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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

CREEPY AMUSEMENT PARKS by Sarah J. McNeal #EnterIfYouDare

Abandoned Amusement Parks Are Creepy

In my  release, THE BEAST OF HAZARD, from Prairie Rose Publications, I wrote about an unscrupulous circus owner who abandons his circus that wreaks havoc and danger on the fictional town of hazard, Wyoming.

I started researching abandoned amusement parks and, I have to tell you, there is nothing creepier than a place where laughter and fun once resided, now desolate and eerily silent. Imagine, on a hike in the forest, stumbling upon a metal clown half buried in the dirt and a Ferris wheel covered in vines out in the middle of nowhere. Even worse, imagine in the middle of a meadow with low lying fog coming across life size statues of dinosaurs. One might even think the creatures were real at first sight. I, for one, would run shrieking and screaming. Roller coasters and carousels appear particularly sinister empty of passengers and slowly eaten by vines and trees. It just makes me shiver to think how they must appear to someone who might come upon them by accident.

Near my home in North Carolina is an abandoned mill. I saw it every time I drove to the beach down highway 74. The old mill has deteriorated and kudzu vines have taken over most of the structures. It fascinated me, and it creeped me out. Of course, I had to get some photographs of it. Here is one of them.

In my story, THE BEAST OF HAZARD, an entire town is in danger just as the children are preparing to go out trick-or-treating. What is this beast? And what are the townspeople going to do to protect themselves as well as their livestock?

THE BEAST OF HAZARD, A Wildings Western Romance
Author Sarah J. McNeal
Prairie Rose Publications

 A Terrorized Town…A Killer Beast…And Deliverance

Joey Wilding isn’t certain what’s killing the livestock in Hazard. Some believe it’s a bewitched beast, others a wolf gone rabid. As the town veterinarian, he’s seen mutilation before, but not like this, as if something enjoyed the killing.
When Claire Beau asks Joey to help her injured wolf-dog, and begs his discretion, he begins to suspect he has found the Beast of Hazard—and its beautiful mistress. But as he walks through the woods after dark, something more ominous than any wolf stalks him from the shadows.

As they stepped out into the dark night, a chill ran down Joey’s spine as he remembered that terrible growl he heard in the woods. He was comforted a little by the light on the barn that flooded the space between the barn and house with a pale light. From off in the distance, a sound came from the depth of the forest that shook Joey to the core.
Claire’s face grew pale and her eyes widened. “We should hurry,” she said in a voice tight with fear. Whatever that thing was out there, Claire must know something about it. The woman who had a huge wolf as a pet suddenly looked afraid of the thing out there. Her response made him very uneasy. Could he trust her?


Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author who writes diverse stories filled with heart. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged child, Lily, the Golden Retriever. Besides her devotion to writing, she is an environmentalist and animal activist. She also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar, and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints: Painted Pony Books, Fire Star Press, and Sundown Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media:


  1. Love the photos. Gives you a chill lol.

    1. Why thank you, Kristy! I think abandoned amusement parks are spookier than haunted houses. Haunted houses could have had killers for occupants, but amusement parks are where people go to have fun. I know one of the abandoned amusement parks is near Chernobyl where the nuclear reactor imploded. Kinda horrifying scenario there.
      Thank you for your comment, Kristy.

  2. There's something about an abandoned amusement park which is extra creepy. Well observed, and spot on. I think it's the juxtaposition between life and laughter and the forgotten which echoes death. Great post.

    1. You're right, C.A., they are places we think of as happy and full of laughter and now they are silent like death. I can't help but wonder, why did everybody leave? Imagination goes in all directions including dark places. Scary.
      Thank you so much for coming by and leaving and a comment.

  3. Sarah, you are a little rascal behind your sweet smile...who'da thunk it you'd write a creepy, scary story. Intriguing excerpt and I love the pictures....they alone are story-inspiring!

  4. Elizabeth, hang on to that thought because I have a series soon to begin to be released (Legends of Winatuke) that are VERY scary. See? I can go dark. LOL
    Thank you so much for coming, my friend. I appreciate it.

  5. Wow, Sarah! Very compelling. And those photos...eerie

    1. Thank you, Lindsay. It was kind of you to come and comment.