Oh now I remember this thread. Thanks for the article, SD.
Boobies are overrated. ;-)
With all the bare mountains around the state (which sucks) there is PLENTY of room for a Kennywood/Holiday World-ish type of park.
But nobody listens to me. ;-) The Governor responded to me saying something about money, taxes, all that BS.
The state doesn't seem to have a problem spending millions and millions on a tourist trap like the Tamarack though. Charleston just spent millions on a new ballpark that wasn't needed (they already had a decent-sized one.)
The state wastes TOO much money. The ***** and moan about tourism but they won't do anything about it. Then they wonder why people venture out-of-state during their vacations. ;-)
There are plenty of places in WV that, were someone with a decent amount of money to come in, one could buy up a bunch of cheap land, houses, buildings, etc. and turn one of these old coal towns into a resort, with skiing, 4wheeling, and more. Lakes, Rivers, Rafting, Skiing, 4Wheelin, hunting clubs, and a theme park.
In fact, someone should do that here, now that the boom is starting. Our Wal-Mart that just opened this week? They're talking about building a larger one already in a couple years when the state prison and highway come thru, and turning the already new one into a SAM's Club. Plus we're getting some hotels and more food.
^You realize we are sounding totally redneck don't you? ;-D
I think the New River area does a great business with their White Water rafting. There are a dozen or so state parks which do a killing during April-October offereing everything from camping to mountain climbing, etc.
Camden Park has managed to hold on and improve over the last couple of years thank goodness. With so many small parks closing up shop lately it's good to see they are still thriving.
So.. Halloween night my girlfriend and I were sitting on the couch watching Scariest Places on Earth after handing candy out all night to trick or treaters. The episode of Lake Shawnee came on and my girlfriend, Dawn picked up the laptop searching for where exactly in West Virginia Lake Shawnee was located. It a 6 hour drive from Richmond, VA. We decide on a road trip! Dawn and I and a friend decided over the past week to go today. We don't really plan directions because none of us can find anything about Lake Shawnee online. We meet up and head out at SEVEN AM! to find this so called scariest place on Earth. We get to Princeton (the location of Lake Shawnee) and find no signs telling us where this lake is. We stop at a rest stop.. ask for directions. One of the employees working at the desk asked us why we wanted to go. Before we could even reply she goes "You've seen it on Scariest Places on Earth, right?" Heh. We try to deny it. She proceeds to tell us that there was nothing at Lake Shawnee. Yes, two children were murdered by Indians a long time ago but that was all there was to the story. She gives us the directions and off we go! After about a 15 min. drive we pass the pond, no larger than 30 feet across, and I mention wouldn't it be funny if that pond was Lake Shawnee. We all laugh and before we could finish the laugh we saw the ferris wheel. Disappointed overcame all three of us. We drive around this fenced in area not finding a place we could park and go in. We locate the front gate and find that it's locked. Walking back towards the car we notice a somewhat large sign sitting in this fenced in area. We walk closer to see what that's all about. Signs reads "CATFISH TOURNAMENT EVERY SATURDAY". We grab the camera out of the back of the car and decide to take pictures anyways. I mean we just drove 6 hours.. why not check this place out. I walk up to the gate to get a better picture and notice a trailer home sitting in this middle of this "amusement park". We see the consession stand that the girl got locked in by a "ghost". Took pictures of that. Yes.. it's just as ghetto looking in real life. The gate kept me from going closer but I'd bet anything that the tire that was inside of the consession stand during the filming was still inside. As I was about to walk away to get back in the car I notice the man that lived in the trailer had come out of his house, got into his car and was leaving in the opposite direction of the gate we were standing at. Heh. Finally tired of trying to see things from behind a gated fence we go around to the back of the park. SURPRISE! There is no fence there. Just a bright orange tape forbidding you from going in. You think this stopped me and Dawn? NO! No more than 6 inches behind the tape (on the forbidden side) there is the tombstone of the two children that were murdered. We take a picture and I notice that the grass was just now growing up around it. The tombstone had been moved to this certain place. Then we walk through 50 feet of weeds about 5 feet high. About 30 feet in we see a sign that reads 'DANGER' complete with a skull and crossbones. Does this make us want to turn back? Hell no. By the way, we took a picture of the sign too! We continue up the small hill through the tall weeds to where the actual "amusement park" begins. I look up and there is the OH SO scary ferris wheel that supposely moved by itself. In the show the ferris wheel looked to be at least 150 feet tall. In real life is MAYBE 50 ft. tall. Very rust and covered in weeds and trash. I just HAD to touch it. I get closer and climb up the cement blocks the ferris wheel is sitting on and begin to swing one of the buckets or seats of the ride. It does move. But the ferris wheel is so ghetto and small.. there was no way you'd be able to fit more than one person or two small kids in one seat. THEN I see the swing. You remember the one that had the seat that was swinging on it's own? Ahahaha. This ride had very few seats. Most of them were broken and falling to the ground. I didn't get a chance to get close to this ride. As I was starting to walk towards it Dawn yells from behind me, she's still standing at the edge of the weeds not daring to come closer, that the man who lives in the trailer was coming back. Since we were trespassing we duck into some weeds and bushes. I fall against a tree full of thorns. We wait to see where he is going. It is only when he pulls into the front where the gate is, where we were at the beginning, is when we turn around and start running back through the weeds and up the hill to the car.
Lake Shawnee was a H U G E disappointment. The lake was no bigger than a 30 ft pond. The ferris wheel was very harmless unless you accidently cut yourself on it and had to get a Tetnis shot. The swings were... just there. No real attraction. There is a trailer house in the middle of this amusement park that's on maybe a 3 acre lot. And a broken down blue Volkswagen Rabbit somewhat next to the lake.
Hrm.. I wonder why they didn't show the trailer house or the broken down cars on the show?
I bet most of Princeton, WV laughed their asses off when they saw the episode of Lake Shawnee on Scariest Places on Earth. Lake Shawnee shouldn't have ever been mentioned on t.v. It wasn't worth it. Complete disappointment.
A 6 hr drive for a ferris wheel smaller than the ones at carnival, a trailer house, a pond, broken down vehicles and a catfish tournament every Saturday night at midnight. *shakes head*
I wouldn't waste your time on this so called scariest places on Earth.
LoL, sorry, I gotta laugh. I'm in Princeton weekly, live an hour away, and to know you drove 6 hours for that is kinda funny. I've lived here most of my life, and never went over there ;).
If you had wanted an adventure searching for scary places in WV, you should have PMed me. While I don't believe in hauntings and what not, I could have at least shown you far more interesting things in Mercer and McDowell County than Lake Shawnee. And I'm sure I could have gotten you scared, this is southern West Virginia, afterall!;)
I feel like I am reading part of the Blair Witch Project. ;-)
I had no idea Lake Shawnee was "haunted" let alone had an "amusement park".
You should of just drove another 2 hours to the closed Moundsville State Pen (and do an overnight thing) or Point Pleasant if you are into the haunted stuff. It would of been more worth your road trip.
Oh HELL NO. Driving through the mountains in West Virginia reminds me soooo much of the movie Wrong Turn. I was waiting for a crazy man to come running through the trees yelling jibberish at the top of his lungs.
In 25 years, I've never had that happen, nor have I heard of that happening ;).
We are normal here. Well, most of us. But it could be worse, we could be Kentucky.
But if you really wanted to see some cool old stuff, you were an hour (or less) away from McDowell. You know, the place that October Skies (the movie) was about? I could have shown you some interesting things there, like which union leader or politician got shot where, and so on ;).
And the history books don't tell you about the Coal Miners and Union wars... *** Edited 11/6/2005 7:33:35 AM UTC by TeknoScorpion***
Wow, I am so sorry you drove all that way to see Lake Shawnee. I am a WV native specifically to this area - the amusement park is about 15 minutes from me - what's left of it anyway. I don't know who they dug up to be on this show but I can tell you I've lived in this area near my entire life and it is a very small town. I didn't recognize anyone and they must have a seperate agenda that isn't Lake Shawnee - getting on TV at all costs is my guess because the show and the idea of that place being haunted is just ludicrous. I mean come on - 'The Haunted Concession Stand'?
Oh and as far as the are being abandoned for years - that is crazy - they used to have mud bogs down there constantly when I was in high school (I'm in my early 30's so it hasn't been that long.) and I can remember other activities being held for kids when I was a child as my parents took me to them. Much of that show was blatant lies - it's a shame that they would represent our area in this manner and further a shame that there are some really eerie places in WV - whether or not they are haunted I am not prepared to comment on but certainly creepier than some broken down junkyard fair attractions.
At the time of those photos, the lake was definitely bigger than 30 feet. I drove by in May and took a few photos. The lake doesn't look as large as the 1996 photo but is definitely more than 30 feet. The catfish tournament sign was still there.
As for the TV show, I'd almost guess they got the participants from Concord University which isn't too far away.
There's a statue at the courthouse in Princeton in memory of the family that lived/died at the amusement park site. There was also talk of putting in some sort of memorial park/trail/something near the park site. We could see something on a nearby hill that we suspected was related but there seemed to be no public access.
Somebody posted about driving a couple more hours to Moundsville. According to MapQuest, it's about 250 miles away.
The only other "nearby" amusement park I can think of is Camden near Huntington, WV which is about 150 miles away. Who can resist an amusement park with an indian burial mound?! There was once one (Lakeside) in Roanoke, VA (90 miles) but it's long gone.
Lake Shawnee was much smaller, which had to contribute to it's death. Not big enough to generate much repeat business from locals or draw in tourists from other areas. The mud bogging came a bit later but I guess that didn't generate enough income either. Can the ghosts, memorials to dead children and catfish tournaments bring it back to life? I guess the real question is whether the ferris wheel will be left to fall down on its own or be dismantled first.