Attractions

13 Most Creepy Abandoned Amusement Parks in America!

Written by Town & Tourist

Abandoned Amusement parks have fascinated urban explorers for many years. There is something so creepy, eerie and down right spooky about an Abandoned Amusement park which was once filled with laughter and now deadly silent and possibly haunted!

So here we have compiled together 13 most spooky abandoned amusement parks in America, in addition to 5 jaw dropping abandoned Amusement parks from around the world, such as apocalyptic Pripyat in the Ukraine to the land of giants at Gullivers kingdom, Japan.

1. Six Flags New Orleans

Six Flags New Orleans was once a bustling park full of laughter and cheer! These days silence engulfs the area, as this somber shadow of it’s former self lies precariously stuck in time. As graffiti and rust coats the decrepit rollercoasters and ferris wheels.

But what happened? On the 29th August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, flooding  many areas of New Orleans, including the popular Six Flags theme park! Which only opened in the year 2000.

According to witnesses, grubby waters rose up to 6 feet high throughout the park! This added pressure caused the parks drainage pump to fail, and the berm protecting the area from Lake Pontchartrain was breached by a torrent of water!

Spooky Amusement Parks - Six Flags, New Orleans.

Sig Flags is a desolate Remante of Hurricane Katrina. Photo by: lovethepics.com

The result of this disaster was grimy water stagnated in the area and engulfed the park obliterating 80% of the parks equipment and rides.  Deemed too expensive to restore the park , it was signed for demolition with the only salvageable ride being  “Batman: The Ride“. 

According to Time Magazine, this was moved and reassembled in Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio…the lucky one! 

These days it can still be seen from the interstate, as an overgrown jungle with wild plants and trees, wrapping around the rollercoasters!  Due to the large amount of stagnant water still in the area and damage to sealife tanks it is rumoured alligators swim in the park!

Fun Fact: Speaking of giant lizards, the actual park has been a movie location for Hollywood blockbusters such as Jurassic World! 

Status: Abandoned!

Where is it?

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Dates: 2000-2005

2. Joyland Amusement Park – Kansas

If you’ve ever seen the movie (final destination part 3), you will remember terrible scene where the rollercoaster has an issue and caused the passenger to be thrown out! Although just a movie these things can happen in real life.

In 2004, a scene of a serious accident occured which which caused teenager to fall from the Ferris wheel! Although he was lucky to not die, he was severely injured and hospitalised as a result! This was bad publicity enough to cause the park to close. It had been opened since the 1940’s so this was the end of an era.

It was opened again in 2006 for a very brief period before being closed again! After the closure it became a desolate, wasteland attracting many nefarious individuals from thieves to vandals, who stole, smashed up rides, started fires and coated the park in graffiti! In 2015, enough was enough and the park was ordered to be demolished!

Local people who had visited for generations were filled with nostalgia and came by to take their last photos before the wrecking ball hit!

Joyland Amusement Park, Kansas, Haunted Places

Joyland Amusement Park, Kansas

Fun Fact: Back in the 1940’s this was the largest theme park in central Kansas, with a wooden roller coaster and 24 other fun rides.

Status: Abandoned…then Demolished in 2015.

Where is it?

Wichita, Kansas, USA

Dates: 1940’s – 2004. (Demolished: 2015)

Joyland Amusement park, Kansas: Spooky Amusement Parks

Who doesn’t find clowns creepy?? at Joyland Amusement park. Photo by: monstermoviekid.wordpress.com

3. Freedomland – NY

A history themed park of the early 1960’s, this park spanned 85 acres and was themed on America History:

Freedomland - Vintage amusement parks

Freedomland brochure cover. Photo by Mike Virgintino collection.

Amusement Park Themes:

  • Little Old New York (1850–1900)

Attractions ranged from a Horseless Carriage, which was an antique car ride in a 1909 model Cadillac through a mock-up of New England. 

To Harbor Tug Boats, which was a boat ride through the Great Lakes and even a Political Pep Rally . Which was a live street show including an 1880s Tammany speech, rallying suffragettes and a New York gangland robbery of the Little Old New York Bank!

