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

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212 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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      1. My Mum was Anna Pastore she went to school with many people from there and said they were all kind and humble and good people, of course any hurt animals would be due some evil guys who did likewise up on Clairton hill in our woods. no animal did these things unless an occational coyote perhaps…but no ghost nor demon seems as evil as those guys who terrorized animals, females from domestic abuse and children they assaulted and or sex abused…and got clean away with it for decades. no supernatural things just no conscience guys who corrupted young boys in this behavior and as my family knows even murdered but why would that come as a surprise after such horrors on animals. so sad if you think about it. we always lived right up the road from this area. it was once a cute cozy place with gentle people. the people who lived there bothered no one. and no strange animal harmed anyone….again unless a natural occational coyote from the woods etc…now most people who believe otherwise mean no harm and I understand their curiosity…but if you lived here for long periods of time spanning generations you know there was no supernatural issue….or who knows after time with people doing evil things to harm animals there after it was abandoned…okay then yes …who knows Clairton can be a very strange and scary place in some ways in that regard….but my murdered brother Eddie , who was killed here in Clairton and everyone knows who did it: the 2 guys who are guilty as hell itself…Eddie is always with any good soul here and he protected animals and women/ girls from harm when alive….he was gentle to animals just as he was gentle with people. My good Mother taught him to act like that, with compassion for others…so if Eddie was ever a ghost, as he left Mum and me all the clues to tell us who killed him….he is a valorous and very good soul….Clairton is riddled with horrific bizarre deaths….and some streets are loaded in the deaths of young people tragic and strange….funny because of all the forgotten horrible deaths I always though this area in question was the least odd ….the area went downhill after older people died off and more domestic abuse and men up to no good and young males harming animals etc etc well it took it’s toll and no one new moved in …plus the houses were old and in bad condition. sadly animals deceived by humans and thus abandoned from other areas around this area and those who wondered in from the woods….all products of careless human treatment of animals, ended up stalked and abused by very bad mostly males who sought to harm them, seeking out such areas where the animals just sought shelter from the cold…sad sad situation. but you are right the original people were so kind and good from that street. Mum always said so…she was such a compassionate merciful woman anyway but it still stood out that she had not a bad word to say about people there she had gone to school with yrs before. ps they liked her too…it always got back to me how kind they said my mother was in school ❤

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      2. I understand not wanting to upkeep homes that are constantly being vandalized but that doesn’t explain why some of the homes were left the way they are. Why isn’t anything packed up? Why are there still clothes hanging nicely on a door or dishes in the sink? Some of the items left were definitely valuable when abandoned, like a car for example?
        I don’t think there anything spooky going on here but I do find the way they were left very odd.
        What’s more odd is a found this article while trying to research a different abandoned neighborhood, and have found that there a quite few, although this one isn’t as hidden and seem like it’s in worse condition than most the others. But all of them still have belongings in them as if the owners fled without preparation and no one knows the backgrounds on them.

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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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    2. I’m wondering if the link changed location somehow because when I click yours it’s not the right street/neighborhood and is mostly brick houses in good shape, newer cars, and small pools.

      When I looked it up myself it seems to have been updated in 2017, it looks like some of the homes have started getting renovated. There’s no visible construction but some of the homes look in better shape and somewhat updated, plus there’s 2 newer cars parked on the street. It’s still ends after a few houses though so I can’t see what’s farther up the road.

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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. Well, that simply sucks. One less urban exploring destination. Oh well, I wonder what junkyard received that old Ford?

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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

  8. So, I actually took time to read all the paragraphs. After seeing all this I messaged one of my friends who live in Pennsylvania and told him to take me there if I ever go to PA. I love looking and exploring this type of stuff. But once I heard they were going to tear it down, I was like, “Umm… please no. I have to see this first.” The story of the two guys made me shake all throughout my body. I NEED TOO SEE THIS BEFORE THEY TEAR IT DOWN!

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  9. This is happening to many neighborhoods around the country. We have several streets in my hometown in Illinois that this happened too. 2 or 3 city blocks west of the main grid, completely abandoned, torn down and nature overtook. This is common.

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  10. Some towns just tear things down faster. Here are a few locations around my hometown where the exact same thing happened as the coal mines shut down.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7410374,-88.5464391,3a,53.2y,8.08h,79.85t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqJy2Cw7SIMspJ3JBtjQYCg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    This area here was FULL of houses in a very thriving black neighborhood, all torn down and abandoned over the years and slowly being redeveloped into a commercial district for the city.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.737063,-88.5317325,3a,60y,141.36h,89.79t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1splxRWY-8FjmqqKQXDvY2Qg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    North wilmoth. Another former black neighborhood. Thriving, abandoned.
    Why? Because the white people in town assumed it was a drug haven.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7451474,-88.5471845,3a,60y,108.28h,84.34t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szWx9v1zP3dBxxZiOeWSmpA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    White privilege = Having the luxury of seeing an abandoned minority neighborhood, caused by segregation, imposed by whites, and assuming a monster attacked it 40 years later because nobody white cared enough to have remembered to tell the story to each other.
    *facepalm at this entire comment section*

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