Ghost Town in the Sky—a ‘Cursed’ Theme Park in North Carolina—Has Hit the Market for $5.95 Million

umbertoleporini/iStock via Getty Images
umbertoleporini/iStock via Getty Images

Despite a recent attempt to reopen it, Ghost Town in the Sky—an allegedly cursed amusement park in North Carolina—has recently been put on the market for $5.95 million, The Charlotte Observer reports.

The 250-acre Wild West-themed attraction, which opened in 1961, sits atop Maggie Valley’s Buck Mountain near Asheville, North Carolina. Perched at a 4600-foot elevation, it can only be reached by a chairlift, an incline car, or a really long hike.

Valerie and Spencer Oberle have been working to buy the park, renovate it, and reopen it, but have faced several setbacks along the way, including serious financing issues. Valerie Oberle told The Charlotte Observer that although their offer has expired, they haven’t abandoned their hopes of resurrecting the abandoned mountaintop attraction. It’s difficult, she said, since “the property continues to deteriorate as the owner has not taken any measures to preserve,” but the couple is still trying to raise funds to purchase the park. In the meantime, the park is still up for grabs.

Ghost Town in the Sky gained its cursed reputation for a few different reasons. In 2002, a mechanical malfunction trapped tourists in the chairlift for hours, and in 2010, a catastrophic mudslide blocked the only road to the park. But perhaps the most unsettling event occurred in 2013: A cowboy, in the middle of staging a routine (pretend) gunfight, was shot and wounded with an actual bullet. We don’t know how or why the gun was loaded, but the incident seems a little Westworld-ian.

Along with Westworld, movies like Zombieland and Final Destination 3 have popularized the idea of the creepy abandoned theme park, and social media has become a perfect platform for adventurers to share photos and videos taken at the parks themselves. The blogger known as The Carpetbagger covered Ghost Town in the Sky for his YouTube channel in 2017.

Can’t afford your own abandoned theme park, but interested in seeing more eerie photos of them? Check some out here.

[h/t The Charlotte Observer]

Miami’s Dixie Highway Will Become Harriet Tubman Highway

A stretch of Old Dixie Highway in Homestead, Florida.
A stretch of Old Dixie Highway in Homestead, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Earlier this week, commissioners in Florida’s Miami-Dade County unanimously voted to rename parts of the Dixie Highway after Harriet Tubman.

CNN reports that Modesto Abety, former CEO of the county’s Children’s Trust, had written a letter explaining how his granddaughter had asked him why "Dixie"—a word referring to the Confederate states, south of the Mason-Dixon line—was still featured prominently on highway signage. She suggested it might be more fitting to rename the roads after Harriet Tubman, instead. Inspired by the letter, Commissioner Dennis Moss began the process of doing just that.

“[Harriet Tubman] was the antithesis of slavery,” Moss told CNN. “I thought that suggestion was a good suggestion.”

According to the Miami Herald, the update will only apply to the parts of the highway that run through Miami-Dade County—Old Dixie Highway in South Dade and West Dixie Highway in Northeast Dade—but commissioners are encouraging the rest of Florida to follow suit.

Even if that happens, there will still be quite a (literal) long way to go before we see “Harriet Tubman Highway” on the entire Dixie Highway: The roadway spans a total of 5786 miles across 10 states, all the way from Florida to Michigan.

That said, the lack of major opposition to the name alteration in Miami-Dade County bodes well for the future of Tubman-christened roads everywhere. Some locals did voice concerns about the cost of changing signs and business addresses, but the commissioners felt the importance of eliminating a term so closely associated with slavery would outweigh those costs.

“The time is always right to do what is right,” Moss told CNN, quoting the sermon Martin Luther King Jr. gave at the National Cathedral just four days before his assassination in 1968.

[h/t CNN]

Party Like a Hobbit at Chicago’s Lord of the Rings Pop-Up Bar

Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Gollum and a Ringwraith loom near Bilbo's hobbit hole at Replay Lincoln Park's Lord of the Rings pop-up bar.
Replay Lincoln Park

One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one does simply walk into The Lord of the Rings pop-up bar in Chicago—as long as you’re at least 21 years old, of course.

Replay Lincoln Park, known for elaborate themed pop-ups for Game of Thrones, South Park, and other entertainment franchises, has transformed its premises into a magical reproduction of Middle-earth aptly called “The One Pop-Up to Rule Them All,” open now through March 23.

Inside, you’ll be able to crouch under an outcropping of tangled tree roots while one of the dreaded Nazgûl lurks above you, high-five a grimacing Gollum, and snap photos with all your favorite Lord of the Rings characters.

nazgul at the lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Nazgûl like to party, too.
Replay Lincoln Park

You might want to skip elevenses to make sure you have plenty of room for a Hobbit-approved feast during your visit. The menu, catered by Zizi’s Cafe, features items like Fried Po-tay-toes, Lord of the Wings, Beef Lembas, and Pippen’s Popcorn.

ent replica at chicago's replay lincoln park pop-up bar
Say hello to a friendly Ent while you munch on "Pippen's Popcorn."
Replay Lincoln Park

According to Thrillist, there will be three different counters in the bar, each with its own specialty drinks. Head to The Prancing Pony for a second breakfast shot (maple whiskey, bacon, and orange juice), or take a trip to Minas Tirith to toss back a palantir shot, made of silver tequila and passion fruit purée. If you’re in the mood for a little dark magic, you can trek over to Mordor and try a “my precious” shot, a fusion of dark rum, orange liquor, and Cajun seasoning.

lord of the rings pop-up bar at chicago's replay lincoln park
The Eye of Sauron is watching you order another round of Mordor shots.
Replay Lincoln Park

For those of you who are happy to accompany your Tolkien-obsessed friends to the pop-up but aren’t exactly tickled at the sight of a moss-covered Ent replica yourselves, take heart in this added bonus: Replay Lincoln Park also boasts more than 60 free arcade games and pinball machines.

[h/t Thrillist]

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