Graveyard Shift
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People Describe The Creepiest Small Towns They've Ever Passed Through

Updated April 5, 2019 13.5k votes 2.7k voters 92.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the stories that would convince you to take the long way around these small towns.

Who doesn't have some creepy small town stories? Isolated and insular places can have some of the scariest vibes anywhere. After all, every community is different, and plenty of towns are just plain weird. Maybe it's a history of xenophobia, or a political dispute institutionalized over the years, or possibly a doomsday cult attempting to summon the apocalypse by sacrificing unsuspecting travelers.

Whatever the case, creepy small towns are everywhere, and this list collects some of the most off-putting for you to remember next time you're driving back roads late at night.

  • 5

    A Group Of Friends Found Trees Decorated With Knives And Dolls

    From Redditor /u/UnicornGirl24:

    Backstory: I grew up in a town of 100 people. Not much here but my friends and I used to drive the dirt roads and just hang out. One night we ventured a bit too far out of our normal area and managed to cross the state line (we are only 4 miles from the state line). We had never really driven around there and decided to explore. We turned down one dirt road and were greeted with machetes, knives, doll parts, and other various objects hanging from the trees. No houses were visible and no other side roads that could lead to a driveway were visible either. We noped out of there and drove for another hour to make sure no one followed us home.

    Is this creepy?
  • 6

    A Family Discovers A Creepy, Secretive Town

    From Redditor /u/Mike7676:

    The weirdest, or just flat out ODD thing I ever witnessed was when I lived in Kansas.

    Small backstory: I was in the Army at the time, early in my career with my wife and two very young children. No money, not a lot to do around Ft. Riley unless you liked hunting and fishing, or could afford it. What we would do to alleviate boredom was drive. Just drive around quietly hoping the noise of the road kept the babies quiet. One Saturday in the fall of 2001 we came upon a tiny town. I believe it was south of Topeka as we would go there fairly often just to walk around.

    As we drove toward it, we noticed that the little town was laid out... oddly. Like a grid square or suburb but miniscule. Perhaps a dozen homes? At one end of this layout was a large (for its size) barnlike building or school. Clearly abandoned, obvious fire damage the cause. Creepy, interesting, yes, but as we drove around the pattern of homes something else caused us to speed right out. At least five homes, as we drove past, not only slammed doors shut but also closed curtains, shades and faces near windows furtively poked out. Absolutely made our skin crawl and we never went back.

    For reference, our car at the time was a light green old Dodge Neon, so its not like they thought it was a police cruiser.

    Is this creepy?
  • 7

    One Group Found A Nightmare Shrine

    From Redditor /u/GreenGlassDrgn:

    Got lost on our way to Centralia, PA. We ended up on a gravel road, winding up the side of a wooded mountain. At the end of the road was a well, which turned out to be a well-maintained memorial for firemen. Then our eyes drifted from the sign to the house in the woods behind it.

    Tiny wooden cottage in the middle of nowhere. In the trees on the property, in a large radius from the house, all sorts of sh*t was hanging from the trees, dangling from branches, nailed to trunks, stuck on extra metal poles stuck in the ground. It was everything your nightmares have conjured, ancient stuffed animals rotting in the wind, even older yellow plastic lawn-sunflowers gone brown, dangling lawn chairs, and some painted wooden pigs that had been wrapped to trunks with duct tape and extension cords.

    We got out of there fast.

    Is this creepy?
  • 8

    They Wandered Into A Saloon For Dolls

    From Redditor /u/MiddleGrayStudios:

    Once stopped for gas at the liquor store in this small town in Colorado of no more than a few hundred people. I asked to use a restroom and the clerk points me to this door. I go through the door and it's like an old Western saloon. However, there are life size stuffed dummies dressed in Western wear EVERYWHERE. This was around 6 pm. There should have been real people in there by then, right? I got a Deliverance vibe and bolted.

    Is this creepy?