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8 eerie, abandoned amusement parks

By: Matt Hickman on Sept. 2, 2011, 9:12 a.m.
An abandoned Ferris wheel in Pripyat Amusement Park

Photo: Simon Smith/flickr

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Pripyat Amusement Park

Location: Pripyat, Ukraine

Years in operation: 1986

Creepy factor: 10

Although some stories differ, it’s commonly believed that Ukraine’s Pripyat Amusement Park closed on the very same day it opened: April 27, 1986, exactly one day after the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster brought the world to a standstill. Due to the obvious, the entire city of Pripyat, with a population of around 50,000 at the time, was completely forsaken, not just its namesake amusement park. Radiation levels in parts of the park are still dangerously high, but that doesn't discourage adventurous shutterbugs from entering this particularly chilling section of the Zone of Alienation to get a shot of Pripyat’s iconic abandoned Ferris wheel (pictured).