Created By: Kemosabi4 on February 21, 2011 Last Edited By: Kemosabi4 on April 18, 2011

Deathville

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do we have this? A better title is up for suggestion.

So you've wandered into a haunted town, where the darkest horrors of the beyond lurk around every corner, and you have to have a change of pants on hand constantly. Yes, it's terrifying, the epitome of fear. Slowly, when the coast is clear, you cut through the thick fog and find yourself in front of a large billboard. You begin to read. "Welcome to sunny..." Wait... Why the hell do they call it that!? Why is it that some of the scariest places on Earth have such innocent names?

Deathville applies mostly to Towns With Dark Secrets (and is largely a subversion of this trope) or generally any location that has a relatively misleading name when compared to the horrors that go on there. Of course, it doesn't always have to be NormanRockwellville but something that belies the nature of the town.

Examples:

  • In Silent Hill, your deepest fears literally come alive in a town that is virtually devoid of sane life. If it hadn't been for it's introduction in the long running horror series, the name Silent Hill would paint pictures of a quiet, sleepy, small town, without any tentacle monsters or sexy nurses.

  • Sandford, the small village that serves as the setting for Hot Fuzz has a name that perfectly fits it's countryside feeling, despite the fact that the citizens of said town systematically kill anyone who threatens the sanctity of it's peaceful existence.

  • The Nightmare on Elm Street films all take place in the innocent-sounding town of Springwood. It's hard to get much more generic than Springwood, but it probably doesn't help that it was from the era of cheesy 80's slasher movies.

  • Sunnydale, CA, the setting of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is directly above the portal to a veritable Hell, where, presumably, (I don't know, I don't watch the damn thing) all or most of the antagonists originate from.

  • Bright Falls from the videogame Alan Wake is a small, peaceful backwoods town that hides an ancient monster.
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • February 21, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I find it odd that this trope is about scary towns with happy or innocuous names and yet it subverts/averts the trope by being called Deathville. I want it to be called something like Bad Things Are Always Happening In Sunnyville.
  • February 21, 2011
    bbofun
    The Hellmouth, portal to all things evil and nasty, sits under the lovely town of Sunnydale,CA. (This is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, if anyone doesn't know.)

    And, yeah, Deathville sounds either like a)all towns that are "evil'; or, b)evil towns with evil names (Silent Hill, 'Salem'sLot, etc.)

    Oh, and I know 'Salem's Lot is Jerusalem's Lot, and thus, shouldn't sound evil, but, c'mon, it reallly does.

    OOOH- Derry and Castle Rock, both from the Stephen King oeuvre.
  • February 21, 2011
    Grain
    We could name the trope "Sunnydale". Most Triumphant Example
  • February 22, 2011
    foxley
    Currently this is covered by Super Fun Happy Thing Of Doom, but it might be splittable.
  • February 22, 2011
    chris282
    Jaws is set in the fictional beachside resort of Amity. Amity means friendship or cordiality.
  • February 22, 2011
    Kemosabi4
    @foxley. I'm hoping to split it on the grounds of it being centered more on towns and cities.
  • February 22, 2011
    BlackDragon
    Bright Falls from Alan Wake comes to mind... idyllic little backwoods-town with a fun-filled local festival and a 'recharge-center' for burned-out artists. And an Eldritch Abomination sleeping fitfully under the ever-so-idyllic and picturesque crater-lake.
  • February 24, 2011
    Kemosabi4
    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll make sure to update it and try and gain some more attention before creating it.
  • February 26, 2011
    bbofun
  • February 26, 2011
    Grain
    Happytown Isn't So Happy

    Happytown? More Like Doomytown!
  • February 26, 2011
    TBTabby
    I second Sunnydale.
  • February 26, 2011
    jate88
    What's this tropes relationship to Names To Run Away From Really Fast?
  • February 27, 2011
    bbofun
    ^It would be a subversion, although that trope is more about people's names, not places.
  • March 21, 2011
    TBTabby
    It seems like Fluffy The Terrible, just applied to places.
  • March 21, 2011
    Earnest
  • March 24, 2011
    Kemosabi4
    I like Welcome to Sunny Doomville, when I'm not up to my neck in school and other activities, I'll try to update it a little.
  • March 24, 2011
    PaleHorse87
  • March 26, 2011
    Terabiel
    I dunno, Silent Hill sounds like a graveyard to me. Terrible name for a town. I second "Welcome to Sunny Doomville" and the seperation from Fluffy the Terrible, unless the town in question happens to be a Genius Loci... at which point it could go either way.
  • March 26, 2011
    bbofun
    Except "Doomville" is not this. Welcome To Sunnyville And Your Doom? Come To Happytown And Die? Pleasantville Is A Bad Place?

    I think I have a problem with the "Doomville" name. It's just the exact opposite of the trope.
  • March 26, 2011
    INUH
    Nthing the "this trope should have a name that isn't the opposite of what it means."
  • March 27, 2011
    Earnest
  • March 27, 2011
    vijeno

    I think there are a few in the X Files, but I don't remember the names.

    Do we have the opposite, actually?
  • March 27, 2011
    INUH
    ^^Like that title.

    ^Um...I kind of feel like we do have the opposite, but I can't think of what it is, so I could be wrong.
  • March 27, 2011
    vijeno
    Oh, and the page image should be one of those "welcome to..." signs, with the population number striked through and corrected.
  • March 27, 2011
    Venompen
    Zombieland. Nuff said.
  • March 27, 2011
    Earnest
    ^^ Like this poster from The Crazies?
  • March 27, 2011
    Kaoy
    ^^Zombieland doesn't take place in one town, nor is it one town being affected. It takes place in multiple states, and it's the entire world. Thus, not an example.
  • March 27, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    For the Record I still think the title needs a more ironic name
  • March 27, 2011
    SoneAnna
    Hinamizawa from Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. IIRC (my kanji-reading skills are terrible; forgive me) it means something along the lines of "swamp of dolls and hope."
  • March 27, 2011
    Rolf
    beauful cheery town of death?
  • March 27, 2011
    Kaoy
    The longer this gets, the more and more I am liking 'Sunnydale' as the name.
  • April 18, 2011
    Kemosabi4
    How does 'Welcome to Sunnydale' jive with everyone?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=jc58bkfnl65gf27h3hm5o415