30 Small-Town “Incidents” That Are Etched In Local’s Memories

Published 2 months ago

As someone unfamiliar with small-town living, I’ve always had a somewhat idealized vision of it. In my imagination, residents trust each other so much that they leave their doors unlocked, surprise visits involve homemade treats, and everyone is on a first-name basis, making it impossible to step out without bumping into a friend. 

However, no community is without its challenges, and it turns out every small town has a memorable “incident” etched in its history. Reddit users who hail from rural areas have been sharing these infamous stories, and we’ve compiled some of the most astonishing ones for you below. Enjoy delving into these tales of small-town life that are sure to leave you open-mouthed in disbelief!

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So this happened a couple years before I went there, but this was the talk of my high school for like half a decade and half the town knew folks involved so it just became town lore.

There was a special needs kid who was loved by our school and our community. He was always smiling and happy, and while only ever really talkative when it was about his own interests you couldn’t help but like the guy and get along with him. Even bullies were kind to the kid, and while some people avoided him no one was ever rude or dismissive towards him. Just a genuinely good kid who was liked by all cause you couldn’t help but like him.

He got beaten up by a bully who came to our school from the really f****d up last chancer school a few suburbs over.

Word got out when someone saw him in the infirmary bruised to the nines and crying. Dumbass bully took credit but really didn’t need to since there were witnesses and word got around pretty quickly.

A dozen seniors cornered him after school when the bully was walking home and took turns beating the s**t out of them, apparently they almost killed him. Never saw him again after that so I’ve no idea what happened, I just know he got hospitalised for ages. No one was willing to rat them out, and the teachers and overworked cops didn’t really seem too fussed in finding out who got rid of the bully.

The friendly kid came back a few weeks later all healed up and everything continued as normal.

Image source: Tashdacat


Image source: crimsonrose2718, Olivia Bauso

There were 2 kids 3 years older than me who got married about 2 years ago, and right after the wedding, they found out they were actually twins that were separated at birth. I wish I was joking but I’m not. They are still happily married.

Edit: this is small town Connecticut, by the way

#3 A slasher movie was filmed here and before production began the town cleaned up and painted one of the main areas that was going to be used in the movie. The studio then had to bring in a team to undo all of the cleaning and painting because it no longer looked authentic.

Image source: stephers85, Lê Minh


A little over 30 years ago, the police and fire departments played in a charity basketball game that raised funds for DARE. Shortly after the game, some of the cops that played gave short anti-drug speeches for the crowd. Early the next morning, state police came into town and arrested a lot of those cops for being part of a local drug ring.

A more lighthearted one happened only 5 years ago. The town’s getting ready for its annual Christmas tree lighting when the organizers noticed the wiring for the lights had been damaged. They report it to the police, who then put out a bunch of public notices about how “vandalism will not be tolerated in our family-friendly town” and beefing up security around the area. It ended up being a squirrel that chewed through the wire.

Image source: ScorpionX-123

#5 Teacher swinger-sex ring got exposed. Everyone in the school and their parents found out pretty quick. Middle School Vice Principal ended up divorcing his wife due to later swinging incident.

Image source: soulesswonder25, RDNE Stock project

#6 A little girl had a seizure (or hit her head. Nobody knows for sure) in the YMCA swimming pool, went unconscious, and drowned during a youth swim team practice. My sister and her friends were also on the team. They saw her at the bottom of the pool and thought she was just messing around. Lifeguards and instructors weren’t even paying attention.

Image source: broshley, Marcelo Uva

#7 My lunch ladies won the Powerball when I was in 9th grade. Each took home 1.1 million dollars. Each week, they each put in a quarter and bought Powerball tickers and one week they won. There were news teams there for days doing interviews. It was cool that most of the lunch ladies stayed working there. The older ones retired, but almost all of them continued to work. It was a really big deal for a long time.

Image source: anon, CDC

#8 It was hushed up, but the former sheriff of my hometown stole people’s lawnmowers and sold them for scrap for close to a decade. Weird place.

