Once a fairytale attraction, England’s Camelot Theme Park now stands abandoned and in ruins, with no new prospects in sight. Located in Chorley, Lancashire, the grounds are just about 40 minutes northwest of Manchester.
This eerie theme park was formerly one of the region’s most visited attractions, hosting more than 500,000 visitors from its opening in 1983 to 1995.
What Inspired Camelot Theme Park?
Owned by The Story Group and operated by Knights Leisure Limited, Camelot Theme Park was originally inspired by the legend of King Arthur and featured medieval-themed attractions and roller coasters such as Caterpillar Capers, Junior Dragon Coaster, Dragon Flyer, Excalibur, and Knightmare, the one coaster that still remains but is in dilapidated conditions.
Why Did It Shut Down?
This seasonally-run theme park was in business for nearly 30 years before being closed to the public in 2012. According to owners Knights Leisure, the theme park was officially closed due to high-profile events, including the 2012 Olympics in London and The Queen’s Jubilee, that took away visitors. Over 150 staff members lost their jobs.
While the owners blame the weather and high-profile events as the reasoning for Camelot Theme Park being shut down, there were a few deadly incidents at the park that allegedly played a part in its closure. In 2001, a park employee was struck and killed by The Gauntlet roller coaster. In 2004, a young boy was hit and killed by a bus in the Camelot parking lot, and in 2011, a 12-year-old boy fell from the Excalibur 2 ride. Luckily he survived.
What’s The Deal With All The Mannequins?
While the run-down, graffiti-filled theme park is eerie enough as it is, it gets even creepier given the plethora of discarded mannequins spread throughout the grounds, adding to the allure of this horror film-like destination. The mannequins were once part of the decor at Camelot Theme Park, but now lie scattered across the grounds, rotting and dismembered, some still in their uncanny medieval attire. This mannequin graveyard is bone-chilling and unsettling to say the least -- a blatant representation of what this once-popular theme park has now become.
Can You Visit Camelot Theme Park?
While Camelot Theme Park has been officially closed to the public since 2012, many people still visit the grounds and try to find their way in to explore. Beware that this hair-raising, abandoned land has been targeted by a handful of vandals and arsonists.
Is There A Future For Camelot Theme Park?
In 2018, a plan for 195 homes to be built on the site of the former Camelot Theme Park was rejected by the Chorley Council, according to the BBC. The Chorley Council voted unanimously against the plan, citing “concerns over the use of green belt land and a lack of infrastructure,” despite a projected boost of about £1.1 million for the local economy.
While visiting Camelot Theme Park is an “at your own risk” experience, those who do brave the abandoned mannequin graveyard get to experience firsthand the nostalgic remains of what once was. It may be too spooky for some, but there is an odd sense of beauty and art to be found in the ruins of the park, which explains why it continues to attract the public’s attention.
Interested in the spooky and paranormal? Meet Hoia Baciu Forest, the Bermuda Triangle of Romania, learn about the true story behind California’s haunted labyrinthine mansion, or plan your visit to see the mysterious sliding rocks of Racetrack Playa.