Atlas Obscura is your travel guide to new story settings

07/19/2012

Atlas Obscura is an online compendium of unusual but real places on planet Earth. Like Wikipedia, anyone can edit entries and contribute to the Atlas. It’s great for exploring and gathering ideas for story settings.

You might come across the entry for Centralia, Pennsylvania — the inspiration for the titular fictional town in the movie Silent Hill.

Or you might prefer to take a long hike along the Route of Faces.

I always thought you had to go to Peru to see intaglios, but there are some right here in California.

I like to search around and find alternatives to more well-worn settings. We’ve all seen movies set in or near Area 51. How about another secret military installation like Montauk’s Camp Hero, allegedly home of the Philadelphia Experiment?

Useful features of the Atlas Obscura site include a random place link, and the ability to browse by region or category. Most entries are spare and lacking in supporting documentation. You’ll want to do more thorough research on a place that interests you, but for quick browsing and discovery, Atlas Obscura provides an excellent jumping-off point.

Featured Image: Altered cover of Mystery Tales #40, Atlas Comics.