The town of Ervaren was a small town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, established in the late 17th century by early German speaking Dutch immigrants. The town was built around a Catholic church that was built there for a safe haven for German speaking settlers traveling through the area which is how the town got its name Ervaren which is Dutch for pass through.
The entire population of 214 went missing around May 12th, 1981 with no conclusive evidence of where the population of the town went or how they all disappeared. The town is isolated and the discovery of the missing inhabitants was made possible by a family member of one the residents arriving to the town for a visit to see no one in sight and the town’s church in ruin and smoldering. Other than the ruined church all the homes were left in good condition. No indication of forced removal or missing belongings could be found so detectives were convinced that the inhabitants of the town must have left willingly.
Recorded Series of Events Edit
On May 9th, 1981 the only sheriff office in the town received numerous complaints of a burning smell around the town. The sheriff’s office had a written report of the smell describing it as an almost suffocating stench that coated your nose and lungs. It was also reported that the surrounding area around the town was unaffected by the smell and was only present in the town itself.
On May 10th,1981 a couple of citizens had filed a noise disturbance with the sheriff's office about the sound of fire crackling beneath the ground at night. A handful of the town’s inhabitants described the sound as “wood crackling over fire,but as if it was right next to your ear.”
On May 11th, 1981 many of the residents of Ervaren were complaining of screams coming from below. The town’s religious fanatics took a hold of the fear and had set up a safe haven inside the church that the town was built around. The sheriff’s department reported that they offered protection and were to patrol the town at night to help ease the resident’s fears.
May 11th,1981 was the last day recorded by the town’s sheriff office and no subsequent days were reported. On May 12th, 1981 a family member visiting the town filed a missing person's report in Centralia, a town about 30 miles away, about the missing residents of Ervaren.
Possible Causes of Strange Occurrences Edit
It’s believed that the smell was caused by the Centralia Mine Fire that has been burning since 1962 and gaining media attention when a sinkhole opened up in the backyard of a house where two children were playing and nearly killed one of them had it not been for the second child saving the other. Many believed that the crackling sound the town heard was the sound of the coal mine burning, but was disproved due to the fact that the town was too far away from the Centralia mines to hear anything and the screams reported by some of the residents were still being questioned to this day.