The Lake Shawnee Amusement park isn't just an abandoned amusement park... according to the owners of the once favorite family destination, it's actually the home of a Native American burial ground with a dark curse.
The Shawnee Amusement park is a favorite stop for paranormal investigators and enthusiasts due to the amount of spooky eye-witness accounts the location has racked up. There are two documented deaths that occurred on the property while it was still an amusement park, but according to Visit West Virginia, the true number might be upwards of six deaths.
One of the infamously tragic deaths happened in the 1950s when a young girl was struck and killed by a delivery truck while swinging on the giant swings. According to ghost hunters, she's still spotted at night still hanging around this ill-fated swing set, her white dress doused in blood.
The story of the alleged curse centers around the Clay family, a group of settlers who tried to claim the land in 1783. This, obviously, angered the Native Americans who called the Mercer County area their home, and the youngest of the Clay family, Bartley, was attacked, scalped, and killed while his father hunted. His sister, Tabitha Clay, was also stabbed and died from her wounds. But the worst thing to occur happened to the oldest son.
Ezekial, the oldest of the Clays, was taken and burned alive at the stake. When he returned home to find his children dead, Mitchell Clay exacted revenge for his family by killing several members of the local tribes. Ever since the incredible bloodshed, the land has been considered cursed.
Despite the curse, in 1920 Conley T. Snidow bought the land and it became the Shawnee Lake Amusement Park. Clearly, things didn't work out.
Abandoned since 1966, the park is rumored to be inhabited by the people who lost their lives on the property, including those buried in a massive Native American grave complete with several artifacts. Thirteen bodies were discovered on the property, though archaeologists believe the number could be upwards of 3,000.
The current owner, Gaylord White II, says even he's experienced strange unexplainable sights, feelings, and especially sounds. In 2005 while filming the popular ABC show Scariest Places on Earth, the entire crew, including one psychic, refused to set foot on the grounds at night, saying that the "spiritual energy [was] too strong," and claiming to have heard drums and chanting.
Since then the site has become a popular place for paranormal television shows to visit, and many ghost hunting teams have braved the night to investigate the claims of spooks, including the Virginia Paranormal Investigations (VIPA) who were kind enough to share their images to with us for this post.
If you're interested in visiting the Shawenee Lake Amusement Park, make sure to contact the current owner for permission, and whatever you do, don't forget the flashlights.
Photos courtesy of Virginia Paranormal Investigations