Lake Shawnee Amusement Park – Rock, West Virginia - Atlas Obscura

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Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

Rock, West Virginia

This abandoned amusement park was built on a site with a dark history.  


The skeletal remains of the small Lake Shawnee Amusement Park create an eerie atmosphere, which is appropriate given the site’s dark history.

Long before the amusement park was built, this was the site of a well-documented conflict between white settlers and the Indigenous Shawnee people. In the late 18th century, Mitchell Clay moved his young family west, and they established an 800-acre farm near Lake Shawnee where they raised 14 children. In August of 1783, a Shawnee band killed three of the Clay children. Mitchell Clay tracked down the band who had raided his farm and killed several of its members in bloody retaliation. The event became known as the Clover Bottom Massacre.

Many years later, the amusement park was opened in 1926 to cater to the families of nearby coal workers. After the death of two children on the park grounds, the funfair closed in 1966, leaving behind many of its rickety wood and steel rides.

The rusting Ferris wheel and children’s swing stand like dead trees among the unkempt wildlife. The grounds have changed hands over the years, but the land remains abandoned while the overgrown rides accumulate stories of hauntings and vengeful ghosts. 

Know Before You Go

Visiting the park is by appointment only, so you have to call and schedule a tour before you go! "Haunted Tours" of the park, are usually held on or around Halloween. The tour does require a good bit of walking, usually through high and often damp or wet grass. A fee is charged to participate.The park is located along US Rt.19/16, in the northwest corner of its intersection with WV Rt. 10, just north of the town of Kegley, WV.

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