Abandoned Places

Top 6 Defunct/Abandoned Amusement Parks in the USA

Top 6 Defunct/Abandoned Amusement Parks in the USA

The sounds of laughter. The adventure. The roller coasters and attractions with children and adults alike reveling in the fun, the thrill, and the amusement. The kiosks selling all kinds of drinks and foods, sometimes those only specific to the theme of the park. 

Then something happens. An accident. Low visitor counts. A natural disaster. And the fun stops. 

There are plenty of defunct and abandoned amusement parks to be found all over the world, but today, we are looking at 6 theme parks in the USA that have been abandoned or are no longer in use.

Top 6 Defunct/Abandoned Amusement Parks in the USA

Here is a list of the most interesting and creepiest abandoned parks in America: 

1. Orlando: River Country 

River Country was Disney’s first water hillbilly-themed park that opened in 1976. It closed its doors in November 2001 because of 9/11 and the significant impacts the terror attacks had on tourism in the USA. 

Disney has announced that in its place, Reflections—A Disney Lakeside Lodge resort with 900+ hotel rooms and villas is set to open in 2022. 

2. New Orleans: Six Flags 

Popularly voted as the creepiest defunct amusement park in the USA, Six Flags has been used for the filming of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World. 

It opened its doors to the public in 2000. The fun ended a few years later in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit. The park sustained major damage, and it has fallen into decay ever since; there weren’t funds available for initial repairs. 

At the entrance to the park, the eerie sign “Closed For The Storm” is still on display.

3. Princeton: Lake Shawnee 

This defunct theme park in West Virginia has a haunted past. 

The land Lake Shawnee was built on is where children of early settlers were murdered in the 1700s. 

The park was built in 1920 and closed in 1966. Six years earlier, while visiting the park, two young kids died, with a death total of at least six. 

If you are into haunted places, you can visit the park every October for Dark Carnival. 

4. Aurora: Geauga Lake Park 

One of the few theme parks to operate in the 19th to 21st centuries, Geauga Lake Park, Ohio, was open to the public from 1887 until 2007. 

The park was popular for swimming and picnics when it first opened. It also had a race track, theater, bowling alley, Olympic-size pool, dance hall, and many attractions and rides. In 1925, the park built its first roller coaster, the Big Dipper. 

With some setbacks in the forms of a tornado and fire in the 1950s and 1960s, the park still flourished, despite SeaWorld opening across Geauga and changes in ownership. It was the final deal to sell the park to Cedar Fair that put the nail in the coffin. With rides being relocated and ride name changes, the end was in sight. 


5. North Dartmouth: Lincoln Park 

In Massachusetts, Lincoln Park opened in 1894 with a picnic area and grills. Later, wooden roller coasters were added. The Comet led to injuries in two accidents, while the ride also claimed two lives between 1960 and 1990. 

After the last incident in December 1987, the park closed. Many of the rides and attractions have been demolished. 

6. Beech Mountain: Land of Oz 

Also voted as one of the creepiest abandoned amusement parks, Land of Oz was popular in the 1970s when it first opened. 

With declining interest and a fire that caused a lot of damage, the park closed five years later. 

If you are brave, you can still visit Land of Oz in North Carolina around Halloween every year. 


In Summary 

Ferris wheels, attractions, and rides hold a lot of thrill, adventure, and fun. The amusement parks in which these structures are located hold the memories of everyone who ever visited. 

Due to natural disasters, changes in ownership, and declining interest, many of America’s theme parks are no longer in use. But the stories these parks tell, the secrets hidden within, and the possibility of seeing these apocalyptic sights will forever hold our interest. 

Check out more abandoned places here. 


Videos Weird and Strange History

Exploring the Old Abandoned Los Angeles Zoo

Exploring the Old Abandoned Los Angeles Zoo

The old abandoned LA Zoo in Griffith Park was a major attraction in Los Angeles from 1912-1966. Despite many attempts to keep the zoo going it was abandoned for a larger more accommodating zoo just a few miles from this location. I explore the empty cages and graffiti lined caverns in what’s left of this iconic piece of LA history.

According to Atlas Obscura, “The site of the first Los Angeles Zoo, it opened in 1912 with 15 animals. Many of the enclosures were built in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration crews and were made in the iron bars/pacing animal-style that was standard for zoos of that era. The zoo was abandoned in 1966 when the current LA Zoo opened.”

Weird and Strange History

Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California

Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California

California is home to creepy abandoned places. Do you want to visit it but not sure what to expect? Here’s are some of the best abandoned historic places in California that are a must-see. Welcome to Abandoned California.

1. The Sunken City in San Pedro

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Just like the sunken city of Atlantis, this one is visible to people looking from the California coast Southwest of Long Beach. It’s in close proximity to the lighthouse Fermin Park.

This landslide happened in 1929 when the water main beneath the hotel broke and a few days later had a gas line break. It was a clear indication to evacuate the area, but no one could protect the buildings.

