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Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if you fast-forwarded into the distant future only to find yourself standing in the middle of post-apocalypse? Set aside a main road in Clairton, Pennsylvania, this strange world actually exists, sitting quietly on each side of a cracked and forgotten neighborhood street. So what exactly happened on Lincoln Way that made everybody abandon their homes in such a mad dash? What kind of stories sit buried in the remnants left behind by each family previously inhabiting these 16 houses? Was it a matter of fear as urban legends state, or simply the environment? Asking local authorities, or even the locals surrounding town, you can never exactly get a straight answer, while most will avoid answering completely.

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A long section of coke piles spans the foreground where a US Steel plant sits, stationed directly across the forgotten neighborhood street of Lincoln Way. I know I use the word forgotten a lot, but perhaps this space wasn’t as much forgotten as it was intentionally blocked out of people’s minds. A very strange silence filled the atmosphere as I walked the entire street examining each and every one of these dilapidated homes. Treacherously wandering through the snow, unaware of what sat beneath a blanket of white powder; nails, needles, glass and holes, I made my way up to one porch after the other, taking a journey inside and attempting to find any remaining pieces of past lives. I was completely FLOORED by what I had found in each one, or at least in most of them, since some of them were lacking any floors at all. As I walked a broken snow-covered street with wild wreckage leaning overhead at either side of me, it came to my attention that there were small sinkholes scattered through various parts of the land.

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As I walked along avoiding holes, I continued to find my way up to one porch after another, each time looking back and staring down a strange, quiet neighborhood. What’s even stranger is the fact that inside it’s as if everyone had left in such an insane hurry, as beds were left made neatly, food was scattered, dishes still in cabinets, some in the sink, family photos hung, books remained on shelves and clothes were still picked out for the next day, which sadly never came for them. In one house, even a car remained parked neatly in the garage, now covered in years of dust.

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Some homes have been rotting years longer than others. A few of the homes on this block housed elderly people, some of whom ended up passing away with little to no family left and for whatever reason, nobody bothered to clean out any of the houses. One particular structure has sat vacant since 1972, after the final remaining tenant; a woman by the name of ILem White died, leaving behind all furniture and other belongings, much of which is still sat to this day. After 40 plus years of nature taking over, floors and foundations can grow very weak, and should not be taken lightly…no, they should not be taken at all, because even lightly can end up quite horribly. As my friend attempted to stand atop a bookshelf to get a shot on the second story, both bookshelf and floor below it began to give away falling into the basement. Thankfully my friend jumped back and remained unharmed. I had experienced a folly of my own when climbing a bed to take a photograph. I thought it would be incredible looking down at how the room had completely collapsed right at the beds edge viewing from atop the mattress. As I attempted a very awkward hop up to the bed, my boot caught bed sheets and became entangled, pulling me back and shifting my weight as the floor bowed beneath the bed and myself. Thankfully, I was able to catch myself, because I was not in the right mood to fall 3 stories into a basement that day. I got the photo and quickly made my way back to the stairs along what could not have even been a foot length worth of floor to work with looking over the edge.

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Standing at the entrance of this neighborhood street was like facing the frontlines of post-apocalypse, staring down what the world has become after most of us have gone. Toxic fumes poured from the US Steel plant behind where I stood. Some believe that the fumes may have aided in creation of these sinkholes, while others believe it to have been a combination of a gas leak alongside the fume-contaminated soil below. A gas leak is a good place to start, considering there were gas leaks reported on October 11, 2006 at 6:30pm – these were reported only shortly before the entire block had become completely abandoned. Upon confronting some of the structures burned, it had become obvious that there had been quite a few fires over time, one fire in particular occurring on November 7, 2006 at 2:16 am. The final unit was cleared at 2:35 am.

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An urban legend remains stuck to the crushed and ruptured asphalt of this eerie neighborhood, and considering how incredibly quiet everybody is about its history, it might not even be far from truth. Though it is not my own story, I will do my best to retell the legend in my own words.

