If you like Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park, you will love these places too!
Last updated: March 30, 2023
From tragic deaths on a Native American burial ground to freak accidents at an amusement park – the haunted stories and troubled past of Mercer County’s Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park has been equally frightening and entertaining people for decades.
Although it has been years since the amusement park buzzed with the laughter of children, according to local lore, the park is still a playground for ghosts. But you don’t have to be an avid ghost hunter to learn more about this creepy attraction. The eerie phenomenon has been publicized across all forms of media, including recently on Netflix’s The UnXplained with William Shatner.
Lake Shawnee offers daytime tours and overnight experiences for those who dare, as well as The Dark Carnival and Lake Nightmare during the fall months. As you schedule your chance to tour the haunted grounds, add a few other eccentric, and possibly cursed, Mercer County stops to your spooky trip!
Gary Bowling House of Art at the Ramsey School
Trust us, you won’t find an art gallery like this anywhere else. Full of magic, mystery, history and art, Gary Bowling’s House of Art (GBHA) is a unique experience every visitor should add to their Mercer County trip. GBHA is located in the historic Ramsey School and features a gallery of one-of-a-kind and interesting art pieces that span all genres.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure – a true motto from the organization. In fact, the artists at GBHA refer to themselves as “the ultimate dumpster divers,” as most of the artwork there is made from recycled or found materials.
Situated on a hillside with entrances on every level, the Ramsey School is listed as a 5-story building and is distinctive because it has an entrance on 7-different levels. This fact has been officially recognized by “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” for being the “School with the Most Multi-Level Entrances.” Along with this quirky claim to fame, the building, which was opened in 1926, is also said to have its fair share of paranormal activity.
The Historic Town of Bramwell
There’s a timeless charm about Bramwell. Beautiful Victorian homes, enchanting gardens and tidy white fences are all evidence of the prosperous citizens who once lived there. These elaborate houses were all built during the early 1900s by wealthy coal owners and operators. From stately mansions to elegant shops and attractions, Bramwell, which used to be home to the most millionaires per capita in the nation, still has plenty of delightful surprises and maybe a few spooks!
Over the years, rumors have spread that the spirit of Jairus Collins, one of the original coal barons, often makes an appearance in Bramwell. Mr. Collins died in 1932, leaving behind a beautiful yellow vernacular-style mansion, which stood empty for decades. While most old homes make noises, the most recent Collins House homeowner has heard heavy breathing and felt movement around the house — only to assume from Mr. Collins!
Twice a year the residents of Bramwell open up their doors for public home tours, but the town also invites the spirits of the past to come back and share their stories on the annual Bramwell Ghost Walk. Explore the dark streets of Bramwell and come face-to-face with history. From the eerie mist coming off the water to reading a little history about each location — the tour will put you in a magical state of mind.
The Granada Theater
Originally opening its doors in 1928, The Granada Theater was visited by well-known celebrities including Bing Crosby, Marian Anderson, Frank Sinatra and Greer Garson. While the building was modernized in 1949, then fully restored in 2021, many remnants of the past have remained in the historic theater.
From replicating the authentic carpet in the theater to finding the original organ used, history is all around The Granada. But with rich history, comes haunts from the past. Located in Bluefield, a city that straddles the past and present. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ll have to check out The Granada Theater for yourself. Regardless of what you find, you’ll be able to enjoy some fun entertainment while you are there.
Mercer Street Grassroots District
Colorful, eccentric and located in the heart of Mercer County, the Mercer Street Grassroots District is the perfect spot to find some unconventional treasures and to experience the local Appalachian culture.
Start your adventure at 80’s Toys of Princeton, a unique store that specializes in toys and collectibles from the ’80s, ’90s and beyond. The shop has toys from iconic pop culture moments, preserved for history and legacy. Get lost in a fantasy world at Daydream Games. From specialty game releases to epic tournaments, this store is a must-visit for all serious gamers. Lastly, take a piece of Mercer County home with you. Stop by The Hatter’s Bookshop and explore the wealth of previously-loved books as well as local art, handmade jewelry, vintage vinyl and more.
Whether you are searching for a bone-chilling paranormal experience or a peculiar attraction to occupy your time — you’ll find all that and more in Mercer County. Request a free copy of our travel guide to learn more about our area and assist you in planning your next trip.