10 Towns and Cities with a Dark Past

by Rishika Jain2 years ago
Picture 10 Towns and Cities with a Dark Past

Every city or town has some hidden secrets or dark past that the media doesn’t show us. They do not show the ground-level turmoil that boils within cities and towns that most of us are unaware of. Examples are how witches were killed in Salem and Triora or how Kowloon Walled City was left to rot. Sometimes these cities or towns have faced the biggest tragedies, calamities, and great misfortune. Many of these places are left abandoned and developed a reputation for horror and darkness. These pasts bring up the eerie discussions and make a place a much more interesting place to know. Here are 10 towns or cities that possess dark pasts.

1 Burke is an isolated town in Idaho. It was founded in 1887 as a prosperous mining settlement but was soon overpowered by violence, trauma, and natural disaster. After various attempts to save the town, it was finally abandoned after 1991.

Image credit: Shutterstock

The town of Burke in Idaho was established in 1887 as a prosperous mining settlement but was soon abandoned after a few years. The story of Burke is not the same as the story of a run-of-the-mill ghost town. Its story starts like an ordinary town settled for mining purposes after the discovery of silver and lead in 1884.

The town was merely 300 feet wide. It was severely limited in space because of its location in a canyon. Over time, tension started building between miners and owners of the mine which gave birth to violence.

In 1892, after six men died in a gunfight, the governor of Idaho declared martial law and sent hundreds of soldiers to restore peace, but the peace in town was short-lived. In 1899, a bunch of workers destroyed a dynamite mine just because they were fired by the Bunker Hill Mining Company.

Along with such hostile incidents, the town also endured natural disasters in the form of another mine explosion, hotel fire, flood, and so on. Eventually, the town was left abandoned and cursed. (Source)


2 In 1692, Salem, a town in Massachusetts, was the scene of the witch trials. Over 25 people were executed as a result of these trials, and some were never actually found guilty of witchcraft. This incident left a scar on the town of Salem leaving it forever linked to the dangers of religious extremism.

Witch house, Salem. Image credit: chensiyuan via Wikimedia.org

Witchcraft is the darkest thing in the world. Some say it’s a delusion, but at some places, it’s awfully real. The most haunted town in America, Salem in Massachusetts, was famous for witchcraft.

The spooky reputation of Salem makes it a desirable destination for Halloween lovers and fans of the occult. It was discovered in 1626, but the dark period of Salem began between 1692 and 1693.

The town was afflicted with witchcraft on March 1, 1692, when the witch trials began and three women were arrested on charges of witchcraft. Over the following months, around 25 people were executed during the witch trials.

Surprisingly, some of them were even known to be innocent of witchcraft. This incident left a deep scar on the town and forever marked it with the reputation of religious extremism. (Source)


3 In 1919, during the Elaine Massacre, hundreds were killed in the town of Elaine in Arkansas. The attack was launched by local White cops and lynch mobs, aided by federal troops. They began attacking Black people after a violent dispute between Black and White farmers.

Elaine Massacre
Rioters on the south side of the Douglas County Courthouse in Omaha. Image credit: history Nebraska via pbs.org

A small town in the US, Elaine in Arkansas, reveals the issues in our system and how hollow it is. The bloodiest racial conflict happened in US history when hundreds of African-American people were killed during an attack. In September 1919, Black sharecroppers formed a union to raise voices against the exploitation of their labor. Triggered by this action of Black sharecroppers, a group of White men, aided by federal troops, tortured and killed over 200 African-American people.

Elaine Massacre
 Image credit: arkansasonline.com

This tragedy was named the “Elaine Massacre” and also popularly named “Red Summer,” which depicts the season of racial terror fueled by the White people. The state government of Arkansas tried to cover this massacre, but the truth couldn’t be hidden forever. After this incident, the town was left with a scarred reputation. (Source)


4 On June 10, 1944, a village in France, Oradour-Sur-Glane, was destroyed by the German Waffen-SS, killing 642 of its inhabitants including 247 children. All the village buildings were burnt down and were ordered not to be rebuilt. The cursed village is still standing with its ruins as a monument to the massacre.

Ruined stone buildings on a street in the martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane. Image credit: Shutterstock

Almost 80 years ago, a rural village near Limoges, Oradour-Sur-Glane, was burnt down, and today it’s known as the most important village in Europe.

The village was the site of the worst Nazi massacre that happened on French soil, when 642 people including children were killed in an unexplained act of barbarity on 10 June 1944. The leader of the Nazi SS regiment received news that a Nazi officer was taken prisoner by the local French resistance and had been executed.

In retaliation, the Nazi regiment launched the most violent mass executions in history. After a few hours, the people were shot or burnt alive, and the whole village was razed. Unlike other Nazi massacre sites which were razed and rebuilt, Oradour-Sur-Glane was ordered not to be rebuilt. The village was left untouched and is still standing today bearing the ruins of the massacre. (Source)


5 On September 17, 1862, the Battle of Antietam was fought in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Union and Confederate forces met and fought for 12 hours. Over 22,000 American soldiers died, which were even more US casualties than suffered in any one day in World War II.

Battle of Antietam
President Lincoln (1809-1865) on battle-field of Antietam with several officers outside the tent. Image credit: Shutterstock

The land of Maryland’s Sharpsburg was laced in blood and forever left its marks in 1862 when the bloodiest battle was fought here, the Battle of Antietam. Sharpsburg was one of the peaceful villages with no history of violence over the past 281 years. On September 17, 1862, Union and Confederate forces met on Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Both armies fought for around 12 hours that day. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. Around 23,100 men were injured or killed, no other day produced as many casualties in the country’s history, not even in World War II. Once a home for 700 people, it is now famous in the most haunting ways. (Source)

Also Read:
10 Places on Earth With Recurring Mysteries

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