Monthly Archives: July 2021

Ross D. Wylie: Pop Star and Uptight Presenter

Ross D. Wyllie (born 21 November 1944) is an Australian pop music singer, television presenter and producer from the 1960s and 1970s. Wyllie had a top 20 hit with his cover of Ray Stevens‘ song “Funny Man” and an Australian No. 1 with “The Star”, both in 1969. Originally from Brisbane, he hosted, Uptight, a weekly four-hour music series, on Channel 0 in Melbourne from 1967 to 1969. In 1970 he followed with a similar show, Happening ’70, and from 1978 to 1980, he presented films on a late-night time slot.

Biography

Ross D. Wyllie was born in Ashgrove, Queensland on 21 November 1944,[1][2] to Harold John Wyllie (1913–), an army sergeant serving during world war 2, and Jean nee Jennings (c. 1920–2002).[3][4] He was raised in Brisbane with two siblings.[3][5] As a child he contracted poliomyelitis and for most of his adult life he had a limp.[1] In 1964 he joined a pop band, the Kodiaks, as lead singer.[6] By 1967, as a solo artist, he signed with the Ivan Dayman‘s label, Sunshine Records, and released his debut single, “Short Skirts”.[7] He was backed by label-mates, the Escorts.[6] His next single, “A Bit of Love”, followed later that year,[7] using only studio musicians.

Wyllie relocated to Melbourne and, on 28 October 1967, became the host of a new pop music TV show, Uptight, for local Channel 0.[6] He signed with Festival Records and released a non-charting single, “Smile”, in April 1968.[6] Uptight ran as a Saturday morning three-hour show until 1969.[6][8] By that time it was being produced by Bob Fraser and the presenter’s wife, Eileen Wyllie, for Jardine Productions.[9][10][11] Molly Meldrum was a regular member of the on-air team. Uptight – Party Time, by Ross D. Wyllie and the Uptight Party Team, was issued via Calendar/Festival Records in 1968.[10][12] The record was produced by Roger Savage.[10] It contains two side-long medleys of then-current songs including, “Midnight Hour”, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Day Tripper”.[13]

Wyllie had a No. 17 hit on Go-Set‘s National Top 40 in July 1969, with his cover of Ray Stevens‘ song, “Funny Man”.[14][15] His National No. 1 hit, “The Star”, followed in November.[16]“The Star”, written by Johnny Young, was later covered by United Kingdom act Herman’s Hermits as “Here Comes the Star”.[8][17]

In 1970 Uptight was replaced on Channel 0 by a one-hour pop music series, Happening ’70, with Wyllie retained as host and Eileen as producer.[9] In April he released a double-A-sided single, “Free Born Man” / “My Little Girl”, but its sales were affected by the radio ban, during which commercial stations refused to play recordings by Festival Records (among others) from May to October.[18] The singer, presenter left Melbourne to return to Brisbane late in 1970 and was replaced on Happening ’71, in April 1971, by Jeff Phillips.[6][19]

In 1971 Wyllie signed with the Fable label and released a single, “He Gives Us All His Love”, in April. He followed with “It Takes Time” in August and “Sweet White Dove” in May 1972. He then turned to the pub and club circuit. Later he formed a production company with fellow pop singer, Ronnie Burns, and talent manager, Jeff Joseph. With Tony Healy he created a public relations company. In the late 1970s he presented a late-night movie show on Melbourne’s Channel 0–10.[6] During the mid-1970s Wyllie opened and operated a record retail store in Bayswater, Arch Rivals.

In May 1988 Festival Records released, Smile: The Festival Files Volume Ten, a compilation album of Wyllie’s singles, as a part of their Festival File series.[10][20] In a review of the collection for The Canberra Times, Stuart Coupe observed, “Star of Uptight, Wyllie’s run of hits ended in the early ’70s. This is probably the least interesting of the albums in this series, but at worst is a curio item.”[20] In August 2003 Wyllie performed an Uptight-themed variety show at the Palais Theatre, Melbourne, reuniting with other 1960s performers.[21]

Aztec Records released another compilation, Ross D. Wyllie: the Complete Collection, in August 2014.[22][23][24] Paul Cashmere of Noise11 described it as “the first definitive career overview of 60s pop star.”[23] Toorak Times‘ Gary Turner observed, “[it features] all the classic hits including ‘Funny Man’, ‘The Star’, ‘My Little Girl’, ‘Smile’, ‘Uptight Party Medley’, ‘Short Skirts’ and many more tracks including tracks live from Festival Hall Melbourne in 1994.”[24] Wyllie and Eileen were still living in Melbourne as from September 2014.[24] During November 2016 Wyllie used a crowd funding site to attempt to raise money for a motorised wheelchair.[1]

Discography

Compilation albums

TitleDetailsUptight – Party Time(by Ross D. Wyllie and the Uptight Party Team)

