Across America, the difference between big city living and small town hospitality is palpable. While every large metropolitan area has its own quirks and stories, nothing beats how strange American small towns can be.
Here are 15 of the strangest small towns hidden across the United States of America.
Centralia used to be a town of well over 1000 people. But as of 2010 there were only 10 residents left that were still brave enough to call the town home, and no new residents are ever allowed to move there.
There has been an underground coal fire that has been burning since 1962. The town is full of sinkholes and toxic gases, and the roads are even hot to the touch. In 1992, the state seized and condemned all the property in Centralia, only residents who were living there before the seizure were allowed to stay. But after they either die or move on to somewhere else, the town will officially be a “ghost town”.
Experts believe the coal fire could burn for up to another 250 years.
Colma, California has been nicknamed “The City of Souls”. The small town that is roughly two square miles boasts 17 cemeteries. The living population of Colma is only around 1200, while there are an estimated 2,000,000 dead bodies. Coma is even the final resting place of Wyatt Earp.
For the rest of recorded history, Roswell, New Mexico will be the home base for those looking to confirm that there is alien life. In 1947, the people living in Roswell claimed to see what they called a “UFO crash”. The military claimed that it was just a weather balloon crash, but that did nothing other than spark a series of conspiracy theories that continue to survive today.
Have you ever wanted to be married to more than one woman at the same time? Well if that’s how you want to live your life, Hildale, Utah is the place for you. The Mormon stronghold, and home of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Polygamy runs rampant here, and if you are an outsider passing through, don’t expect a warm welcome.
Miracle Village, the small housing development doubling as its own town outside of Pahokee, is home to over 100 registered sex-offenders. The town was founded by Richard Witherow, a minister who spent 30 years working in prisons. Witherow and his ministry have final say on everyone who lives there.
Yes, it is actually called Nameless. In the long list of towns and cities with ridiculous names through the U.S., Nameless has one of the best stories to how it got its name. Allegedly, when the people living there applied to get their own post-office, they left the name section of the form blank, which caused the US Post Office Department to issue back forms with “Nameless” stamped across them, the name stuck.
This town used to be know as Buford, that is when it only had three residents. Dan Sammons sold the entire town in 2013. His wife had died a few years before, and their only son had moved away already, so as the towns last remaining resident, he put out an add to sell the town to the highest bidder. The town was purchased for $900,000 by Phan Dinh Nguyen and his business partner. The renamed the town after their coffee brand, which they now sell at the town’s gas station.
Dubbed Florida’s friendliest town, this retirement community is also called “the land of horny people.” This town has 70,000 people, 34 golf courses and according to the New York Post, one of the highest STD rates in all of Florida.
Residents of Slab City have called it the “last free place in America.” This off the grid city has a population of 150 permanent residents; drug addicts, army vets, every flavor of eccentrics, and your garden variety hippie. You can literally smoke crack in the streets and no one will care what so ever. The city is situated in the middle of the California desert.
There are slightly over 14,000 people living in Gibsonton, Florida. Of that, a huge percentage of people living there are carnival workers and sideshow “freaks”. They congregate there because it is a warm and welcoming community. Throughout its history, Gibsonton has had dwarf police chief, and an 8 foot giant for a fire chief.
Would you live in any of these American small towns?