Thanks to Pennsylvania’s long industrial history, the state is filled with communities that have come and gone throughout the years. While many of these ghost towns in PA have completely disappeared, a few still exist in the woods and along the roadways of the state.
While there are plenty of abandoned places in PA, these ghost towns take it to another level with many interesting spots to explore.
Here are a few of my favorite Pennsylvania ghost towns and a bit of the history behind them.
There is probably no ghost town in PA that’s more famous than Centralia.
Located in Columbia County in the state’s northeastern corner, Centralia was a bustling coal mining community until the coal seam below the borough caught on fire in 1962. Within a few decades, Centralia was nearly abandoned, though a few hearty souls still live there.
While nearly all of the community has been torn down, it’s still interesting to drive the city streets and see the curbs, sidewalks, and stairwells that lead nowhere.
Sadly, the famous Graffiti Highway was recently destroyed by the owners of that parcel of land, but the rest of this famous PA ghost town is still worth checking out.
The community of Pithole (Charming name, huh?) was founded during the oil boom in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Pithole was laid out in May 1865 after oil was discovered nearby. Land speculators and would-be oil barons quickly scooped up the land and a town as built around them. By December 1865, 20,000 people called Pithole, PA home.
At its peak, Pithole featured more than 50 hotels, three churches, the world’s first oil pipeline, a newspaper, a theater, and a railroad. Pithole became known as a rough and tumble town reminiscent of the communities of the Wild West.
Pithole’s history was short-lived, however. As the oil boom began to wane, banks collapsed and a fire hit the community, Pithole’s population quickly collapsed with only 2,000 residents in the community by December 1866. By the census of 1870, less than 250 people lived in Pithole.
Today, Pithole is just an empty field near Oil Creek State Park. A visitor center is located at the corner of town which offers a fascinating look at this short-lived community. The old streets of Pithole are regularly mowed, allowing visitors to move through this ghost town.
Located near State College, Scotia was once a mining community that supported both the nearby iron industry and, later, Carnegie Steel operations.
Today, the land that was once Scotia has been reclaimed by nature and is now part of State Game Lands 176 in Centre County.
While much of this Pennsylvania ghost town has disappeared, there are still remnants if you know where to look for them. The largest still-remaining area consists of several concrete buildings that once served the mining operations, as well as the old railroad grade.
If you walk through the forested trails of the Scotia Barrens, you might even find more hidden ruins of this ghost town.
Rausch Gap is another abandoned Pennsylvania town that got its start as a coal mining community.
Located in Lebanon County near the Appalachian Trail, Rausch Gap was formed in 1828. The community flourished, growing to as many as 1,000 residents, but was gone by 1910.
Today, the ruins of the community can be found in St. Anthony’s Wilderness along a great rail trail.
There isn’t much left of Rausch Gap, though there are a few building foundations that can be found as well as a cemetery.
Yellow Dog Village
Of all the places on this list, Yellow Dog Village might be the most like what you think of when you think of ghost towns.
Yellow Dog Village was constructed in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, in the first decades of the 20th century to support the mines that were right outside of town.
Even as the mines closed, the community continued until it finally became abandoned in the early 2000s.
Today, the town’s owner is doing his best to maintain the site and turn it into a historic village, and a few people do live in the community. However, many of the buildings are continuing to fall into decay as the years’ pass.
Petroleum Centre is another oil-boom community that once thrived in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Petroleum Centre was founded in 1866 and was once home to as many as 3,000 people. The community even hosted President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871. However, by 1873, the town was essentially abandoned.
Today the land where Petroleum Centre once sat is now part of Oil Creek State Park. The park has created a walking tour around the former center of town that showcases the history of the area.
Sadly, the community has been almost completely lost with only the old bank steps still visible from the road.
Concrete City is an abandoned town in PA’s Luzerne County. It was constructed in the early 20th century as company housing for the DL&W Railroad.
There were a total of 20 duplexes in the community, so 40 carefully selected workers were chosen to move into the homes with their families. In 1924, an attempt was made to demolish the community, but the strong construction made this difficult enough that it was never done.
Today, Concrete City sits abandoned and regularly draws in locals and visitors alike. While I’m unsure of the legality of visiting the site, I do know that people regularly do visit. Proceed at your own caution if you opt to check out this site.
Do you have a favorite Pennsylvania ghost town that we didn’t include on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for more abandoned places to visit? Check out Eastern State Penitentiary in Philly, Carrie Furnace in Pittsburgh, and the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike in Central PA.
