The Fascination of an Abandoned Amusement Park

What is it about abandoned locations that makes them so fascinating?

The other day I came across an article about creepy, abandoned places, and one of the featured spots was a derelict theme park in New Orleans. This prompted me to do further reading on the attraction, and I learned that the abandoned amusement park was once a Six Flags.


Hurricane Katrina significantly damaged the city’s Six Flags amusement park, and since the New Orleans location had been the least successful of the Six Flags chain, the powers that be made the decision to forego shelling out money for the repairs and cut their losses.

Nearly fifteen years later and despite numerous attempts to use the land for other purposes, the park remains closed and the 140-acre lot stands as an eerie and disturbing reminder of how much damage New Orleans sustained in the 2005 hurricane. Of course, now the park is a tourist attraction in and of itself, because who doesn’t love sneaking in to a ghost town amusement playground?

One of my current works-in-progress is set in New Orleans. Inspired by the images of the closed theme park, I started looking for photos of other abandoned amusement parks in the U.S. and around the world. There are plenty of them, and all of the photos are freaky.


Chernobyl, for instance. After the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster, the city was evacuated. The park only had four rides to speak of, but the photos of the derelict Ferris wheel and bumper cars are chilling.


Chippewa Lake Park in Ohio shut down in 1978. Apparently, the former owner, Parker Beach, requested to be buried on the grounds. Supposedly, his wishes were respected and he was buried beside the Ferris wheel. Plant life took over the structures of the rides, and some of the attractions were moved to other states. Like Six Flags in New Orleans, numerous attempts were made to turn the property into something else, but all efforts failed. Nowadays, there’s not much left of the park attractions of Chippewa Lake Park. The Ferris Wheel and three or four other rides still stand, along with the ruins of some of the buildings.

Chippewa_Lake_Park_Tumble_Bug_(November_2010)_(2)This image was originally posted to Flickr by Dana Beveridge at It was reviewed on  by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. This file was obtained from

There are many, many abandoned amusement parks in and out of the U.S. The derelict lots continue to fascinate and enthrall curious tourists who often sneak in and snap photos simply for the creep and shiver factor. Authorities post signs and regularly warn people that these are perilous places that present many physical dangers, but it doesn’t stop folks from slipping through gates or braving broken glass and rusty nails for a look.

Here are some random photos of various worldwide abandoned amusement parks. Which is your favorite?



Photo 1: Nara Dreamland in Japan

Photo 2: Closed amusement park in Berlin, Germany

Photo 3: Closed amusement park in Lithuania.

Photo 4: Abandoned waterpark somewhere in the U.S.



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