As theme parks worldwide are wrapping up their Halloween celebrations and clearing out their decorations to prepare for the next yearly event, fans may find themselves seeking out one last good scare. Although the ghosts and goblins and ghouls are much fun and set the stage for a fun, spooky event, there are few parks who have the same sort of creepy vibe year round.
For those of you looking for a scare long after the season of the witch, this may be a place even YOU want to avoid.
Paweł ‘pbm’ Szubert, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons 
Located in northern Ukraine, lies the long-abandoned city of Pripyat, the home of the notorious Chernobyl nuclear power plant. After a devastating meltdown in 1986, the entire city was forced to evacuate or risk extensive radiation poisoning. This location with its rapidly deteriorating buildings and eerie lack of sounds and signs of life is creepy enough—but did you know that an entire abandoned amusement park also takes up residence in Pripyat?
The Pripyat amusement park was set to open on May 1, 1986… just a week after the Chernobyl incident took place. Thus, this amusement park never operated, and, because of the hazardous conditions of the surrounding area, it never will. Radiation tests taken around the park indicate that the radiation levels vary, but some areas (particularly those overgrown with brush and moss) are marked as some of the most toxic in all of Pripyat. Because of the location and toxic chemicals wafting through the air and seeping into the ground, a leisure day at this amusement park would be the last you ever enjoyed. 
The allure of an abandoned amusement park in the middle of the exclusion zone is irresistible for a number of urban explorers and  thrill-seekers eager to mark something special off of their bucket list. Photographs taken around the abandoned park are readily available with a quick search, but the images always feel lonely and spooky. 
Since the park was anticipating its opening day when the meltdown occurred, the radioactive amusement park had been in practically pristine condition, untouched by riders. It is rumored that during the evacuation of Pripyat, the amusement park temporarily opened its doors to keep people in high spirits as they moved out of range of the disaster. However, many survivors of the Chernobyl meltdown cannot recall whether or not the park was opened during this time, so this remains a rumor.
Paweł ‘pbm’ Szubert, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia CommonsRegardless, after the evacuation of the area was complete, there was no going back to reopen and operate the park. The toxic chemicals in the air would pose far too great a threat for visitors, and thus, Pripyat’s untouched amusement park was left behind to slowly rot away and be reclaimed by nature. Today, the ferris wheel is still and the bumper cars are trackless, a grim imitation of what may have been if Pripyat had not been so unlucky. 
If given the chance, would you explore this radioactive amusement park? Or would you prefer not to take your chances inside the exclusion zone? Let us know by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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