Thursday, August 27, 2009
Abandoned Places: Amusement Parks
It’s nearly impossible to find information on this amusement park abandoned in Japan (above), but as you can tell, the pictures are truly amazing and genuinely creepy! The whole concept of abandoned amusement parks is one that unsettles people as much as clowns and baby dolls. Structures that once housed beautiful sets and bright happy colors become something like the aging child actress in “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.” Still dressed in its once spirited attire, these structures are now molded, rusted, and distorted by nature’s unrelenting aging process.
I have to admit, on my list of dream things (besides living in Oregon and being a writer full-time), is to own a cart from an amusement park ride. Some rusty old Tilt-a-Whirl seat, rusted and awful looking, sitting in my garden with vines and plants taking it over. I love the imagery of it so much that I started looking into abandoned amusement parks to see if any smart person is making money off of selling the equipment. I think in my other life I would have been in the reclamation business. To me, everything old is new!
The pictures of these places are so mesmerizing that I’d love to include them all in this post, but instead, I’ll redirect you to some great places for seeing more. A nice site for abandoned theme parks and other places is found here. For a list of defunct amusement parks around the world, you can look here.
Here in America there are surprisingly quite a few. I suppose entrepreneurs in small towns thought they might get business to their districts, but found people are more willing to shell out bucks for the big parks. It appears most are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, the Carolinas, Texas, and California. Of course, I’d be happy to see any of them, but I’d most love to see the Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, Maryland. This is one of my favorite “creepy” feeling towns I’ve ever been to (future post will be about creepy towns I've visited).
Of course, like most abandoned sites, they’re off limits and people will be arrested if they’re caught. I’ve talked my way out of graveyards at night, but I don’t think the excuses would fly on private property. A few crazy people will get photos of these sites and it’s always fun to sift through them. We have an abandoned site about a half hour’s drive south from Ahwatukee, but it’s completely off limits and patrolled. Too bad, because the little weird rides the person started to erect and left behind, looked promising and creepy. (I-10 heading toward Tucson on the right side of the road between Casa Grande and Marana). For those of us in AZ, here’s a blast from the past Legend City!
at 5:39 PM