When driving around on a long trip, you're liable to pass through towns of all stripes. You'll wind through big cities, inspiring earthly landscapes, and small, unknown little dots on the map.
And those tiny little towns can seriously pack a punch.
You might only drive through for about 15 minutes, maybe fill up the gas tank and grab a drink from the corner store, but that's all it takes to catch a vibe.
There's something about the buildings, the people, or the desolate quality of the entire place that's enough to make your skin crawl.
Some Redditors took a moment to describe the towns that freaked them out completely.
sorvivordemigod asked, "What are some of the Scariest Small Towns in America?"
Plenty of people described the places that legitimately seemed haunted. Some people even treated readers to the backstory and broader context of the creepy place left behind.
Other times, they could just tell.
People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday
Reddit Users Share Their Best 'It's A Small World After All' Experience
"Carpenter, WY. It's a super tiny town. I've only driven through once, so I can't say it's super scary, definitely creepy though. The one time I was there there was nobody outside except this little girl outside the town hall that just stared at us while we drove by, shaking her head the whole time."
"On the way out of town we did see a kid playing basketball in his backyard, so that mitigated the creepiness of the little girl."
A Mix of Influences
"Samoa, California. I've been in some weird places. Nowhere has ever creeped me out like that little village of the damned."
"Imagine Stephen King and David Lynch fell asleep playing Silent Hill, and shared a fever dream directed by John Carpenter."
"Anyone who's been there feel free to back me up. There's a straight up evil energy there."
Remnants of a Cult
"Rulo, Nebraska. The town has a real haunted vibe to it. Lots of abandoned buildings with no one around."
"Plus it was home to a Christian Identity cult lead by Michael Ryan in the early 1980's that tortured and murdered several members. Ryan was sentenced to death for the murders but ended up dying in prison before the sentence was carried out."
"Rod Colvin wrote a book about this cult called 'Evil Harvest.' "
Lived In, But Empty
"Yellowdog, PA. Here's one account."
"I guess it's not super scary, but one of my elementary school friends grew up there and I probably stayed there every other week for like ten years. They eventually moved out. It took maybe five years later and the whole place was abandoned."
"We went to visit not that long ago and it's fu**ing creepy. There are still toys and stuffed animals just lying around. The houses are in bad shape but they're all still standing, and you can absolutely just go in and have a look around."
"Hillsville, PA aka Zombieland. Some crazy local legends brewed up about that place over the years. Involving lighting a torch in the woods to begin your journey, a haunted bridge, graveyard & murder house."
"Was really fun to go there back in High school. Theres a really creepy underpass decorated in hundreds of statues of mother Mary before going up what seems a 90 degree incline to actually get up into the hills."
Other people explored creepy towns that drew their horror from more secular sources. The actual behavior of people and other man-made entities can sometimes be as scary as old legends or haunted ghosts.
A Fleet in Pursuit
"Colorado City, AZ if you are not known there, you will be followed by several white SUVs." -- brockdaywatch
"First place that came to my mind! You get a weird vibe driving through and seeing all these half built compounds and people just stare at you as you drive by" -- libtech1776
Just Something Awry
"Orangeburg, SC Had to spend a week there for work once. From the moment I arrived, I felt uneasy. The town was eerily quiet when I drove in. I felt like I was in a post-apocalyptic movie of some sort. I'm a pretty happy guy and I loved my job but I felt depressed all week and don't think I smiled once while I was there. Not one person I worked with that week seemed happy either."
"The hotel I stayed at gave me the creeps. There was quite a bit of drug activity going on in the parking lot which made the situation worse. I had to move to another hotel in the middle of the night because I didn't feel safe. The week went by so slow. On my departure day, I woke up early and booked it tf out of there. Once I was on the highway headed to the airport, I felt such relief."
Let It Burn
"My GPS re routed me through Gary Indiana last week. There was a literal car fire in a neighborhood it routed me through."
"Seemed to have been burning for a while...no one around. 👍"
"Protected by levies. Mostly abandoned."
" 'What is it, would you say, you actually do here?' "
"The area around Manly, Lousiana. The town was nice, great Mexican food. But once you're out of town...it's 30 min on bad roads to the highway. I was sent out there for a job. Nothing is paved, 'county roads' are gravel or dead end into gully's, wild dogs roaming, and random houses are just abandoned in the woods. Locals from town won't go into some of the areas like Coushetta. Nothing matches the map, and there was no cell service. I passed an abandoned hospital? Or something, it was a sign and then foundations in the woods."
