Weird Locations for Unknown Armies
Unknown Armies depends on creepy things lurking in plain sight, things we've looked at so often they seem normal when they really aren't. Sure, you're thinking you know about all the stuff in your backyard that's odd and inexplicable. But one quick look behind, under, or in the past of those neighborhood features can uncover a world of weird.
Sometimes, it's just a thing you've never fully explored. For Atlas team member Renee, it was a graveyard canyon of semi trailers that were arranged to form a tightly spiraling labyrinth in the truck stop parking lot. What if truck drivers discovered one of their number was a minotaur and trapped him for the safety of our highways?
We walk over hidden mysteries, too. Eight miles of tunnels reportedly run under Portland, Oregon, with doors in old restaurants and bars so drunk and drugged patrons could be handed off to the press gangs that sold victims as sailors aboard Pacific trade ships. The former town of Centralia, Pennsylvania has a coal mine that's been on fire underground for over 60 years, and experts say it could burn for another 250 years more.
The appeal of abandoned places is nearly universal, and has been used to good effect in horror since the genre's inception. But stretch beyond the hackneyed old asylum or haunted mansion, and you'll find places like Terrible Tilly aka Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, where not only did the isolation, howling seas, and foghorns drive every keeper away from their post, but where the government decided inexplicably to house cremated human remains in the '80s and '90s. Hurricane Katrina destroyed Six Flags Jazzland amusement park in New Orleans, and its remains are full of clown-filled carnivalesque creepiness.
So what's weird in your world? Walk into the cloudy-windowed shop, drive down the abandoned road, look up the local history that has always made you curious. Your Unknown Armies players will thank you.