The ground used to sleep 11 inches every day, and a huge area of 40000 square feet of land dropped in the Pacific Ocean. It took down a lot of homes, businesses, sidewalks, and streets.

2. Rock Haven Sanitarium

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It all started in 1923 when a psychiatric nurse decided to build her on sanitarium for mentally ill female patients. Within few years, the sanitarium turned into a refuge for models and actresses. And later on, it turned into a home for women with dementia and the elderly.

Later in 2006, it shut it down, and some developers purchased it to build condos. However, the community didn’t allow it and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It can turn into a public park; however, now the garden sanctuaries and 15 buildings inside it are all empty.

3. Ano Nuevo Island

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Situated between Santa Cruz and SF California coast, the light station got abandoned in 1948; however, it still holds quarters of the old lighthouse keepers. However, the lighthouse became a hazard to endangered sea lions and northern elephant seals. The island is home to animals. It is closed for public visits, and no one is allowed to explore the island just because a number of white sharks, sea lions, and seals are already wandering around its waters.

4. Bodie Ghost Town

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The third most populous city of California in 1880 became a ghost town eventually. Today it has zero population. It turned into a ghost town in 1920 due to terrible weather of 100mph winds. However, it wasn’t all dead by then. By 1932 it had a massive fire and got deserted completely. Bodie is an iconic abandoned ghost town in California.

It still has hundreds of structures standing still like a Methodist church, an old general store, a cemetery, and a saloon. Today it’s abandoned, yet it’s a Historical Landmark and state park. You can even check out the town by paying $5 as it is preserved in it’s arrested decayed state.

5. Donner Pass Summit Tunnel

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It was the first railroad line ever to reach the Sierra Nevada range. This 1700-foot-long Tunnel was finished in 1867. The first train to ever pass through it was in 1868, and the last one went in 1993. Unfortunately, the route was changed, and it wasn’t as beautiful as the old rail line.

Today people are allowed to hike through it and check out the petroglyphs. You be able to see lots of graffiti and a Chinese wall which is 75 foot tall and handmade.

6. Gates of Hell Hacienda Heights

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These gates were rumored to have been situated in the sanatorium during the 1940s. However, then the hospital was shut as a lot of malpractices were reported.

The entire property is now fenced from a decade with barbed wires all fixed firmly inside the fence. No one is allowed to get inside, and the gate itself gives chills to anyone standing in front of it. Although it’s well fenced, no one has a clue as to why it is under close supervision. It’s common to hear subtle footsteps crunching and voices close to the property.

7. Elsinore Naval and Military School

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The building is in a state of rapid decay. The hunting exterior of the military academy and Elsinore Naval was built in 1920 to be a country club. Even after the construction, the club never got the chance to open due to the Great depression.

In 1933, it opened in the form of Elsinore naval academy. It had about 150 to 200 students from grades 1 to 12. The academy finally closed down in 1977. Many foreign dictators and wealthy people like Barbara Rush visited the school occasionally. Since 1977, the school has been empty.

The outbuildings burned down in 1980, and the rest of it faded away with age because of weather, squatters, and vandalism.

It does have effective chain-link security fans; however, it looks worn and tired like a wrecking ball. It requires restoration. There is a guard on watch on the RV on the location to keep an eye on the ground.

8. Kaiser Quarry Ruins

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It is a preserve that was once used as a gravel quarry when the Caldecott Tunnel was being bored between 1929 and 1937.

The quarry was transformed into a top round park and the first three East Bay regional parks in 1936. It remained as the top park in 1958 and was then renamed as Sibley regional volcanic preserve.

Much later, the road turned into a rail and had bits of old concrete. It became at railway people can walk on. Much below the train, you’ll see wooden stable structure industrial debris, tin roofing, and pieces of past structures.

9. Stone Cats at Nike Missile Site

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There is a place at Nike missile site, filled with a variety of stone cats put by a mysterious artist. You will find this sight in the hills of wildcat canyon park in Richmond, California. Many radars and cold war operators worked here long ago to monitor the skies of the bay area. They waited for Russian bombers during the night.

It’s still a mystery who and why put the cat structures there, but it is surely open today for people who dare to visit it.

10. Saltdale

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When all the miners in the 1900s were are looking for gold, one more thing precious was salt. A Salt dale called aptly was found in 1914 to get salt from Koehn Dry Lake.

These are popular in leaving behind the salt deposits after the evaporation of water. The salt business slowed down by 1940, and then it was finally shut down in 1975. It turned into a forgotten ghost town in American West. The exacerbating salt cause deterioration of buildings. As most of the structure was deserted, only rusting foundations of few buildings are left today.

In the End

However, California is filled with abandoned places; these are must-visit if you are interested in creepy locations. Visiting any of these places will surely give you the chills that you won’t soon forget!

For some abandoned Los Angeles heck out the abandoned zoo Los Angeles.