creepy town names

14 Places with Creepy Town Names

See some truly frightful towns that might as well be named “Halloweentown” for their year-round creepiness.

A town’s name is usually based in the history of the community. So, what does it mean when the town’s name is something creepy? In the spirit of Halloween, we found places across the U.S. with creepy town names where you can rent an apartment … if you dare.

1. Tombstone, AZ

tombstone arizona creepy town names

If you’re looking for a town in the Wild West, Tombstone may be the spooky place for you. Made famous by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, this southeast Arizona town has been called “too tough to die.”

Resident ghosts are said to haunt the town’s theater where you can also see a gunfight. There are several walking ghost tours, a storied cemetery and any number of haunted hotels you can stay in.

2. Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, NY


No, not the TV cooking show (although Gordon Ramsay can be kinda scary). Hell’s Kitchen is a neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan that was traditionally home to poor immigrants.

There has been some debate about where the name originated, but historians agree the neighborhood’s notorious criminal past played a role. However, in recent decades, the area has grown popular with young actors and professionals — so the scariest thing about Hell’s Kitchen today might be those astronomically high New York City rent prices.

3. Kill Devil Hills, NC

Kill Devil Hills north carolina creepy town names

This town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is one of the county’s most rapidly growing towns. Visitors enjoy renting along the beaches and visiting its many historic attractions like the location of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

The name Kill Devil Hills came about in the 1700s, according to “The Outer Banks of North Carolina” by a local historian David Stick. According to Stick, rum-carrying ships from Virginia would sink along the banks. The locals would take the rum and many dubbed it so bad it would “kill the devil.”

4. Seven Devils, NC

seven devils north carolina

As if one devil isn’t enough, this Appalachian town has seven. The town is said to be named after seven 19th century brothers. They were so quick to fight that locals named them the “seven devils.”

If you’re looking for a small town, it doesn’t get much smaller than Seven Devils. The population was only 192, according to the 2010 census.

5. Skull Valley, AZ

skull valley arizona creepy town names

The name of this town is no mystery. When Skull Valley was founded, settlers discovered human bones on the land. Many don’t want to deem the land cursed, but it certainly has a history of bad luck.

It’s been hundreds of years since, but the ominous name has remained. Skull Valley is close to Prescott National Forest and is home to an abundance of historical sites that welcome visitors.

6. Deadwood, SD

deadwood south dakota

You may recognize this town’s name as the title of a well-known HBO show that ran for a few years in the early part of the 2000s. The real Deadwood is located in western South Dakota, about 50 miles north of Mount Rushmore.

The origin of the town’s name probably won’t surprise you. In 1876, miners found gold in a creek near a patch of dead trees in a gulch. They called the area “Deadwood,” and the name has stuck ever since.

7. Slaughter Beach, DE

slaughter beach delaware creepy town names

Let’s hope this beach doesn’t live up to its name. How the name Slaughter Beach came about has long been debated among the locals of this town. One theory is that the name came from the slaughtering of crabs.

In the spring and early summer, when horseshoe crabs come ashore to spawn, the crabs are flipped over where they’re left to die in the hot sun, thus giving the town its murderous name. This is fitting since the town is now home to a horseshoe crab sanctuary.

8. Devil’s Thumb, Boulder, CO

devil's thumb boulder colorado

Devil’s Thumb is a neighborhood on the outskirts of Boulder, CO, that’s near a rock formation shaped like, you guessed it, a thumb.

The formation is visible along the mountains from most areas in Boulder. It’s one of the area’s most popular spots for mountain climbers.

9. Devils Lake, ND

Devils Lake north dakota creepy town names

About 50 miles from the Canadian border in North Dakota you’ll find Devils Lake — both the body of water and town with the same name.

The name of this lake and town are due to a misunderstanding. The Dakota tribe who lived in the area referred to it as Spirit Lake, but that was misinterpreted by early English-speaking settlers as Bad Spirit Lake because the water is high in salinity and not good for drinking. Today, the area is known as one of the best perch fishing places in the country.

10. Killen, AL

Killen, AL

Located in northern Alabama, just near the Tennessee border, Killen is a small town with only around 1,000 residents. While only a small town, it’s near many historical sites and attractions, such as museums and parks.

But the origin of the name isn’t as scary as it sounds — “Killen” was the last name of a resident in the late 1800s, which became the name of the town after he built a large general store and post office.

11. Great Kills, Staten Island, NY

Great Kills, Staten Island, NY creepy town names

A small neighborhood of Staten Island, Great Kills is known for the streams running throughout. In fact, it’s believed that its name originates from the old Dutch term “kill,” which can be translated to mean “creek,” among other similar words.

12. Scarville, IA

Scarville, IA

Like many other spooky-sounding town names, Scarville doesn’t have a dark past. It was settled in 1899 and named after Ole Scar, who was one of the first locals at the time.

Scarville is extremely small and has historically maintained a population of fewer than 100 people at any given time.

13. Hazardville, CT

Hazardville, CT creepy town names

Although it’s actual name comes from a local by the name of Colonel Augustus George Hazard, the name of this town is quite appropriate when you find out what it’s known for. Hazardville is near the Scantic and Connecticut Rivers. It started out with a mill for manufacturing black gun powder and relied on the river water to run — which can be hazardous if something goes wrong.

And in 1913, it came to just that. After years of successful business and the mill growing into a plant of nearly 200 buildings, an explosion destroyed a large part of the plant. While not in use, many of the intact buildings can still be found near the Scantic River.

14. Sleepy Hollow, NY

Sleepy Hollow, NY

What began as a small village on the Hudson River quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. And Sleepy Hollow has worked hard to live up to its famed name.

The town now holds many events that center around Washington Irving’s original story, leaving visitors with a high chance of running into the Headless Horseman.

Creepy town names aren’t always accurate

These towns all have creepy names, but most aren’t really scary places to live. And while some of us enjoy being a little creeped out at times, most of us would much rather live in a town that sounds spooky, rather than one that actually is. Either way, these places are all livable and their names’ interpretations are up to you!

Still looking for apartments for rent in your favorite spooky town? We have you covered.


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