  • Released: 1969
  • Label: Calendar / Festival Records (R66-522)

Smile: The Festival Files Volume Ten

  • Released: May 1988
  • Label: Festival Records (L-19010)

Ross D. Wyllie: The Complete Collection[22]

  • Released: 14 August 2014
  • Label: Aztec Records (AVSCD071)

EPs

Title Details Funny Man

  • Released: 1969
  • Label: Festival Records (FX11618)

Singles

List of singles, with Australianchart positions

Year

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

Title

Short Skirts

A Bit Of Love

Smile

Funny Man (No.17 on charts)

The Star (No.1 on charts)

My Little Girl (No.65 on charts)

He Gives Us All His Love (No.42 on charts)

It Takes Time (No78 on charts)

Sweet White Dove (No.99 on charts)

Reference

General

Specific

  1. ^ a b c Knox, David (30 November 2016). “GoFundMe Page for 60s Pop Star Ross D. Wyllie”. TV Tonight. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2018. Ross contracted polio at an early age and now at age 72 is in need of a customised, motorised wheelchair and a scooter to get around.
  2. ^ “‘Childs Dream’ at APRA search engine”. Australasian Performing Right Association(APRA). Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b “Family Notices”. The Sunday Mail (762). Brisbane, Qld. 26 November 1944. p. 8. Retrieved 25 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ “Wyllie, Harold John Marshall”. World War Two Nominal Roll. Commonwealth of Australia. 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  5. ^ “Family Notices”. The Telegraph. City Final Last Minute News. Brisbane, Qld. 14 July 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 25 July 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for “Ross D. Wyllie”. Archived from the original on 19 April 2004. Retrieved 11 June2016.. Retrieved 20 November 2010. Note: McFarlane gives birth year as 1948.
  7. ^ a b Kimball, Duncan (2002). “Record Labels – Sunshine Records”. Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b “The Star”. Where Did They Get That Song?. PopArchives (Lyn Nuttall). Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  9. ^ a b Nelson, Stuart (2013), Stammer your way to success: From a suburban orphanage to an international career, Xlibris, pp. 56–8, ISBN 978-1-4836-0207-3
  10. ^ a b c d Uptight. Australian Television Memorabilia Guide. Nodette Enterprises Pty Ltd. 2009. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  11. ^ Nichols, David (2016), Dig: Australian rock and pop music, 1960-85, Portland, OR: Verse Chorus Press, p. 202, ISBN 978-1-891241-61-1
  12. ^ Kimball, Duncan (2002). “Record Labels – Calendar Records”. Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  13. ^ Wyllie, Ross D; Uptight Party Team (1960), Uptight Party Time, Calendar, retrieved 11 November 2017
  14. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (19 July 1969). Go-SetNational Top 40 with Ed Nimmervoll”. Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 20 November2010.
  15. ^ “Funny Man”. Where Did They Get That Song?. PopArchives (Lyn Nuttall). Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  16. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (15 November 1969). Go-Set National Top 40 with Ed Nimmervoll”. Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  17. ^ Nichols, David (2006). “‘Does the meaning mean a thing?’ Johnny Young’s Hit Songs of the 60s–70s – DRO”. ACH: The Journal of the History of Culture in Australia. Routledge. 24: 163–84. hdl:10536/DRO/DU:30003708. ISBN 1-92084-525-9. ISSN 0728-8433.
  18. ^ Kent, David Martin (September 2002). “Appendix 6: The Record Ban” (PDF). The place of Go-Set in rock and pop music culture in Australia, 1966 to 1974 (MA). Canberra, ACT: University of Canberra. pp. 265–269. Archived from the original (Portable Document Format (PDF)) on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2017. Note: This PDF is 282 pages.
  19. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). “Encyclopedia entry for ‘Jeff Phillips'”. Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 20 April 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  20. ^ a b Coupe, Stuart (29 May 1988). “Music: New Release a Festival of Australian Memories”. The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). National Library of Australia. p. 18. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  21. ^ Cashmere, Paul. (28 July 2003), “Melbourne Gets Uptight”. Archived from the original on 15 December 2003. Retrieved 28 June 2007.. Undercover Music News(Undercover Media). Retrieved on 20 November 2010.
  22. ^ a b Wyllie, Ross D (2014), Ross D. Wyllie: the Complete Collection, Collingwood, Vic: Aztec Records, retrieved 11 November 2017
  23. ^ a b Cashmere, Paul (1 September 2014). “Ross D Wyllie Complete Collection Released”. Noise11. Paul Cashmere, Ros O’Gorman. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  24. ^ a b c Turner, Gary (18 September 2014). Ross D. Wylie The Complete Collectionremastered”. Toorak Times. Retrieved 20 January 2018. Note: Last name is incorrectly given as “Wylie”, although corrected in first sentence.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Austr
  26. alian Chart Book. p. 344. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  27. ^ “Who’s who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry”. catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 8 November 2

What the Hell is a Doodlebug?

