"One of my friend's uncles (let's call him Rob) acquired a pet raccoon. He named it Cuddles, and one day, Cuddles went missing. So he goes out to the road to check to see if Cuddles had been hit by a car. Sure enough, there was the raccoon, obviously dead. He picks up the raccoon, brings her back to his house, then starts to dig a grave for it. During this time Rob is calling all his friends and family, inviting them out for the funeral of his dead raccoon. We all show up with food and drinks. Rob is crying and finishing up burying the dead raccoon when suddenly Cuddles shows up and starts tugging on his pant leg while he's shoveling. Now we were all already out there with food and beverages, so instead of a funeral, we had a celebration for the return of Cuddles. The party included drinks, a band, and a pig roast.
Rob and Cuddles are often seen together at the various mud bogs around my town."
"I grew up in a small town in central New Jersey, which is probably nothing like what you'd expect - mostly cow pastures and hay farms, and two intersecting roads with a supermarket, Burger King, and a bank. And a lot of cops with nothing to do.
So one day the call comes in that there's a suspicious person in the bank, during a weekday (when it was closed). Immediately the place is surrounded by dozens of cops, weapons aimed, the whole nine yards. They use the loudspeaker to try to talk the guy out without a fight, but he doesn't respond. In fact, he doesn't even appear to be moving; he's just standing still. A standoff ensues and lasts for the better part of two hours before the cops have the presence of mind to break down the doors and confront the man, who still hasn't moved.
The 'bank robber' was a cardboard standee advertisement."
"My grandparents used to live in a small town called Prescott, Arkansas. Apparently a long time ago (I'm not sure when), a man was found dead laying on a park bench. No one knew who he was and where he came from. He didn't have a wallet or any sort of identification on him. So you know what they did? They called him Ol' Mike, embalmed him, and put him on display in one of the local shops inside a closet. They were hoping that someone who passed through would know him so then he could be buried and rest in peace. However, after many years of Mike standing on display in the closet, and no one knowing who he was, the government forced Prescott to bury him properly. My mother confirmed this, saying that she and my aunt got to actually see him back in the 70s."
"The local good religious dad who ran the scoreboard for basketball games was a father of four, some of whom I taught. His wife was sometimes sickly. Her local doctor couldn't figure out why and sent her to a research hospital out of state for tests. Rumor has it that they found low levels of arsenic. She gets better for a while, and then the sickness returns. She dies. The father does not request an autopsy. The local coroner is a buddy from the next town and rules natural causes.
People in both towns are suspicious, but no one gets involved. The kids, some of whom were in high school, all show signs of stress: the older son later gets married and keeps his wife (a high school friend of mine) from seeing her old friends. The older daughter becomes anorexic. The younger daughter gets in fights. The younger son has friends but never laughs.
The father, after a few years, marries his mistress. Everyone pretended things were normal and not suspicious in the least."
"An 'Amish family' bought my grandparents' house. They were the talk of the small town for about five years since no one could figure out how many people lived in the house. It didn't seem like there were kids, and there were large hills of dirt in the backyard. They boarded up all windows and doors and never mowed the lawn and the house fell into disrepair.
Being that this was in the Midwest, everyone was too polite to bring up the state of their property to them or to the authorities. Everyone left them alone.
And then they disappeared one day. The house was vacant for a few months until the closest neighbor called the sheriff to report a strange smell coming from the property.
Not knowing what to expect, the sheriff checked on the property to find the place completely cleaned out except for a huge saltwater fish tank full of dead fish and some half-smoked grass on the floor.
Long story short, a police search revealed the cause for the giant dirt mounds. By finding a secret entrance behind the furnace it was revealed the 'Amish family' had dug a series of complex tunnels under my grandparents' yard that connected to a half dozen rooms. These rooms all had bright overhead lights and irrigation. Yes, a grow op. The mounds had also served another propose. They obscured the view from the road of a small barn which was being used as a cook lab. It's safe to say the residents were not Amish, although kudos to them for dressing and acting the part for nearly five years."
