty close to perilous plunge. Someone died on perilous plunge a while back, I thoght it had something to do with that, not exactly sure though. After a while the water stops and people start pouring in. I was following some people through the mirror hall and I saw 1 reflection of a person who wasn't even there. It was like some obese lady (which is kind of like the person who fell of perilous plunge). All and all I am not sure...The fog and lighting and darkness all may have been playing tricks on me. Either way, that was a night that scared me.
Forum Virgin
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:47 PM
I know a place down in texas called the staley cemetary. So appearantly,there was an indian burial ground and they built the cemetary right on top of it.Every so often, there is a blue light that can be seen flying over the place at night. The only problem is that the police are patrolling it 24/7...
lurking on the walls
Oct 1st, 2012, 12:29 PM
Awesome picture show Proto

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