A doodlebug is much more than just a bug. (Photo: Scott Robinson/Flickr)

“DOODLEBUG” IS ONE OF THOSE quaint old terms that seems to have been around forever, and crops up in the news repeatedly: this past year saw the discovery of an orphaned kangaroo by that name and deep dive on the actual insect. At this point, though, the word can be used for any number of meanings from someone who simply likes to draw, to a person who wastes all sorts of time.

So what exactly is a doodlebug? All of these things.

1. A simpleton or time-waster

Just look at this doodlebug… (Photo: Library of Congress/Wikipedia)

The term “doodle” actually dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a pejorative to describe simpletons. Over the next couple of centuries it increasingly came to be used as a verb meaning to waste or fritter away time, and it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that it seems to have taken on the specific association with drawing and scribbling. The term “doodlebug” seems to have arisen in 1800s, initially meant to once again mean, “idiot.” Today, the term has evolved to describe someone who incessantly draws.

2. An actual bug

Doodlebug seems like a pretty cute name for this monster. (Photo: Jonathan3784 on Wikipedia)

The other most frequently used meaning of doodlebug is probably as a description of an actual insect. Doodlebugs, as they refer to an actual creature are usually associated with ant lions in their larval form. These squat little bugs, who mostly live in loose sand where they create pit traps, earned their goofy nicknames not because they are thought to be stupid, but instead because of their unintentional drawings. When the (frankly kind of scary-looking) ants move through the sand, their big butts drag behind them, leaving behind scribbly little trails. While ant lions are the most well known as doodlebugs, the term has also been used to describe other insects like pill bugs and some beetles, although this seems to be earned simply thanks to how goofy the nickname sounds.

3. Someone in the business, reputable and otherwise, of locating oil deposits

Doodlebugging was once pretty close to dowsing for water. (Photo: Wikipedia)

This usage of doodlebug actually started as an insult but seems to have been coopted as an affectionate name for those bold souls who head out in search of black gold. Dating back to 1940s America, the a “doodlebug” initially referred to devices that were said to be able to locate oil deposits, although in in the day, they were mainly just scams as miraculous oil detecting technology did not actually exist. The snake oil salesmen who peddled such devices came to be known as doodlebuggers. However, as the technology progressed, and more reliable methods of finding underground oil actually emerged, doodlebuggers came to mean people who head out into the wild and use actual methods (usually seismic mapping) to try natural resources trapped underground. It seems to be a much more affectionate nickname today.

4. A World War II-era drone bomb

The Nazis were into drones too. (Photo: Jessica Paterson/Flickr)

Long before we were afraid of drone aircraft zooming silently overhead, there was were V-1 flying bombs, otherwise known as “doodlebugs.” This Nazi missile looked like a small plane, but inside was nothing but machinery and death. During World War II, the large bombs were deployed against Britain with devastating effect before countermeasures were developed that made the bomb planes essentially obsolete. The bombs got their misleadingly whimsical nickname from the sound their pulsejet engines as they flew overhead.

Alternately they were also known as “buzzbombs.” The nickname would later be applied to other experimental aircraft as well.

5. A self-propelled rail car

All aboard the doodlebug! (Photo: N2xjk/Wikipedia)

In the early 20th century, short rail lines and tracks that were in light use would employ single, self-propelled train cars that were known as “doodlebugs.” These autonomous cars were a welcome alternative to large locomotives and carriage cars, and often ran on gasoline or electricity. The nickname supposedly popped up when the first of these cars hit the tracks and a rail person described it as a “potato bug” (see above) which morphed into doodlebug.

6. A DIY tractor

This ol’ doodlebug has seen better days. (Photo: David Berry/Flickr)

From the Great Depression on into the World War II, material resources were scarce in America’s heartland, but that didn’t stop them from working! During this period a specific variety of homemade tractor began to pop up on farms across the country. Generally using old cars as the base, inventive farmers would crop and chop the vehicles into makeshift tractors most often called, doodlebugs (they were also known as Friday tractors and scrambolas, among other names). The conversions became so popular that custom kits even began being sold through catalogs.

6. Brogan Doodlebug: Frank Brogan Offered “Minimal Motoring” in Small Numbers

Sleek 1946 Brogan Doodlebug looked like an escapee from an amusement park.

Minimal motoring” – small, no-frills, basic transportation – has never satisfied the American automobilist. In 1912, a cyclecar craze began in Europe and quickly spread to the United States, where more than 200 manufacturers sprouted and shriveled within 18 months. After Ford stopped producing the Model T in 1927, upstarts like Martin, Littlemac, American Austin, and Bantamattempted to fill the economy car void. But the public preferred large used cars over tiny small ones.

