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This 'Cursed' Theme Park in North Carolina Just Hit the Market & Could Be Yours

There are plenty of ways to beat the lines at amusement parks these days, though they mostly involve paying out the nose for fast-passes and VIP packages...

Beverly Hanks

There are plenty of ways to beat the lines at amusement parks these days, though they mostly involve paying out the nose for fast-passes and VIP packages. Of course, beating the crowds would never be a problem if you had your own theme park. Think that's out of the question? Think again, because a huge wild west-themed park in North Carolina just hit the market for a cool $6 million.

The only catch? It may be cursed.

Although most of us may be focused on finding the funds to secure our first homes, it's never too early to consider your theme park portfolio. Or at least that's what we're telling ourselves after scoping out the Ghost Town in the Sky park 150 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina, which just went on sale for a little under $6 million. The shuttered 60-year-old attraction, located on the top of a mountain in Maggie Valley, was expected to re-open earlier this Spring, but instead its owners decided to sell. 

The 230-acre site, modeled after an old Wild West ghost town and decked out with 40 buildings, rides and roller coasters, was a wildly popular destination in the area for decades, attracting up to 400,000 visitors per year at its height according to the Charlotte Observer. It's also had its fair share of mishaps and financial issues, though, and has opened and closed several times, helping contribute to its alleged "cursed" reputation.

Over the years, there have been attempts to re-imagine the place as a Christian theme park and even a hillbilly theme park, according to the site Roadside America, though none of those took off. As for the mishaps, it once fell victim to a devastating mudslide that forced it to close. Others have involved equipment failures, including one incident that left passengers on its SkyLift trapped there for hours. The worst of the bunch, though, went down in 2013 when a performer in one of its staged gun fights was accidentally shot and wounded by a real bullet during one of the shows. In the intervening years, it's become a popular spot for urban explorers and others who make a hobby of poking around abandoned places. Its current owners cite things like vandalism as part of the reasons its it wasn't able to open as planned earlier this year, per the local ABC affiliate.

Cursed or not, this is still a pretty spectacular opportunity for the right group looking to get their hands on an amusement park with good bones. It's a relative bargain, too, when you consider you'd be paying roughly $2,600 an acre and acquiring some interesting built-in history (good, bad or otherwise). Then again, to bring this place back to life you'd likely need to invest some serious money, particularly considering the amount of sage it's going to take to purge the bad juju. 

h/tCharlotte Observer

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.