The perfect accessory for Halloween is waiting for a buyer in western North Carolina: an honest to goodness ghost town on an isolated mountaintop.
Ghost Town in the Sky, referred to by some in North Carolina as “the cursed amusement park,” can be yours for $5.95 million.
Located in Maggie Valley, 150 miles northwest of Charlotte, the site is a former Wild West-themed tourist attraction that is now living up to its name. It even has its own cemetery and saloon, if you’re into that kind of thing.
It’s been called cursed because everything from a mud slides to mysterious equipment failures have plagued the park since it opened in 1961.
Never miss a local story.
Sign up today for unlimited digital access to our website, apps, the digital newspaper and more
The listing by Beverly-Hanks & Associates does not say if ghosts are included among the amenities, but it does indicate that the 250 acres will not be subdivided into smaller tracts for redevelopment.
Ghost Town in the Sky, also known as Ghost Town Village, was long considered one of the nation’s most unusual amusement parks because it sits atop a mountain, like a fortress. It’s accessibly by a long chair lift or an inclined railway. It was long promoted as “North Carolina’s mile-high theme park.”
The theme of the park was killing in the name of justice, old West style. Tourists watched law men and gunfighters shoot it out around 40 antique buildings that appeared to be from the 1800s. Bad men played out their deaths — over and over — in the gravel streets.
In one case, back in 2013, one of the cowboys was wounded for real, when a real bullet somehow made it into a gun.
The shuttered park is now a popular spot for trespassers with drones. Their videos are often posted on YouTube, allowing fans of the park to bemoan its closure while others see unlimited possibilities for its future.
“If your life dream has been to own your own amusement park... experts at Beverly-Hanks are available to help you live the life you choose,” according to a statement released by the seller.
The website RomanticAshville.com states that the park was “wildly popular” in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but lost it’s allure as the country’s love of westerns faded. At it’s peak, 400,000 people visited each season. Attendance dropped by nearly 60,000 annually between 1998 and 2001.
Then, things got worse: In 2002, tourists got stuck on the chairlift for two hours...in the rain.
An attempt was made to remake the park into something called Ghost Town Village with a moonshine theme, but it never opened to the public. It was announced in 2016 that it was being marketed for sale and so it sits., waiting for someone with an imagination to snap it up.
Related stories from The Herald-Sun
The internet has come up with plenty of ideas for how the park could rebound, from a restaurant cluster to a new kind of theme park.
“They could turn it into a Zombie Land Park, since Zombies are all the rage,” posted Jessica Young earlier this year on YouTube. “They could potentially make tons of money from September (to) October by having a Halloween Horror theme too!”