20 Weirdest Small Towns In United States With Strangest History

  • By Sara
  • July 9, 2020
  • 8 minutes read

Have you ever wondered which are the weirdest towns in America?

The world is full of weird places. The adventurer in me wants to travel to exotic places and not just mainstream, beautiful sites. In May 2016, Lyman Stone tried to answer the question: Which is the weirdest town in the United States? The post on Medium took account of the diversity, marriages and link to the military to come to a conclusion; San Jose, CA is the “weirdest” town in the United States.

However, in reality, there are a whole bunch of towns more bizarre than San Jose. If you’re up for a creepy read, below are 20 of the weirdest towns in America, and we will explain why. Scroll down below and find out:

1. Centralia, PA – On Fire Since The ’60s

Photo: JohnDS/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In the 80s, only 1000 people were living in the town. This number dropped below a dozen in 2010. Why? In 1960, a coal mine fire broke out underneath the town. To this day, it is still burning and will burn for another 250 years, as expected by experts. If you’re deciding to visit the area, I’ve got bad news for you. The town doesn’t have good living conditions anymore as there are toxic gases, sinkholes, and the highway is too hot to even touch. The town was taken over by the state in 1992, and no new residents are allowed to buy property there anymore.

2. Monowi, NE – Population: 1

Photo: Bkell/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Elsie Eiler is the only person living in Monowi, NE. She lived with her husband, Ruby, who passed away in 2004. Since then, she is the only person living there. She is the mayor, the bartender, and the librarian of the town. In 2011, Elsie was above 80, so we’re not sure how soon the town will become deserted.

3. Whittier, AK – Everyone Lives In One Building

Photo: Jessica Spengler/Wikimedia Commons

The 14-story Begich Towers is occupied by 214 people, who are the only residents of this town. At first, it was just an army barracks, then later a police station, post office, store, church, video rental shop, playground, bed and breakfast, and health centre were added to it.

4. Colma, CA – Where Two Million People Have Been Laid To Rest

Photo: Shannon Clark/Flickr/CC 2.0

In the 2 square miles area of this town, there are 17 cemeteries. The city has been titled the “City of Souls” as there are two million transported bodies from San Francisco to Colma. There are only 1200 people living there.

5. Miracle Village, FL – The Town Of Criminals.

Photo: Marc Serota / Stringer/Getty Images News

On the outskirts of Pahokee, FL, there is a little society named Miracle Village. Every newly released criminal is sent there to find their place in normal society.

6. Slab City, CA – A Place Totally Off The Grid

Photo: Chad Russell/Flickr

In the words of Vice, “This bizarre, lawless land in the California desert is inhabited by drug addicts, eccentrics, army vets, hippies and just plain old weirdos. Slab City is referred to by its residents as ‘the last free place in America.'”

Slab City is home to hipsters and free spirits. People smoke up on the graffiti-filled streets and a lot of RVs can be seen there. There are only 150 permanent residents there.

7. The Villages, FL – The Land Of Active Elderly Residents

Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr/CC 2.0

The population of this town is 70,000. News circulated about a high level of STDs in a retirement community in Florida. This news turned out to be true. It turns out, the residents there are pretty naughty. One elderly couple was even found doing it in a golf cart. Resident Roselyn Shelley said, “Whatever you know about 20-year-olds, it’s the same with seniors.”

8. Hell, MI – A Town That Really Embraces Its Name

Photo: Sswonk/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

In the 1840s, one of the founders of this town was asked what he wanted to name it, to which he replied, “You can name it Hell for all I care.” The town was named just that. The town lives up to its name by opening a devil church, the property dealing website says “buy a piece of Hell.” You can also purchase a Gravedigger Sundae at The Creamatory at Screams and eat at a diner called Hell Hole.

9. Gibsonton, FL – Where Carnies Go To Chill

Gibsonton, FL – Where Carnies Go To Chill

This town is home to people who work in carnivals and sideshow human attractions. The town is also called “Gibtown” as there was once an 8-feet-tall firefighter and a dwarf police chief working there.

