Cellar Holes and Ghost Towns


Cellar holes in the east exist in every state, but the empty holes are more than just vacant depressions in the ground.


Cellar holes in the east are what remain of the old homes that once proudly stood there.

If you love American history, try the adventure of locating these old towns.

Before I continue to explain how you can search for the ghost towns in the east, it’s important that I mention that I will use the terms “cellar holes” and “ghost towns” interchangeably.

Although, the only existence that an old home or for that matter an old town once existed in an area, today, that empty hole is in fact a ghostly reminder of a once occupied home.

You may know of a ghost town near you.

Or perhaps, like many others, you are not aware that they also exist in the Midwestern and Southern states.

Many times you have driven your car past a cellar hole but you were not aware of it.

If you are a hiker, backpacker, or a hunter, you may have walked past or through a ghost town never realizing it.

I will act as your guide to help you search for the old towns that once dotted the eastern states.

Much of the information that you will be reading on this website is based on my popular metal detecting TV series “Ghost Towns Of The East”.

View a brief video trailer here.

Searching for cellar holes, or ghost towns is an exciting adventure that can lead to some interesting experiences and treasures.

Metal detecting the ghost towns of the east has uncovered some very exciting finds.

Whether you are a beginner in the hobby of metal detecting, or one that is experienced, the excitement of finding a relic from hundreds of years ago is one of the best adventures you can explore.

However, you don’t need a metal detector to enjoy the adventure of searching for cellar holes.

Many times, in the areas surrounding the ghost towns, without metal detecting, I find pieces of history lying on the ground, these relics have been untouched for hundreds of years.

Old bottles and pieces of pottery chard's often lay scattered on the ground.

Throughout these pages, you’ll learn the same techniques that I use.

Often times you can hike, or backpack into remote areas, or just drive the back country roads searching for these cellar holes.

Many times I use an old topographical map, or topo to locate the ghost towns. I’ll show you how to use a topo as well.

What's A Topo?

Please click here for more information on what a topographical map is.

Lets Begin Our Search For An Eastern Ghost Town

Important…You cannot dig for or remove any artifacts on State land.

For laws that govern this property and your rights when metal detecting,

please click here.

Compare A New Map With An Old Topo

Here is why it’s important to get an older topo. All topos will designate structures by using little dots in the vicinity of any home or town. They will also show the old roads that may not be shown on your new map.

And sometimes the older roads have been either straightened or changed in some way.

You need to compare your old topo with your new county map to try and locate the area you want to search.

You should try and locate the nearest road or highway on your county map that is closest to the area you want to search in, and then try and locate that road on your topo. It sounds difficult, but it really isn’t.

For a more detailed explanation on how to locate the old ghost towns, and how to use a topo,

please visit this page

Look for any similar roads on both maps.

Check the terrain on the topo and compare to the area you would like to search for the cellar holes.

If you cannot find the town name on the new map, then you may have a ghost town, and that’s what you want.

It’s now time to drive to the area. Whenever you venture onto a backcountry road, whether it’s on State land or private property, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is an added plus.

It is not imperative that you have one. However, it will make your journey much easier, especially when the old roads become wet from rain or too steep to climb.

It’s not often that you’ll be able to see the cellar holes from your vehicle.

During the late spring and the summer months, vegetation becomes thick and overgrown.

Many times the vegetation hides the old structures or cellar holes; this makes it difficult to see them from your vehicle.

So, here are some clues for you to use when you are trying to locate ghost towns.

Watch for old maple trees, myrtle and pottery chards.

Are You Interested In A Metal Detector Or Accessories?

Using a metal detector around old cellar holes is an exciting adventure.

If you do not own a metal detector and you are thinking of purchasing one, do not over spend. Too often, newcomers to the hobby buy expensive detectors only to discover nothing but confusion about how to use their new model.

If you spend between $350-$450 on a new model, that is good enough. Just read the owners manual, and practice with your detector, and you will do fine. Move up to the high end models after you have become proficient in the hobby.

Visit my store and see what great deals there are on metal detectors, accessories, and much more.

Visit My Online Store