Archive for the ‘Abandoned Amusement Park’ Category

The Top Ten Movies Filmed in Abandoned Places

Written by: Sean L.

When I wrote the original “Top Ten Movies Set in Abandoned Places” article, it was meant to be a throw-away piece. Just something to fill time. We had been busy in the early spring of last year, riding off our recent visit to the abandoned Enchanted Forest in Rhode Island. We needed a fun piece just to keep the site going, so I wrote it within an hour. A year later, it has become our most popular article with hundreds of views every month. There has been much demand for a sequel, and it has taken me a long time to put together. But it has finally arrived. I did the best I could to provide a nice mix of indie gems and Hollywood blockbusters. Enjoy!

Here are the Top 10 Movies Filmed in Abandoned Places.

#10 – Almost Mercy – Woonsocket Middle School

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3480446/

As per tradition, we start this list off with one of my movies (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4649390/). Yes, it’s petty. But it’s my list. Plus, this is the best movie I have ever been in. Even though most of my scenes got cut, it is still my favorite film I have worked on. I wouldn’t call it a horror movie, but it is pretty dark. The film follows outcast best friends, Jackson and Emily, who take it upon themselves to take revenge on the wicked world that wronged them. A good proportion of the film was shot at the abandoned Woonsocket Middle School in Rhode Island. After closing in 2009, this behemoth took on the honor of becoming the largest abandoned school on the entire eastern seaboard. The haunting location just adds an extra layer of darkness to an already eerily fun movie.

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#9 – Session 9 – Danvers State Hospital

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0261983/

Number 9. Session 9. Get it? Though it may have flown under the radar for some, this spooky indie horror film has managed to withstand the test of time. Starring TV veteran actor David Caruso and a young Josh Lucas, the film follows an asbestos removal crew slowly unraveling mentally while working in a ghostly abandoned hospital.  Filming took place in the safe and usable sections of then abandoned (now demolished) Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts. Little set design was said to be needed for the film, and even actor David Caruso reported a few strange experiences while filming in the abandoned asylum.

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#8 – House of Dust – Mansfield Training School

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1309374/

We’re really sticking with the New England theme here. Featuring a few MTV stars and allegedly based on true events, the film was helmed by local film legend A.D. Calvo. The movie may not be a classic, but interestingly it was both set in and filmed at the abandoned Mansfield Training School in Storrs, Connecticut. The movie follows a group of college students exploring the defunct hospital that accidentally release some malevolent spirits from their ashy resting place. One by one, they become possessed by the souls of those long since past. Like I said, it may not be a classic. But the set design and the cinematography make it certainly worth a look.

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#7 – Skyfall – Hashima Island

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/

Number 7 for 007. This one is farther down the list as it is a bit of a technicality. Technically, the film did not shoot on Hashima Island, as the Japanese government forbids anyone to set foot on it. But the production of the movie was permitted to use exterior footage of the island in the final cut. I think it’s still pretty cool. The film follows agent 007 on his latest adventure, pursuing the mysterious villain Raoul Silva, whose evil lair just happens to be the deserted industrial island of Hashima. The crew were forced to built a set and use CGI for scenes taking place on the island, but that is the real place you see in those exterior shots. Not bad for one of the best Bond films of all time.

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#6 – The Road – Pennsylvania Turnpike

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

I assure you that “The Road” will be the only movie to feature on both this and the previous list. But it is just such an interesting movie with a very unique filming location. After an unexplained apocalypse decimates the world, a man and his son trek towards the coast in hope of survival. In order to capture this, the filmmakers turned to the famous abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. Though it is now a popular tourist attraction, this long stretch of abandoned highway was bypassed by a series of new roads. It was eventually left behind. Though cars no longer travel down it, local cyclists certainly enjoy it. But just like in this movie, beware of the long empty tunnels on the road.

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#5 – Hanna – Spreepark 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993842/

This 2011 action film really doesn’t get enough credit. With a lot of heart and another fantastic performance from a young Saoirse Ronan, it is much more than meets the eye. The movie follows a young assassin, raised her entire life to be a killer, as she treks across Europe on one final mission towards freedom. One of her stops on this mission is at an abandoned amusement park in Eastern Germany. This is in fact Spreepark, an infamous former attraction of East Berlin. Known for its animal and wildlife themes, the park has remained derelict since 2002. Though there are plans to reopen the park in 2018, it makes an excellent backdrop for one of the key action scenes in this sleeper thriller.