  • The Great Plains (1803–1900)

Attractions ranged from Cavalry Rifles,  a vintage shooting gallery and fully functioning farm with horses, cows, sheep, pigs etc called Bordens. To a Fort Cavalry Stage Line, which used a  stage coach ride past a buffalo herd, through the Rocky Mountains that ended with a mock robbery by actors playing outlaws!

  • San Francisco (1906)

A  unique but dark ride here was a simulation of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake! 

  • New Orleans-Mardi Gras

  • Chicago (1871)

  • The Old Southwest (1890)

Attractions including a live street show with actors having a Western gun fight.  To an underground mine train through lava pits, giant bats and cave monsters!

  • State Fair Midway (added in 1962)

Astro-Ride,  a space-themed roller coaster

  • Satellite City-The Future

This included am authentic reproduction of a Cape Canaveral control room in which visitors could witness a simulated rocket launch from start to finish!

Freedomland Amusement park - Vintage Amusement parks

Freedom land Carriage rides. Untappedcities.com

Why was the Amusement park closed?

The vast array of attractions was very creative and unique, however upkeep was high. So after failing to make a profit the park closed after just 4 years!

Where was Amusement the park?

Baychester, Bronx, U.S.A

Dates: 1960-1964

Sources:

4. Disney’s River Country – Orlando

River Country, was Disney World’s first waterpark opened in 1976 on the shore of Florida’s Bay Lake. This was a hillbilly themed park. According to the official Disney Parks, it was set to be “everything kids ever wanted to do at the old swimming hole down by the river in the good old days, plus all the comforts for Mom and Dad so they can participate too.

In truth back then it was a golden Florida summer vacation spot and living up to it’s name! It survived for many decades and didn’t faulty amongst the pressure of larger, newer parks being opened at Disney!

Disneys River County, Orlando. - Deserted Amusement Parks.

River county – A photo from Seph Lawless’ series “Dismaland.” Seph Lawless

Why did the Amusement park close?

In 2001 the park closed for the winter as normal but didn’t re open. Some believe that after the 9/11 disaster in 2001 people weren’t in the mood to head to Disney parks. After much speculation of a reopening,  Walt Disney stated in 2005 that it will be “closed permantly”. 

These days River country is a decrepit and wild wasteland, with overgrown plants and trees engulfing the old rides!

However, despite this the park has gained interest by many enthusiasts sneaking in, hoping to catch a glimpse and snap some pictures of this 70’s wonder.It is believed Disney has plans to Demolish the site and open a Disney Vacation Club Resort…typical.

Status: Abandoned

Where is the Amusement park?

Orlando, Florida, U.S.A

Dates: 1976 -2001

Disneys River County, Orlando. - Vintage Amusement Parks.

Cheer and Laughter no more at River County. Photo by: maps.roadtrippers.com

5. Astroland – Coney Island (New York)

Coney Island is the mecca of amusement parks in New York. This residential Brooklyn area morphs into a vibrant entertainment destination every summer.

However, there was a time when it was even more vibrant and bustling!  One of the most renowned is Astroland, which was started back in 1962 as a futuristic space  themed park on on the corner of West 10th Street on the boardwalk. 

This park equip with 32 rollercoasters was a great entertainment spot with rides such as, the Cyclone a historic  wooden roller coaster.  The track was 2,640 feet (800 m) long the lift hill is 85-foot (26 m) tall at its peak.

It had made many top rollercoaster poles such as the golden ticket awards and Mitch hawkers best wooden rollercoaster poll! 

Another notable ride was the Bayern Kurve which debuted in 1965. On this ride a set of sixteen bobsled-themed cars that travel at a high-speed around a circular single-hilled track! This ride is was known for its loud horn which is similar to that of a diesel train engine!

Astroland coney Island, New York City. vintage Amusement parks, Warriors movie.

Astroland was famously used a filming location in the cult movie, the Warriors. Photo by warriorsmovie.co.uk

Why did the Amusement park close?

