Creepiest Abandoned Theme Parks You Don't Want To Visit
Ruined by desertion, dilapidation and even death, here are the creepiest abandoned amusement parks you don’t want to visit.Mysteries
Theme parks are magical places where you get to stand in line for hours and fly through the air in rickety vehicles operated by teenagers. Despite the fun to be had in one that’s up and running, theme parks tend to get extremely creepy when they go out of business. Ruined by desertion, dilapidation, and even death, here are some of the creepiest abandoned theme parks you definitely don’t want to visit.
Six Flags, New Orleans
New Orleans’ version of the famous chain began life in 2000 under the name ‘Jazzland’, aiming to be centered around New Orleans' heritage. Jazzland was bought out by Six Flags in 2002 and was popular with locals and visitors alike. That is, until total disaster struck, in the form of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The park was under seven feet of brackish water for over a month, which damaged its rides and infrastructure beyond repair. Many of its rides have now been removed, but the park retains a mixture of gloominess and a certain excitement due to the fact that alligators now live among the remnants of its water rides.
The park does see some human footfall, though. It’s been used in the filming of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World, and other movies, and is popular among the many brave urban explorers of YouTube.
Dinosaur Land, England
If Jurassic Park is anything to go by, dinosaurs can be pretty terrifying. But they’re even scarier when they’re cracked, filthy, and covered in mold. When Dinosaur Land, a prehistoric-themed park in Tamworth, England, shut down over a decade ago, its eerie inhabitants were left behind.
The park that once invited guests to “explore the wonders of a lost age” has now itself been lost to the ages. There are dusty dinosaurs lurking around every corner, as well as uncanny cavemen that are now covered in cobwebs.
Also known as Kulturpark Plänterwald Berlin, this park was found in East Germany. Both the park and country exist in the past tense now, since Germany was reunified in the 1990s. Despite its popularity during East Germany’s Soviet occupation, attendance fell as the century waned, and Spreepark closed in 2002 due to a lack of visitors.
The story didn’t end there, though, as the park’s owner took some of the rides with him in giant shipping containers when he moved to Peru, in a failed attempt to establish a new park. On his return in 2004, he was found to be using the rides to smuggle 180 kilograms of illegal Peruvian substances into Germany, and both the owner and his son were arrested.
In the years that followed, the park was ravaged by decay and even arson, leaving nothing more than a sad, eerie place for anyone unlucky enough to visit.
This Deep-South-themed park was designed to look like an old-timey hillbilly town and ran from the late 60s until the early 90s. Based on a fictional town from the comic strip Li’l Abner by cartoonist Al Capp, the park featured everything from a fishing pond to caverns and even horseback riding.
There were even characters with folksy names like “Hairless Joe” who would walk around the park and interact with visitors. Maybe the actors still roam the park today, complaining that "things ain’t like they used to be".
In 2002, the park went up for sale on eBay for a million dollars but received no bids. With the rundown shacks, collapsed structures, putrid ponds, and pervasive coating of rust, it’s hardly surprising.
Lincoln Park, Massachusetts
This Northeastern ghost park was a popular destination for over six decades after its inception in the 1920s. Even the Kennedys reportedly frequented the park. But then, in 1986 a fatal accident on The Comet, a wooden rollercoaster, initiated the park’s unravelling.
People grew skeptical of the park’s safety standards. With further near-misses involving dilapidated equipment and coaster brake failures, visitor numbers fell steeply. Lincoln Park finally closed in 1987, and now all that remains is a collection of decaying wooden structures.
Many of these have since collapsed, painting an eerie, jagged picture of a place that once held joyful memories for so many people. A place that is now haunted by the memories of the child whose death kickstarted the park’s downfall.
Pripyat Amusement Park
Unlike other parks around the world that thrived before abandonment, the Pripyat Amusement Park was never opened. The grand opening had been planned for May 1st, 1986, with the intention of being a "Park of Culture and Rest" for the inhabitants of Soviet-occupied Ukraine.
But on April 26th, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster struck, mere miles away, and the park was left to rust in the middle of the now-ghost town. Heading to the park today, you can see decorations for the planned opening that never happened, alongside hopeful murals painted on the walls. Visitors today leave stuffed animals by the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and swing boats as memorials to those who died in the Chernobyl disaster.
The sad contrast between the innocent, pastel-painted rides, the all-pervasive rust, and the knowledge of what caused its abandonment makes this one of the most harrowing places on Earth. It’s one of the most dangerous, too, since non-concrete areas of the park still hold hazardous levels of radiation.
Yet another famous, abandoned Soviet theme park, Vidampark opened in Hungary in 1952. True to the spirit of communism, it was totally free for visitors. It got all of its funding from the Soviet government and enjoyed a decent run of forty years.
But when the USSR collapsed, the park shut down. Nowadays, smiling Hungarian children have been replaced with broken rides, spooky Soviet-era art slash propaganda, and a huge, spider-like structure overhanging the park. If you listen very hard, you can hear Lenin cursing his failed successors on the wind.
Located near the French border in Belgium, Dadipark was a kid-friendly park that opened in 1950. After years of steady popularity and expansion, darkness began to seep through the cracks in the brightly-colored walls.
Though Dadipark initially survived a series of minor accidents involving poorly maintained rides, attendance took a nosedive in 2000 after a nine-year-old got his arm chopped off on the popular Nautic Jet Ride.