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#4 – Blade Trinity – The McBarge

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0359013/

This one is actually one of my favorites. Not the movie, but this place. It’s not a bad picture by all means, in fact I think it’s the best of the Blade series. But that really isn’t saying much. Human/vampire hybrid Blade must team up with a gang of vampire hunters known as the “Nightstalkers” to take on the mightiest vampire of all: Dracula. The word vampire gets used a lot in that sentence, but I really didn’t know how else to word it. What makes this new gang interesting, beside being headed by Jessica Biel and a young Ryan Reynolds, is their hideout. A seemingly dilapidated boat, this is actually the fabled McBarge. A failed idea from the 1986 Expo in Vancouver, this floating McDonald’s has been bobbing around in the water ever since. While shooting in Vancouver, producers thought it make the perfect hideout for their new vampire hunting team.

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 #3 – The Blair Witch Project – The Griggs House

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185937/

One of my personal favorite horror films, and the movie that arguably relaunched the “found-footage” genre. Whether you love it, or hate it, you cannot deny the impact that this movie made. The film follows three college students searching for and eventually being stalked by the elusive urban legend The Blair Witch in the woods of Maryland. But what many fans may not know is that the house where the climatic finale takes place was not a set. It was real. Though now demolished, filming of the movie’s ambiguous ending took place in the historic Griggs House in Patapsco Valley National Park (where most of the filming occurred).  The house was over 200 years old, and made for the perfect creepy location to end this creepy movie.

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#2 – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Michigan Central Station

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975590/

I think the title of this movie kind of explains the plot better than I could. Following the events of “Man of Steel”, Superman finds himself in a clash of ideals with the Gotham City vigilante Batman. An interesting piece of trivia about this movie though is that it was one of the bigger ones to take advantage of shooting in the city of Detroit during their financial crisis. With the first few weeks of shooting taking place all across the city, one of the more climatic fight scenes of the film was shot at the legendary Michigan Central Station. With many failed redesign attempts, the station has been abandoned for years. But she may have found a new niche as a filming location as other movies such as “8 Mile” and “Transformers” have used the building as a set.

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#1 – Jurassic World – Six Flags New Orleans

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369610/

Just because I’m a big “Jurassic Park” fan. Always have been. The plot of this movie follows a very similar plot to all the other films in the franchise, except that the park is actually open in this one. But one factor that makes this film really unique from its predecessors is a certain location where filming took place: the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans. Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, the park was left flooded for some time. After a long legal battle, Six Flags was able to break their lease on the park and left it abandoned. Though many redevelopment proposals have come forward, it still sits abandoned. But much like Michigan Central Station, this old park may have found new life as a movie location. Big budget films such as “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, and of course “Jurassic World” have all filmed at the ruined park. How? Life found a way.

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Know of any other movies filmed in abandoned places? Let us know in the comments! Likes/shares/comments/concerns/confessions/criticisms/questions are always welcomed.

The Top 5 Abandoned Places of 2016

Posted: December 30, 2016 by kingleser in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Amusement Park, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cabin, Abandoned Cape Cod, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Farm, Abandoned Forts, abandoned home, Abandoned Hospital, Abandoned House, Abandoned Massachusetts, abandoned military bases, abandoned new england, Abandoned Racetrack, Abandoned Resort, Abandoned Rhode Island, Abandoned Ski Area, Abandoned Stores, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Vermont, Abandoned Wonders, Beaches, Cape Cod, Closed, Connecticut, Destruction, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, Ghosts, Haunting, Hiking, History, Hogback Mountain, Information, Massachusetts, Military, Military Forts, Mystery, Mystic, nature, new england, Ocean View, photography, Public Parks, Rhode Island, Ruins, Stories, Truro, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, Vermont, writing
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Please check out our second annual Top 5 Abandoned Places video! It covers all of the best places we’ve explored this year. Happy New Year, everyone!