Image source: Power_Wiz_IV, Zac Gudakov

#9 Local cop was taking multiple highschool girls out of town to take advantage of. The thing was each girl thought she was the only one. Then they all figured it out about each other then got mad and turned him in.

Image source: Imb0pper, Mika Baumeister

#10 A light shining into the sky a couple times from out in the woods. Police went out to check it, found a man no one knew in a cabin no one knew of, LOADED with guns and ammunition. When asked why he had so many, what he was doing shining a light into the sky… He was sending a beacon to the aliens bc they told him to shine a light to guide them, when he had things ready for them…. Yeah.

Image source: IDontEvenCareBear, Wendelin Jacober

#11 An airplane crashed into the towns only water tower. Just happened to be a crop duster fully loaded with herbicides. Very sureal sight to see because it took more than a month to find a crane large enough to remove the plane from the water tank on top of the tower. You drive by, and all you see is the tail of the airplane ✈️ sticking out the top of the tower.

Image source: ApprehensiveVirus125, Iurii Laimin


In 2016, a girl who was in my high school class died suddenly in her sleep. No rhyme or reason why. She just died. Rocked the entire town and especially me and my classmates since she was in our class. Still don’t know why she died six years later

Image source: VulcanForceChoke

#13 Wind storm broke open cages of bunnies from the 4H program and ton of them got loose. Several years later you can’t seem to go around a corner without seeing several wild rabbits.

Image source: Xander_Cain, Pablo Martinez

#14 The county sheriff shot himself through the leg while training. He claims it was a faulty holster and he was re-holstering the gun. I’m pretty sure he just had his booger hook on the bang switch at the wrong time.

Image source: SteerJock, Kindel Media

#15 Fighter pilot drew a d**k in the sky.

Image source: whyamionfireagain, Cédric Dhaenens

#16 Teacher at the local elementary school had a nervous breakdown while her class was at recess. When they came back in she was completely naked and just scribbling on the white board while mumbling to herself.

Image source: AgentOfManifestation, Pixabay


The thing I was most aware of was that a teacher was sleeping with one of the high school students, then he (the student) got her pregnant and she kept it. She was fired, don’t know what she does now, and the dude who knocked her up is the local drug dealer now. I was in the same year as the kid that resulted from that, he was a nice guy. Felt bad for him cause everyone was always trying to figure out who the kid was, since everyone knew he’d be at the school that year but didn’t know who it was. If you ask me, kind of f****d up to stay in the same town and make your kid go to the same high school that happened in.

Image source: JensensRedemption


When I was in high school (early 2000s), one of the elementary school lunch ladies – who also ran a babysitting business – had a child die in their care. While this was eventually ruled as a tragic case of SIDS, it opened up a decade-old investigation into a previous death of another child in her care. This turned into a murder investigation and she was convicted and sentenced to twenty years for pushing the kid down the stairs. The victim was the brother of a student a grade below me. The lunch lady’s daughter was in the same grade. They were friends until all this blew up.

The town has about 2500 people in it and everyone knows everyone else’s business. A lot of my classmates were babysat by this woman at one point or another. And, again, we all knew her because she served us meals in elementary school and her kids were in our classes. It was a wild time. There was an A&E documentary about it too. She’s finished her prison sentence now but I’m not sure if she moved back to town or not. I haven’t lived there in years and barely keep up with hometown gossip.

Image source: MFCORNETTO

#19 A guy robbed the bank then ran to his home to hide… that was down the street. Took the cops an embarrassingly long time to get him

Image source: Wenissucker, Kindel Media

#20 This old lady would helplessly walk around busy parking lots with her walker. She looked so dirty and homeless, and people would drive up to her and give her stuff. Then her family came out and told everyone to stop doing that because she was actually very rich and was pretending to be homeless.

Image source: retro-petro, Ev

#21 A Walmart employee quitting over the store intercom and calling out the store manager for being a pervert, and posting the video of her doing so on social media. It spread like wildfire.

Image source: anon, Mike Kalasnik


We had a super duper senior .. he was mentally slow and maybe 20years old. He was pretty beloved at the school actually.

One day he stole his moms car and drove it through the glass the front doors of the school . Luckily not on a school day, nobody was hurt /arrested or anything but it was widely talked about.