It’s hard to truly conclude what is fact or fiction with Lincoln Way, but the legend tells of a creature; something not human, but unlike any animal that it could be compared to. People claimed that this creature would torment residents, while pets would go missing, later found disfigured and maimed at the forest’s edge surrounding town. Aside from mangled pets, gardens would be found torn to shreds by bigfoot-size paws, far too large to belong to any animals native to Pennsylvania. People would sometimes talk of the creature thumping, rattling and scratching at the sides of their homes.

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In one incident, a young man and his friend ventured to the neighborhood at night in an attempt to debunk the legend, only soon finding that they had made a horrible mistake. Parking their blue pickup truck at the beginning of the street, they set out determined to explore and prove the legend wrong. As they ventured through each house, noticing how all items from family photos to neatly made beds remained, the sun slowly went down outside. Suddenly, right upon their exit, they heard three long scratching sounds followed by a loud ‘BANG!’ Noticing it was coming from behind a house, one of the two decided it would be worthy of checking out, still wanting to prove everyone wrong. Sneaking to a backyard where the noise was coming from, he inched his way, back against the house’s side, slowly making his way toward the noise. He could hear something large creeping towards him through the tall grass, when suddenly a deep and hellish growl brought him to full attention. Now staring at the wicked beast, he could see that it stood on all fours, as big as a horse with what seemed to be thick black hair covering it’s entire body. Noticing that the beast had razor sharp claws longer than fingers and a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, all he could do was stand completely silent in horror. Becoming suddenly spooked by one more growl, he dropped the flashlight and immediately began a sprint back towards the truck, diving in as fast as he could.

Legend says that the beast is not alone. When they had turned their truck around, for a moment the headlights faced the forest and pointed into the trees, revealing numerous sets of blood red shining eyes in the darkness of night.

This story led to the belief that the street was abandoned out of pure fear. As the creature’s torment began to escalate, a very dark terror began to sweep in and the numbers began to drop. At first, only a couple of people left, one other dying from what was thought to be just old age. Pretty soon, fear became far too great and the entire remaining community decided to pick up and leave as fast as they possibly could, without saying a word. When you’re scared to near death, faced with what seems like a demon spawned from hellfire, it’s kind of difficult to pack your Kudos bars and Spongebob DVDs, let alone couches and chairs.

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We may never be quite completely certain as to why Lincoln Way was left the way it was in such a blind hurry, but it makes for a very eerie, interesting mystery. Who knows why the city won’t say a word, and who knows why neighboring areas are so shy about it? Is it out of fear, or something else?

– Johnny Joo

Odd World Gallery

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178 thoughts on “The Eerie Abandoned Neighborhood of Lincoln Way

  1. I live near this street and went down it when one of my cats went missing. One house is occupied and I remember thinking how sad for that homeowner having all the abandoned houses around theirs.

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      • The area is not remotely out of the way enough for that.

        And aside from that the population density is both:
        1) Too high for a predator of that size to go unnoticed.
        2) Too low to have the number of missing pets needed to feed an animal half that size, let alone a platoon.

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      • I live on the street above Lincoln Way. As long as I have lived here, I have not seen any wildlife that has had any mutation.

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    • I know nothing about this little neighborhood,but I would love to live there .it looks beautiful..sad to know they live there alone with no one around ..

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    • Sounds like the area is the haunt of a pack of dogmen. Very few areas like this are abandoned so thoroughly, leaving behind personal effects, photos, clothing, furniture, pictures, etc. Yes, there are ghost towns, and abandoned cities in the world such Chernobyl, Hashima Island, and large areas of Detroit, but these are due to economic decline or a disaster such as nuclear fallout. But Lincoln way does not fall into these conditions. Something very odd, even sinister, has happened there that has caused such a thorough abandonment. Personally, I would lead a well-armed team in there and establish a base camp, if I had a willing group of experienced hunters or military veterans in order to conduct a thorough search and investigation of the area.

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  2. This story is very interesting. I love reading all of the comments…….they only seem to deepen the mystery. I too wonder why anyone would leave their possessions behind. I have moved many times, and I have never left anything. Looking forward to hearing more as the author’s investigation progresses!

