Joyland – No joy anymore !
Location: Wichita, Kansas.
Years in operation: 1949-2004
Creepy factor: 7
Decidedly more sad than spooky (save for Louie, the Wurlitzer-playing robo-clown), Wichita’s Joyland, a traditional, family-owned amusement park, became the target of rampant vandalism and destruction after closing in 2004. Margaret Russell, who ran the park with her late husband Stanley since the late 1960s, told the Wichita Eagle: “We’re sick. Our hearts are just sick. It’s not easy, not easy.”
Although Joyland may be gone, leaving behind a heartbroken owner, this Heartland institution has certainly not been forgotten thanks to a haunting short film called “No Joy” from Vimeo user Mike Petty and an entire initiative dedicated to bringing back Joyland to its former glory while adding new attractions.