"The creepiest part was I was talking to some locals and a guy tells me out of no where 'oh yeah, I saw you by the lake, figured you weren't from here' I hadn't seen him there at all. It was a one lane dirt road. He kept talking and it turned he knew where I'd been all day. He and his friends had kept tabs on me. And his smile scared the hell out of me. I've never left a town so fast."
"I feel like this comment doesn't fully explain the weirdness and creepiness of the abandoned houses, wild dogs and locals keeping tabs on me all day."
Guardians of the Tunnel
"Hawthorne Nevada was a very strange place. It has a navel base in the middle of the desert and a lake called walker lake that's rumored to have a tunnel for subs to go to the pacific."
"When I drove thru and stopped for gas there everyone wouldn't stop staring and it just gave me a vibe."
Finally, some people could point to a very true, historic reason for the way a place turned out. Natural disasters and other mass tragedies laid the groundwork for total eeriness.
The Influence of One Man
"Skidmore, MO. The whole town cowered down to a bully, Ken McElroy for years as he stole, raped, and intimidated the residents. Then one day they had enough and gunned him down outside the local bar."
"I visited the town several years later while in the area on business and I got the weirdest vibe from the townsfolk. Perhaps it was because I was an outsider and they were probably sick of the notoriety and unwanted attention. Whatever it was, I couldn't get out of there fast enough."
"Newtown, MO. Part of St Charles I'm pretty sure. Place is eerie. The trees line up too perfectly. No noise. No dogs barking. No kids playing. Nobody just waking around."
"The houses are all less than 10 years old but nearly identical and made to look like 1910s-20s bungalows. Landscaping is pristine. Then 'downtown' there are frikkin massive animal statues and the buildings all look like the Parthenon."
"It feels like those videos demonstrating the effects of a nuke, if a place could feel like that."
"I'm surprised no one mentioned Picher, OK."
"When the Tornado went through in 2008, it destroyed a majority of the town. However, it was known for their piles 'chat' a residue that comes from Zinc mining. Little did the realize how incredibly toxic this was as it was used for building roads, sidewalks, and sandboxes."
"Kids of the area would even play in the piles unbeknownst to them the dangers associated with it. Eventually there would be an influx of cases of children having learning disabilities and a school guidance counselor sought to have the tests done to check for lead poisoning. The town became a toxic waste ground and the EPA had to force residences to evacuate the area."
"Going into that town know, it's nothing more than a grave-site - this video shows a documentary filmmaker (Dan Bell) walking through the town and showing what remains. Truly scary and at the same time depressing."
"Cairo, Illinois. Drove through a few times with my boyfriend when he was a truck driver. Had a very spooky and dark feeling to it. Only place open was a subway.. and all the lights in the parking lot were out."
"I looked the town up and apparently a flood had come through and destroyed most of the town years before. What was left was probably the most unwelcome, eeiry place I've had the dissatisfaction of visiting."
There's no doubt you've passed through just such a town in your day.
The question then becomes, did it pique your interest enough to go back, or spook you so much you never will?
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We are in a fragile place right now when it comes to bringing children into this world.
Not everybody is meant to be a parent.
In fact, many people should never be one.
So I find it commendable how many of us acknowledge that and chose not to procreate.
Redditorucinangel wanted to everyone to vent about why children are a "no thank you" in their book of life. They asked:
"What is the biggest reasons why you don’t want children?"
I have never wanted children. Best decision ever. But y'all do you if you feel differently. How do we feel?
Restless3. Taking a lot of napsGiphy
"I like sleep too much."
"I took two naps today.. definitely couldn't do that with kids."
"I don’t want to be a parent."
"This is reason enough."
"I am a parent. One of my friends told me she didn’t want kids and said she hoped she hadn’t offended me by saying so. I said absolutely not, no one who doesn’t want to be a parent should be one. It’s an unquittable job. You have to want it for the long term."
"I don't want kids because they're expensive and I don't have any free time. I have yet to break it to them though. Maybe after soccer practice tonight."
"I miss having free time. I can't hang out with friends last minute after work because I have to pick up my kid and feed her and get her to bed."