"A few years ago, a friend of mine unsuccessfully tried to kill himself by overdosing on pain pills. He was taken to a small hospital in Millen, Georgia. I was living in Atlanta at the time, so some friends and I drove down to check on him. When we made it down to the hospital, we were asked to wait outside our friend's room while a nurse was in the room attending to him. While we were standing in the hall, a man dressed in coveralls walked up to us. He was obviously a mechanic by way of the oil stains on his coveralls and the strong smell of grease. We struck up a conversation with him and he told us he'd been down the street at the local mechanic shop (suspicions confirmed). He walked down the hall to check on our friend, so I assumed he knew him as well. He was about to walk into the room but we told him everyone was supposed to wait outside until the nurse was done with him in there. 'It's okay,' he says, pulling a stethoscope out of the pocket of his coveralls, 'I'm the doctor.'"
"At a local turkey farm, a domesticated turkey escaped and mated with a wild turkey. Lo and behold, the offspring of the two turkeys were crazy. There were warning signs all around town to watch out for these mad turkeys. Attacks were reported for a week straight until they were all killed. One report was that an elderly man was walking to his car when a turkey attacked him and pecked him until he was laying on the ground bleeding. He was sent to the hospital but was okay."
"My friend hit a deer one night a couple miles outside of town while driving home from work. The deer was lying dead on the side of the road, and my friend was calling his dad to find out what he should do next. While he was trying to calm down, a truck with three people pulls over on the side of the road. The first thing they ask is, 'Are you going to keep that?' My buddy said no, so they threw the deer in the truck and drove off, leaving him alone with a broken down car."
"Alright, so living in a small town you get used to all sorts of stupidity. A high school friend was filling up his truck at the gas station when he realized that he was putting gas in and not diesel (uh oh). Because the gas had already been pumped, he had to pay for it and take it. So he ends up siphoning off the gas into five-gallon pails.
Now, he's got absolutely no use for all this gas, so what does he decide to do? Burn it. He and his friends (I wasn't there for it) get a good flame going around these pails and everything is going well until they get bored. Well out of sheer boredom and the fact that apparently, the action isn't happening fast enough for him, he decides to kick the pails over.
Long story short, the gas splashed all over his body, lighting him on fire. He now looks like Freddy Kruger without a fedora."
"Back around '97, I was still in high school and a classmate's older brother died. I don't recall what religion they were, but it was some sort of odd offshoot of Christianity. I don't remember exactly now, but what I do remember is that about two days later, there were rumors going around that even though his brother was dead, they all thought he would come back to life if they continued on as if nothing happened. This guy had driven a big redneck jacked-up truck. I started hearing rumors that they had propped his dead brother up in the truck and were driving him around town, like through the McDonald's drive-thru and so on. Hard to believe, I know. And then I saw it for myself a day or two later. Here comes my classmate, driving his dead brother's massive truck, with the corpse of his dead brother propped up in the passenger seat, driving through the shopping center parking lot.
The cops eventually had to go out to the family home and threaten to charge the family to get them to stop. I don't know this part for a fact, but I did see with my own two eyes them driving their dead brother around in his truck!"
"I grew up in a small town. There was a homeless bachelor in his 50s who would purposely commit crimes just so he would have a place to stay - behind bars. When I was in middle school, the town was put on 'lock-down' on the day he was released. We were unaffected at the school, but my mom worked at the bank downtown and she said the sheriff went into all the business carrying weapons and telling everyone to lock their doors. The crazy old guy stole a semi without the trailer and went on a slow-speed chase that ended right in front of the jail. He told the officer arresting him he just wanted to make it easier for them. He was released that morning around 9 a.m. and was stopped a little after 2 p.m. that same afternoon."
"I was the graveyard cook at a small restaurant in the mountains. One night, a one-legged man came in and started a fight with an off-duty cop. The fight resulted in the one-legged man having a fork stabbed into his shoulder from being thrown through a table. He was taken outside where he proceeded to remove his artificial leg, came hopping back in and cold clocked the cop with it. After the cop was knocked out he paid his tab and left on his snowmobile with his prosthetic thrown over his shoulder."
