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What is Shawnee Lake Amusement Park?

Updated on June 18, 2013

Shawnee Lake Amusement Park is exactly that, an amusement park.

Well, a defunct amusement park with a bit of crazy history.

Look out for the Indians

The park is located in scenic Mercer County of West Virginia. C.T. Snidow opened the amusement park in 1926. It was a host to many fun rides and some water attractions. Unfortunately, the park closed in 1966. The Ferris wheel and mechanical swings are the only things left of the once popular amusement park. The internet runs rampant with write ups claiming that Shawnee Lake Amusement Park is haunted and that it was a site of a horrible massacre committed by Indians. When we visited the site about a year ago we did see a monument with a plaque memorializing the massacre committed by the Indians. The plaque said, “In this field in 1783 two children of Mitchell Clay were killed by Shawnee Indians. Clay was the first white settler in Mercer County.”


Former park now home to Catfish Derbies.

If you’re one that is into the whole defunct amusement park thing, I highly recommend you check this place out if you’re close by. The rusting hulks of amusement park goodness are very picturesque and worth a peek. I was not disappointed when I stopped by to take a few pictures. The Ferris wheel was covered in ivy and rust as were the swings. The old rides rest in knee high grass next to a couple of green ponds. There were signs indicating that the owners still have fishing derbies and catfish tournaments on the premise, but aside from that it didn’t seem very active. Please keep in mind that it is private property and you shouldn’t climb the fence that surrounds the park.


Is it haunted? Ehh...

As for this site being haunted, well, I don’t really believe in that sort of thing. I can say with all certainty we did not hear any murderous whooping Shawnee Indians or laughing children as internet rumors state. If you are interested in the haunted aspect of Shawnee Lake Amusement Park you should really check this book out, Fireside Folklore of West Virginia: Vol. 1.

Happy Exploring!


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    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 3 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I've never felt any of the places I have explored were haunted either. I think it is a case of finding what you are looking for.