X

Creepy photos of abandoned amusement parks

Nobody gets on these rides anymore... unless they have a death wish.

Leslie Gornstein

See full bio

Bushkill Park
1 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Abandoned theme parks

From a Kansas tornado to German cops, photographer Seph Lawless has faced more than few scrapes while capturing his favorite subject: decrepit amusements around the world. He's even been banned from Disney World.

His book, "Abandoned: Hauntingly Beautiful Deserted Theme Parks," documents bygone attractions in a state of almost unsettling decay. CNET obtained these images, some of which are not in the book and have never been published before. 

Here's a photo of the shuttered fun house at Bushkill Park near Philadelphia. 

The park was closed in late 2006. But volunteers have been working to bring new life to the nearly 118-year-old park.

Originally published July 12, 2018. 
Update, Jan. 7, 2020: Adds additional images. 

gettyimages-1141027199
2 of 55 Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

Unleash the dragon

No, this isn't a scene from the opening credits of Game of Thrones. This is the abandoned Ho Thuy Tien waterpark in the central Vietnamese city of Hue.

gettyimages-1141027201
3 of 55 Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

Returned to nature

The park opened in 2004, before construction was completed, and closed within a few years.

gettyimages-1141027170
4 of 55 Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

Watch your step

Explorers report that the park is covered in graffiti and the water slides are slippery, cracked and coated with mold.

gettyimages-840701926
5 of 55 John S Lander/LightRocket/Getty Images

This town ain't big enough for this theme park

The Western Village, a 1970s cowboy-themed amusement park in Nikko, Japan, has been abandoned since 2007.

gettyimages-840701588
6 of 55 John S Lander/LightRocket/Getty Images

Mount hush-more

The Western Village's replica Mount Rushmore is a post-apocalyptic vision.

gettyimages-840701720
7 of 55 John S Lander/LightRocket/Getty Images

Howdy, partner

There are creepy, disintegrating cowboy statues all over the park.

gettyimages-840702366
8 of 55 John S Lander/LightRocket/Getty Images

Bears?

These unsettling lady-bear statues were still going strong in 2017, when this photo was taken.

gettyimages-840699752
9 of 55 John S Lander/LightRocket/Getty Images

More like CAN'T Alley

There's no winning at this game... not anymore.

gettyimages-1192405413
10 of 55 Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/Getty Images

A ghost town

The amusement park in Pripyat, Ukraine, was only open for one day -- April 27, 1986, the day after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred just a few miles away. Yes, you read that right.

gettyimages-1192405606
11 of 55 Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Haunting

This ferris wheel has become a recognizable symbol of the aftermath of the Chernobyl blast. People can visit this amusement park on guided tours.

Lake Shawnee Park
12 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Overgrown Ferris wheel

Here's an overgrown Ferris wheel at the spooky Lake Shawnee Park in West Virginia.

Enchanted Forest Playland
13 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Lonely clown

Lawless found this reveler at the Enchanted Forest Playland in Toledo, Ohio.

Prehistoric Forest
14 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Prehistoric Forest

The critters at the Prehistoric Forest in Onsted, Michigan, look fully petrified.

Bushkill Park
15 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Beast of Bushkill

Parts of Bushkill have reopened, but others remain shuttered.

Six Flags New Orleans
16 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

A cost of Katrina

Six Flags New Orleans has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Camelot Theme Park
17 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Haunted Camelot

Lancashire, England, hosts the abandoned Camelot Theme Park. In 2001, a park employee was struck by a roller coaster and killed. The park closed 11 years later.

Chippewa Lake Park
18 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Storms over Ohio

Chippewa Lake Park in Ohio closed in 1978 because of lack of attendance. 

Bushkill Park
19 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Ancient funhouse

The Depression-era Bar'l of Fun at Bushkill Park was one of America's oldest operating funhouses before it closed.

Prehistoric Forest
20 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Dino down!

Something tells us it's not too late to rescue this overturned dino at the Prehistoric Forest in Onsted, Michigan.

Fun Spot Amusement Park & Zoo
21 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Beached whale

This annoyed-looking whale is beached at the Fun Spot Amusement Park & Zoo in Angola, Indiana.

Spreepark
22 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Cold War relic

Spreepark opened in the former East Germany in the 1960s. It closed in 2002.

Bushkill Park
23 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Roller skates untouched

The roller skates at Bushkill sat untouched until the rink was renovated and reopened in January 2017.

Six Flags New Orleans
24 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

No longer bumping

The bumper cars at Six Flags in New Orleans are at a standstill. 

