One Tank Trip: Shawnee Lake and Amusement Park

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – While many get their Halloween thrills at haunted houses and tourist attractions, one place in Mercer County, just outside of Princeton, is the real deal.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, now an abandoned carnival that’s gotten a name for itself as being a prime ghost hunting destination, was once a beloved place families could go for fun, as well as a place where a lot of history unfolded.

The history of the land actually dates back to pre-historic times, when native American Indians inhabited the land from as far back as 500 b.c until the 1700s. In the late 1700s, the land was discovered by English settlers.

In 1926, the amusement park opened its gates for the first time and would remain open for 40 years. But, when some deaths started occurring during the park’s operation, including the deaths of children, stories of their spirits still haunting the premise began to arise.

“To us, everything is good here, there are spirits here from what everybody says, but to us, there are no bad spirits,” the keeper of Lake Shawnee, Chris White says. “It’s native Americans that passed that live in the field, and it’s children that passed in the park.”

The alleged ghosts that are known to still walk the grounds of Lake Shawnee have in fact stirred up a whirlwind of attention, including the media attention from over 20 television shows that have since been filmed there. Some of these shows included Travel Channel’s ‘Portals to Hell’ with Jack Osbourne, ‘The Dead Files,’ and ‘The Unexplained.’

The park’s current owners also do a good job of keeping the stories alive. They open the gates to anyone who dares to enter to take a tour and hear the legends that reside.

“We believe in preserving the history, so we think it’s neat that people want to come in and raise money to preserve the history here at this park,” says White.

Every October as part of their ‘Dark Carnival,’ the park offers a photo history tour and the Slaughterhouse…that is if you dare to enter it.

You can call them at (304)-921-1580 or look them up at Lake Shawnee Events on Facebook.

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