Astropark has been through many guises. In 2006, it was sold by the Albert family for US $30 million to Thor Equities, who planned to redevelop the area as a $1.5 billion year-round resort.

However, under the agreement the Alberts would continue to operate the Cyclone. Officially, “Astroland” was closed in 2008 and became “Dreamland” and then finally Luna Park in 2010.

The park gradually evolved in terms of technology and rides, however issues still began to arise. In 2013, Luna Park was evacuated as a precaution due to a problem with the Astrotower swaying.

The New York Fire Department responded to the park after concerns regarding the structural integrity of the former operational ride, which was situated in the center of the amusement area. Because of the potential risk to other rides in the area of the tower, those attractions were closed on the Fourth of July.

Dates: (Astroland) 1962 – 2008, Luna Park (2008-2013)

Status: Abandoned

Fun Fact: Astroland was featured in the 1979 movie The Warriors and in the 2003 movie Uptown Girls.

Another vintage amusement park of Coney island is Steeplechase Park.  Which opened in 1897 and closed in 1964. Today the only remaining part is the parachute jump!

Sources:

6. Holy Land USA – Connecticut

An 18 acre religious themed park which wasn’t blessed with good luck! The park featured such interesting attractions as the Garden of Eden, a miniature Bethlehem, a chapel  and various mock ups of the life and work of Jesus. 

Holy Land USA was conceived by John Baptist Greco, a Roman Catholic, who founded a volunteer organization called Companions of Christ, with the purpose of creating an attraction that would replicate Bethlehem and Jerusalem of the Biblical era. The construction started in 1955. By the 1960s, the park was visited by around 50,000 people a year.

Holyland U.SA, deserted amusement parks

Holyland U.SA is a desolate wasteground and could do with some divine intervention! Photo by: digitalbillCT, YouTube

In an Interview with the New York Times:

Bob Chinn, the grounds chairman (Holy Land USA,)  spoke of Greco’s mission in a 2001 “He was a very spiritual man. He wanted to do this for the people of the community. Greco felt no one, no matter the race, creed or color, should be separated. He wanted a place for all people to sit and be peaceful.”

Why did the Amusement park close?

In 1984 the park was closed for renovation, however Greco did in 1986 before it could reopen! During the closure many monuments were vandalised with statues being beheaded and other attractions defaced. After Grecos passing the park was left to a group of nuns in the deeds, who has since sold it on.

Holyland U.SA, deserted amusement parks

Holyland, aint so holy these days. Photo by: heatherprescottphotography.com

Fun Fact: In 2014, the site officially reopened to the public for the first time in 30 years with an inaugural Mass and access to the grounds.

Status: Abandoned

Where is the Amusement park?

WATERBURY, CONNECTICUT, U.S.A

Source see: Wiki Holyland USA

7. Adventurers inn, Queens.

The adventurers inn, based in Queens was an amusement park off the Whitestone Expressway on Linden Place, opened in the 1950’s and closed in 1978. This place went through a number of guises such as the “Great adventure Amusement park” (no relation to six flags), amongst others!  During the 1960′ s it only had a small rides with a crazy golf course.

The setup was decentralised with each ride operator running their own part!  By the late 1960’s  it was taken over by new owners Harold Glantz and President Martin Garin took the helm and grew the park. This was the golden years of the park with rides added such as the Flight to Mars, Bumper Cars and a Toboggan.

Adventurers Inn,Queens, New York City. Vintage Amusement Parks, Fairs

Adventures Inn, photo by: Pinterest Charlene Cappolla.

Why was the Amusement park closed?

Some say the park was swallowed up by the big city and shady tactics. The evidence backs this was true for the most part. In the early 1970’s New York City has plans to make the place part of an industrial park.

A city agency called (“Public Developement Corportation”) began publicizing complaints against Adventures Inn to try and win the hearts and minds of people and get it closed down! The actual site has now been demolished with the College Point Multiplex now occupying the former site.

Dates: mid 1950’s – 1978

Where was the Amusement park?

Whitestone Expressway on Linden Place, Flushing, Queens, NYC.

Sources: Todd Berkun

This great youtube video is very Nostalgic.

