cities / towns The Weirdest Small Towns in the United States  

Noah Henry
17.8k votes 6.7k voters 1.6M views 16 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the strangest towns in the United States.

A post on Medium in May 2016 attempted to tackle a seemingly unanswerable question: what's the weirdest town in America? To do this, Lyman Stone used twenty different variables, including what percentage of each city's population was foreign-born, married, working, in the armed forces, etc. He then compared that data to national averages. What he found was that San Jose, CA, is the most bizarre town in the US. But though it may be demographically weird, San Jose doesn't hold a candle to these weird small towns in the United States.

Truth be told, there are thousands of weird US towns that didn't make this list, some of which include Hollywood, Portland, and Providence. The following, however, are notorious for their stark oddity. If you've ever wanted to travel America in search of the silliest, saddest, and most psychopathic of all the states, consider this a travel guide to the weirdest small towns in America.


Whittier is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Weirdest Small Towns in the United States
Photo:  Jessica Spengler/Wikimedia Commons

There is a small town 58 miles southeast of Anchorage where everyone lives together. In one building.

The 14-story Begich Towers is home to the 214 people of Whittier, AK. It was originally an army barracks, but the tower grew to include a police station, a post office, store, church, video rental shop, playground, and health center. It's a cozy nook if there ever was one.

see more on Whittier

Centralia is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Weirdest Small Towns in the United States
Photo:  JohnDS/Wikimedia Commons

In 1981, there were 1,000 people living in Centralia, PA. By 2010, there were 10. What happened? Well, there's been a coal mine fire burning beneath the town since 1962. Sinkholes, toxic smoke, gas—the highway itself is hot to the touch. Residents apparently couldn't deal. Although it's been on fire for decades, experts believe that it may burn for another 250 years. If, for some bizarre reason, this sounds like a place where you'd like to live, you can't. In 1992, the state of Pennsylvania seized all the property in the town and condemned it. They allowed the then-current residents to stay, but once they die, that'll be the end of Centralia.

see more on Centralia
3
425 181

Hell, MI - A Town That Really Embraces Its Name


Hell, MI - A Town That Really ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Weirdest Small Towns in the United States
Photo: Pure Michigan

Hell, MI, is a small town located in the southeastern part of the state close to Ann Arbor. Originally a milling town - and later a town full of bootleggers - the town with the name Hell has really embraced it. As the story goes, Hell got its name after one of the city's founders asked what he wanted to name it in the 1840s, he responded "You can name it Hell for all I care," and it stuck.

The town has profited off the name, though. They've embraced hell and Satan - you can even get married in a devil church. You can buy a plot in Hell (as the website says, "buy a piece of Hell,") get a Gravedigger Sundae at The Creamatory at Screams, and even have a burger at the Hell Hole Diner who's pastries are "to die for." Hell also has a fake university called Damnation University - Dam U for short.

4
1,107 578

Monowi, NE - Population: 1


Monowi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Weirdest Small Towns in the United States
Photo:  Bkell/Wikimedia Commons

There is literally one person who lives in Monowi, NE. Her name is Elsie Eiler. She used to live in Monowi with her husband, Rudy, but he passed away in 2004. Elsie is the mayor, the town bartender, and the sole librarian. She pays taxes to herself. Elsie is an octogenarian, meaning the town might soon be abandoned.