There’s something otherworldly creepy about abandoned amusement parks – a symbol of fun and frivolity reduced to decay as a constant reminder of our own short existence on this planet.

Photo of CmrdCord

Joyland, Kansas

At one point, Joyland was the largest amusement park in Kansas, but 55 years after its opening, it was no longer profitable, largely due to the extensive number of repairs the rides needed to stay safe, and the park had to close in 2004.

Joyland had over 24 working amusement rides, including one of the last wooden roller coasters. Unfortunately, the “Nightmare” as it was called actually took a worker’s life in 1999 when he was gardening too close to the tracks and was hit by the train.

While that was the only recorded fatality at the park, it wasn’t the only accident. In 2004, a girl fell from the Ferris wheel when her seat’s safety bar became unattached and she reached forward to grab it. Of course, if movies and TV shows featuring abandoned amusement parks have taught us anything, I think we all know that the girl didn’t survive the fall, that the company bought off her parents to cover up the accident, and that her restless spirit haunts the grounds –owing, in part, to the park’s ultimate closure.

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