Top 10 Pieces of Graffiti Art in Abandoned Places

Posted: May 25, 2016 by kingleser in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Amusement Park, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Baseball Field, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cabin, Abandoned Cape Cod, Abandoned Cinema, Abandoned Connecticut, Abandoned Drive-In, Abandoned Fairgrounds, Abandoned Forts, Abandoned Hospital, Abandoned Massachusetts, abandoned military bases, abandoned mill, abandoned new england, abandoned paper mill, Abandoned Racetrack, Abandoned Railway, Abandoned Resort, Abandoned Rhode Island, Abandoned Sanatorium, Abandoned Stores, Abandoned Theaters, Abandoned train station, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Wonders, Broken, Closed, commercial, Connecticut, darkness, Death, Destruction, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, forgotten home, Fort Wetherill, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Homeless, House, Information, left behind, lost, Mansfield Training School, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, Nike Missile Base, overgrown, photography, Public Parks, research, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, Seaside Sanatorium, Stories, Sunrise Resort, Talcottville Mill, Terminus, The Enchanted Forest, The Walking Dead, UCONN, Uncategorized, Undercliff Sanatorium, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, Walking Dead, writing
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Top 10 Pieces of Graffiti Art in Abandoned Places

Written by – Sean L.

Photographs by – Amanda H.

Anyone who has ever visited an abandoned place knows that you are always guaranteed to find two things – trash and graffiti. While we’ve already done a piece on all the weird stuff we’ve found on our adventures, we thought we’d try a little something new here. By all means, we are not condoning graffiti or vandalism. This is just some of the strangest, coolest, and most unique pieces we’ve ever encountered in our travels across New England.

Here are the Top 10 Pieces of Graffiti Art in Abandoned Places:

#10 – CT FINEST

We don’t know what “CT FINEST” is. But this phrase was spray painted ALL over an abandoned factory. Connecticut’s finest what?

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#9 – LET GO

It’s in all capitals. Which usually means they’re serious. Almost like they’re yelling at us. Interpret as you will.

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#8 – Terminus – Sanctuary for All

This one is for all you “Walking Dead” fans out there. Luckily, we didn’t find any cannibals, zombies, or Governors at this abandoned military fortress.

#7 – Zombie Hand Prints?

I don’t know what this is or what happened here. But frankly, it looks really cool in a weird way. The white hand prints on the blood red wall, straight out of a George Romero movie.

#6 – “No God? No Joy.”

Simple as that. We find religious graffiti every once in awhile, but usually it is against God. Not in favor of him. Plus it’s written in what looks like red crayon.

#5 “Get Out While U Can”

While I don’t care for their spelling, this was certainly a foreboding message to see while we were exploring yet another abandoned factory. Lucky for us, we got out just fine.

#4 – Puff, the Magic Dragon

This is one of the happier pieces of art we’ve ever seen. It isn’t dark, offensive, or nasty. It’s just a nice colorful dragon. He may not have eyes, but he’s very beautifully drawn. Enjoy it.

#3 – “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

This was the only real philosophical piece of artwork we’ve ever seen in an abandoned place. Usually they’re just plastered on road signs or bumper stickers. But it does make sense…

#2 – “We’re on a road to nowhere…”

There’s just something special about this one. It was written on the wall of an abandoned summer camp. Maybe it just strikes a nerve. Maybe it’s just different. Or maybe it’s because someone out there actually remembers how to write in cursive.

#1 – “GO AT NIGHT”

We caught this one as the sun was beginning to set,  and we just finished exploring an abandoned mental hospital. It has always been my favorite. I think the visuals speak for themselves. Go At Night.

Have any that you would like to share? We’d love to see them! Follow us on WordPress, Facebook, and YouTube for more content!

 

 

 

 

The Top Ten Movies Set in Abandoned Places

By: Sean L.

We love movies. Like…a lot. Comedies. Action. Drama. Horror. Well, it just so happens that most of the movies on this list happen to be horror. But it’s hard not be when your film takes place somewhere abandoned. There is always something creepy and unnerving going exploring, and these ten films capture it very well. They may not all be Academy Award winners, but if you enjoy urban exploration they’re a must see.

#10 – Flesh for the Inferno (2016)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4779826/

I’m not going to lie. I like this one because I’m in it (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4649390/). The budget is admittedly WAY lower than any of the other films on this list. But the fact that it was filmed exclusively in an actual abandoned location makes it very cool. The film follows your quintessential horror movie story line – a group of young people are tasked with cleaning up their local abandoned Catholic School, which just happens to be haunted by demon nuns. They are accidentally set loose upon our young heroes, and bloody chaos ensues. Flesh for the Inferno may not be a masterpiece, but when you look at the budget it was shot on, it is a fun little film.

Flesh

#9 – The Road (2009)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy and partially filmed on a famously abandoned Pennsylvania highway, The Road is a really depressing movie. Like, super depressing. It’s not a bad movie, not by a long shot. It is just one you don’t ever really want to ever see again. Everything is just so damn bleak. The cause of the apocalypse is never given in the film, and neither are the names of our two main characters. They are on a long trek through the wasteland, seeing all sorts of horror along the way. The visuals are simply breathtaking, and the story is so damn real. It can be a bit unsettling.

The Road

#8 – Doomsday (2008)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483607/

Some call it dreadful. Some call it underrated. I call it awesome. Doomsday is a fun throwback to the Mad Max series with a dash of 28 Days Later (yes, we’ll get to that). Following an outbreak of a flesh-eating disease in Scotland, the British government quarantines off the island and leaves all those left there to die. Some twenty years later, the virus appears again. This time in the streets of London. So a special forces team is sent into the apocalyptic wasteland to search for a cure to the disease. What they find is a ruined city run by two warring factions of feral survivors. Check it out.

Doom

#7 – Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1991245/

I’m not saying it’s good. I’m saying it’s fun to watch. From the makers of the vastly popular, yet arguably overrated, Paranormal Activity franchise comes Chernobyl Diaries. A group of young tourists sneak into the infamous Ukrainian city of Pripyiat, home to the Chernobyl Disaster. The city has been abandoned for years, and is highly radioactive. The group soon learns that they are, in fact, not alone. What ensues is a jarring mess including shaky camera work, a nonsensical plot, and some questionable acting from a certain former Disney star…we’re looking at you, Jesse. But in the end it is a fun little jump-scare film with some wonderful set design that really captures the feel of Chernobyl.

Chernobyl

#6 – Ghost Ship (2002)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0288477/

Remember the early 2000’s when all kinds of bigger budget horror movies actually got made? Pepperidge Farm remembers. There were a lot of little gems out there that nobody really remembers anymore. Ghost Ship, however, has always been one of our favorites. From the makers of Thirteen Ghosts, Ghost Ship follows an Alaskan salvage crew that stumbles upon an abandoned ocean liner that has been missing since the 1960’s. They soon discover that the ship is haunted, and the ghosts aboard just might not let them leave. Say what you will about the cheesy ghost plot, the art department and set design of this film make it a must watch. Imagine what it could have been with the right director…

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#5 – The Abandoned (2006)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0475937/

The title says it all. While it may not be the most creative, it certainly is effective. This loveable little indie horror film flew under the radar when it was given a limited theatrical release. An adopted Russian woman returns to the home she never knew after receiving a mysterious phone call. Upon arriving at the now deserted farm where her family once lived, Marie meets her twin brother Nicolai for the first time, whom also received a mysterious phone call beckoning him back to the farm. All kinds of mysterious and spooky things happen from there. Dark and foreboding, The Abandoned is both bizarre and frightening. The supernatural horror element of it is perfectly done.

The Abandoned

#4 – House on Haunted Hill (1999)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185371/

Horror remakes are inevitable, much like horror sequels. Most are painfully forgettable. But this one was actually pretty good. House on Haunted Hill was a much needed update to Vincent Price’s black and white horror classic of the same name. While this film may not be as strong narrative wise, it certainly has some great scares and downright creepy moments. Through an unsettling chain of events, an eccentric billionaire offers a group of strangers one million dollars each to spend the night inside of an abandoned insane asylum. The film is a bit on the campy side, but it does the original justice while giving a fresh spin on the material.

House Hill

#3 – I Am Legend (2007)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480249/

The alternate ending was better. Seriously. Watch it. It makes a mediocre movie into a memorable one. With that out of the way, here is a good movie that could’ve been great. I Am Legend follows Dr. Robert Neville, the last man on Earth, and his awesome companion Sam the German Shepard. They are survivors living in the now abandoned city of New York. But they are not alone. While the movie may have fallen a bit flat, it does an excellent job of showing life after people. Whether it be the the decimated streets of NYC, or the family of lions that compete against Robert for food. The set work is great, but the script could’ve used some work.

iamlegend06

#2 – 28 Weeks Later (2007)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0463854/

The much darker and grittier sequel to the widely successful 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks falls just a bit short of living up to its predecessor. Many fans complained that it was too Hollywoodized for their taste, others were just unhappy we didn’t get our original characters back. 28 Weeks Later takes place, well, 28 weeks after the Rage Virus decimated all of England. With the virus seemingly eliminated, people begin to move back into the deserted city of London. What they don’t know is that the virus has simply been dormant, and soon all Hell breaks loose. What follows is a gritty and gripping thrill ride through an abandoned city. Will we ever get another sequel? We certainly hope so.