8. Williams Grove Amusement Park – Pennsylvania.

Williams Grove Amusement park is a true family affair! Started back in 1850, with the Williams family hosting picnics in Williams Grove, just outside of Mechanicsburg. As these gatherings grew its popularity increased and they decided to add some rides and turn it into a Fairground!

Williams Grove Amusement Park : Pennsylvania. Deserted Amusement parks

A creepy and overgrown wilderness Photo by Pinterest
Jamie DeForest)

The Amusement park was then purchased by Morgan Hughes in 1972 and many new rides were brought from the Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey . These new rides helped to keep the park exciting and operating till 2005.

Amusement park rides:

The Cyclone

A 65 foot high Wooden rollercoaster which traveled at a top speed of 45 mph and was the sites main attraction.

Fun Houses

The park features a dark ride, which is still standing and is called “Dante’s Inferno”.

Water Slides

In the early 1980s, the park setup one of the first water slides in the area. The platform is still standing abandoned where the 2 watersides were.

Status: Abandoned

Today at the Spooky Amusement Park:

These days the park is still standing but not operating, the area faces frequent vandalism and the owners who still live on site are battling to preserve the history of the park!

Dates: 1850 – 2005

Fun Fact:

They reopened to the public on Halloween night on October 31, 2016.  With a Haunted Walk delighting many avid fans full of Nostalgia.

Cyclone Roller coaster, most deadly

The infamous cyclone at Williams grove. Photo by: thephotoforum.com

Where is the Amusement park?

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A

9. Dog Patch USA – Arkansas

Dog Patch U.S.A was another Hillbilly themed park, but this time set in northwest Arkansas. Opened in 1968, the park was based upon a comic strip Li’l Abner, created by a cartoonist named Al Capp , which was set in a fictional village called Dogpatch.

 Dog patch Amusement park. Hillbilly. Deserted Amusement parks

1972 at Dog patch park. Before…Photo by Arkansasonline.com

Amusement Park Attractions:

  • Trout Pond – A fishing place for visitors, which was deliberately overstocked so they could catch fish easily! These then could be cooked and served by the dog patch restaurant or taken home.
  • Dogpatch Auto Drive – Antique has powered Model T Cars.
  • Sucking Trash Eaters – This was a creative design originally setup to make disposing of litter more fun for kids! The park setup trash cans shaped like animal heads such as Pigs and razorbacks which sucked the trasher out using a blower motor and a vacuum.

Also while walking around the park expect to see comedy Hillbilly characters such as Daisy Mae and Hairless Joe roaming around the park doing all sorts of antics!

Why did the Amusement Park close?

Dog patch USA, faced fierce competition, from larger grander parks which mimicked similar themes such as Silver Dollar City. After a serious of financial troubles the park was finally closed on 14th October 1993.

Where was the Amusement Park?

Northwest Arkansas along State Highway 7 between the cities of Harrison and Jasper, an area known today as Marble Falls.

Dog patch Amusement park. Deserted Amusement parks

After….A decrepit wilderness. Photo by: www.ozarksalive.com

10. Hobbiton USA – California.

A formers Epicenter of Hobbit themed attractions! Hobbiton was started in the mid 1970’s and took visitors on a redwood filled nature walk through the mystical story of J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” complete with mock ups of scenes and characters such as Gollum, Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf!

While on the trail you would find depictions of famous scenes such as the fierce battle with dragon Smaug and Gandalf enlisting Bilbos help.

Hobbiton, Hobbit Land, California. Deserted Amusement parks

A desolate and absued statue of Gandolf at Hobbit land. Photo by: sacnoths.blogspot.com.

Why did the Amusement park close?

The park closed in 2009. With many theories suggesting legal trouble forced this decrepit middle earth to close.

However, these days the area is still a popular a haunted redwood trail. expect to see an abused Gandolf and an alien looking Gollum been swallowed up by nature! Still interesting to visit either way if your a Hobbit fan!

Dates: Mid 1970’s – 2009

Status: Abandoned

Where is Hobbiton?

