Adventure

Spooky moments in the outlandish Wizard-of-Oz themed park

In 1970, the Land of Oz amusement park which is in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, started welcoming first visitors. Thirty one years after “The Wizard of Oz” being released, fairy tale of little Dorothy lived once again.

The park’s design was much inspired the movie.

Unfortunately, after 10 year operating, the park officially closed due to its owner’s bankruptcy. Nowadays, the park opens on rare occasions. Otherwise, it is completely empty and filled with a spooky and eerie atmosphere. Only photographer Johnny Joo, an explorer who documents abandoned spaces, finds it interesting.

These spooky moments were captured by Joo in a misty and cloudy morning when the park’s eeriness was boldest.

The gate in fog - spooky moments

In the beginning, the Land of Oz was a huge success for Beech Mountain, attracting 400,000 visitors its first summer.

When Joo photographed it last fall, it was a completely different place. “The fog came rolling in, up in the mountains, giving everything such an eerie look to it,” he told Business Insider.

when-joo-photographed-it-last-fall-it-was-a-completely-different-place-the-fog-came-rolling-in-up-in-the-mountains-giving-everything-such-an-eerie-look-to-it-he-told-business-insider

“Everything was so silent. It was actually like stepping into a fantasy world,” he said.

everything-was-so-silent-it-was-actually-like-stepping-into-a-fantasy-world-he-said

The park’s original developer, Grover Robbins, spent $16 million acquiring land in the Beech Mountain area and developing the surrounding resort property.

the-parks-original-developer-grover-robbins-spent-16-million-acquiring-land-in-the-beech-mountain-area-and-developing-the-surrounding-resort-property

The tour through the park was linear, in order of the movie plot. Visitors would start in “Kansas” at Dorothy’s Uncle Henry and Aunt Em’s home.

the-tour-through-the-park-was-linear-in-order-of-the-movie-plot-visitors-would-start-in-kansas-at-dorothys-uncle-henry-and-aunt-ems-home

44,000 bricks were used to build the road.

44000-bricks-were-used-to-build-the-road

Joo respects all the abandoned places he photographs. “I love piecing together the history and past lives lived within these spaces. There are so many pieces of our history scattered all along the country that I feel need to be seen, with many of them currently being ignored,” he said.

An eerie corbner of the bizarre park

Cre: Business Insider

Photos: Johnny Joo

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