Fall is a time for crisp weather, falling leaves and pumpkins galore. Everything feels a bit creepier in October. There are some places, however, that are creepy all year long.
A town’s name is usually based in history of the community. So, what does it mean when the town’s name is something scary? In the spirit of Halloween, we found towns with scary names in the U.S. where you can rent an apartment.
1. Tombstone, AZ
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
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’s 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
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
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
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 the 1876, miners found gold in a creek near a patch of dead trees in a gulch. The called the area “Deadwood” – and the name has stuck ever since.
7. Slaughter Beach, DE
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 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 is one of the area’s most popular spots for mountain climbers.
9. Devils Lake, ND
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.