It takes a special kind of photographer to head into an extremely creepy abandoned theme park, but there are definitely some talented professionals out there still up to the task. Continue reading to see five of the creepiest from around the world.
5. Prypiat Amusement Park
Although some stories differ, it’s commonly believed that Ukraine’s Prypiat Amusement Park closed on the very same day it opened: April 27, 1986, exactly one day after the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster brought the world to a standstill. Due to the obvious, the entire city of Prypiat, with a population of around 50,000 at the time, was completely forsaken, not just its namesake amusement park. Radiation levels in parts of the park are still dangerously high, but that doesn’t discourage adventurous shutterbugs from entering this particularly chilling section of the Zone of Alienation to get a shot of Prypiat’s iconic abandoned Ferris wheel.
4. Takakanonuma Greenland
Some 150 miles north of Tokyo, the city of Hobara holds on to a derelict amusement park that’s eerily similar to the one in the anime flick Spirited Away. Closed in 1999 when Japan’s economic bubble burst, the ghostly 1973 park has a rusting roller coaster, frozen Ferris wheel, and strewn-about toys that are now slowly being taken over by the fog-choked Aizu forest. How to Experience It: To access the park from Fukushima, take Highway 4 north for about an hour, then take a left before the train station in Hobara.
3. Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland was a theme park near Nara, Japan which was built in 1961 and inspired by Disneyland in California. On August 31, 2006, Nara Dreamland closed permanently. The entrance to the park was designed to look almost identical to Disneyland, including the Train depot, a Main Street, U.S.A. and the familiar Sleeping Beauty Castle at the hub. It also had a Matterhorn-type mountain (with a Matterhorn Bobsleds-type ride, called Bobsleigh), and the skyway running through it, as well as an Autopia-type ride and a monorail. The park also had its own mascots, Ran-chan and Dori-chan, two kids dressed as bearskinned guards.
Wonderland is an abandoned 100-acre amusement park on the outskirts of Beijing. Originally designed to be the largest amusement park in Asia, construction stopped in 1998 following financial disparities with local officials, while a 2008 attempt to start construction again also failed. The site, which features a number of abandoned buildings, is being reclaimed by local farmers. The abandonment of such a massive construction project has raised concerns about the existence of a property bubble in China.
1. Six Flags New Orleans
Originally opened as Jazzland, Six Flags New Orleans has been abandoned since it was plunged underwater by Hurricane Katrina almost [seven] years ago. Against pressure from the city, who owns the land, Six Flags has refused to rebuild the park. Though there are some rumblings that a Nickelodeon-themed park will eventually be built in its place, for now the park sits empty.