However, as the supply of dependable used cars dried up during World War II, pilot Frank Brogan believed attitudes would change. His B & B Specialty Company at Rossmoyne, Ohio, primarily manufactured a variety of screws, fasteners, and other machine products. But he also created the lightweight Brogan Foldable Monoplane that could be towed from the airport to the owner’s home for garage storage. Later, he designed a motor scooter for his daughter. And in 1944, his wife asked him to design a small car to make shopping tasks easier for women whose husbands took their primary vehicles to work.

So, Frank Brogan crafted a sleek, two-passenger runabout he called the Brogan Doodlebug. It featured a highly streamlined steel body with headlights and windshield posts seamlessly blended in. The topless, doorless three-wheeler measured 96 inches long, rolled on a 66-inch wheelbase, and could be turned around within its own length. With the buyer’s choice of rear-mounted, single-cylinder Briggs & Stratton or twin-cylinder Onan air-cooled engines, the Doodlebug could achieve a top speed of 45 miles per hour and travel nearly 70 miles on a gallon of gas.

Brogan designed the Doodlebug especially for women, so he made sure operation and maintenance were easy. Gear-shifting was automated using a mercury-actuated system similar to fluid drive, which eliminated the clutch pedal. Changing the hidden front tire simply required popping out the grille and unscrewing two bolts. The engine was removed just as quickly—lift the rear deck lid, release three pins, disconnect the gas line, and lift the engine from its position beside the five-gallon fuel tank and battery. Frank Brogan referenced an October 1944 clipping from The Washington Post, which featured Ray Russell’s Gadabout in his patent application.

After photos of the Doodlebug appeared in the nation’s newspapers and popular magazines, Brogan received an average of 200 postcards and letters per month. Requests to buy and distribute came from every state and 20 foreign countries. Brogan hand-built 30 Doodlebugs and sold them for $400 each before realizing he lost $100 on every car he turned out. Tooling for mass production required $150,000 that he didn’t have, so he suspended Doodlebug sales. Instead, he used the same chassis design for the three-wheeled Errand Boy delivery scooter, and developed the four-wheeled Brogan-Truck pickup and delivery van. Brogan-Trucks featured one steerable wheel upfront and three independently sprung wheels in the rear with power transferred via chain to the center rear wheel. The odd configuration eliminated the need for a costly differential. Brogan-Truck prices started at $450, and Frank Brogan sold more than 200 of them. But he still wanted to build passenger cars.

Ten-horsepower Doodlebug rolled on a 66-inch wheelbase

More information on Frank Brogan and his inventions is available from the second link below/

Reference

The Outrageous Story Of Amelia Bloomer And The Fashion Trend That Infuriated Victorian Men

In 1851, an American editor named Amelia Bloomer wrote an article in support of female pantaloons — inspiring women to wear a controversial garment called “bloomers.”

Amelia Bloomer
Getty ImagesAmerican suffragist Amelia Bloomer dared to suggest that women wear trousers under their skirts.

In the 1850s, crushing corsets, heavy skirts, and a half-dozen petticoats weighed women down as a literal hamper to their quest for liberation. So one women’s rights activist named Amelia Bloomer thought to change that by way of an outfit that became known as “bloomers.”

Even though bloomers still kept women covered from their necks to their feet, the garment sparked a backlash from anti-suffragists that was so fierce even Bloomer herself abandoned the new fashion. 

As Amelia Bloomer’s suffragist friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton privately confessed, “Had I counted the cost of the short dress, I would never have put it on.”

This is the story of how bloomers completely backfired — and almost stalled the women’s rights movement in America.

Who Was Amelia Bloomer?

Amelia Jenks Bloomer
Seneca Falls Historical SocietyBloomer in the notorious pantaloons or “pantalettes.”

Born in 1818 in rural New York, Amelia Bloomer began her career as a humble teacher, but then she moved to Seneca Falls, a city that hosted a vibrant community of women’s rights activists.

In 1848, Bloomer attended the historic Seneca Falls Convention, where suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott discussed the condition of women’s rights in the United States. 

The experience inspired Bloomer to found a newspaper called The Lily, which was dedicated to the growing fight for gender equality. It was the first American newspaper edited by a woman.

While encouraging increased access for women in education and in the ballot box, Bloomer waded into another major issue in the 19th-century women’s rights movement: fashion.

Victorian women were weighed down by pounds of petticoats and heavy corsets, a stark representation of their muted voices outside of the home. Additionally, the heavy styles of the mid-1800s weren’t just uncomfortable — they could prove deadly. 

Tightly laced corsets impaired breathing, and flammable crinolines burned3,000 women to death between 1850 and 1860. Additionally, bulky garments got caught in newfangled machines, injuring and killing women. 

Bloomer thus wondered, could a change in style change the condition of women?

The Invention Of Bloomers

In 1851, Amelia Bloomer read an editorial from a man who recently became supportive of the women’s suffrage movement in which he suggested that women adopt “Turkish pantaloons and a skirt reaching a little below the knee” as an alternative their current clothes.