"I lived in a town in North Dakota as a kid. One day in the summer, about nine months after hunting season, my buddy and I were walking around a man-made pond in our neighborhood. As we were checking out the pond, we noticed a small stick with what looked like a string tied around it, floating on the water. Being 12, we naturally had to have that stick. After a few minutes trying to fish it out, we nabbed it and started tugging. Something kind of heavy was attached to the string, so we kept pulling and pulling out of curiosity. Within seconds we had it and pulled up a semi-decomposed buck head, with the antlers still attached. The fur had fallen away so all we saw was bloated discolored flesh and no eyes. My buddy and I shared a look at what we'd found, neither having a clue how it had gotten there. We poked at it with sticks - as 12-year-old males do - for a while then got bored and left. The next day we came back with more friends to examine our find. The stick and head were gone."
"I grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the '80s. There was a small airport outside the town. In the morning, the elk would come through the tree-line and lay on the asphalt runway because it was warm. So every morning, a bunch of guys would go out to the runway and basically run around screaming and clapping and flailing their arms to chase the elk away so that the airplanes could do what they do - mostly taking off, landing, and occasionally sliding into a field. Eventually, the elk got used to that. So then, the guys in my town figured out one guy could go out, fire a shot into the trees, and the elk would take off. Then the elk got used to that. So it ended up, every morning these guys would go out to the runway and basically kick, hit, and generally harass these elk until they finally got sick of it and wandered away. This went on for years until some genius (obviously not a local boy) came along and determined that putting up a simple fence might go a long way in alleviating Flagstaff Pulliam Airport's elk problem."
"My mom started complaining about sudden and severe headaches she was having we were vacationing in a small town in northern Maine. The pain got so severe that we had to go find a doctor. When we pulled up to the small, one-room doctor's office, it had a sign on the door that said 'Bait for sale.' That should have been the first clue. After seeing the doctor, he told us the headaches were nothing and that I should go home and 'massage her big toe.' When we got home to Maryland, we had her checked out at the hospital and it turns out she had a blood clot in her brain. She was hospitalized for five days."
"One year, I had a summer internship at a police department in a small rural town. Population about 200. They didn't even HAVE a police department until a few years ago. When I was there, it was just two guys: the Chief and his Sergeant. The Chief was a retired cop from a small city about half an hour away. My friend was also interning there.
There were a few wild stories. This town was so small and isolated all the residents could do was develop complex, intense hatred of each other over the most trivial nonsense you could think of.
The town's biggest problem was unlicensed golf carts. In the past few years, people in the town had taken up using golf carts to get around. I'm not entirely sure why, since the town itself was less than a quarter of a square mile. An ordinance was passed that required any golf cart to be inspected (no big deal, to make sure it had mirrors, a slow-moving vehicle triangle, etc.) and issued a permit for like $50. Well, some people on the council decided they were above the law and were infuriated when they got fined for driving a vehicle that was not street-legal, and it turned into a full-blown controversy. People were screaming at each other in board meetings and hate mail was being written to the Chief. It limited how much we could work because the Chief was worried about his interns getting harassed."
"The house next to ours is the second home of a retired college art professor. He has recently gotten into making art with old-fashioned porcelain baby dolls. He mostly uses the casts of their heads. One day, my dad and I were playing soccer in our front yard and he kicked the ball past me. I had to walk into the neighbor's side yard to retrieve it. When I got to the ball, I noticed it was resting on a mound of something. It was a tower of discarded and broken baby doll heads. At this point, I was creeped out, so I ran back to my dad. The incident made us curious as to what our neighbor was up to with the baby doll heads, so we explored his property a bit more. We found dog toys that he had attached baby heads to as well as post markers with the doll faces. Upon our neighbor's next visit to his home my dad decided to go speak with him about his creepy baby doll obsession. Our neighbor was delighted to show us his work. He soon brought out 12 old fashioned luggage trunks and opened them up. Each one appeared to be filled with baby doll parts. The bodies of the babies were positioned in contorted ways and the faces of all the babies were distorted with pain. Some babies were painted in heavy black paint so they looked to be drowning in tar. He had fashioned the parts in such a way that when you looked down into the trunk it appeared as an endless chasm of tortured baby dolls."
