Haunted October: Lake Shawnee

Aside from Camden Park in Huntington, there are no other amusement parks in West Virginia… or are there?  It’s true that there are no longer any operating theme parks aside from Camden Park, however, there is one that still draws a crowd even after its heyday is over: Lake Shawnee.

Located just outside of Princeton in the drive-by town of Kegley is a patch of land that houses a small fishing pond, an old pavilion, and if you look carefully through the leaves, an old Ferris wheel and carnival swings.  These are the only remnants left of what used to be Lake Shawnee Amusement Park that operated from 1926 until 1966 and again from 1985 until 1988.


Barely visible through the trees are the old carnival swings and in the background, the Ferris wheel


A brick marker tells the tale of the Mitchell Clay Family Massacre while the carnival swings and Ferris wheel blend into the background


A view of the pond from the road. The pond is still used for fishing tournaments throughout the year.

All sorts of ghost stories surround Lake Shawnee, often stemming from the fact that the park sits on the location of the Mitchell Clay Family Massacre that occurred around 1781.  Other stories have emerged including the death of a young girl in the 1950s who died in an accident on the carnival swings, a young boy who drowned in the pond, and a man who fell to his death from atop the Ferris wheel.  Many ghost seekers and adventurers visit the area in hopes of connecting with spirits and solving the mysteries surrounding Lake Shawnee.

In 2005, Lake Shawnee area was featured on an episode of “Scariest Places on Earth,” which led to an influx of people in the area.    Today, the property is PRIVATELY OWNED by the White family but scheduled tours are welcome (please do not venture onto the property without prior permission).  The property is also host to many fishing tournaments throughout the year.  For more information or to schedule a tour, visit Lake Shawnee’s Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Still want more?  Check out these links for all the ghostly happenings regarding Lake Shawnee:
WV Gazette Article
Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State
Visit WV Official Tourism Page

Happy Haunting!
Sara (WV Travel Queen)