"I'm passionate about using my art and activism to promote positive change in social injustice, environmental awareness and corporate corruption," Lawless says.

Walt Disney World Resort
25 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Et tu, Disney?

This is an abandoned portion of the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. 

Prehistoric Forest
26 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Prehistoric Forest 2

Along with these dinos, the Prehistoric Forest in Onsted, Michigan, used to have a live (man-made) volcano.

Fun Spot
27 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Standstill

These retro-looking bumper cars are still sitting at the Fun Spot of Angola.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
28 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Haunted history

The Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was built on the site of the Clay family massacre. In 1783, local Native Americans kidnapped and killed a family of settlers. 

Land of Oz
29 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Not-so-merry old land

The yellow brick road still winds through the derelict Land of Oz in North Carolina, which closed in 1980.

Disney
30 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Unstoppable

Disney has sent a cease and desist letter to Lawless, the photographer said. "When I published my recent book, I and my publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, decided to publish all the photos as a direct slap in the face to the Disney corporation."

Dogpatch U.S.A.
31 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Where has Li'l Abner gone?

Much of Dogpatch U.S.A. in Arkansas has remained closed to the public since 1993.

Prehistoric Forest
32 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Bad egg

Lawless found this egg in Prehistoric Forest in Onsted, Michigan.

Spreepark
33 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Off limits

The fate of Berlin's Spreepark is unclear at present.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
34 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Sad history

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was abandoned in 1966, after two children died in an accident.

Land of Oz
35 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Land of Oz

Here's another forlorn view from the Land of Oz in North Carolina.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
36 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Up in the air

This ride is still standing at Lake Shawnee Amusement Park.

Land of Oz
37 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Lonely face

Lawless photographed this face at the Land of Oz in North Carolina.

Joyland Amusement Park
38 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

More than a decade of dereliction

Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita was once the largest of its kind in Kansas before it closed in the mid-2000s.

Spreepark
39 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Creepy cups

The city of Berlin currently owns the run-down Spreepark.

Six Flags New Orleans
40 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Ray of hope

A new group is hoping to spend $100 million to renovate the former Six Flags New Orleans. Until then, the city has this.

Enchanted Forest Playland
41 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

No waiting

A ride rots away at the Enchanted Forest Playland in Toledo, Ohio.

Joyland Amusement Park
42 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Clouds over Joyland

The owners of the Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas, have begun to tear down the derelict structures there.

Spreepark
43 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Risky business

Moss grows at an abandoned shack at Spreepark. "All the rides were still there and it was very eerie," Lawless told us.

Fun Spot Amusement Park & Zoo
44 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Fun's over

Here's another haunting shot of Fun Spot Amusement Park & Zoo in Angola, Indiana.

Spreepark
45 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Risky business

While photographing Spreepark, Lawless was arrested by German police. He photographed the Ferris wheel just before police handcuffed him.

Fun Spot Amusement Park & Zoo
46 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Empty pool

There is no more swimming in this moldering pool at the Fun Spot Amusement Park & Zoo.

Bushkill Park
47 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Moody scene

"To date, no one has documented more abandoned amusement parks all over the world than me," Lawless said.

Geauga Lake
48 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Watching the skies

Geauga Lake was a theme park in Aurora, Ohio. "I photographed all the parks either during a thunderstorm or right after a storm to enhance the effect I was going for, which was to display these places as hauntingly beautiful," Lawless said.

Geauga Lake
49 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Moody landscape

Geauga Lake closed in 2007.

Disney World
50 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Creepiest place on Earth

Lawless' images of abandoned sections of Disney World in Florida have gone viral. "I started challenging the Disney corporation in press interviews, saying that Disney should clean up its mess," he said.

Joyland
51 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Close call

"I was caught in a tornado while photographing Joyland in Kansas City," Lawless said, "but escaped unscathed."

Land of Oz
52 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

The wizard's not home

This structure at the Land of Oz has seen better days.

Joyland
53 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Rickey

We don't recommend riding this amusement at Joyland.

Geauga Park
54 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

Beautiful decay

Geauga Park went through several owners before shuttering.

Disney World
55 of 55 Seph Lawless/@seph_lawless on Twitter

All's quiet

Lawless says he has seen alligators basking in the sun in the abandoned areas of Disney World.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Rolls-Royce's Second Boat Tail Is Brown and Beautiful

More Galleries

Rolls-Royce's Second Boat Tail Is Brown and Beautiful

62 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

More Galleries

2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

53 Photos
2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade is a Bronzeworthy Family Sedan

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade is a Bronzeworthy Family Sedan

13 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos