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]

London Calling: The Clash Is the Subject of a New Exhibition at the Museum of London

The Clash, YouTube
The Clash, YouTube

On September 21, 1979, when British punk legends The Clash tried to amp up the crowd at The Palladium in New York, security guards pushed fans back into their seats.

According to guitar-makers Fender, this frustrated Clash bassist Paul Simonon so much that he smashed his cherished Fender Precision bass on the stage, creating possibly the most famous rock ’n’ roll photo opportunity of all time—which would also serve as the cover art for the Clash's groundbreaking third album, London Calling.

To celebrate this December’s 40th anniversary of its release, the Museum of London has curated a free exhibition that features many of the band’s belongings, images, music, and even Simonon’s surprisingly well-preserved broken bass.

It’s not the only iconic instrument on display—you can also see Mick Jones’s 1950s Gibson ES-295, which he used to record the album and the music video for its titular track, and Joe Strummer’s white 1950s Fender Esquire from the same era. And, if you look closely at Topper Headon’s drumsticks, you’ll notice that they’re stamped with the words “Topper’s Boppers.” According to NME, it’s the only item of Headon’s that’s still around from the London Calling days.

The exhibit also includes sketches from artist Ray Lowry that depict scenes from the London Calling tour, photos taken by Pennie Smith (who snapped the London Calling cover image), a doodle-heavy track listing for the four-sided double album written by Jones, and many other items.

And, of course, any rock ’n’ roll display wouldn’t be complete without at least one leather jacket—the Museum of London is showcasing Simonon’s jacket from the late '70s.

If you’re a little farther than a train ride away from London, there’s time to make some travel plans: The exhibit is open until April 19, 2020.

[h/t NME]

Meet LiLou: The World's First Airport Therapy Pig

Kseniia Derzhavina/iStock via Getty Images
Kseniia Derzhavina/iStock via Getty Images

There's a new reason to get to the airport early—you might run into a therapy pig who's there to make your trip a little easier. As Reuters reports, LiLou the Juliana pig is a member of San Francisco International Airport's "Wag Brigade," a therapy animal program designed to ease stress and anxiety in travelers.

Aside from her snout and potbelly, LiLou can be recognized by her captain's hat and red "hoof" polish. She spends the day with guests who are happy to take a break from the pressures of traveling. She might comfort them by posing for a selfie, playing a song on her toy keyboard, or offering them a head to pet.

After bringing joy to people's day, LiLou goes home to her San Francisco apartment where she lives with her owner, Tatyana Danilova. In her free time, she goes on daily walks and snacks on organic vegetables. She even has her own Instagram account.

Airports around the world are embracing the benefits therapy animals can bring to customers. The Wag Brigade program at San Francisco includes a number of dogs, and earlier this year, the Aberdeen Airport in Scotland debuted its own "canine crew" of dogs trained to make travelers feel safe and happy. Therapy miniature horses have even been used at an airport in Kentucky. According to the San Francisco Airport, LiLiou is the world's first airport therapy pig.

To see LiLou turn on the charm, check out the video below.

[h/t Reuters]

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