September 21, 2009

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

The Haunted Amusement Park  [photos]The site of the Mitchell Clay Indian massacre in the late 1700s.

Mitchell Clay was the first white settler in what is now Mercer County, WV. One day while the men were away hunting, Indians rode down from the ridge and killed and began to scalp one of the boys who was working in the fields. When his sister came to his aid, she too was killed. Another boy was kidnapped. A posse followed but the Indians split into two groups. The men followed them into Boone County and killed several Indians before realizing the Clay boy was not there. After they backtracked and pursued the second band who had fled to Ohio, they arrived only moments after the third child had been burned at the stake.

In the 1970s the land was used as a small amusement park and for music festivals and other outdoor activities. Now it sits deteriorating on the original gravesites, a silent almost mocking monument to this tragedy of long ago. It is rumored that on quiet summer nights you can hear the voices of children. Or maybe it's just the wind.
Another website tells a different version of this scary massacre story:The amusement park was built in memory of Mitchell Clay's children who were killed on the property by Indians because they were playing on a old graveyard.The Haunted Amusement Park Revisited  [photos]I went back to the site in July, 2005. I spoke to the owner about the property. He is convinced that it is haunted by Indians because the white man took their land. He is trying to reopen it to the public by hosting catfish tournaments and other events. He is committed to preserving its history. He wondered if it was wise to allow public use given the many paranormal happenings he's experienced there.

All I can say is it creeps me out. I have personally had strange things happen while I was there as well. Carillon bells playing, an owl standing in the roadway in broad daylight which took off over my head, the smell of smoke with no fires around, rustlings in the brush behind me as I walked along and a feeling of being watched.
Comment:  In Haunted Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, another visitor claims he recorded two unusual occurrences on video and seven on audio.

I wouldn't trust any Indian massacre story told by the white survivors. As the first white settler in the region, Clay may have been trespassing on forbidden ground. He may have violated a treaty or agreement. The Indians may have warned him what would happen if he invaded their land.

For more on that subject, see Disease = "Invisible Bullets"? and Justified Killings at Richland Creek.

As for the haunted amusement park, it's a variation of the stories based on Indian burial grounds. Until someone produces hard evidence of the hauntings, I wouldn't take it too seriously.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Haunting stories" are in a lot of ways, similiar to supposed UFO sightings. In most cases, they are rarely proven, if ever. Although, there "haunted places", but the involvement of indians in it are usually a hoax, a product of entertainment--inspired by campfire tales about "indian massacres" and the horrors of "boarding schools" etc. The vast majority of haunted places are in Europe with Chillingham as the most famous. Since there are sites all over in Europe with a dark, odious and sinister past thus rife with evil and atrocities.