What fictional place would be the worst place to bring up a child?

Other than the setting of a horror novel/film/TV series/etc. (i.e. someplace designed to be unsafe and dangerous), what fictional place- TV/book/movie/other- would be the worst place to bring up kids? I will define worst as scary, dangerous, smaller-than-average-chances of growing up unscarred [if you grow up]- you can tweak the definition.

I’ll go ahead and post and be back with my entry.

My first thought is Krypton <10 years or so pre-kablooey.

I vote for Narnia. Too many arrows and such flying around.

I know that Walnut Grove is technically a real place, but I think anybody would agree that any resemblance between it and the place depicted in the series Little House on the Prairie is purely coincidental. (The real Laura Ingalls spent less than 2 years there, and that was at two different times with a year in Iowa coming in between.)

The Walnut Grove on TV has to be the most dangerous and child-unsafe place outside of the Horror genre to raise kids. Since it was in the late 19th century they can’t help the occasional disease outbreaks, and most places suffer from some kind of intermittent natural catastrophe, and freak accidents occur anyplace, but in addition to all that-

Walnut Grove was a tiny town. The town itself had maybe two dozen residents and then the outlying farms had maybe a couple hundred if that many, and yet among them were:

-A crazy woman who locked Laura in her basement thinking she was her dead daughter (who had drowned because she swam without adult supervision in a pond- and I’m not even counting that one)
-A family so vile that the minister physically assaulted one of them in church
-Nancy Olsen- her sister Nellie had been a sometimes out-of-control brat but Nancy was a bonafide sociopath who locked people in icehouses and delighted in bringing them harm
-A rapist clown
-A violent guy who beats up Jonathan Garvey’s son Andrew
-Andrew Garvey, a seemingly sweet kid who burns down his family’s barn and pins it on the guy above and later “accidentally” sets fire to a school for the blind killing a baby and his own mother [because the spirit that possessed him failed to kill her when it convinced him to burn the barn]
-A rapist clown (it bears repeating)
-Albert- equally culpable in the school for the blind fire and also a thieving drug addict
-A populace that is always wanting to shun people who are remotely different (race, religion, a Little Person, somebody who’s just weird, you name it)
-A rapist clown (I really want the jury to hear this)
-A deat tinker who convinces all of the children to steal the metal from their parents (luckily he was run out of town apparently before he taught them how to creepy crawl)
-Adam, the blind man who was blinded while fording a river and then was miraculously restored to sightedness fording another river (the spirit that wanted Andrew Garvey to burn down the school for the blind wanted Adam to see it happen)

And add in a Minnesota that only snows twice in a decade. They can market it as a wholesome place, but Walnut Grove is out of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods- there’s some Scandinavian immigrant demon there that must be appeased with blood.

Except, as is explained to Jill during The Last Battle, most of the time Narnia was peaceful and idyllic, just as a fairytale kingdom ought to be under the rule of the rightful King. The adventures described in the seven books, and the hundred-year reign of the White Witch, were not at all typical.

Plenty of places come to mind:

  1. Hell–Dante’s version, or pretty much any other Christian version.
  2. The Borg Homeworld.
  3. Deathworld

It’s explicit in the Chronicles that Narnia is mostly a peaceful place. Jill & Eustace mistakenly think it is always in crisis because (a) they never lived there for a long period of time (unlike the Pevensies) and (b) they’re young, inexperienced, and haven’t given the matter a great deal of thought (unlike Professor Kirke). Human visitors (or at least the Seven Friends of Narnia; there could easily be others) are only called to the magical world when they need to learn some particular lesson and when there’s questing to be done.

Anyway, my answer is going to be Gotham City in any continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Wages must be at least 70% higher than anywhere else in the country for the city to have its population.

ETA: You’ll pay for this, Malacandra! Oh, how you’ll pay!

My first thought: Cabot Cove, Maine from Murder, She Wrote. Such a small town, so many murders.

Hmm. That might be a worse place than Walnut Grove. Even if the population is several thousand, murder has to be the number one cause of death. And not just ‘act of passion’ or armed robbery type murders, it’s always a plto with an attempt to throw off investigators; thank the gods for the elderly priestess who roots out the truth.

Derry, Maine.

Sunnydale, CA before the arrival of Miss Summers. Even after her arrival, not that great, there are always “murders” and missing people in the papers. Lots of cemeteries for a reason.

I don’t know that it was designed to be scary per se. The residents of the town know it’s bad, but no one moves away.

North Fork, New Mexico, home of Lucas McCain, the Rifleman.

Middle-Earth, excluding a few isolated enclaves, would be a horror as often as not.

Westeros is pretty brutal. It doesn’t matter which house you serve or who’s lands you live in, it is pretty likely someone wants to play impale the villager with you.

Panem, and all its outlying districts.

In-story, Sunnydale was founded by Mayor Wilkins on the Hellmouth (the portal between Earth and, well, Hell) with full knowledge of what that would entail. It’s DESIGNED as a feeding ground for vamps and demons – if not as its primary purpose, then as an unavoidable side-effect of said purpose.

The settings in many or most of Dickens’ books were pretty squalid, although they were generally based on real-life London.

Great list, but you forgot to mention
[li]The snow-capped mountains of southern Minnesota, where at one point Laura had a religious experience brought on by an encounter with a mountain man played by Ernest Borgnine.[/li][li]Guests of the Ingalls family, including Todd Bridges and Caroline’s father, were made to sleep in the “soddy,” which was actually a glorified rodent den dug into the side of a hill.[/li][li]The always-present voice of Mrs. Oleson, which is shrill enough to shatter a banshee.[/li][/ul]

Atlanta, Georgia… as fictionalized in The Walking Dead.

Also forgot to mention a rapist clown. :smiley: