|The abandoned Ferris wheel at the site of a dilapidated amusement park along the shore of Lake Shawnee in West Virginia. The park is believed to be one of the most haunted places in West Virginia.|
Around 1783, Mitchell Clay who settled in the area with his wife Phoebe and family some eight years prior, went out hunting one day with some of his neighbors. When they returned two of his children were found slain by local Shawnee natives and another had been taken away. Mitchell and some other men gave pursuit, but the other child was not found and thought to be burned at the stake by the natives. This event became known as the Mitchell Clay Indian Massacre. The children were buried nearby at the Mitchell homestead close the shores of what is now Lake Shawnee.
|Historical marker commemorating the Mitchell Clay Indian Massacre|
On the very same location of the massacre, an amusement park was built in 1926. It was in operation for over 40 years. However, some untoward things happened in the park that was the former killing ground and burial site. A young girl was swinging on the swings at the park one day and a truck came too close to her and as she swung backwards, she slammed into the vehicle and died right there on the spot. It is rumored that a man died in an accident on the Ferris wheel as well. Lake Shawnee itself claimed a victim as well. A young boy was swimming in the lake and he was later found floating. He had drowned in the murky waters.
|The abandoned rides at Shawnee Lake have become overgrown and create an eerie scene themselves. Photo by Karen Stuebing|
The amusement park still stands near Princeton, West Virginia on the shores of Lake Shawnee, although abandoned. The ground is privately owned and is not open to the public. The dilapidated rides overgrown with weeds and plant life. The hauntings continue however. As it is reported that a man was mowing a field there on the grounds and was startled to find the ghostly image of a young girl sitting on the fender of his tractor. He fled the scene never to return. The tractor, it is said, still sits in the spot where he left it and has become another feature of the overgrown landscape. Also on certain nights, the sounds of children can be heard in the long abandoned park.
|The abandoned swings at Shawnee Lake. A scene where a little girl lost her life and is believed to haunt the grounds to this day. Photo by Karen Stuebing|