Avenue of the Giants, Phillipsville, California, U.S.A

Hobbiton, Hobbit Land, California. Deserted Amusement parks

Hobbiton, USA Photo by: Brenna on Flickr (Creative Commons)

11. Lincoln Park – Massachusetts.

A former retreat for President Kennedy and his children, this spot was opened in 1894 by the Union Street Railway Co. as a picnic ground. Regardless of the celebrity connections, this park was steeped with bad luck, safety issues and poor reviews.

This started with a death in 1964 and memorable accident on the infamous “Comet” rollercoaster in 1986, this caused many safety worries to appear in peoples minds. By 1987 things got worse with an electrical contractor dying and faulty breaks on the Comet causing the carriage to derail!

This left passengers hanging precariously in the air and injured four people! The park finally closed in 1987, due to low attendance.

Abandoned Comet Rollercoaster at Lincoln Amusement

The haunted Comet Rollercoaster at Lincoln Park – Photo by: trig photography.smugmug.com

According to CBS Boston:

In July 2012, the 3,000-foot-long wooden Comet was finally demolished as nostalgic fans watched and said farewell. All thats left of the park these days are some vandalised and decrepit remenants.

Dates: 1894 – 1987

Where is the Amusement park?

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, U.S.A

12. Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio

This once Cotton Candy filled park was opened back in 1878 and achieved decades of use before it’s dyer end in 1978, due to poor attendance.

These days the growing trees and nature has enveloped the Rollercoasters and Ferris wheel in a very creepy way. Add in many decades of tough weather, it’s clear to see this is a shadow of it’s nostalgic cotton Candy filled days.

Chippewal Abandoned amusement park

Chippewal park is a creepy place. Photo by: ronskinnerphotography.com

Fun Fact: Due to it’s haunted and creepy look these days, the park has acted as a backdrop for a Horror movie or two. According to the great Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Status: Abandoned

Where is the Amusement Park?

Chippeaw Lake Park, Ohio, U.S.A

13. Lake Shawnee Amusement park – West Virginia.

This is probably the most scary forgotten Amusement park of them all! Founded upon the site of violence and killing, this is one creepy place for a fun park!

Flashback to a 1979 report by the Post Herald which reported the infamous Clay Family Massacre (1783), in which Native Americans kidnapped and killed Members of a settling family!

Starting with the children Bartley who was out building fence pens around the grain stacks, when the group of Indians came and shot him dead! His sister (Tabitha)  heard the shot and came over but accidentally stumbled into the path of the Indians, while trying to defend the body of her brother she was cut to pieces!

When the park opened in 1926, things did not get any more fun with two more children dying at the park…which eventually let to it’s final closure in 1966.

Lake Shawnee Amusement park - Creepy places in the world

An evil place, build upon many deaths and sprees of violence…it was never going to end well! Photo by: map.roadtrippers.com

Status: Abandoned

Where is the Amusement park?

Lake Shawnee Amusement park, Princeton, West Virginia. U.S.A

These days expect to find an eerie abandoned park, with a rusty ferries wheel, ancient wooden rides and the echoing of laughter and Screams from the ages. Many people believe the area is actually still haunted by the Clay children and others who died there…

Source: To read more about the Clay Massacre see: WYCreport

5 most scary abandoned Amusement Parks…from around the world!

This has got to be our winner for being the most creepiest in the world! A gigantic 147 foot statue engulfs the park! 

The statue which is the centrepiece of the park, depicts Lemuel Gulliver being tied to the ground by tiny Lilliputians, as the story goes!  With Mount Fuji as a backdrop this is truly a theatrical and almost unreal place! Opening in 1997 it closed just four years later due to poor attendance. In 2007 it was finally demolished.

Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan: Abandoned Amusement parks

This gigantic statue is possibly the strangest looking monstrosity known to mankind! Photo by: weburbanist.com

Fun Facts: If it couldn’t get any creepier the park is situated next to Japans suicide hot spot named Aokigahara! But it doesn’t end there it is also the former headquarters of a religious death cult named Aum Shinrikyo that killed 13 people in the 1995 tokyo nerve gas attack.

