This park is commonly referred by locals as “Haunted Harbor” here’s a brief history why. The park originated as a Wild, Wild West Theme Park in the 1960,s complete with Cowboys, Indians, gunfights and more. Located 4 miles south of Myrtle Beach on the old Highway 17, it was a novel attraction for its time. The first in many deaths occurred as a Stage Coach Ride tipped over and Killed one person while hurting several others. The park closed due to this and bad word of mouth. Another business group bought the park and turned it into a more traditional type of amusement area with classic rides. This too turned to tragedy as a worker at the park, broke into the park managers office shooting him with a gun while robbing that day’s money take. Again, the park changed hands and the company that owned “Blackpool Pleasure Beach” bought into the park. A lot of money was spent turning the old grounds into a Great, New European Themed British Amusement Park. One of the biggest Ferris Wheel’s in the world was added as well as a Log-Flume, Teacups, a steel Roller-Coaster called the “Black Witch” while all new buildings and midways were created. It was truly a beautiful place as it was located above a lake with a campground (still in use) on the other side of the lake. The grounds were thickly wooded and the grounds had several man-made lakes centered around a games area. A Sky-Ride carried park patrons to and from an island located on the lake. Once again, a dark cloud appeared as a young women stood-up on the “Black Witch” coaster and was nearly decapitated, she died. The park had struggled to make it and this only caused more people to refrain from visiting. Blackpool wanted to pull out and again, the park grounds and buildings were put up for sale, the rides removed and sold off. The grounds began to take on a sinister look for several years. Senior Citizens from the local RV park used several walkways in the park to exercise while the water slides in the parking lot were operated by a local person as a separate attraction. But the grounds looked just like a Haunted Town. In the mid 1990’s, a Carnival Ride Company took lease of the park grounds. They put in several portable rides like a Sky Diver, Sooper Loop, Himalaya while the buildings and grounds were spruced up and given a new coat of paint. The former Pretzel ride building was converted into an Arcade though. The “New” park opened to great fanfare and fireworks on Memorial Day Weekend, but without Major Theme Park type rides, attendance soon went downhill. After two months, several rides were taken away to go to a large State Fair up North, by the end of the season, all the rides were gone, the lights turned out for the last time.[Black Witch Roller Coaster] The city, realizing that the buildings were a fire hazard, bulldozed everything the following year. “Family Kingdom”, in Myrtle Beach now has the top of the famous Lighthouse Steeple that used to grace the parks parking lot. The grounds still remain vacant, awaiting a new beginning or another use possibility? Or yet another tragedy? It’s no wonder while locals refer to the park as “Haunted Harbor”.
This article was copied form the Defunct Amusement Parks Website from an article written by Bret Malone.
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