"It can really wreck you physically and emotionally. Even if it's an easy pregnancy, your whole body/hormonal makeup changes wildly. People act like it's 9 months of sitting in a field, making flower crowns and serenely stroking your growing belly."
"Nah bro, it's mood swings, having your guts kicked from the inside, your hair changes, eyesight might change, all kinds of crap I had no idea about until my friends started popping out kids. Like I knew it was intense before, but I had no idea how intense."
HOT AF!!Cool Down Season 2 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"A two person income with no children is too sexy to pass up on."
Kids are EXPENSIVE! I like $$$ too much as well.
Shut UpGrocery Store Reaction GIF by TravisGiphy
"All that noise… hurts my head."
"I'm barely capable of taking care of myself, so I definitely shouldn't be responsible for a child. I also think it would be a crime to make a child using my DNA."
"I commend this sentiment so much, and I wish more people would follow. My brother is 40 years old and never had kids, simply stating he knows he wouldn't be capable of taking care of them. There's so many unwanted kids in this world because people don't think this through before having them."
"I got a cat and the amount of anxiety and panic I regularly have over being responsible for an animal that doesn't need to be taught to walk is nuts."
"I don’t even have any pets, but I watch my sisters dog and a friends cat every few weeks, and the amount of time I spent staring at them when they’re sleeping to make sure they’re still breathing is too high."
"I grew up poor so u bet ur a** I'm enjoying my money not having to worry about diapers and baby formula."
"I feel this so much. I was the kid who never had the money to go to the movies or the concert or whatever it was my friends wanted to do. I make decent money but am so stuck in poverty mindset I'm terrified to spend it and I genuinely don't feel like I will ever feel financially stable enough to feel comfortable supporting a kid."
Best ideasSacha Baron Cohen Thumbs Up GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"Wouldn't make a good parent. I'm 56. I don't see myself changing my mind on this one."
"My older brother got a vasectomy at like 27, no kids. He knew it was a very good idea. I actually agreed (I have three myself, he, ummm, probably wouldn't have been a killer dad). They're not for everybody, and you have to really spoil 'em if you expect a decent nursing home someday."
Kids aren't for everybody. That is truth and that's ok.
When visiting any place for the first time you want to do your best with the locals and the culture.
You're a guest.
Whether it's someone'e home or if it's as vast as the scope of the entire country.
You want to experience all you can while being respectful.
So let's discuss hitting up America for the first time.
RedditorPraglikwanted to share some must knows for the people whole and visit our land.They asked:
"Americans of Reddit, what's something anyone visiting the US for the first time absolutely must know about or be aware of?"
Welcome to America. A few beginner rules...
No MoneyBribing Season 3 GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"Do not under any circumstances try to bribe a cop depending on where you come from that might seem odd but trust me you will get in trouble if you try."
"Don't get out of your car if you're pulled over by the police unless directed to do so. Police here take their own safety very seriously so they may see someone quickly getting out of the car as a sign of aggression. Coupled with the fact they carry guns and generally don’t have a track record of deescalation, it’s possible you might get shot."
"Drinks come with ice by default."
"And refills! Soda is cheap as hell. No one's coming to pour it into a glass for you, it's made on the spot and you can have as much as you want."
"And everybody wants to put lemon in them but they never wash the lemons you have to ask specifically for no lemon in your water."
"If the price says for example $5, you need to be aware that is $5 plus taxes."
"Plus extra recycling taxes on plastic water bottles in certain states (like California) So that pack of water bottles listed for $3 will cost over $5 after taxes."
"That’s literally false advertising. If a product is advertised (say on television) at a certain price, that’s how much you pay."
ServiceMusic Video Mv GIF by Lady GagaGiphy
"Plus tip, if it’s served to you."
Tip. Tip. Tip. And tip properly. 20%.
Eat Updiner dancing GIF by Justin TimberlakeGiphy
"24 hour Diners. According to stuff I read in Reddit, our diners are legendary. ETA: I’m American and I eat at them a lot. I was just surprised how much visitors from other countries love our diners so much."
"I think it’s really funny that the CA DMV official drivers manual says, 'do NOT make eye contact with another driver, this will make them MORE angry.'"
"If you screw up while driving put your hand up as a way to say sorry/my bad to the other driver. It diffuses situations because it shows them you didn’t mean to do that. Many times drivers think something was intentional when really it’s just human error."