The notion of loose pantaloons stuck with her.

Around the same time, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s cousin, Elizabeth Smith Miller, showed up in “Turkish trousers” that she’d designed herself. 

Miller explained that long skirts impeded her work in the garden. In a moment of frustration, she declared, “This shackle should no longer be endured.” Miller donned “Turkish trousers to the ankle with a skirt reaching some four inches below the knee.”

Bloomer quickly adopted the style herself. Then, she promoted the new fashion to her readers.

The idea caught fire. Women wrote from across the country and subscriptions to The Lily skyrocketed. The outfit, once called a “freedom dress” or “Turkish pantaloons,” had earned a new name: bloomers. 

“As soon as it became known that I was wearing the new dress,” Bloomer wrote, “letters came pouring in upon me by hundreds from women all over the country making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns—showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts.”

Stanton declared that bloomers made her feel “like a captive set free from his ball and chain.” In August 1851, American suffragists made the trend international when they wore bloomers to the World’s Peace Congress in London. 

The Backlash Against Amelia Bloomer’s Costume

The style certainly caused an uproar. Magazines demonized bloomers as “a sort of shemale dress.” Gangs of boys harassed “Bloomerites” on the streets. 

Stanton confessed that her own father banned her from wearing bloomers at his house and her sister “actually wept.” Men declared “they would not vote for a man whose wife wore the Bloomers.”

Stanton eventually gave up on bloomers herself, returning to “uncomfortable, inconvenient, and many times dangerous” Victorian dresses. “We put the dress on for greater freedom, but what is physical freedom compared with mental bondage?” She wrote. “By all means have the new dress made long.”

Women In Bloomers
Punch/Wikimedia CommonsWomen who dared to wear bloomers marked themselves as radicals, according to critics. “Bloomerites” would surely break other gender norms, like smoking in public.

But Amelia Bloomer continued to wear her namesake trousers for years. She did eventually return to petticoats and full-length skirts and tried to frame the retreat as a victory. 

“We all felt that the dress was drawing attention from what we thought of far greater importance — the question of woman’s right to better education, to a wider field of employment, to better remuneration for her labor, and to the ballot for the protection of her rights,” she wrote.

“In the minds of some people, the short dress and woman’s rights were inseparably connected. With us, the dress was but an incident, and we were not willing to sacrifice greater questions to it.”

Suffragists Abandon Bloomers

Why did bloomers spark such a backlash? Amelia Bloomer had a theory. By donning pants, women visibly likened themselves to men. The bloomers hinted at a larger-scale “usurpation of the rights of man,” Bloomer lamented. 

For generations, bloomers were linked with all kinds of subversive female behavior. Once women put on trousers, critics argued, they’d begin smoking cigars, working as police officers, and engaging in lewd behavior. 

In Bloomer’s day, suffragists thus retreated to a less controversial fashion statement: Susan B. Anthony tied a simple red shawl around her neck. The Philadelphia Press lavished praise on Anthony for her “plain dress and quaint red shawl,” a look deemed appropriately matronly.

Anthony’s clothes offered “not a hint of mannishness but all that man loves and respects. What man could deny any right to a woman like that?”

Amelia Bloomer tried to improve women’s lives by lightening their burden and increasing their mobility. But trousers were men’s domain, and when women donned them, they threatened the gender order. 

A quiet, red shawl could be forgiven — but bloomers were apparently too much.

Best known for her trousers today, Amelia Bloomer devoted her life to women’s suffrage.

Reference

  • The Outrageous Story Of Amelia Bloomer And The Fashion Trend That Infuriated Victorian Men, All That’s Interesting, 9 June 2021, by , By Genevieve Carlton | Checked By Jaclyn Anglis https://allthatsinteresting.com/amelia-bloomer

The World’s Creepiest Abandoned Theme Parks

Theme parks that fall into disrepair seem to receive the same fate around the world: rusting roller coasters, overgrown swings and the eerie absence of children’s laughter.

From giant, decaying Gulliver statues to an overgrown yellow brick road, these are the theme parks left to the annals of time. A creepy experience awaits all who enter.
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1. Dadipark, Belgium

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Decaying Dadipark (Image: Reginald Dierckx/Flickr)

Opened in 1950, Dadipark, Dadizele, was closed in 2002, reportedly after a young boy had his arm ripped off on the Nautic Jet water ride.

RobertKuehne/Shutterstock

Starting life in the 1950s as a church playground, Belgium’s Dadipark was transformed into an amusement park in the 1980s. Although it was initially popular, with a million people visiting at its peak, disaster loomed.

Pel Laurens/Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0

In 2000, a child lost his arm on one of the rides and two years later the park closed. This was supposedly due to renovations, but these refurbishments never happened and the park was eventually abandoned.

Pel Laurens/Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0

However, unlike many other deserted amusement parks which become tourist attractions in their own right, Dadipark is set to soon be transformed into a residential area, with the rides demolished and a grassy recreational area planned instead.

