People who don’t live in small towns tend to romanticize the idea, I think.
A place where everyone knows everyone else, the kids can still play together until dark, and there are like, pies sitting on windowsills or something.
People who do live in small towns, or who have, know that along with the friendliness and the charm, they can have a dark side like everywhere else – and these 16 little places have their secrets.
16. Just horrible.
A freshman with aspergers was being abused by his family at home. He was a problem child and got in trouble on purpose but no one went too hard on him because of his home life, he was a well loved kid at school and in the community. One day just before Holiday break in December he was really sick but his mom sent him to school anyway. Locked him out of the house.
He decided to try and get into one of the empty houses down the street, through the chimney. Now this kid was the size of a 2nd grader, but he was too big to fit through since chimneys taper down thinner.
Mom never answered her phone when the school reported him missing. Went a whole day without reporting her kid missing. No one knew what happened to him.
It was about a month and a half before we knew what happened to him. We all thought he ran away, was alive somewhere, maybe went to his sisters house. Nope. Dead in a chimney.
The schools organized an entire week of counseling and such, they wore pink for a day and handed out little pink ribbons on pins for him since his favorite color was pink. Everyone was hit really hard by it.
That’s how our small town started 2020. It hasn’t gotten any better as you can see. So weird that its almost been a year now..
15. I’d say that qualifies as dark.
About 10 years ago a lot of homeless people disappeared and when the police did the investigation they found out a guy was kidnapping and eating those people.
Police found his hideout and found a half eaten body and bones from another person. People don’t like to talk about it but everyone knows what happened.
14. Talk about eccentric.
We had a crazy rich guy from the 1600-1700s who saw people robbing a grave one night so decided that when he died he would be laid to rest in the roof of a barn behind his house.
He believed he’d only be dead for 30 years so requested that they lock the barn and put the key in his coffin so he could get out but nobody could get in. He requested that whoever inherited his house, fortune and belongings would have to give them back to him when he resurrected.
He did actually get his wish but of course he was never resurrected, people stole his bones and his house is a dentist now.
13. Kids will be…terrible.
Oh I have a doozy. Short version: popular kids in high school run a secret towel fight club and accidentally kill one of their friends in the house of a local politician, who proceeds to bury the story.
Towel fight club: tape towels over your hands and beat each other up. It’s supposed to be just boxing but it sounds like they got out of control and hardly could call it that.
12. What a horrible human being.
This was around 15 years ago, but there was a Sheriff’s Deputy that was seemingly a really cool guy. Friendly, cracked a lot of great jokes, etc. He was working at the local high school as a School Resource Officer and was apparently almost universally well regarded.
Well, it turns out that he repeatedly raped a 14 year old. He told the boy that he’d kill his parents if he reported the officer. I don’t remember all the details, but I believe this went on for weeks or months before it was found out and the officer was arrested and eventually went to prison.
11. My heart.
This is a sad one to me. There was an older couple here who ran a halfway house for troubled kids who’d recently gotten out of juvie, they fostered a few as well. They were loved in the community, wonderful people.
One of them had an older brother who was a gangbanger in the nearest big city. During a visit, he snuck his 15 year old younger bro a handgun. Younger bro ended up holding up a local gas station and killed three people. One of them was my friend’s cousin.
The foster parents lost whatever credentials they needed to do what they did, the kids went back into the system, and the giant house has been abandoned since around 2009.
10. He wasn’t alone.
Ours was a football coach and history teacher.
When he was coaching, we won almost every game. When he wasn’t, we lost most of them, so I had to assume that meant he was a great coach. I had him for 2 history classes and even though his jokes were mean and inappropriate, we loved it and learned a lot. He had the highest test scores out of all the history teachers in our school.
A little over a decade after I graduated, he went to jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. I wish I could feel like justice was served, but we had several male teachers who regularly made inappropriate passes and gestures towards the female students (starting at age 11) like spanking us and making us sit still while they gave us awkward massages. He was not one of those teachers…
9. At least they fixed it.
There’s a half submerged submarine from the war in the bay where I live, you can walk out to it when the tide is out. In the late 80s somebody cut open the hatch (one of the only visible parts left sticking out the sand), climbed in at was having a look around.
The tide came in and he drowned. If I remember rightly the whole hatch was filled with cement, then welded shut to stop it happening again.
8. Truly tragic.
Two sisters got picked up by a group of men.
Both were raped and thrown off a bridge that is 45 minutes outside of town.
One sister survived but Later in life went back and jumped off the bridge.
7. All too common.
The town I was raised in wasn’t exactly small, but here’s the one “dark secret” I know: my hometown was where lots and lots of sports players had their mansions. And so of course, their wives and children were out and about in the community a lot.
Every single sports-player-wife in that town was (is?) heavily addicted to opioids. Every, single, one. Opioid addiction is obviously an epidemic all over the country, but among the rich wives in the town, it had a 100% ‘infection’ rate, so to speak.
I know because one of my friend’s mom was the hairdresser for basically every single one of those wives. I was homeless my senior year of HS, and one of the sports player wives heard about me from her, and she gifted me an iPhone. That phone was pennies to her, but I still wish I’d expressed my thanks more, because that wife died of an overdose not long after.