"I live in SoCal, and the Los Angeles area has the most brutally aggressive drivers I know. Sure, other countries like Vietnam etc. are a free for all, but Los Angeles drivers literally want you dead."
"The CD is not free, never accept something from someone on a street."
"People will follow you around and thrust the CD (usually their mixtape) in your hand and then as you’re walking away with a CD you didn’t even ask for they start telling you you need to pay for it and then they refuse to accept the CD back so they make you pay for it or they keep harassing you. Happened to me in Venice beach."
"GO TO NATIONAL PARKS!"
"But be respectful! Our parks are beautiful, but often dangerous! Stick to set paths, look up local wildlife, and get an idea of common dangers. A park in the northeast will have drastically different dangers than Utah. And always have plenty of water with you. States often have very gorgeous state parks, too."
break the chainApplebees GIFGiphy
"Do not eat exclusively at chain restaurants then go home and talk about how American food sucks."
So much to do and see. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
The world is full of crazy people.
It feels like that more and more as I meander in my local shopping center.
But a little crazy I can deal with.
I want to discuss the people who leave an imprint of fear.
The people who lack empathy, remorse... and a soul.
You met many of those?
Redditor playmesomethinnice wanted to see who would fess up and discuss the person or persons that leave us shook.They asked:
"What type of people are you scared of?"
No SenseSeth Meyers Lol GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's a bit hard to categorize, but for me it's people who can't be reasoned with."
"Like flat earthers. I met one in the wild last summer and it was the weirdest experience. My friend slept with him anyway and I'm still mad at her for it, like don't reward him????"
"People who are manipulative liars. Who get you to care about them and then play the victim just to watch you suffer."
"This. It scarred me so much I lost faith and trust in humanity. I was not the target but I’ve seen it with my eyes on a dear friend of mine."
"Had an ex who lied about having cancer and a twin sister who died in a car wreck, makes no sense to me we were in high school at the time lol."
"There is an odd category of people who seem to be able to get away with anything they do. May it be with their looks, skills, wits, power and everything in between. Them. I'm afraid of them."
"My ex husband is this type. I witnessed him get away with crimes, and not just get away like not get caught... like he got caught, went to court, and somehow convinced the prosecution and judge to drop all charges. It was at that moment I knew real fear from that man."
Lacking in Brain
"The dangerously stupid. F**king up and hurting others but come out unharmed to sheer luck."
"Oh like my father in law who was torching weeds right by his shed that then caught fire and spread to an electrical box, deck, tree, and outdoor bar and then laughed about it cause 'I did something just like this at our old house too.'"
CertainHappy Daffy Duck GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
"I don't remember who said it but, 'It's not the people that are unsure that bother me, it's the people that are so certain that scare the hell out of me.'"
It's all about sanity levels. Or lack thereof.
HIMDrunk On One GIFGiphy
"The drunk guys at bars that always have that stare."
"People with a short temper."
"I would add people with a short and unpredictable temper. Those kinds of people who can be totally fine one second, then you do something that doesn't even cross your mind could be 'wrong' and suddenly they're yelling at you. People who explode at seemingly random stuff, no consistency, and particularly at moments you wouldn't expect."
"That's the worst. I'm not particularly used to being yelled at and I'm also rather non-confrontational, so I just don't know what to do when someone does yell at me when I'm absolutely not expecting it. Those people scare the sh*t out of me. I'm constantly on edge when I'm around them and I always feel like I have to walk on eggshells."
"People who refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes."
"They think it keeps them out of trouble, failing to recognize it causes so much more trouble for them in long run. A former friend of mine seems to have their brain constantly working on writing excuses for everything (to the point they can't keep their owns tory straight much of the time)."
"With the idea that any decision they make has to be the fault of others. They convince themselves that their every move was beyond their control and they were forced into it by others and then if they still suffer consequences they think it just means they are the victim of injustice. Tragically failing to realize they effectively deprive themselves of any control over the decisions."
"People who who are unwilling to accept the limits of their knowledge."
"I hate that my limits are there. I want to know more. And I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about James Joyce books and the NASCAR jeopardy questions I don't know."
"My boss hates me but said I'm the only person who is the best on all the machines. I suck at people, but I'm the machine whisperer. I'm the skinny *itch who can tell an autoclave to behave. A DSD to suck it up Sally. I'll even help the front desk with Bob Marley printer."
