We’ve all gathered around campfires and heard about things that go bump in the night, but the truth is often stranger than fiction. Some of the most unsettling stories are not in storybooks, but in your local newspaper, or being picked apart obsessively on internet message boards.
From a secret city with a population of 75,000 — all united in a deadly project so secretive few of them even knew what it was — to mysterious fires and towns that feel too perfect to be real, the uncanny, strange and unresolved are all around us.
We partnered with Limetown, now streaming exclusively on Facebook Watch, to unpack seven of the most harrowing real-life unsolved American mysteries on this interactive map.
Richard Engeman, a former historian with the Oregon Historical Society, speculated on why these shadowy areas of American history hold our attention so rapt.
“We always attribute things that happened in dark places to have some sort of allure because they’re dark,” he said. “That means that — who knows what went on down there, because the lights were out. Imaginations allowed us to make up all kinds of stories, some of which may have some basis in reality, and others which may not.”
No leads, no traces. How could 326 people simply disappear from Limetown? In the new Facebook Watch series Limetown, adapted from the hit podcast, Lia Haddock (played by Jessica Biel), investigates a story of intrigue, mystery and cover-ups in search of the truth. People vanish, the truth doesn’t. Tune in now, exclusively on Facebook Watch.
Illustrations by Joe McKendry