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    • yes but something frightening must have happened for people to drop everything and leave right away. If it was a eviction, i am sure they would have come back to take their stuff, if it was sink holes or fires, people would have not left in a hurry. Nothing explains why people left without absolutely anything except the clothes they were wearing.

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      • my uncle and a few friends have rental properties where they’ve had to evict people. some tenants did absolutely just grab a carload of stuff and disappeared under the cover of night leaving behind most of their perfectly good possessions. i now own some of those abandoned items, as do other people who helped with clearing the places out.

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      • A chemical leak could have caused that. If people felt they were in danger they would have fled quickly. It is strange to me that some left photos and other personal things behind though.

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  3. I live in Clairton and never knew this accured. It kind of freak me out, but also have me curious and would like to drive through one day. The CityThat Pray Clairton,PA

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  4. I can hardley look at the pictures, Its so sad to see the ruins,,, I went to school with the kids who grew up there in the 50’s, Wonderful people, Great friends, Mildred, Janet, Madline, Alfonso, Van, Frank,,, I hope You are all well and enjoying where ever You are now,,,I waited on a number of their parents while working at Haines Supermarket in Wilson, God Bless,,,, Florence Plush Hinkle!

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    • Funny. I grew up near Clairton in Liberty Boro. Never heard anything & neither did my parents (who read a gazillion papers front to back each day).
      The ground collapsing doesn’t surprise me in the least, and the ground moving could have caused a rupture in a gas line. Many homes in the area are built on slag fills. Or, there are many abandoned mines in Pennsylvania.
      I love an interesting story, but the “beast” just doesn’t hold water for me.
      I love your photos & the accompanying stories.

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      • I’m inclined to agree with Tina. My mother and aunts grew up on Lincoln Way and I have a few classmates I’m in touch with who grew up there. I believe the beast is a myth just like the one talked about at Eddie Wretch’s house once on Miller and Mitchell Avenues. I do recall them talking about the gas leaks though and you could sometimes smell it in the homes. I too rode down there I think in 2010 when I came home for Christmas and turned around at the one house someone lived in close to the end (going up) on the left side.
        As far as clothes being left inside, I noticed that they appeared to have belonged to elderly people. Whatever family (if any), that they may have had probably just weren’t interested or needed transportation to retrieve their heirlooms. With my mother’s house, we took what we could before the ceiling caved in.

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  5. Looks like only the first. 3 houses on the left burned down. Firefighters let them burn down ,because they are slated for demolition. A person interviewed on ch.11,said the street has been getting a lot of attention lately.because of the stories going around on social media that it is haunted, and many people have been visiting there.

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  6. Multiple houses on this street caught fire today….Very sad and unfortunate. Most likely due to the abundance of careless people visiting the houses now.

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  7. Some of the families that lived on Lincoln Way.
    The Cochran’s, the Brown’s, the Simon’s, the Watts, the Smith’s, the William’s, the Myer’s, the Everson’s, the Rush’s, and the Moore’s to name a few.
    In the sixties and seventies this little community had a lot of love and unity. But because of the economic decline and just wanting to leave the Mon-Valley area young people leave.
    To me those photo are fon memories of what was. Several of homes are missing or torn down. As I think back at least 40 families lived in those little houses. You drove slowly up or down Lincoln Way because of the among of children playing in the street.
    So don’t feel sorry for Lincoln Way, the people who live there are Blessed through Christ Jesus. It was a town in its own.

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  8. Drive by this street often and wondered why it looked the way it does….big scary creature living there…Now I have to go see it…sorry for the family’s that lived there…feel bad for them…very odd story…

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  9. I live in clairton I think its a creepy place reminds me of silent hill or resident evil or something like that creepy

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  10. I enjoyed the article up until the author started wasting everyone’s time with absurd cryptozoological nonsense. What am I, right years old? I was hoping to learn something about this place, not just read the rambling speculations of a gullible and hyperactive imagination.

