For those unfamiliar with the Stephen King story (there was also a movie), the protagonists are a young couple driving through a desolate rural area, who (initially) see no sign of human life and can’t tune into any radio stations - until having a peculiar fire-and-brimstone sermon blared at them from a station that evidently is very, very close.
Mrs. J. and I were driving through a stretch of Barren County, Kentucky one recent Sunday evening.
Nice hilly, wooded country, no other drivers, houses or stores. Then suddenly looming up around a curve would be a large, ground-level billlboard proclaiming THOU SHALT NOT COVET or similar admonition about incipient hellfire. Just a bit spooky.
Any other locations (in the U.S. or abroad) that convey the sensation that getting out of your car might risk your becoming a cult slave or human sacrifice victim?
Driving through the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, maybe around Germfask late at night with mist covered fields and clouds scudding past a gibbous moon. Absolutely beautiful and exactly where an axe murderer lives in one of the set back farm homes.
Last year we took a trip to Italy and booked a cheap hotel room online. We drove way out in the countryside to reach the place (it was supposedly a farm/hotel with some kind of crops being grown around it) and found it still under construction, with no check-in desk in sight. Before long, an English-speaking man arrived and let us know that he was the owner, and we could basically look after ourselves until morning when somebody else would show up to deal with payment. He let us in to a room, pointed to a cupboard of shampoo and towels, and then we were on our own. In an empty hotel. In the middle of agriculture. It was wonderfully ominous.
More The Shining than Children of the Corn.
Oh good Lord; I’ve seen so many its hard to count. Many are in Ohio and Indiana in farm country (a stretch near Shelby County springs to mind) but there are some up in the Endless Mountains of PA that border on that combined with Wicked Little Things
There are stretches between Rte 80 and French Azilum that even creep out the locals.
Years ago, Mom & I attended a church fellowship autumn bonfire party way out in the countryside. As we came back, the moon was high & full & we must have passed at least a half-dozen country graveyards. Even better, we had Art Bell on the radio & his guests were ghost hunters playing their EVPs of “spirit voices”.
I said to Mom, who was driving- “Yeah, full moon, country graveyards, Art Bell playing EVPs on the radio…
this is all pretty cool…
But if I was driving by myself, this radio would be on the Christian station so fast…”
Wupperthal is a mountain town a few hours outside Cape Town. It is extremely isolated - there’s just a gravel mountain road to get there, a 4x4 is recommended. The town started as a mission station and most everyone belongs to the Moravian Church still. The Moravians are very traditional in their outlook.
Let’s just say everyone in town is reeeal close and leave it at that, shall we? Oh, they have nice traditional dances, though…
In 2018 there was quite a devastating fire in the area. It’s gone from just a bit creepy topost-apocalyptic.
Driving from Texas to Alabama, our car broke down in some small town in Arkansas. We managed to get our car to a repair shop. The mechanic, who looked like he came straight out of the movie “Deliverance” was telling us we’d have to wait a day for the part needed to fix the car.
My friend responded: “Shit!”, understandably frustrated that we were going to be stuck in that town over night. The mechanic got this crazy look in his eye: “BOY! YOU BETTER BE GLAD THE SHERIFF WASN’T HERE TO HEAR YOU SAY THAT!”
At that point my friend and I turned to each other with a look on our faces that screamed: “WTF kind of hillbilly town did we get ourselves stuck in?”
Driving around eastern Utah, through the large empty areas, I stumbled upon a radio station broadcasting from who-knows-where. What really caught my attention was what they were broadcasting. I haven’t heard it since, or encountered anyone who had.
It was a mashup of the theme from Rocky – the Bill Conti theme fro the original Sylvester Stallone movie – and the theme from Rocky and Bullwinkle. Every now and then this would be punctuated by someone doing a passable Bill Scott-as-Bullwinkle voice that said, simply “Rocky!”
Does it count if someone was actually messing with people?
We were driving down a road in the middle of Kentucky on a Saturday afternoon, and reached a point where we hadn’t past another car or saw any houses, dwellings or signs of civilization for a good 15 minutes. About 100 yards off the road in a tall grassy field on the side of a hill, I was sure I saw bigfoot walking between two clumps of bushes. So sure that I made my SO turn around to check it out, and to also to convince her that I wasn’t seeing things.
Turns out, someone had made a realistic-looking wooden cutout of bigfoot and stuck it in the middle of nowhere, where it was visible from the road but far enough away to not be obvious.
To whoever put that bigfoot out in a random Kentucky field - a salute you.
We were on our way from Wichita, KS to North Platte, NE by way of the Geographic Center of the Continental US in Lebanon, KS (not really out of the way). Younger son decides he has to pee NOW… and we’re out in the middle of nowhere. But we see a little town off in the distance a couple of miles away, so we drive there.
Esbon, KS was the town. When we got there, there were no cars, no people, and nowhere to go into - everything looked as if it was closed. Nobody in the fields that we could see either. As we drove down the main street of the town, I turned to my wife and said “Are you getting the same Children of the Corn feeling that I am?” She was like “Uh, YEAH…” No weird billboards, no sermons on the radio… just nothing. The place seemed absolutely deserted, and gave me the heebie-jeebies like nowhere else I’ve ever been.
(FWIW, the wikipedia article makes it seem a lot more substantial of a town than it really is)