"Because he be jamming, not my job, but I have a personal vendetta against that machine. I fixed a Gameboy that was sitting in water for 2 weeks. Nintendo does make them good. Yet, I cannot for the life of me can't use an automatic car. Stick or nothing."
Be Scaredthe exorcist father merrin GIFGiphy
"Be scared of the man who has nothing to lose. Be very scared."
"With money diminishing more people are feeling trapped and in a corner."
I believe I've met all of those people. God help me.
There are just some people who need a good, spiteful talking to.
The amount of poor behavior I witness on the daily is astonishing.
How are we like this in these modern times?
Instead of serving shame, we're serving justice for improper deeds.
Be a better human.
Redditor ValenFrost wanted to share what people need a little bit of bad spotlight. They asked:
"What do you think people actually deserve to be shamed for?"
I shame anyone who doesn't use a turn signal.
GrossBasketball Wives Ugh GIF by VH1Giphy
"Leaving pee on the toilet seat when you have guests."
Stay with the truth...
"Knowingly spreading lies about someone."
"My life was legitimately destroyed by someone knowingly spreading lies about me. I’d been in a new town just a few weeks. It’s been almost 10 years and I still can’t make friends and my kids still have issues with their friends being allowed to hang out with them over it. All over something that never happened."
Don't Toss It
"I remember when I was a kid this guy in a 7/11 threw trash on the ground and another little girl looked at him and said 'you're littering' in that you're in trouble voice. And the guy just said something along the lines of 'I'm an adult, it's ok.'"
"Ummmm so I’ve had a work training that I planned, for MONTHS, and we already had to move the training once because of an internal work crisis. The training was moved to today. It's in an hour."
"This morning alone, 4 people have asked me to move it and they’ve known the training date for months. It’s so disrespectful. Moving the training from our previous date was a $500 fine, and if you can’t make it, that’s on you. Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my behalf."
First Be Betterlady bird self centered GIF by A24Giphy
"Selfishness that harms others."
"I think most of us do in some ways. Hopefully people might decide to try harder at minimizing the harm we do while surviving and entertaining ourselves and others."
Humans really need to be better.
Wait your turn...Looking On Line GIF by HULUGiphy
"Trying to skip a line."
"A lady came up to me once, asking to skip 30 people in line to buy a banana for her crying daughter at Disney, and I told her I can't speak for all 30 people behind me."
"Especially a traffic line where it is going one way and you get every other 15 vehicles behind that will go to the middle lane just cut in line to wait behind even more traffic."
Not Always Right
"Being entitled and treating customer service workers badly."
"I work in a restaurant and my boss will argue with you and kick you out if you don't behave, downright telling people they are the worst people are so surprised every time they get told to leave after insulting a staff member."
"I dealt with this hard during the early days of the pandemic at Gamestop. When we got crappy no-mask customers when I was working with my friends, we would be rude right back and borderline harass them out of the store. The next several customers would always praise us for not taking s**t. Everyone hates crappy customers, including other customers."
"Finding the fault in others while ignoring the same fault in yourself."
"An unfortunate truth is that a lot of adults stop emotionally maturing when they’re still children. When we’re kids, we can’t really imagine that there are adults who are less mature than us, but it’s actually depressingly common. Something stunts their ability to mature and then they’re just stuck with the emotional maturity of a teenager."
"They develop physical skills just like everyone else, and seem to live successful lives. They have careers and homes and families. But they also can’t connect with people on a deep level, lack the ability to introspect (so they can’t handle any criticism of themselves), and they can’t grow as people. It’s very sad."
“what the hell dude?”
"I watched someone try to run over a cat with their car in the Walmart parking lot, like 3 times. It was 2 am and they were speeding and swerving trying to hit the cat. Poor thing was running away terrified. I got out of my car and shrugged at them like 'what the f**k dude?' and they drove off."
"Tried to give the cat food and be nice to it but it wouldn’t come near, I think it’s just going to be terrified forever."
"Edit: I don’t understand it at all. I can at least conceptualize evil for the sake of personal gain, but what do you get from trying to murder a cat? It’s evil for the sake of evil and it’s freaking sick."
SavageOn Air Dj GIF by The Mowgli'sGiphy
"Listening to music from their phone without using earphone in a public place."
Well all of those people deserve a little shame. Some... A LOT of shame! What is wrong with people?