CENTRALIA -- Centralia in Columbia County has been virtually a ghost town since a mine fire chased nearly everyone out of the borough years ago and that includes the roads in the area of the borough.
So why are state police getting so bent out of shape over people spray painting graffiti on those empty roads?
Old Route 61 near Centralia has been closed to cars and trucks since the early 1990s. Since then, it's become a popular place for people to spray paint graffiti. But state police want people to think twice before they leave their "artwork."
There haven't been cars on this abandoned Route 61 near Centralia for more than 20 years, but there's still plenty of traffic: walkers and bikers who sometimes even leave their mark.
"It's a tourist attraction."
The road closed back in the 1990s because of the spreading mine fire underneath that's still burning. Now, the abandoned road is overrun with graffiti.
"For those who have ridden it with their bicycles like I have, you never know what you're going to find. Everybody that comes and visits, they all want to put their name and I was here," said Kulpmont resident Frank Lawski.
State police recently sent out a reminder to everyone that, in fact, it is illegal to spray on state property, including what's now known as the "graffiti highway."
State police told Newswatch 16 they are adding more patrols through the area adding that anyone they find doing it will be charged.
But people we spoke with say the graffiti gives the old road some new life.
"The graffiti definitely makes it a little eerie, a little mischievous, I guess," said Josh Willits.
He was on his way to his home near Philadelphia, but just had to make a stop to see what "the graffiti highway" was all about.
"Figured we'd stop by, heard a lot about it."
"I don't know if they should allow it, but it's kind of neat. It's kind of neat," said Brianna Lechner of Hatfield. "It's something to look at. It's a landmark for Ashland and Centralia and all that."