Living in a small town can be a drag. Everyone knows everyone else’s business, there isn’t much room for growth, and there’s usually nothing exciting going on. But before you decide to feel sorry for yourself and your existence in a miserable town, just think that things could be worse... a lot worse.
In the horror genre, there are places where no one dreams of going; places where your dreams and life will be destroyed. Let's take a look at some of the worst towns to visit in horror movies – towns that will surely make you grateful for your own uneventful living situation.
Santa Mira, California (Halloween III: Season of the Witch)
When the suave Dr. Challis and his lady love, Ellie, enter the small factory town of Santa Mira, they immediately sense that something strange is going on in the quaint town. There to investigate the popular Silver Shamrock mask factory and to learn more about Ellie’s late father, the duo find themselves being watched closely and are unable to communicate with the outside world. Uneasy about the townsfolk and their odd behavior, Challis discovers that everyone there is an android controlled by factory owner Conal Cochran. Once he learns of Cochran’s evil plan for Halloween night, Challis tries his best to escape and warn the rest of the world.
Wheelsy, South Carolina (Slither)
Wheelsy is the type of town that people dream of escaping. For the unlucky individuals who became lifers, their imprisonment in the small town would become their death sentence when an alien parasite crashes into their woods. When wealthy (and horny) Grant Grant finds the mysterious slug-like creature and becomes infected, it begins taking over his body and his memories. Eventually, Grant and his alien worms infect a majority of the town, turning them into zombie-like drones that do his bidding. Luckily for the town, they have a lovable sheriff who is willing to risk his life to stop Grant and save the day.
Ogden Marsh, Iowa (The Crazies, 2010)
Sheriff Dutton seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, a baby on the way, and he lives in a town that boasts that it is the happiest place on Earth. Well, when a town describes itself in such a positive way, it’s practically begging for something bad to happen to it. Thanks to a government mishap, a bioweapon called “Trixie” is leaked into the town’s water system and its residents are infected with a rage virus. The happiest residents on Earth quickly become the meanest as they lose their mental capacities and kill. It’s up to the sheriff and his wife to remain sane and escape the town that they once called home.
Gatlin, Nebraska (Children of the Corn, 1984)
As if children weren’t creepy enough to begin with, Stephen King had to go ahead and make the youth of Gatlin a bunch of cultists. The Children of the Corn murder all of the adults in their town and capture any passing travelers so that they can use them in ritual sacrifices for their god, “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.” For Burt and his girlfriend Vicky, they make the mistake of entering Gatlin and becoming the cult’s next intended sacrifice. However, the Children of the Corn are, in fact, children; therefore, their immaturity soils their plans when they begin turning on their leader. The couple makes their way out of the town and most likely swears off road trips for the rest of their lives.
Barrow, Alaska (30 Days of Night)
Barrow is the perfect place for a group of vampires who are looking for food and a place to stay. Just as the town enters its month of darkness, they are greeted and gutted by vicious vampires who are intent on destroying the town completely. When the sheriff and the rest of the survivors realize that the vamps plan on burning down the town to get rid of any evidence of the bloodshed, they fight back. The resilient residents learn how to beat the monsters at their own game when one of them sacrifices his humanity for the sake of his town.
Sleepy Hollow, New York (Sleepy Hollow)
Ichabod Crane is sent to the gloomy town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of brutal murders. While there, he falls for the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel and unearths the secrets connecting prominent townspeople. When he gets closer to solving the mystery, he finds his life in danger from the vengeful spirit of the headless horseman. The once meek man must face his fears and face the evil that looms over the town, becoming the strong and fearless man he was meant to be.
Newton Haven (The World’s End)
When a recovering drug addict wants to recapture a time in his life where he was at his happiest, he recruits his estranged childhood friends to complete a challenge they once attempted to face as teens. The group of buddies travels back to their hometown of Newton Haven to complete “The Golden Mile” 12-stop pub crawl. However, when the gang arrives they see that the town is nothing like it was when they were younger, and that the residents are strangely well-behaved. They quickly learn that their hometown has been taken over by alien robots, and that making it to The World’s End pub has become a lot harder than they had imagined.
Springwood, Ohio (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Springwood is a place where child murderers can unleash their evil and parents take the law into their own hands. Unfortunately for Nancy Thompson, her mother was a part of a group of vigilante parents who burned Freddy Krueger alive, making her the target for his revenge. In Springwood, the town’s teens are hunted by Krueger in their sleep... and if they don’t wake up screaming, they don’t wake up at all.
Salem’s Lot, Maine (Salem’s Lot, 1979)
If something chilled you to your core as a child, chances are it was for good reason. When author Ben Mears returns to his hometown of Salem’s Lot to write a book on his childhood fear, he uncovers a dark mystery surrounding the haunted house on the hill. As it turns out, the home’s new resident, Kurt Barlow, is an ancient vampire who is turning the townspeople into fellow bloodsuckers. Mears is understandably upset by the revelation, but really, it seems that turning into vampires were the best thing that could have happened to some of the Salem’s Lot residents. Plus, the whole ordeal made for a much more interesting story for Mears to tell.
Hobb’s End, New Hampshire (In the Mouth of Madness)
When insurance investigator John Trent is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of famed horror author Sutter Cane, he is thrust into a nightmarish world that makes him question his sanity. Trent locates Hobb’s End – a town similar to the fictional setting of Cane’s books – and begins a dissent into madness. Trent learns that the town holds frightening secrets and is not what it seems, and he begins to question what is fake and what is real. What started as a search for a popular writer becomes far more as Trent finds himself and learns what he is capable of.