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Lake Shawnee Amusement Park facts for kids

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Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park (10511866324).jpg
Amusement park in 2013
Location Princeton, West Virginia, U.S.
Opened 1926
Closed 1966
Status Closed

The Lake Shawnee Amusement Park is a defunct amusement park in Princeton, West Virginia, United States, located along Lake Shawnee. Opened in 1926, the park operated for 40 years before closing in 1966. It received public attention for at least 2 deaths that occurred on the premises during its operations, which led to urban legends regarding the park being haunted, in an early instance of the Indian burial ground trope. There were a total of 6 deaths.


The land on which the amusement park was built was the site of a massacre over a land dispute in the mid-1700s between the Clay and Draper families. According to writer Rosemary Ellen Guiley, this event has been historically verified.

In 1926, an entrepreneur named C.T. Snidow purchased the land and began developing an amusement park for the people of Mercer County, West Virginia. The park, which featured a ferris wheel and a swing ride, was popular among locals in the county, particularly families of coal miners who resided in the area. It also featured a swimming pool, race track, concession stands, dance hall, and cabins for overnight stays. The park was formally closed in 1966.

In 1985, Gaylord White, a former employee who had worked at the park, purchased the land with plans to reopen it, and briefly reopened it in the summer of 1987. However, the park closed after a 1988 archeological dig uncovered numerous Native American artifacts, as well as human remains on the property that had been buried prior to the arrival of Anglo-European settlers. White briefly reopened the park, but it was closed after three years. Since its closure, the park has hosted guided paranormal tours.

In the media


Due to these local legends, the park was featured on the television series Scariest Places on Earth in 2002 where aired on ABC Family.

The abandoned Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was also showcased on the part 5 episode of Most Terrifying Places in America which aired on the Travel Channel in 2010.

In 2019, Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was also featured in a haunted locations on the paranormal TV series, Most Terrifying Places which aired on Travel Channel.

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