Also a girl was sleeping with a boy in her class and her dad caught them having sex. the guy jumped out the second story window naked . He fell into the car and the windshield wiper blades caught his balls on the way down and he had to get one testicle removed. I knew this to be true bc I knew everyone including the dad, daughter and the guy it happened too.

Image source: anon


The Farmington Mine Disaster
I live in a small town in West Virginia and before I was born this happened. So one day the coal miners went into the Mines as per usual but something was off. It smelled like gas the coal miners found out to late that there was a gas leak. As they were using their pickaxe’s sparks started flying and the gas was lit aflame. 78 of 99 people died that day people that were fathers, sons, grandparents, uncles, and cousins. All of this happened because the mine had low safety protocols or protection for their employees. Hollywood caught wind of this story and even made a movie about it thr movie is called miner 9 and is based off of the farmington mine disaster the incident even pushed the government to change the coal Mines to make them more safe.

Image source: MutedSignificance487


It started with the kids from down the road playing my neighbor’s haystack.

My neighbor was, unfortunately, bats**t crazy. So he put bear traps in his haystack.

The kids found the bear traps, luckily without getting caught in one, and ran home to tell their dad.

Dad comes over with a baseball bat, proceeds to beat the c**p out of the bear traps.

Few days later, my neighbor spots the kids’ dad driving by in his pickup truck, so jumps into his own truck and follows him. They wound up in the nearby wildlife preserve, shooting at each other’s trucks with hunting rifles. Luckily they didn’t hit each other, just the trucks.

That finally caught official attention and they ended up in front of a judge. They both got scolded, neighbor for owning old-style illegal bear traps and kids’ dad for damaging property.

Image source: OpheliaRainGalaxy


Guy in my high school knocked up the daughter of the local fitness center owner. The owner offered him a car to leave his daughter alone and not be a part of the baby’s life. He accepted the offer and took the car. Once she gave birth, they ran away together in the car. The fitness center owner found them, torched the car, and threatened to kill the guy. They fought and the baby daddy won. This apparently garnered some respect from both men and now everyone seems like a happy family.

Image source: LessGoooo

#26 The 40something drunk man who broke into the high school dressed as batman to prank scare the high school classes by staring in the windows then running away giggling uncontrollably to appear somewhere else on campus and scare a different class. There was an hour and a half long lockdown and he ended up found and arrested.

Image source: anon, Ronê Ferreira


Depends on what incident you want:
People were convinced the high school was cursed because no less that 4 kids every year died (I’m talking grad classes of maybe 40 each year loosing 4-8 kids for various reasons)

Most of my graduating class ended up getting caught drinking in class the one day I didn’t show up.

The field party where some dumbass was smoking behind a dried hay and caught the whole veils on fire.

And the soccer coach murdered his girlfriend and tried to kill her two children but thanks to lockdown training they knew to play dead until he left. The subsequent trial, and then the kids coming back to school.

And half the town, including at one point the sheriff had a heroin problem.

Image source: beezusquinn

#28 Remember when the animals got loose in Ohio? That one I knew the guy. He was nuts.

Image source: TomYOLOSWAGBombadil, Mike Marrah


Image source: ooo-ooo-oooyea, Joshua J. Cotten

We had this guy who was a survivalist type before it became a thing. He was able to purchase the bubonic plague vials by pretending to be a research scientist, and proceeded to infect a bunch of rats with plague. He wanted to study what medicine works best against plague rats. Luckily the FBI caught up to him, and plague man was stopped before any plague rats escaped!

The fun part is if he did this today, he’de probably be considered a hero to some. I actually met him a few times before he got arrested. I thought he was a priest of somesort because he was always in all black, and had a huge beard.

#30 Our high school principal cheated on her husband with another married staff member and that guys wife sent him flowers with a card that said “Happy Valentine’s Day, Adulterer”. The kids that worked as assistants in the front office saw it and told everyone

Image source: morosebae, Taisiia Shestopal

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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incident, memorable incident, people, small-town, spill the tea, townspeople
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