Location: Fuji, Yamanash, Japan.

Dates: 1997 – 2007 (Demolished)

Status: Demolished in 2007

Wonderland Amusement Park: China.

Imagine Disneyland if it got hit by an atom bomb! Thats’s what this place looks like, magical yet eerie! This abandoned park strangely never actually opened.

Originally dubbed as the Largest amusement park in Asia at 120 acres, development was halted due to a political corruption scandal and disagreements over property prices! These issues were never firmly resolved and the park was left half built and abandoned. Which raised concerns about a “property bubble in China”.

Wonderland China, Abandoned Amusement Park

Wonderland looks like Disney land, if got hit with atom bomb!

After being abandoned for 15 years, with only avid photographers and school kids being given a chance to explore the ruins it was finally demolished in 2013. Local media reports have suggested that a Luxury Shopping center will be built in it’s place.

Located:

20 miles outside Beijing, China.

Dates: 1995- 2013 (Demolished!)

Wonderland China, Abandoned Amusement Park

A true ghost town…spooky!

Nara Dreamland Park, Japan

Another Japanese Disneyland disaster! This was open in 1961 but was finally closed after just 45 years due to low attendance! This was believed to be due to in part to the popular Universal Studios Japan opening up.

It was an attraction for avid photographers and curious urban explorers hoping to catch a glimpse of the derelict creepy abandoned rides, overgrown plants and desolate vibe.

Nara Dream Park, Japan. Abandoned Amusement Park

The abandoned and overgrown landscape of Nara Dreamland, Photo by French photographer Romain Veillon.

According to Japan Property Central: The park was auctioned of to SK Housing, a Japanese real estate company. They have not yet released plans on what they wish to do with the site.

Dates: 1961 – 2006 (Demolished)

Source: Atlas Obscura.

Opening in 1969, this was originally a booming success with over 1.5million visitors annually! However, decades later it became debt ridden, desolate and in disrepair! An entertaining article by one urban explorer who hopped over the fence to take a peak is a great one to check out. abandonedberlin

Spreepark Berlin, Germany Abandoned Amusement Park

A scary place for those brave willing to hop over the fence and check it out! Photo by: adbandonedberlin.com

Dates: 1969-1990

Status: Abandoned

Pripyat, Ukraine – Chernobyl Relic!

A remnant of the infamous 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster this park is an creepy reminder of it. One of the worlds most deadly Nuclear Accidents happened on it’s doorstep, when the reactor started to leak on the Nuclear Plant.

Pripyat Ukraine, Abandoned Amusement Park

Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat, the abandoned ferris wheel is a true symbol of the Chernobyl nuclear Disaster! Photo by: Sergei Supinsky Getty Images.

The park was only open for a few hours on 27th April 1986 just before the official evacuation annoucument was made! Due to the Chernobyl disaster which happened on 26th April 1986, the entire city of Pripyat which once housed the families of thousands of men and women working at the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, was evacuated.

Is it safe to visit this Amusement Park?

The area of Pripyat has an exclusion zone covering a range of radiation levels, however it is safe to visit on an expert guided tour, who is equip with radiation measuring equipment and know the areas to go and not to. 

Tours are booked as 1 day, 2 day or longer from KievAccording to live Science: Because of the long standing radiation in the region surrounding the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the exclusion area won’t be safe for human habitation for at least 20,000 years. 

According to the BBC:  “Today it is still illegal to live inside the exclusion zone. Despite this, about 130 to 150 people do.

Many are women, still farming their ancestral land in their 70s and 80s. And just outside of the exclusion zone, there are a number of new arrivals.” For a great article on the abandoned city check out, this one by the Guardian.

Pripyat Ukraine, Abandoned Amusement Park

Pripyat is a desolate Ukrainian site.Photo by abandonedkansai.wordpress.com

Status: Abandoned & Radioactive! 

So now the laughter has stopped, but we hope this article has sparked your curiosity…share with your friends to give them the same buzz! 

For other unique places from around the world, check out our 13 most unique Mountain Churches in the World.

About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.