Whenever I go to an amusement park here are a few things that I expect to find: Long lines, good food, and a great time. What don't I expect to find? Well, the empty, dilapidated, and somehow sinister remains of a place that was intended to be teeming with happy people ends up pretty high on the list.
We recently did a post on the creepy abandoned Disneyland park, but we didn't know that we had barely scratched the surface. Apparently, all over the world there are just a ton of abandoned, rundown old amusement parks that now serve no purpose other than to be prey to the natural elements. Trust me when I say, they. are. creepy.
Six Flags New Orleans, Louisiana (2000-2005)
Originally opened as Jazzland in 2000, and later rebranded as Six Flags New Orleans, this amusement park was scheduled to be reopened in 2005. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina struck and completely flooded the park.
This park stands both as an image of the damage left behind, but also the struggle that New Orleans has faced in trying to restore its former glory in the wake of a natural disaster.
Pripyat Amusement Park, Ukraine (1986)
The initial plan for the Pripyat Amusement Park was for it to open in May of 1986. However, plans quickly changed when, on April 26, the Chernobyl disaster occurred relatively close by. The park was able to open for one day on April 27th to keep spirits up before the city-wide evacuation was announced.
Today, the radiation levels are still incredibly high, and the Ferris wheel still stands as a symbol of what happened in Pripyat nearly 30 years ago.
Okpo Land, Okpo-Dong, South Korea (1999)
The history around Okpo Land is a bit shady. Apparently, the abandoned park that graces the top of hill on Geoje Island, had a lot of fatalities and was forced to close. The last death on record was that of a little girl who died after falling off of a ride.
After this most recent accident in 1999, the park owner completely disappeared off the face of the planet.
Takakanonuma Greenland, Hobart, Japan (1973-1999)
This is another park where much of its history is shrouded in mystery. It opened in 1973 but, for unknown reasons, it closed just a few years later. Many people speculate that there were a slew of deaths at the park, but this is unconfirmed. Fast forward to 1986 where it was reopened, and remained active until 1999 when the economic decline took its toll on the amusement park game.
Now, the abandoned Takakanonuma Greenland is famous for its ghostly beauty, mainly due to the thick layer of fog that frequents the park.
Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansas (1949-2006)
This one is actually more of a sad story than a creepy or mysterious one. Joyland Amusement Park, albeit small, played a huge role in Wichita, Kansas. The park had been a local institution for 57 years before closing its doors in 2006 due to low profits and high taxes.
There had been a huge push to reopen the park since its closing. Sadly, the group that had been heading this project since 2011 disbanded this summer after raising $10,500.
Could you imagine spending any period of time at any one of these parks? Well, I actually can. There's something hauntingly beautiful about these parks. But would I want to spend a night there as the fog begins to roll in and you hear a distant cackling from deep within one of the empty rides? Definitely not.