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2. Okpo Land, South Korea

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Fatal Okpo Land (Image: Reginald Dierckx/Flickr)

A once-popular theme park at the southern tip of South Korea. It was shut down in 1999 after a number of fatal accidents.

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3. Land of Oz, North Carolina

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Land of Oz charred (Image: Thomas Kerns)

A Wizard of Oz-themed amusement park in North Carolina, the Land of Oz was deemed a success when it opened in 1970. However, it closed in 1980, after a fire in 1975, reportedly started by disgruntled former employees, destroyed some of its Oz artifacts, including the dress worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film.

It was hoped the park might become a year-round attraction as a ski resort, but these hopes were not fulfilled. There are few things creepier than a yellow brick road left to rot.

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4. Gulliver’s Kingdom, Japan

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Fallen Gulliver (Image: Mandias/flickr)

Only open for four years from 1997 to 2001, Gulliver’s Kingdom was built near Mount Fuji near Aokigahara, an infamous suicide spot. The park was based on the novel Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, as the giant creepy Gulliver statue is testament to.

Mandias/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In prime position in the park was an enormous 147-foot (45m) statue of Lemuel Gulliver, tied to the ground by tiny Lilliputians as per the story. It’s not just this eerie statue that put off visitors though. The location of the park was inauspicious – it sat next to both Aokigahara, a dense forest where an unusually high number of people have taken their own life and also the former headquarters of Aum Shinrikyo, a religious cult that killed 13 people in a nerve gas attack in Tokyo March 1995.

Mandias/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The park opened in 1997, but closed just four years later after failing to attract visitors. Gulliver’s Kingdom was then demolished in 2007, leaving just concrete slabs and exposed foundations where the creepy statue once lay.


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5. Pripyat Amusement Park, Chernobyl, Ukraine

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Pripyat radiated (Image: Getty)

Perhaps one of the world’s best-known abandoned theme parks, the park near Chernobyl was due to open on May 1, 1986. Then three days earlier on April 26, disaster struck Chernobyl. The park opened for a few hours the following day to entertain locals before the city’s population was ordered to evacuate.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

This now derelict amusement part tells a wider, more tragic story than just a few abandoned Ferris wheels. Located in Pripyat, Ukraine, the park was one of the many areas of the city to be left behind by residents after the devastating Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

Foxytail/Shutterstock

The explosion halted the park’s opening, which was supposed to take place just four days later, and so it was left to be swallowed by nature. Over 30 years on, the rides are covered in rust and there’s not a soul to be seen.

Kateryna Upit/Shutterstock

Its rusting Ferris wheel has become a symbol of the disaster, standing motionless in the abandoned city, which is much like a ghost town, except for the occasional tour group exploring to understand the catastrophe for themselves.

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6. Encore Garden, Taiwan

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Tragic Encore Garden (Image: Alexander Synaptic/Flickr)

The park in the hills above Taichung City closed after the 921 earthquake in Taiwan in 1999, which killed more than 2,400 people.
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7. Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

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Spreepark has a history (Image: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty)

Shut in 2001, Berlin’s Spreepark opened in 1969 as East Germany’s only amusement park and welcomed 1.5 million visitors a year in its heyday. When it closed, due to falling visitor numbers, owner Norbert Witte packed up six of the park’s most popular rides into shipping containers and had them sent to Peru – a new park in Lima never quite took off and Witte’s problems grew when some of the rides were shipped back to Germany and customs officers discovered 167 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the mast of the Flying Carpet. Tours of the abandoned park ran until last year when the city council put up a perimeter fence to protect the remaining rides.

RobertKuehne/Shutterstock

Spreepark once saw over 1.5 million visitors a year, but decades after it opened in 1969, the park ran up millions of euros worth of debt, and it couldn’t renovate the rides that needed attention. It eventually fell into disrepair, and today stands abandoned east of the German capital.

Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images

Despite its closure, the amusement park is still popular with locals, who visit the ghostly site now used for events, performances, festivals, markets and screenings.

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Originally known as Plänterwald, the park was renamed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991 to Spreepark. And there’s hope for yet another new chapter in the park’s history too. Thanks to a regeneration project that includes a beer garden, exhibition space and even a rebuilt Ferris wheel, the site could welcome thrill-seekers again in 2022.

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8. Jazzland, New Orleans

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Flooded Jazzland (Image: Matt Ewalt/Flickr)

Originally opened by Alfa Smartparks, Jazzland was bought by Six Flags in 2002. The attractions company turned around the park’s fortunes and planned to turn it into a water park. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit, devastating the park and flooding much of it. The park never reopened and is now owned by the City of New Orleans. It lies abandoned.

Erik Jorgensen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Instead of the screams of joy and laughter once heard in the park, it’s now silent, with graffiti gracing almost every surface, and disused roller coasters, dodgems and Ferris wheels rusting away, never to be used again.