101 thoughts on “7 Ghost Towns in PA You Can Still Visit”
Eckley miners village
I thought about including them, but people live there and it’s run as a well-maintained historical site, so it’s not really a ghost town in my opinion.
Laquin on Barcley Mountain in Bradford County is abandoned and use to be a booming logging community there’s a cemetery thats supposedly haunted by the people that died there from the plague.
What about the old amuzment park village in Shohola pa ?
I use to go to ghost town on a picnic and on rides. I don’t know where in PA. If remember right we went swing too, I think. We lived in the poconos
I’m from Luzerne County. There are many haunted houses in the area. A person can sense the distress when one walks into an empty old house. Coal mining was a tough life
Do you know Dallas? I lived there summer of 1970. Can’t find where I lived. It was a trailer park with a pond across the street. We would walk an hour or so to a school at the end of a road. It’s all I remember. Wish I could find it.
Eileen – Was it Freeman’s Trailer Park in Beaumont?
What about black diamond in schuylkill county
In Saint Anthony’s Wilderness you can also find foundations and cellar holes in Rattling Run on the old stagecoach road accessible from the rail trail via an old incline or from the Appalachian trail, inside state game lands (the same as Rausch Gap).
Another town in the same game lands is Yellow Springs, a small mining town near the mountain top.
At Rausch Gap there are cellar holes near the rail trail on the uphill side you can find by following the old road bed that goes past the stream mitigation project upstream from the rail trail bridge and you can find the foundations of a railroad engine repair shed. Following a path that goes downhill by the creek you can pass flat stone foundations for the buildings from a farm including the well and by going further you reach the old cemetery.
Do you have anything on (West) Winfield, PA?
Two villages in Centre County is Poe Patty a lumbering community, on Penns Creek in Seven Mountains, which is now a state park. There are no buildings there. Also Orvistan which I believe was once a lumbering community as well. There are buildings and some families. It’s my understanding most of the houses became hunting lodges.
Orviston was a brick making company town too.
Orviston was once a booming brickyard. A few of the old brick homes have been turned into hunting camps, but 90% of the “town” is still residential. It consists to 3 “streets” Blue Row, Front Street and Back Street. There are remnants of the old brick yard at the end of front street and back street which is a circle. There’s one way in and one way out of the town of Orviston for visitors that aren’t familiar with the area. As a kid I had family that lived there so I was there quite often, my aunt used to own the only store in the town which has unfortunately been turned into a hunting camp after she sold it, so there’s now no stores, there used to be a post office/motel as well which has now also been turned into residential apartments. I still know 90% of the people that live in the little “town” and I still ride up there occasionally and go out over the mountain which is accessible at the end of town. There also used to be an old railroad that ran through there for the brickyard and in the mountains there was coal mining too, you can still see remnants of the old railroad and a railroad tunnel from back in the coal mining days. You’ve got to be a local to find your way around on the mountain though to know where to find these things and to avoid getting lost.
Masten, Pa. Along Pleasant stream. Site of a small logging town, saw mill and CCC camp. One terminus of the Old loggers path
Harry, is there a boy scout camp on the other side of the stream? Also, are there several small stone markers where the residence lived? Thanks for your help.
Onnalinda in Pennsylvania is an old coal mining town. Above Beaverdale PA. Houses all gone except 3 and the three houses have families living in them whom are relatives.This town is in Cambria County.
My dad grew up in Onalinda and Beaverdale. He was born in Saint Michael in 1917. Graduated from Adams High School. (Forest Hills)
Do you have any other info on Onnalinda? My great grandparents lived there. I’ve been trying to find out where they might have been buried. Thank you!
Barclay, in Bradford County, was a coal mining community in the late 1800s. My great great grandparents lived there after arriving from England. I think there is an old cemetery there.
Yes it’s all that’s left. The land is part of state game lands
Worked many times around Barclay reclaiming the mine lands… The cemetery is creepy, graves that were swallowed by the mine cave-ins… Many old foundations throughout the woods…
What was once known as the town of Alvira PA, is now known as State Game Lands number 252. During WWII the land was seized by the army and used as an army ordnance.
That’s a great spot. I just decided not to include it since there really isn’t anything from the town left there, minus the cemetery.
Jim Cheney, I beg to differ about you saying there isn’t anything of the Town left in Alvira, PA. I live within miles of there still, as I also grew up within miles from there. I have walked that area many times. Walked the Cemeteries. Been inside the bunkers. They also have at least one day a year, where they open it up for complete tours.
