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Monday, October 12, 2020


Abandoned Amusement Parks Are Creepy By Sarah J. McNeal, #TheWildingsSeries


In my short story, 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 carrousels 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?


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.


Joey walked through the woods to take the shortcut back home. Even in the half-light of approaching night, he could find his way back to the Wilding ranch. He sensed rather than saw something move just on the other side of the old pond. He kept his eyes and ears alert as he made his way through the low brush.

Something’s following me. Menacing and dangerous, it seemed to stalk him from somewhere beyond the bushes. Without a gun, he only had a knife to protect himself. His best option was to pick up his pace without running to get back to safety. Running would draw attention to him and whatever it was that shadowed him, it would identify him as prey.

And then he heard it growl. The ground practically shook beneath his feet with its deep, low pitched sound. Never, in all his life, had he heard such a sound. If death made a noise, it would sound like that. Heart pumping adrenaline made his hands shake, but he knew not to let it show. With every ounce of will he possessed, he put one foot in front of the other until he reached home. 

Buy Link: AMAZON

For more stories about the Wildings click on this link: The Wildings   

 All Wilding Books are available on Kindle Unlimited

Sarah J. McNeal

Author of Heartwarming Stories




Amazon Author's Page


  1. Oooh, fab excerpt! I have to agree with you. Abandoned amusement parks are VERY creepy. Great inspiration for a scary story, and perfect timing for Halloween.

  2. Sarah,

    The Beast of Hazard was the first of your stories I read. It's a lively, spooky October-Halloweenish story. ;-)

    Abandoned amusement parks and hospitals are creepy. Two blocks from me, an abandoned, old timey doctor's house / hospital-in-the-windowless-basement was razed a few years ago, and a new house built on the site. It's a lovely, modern house with landscaping and a friendly, older couple living in it. I walk my dogs or drive past this house daily. Back when it was the abandoned dr house/hospital, it exuded an eerie feeling of needing to rush past it as fast as possible without looking directly at it, while simultaneously feeling a beckoning to peer in the windows. There was definitely 'something' there...memories...spirits... *shrug* The new house gave it a facelift, but it still occasionally creeps me out, and I hurry on down the sidewalk or street to get away from it.

    Places/locations collect memories and feelings.

    1. Kaye, I'm so happy you read "Beast of Hazard!"
      Thank you for sharing that story about the doctor house/hospital. Some places just have an unsettling aura about them. I particularly liked your last sentence about places/locations collecting memories and feelings. I believe that to be true even though I think of myself as a "realist." The older I get, the more I believe there is more to this world than what we can see or touch; there is always that "other."
      I so appreciate you coming by and commenting on my post, Kaye. You're so supportive to us.

  3. Christine, there are many abandoned amusement parks all over the world. It would really creep me out to take a walk in the forest and come upon these artifacts. YIKES!
    Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you have a fun Halloween, even in these weird Covid times. I don't know if there will be any trick-or-treaters this year. I would have to come up with something else for them to do like hide-n-seek for treats at home. No carnivals, no parties, and no costume balls this Halloween. It feels sad.
    All good things to your corner of the universe, Christine...

  4. I agree that abandoned amusement parks are creepy. Even active ones that are closed for the winter are unsettling. Your excerpt is spooky - and in keeping with the season. Happy Halloween!

    1. Thank you, Ann for your kind words about my excerpt.
      I guess the location of the Renaissance Fair during winter does look creepy and strange, too. Didn't think about that. Carowinds closes in winter, but I've never had the opportunity to actually see it closed like that. Probably is kinda eerie.
      Thank you so much for your comment, Ann. I really appreciate it.

  5. I liked reading your blog and excerpt, just in time for Halloween. Your blog triggered a memory of watching a movie a few years ago and now it's going to bug me trying to remember what it was called and who was in it. Google, here I come. I hope keywords will help me track it down. And yes, it's so uncertain if there will be tricksters out this Halloween. The mall and a few "haunted" houses held activities/tours in other years, and we'd have less and less tricksters ringing/knocking at our door. But I bought treats regardless. Happy Halloween to you, Sarah. I look forward to reading this story.

    1. Elizabeth, Halloween has lost its luster this year--no activities planned, not even a haunted house. The media had discouraged kids from trick-or-treating. I expect there may be a few kids who might do it anyway. I've ordered up some Kit Kat bars just in case.
      I hope you have a fun Halloween all the same, Elizabeth. I might watch some not too scary movies like Hocus Pocus. Scary movies give me nightmares. Yikes!
      I hope you get a chance to read The Beast of Hazard--but mostly, if you do, I hope you like it.
      Thank you so much for coming by today and commenting on my post. I always love seeing you.

  6. Love the Wildings. Any clown is creepy to me. Can't imagine coming across an abandoned amusement park. Eek#

    1. Ohmagosh, Diana, thank you so much for your kind words about my work.
      I think clowns are creepy, too--especially after I read Stephen King's "IT". Shiver! I can't imagine coming across a clown from a dead amusement park in the middle of the woods. I'd be screaming all the way home.
      I appreciate you coming by and commenting and for all your gracious support, Diana.

  7. Have you checked out Dogpatch, Libertyland, and Wonderland?

  8. Have you checked out Dogpatch, Libertyland, and Wonderland?

    1. Libby, no I haven't checked out those places. Where are they located? Have you seen them? Are they eerie?
      Thank you for your comment, Libby...

  9. Abandoned amusement parks are so creepy, but mostly I'm intrigued by them. Great inspiration for a scary story. I penned a tale about a haunted water park with fog-filled pools that used to house water and a ghosts that still stroll the grounds. It's a lot of fun but then I love ghosts and haunted places. lol I'm looking forward to reading your story!

    1. Karen, I have read some of your books and you certainly know how to write a scary story.
      Thank you so much for coming by and commenting.