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  11. Wow! late, 60s we’d ride there daily to pickup our guitarist, rehearse in Liberty Boro, those from Clairton, know exactly who I’m talkin bout…..I know this, there was a tight community, lot of love.

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    • In first grade 1966 I lived in Clairton then we moved to Port Vue and I graduated from SA in 1977. Just curious as who the guitarist was from Lincoln way. I’ve been reading this article about Lincoln Way and came across your comment.

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      • I think the Guitarist you’re referring to was Rodney (Chuck) Osborne. I lived next door to the Osbornes and I also played sax in the band with Chuck. I lived near the top of the street at 193 and Chuck’s house was south of mine at 189. There was a walkway and small yard between our homes. The name of our band was the Levitations.

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  12. I love reading about the stories that you had told about. It’s very interesting, and I got really into it,like reading a book. Is it possible that there was a beast that lingerd on through the days and nights, why did everyone leave. For that,I would like to know,but,as far as living there, I just don’t think I can. There was something that went down in that quite neighborhood, could had been a beast, or diseases, or who knows. No one will ever know, I guess that’s where the tales comes in at. I hope you keep up the good work that you have been posting, especially the tales,pictures, etc. Very fascinating.
    Pam.c,from Georgia

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  13. I grew up not too far from this street. We would walk past it to go the the business area, known as Wilson. From what I remember, it was just a regular neighborhood. I have not ever heard of any creatures in the area, but I have been gone for almost 40 years. I am sure I would have remembered that as a young teen. Your pictures are great, I hope you found more places to photograph!!

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  14. Government conspiracy where they had killings staged by these “creatures” and scared the rest into silence. Why? The mill is a very key resource in this area. What if someone was to find out that they were all secretly being poisoned (speculation)? Imagine 1 lawsuit, let alone an entire street (again speculation).

    🙄 just a random thought late at night, pretty sure they have an air quality monitor on the other side of the river. But it’s a crazy theory right 0_o

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  15. My boyfriend and I were driving through PA and found this article, thought it sounded awesome, so we took a ride there. We walked around a little, took some pictures, and we went into some of the houses. There were four other people wandering around as well. No monsters or scary demons. Just some old medical records and letters from the 1900’s, broken glass, dialysis bags, and wrecked electronics. Anyway, we were about to leave when we were called out to the main road by the police. Four of us were written citations for $150 and the minors were let off easy. If you plan to go, here are my tips…

    1. Do not park in front of the barricades. (This is what one person did that was the reason the police knew we were there.) We parked in the CWV a block away.
    2. Go when you are a minor so you don’t get a citation for trespassing.

    Enjoy your $150 tour!!!

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    • Rebecca, were you one of the unfortunates who was cited, along with my son and me, as well as another couple, on July 2nd? Just curious.

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    • Rebecca, I attempted to comment yesterday but apparently did something wrong as it doesn’t seem to have posted.

      Anyhow, I’m the guy who parked by the barriers the day we all got cited. I wanted to say that I feel bad about that. I actually knew nothing about the place, we were just driving by, I saw it and we turned around and pulled over.

      I’d only planned on taking some pictures from the main road, but then I saw, I’m not sure if it was you and your boyfriend, or the other couple, and as there hadn’t been any other cars visible I’d assumed whomever we were seeing were local, possibly just using the street as a short cut. The point is, between that, and a lack of “no trespassing” signs, I didn’t think it was an issue.

      Had I known…

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  16. Oooh! The area must be posted no trespassing now.it wasnt a few years ago when we were there.i cant imagine the police issuing citations ,when it is still a public street up to the barrier,as far as i know.

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  17. Just went there a few minutes ago. Barely anything left. Tons of brush overgrown. None of the houses you can go into anymore- all the floors are collapsed except one or two houses. The only parking nearby is the VFW hall. You can’t park down the street anymore. There are two white barricades with yellow police tape at the entrance of the street.

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  18. How come none of the people that resided in those houses are stating why everyone left? People that visited saw dinner still on the table. Indicating that they up and left. Such an interesting legend.