There are also still some foundations there. Even a Church called The Stone Church is still standing and throughout the year, hold special occasions where you can go inside. The Stone Church is located in the center of the White Deer Valley, and was a focal point for the communities at that time. It, six cemeteries and not sure how many bunkers are all that is left of Alvira and the ordnance. The round bunkers alone are something to see as some of them are opened and you can walk inside. You can yell inside and the echo is something else.
Anybody who hasn’t visited this lost Town, is missing out.
The foundations of all the houses are still visible, some with a bit more. So are traces of the streets. The Presbyterian Church cemetery, one of the oldest in the county is still there, with headstones back to colonial times. The Reformed Church and Cemetery are still standing. The Baptist Church, just outside the area seized for the Ordnance grounds is still a working church. The Old Stone (Lutheran) church is on part of the Ordnance area later taken for the Allenwood Federal Prison, and is open on special occasions to the public. Then there’s the bunkers. They tie Alvira to Alamagordo. The first nuclear waste from the atom bomb program was stored in several of the Alvira bunkers. You really need to revisit the area. Way more fascinating and with much more to see than Centralia.
What about Wierham know my dad used to go there for groceries with parents in horse and buggy
They forced out the residents,my great grandmother had a good sized chicken farm there .where my grandmother grew up.cemetery is definitely haunted.
The main road leading to the west side of the gamelands is named Elvia Road. There are two old cemeteries at the end of road, some of the head stone date back to the 1700’s.
Barcly MTN had a old coal town the cemetery is still there
Super informative, Thanks for sharing ..
Landrus, pa between arnot and morris run pa
Correction: Landrus is between Arnot and Morris, PA. Morris Run is over beyond Blossburg, so it is on the eastern side of US Rt 15. In the 1970’s, we used to ride horses thru the woods to the top of the tipple at Landrus. There is a turn out off the road in the valley from Arnot to Morris.
I lived in PA most of my early years and some of my adult life, never heard about the ghost towns. I find them intriguing as I went to a few out west. I always wondered why the people left and and what their lives were like in their heyday.
Thank you for sharing them. Keep up the great work.
My mom was born in 1925 in a booming town in Butler County called West Winfield. (About half an hour north of Pittsburgh) Most of the men there worked in the limestone mine. My grandpa worked his way up to foreman. We used to drive through there and my mom would tell us where she and her friends used to live, where the churches were, where the hotel used to be, etc. It was always so interesting. There are still a few remnants of foundations and local historians have put together photos and stories about the town that used to be there. It is fascinating!
In the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s Concrete City was used for enclosed space fire training for the local fire companies. I think the County owned it then but I don’t about now.
I don’t know if this is considered a ghost town, but there was once a village at Hickory Run State Park. There is still a chapel and a cemetery. It was wiped out by a flood, many of the villagers were killed in the flood and it was eventually abandoned.
Another ghost town is Fricks Lock in Chester County. They forced everyone to move out of their homes so they could build the limerick power plant.
Warnertown in NE Pa. It was a logging town as well as an ice farming town that supplied ice to hospals along the east coast. Now part of Tobyhanna state part, it was used for Army artilery training from WW1 through WW2. The area just went through a major clean up because unexploded ordinance was found there.
Crumb Pa was once a logging town.
Nothing but some gravestones left.
Not far from my house very haunted area
Hi there ! Is this in Somerset County near Central City? Visit it often. The place has a haunted vibe. I would love to know more on the history!!
lately but i have to go thar soon thar are old graves stones tharr crumb is near central city pa i use to go there often but i haven/t been thare lately i know thare old grave stones thaire that you can’t read the names
Lived within walking distance of Crumb…still old logging railroad right-Of-Ways and a few foundations
McIntyre was an old mining town in the late 1800s. There are some old foundations and a cemetery. Located in McIntyre Township near Ralston, PA
I was raised In Ralston went to school there as a child gram lived by the cemetery trains went by our house
I remember some years ago visiting the cemetery there and seeing the foundation of a former band shell perched on a rock on the edge of a cliff.
There was one by allenwood pa it’s now the state game lands the us government came in and took the land from them in ww2 to make TNT the bunkers you can still go it’s right by where the allenwood federal prison is i have heard there is still buildings ba k there but have not seen anything YET!!!!
I have a whole article on the Alvira Bunkers. Other than the bunkers and a cemetery, though, I don’t believe there is anything left.