28 weeks

#1 – 28 Days Later (2001)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289043/

Of course it was this. What else would it have been? Arguably considered one of the best and most revolutionary horror films of our generation, 28 Days Later tells us the story of what happens 28 days after the end of the world. After being set loose from a lab, the Rage Virus has caused total destruction. And our hero Jim wakes up from a coma 28 Days Later to find his entire country abandoned. Taking place in England (they really just can’t catch a break on this list) we follow a loveable group of survivors trying to survive an apocalyptic plague. Featuring deserted city streets, decaying houses, a darkened London skyline, and an abandoned farm, the film is an absolute triumph. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?

28 Days

*All stills belong to their respective copyright owners.

 

 

Remember the Magic

Journey into the Enchanted Forest

Written by: Sean L.
Photographs by: Amanda H.

Do you feel that? The wind through the trees? The current through the mountain streams? The rays of sunshine peeping through the dark clouds? It’s something that we don’t appreciate enough anymore. They are, dare I say, magic. Our ancestors lived and died with these elemental beings. But magic is something that disappears a little more each day. We’ve forgotten about it. It can be argued that we don’t need it anymore, that it has outlived its purpose. People walk around lost in the screens of their cell phones as opposed to appreciating the natural beauty of our own world. Even as it slowly shrinks from the corners of our universe. But what happens when there’s no more magic? What happens when all that makes the world wondrous and green is gone? What would the world be like without magic? We found out: in the Enchanted Forest.

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It is one of the darker and more ominous places we have ever visited. The Enchanted Forest was a fantasy styled amusement park that opened in 1971. Based out of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, The Enchanted Forest was always more oriented towards children and families with its fairy tale style theme. The main attractions of the park included a live petting zoo, go-cart tracks, a mini-golf course, and a few rides geared more towards its younger audience. For years the park was a mainstay attraction of the local area, with people coming far and wide to visit this fairy tale place. But as time wore on, the magic began to fade. In her final years, attendance and interest in the park began to wane. Finally, in the year 2005, The Enchanted Forest closed forever under financial strain. Though technically still for sale, the park has been left abandoned ever since.

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We made the long journey to The Enchanted Forest on a sunny day during the tail end of winter 2016. She’s not too difficult to find, the only problem is that what’s left of the park sits along a heavily trafficked road. There old parking lot has also been blocked off by large bricks of cement. And to top it all off, the neighbors of this old park do not take kindly to strangers and have no hesitation when it comes to reporting trespassers to the local police. We had heard many stories in our travels of explorers being caught and arrested for trying to sneak into this place. Getting inside is not the difficult part. Slipping inside the park without being noticed and where to park your car are the difficult parts. But, through some strange form of luck, we managed to get inside this former wonderland.

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Regrettably, there isn’t too much to see here. The old rides that once were the star attractions of The Enchanted Forest were sold off to neighboring theme parks long ago. But the large sign still sits out front, bearing a few scars from the elements and the local vandals. Buried in the brush behind the parking lot are the remains of the old petting zoo and mini golf course. Even deeper into the woods is all that is left of the old go-cart track. A couple of old buildings are still standing, though they are clearly very heavily used by the local teenagers. Mountains of trash and liter coat the ground, and the walls have all been defaced by cruel and unusual graffiti. There may have been more left behind here, but it has long since been lost to the think brush and unflinching grasp of the woods.

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If you ever plan on visiting The Enchanted Forest, do not take this journey lightly. It is a dangerous and risky mission, unless of course you know someone in the area. It is a remarkable sight, indeed. Besides the fact it is a local legend, there is just something about this place. Dare I say, enchanting? Or perhaps the better word is magical. You see, whether we acknowledge it or not, there is still magic in this world. And it can be felt strongly here in The Enchanted Forest. You can almost still hear the laughter of the children and families who once frolicked down these old paths. You can almost still see the colorful rides and attractions swirling through the trees. You can almost still feel all of the love and joy that this place must have felt all of those years ago. Though all of that is gone, the magic is still here. You just have to look for it.

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