The Amish way of life can get seriously creepy. When you look beyond the seemingly simple and quaint lifestyle, things are pretty dark. Everything from their insistence on using a horse and buggy to the Amish style of music has a sinister reason behind it. Their small communities rarely let outsiders in, and with good reason. Much of what goes on in Amish households simply wouldn’t be tolerated in wider society.
We’ve lifted the lid on some of the Amish’s creepiest rules to expose the real reason behind their strict way of life. From Amish education to life at home for an Amish woman – even the simplest of things can have an unsettling side in the Amish community. We’ve checked out why the Amish aren’t allowed musical instruments, why they can’t cut their hair, why Amish men have beards but no moustache and more. Check out our list, you won’t believe some of the creepy things the Amish do.
15. The creepy reason the Amish don’t have cars
We’re all familiar with Amish buggies. And many of us probably presume the Amish use a horse and buggy because they’re all about shunning technology. But the real reason the Amish shun cars is way more creepy. It’s because they don’t want their community to be able to leave. Let that sink in for a minute. Yep, that’s right. Cars give people easy access to the outside world and that might encourage them to abandon the Amish way of life. If one day you could just get up, sling your drab wardrobe into the trunk and set off into the big wide world, you would. Wouldn’t you?
14. There’s a disturbing reason why the Amish don’t have musical instruments
Musical talent is actively discouraged within Amish communities. Think of the joy music brings to everyday life. Whether you’re listening to some dirty beats on the radio, checking out a dance remix on YouTube or laying down some serious guitar riffs in the studio, it’s all good man. But not if you’re in an Amish community. Musical instruments are banned, because, get this, it could encourage you to feel pride or superiority. Someone needs to smuggle some Taylor Swift tracks in there ASAP and get these people a couple of banjos. With no self-expression allowed, the next big music star won’t be coming from an Amish community, that’s for sure.
13. The creepy rule that stops people from ever leaving the Amish community
If you think leaving the Amish community must be easy. Think again. There’s a really creepy reason why most people stay. If you decide to leave, not only can you not come back most of the time, but you also have to cut all ties with your family and friends. That means finding a place in the world all on your own. With no qualifications, just basic schooling and no contacts it’s going to be seriously difficult. So although Amish communities boast a serious growth rate – it’s mainly because you can’t leave and there’s no contraception so families tend to be big.
12. They refuse to acknowledge how inbred they are
Small isolated communities and small gene pools eventually lead to inbreeding. We know this. The Amish know this. But you won’t find them doing any DNA testing to check just how related they are before hopping in the sack. That’s right folks. The Amish really like to keep things in the family. If you know what I’m saying… Claiming it’s ‘God’s Will’ when two people get together, the Amish flat refuse to get tested. The result of this inbreeding is even more disturbing. More and more Amish children are being born with genetic diseases. Guys, widen that gene pool or things are going to get real dark, real soon.
11. The Amish don’t play safe between the sheets
Any adult activity before marriage is banned and, obviously, once you’re married you shouldn’t be sleeping with anyone except your spouse. So far, so Amish and so the need for playing it safe is diminished. Except, boys will be boys and girls aren’t exactly innocent either. So if your Amish spouse is playing away, you could be landed with an STD. That’s going to be tricky to explain to those church elders, amirite? Apparently some methods of ‘natural’ birth control are allowed – but those methods aren’t going to stop the deadliest catch from being spread. Let’s hope the Amish wise-up and instigate the no glove, no love rule.
10. There’s a disturbing reason why Amish women don’t receive s*x education
There’s a growing r*pe culture in the Amish communities and it’s only getting worse. The submissive women, lack of education and a lack of punishment all contribute towards a world of violence and abuse towards women. Worse still, because Amish women aren’t educated about reproduction or intimate physical acts, they don’t have the words or knowledge to describe what’s happened to them. Some women are chastised even when they do speak up – being told they didn’t pray hard enough in church to stop it or they should have fought back. With the Amish believing lawsuits are against the will of Christ, there’s little to stop women suffering continual abuse in their communities.
9. The Amish have a deeply disturbing source for their music
We know that the Amish aren’t allowed instruments but there’s a disturbing history behind their only songbook. The Ausbund is basically a series of hymns or laments written by dudes waiting to die. Creeped out yet? Not only are they waiting to die, these guys have received a death sentence. Cheery songs these ain’t. Imagine a bunch of death row inmates penning a tune and you’re probably close to the Ausbund’s dreary content. Much of the content covers sorrow, loneliness, or talks about the wicked world. I’m guessing we’re not going to be singing along to any of these anytime soon. The Amish? This is pretty much the only music they are allowed to sing.
