What was once a highly anticipated summer break destination for families all over the world can suddenly be shut down, for this reason or that, and left barren for years on end.

It has happened before, at least 10 times, and will likely happen again. Theme parks are really good for one thing. It’s not like a department store that closes down only to later be repurposed for the next up-and-coming department store. Roller coasters are roller coasters, fun houses are fun houses and aside from art, there is not much to be salvaged when an amusement park shuts its doors forever.

When renovations or rebranding never becomes a reality for a theme park, leaving the rides and attractions abandoned for years on end, one can expect that the elements of nature move back in and take over the previously populated and highly groomed space. Once landscaping, cleaning, and foot traffic are no longer a part of the equation, amusement park rides take on a new form. These changes brought on by lack of movement and caretaking can lead to quite the eerie environment.

It may be hard to imagine that a place built on the foundations of joy, and the idea that dreams are made on its soil, could turn into something so barren and chilling – but the proof is in the pictures! Check out the video below to explore some of the world’s creepiest abandoned theme parks so you know it’s real!

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SHARE these spooky sites with your friends on Facebook to see who wants to take a tour of some seriously spine-tingling destinations.