'What happened?': Mystery over creepy Google Maps find

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Mystery surrounds an abandoned street that used to be packed with houses after a TikTok video emerged showing off the creepy neighbourhood on Google Maps.

In a Google Maps street view image taken in 2019, Lincoln Way in Clairton, in the US state of Pennsylvania, has been blocked off with a sign erected at the start of the street which reads “no trespassing” by order of the city council.

But a view of the entire street from 2007 is still able to be seen on Google Maps.

A 2019 Google Maps image of Lincoln Way, Clairton.
Lincoln Way, Pennsylvania has been abandoned for a number of years. The street is pictured here in 2019. Source: Google Maps

TikTok user Google Maps Fun recently posted a video showing off the street from Google Maps and delved into the urban legend as to why the neighbourhood now resembles a ghost town.

The user wrote in captions the neighbourhood is “haunted” and referred to a creature known as “The Beast of Lincoln Way”, an animal which is said to be the size of a horse, and led to pets going missing and scaring people away.

Of course, the beast is just an urban legend and there’s been nothing to substantiate the myth.

There have also been suggestions the houses were abandoned for a highway expansion or some kind of development that never happened.

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On TikTok, one man wrote if you ask 10 people about what happened you’ll get 10 different answers.

“I swear everything in Pennsylvania is haunted,” one woman wrote.

Another man called it “crazy spooky”.

Lincoln Way, Clairton is pictured, in a 2007 Google Maps image.
There are some urban myths about a monster which forced people to abandon their homes. Pictured is a house on Lincoln Way in 2007. Source: Google Maps, file

What happened to Lincoln Way?

According to Pennsylvania-based property developers Grounded, Lincoln Way was once a “flourishing community” about a century ago.

Grounded had looked at potential redevelopment for the street but “frustratingly” struggled to find much information on its history.

It was once said to be a “rich enclave” for African-American communities – established due to their segregation from nearby communities. Many of the men from Lincoln Way worked at the local steel mill. It was largely an isolated community though and as the years passed, people simply moved on and didn’t come back.

There were also a lot of short-term residents who didn’t stay long either. The last house was reportedly vacated in 2012.

“The same isolation that gave the street its strong sense of community in its prime also led to its demise,” Grounded wrote in a blog.

It’s not exactly clear why Lincoln Way is completely abandoned now, but there are suggestions once people started to leave, property value plummeted and rather than struggle to sell homes people simply left them behind.

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