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Points of Interest

Lake Shawnee Amusement park

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4213 Beckley Road , Princeton, West Virginia 24740 USA

  • Abandoned Place
  • Amusement Park

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This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

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https://roadtrippers.com/us/princeton-wv/points-of-interest/lake-shawnee-amusement-park

In 1926, C.T. Snidow, unaware of the site’s history, purchased the land and opened the amusement park. The park featured a spring fed swimming pool, dance hall, occasional Wild West shows, carnival rides, water rides, a racetrack, concession stands, and cabins for guests to stay in. It became a popular summertime retreat for thousands of coalfield families. It closed in 1966 after experiencing two troubling children’s deaths over the years.

The first mysterious death, which has been confirmed by the owners, was of a young boy, who drowned while the swimming pool was still open. A mother dropped her child off at the park one morning to return that afternoon to find that her child was nowhere to be found. After searching the entire grounds, she found her child's lifeless body floating in the pool.  The owners filled the preexisting pool with sand to prevent any further accidents. The second death occurred in the children’s playground where a swing set was located, and when in operation revolved at a high rate of speed. One day in the early 1950s a truck delivering soda to a refreshment stand accidentally backed up into the path of the swings, and a young girl was killed when she was struck by the truck.

Lake Shawnee owner Gaylord White, who worked at the park as a youth , bought the long-vacant amusement park in 1985. He planned  to subdivide the land and sell residential lots. However, after White began finding Native American burial sites and numerous artifacts, he put the idea of selling the property for homes to be built on the graves to rest. Instead he reopened the amusement park that year, but it only lasted three years. The skeleton of the Ferris Wheel, several abandoned rides and the children’s swings are still on the park grounds.

While the two deaths could be written off as unfortunate accidents, the park has been the scene of much paranormal activity; in short it is haunted.

Of the paranormal activity that has been observed at Lake Shawnee, most individuals have experienced orbs in photographs, disembodied voices, Native American chanting, unexplained sounds, and the long forgotten carnival rides moving on their own. 

Others who have visited the location say that the Ferris wheel is the home of a full apparition of a male subject in the car in the nine o'clock position. The swings still on the property feature cold spots just above the deteriorated wooden seats. The seats are also said to move on their own, which has been observed from across the park by visitors.

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