Erik Jorgensen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

It’s not always abandoned, though, as the park occasionally sees life as a filming location. Blockbusters such as Jurassic World and Dawn of the Planet of the Apeshave been filmed here. There have been talks of redeveloping the park but nothing has ever stuck, and in 2019 the mayor said they were considering demolition. Today, though, it still stands as a example of the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina.


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9. Dunblobbin, Crinkley Bottom Theme Park, England

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Rotting Dunblobbin (Image: Urbanexboi/SWNS

Originally part of Noel Edmond’s Crinkley Bottom theme park, Dunblobbin, Mr Blobby’s once-home, was abandoned and left to rot after the rest of the park in Somerset was renovated and turned into a hotel and wildlife park. Rumour has it the ghost of the ’90s television character haunts this rundown shack.
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10. Dogpatch USA, Arkansas

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Deadly Dogpatch (Image: Clinton Steeds/Flickr)

The ownership of Dogpatch USA changed hands a number of times before the park closed in 2002. It was put on eBay for US$1 million (A$1.4 million) in 2002, but there were no bids. In 2005 a teenager was driving through the park, he says with the owner’s permission, when he collided with a length of wire strung between two trees and was nearly decapitated. After a successful lawsuit, he was awarded the deed to Dogpatch when the owners failed to pay compensation. There are murmurings of a reopening.
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11. Dreamland, Margate, England

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Dreamland slumbers (Image: Deadmanjones/Flickr)

The Kent attraction is set to reopen this summer as a “Reimagined Dreamland” following an 11-year campaign to save the amusement park from destruction. It was first opened in 1880 but closed in 2003 after a number of rides were sold to other theme parks.
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12. Cornwall Coliseum, England

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Silent Gossips (Image: ndl642m/Flickr)

Dating back to the 1930s, the entertainment complex became increasingly popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s before losing business to the Plymouth Pavilions in 1991. The venue declined until 2003 when only the Gossips nightclub remained. Development plans are said to be in the pipeline but no work has begun.
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13. Camelot, Lancashire, England

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Camelot lost (Image: ndl642m/Flickr)

Based on the story of the Knights of the Round Table, Camelot opened in 1983 on land once covered by the largest lake in England, Martin Mere, also known as the Lost Lake of Sir Lancelot after it is believed that Sir Lancelot’s parents fled to its shores from enemies in France. After it closed in 2009, numerous plans have failed to develop the area and so it lies in ruin.

JKinson/Wikimedia/CC0

Located in the English county of Lancashire, this theme park opened in 1983 and was a popular family attraction.Now however, this incarnation of Camelot has sadly seen better days. It operated for almost 30 years, but visitor numbers and poor food ratings led to the park’s downfall. Its closure was finally announced in 2012, and some of its rides and roller coasters were sold off. You can ride the Whirlwind, for example, at Germany’s Skyline Park. 

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The Magical Kingdom of Camelot, to give it its full name, had roller coasters, children’s rides and staff dressed in medieval costumes. The site has had a few ups and downs since closure, with planning sought for a housing development quashed by the council, and another plan for new homes jettisoned by the developers in 2018. Today, parts of the park remain in a state of disrepair, with some rides such as Knightmare, pictured, only removed and sold for scrap in February 2020.


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14. Pontins, Blackpool, England

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Perished Pontins (Image: Getty)

The Blackpool holiday park closed in 2009 after steadily falling visitor numbers. It has been earmarked for redevelopment with planning permission granted for housing but as yet remains half-demolished. A Pontins holiday resort in Hemsby, Norfolk, met a similar fate.
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15. Geauga Lake, Ohio

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Geauga stagnant (Image: Getty)

Opened in 1887, the amusement park ran alongside a water park until 2007 when the former closed. It remains empty while the water park still operates today as Wildwater Kingdom.

16. Boomers! Dania Beach, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

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Is there anything creepier than a frozen Ferris wheel or a creaking roller coaster track? At these abandoned theme parks, there’s no fun to be had. Some were left to rot and ruin after natural disasters, while others suffered nuclear catastrophe or financial struggle. Click through to see haunting images of some of creepiest abandoned amusement parks in the world.

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The Hurricane, a 100-foot-tall (30m) wooden roller coaster, was the main attraction at Boomers! Park in Dania Beach. It was the longest wooden roller coaster in Florida when it first opened in 2000 and, although it was part of the Boomers! Park, it was owned and operated independently. It was shut down by its operators in 2011 with the owners citing “business reasons”. It’s thought the humid climate in Florida made maintaining the roller coaster unviable.

David Bulit/Shutterstock

The rest of the park stayed open, attracting visitors to its colourful mini-golf course and arcades until April 2015, when the park was closed to make way for development.