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  19. I have seen a lot of the comments have said that they want to go take a look. Don’t do it, you will be arrested. The Clairton police have taped the street closed for a reason. I have been up the street and in the houses looking for a lost dog. Within minutes of our cars pulling up to the end of the street, there were five cop cars there to arrest us. Luckily they knew who we were. the street is missing manholes and small sinkholes which you can fall into. Houses have roofs and floors that are rotted and caving in. It’s just not a safe place to be.

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  20. On the insistence of my granddaughter, we went by this street. We had not even gotten out of the car when a slew of undercover police officers with lights on came and asked for our IDs. They state the property is off limits to everyone as it is unsafe and there have been vandals setting fire to one of the houses and drug activity. So STAY AWAY! Nothing to see there. As a matter of fact, just look at the pictures posted above. That way you won’t be hurt or arrested for trespassing.

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  21. It all just a plot to buy the land for cheap ,if you’re paying attention it happening all over the city of Clairton go ask around who owned most of the abandoned properties or just purchase the abandoned property and you come up with the same names!!

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  22. I’ve been on google maps all over this city. Seems to me in the heart of the city they have it nice looking. Go back 3_4 blocks. Its all tyrninh in to this block. I lost count but also did some reading and the township people say they have higher end home due to come down because other games have people living in them. This town is lying out there bums. The front of the town looks great. Chambers rd has what I saw 15 homes left to root with 6 homes with family’s. Go out side the town also other side from this rd and you will watch the same thing happen once again. The township people aren’t worried about the homes rotting. They are more worried about this pipe line. And the whole city is trashed. Look at the sides of the road. Makes me sad to see the earth I line on is treated with little to no care. ( btw I did see some really nice homes taken care of really nicely.) and thanks fir sugaring you gave me 3 hours of schobdo time

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  23. Okay I’m sorry, but the story of the two young men with the blue pickup who explored the area and came face-to-face with a monster on Lincoln Way…that’s a fictional story written by an amateur writer on Reddit nosleep from two years ago. Here is a link to prove it:

    The photographer is just trying to stir up interest. Most of the homes were abandoned because people moved away due to the economy, and all the stuff left behind was junk they were too lazy to take with them.

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  24. Pingback: The Eerie Abandoned Neighborhood of Lincoln Way | The Hippy Chic

  25. I went to Walnut Ave school in Wilson with many of the kids from Lincoln Way back in the thirties and forties. Back in those days, Clairton/Wilson was in many respects segregated. Blair and Lincoln Way were the only two places that Blacks lived. I’ve got to believe that the later loss of jobs and better race relations contributed to the abandonment of Lincoln Way.

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  26. This could make a very good documentary even movie about the street itself.. It’s a very interesting story and no one knows EXACTLY why people left, weather it really was monsters that drove everyone out or was it development that was gonna take place or even pollution, I mean, there’s bound to be someone that can tell us or some documentation, right??. I think it would be worth digging in further………….

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  27. James Daniel Ross

    1) Too high for a predator of that size to go unnoticed.( it is A Hell Hound.
    2) Too low to have the number of missing pets needed to feed an animal half that size, let alone a platoon. IT IS A Hell hound

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  28. I just checked out this place on Google street view. The last street view pictures of this road were from 2007, when street view started coming out. Judging by what I saw, the abandonment wasn’t done all at one and at the same time. Some houses were still occupied and others have been vacant for a while judging by the overgrown vegetation around them and some boarded up windows.

    I highly doubt that this has to to with a predator or a monster or anything paranormal. If it was that scary everyone one would have left all at the same time, the street view pics. clearly show that this is not the case. You can even see a for sale by owner sign!

    What I think happened is that there was a natural factor affecting the houses/neighborhood. Could be sinkholes, water contamination or something else.

    Check out the street view if you don’t believe me!

    https://www.google.ca/maps/@40.3130047,-79.8964437,3a,75y,241.76h,91.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6bXkHzQH5yf_lKib5Fnd6A!2e0!7i3328!8i1664!6m1!1e1

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