There are definitely foundations, steps, the Stone Church, and 2 cemeteries left from Alvira.
One foundation is octagonal, it was probably a silo. Some are easily seen from the SGL roads that you can walk or bike along.
Peale near winburne, pa is a cool spot I used to hunt in. You can still find the original maps online and many foundations survived. I haven’t been there in some time so I’m not sure if anyone ever cleared it for new construction.
My aunt lived in Bull Run . Is it still around?
Robinson/Robindale was an old factory town near Seward west of Johnstown that was abandoned after the Flood of 1977.
Would visit family, with my Grandmom.Up in mountains.Stream in front house Railroad. Passed front of house.Could see smoke stacks. Coal mining town & logging.Thats what my Grandfather did.Lost his thumb in Saw mill.Stayed in Gettysburg, Allentown, Coatsville,Burnham.ect.Family came to Pa. from Stockholm. Grand mother moved to Md. Many did for work.
Another vote for Fricks Locks. Homes are still standing. Truly a PA ghost town because of Limerick.
Helvetia was a small coal mining and power plant company town in Clearfield County. The mine coal seam declined and the power company closed the plant in about 1952. There is still a small church and remains of the company store. My father worked in the power plant and we lived in a company house.
I recall knowing folks from Helvetia heard they took it off the map a few decades ago
Celestia in Sullivan County PA
Ricketts also…..I live in Lopez
I Love Lopez, and swimming at Sulfur
In I believe it is either Prospect park or Ridly in PA. is a hidden town.
Do u know where or what it’s called
I was thrilled to see Pithole on the list! I now live in Nevada, but I worked at Pithole as a tour guide when I was in high school many years ago. I worked at Drake Well in the winter and was well versed in the history of the oil region. Thanks for sharing.
Fall Brook in Tioga County some foundations left and a cemetery that is pretty cool lots of immigrants from Europe buried there whole families from a Scarlet fever epidemic !
Laurel Run, PA My dad was born there and mine fires still burn today from what I have read.
My mom grew up in Laurel Run, PA. I have read that the fires did/do burn from underground, as I understand it?
Not sure what if anything is still there, but I know Laurel Run had to be evacuated in the (early?) 1960’s due to the danger of the fires.
Yes it still runs as they have opened it up to the public as record you can go swimming there as they have sand along the bank and boat and fish and they even have a camp site now people go there all year round .I live in Fayetteville,Pa just about an hour from this place
How about Fallbrook in Bradford or Tioga county. Masten in Lycoming county. I think Fallbrook was. Coal strip mining area. Masten I’m pretty sure was lumber…both were good sized towns with nothing left now but a few foundations and some old roads.
Then there’s one on top of a mountain near Ralston, PA. I know the name but can’t think of it. My friend’s Italian immigrant family lived up there and ran a boarding house. All that’s left are foundations and a cemetery as well as the adits to some of the coal mines.
Did you ever remember the name?
What about Edgerton, PA?
My Dad grew up in a town called Ralphton, near Somerset, PA. When I left PA about 40 years ago, there were still a few houses left, and some ruins.
I used to drive through Centralia on way to Shamokin,Pa where my husband used to live. I remember it when they were trying to get the people to move out. finally they all went.
there is an old lumbering town near Coudersport pa, it’s called Mina….it use to be a large town. It has a cemetery, which you can barely see anymore, and the houses are all gone. Not sure if one can go up the road anymore as the road is fading away.
In Warren County was located the town of Corydon, PA. For the majority of the time it’s located at the bottom of the Allegany Reservoir, but every once in a while when the reservoir is lowered for the winter months, the town is accessible on foot. The paved main street (complete with yellow pavement paint) can still be seen, along with several foundations and the remnants of the town cemetery including some old grave stones left behind. It’s not always accessible, but it’s a neat place to visit when it is.
Curtin, PA. My 2x great Grandfather was born there. There are some surviving houses, a mill and a museum commemorating the small community.
When my husband was still living, we loved going to Landrus and Fallbrook. It was fun imagining how they were laid out.
Can’t say that it’s my favorite only because it’s the only abandoned place I’ve ever been to and that would be Centralia Pennsylvania. It was probably one of the most amazing places I visited time and time again! It left a very special place in my heart. It leaves you with a Feeling of peace yet sadness at the same time! It will always be my number one place
Fricks Locks Historic District or more simply Frick’s Lock is an abandoned village, along the also abandoned Schuylkill Canal, in the northeast portion of East Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. This 18th-century village outlasted the canal, being abandoned in the late 20th century with the construction of the adjacent Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. The village on about 18 acres of land were listed as a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Frick’s Locks is considered a modern ghost town and, although private property, attracts visitors.