6. A bit of a bungle.
This is more comical than dark.
A house burned down in this small town of 600 population. One block from the fire station. It being a volunteer fire department, nobody was at the station. They tried to get the pumper truck out, but one of the volunteers had run it into a brick building the week before and it was still at the shop.
We’re still undecided whether the house owner burned it down for the insurance. Strange that there was nothing valuable inside.
5. Only one reason to go there.
Our local pizza place was a known KKK hub.
Everyone knew it, and still to this day, if you Google “[town] kkk” the first thing that pops up is this pizza shop.
They had some nasty-ass pizza too.
4. We may never know.
15 years ago, the local District Attorney called his longtime girlfriend and told her he was taking the day off from work and that he loved her. He parked his car in town and went for a stroll past the local shops. He hasn’t been seen since.
His car was found where he had parked it the next day – he had left his cellphone in the car, but his keys and wallet were missing. Later that year, his laptop, sans its hard drive, was found under a bridge at a nearby river. The hard drive was eventually discovered by a local woman walking along the bank of the river, but it was too damaged to recover any data from.
Interestingly, investigators discovered that someone had done a search on his home computer for “how to wreck a hard drive.”
Did he jump from a local bridge, did he encounter someone whom he had prosecuted who did him harm, or did he escape his life to start a new one?
3. It’s hard to blame them.
About 30 years ago a local 8 yo girl went missing during the annual carnival downtown. After a few days they found a suspect that was seen near the girl right before she went missing.
The guy confessed to her horrific murder And rape and torture. He was the kids next door neighbor and friend to the kid’s dad. ( I’ll spare the details but it was really bad). He was convicted and sentenced to 40 years or so.
After 8 years he was paroled and returned to the same house with his parents, right next door (laws were a bit different then) to the family of the girl and former friend.
About a week later the man never showed up at his parole office. His parents filed a missing persons report.
Rumor has it that several friends of the victims father took care of him. If you talk to them they just say that they are sure that he won’t be back.
2. One wild ride.
I don’t know if it’s considered a dark secret, but we had a soldier die under some extremely questionable circumstances.
They said he was high/drunk/experiencing mental distress and raided a nursery (the plant kind). They claimed he was attacked by wasps and ran.
He called 911 several times and claimed that someone was chasing him, and was trying to kidnap him. In the last 911 call, he said everything was fine suddenly.
Just 14-15 minutes later, he was struck by a woman who stopped and called 911. He was ran over 2 more times, and died. The autopsy showed no signs of bee or wasp stings.
The connection to the nursery is due to the fact that it was just up the road from where he died, the place was ransacked, pizza eaten, money taken. But his wallet and phone were sitting on the counter, undisturbed.
HOWEVER! The family was not ok with that explanation, especially because he had previously texted that there were some problems with the “local boys” since the soldier wasn’t from this part of the state. So the family had a private investigator look into it. They analyzed the 911 recordings, and found several instances of other people talking in the background, though most of it couldn’t be made out. Except one. In the 911 call where he told the operator that everything was fine, a male voice could be heard saying “Tell her”. And the nursery? There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no footprints that lead back to the soldier, even though his phone and wallet were there in the building.
A lot of people, his family included, think he was killed by some of the local guys there after they got into a fight about something. They chased him down, and caught him. He was able to run again after the final 911 call, and was hit by a driver while trying to get help. And the police in the county covered the entire thing up because the boys involved were connected to the department somehow. Of the three drivers, none were charged for hitting/running over him. I think only the first driver stopped, but it was discovered that one of the other drivers was connected to the department either through family or friendship.
It’s a crazy story, but you can look it up. Just search Austin McGeough. I wouldn’t be too surprised since there is a lot of shady stuff happening in small town police departments, including covering up rapes that officers commit. I really hope his family gets him justice.
1. Sometimes juries get it right.
Guy owned a bar, across the street from his house, where he lived with his wife, daughter and granddaughter of 5.
He had a contractor working on the house, Grandma who took care of the child during the day, thought it would be no big deal leaving the child sleeping while she went quickly to the market.
Next thing… is the Grandpa sees the contractor running to his car and leaving the house. Curious he went home to find out what happened, only to find his granddaughter crying with blood between her legs.
After the grandmother came back… he left the child with her, went back to the bar, got his gun, and threw the keys to one of his regulars asking him to close the bar because he had to kill someone.
When he arrived at the contractor’s home, he wasn’t there. He then spent the next 2 weeks surveying his home 24/7. Until the rapist probably thought the cost was clear… and returns home. Grandpa sees him… breaks the door, kill the guy in front of his parents, then leaves… going directly to the precinct where he surrenders his gun and makes a full confection detailing everything.
He was tried for premeditate murder… prosecution had all the evidence… testimony from his friends and parents of the rapist… the murder weapon… his confession. It’s was a close and shut case. Jury voted 7-0 not guilty. (In Brazil there’s 7 jurors and you only need a majority to convict, and not unanimous like the US)
These stories should all be movies or books, I swear.
If you’re from a small town, share your secrets with us below!