10. Tangier, VA – It’s Got A Unique Sound

Photo: Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The people in this town are known for their unique accent. The accent there is unlike anywhere in the United States. It is a fusion of the classic American accent and British twang. People say this was the accent of the founders of America.

11. Scottsboro, AL – The Lost Luggage Capital Of The World

Photo: Paul Iwancio/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In Scottsboro, Alabama, in the Appalachian Mountains, nearly an estimate of 700 units of unclaimed baggage. Unclaimed Baggage Center (UBC) gets almost 1 million unclaimed bags every year. These usually contain normal things like clothing and electronics. Once, a $20,000 painting was found in the luggage, which was sold for $60 in a shop.

However, there were some special cases too. They also found “the guidance system for an F-16 fighter jet valued at a quarter of a million dollars and a camera specially designed for NASA’s Space Shuttle” which were deposited to the State.

12. PhinDeli Town Buford, WY – A Town That Sold For $900,000

Photo: frankenstoen/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Don Sammons, his wife, and his son were the only people populating this town. He bought the town but in 1995, his wife died. His son moved out in 2007, so in 2013, he sold the town to a Vietnamese coffee magnate for $900,000.

13. Hildale, UT – AKA Polygamyville

Photo: Rcragun/Wikimedia Commons

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is found in this polygamist town where multiple marriages are allowed.

14. Casey, IL – The Town Of Large Objects

Photo: Drew Tarvin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This is a small town with a lot of “Big things.”  The town produces a lot of unusually large items like a 32 feet, 6 inches pencil and a 56 feet tall rocking chair. There are a lot more weird and large objects and 8 of them even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

15. Burnt Corn, AL – Someone Named It Burnt Corn

Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr

During the scorched earth mayhem of the Creek War of 1813, a cornfield was set on fire. That is where the town got its name. There are rumours that the town still smells of foul burnt popcorn. No consensus has been done for the town since way back in 1880.

16. Maharishi Vedic City, IA – Where All The Homes Look Alike

Photo: Keithbob/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Plenty of urban areas have their own arrangement of codes directing what houses need to resemble, however, Maharishi Vedic City takes that code only somewhat farther. Initially named Vedic City, the government there chose that it needed all the houses and city structures to mirror the Maharishi Sthapatya Veda. It’s an old arrangement of architecture and structure from Hindu yogis intended to keep the residents safe. Initially concocted in 2001 by a gathering of Maharishi yogis and land engineers, the town is around 77 square miles. The city prohibited all pesticides and only sells organic food. It’s a peaceful place. Around 250 individuals lived there in 2010.

17. Nameless, TN – That’s Really Its Name

Photo: Brian Stansbury/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Nameless is one of the peculiarly named towns in the US, right next to Ugly, TX, Peculiar, MO, and Accident, MD. Some applications were sent to the post office with blank names, and the US Post Office Department returned the application forms with “Nameless” stamped on them.

18. Santa Claus, AZ – Abandoned Christmas Desert

Photo: Ben Churchill/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

This town was created as a tourist destination. The whole town was Christmas themed and had buildings such as Cinderella’s Doll House and the Santa Claus Inn. Children would send letters to Santa at the post office and enjoy the town’s run pie. The town later got deserted and was shut down in the 70s.

19. Roswell, NM – Aliens-R-Us

Photo: Maya West/Flickr/CC 2.0

This town is known for “the world’s most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO claim.” In 1947, a “UFO” crashed into the town, followed by an explanation by the military that it was a weather balloon. The residents didn’t buy it. The town is a tourist point for people who are into conspiracy theories.

20. Ferndale, CA – The Victorian Village

Photo: Ellin Beltz/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

This town is home to Victorian-era architecture. None of the buildings was rebuilt, so the victorian-era beauty is still seen in the streets. The town only has a population of 1300.

Do you have any weird towns to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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