Friday, March 12, 2010

What the Freak ? Towns of America

(Above: Ruby,AZ)

Elko Tract in Richmond, VA
: From this awesome site , here’s a description: During World War II, Richmond created a fake city a few miles east of the airport and during potential air raids, they would blackout the actual city and airport and turn the lights on at the decoy in hopes that from the air, the bombers would unknowingly bomb the decoy and Richmond would be saved.

This man accounted how they went in search of the town. Here’s some description (after having to cross a concrete barrier and fallen trees) “We walked around for a bit, found a few disheveled buildings that appeared to be more maintenance sheds than habitats… Our final conclusion: Its more like a lost sidewalk than a lost city. Sure it was kind of neat to explore it and see it first hand but all and all, there are plenty of places in America where roads were paved and then abandoned. We have experienced much more interesting things – there’s really not much there besides chunks of concrete, a few fire hydrants and an old water tower.”

Centralia, PA:
(Wikipedia) Centralia is a borough and ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005[1] and 9 in 2007,[2] as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is now the least-populous municipality in Pennsylvania, with four fewer residents than the borough of S.N.P.J.. For some awesome photos of how it looks today, check out Les’s Blog here. He just photographed it.

White Rock, NM: (Wikipedia) In 1947 the United States Atomic Energy Commission acquired land from the United States Forest Service to build a temporary community to house construction workers. That community was the first White Rock, which was abandoned by 1953. By 1958 all of the old White Rock buildings had been demolished or removed. The second and present White Rock was begun in 1963.

Willow Creek, CA: Willow Creek is the self- proclaimed Gateway to Bigfoot Country. Every Labor Day weekend Willow Creek plays host to Bigfoot Days the largest celebration of the creature anywhere. The annual event attracts visitors from all over Northern California and many from other parts of the world. It has it's roots in local Native Americans and their lore regarding a huge manlike creature and his family that dwelled in the Bluff Creek area along the Klamath River.

Brattleboro, VT (AP) -- Vermont's infamous naked town is under orders to keep its pants on. Tiny Brattleboro has long been a live-and-let-live kind of place where skinny dipping was a rite of summer. Last summer, though, it began flirting with a nudity ban after a group of teens took to hanging around a downtown parking lot in the buff. Officials decided then to let winter take care of the problem and never voted. It took an elderly man wearing only a fanny pack and wandering through the center of town last week for the Select Board to decide it had seen enough.

Ruby, AZ: Ruby, Arizona is one of the best preserved ghost towns in Arizona, but you can only gain access to it by helping in the restoration effort. It was founded as a mining camp, producing mostly copper, lead and zinc. At its peak in the mid 30s, Ruby’s population reached 1,200. The population diminished after the mine was closed in the 50s. The few buildings that remain include the jail, a schoolhouse, mine offices and a handful of homes.


  1. I love ghost towns. I got a book on Alabama ghost towns and until I got that book I had no idea how many of these there are. There are over 50 ghost towns in Alabama alone!

  2. Whoa, that's cool. I didn't know Richmond, VA had a decoy city. Guess you learn something new everyday. And I LOVE Centralia, PA! Silent Hill, one of my personal favorite horror movies, was based there. I assume everyone knows this by now, but still, it's cool. When I was a kid, around about 10 or 12, my family and I ended up traveling out west. It wasn't a pleasure trip but for me at that age it was cool. We passed through Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. I remember an abandoned gold rush town that was made a tourist attraction. It wasn't that touristy being that it was in the middle of no where but walking though it, I'd felt like I'd just stepped into a Clint Eastwood movie. Wish I could remember the name. It was kinda neat.

  3. Jessica;
    When I was researching, I ran through ghost towns in different states, expecting the East to not really have them--I was so wrong! In fact, I think Michigan had the most! It was insane!

    Somehow, you seem like you'd fit into the rugged west well. Some of those abandoned towns are so cool. We have a lot in AZ that you have to take 4-wheel drive to get to. Up where my in-laws are in a ghost town up north, we can take the quad up the mountain to the abandoned mines and there's a miner's shack there with ancient cans still on the shelves. So cool. I can't tell you as a psychic how fun it is to touch that stuff and feel its history. Centralia is probably one of my fav's. What a concept-an eternal burning city. The decoy city in Richmond I remember hearing about as a kid. They actually had tract houses and such, but supposedly they plowed them down since then. What a hilarious idea! They're doing a f/u to Silent Hill. I'm not sure what I think of that--but I hope it's as good. That movie was just plain haunting through and through. I hope to do another post on some weird places and things folks don't know about. I love anything "freak"

  4. I've always wanted a town to myself. I need to check out the book Jessica mentions.... sounds like there may be one out there just "waiting" for me.

  5. Grim... did you ever play the video game? I played all the Silent Hills and they keep getting better. The movie is creepy, but the game is great. I've never seen a real ghost town that is that interesting. Although that Richmond decoy is amazing. I lived there for 4 years and never even heard of it.

  6. @eloh;
    I like that idea. I heard the Vulture Mines are for sale for 3 million. It includes the gold-loaded mines and the ghost town which is a totally bitchin one! My dream would be to buy it and run ghost hunting tours constantly--it's a huge ghost hunting site here in AZ. Then, of course, I'd have to mine some gold. If you go to you can pick a state and find out what yours has to offer.

  7. I would love to visit Ruby AZ. This place is a mecca for interesting photos to take.

  8. Remind me to have Debe tell you about her Ruby experience--it was amazingly creepy and awesome!

  9. autumnforest...this is an awesome post! and i went to corker2's website too, and i loved the pix!

  10. Hey Libby-Girl;
    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have a similar post coming up soon. I'm in a weird and freaky mood (jeez, I always am!)