The Eerie Abandoned Neighborhood of Lincoln Way

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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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203 thoughts on “The Eerie Abandoned Neighborhood of Lincoln Way

  1. This is odd. So no one has investigated or asked the town officials where the residents went to? People living on both sides of Lincoln way never had friends who lived there and never knew why the residents left?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lived in Lincoln Way from birth in 1952 until I married and left in 1982. I still reside in Clairton and I can assure everyone that 99.99% of the stories that have been circulating about Lincoln Way are not true. Strange … yes, but true? … not so much. A majority of the families that lived there didn’t have anyone that wanted to keep up the property due to the location and also because of the addicts and stragglers that constantly ransacked the houses. My properties @ addresses 171 & 193 were destroyed by the addicts. Lincoln Way will be forever remembered because it was a place of humble beginnings and most importantly Great People.

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  2. 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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    1. Wow!! Thanks for the link. Those were duplexes, (2 places in one) I wonder if at one time, they were actual houses?. We’re they turned into duplexes later? A couple of those places, were in really good shape in 07. I noticed the map stopped, that’s where I want to go, the other side of that big block in the road. Anyway, thanks for the link. And Jimmy, amazing pics. The one with the blue curtains still up & staircase is my favorite one.

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  3. I’m not an American, but anyway I like to tell that I know only 1 country on this world where the owners have to pay big fines for empty properties and the following detoriation of their properties whatever the reason is of the detoriation of the environment for which the authorities are responsable and by which nobody wishes to live there anymore. peterverrijcken@gmail.com

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  4. Hi there! My name is John. Very nice presentation on Lincoln Way in Clairton, PA! Thank you for posting. What interests me the most is the car left behind. It appears to be a mid to late 1970’s Ford LTD II or something close to it. Do you have any other pictures or information on it? Which house was it in? I don’t see it featured in any of the videos of Licoln Way on Youtube. If you know anything more on this car I’d love to know. Thanks again for posting the story and pictures of Lincoln Way!

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      1. That’s true, especially the older ones.  They look great and are far easier to work on!  I’ve a 1973 Oldsmobile myself and it rides like a dream!

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    1. The car was in the first house to the left as soon as you pull on the street. But I wouldn’t dare go there now. Police have that neighborhood SO locked down now, you will be arrested for trespassing. It’s all Thanks to the thousands of people who ambushed the neighborhood after reading this story about it, and set all the houses on fire….twice. It’s a shame that people can’t just admire things for what they are, and have to destroy everything they touch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for letting me know! I appreciate the warning too. Yea, I’ve seen many a video on Youtube about this place so it definitely seems to be a well known destination for urban explorers like myself. I really want to look at that car though. Figures it had to be in one of the houses closest to the main road. My biggest problem is finding a place to park my own car so it’s not obvious what I’m doing. I was going to drive it all the way up Lincoln Way and try to hide it in all those weeds (in Summertime) but it seems the entrance to Lincoln Way is blocked off so that idea is out. I agree, it is a shame that people have to destroy places like that. I love the history behind places like Lincoln Way and exploring what’s left of past lives. Especially abandoned vehicles mixed in with abandoned buildings. That really piques my interest 🙂 Thank you again for replying to my question!

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    2. They have Lincoln Way barricaded off after about 3 houses in, so you’re unable to drive all the way up the road. If you want to take the chance on exploring, you’d be better off parking somewhere further away and walking to the road. The police will make constant rounds into the entrance of Lincoln Way to make sure no one is there.

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    1. Lol I think YOU should be the one doing the research…the fire only happened in recent years. This entire neighborhood was abandoned WAY before it was set on fire. Once word got out about this “ghost town”, hundreds of people flocked to see it, including irresponsible immature kids, just looking to vandalize and ultimately resulting in the house fires.

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  5. they have just done the same in california; santa rosa SONOMA county fires… same exact thing; SR was a huge anti G5 tech, smart meters and chem trail activists… now and people cannot go back to even look for old photos or jewelery that might have survived… agenda 21 big time; http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7858978-181/santa-rosa-brothers-face-jail americans need to wake up… LASERS FROM THE SKY & THE CALIFORNIA FIRES https://youtu.be/RBLBAM-Vi3c via @YouTube http://stopsprayingcalifornia.com/Sonoma_County.php

    https://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/the-way-we-see-itour-blog/santa-rosa-fires-what-we-saw

    in los angeles; you didn’t see this in the news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfU18qnSOhM

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  6. Johnny your photos and posts are awesome. WordPress had you on Discover and I will definitely check out your blog to catch up. I love the posts I’ve clicked on.
    I’m the guy who wrote, “The Ghost Street of Clairton, Pennsylvania, USA” in 2016. My experience with Lincoln Way and your post inspired my post. Regardless of what really happened there, the state of Lincoln Way in the mid-2010’s was fascinating. Rumor has it the local government is trying to clear that area and redevelop that portion of Clairton. Time will tell if that really happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In one of the above photos, that of a living area, everything was disintegrating…..everything except a collection of clean, well pressed, and well hung clothes. They were all hung together on a door. The door was falling apart. Everything around it, above it, underneath it was disintegrating, but the clothes looked so nice. They were old-fashioned, but they were in pristine condition. This gives me the creeps! Take a look through the above photos and see what I mean. It’s creepy!

    Liked by 1 person

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