8. Unmarried couples must share a bed – and a wooden board
Let’s be clear – there’s a strict ban on lovemaking before marriage in the Amish community. So what twisted minds thought it was a great idea to force two teenagers to spend a night in the same bed … without getting naked and fooling around? Imagine the willpower needed. But this is a test Amish couples must endure during their courting period. They sleepover in a double bed with a big wooden board down the middle. The idea is that they stay up all night talking, but I’m guessing more than a few stray hands have made it over that board.
7. Women aren’t allowed to cut their hair – or shave
Remember the 80s when adult films were all about the bush? Well, times have moved on just a little and things are decidedly Brazilian down south. Now, Amish women have never exactly been ardent followers of fashion and this is just another example. And though they may look like they have short locks – it’s actually all pinned up under those white hats they wear. As well as not being allowed to cut the hair on their heads – for religious reasons, Amish women can’t shave either. So unless they’re waxing on the regular – presumably also forbidden, then Amish women are rocking some seriously wild lady gardens.
6. There are strict rules in place for Amish men’s beards
Though Amish men generally have it easier than Amish women, their face fuzz is strictly governed. You won’t find any manscaping, metrosexuals in the Amish community. Nor will you spot a moustache. Banned in the 1800s, moustaches were once a sign of wealth or being in the military – so the Amish banned them. Now they’re usually a sign of a pretentious hipster – so it’s probably good that they are keeping the ban in place. Beards are definitely on though – but only if you’re married. Once wed you have to grow a beard to signal that you’re taken. It’s also a sign that you’ve become a man. Basically a permanent hairy badge to display the loss of your virginity.
5. The creepy reason the Amish really don’t want their people to learn about the world
Keep it simple, stupid, is a saying that could readily be applied to Amish people. Intelligence is actively discouraged, with all Amish students dropping out of school in the 8th grade. Why? Because the Amish believe that’s all the education you’ll ever need. Factual books are also censored – with books carefully chosen to either hide the truth or paint a wicked picture of life outside the Amish community gates. Women tend to leave school and become housewives or take up crafting. We won’t be seeing any Amish Harvard scholars, that’s for sure.
4. The disturbing culture of banishment in Amish communities
Step out of line in the Amish community and you could find yourself ignored, shunned or banished. This doesn’t seem so bad – a free pass into the outside world might be just what you want. Except you must give up everything. Your home, wife, children and family. In the worst cases, you’d never be allowed to speak to any of them ever again. That’s a tough call. And it’s precisely why so many people don’t step out of line. Being thrown out into the real world would be terrifying after living such a simple life. While some people do make it out, just the threat of it is enough to keep the community running smoothly. And once you’re out? The only way to gain acceptance back into the community is death, or a deeply sincere apology. Let’s assume most people choose the apology.
3. The creepy reason the Amish are oddly lenient when it comes to rebellious teen behaviour
Teenagers, no matter how stern their upbringing, are always going to rebel. Whether they’re smoking pot and shoplifting, defying a curfew or getting drunk in a bar, there’s no way of stopping it. And the Amish know this, so they turn a blind eye. They even go so far as to let Amish teenagers run wild during an event called Rumspringa. Amish kids go crazy and experience the outside world – with all its sins and debauchery. Why? Because the Amish know if they punish their children too harshly they’ll never want to stay. Kind of creepy when you think about it.
2. The creepy reason their toys aren’t allowed to have faces
These sinister dolls serve an odd purpose in the lives of Amish children. The faceless dolls teach Amish children that everyone is the same in the eyes of God. It goes further than that though. The lifeless dolls aren’t allowed to have faces thanks to strict Amish religious beliefs. Forbidden from creating ‘false idols’ – the featureless faces also discourage vanity – as the Amish argue that dolls with pretty faces could cause conceit in the Amish child. I’m guessing that because the Amish don’t have TVs they can’t have seen any of the creepy horror films involving dolls. If they had, they definitely wouldn’t want these creepy dolls anywhere near them.
1. The disturbing reason why they make up their own rules
Although you might think the Amish religiously follow the ethics and laws from the Christian bible, they actually follow the beliefs laid down in their own text, the Ordnung. Though strict, each community interprets the Ordnung in its own way. With many making their own set of rules to follow. This means you’ll find some Amish homes using electrical goods because they’ve found a loophole in the rules which allows them to. Or you’ll see an Amish person hail a taxi – because though they can’t own a car, they can hitch a lift. With loopholes and rule bending rife, there’s a dark side to it all. Many crimes go unpunished, with law breakers being instructed to pray or confess their sins instead of serve time.
Sources: pennlive.com, nationalgeographic.com, abcnews.go.com
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