It closed for “renovation” soon after but never reopened. Nowadays, nature is slowly reclaiming the area, giving a glimpse into how the world might look if an apocalypse wipes out civilization.
Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan
At the base of Mount Fuji lies a giant, tied to the ground. He’s covered in graffiti now, but he was once a gigantic model, representing the titular character from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
The Japanese government funded many construction projects in the 90s to try and boost the economy, but an amusement park based around such a specific theme may not have been the wisest choice of investment. Indeed, Gulliver’s Kingdom failed to attract enough visitors and closed merely four years after its opening in 1997.
This was also likely a location issue. After all, I can’t imagine parents were too eager to take their kids somewhere so close to Japan’s notorious Aokigahara Forest. Being located a few miles away from one of the most tragic places in the world doesn’t exactly scream family fun.
The surrounding area also once housed the headquarters of Aum Shinrikyo, a religious cult that murdered 13 people in 1995. The sinister history of the area, coupled with the obscure, mostly-demolished remnants of the park, makes it one seriously spooky destination.
Disney’s Lost Worlds
In the middle of a lake in Disney World, Florida, lies Discovery Island; a once-popular zoological park, now only accessible to the stealthiest of urban explorers. It’s totally off-limits, and Disney has said that anyone caught on the island will be banned from all Disney properties for life.
Discovery Island closed in 1999 and now resembles little more than a series of dilapidated enclosures and walkways from the shore. But those brave enough to venture across have found overgrown enclosures and buildings, freezers full of rotting substances, and the weirdest of all: jars and bottles containing real, preserved snakes.
If that wasn’t enough, just across the same lake housing Discovery Island lies River Country, Disney’s own abandoned water park. What was once a popular splashdown destination now resembles an advert for a monster flick or at the very least, hepatitis.
After 25 years in business, River Country closed in 2001, unable to compete with Disney World’s larger, newer water parks. It now sits alone; a silent, stagnant pool surrounded by filthy slides and moldy walls. Perfect for a dip, if Discovery Island doesn’t scare you enough.
Holy Land, U.S.A.
Today, there’s very little holiness in Holy Land. Built in Connecticut in 1955, the park features a replica of the Garden of Eden, tributes to the life of Christ, and other Biblical dioramas. It was best known for its giant, Hollywood-style sign and enormous, floodlit cross.
Once a wholesome destination, the park is now one of the spookiest. It’s been trashed in the years since its closure in 1984 and is full of decapitated statues and defiled iconography. If that isn’t enough to keep you away, a woman was brutally murdered there in 2010. If you ever head to this Holy Land, better take an exorcist.
Kejonuma Leisure Land, Japan
This abandoned theme park in Tohoku, Japan has more than just standard rusty rides and collapsed buildings under its belt. It closed in 2000 due to falling popularity, attributed to Japan’s low birth rate and unstable economy. But what gives the park an unnerving edge is its ghostly location.
The park was built next to the folkloric “pond of the ghost woman ”. The pond’s ancient myth involves a woman going insane and drowning herself in the pond after giving birth to a screaming snake-human hybrid. Rumor has it that at night, the screams of the wretched creature and its lunatic mother can still be heard. Even as a skeptic, that’d certainly keep me looking over my shoulder.
Nara Dreamland, Japan
Nara Dreamland opened in 1961, aiming to be Japan’s answer to Disneyland. Once the legit Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983, it leeched customers from Dreamland, gradually leading to its closure in 2006. Now, Dreamland’s knock-off Disney aesthetic only contributes to the creepiness.
The castle soon gained the attention of vandals, giving its innocent, pink walls a filthy, post-apocalyptic feel. Cute, merry characters were defiled and left in disturbing poses, while the park’s many attractions soon became encased in dust and vines. Dreamland was demolished in 2017, but footage from YouTube explorers keeps its sinister memory alive.
Cidade Albanoel, Brazil
This place was intended to be the Santa-themed section of a much larger park in Brazil. Only, the rest of the park was never constructed, and Cidade Albanoel itself never even opened. Now it’s nothing but an incredibly strange Christmas ghost town.
The creator, Brazilian politician Antonio Albano Reis, was killed in a car accident only a few meters from the park. His death, alongside allegations of onsite animal neglect, permanently stalled development, leaving behind what resembles a surreal, Christmas special of Twin Peaks. Alongside various representations of Santa and his helpers, you can also find abandoned strollers. Even in the heat of summertime, this place promises guaranteed chills.
Western Village, Japan
In Nikko, Japan, a city about 70 miles north of Tokyo, lies Western Village. The Wild-West-themed park has been closed since 2007 and is inhabited only by defunct animatronic cowboys these days, as well as a replica of Mount Rushmore.
While some of the interiors are still impressive, the animatronics seem almost guaranteed to move while your back is turned. They can be found in various freeze frames of daily life in the Wild West.
The scene is made even creepier by the vines, which have grown around the two men like something out of Satan’s flower garden. But weirdest of all is an unexplainable sculpture of a woman, seemingly fused with a bubbling wall of flesh. Whatever it is, they certainly didn’t have it in the real Wild West. An error of translation, perhaps.
I hope this article has made you want to go check out some abandoned amusement parks or have the military nuke them off the Earth. If you were amazed at these creepy parks, you might want to read our article about abandoned Disney projects. Thanks for reading!