"I once lived in a small town in the Appalachians. The town was too small to support any kind of hospital, but they had a diner that functioned as both the local watering hole and the doctor's office (the doctor owned the place and also served as the main cook). You could sit at the bar next to someone and not know if they were getting something to eat, or if they were about to get inoculated.
This town was small and remote. The schoolhouse I went to is the smallest public school in that state by a long shot. This school went K-12, and still only had about 40 kids, but not all of them lived in town. The senior class did a family tree project and discovered that they were all related. Not even distantly; most were like third cousins or something. The punchline? They still held a prom.
Also, our 'neighbor' who lived relatively close but about 45 minutes away driving through mountains, gave my mom her old wood-fired cooker because she had just been recently hooked up with electricity and didn't need it anymore. Keep in mind that this was the mid-90s.
I have too many stories about that place and the crazy folks who live there. I didn't think any towns like that still existed, but they're out there. They're kind of like time capsules."
"Picture it: Wibaux (WEE-bo) Montana, 1997. My fiancée returns home after a few days out of town to find her apartment has been rummaged through. She frantically went to her landlord who lived next door and explained that someone had been in her apartment without her consent.
'Of Course,' her landlord replied. 'The sheriff came by just the other day to pick up the movies you rented from the Conoco station! I let him in to get them.'
'Uh... what?!', my fiance replied, 'You mean you just let him into my home to get some late movies?!'
'Well, yes. They were late, so why wouldn't I?'
Still, to this day, my wife's 'go-to' description of what small town living is like."
"I go to college in a small town in Michigan. There are a few local businesses such as a local music store that is owned by what seemed to me to be a normal kindly old man. As it turns out, this man was also one of two Scientologists in the town. He also held to a firm belief that steam power would make a comeback. In a valiant attempt to jump on this perceived bandwagon he began construction of his own steam engine in the basement of his music store. It promptly exploded upon completion, seriously messing up this guy's store. He is still there and the place is still open."
"Small town in Central/Southern Illinois: A man's horse died and he hadn't yet taken it to the dump. Some inebriated rednecks got together about a week after it died and decided they would take it instead. They tied it behind their truck and started dragging it to the dump, but decided it would be more fun to drag it around the square a few times. Which was fine until the skin tore and it started leaking fluid and parts all over the pavement."
"One night I was coming back from the local Walmart, which was 30 minutes away and in another town. With my friend, we come up to my road to discover two horses in the middle of the main road. This time of night meant there might be four cars that drive on it all night. Anyway, thinking they got loose from a local farm, we drove to the local police station, which was 15 minutes away. We get there and ring but get no response. We decide to drive back to my house and call 911 to let them know that there are horses on the road and they might want to have someone check this out. Well, it's about 1 a.m. at this point and I'm sure the 911 person thought I was joking because my friend was dying laughing in the background as I explained 'Yeah, there are a couple horses on the road. They're white and there's a big one and a little one. I think you should send someone down cause they ain't suppose to be there!'"
"I went to visit relatives in a town with about 1200 people. Went on a hike and cut my leg open. We walked back to town to stop by the doctor's office so he could patch me up. While sitting in the waiting room I see a person with a parrot on his shoulder amongst some obviously sick people. Didn't think much of it, as I have seen a million people walking around with parrots on their shoulders. So a few minutes go by and the doctor's door opens and out walks a lady with a baby goat on a leash. I quickly look around and finally notice the veterinary degree hanging on the wall. This vet was fixing sick humans as well as animals, in the same office."
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