Attractions September 12, 2018
The Haunted Playground In West Virginia That Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine
Some places in West Virginia are almost expected to be haunted – an abandoned insane asylum, sure; an old cemetery, definitely – but a place of fun and joy that’s become dark and creepy inspires an ironic fear that is hard to shake. This is Lake Shawnee Amusement Park and its bloody history…
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
In the town of Rock, there sits an amusement park. Not an active park, but one that has been claimed by the weeds. The rusted skeletons of the abandoned rides are like broken edifices of the past. Joy has been strangled, left to rust in a forgotten field.
But why has this amusement park been left this way?
When the land was purchased in the '20s by Conley T. Snidow, it seemed like a nice investment. He decided to build an amusement park for coal families in the area. It became a popular destination for many of them...until it became a place of tragedy, rocked by a mysterious death.
One morning, a mother dropped her son off at the park, intending to pick him up later that day. When she returned, her son had apparently disappeared. After a thorough search of the grounds, the boy's lifeless body was found floating in the swimming pool.
The pool was filled with sand, and it was hoped that such a tragedy would never occur again. But it did.
One day, a girl was playing on the swing ride, pictured below, when a delivery truck arrived, accidentally backing into the the ride and killed her. The park continued on, trying to get past the tragedies that had occurred on its grounds, but its reputation had been permanently marred, and it finally closed in 1966.
For nearly two decades, the rides sat abandoned. The weeds grew, their wild vines crawling up the rides, engulfing them. Then, in 1985, a man named Gaylord White attempted a revival of the amusement park. It failed after only three years.
People frequently reported the disturbing sight of a bloody little girl in a pink dress roaming the grounds, and the sounds of Native American chanting emanating through the trees. Something was wrong with the park, and the land on which it sat.
After a thorough investigation of the land, the truth was discovered.
In the 18th century, the property was the site of the Clay family farm. In 1783, while Mitchell Clay was out hunting, his children were attacked by Native Americans. His son, Bartley, was killed and scalped, and his sister, Tabitha, was killed as she attempted to save her brother. His other son, Ezekiel, was not killed, but kidnapped. A search party was formed to find the boy, but they were too late to save him. The natives had taken him deep into the woods and burned him alive. Clay took revenge on the natives for his family, and killed many of them responsible for the death of his children. It was further discovered that the land was a Native American burial ground. It is believed that as many as 3,000 bodies could be buried on the grounds.
Its seems that the stain of the Clay children's blood has marked this land, has cursed it, leaving echoes of a horrifying past to reverberate through time. So, the amusement park has once again been reclaimed by the weeds. The park may have been forgotten, but the land remembers. And the souls of the lost still walk the grounds, haunting it forever.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park is located at 470 Matoaka Rd. in Rock.
Have you ever visited this haunted park? What other places have you been that produce the same creepy vibe? Feel free to comment below and join the discussion.