David Bulit/Shutterstock

However, once closed, the park lay dormant for long enough to let the vegetation take over a little. While several plans to demolish the roller coaster and the buildings on site were made over the years, it wasn’t until recently that a new development started taking shape. Now called Dania Pointe, it’s a 102-acre space with offices, luxury apartments, retail stores and restaurants

17. Joyland Amusement Park, Kansas, USA

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Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas opened in the 1940s and was once the largest theme park in central Kansas, with a wooden roller coaster and 24 other rides. It enjoyed a long life, entertaining residents of the state and visitors passing through. But in 2004, disaster struck.

Randy/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The park was the scene of a serious accident in which a teenager fell from the Ferris wheel and was injured. Joyland was then closed and, apart from a brief lease of life in 2006, remained empty and grew increasingly dilapidated, with vandals and thieves flocking to the deserted space to break windows, start fires and mark it with graffiti.

Randy/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In 2015, after more drama including severe windstorms, alleged arson attacks and looting, demolition began. Locals, some of whom had visited with three generations of their family, stopped by to take their last photos of the park before the attractions were hauled away.

18. Nara Dreamland, Japan

JP Haikyo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Japan certainly has its fair share of creepy theme parks. Nara Dreamland, in southern Japan, was opened in the 1960s as the country’s “answer to Disneyland”. It was dreamt up by a local businessman, who was inspired after a trip to the USA.

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It was a reasonably popular theme park, but as Universal Studios Japan opened, visitor numbers dwindled. The park was closed in 2006, and it soon became popular with urban explorers. Those fascinated by ruined landscapes visited the park to take photos and explore the empty rides.

thecrypt/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Until 2016, when demolition of the park began, it had been abandoned for ten years and resembled a ‘nightmare-land’ rather than a Dreamland, with rust and overgrown foliage engulfing the roller coaster tracks, and the sinister silence of desolate rides.

19. Yongma Land, Seoul, South Korea

Christian Bolz/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

This tiny abandoned theme park has now become an attraction in itself. While you can’t ride the merry go rounds or dodgems at Yongma Land, pay a small fee to enter and you can wander among the derelict grounds as you wish.

Christian Bolz/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

Established in 1980, Yongma was popular with the locals in Seoul. But when Lotte World opened in 1989, featuring indoor and outdoor rides, Yongma lost favour, and the park’s income dwindled. It was closed in 2011 due to suffering profits.

Christian Bolz/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

Today, the park is popular with photographers who come to take artistic shots of its once bright and breezy attractions. It has appeared in music videos, and is now owned by a local businessman who will turn on the lights of the carousel for you for a fee.

20. Wonderland, China

Joe Wolf/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

This Chinese theme park never welcomed visitors. Wonderland, around 20 miles (32km) outside of Beijing, was pipped to be the largest amusement park in Asia, but it was a promise that proved too big for the developers.

Joe Wolf/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

Construction was halted after disagreements over property prices and a political corruption scandal. Ever since, the park – which was only partially constructed and is now littered with half-finished buildings – has been mostly empty, drawing only photographers and local kids to explore its eerie skeleton.

Joe Wolf/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

After 15 years of abandonment, much of the attraction was demolished in 2013, leaving only foundations in place of the empty buildings. Reports have said that a luxury shopping centre will be built in its place.

21. Ho Thuy Tien, Hue, Vietnam

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Today, it stands abandoned and its water slides, the only attraction that was ready at the time of opening, lie dormant with no gushing water and screeching thrill-seekers. Instead, you’ll just see the odd curious backpacker, and perhaps a herd of cows who are now helping keep the weeds at bay.

strny/Shutterstock

Set in lush countryside around five miles (8km) to the south of the city of Hue in central Vietnam, it’s easy to see the potential this aqua adventure park once held. But the once blue splash pools are now smelly and stagnant, and the flumes have been left to rot.

MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps the most intriguing structure in the park is this giant sculpture of a dragon, overlooking a lake. Urban explorers have even climbed inside, via a staircase located in the beast’s body, to peer out from its gnashing teeth.

22. Ghost Town in the Sky, Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA

Abandoned Southeast

Known as Ghost Town in the Sky, this abandoned Wild West-themed amusement park has seen as many ups and downs as its Red Devil roller coaster pictured here. Located on Buck Mountain, a mountaintop site towards the bottom of the Great Smoky Mountains, the park opened in 1961 and closed for good in 2016. Today it lies in ruins. It’s featured here courtesy of Abandoned Southeast, in images taken by photographer Leland Kent.

Abandoned Southeast

At the height of its popularity, Ghost Town attracted thousands of guests every year. In the early 1970s, the park welcomed 400,000 visitors during its peak seasons, from families to Wild West enthusiasts.

Abandoned Southeast

From the early 2000s a series of mechanical failures, expensive repairs and lack of cash meant the park was on a downwards spiral. In early 2009, Ghost Town’s owners failed to secure any further funding and declared bankruptcy. Now the park has been left to Mother Nature.

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