I was born in a small coal mining town, Madera, Pa… Before the 1970’s it was thriving two grocery stores, two 5&10, bank, gas station, Farms, post office, dentist, doctor office, theater, schools a Moose, VFW, Hotel, Insurance business, two beauty shops, coal tipple and many working mines and Sewing factory and other people with small home skills like shoe cobbler. After the unions came in the sewing factory and coal bottomed out the town starter to die. A lot of the kids went to college and never returned,and others left for jobs . No jobs to bring them back to the area the town was left with aging people or others who were to poor to leave or some who could find a job. The town is still there but there are no stores no bank and mail is delivered to the few that remain. It is so sad now.
Crum in shade Township pa you can find many foundations remaining and the famous haunted Crum cemetery the town had supposedly burned down
Shenandoah Woods in Warminster…
Lumber City- Once a small town near Curwensville, Pa (Clearfield County). The town was vacated several years ago so the could build Curwensville Dam where boating and summertime activities are carried in now.
How could I get permission from the owner of Yellow Dog to visit>
The article linked within this piece has all the info about how to request permission.
I grew up in Armstong County we use call Yellowdog , mutesville
The old Logging town of Hampton in Fayette County. It’s where Indian Creek flows into the Tough. There is not much left but some foundations, sidewalks an old railroad tressle. You used to be able to access it via the Hawkins Hollow road, but that was closed to the public 15 years ago or so. Today it can be accessed via bike or walking the Indian Creek Valley Trail.
As you go under the under pass and up the hill near Horseshoe Curve there was a town called Glenwhite in Blair County you can only see ruminants of foundations.
Back in the 1960’s, my church group visited Cook’s Forest in Northwestern, Pa. A group of us took one of the trails and got lost in a ghost town. There were around 8 houses still standing and we went into a couple of them. There were still plates on the table as though they got up from dinner and left everything behind. I’ve never heard anything about this place since. Did we all have a hallucination? Or is there really something there?
Peale, PA, Clearfield County. Located near Grassflat, PA. Many of the houses in Peale were moved to Grassflat. They are currently doing mine reclimation in the area.
What about Eldora Park in Washington County, in Carroll Township between Donora and Monongahela. It had rides, a dance dance hall and was on the railroad tracks and people from the Mon Valley went there by train for picnic and enjoyment. In the late 50’s and 60’s it was a girl scout camp. On of the women active in the cam[p was Ruth Rockwell. Her son Richard Rockwell has all the info on the park and the many changes it went through. I don’t know where he is living now but the Last I knew I think it was Charleroi.
Bitumen, In Clinton county West of Renovo, my Mom grew up there. Of course a coal mining town that died when the mine closed.
Wasn’t there a town called Kinzua before the Kinzua Dam was built, now buried by the Allegheny Reservoir? Also wasn’t Parker, east of Slippery Rock once called Parker’s Landing possibly located on the other side of the small river. My road atlas doesn’t give the river name. A little history, in the township of Lawrence Park, east of Erie, there was a group of abandoned falling apart white painted small houses called White City. I don’t recall the reason for them but we played in them back in the late 1950’s. All torn down when the newer Lawrence Park High School, football field and parking lot were built in the 1960’s. My Grandmother was from Guffey, which is not even the maps anymore, probably faded into history.
Geri – Ghost Town in the Glen was located in Moosic Pa
Have you checked out Marstellar PA in Cambria County. Was a booming mine town but nothing much left. Maybe few people.
I have not. I’ll have to add it to my list of places to check out.
How about bear valley out behind rouch creek in schoolkill county
Yes and also it is or once was a farm that has been abandoned its’ s called Johnson’s farm just an half blower down barn sits empty now and an very old cemetery beside it dating back in the early 1700’s and has a 10 mile walk up the one side of the mountain a lot of people go there to visit as I myself had done now people go hunting there as well
How about Somerfield in Fayette County? The town was flooded when they built a dam. Occasionally the water level drops and the houses/bridges/etc including a portion of the old Route 40/National Road becomes exposed.
Check out Billmeyer, in Conoy Township, Lancaster County, PA.
It is an abandoned company town. There is a quarry there from which dolomite was produced, which was used to produce steel. Apparently, the town was booming during WWI, as the need for steel was huge to support the war effort.
By the early 1960’s, the town was abandoned.