From the 1960s to the early 2000s, Ghost Town in the Sky was a popular attraction in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Many people remember it fondly from their childhood, but after its unexpected closure many years ago, it has become even spookier than before.
There are suspicions that the attraction may reopen in the near future, but are those claims accurate? Here’s everything you need to know about the past, present, and future of this Maggie Valley ghost town.
What is Ghost Town in the Sky?
Ghost Town in the Sky, also known as Ghost Town Village, was an amusement park with a Wild West theme. The center of the park had an area that was designed like a ghost town of the Old West. There were different town areas throughout the park, each at different elevations. In some spots, the staff would stage gunfights and other entertainment. Over the years, new rides and attractions were added to Ghost Town in the Sky including a massive roller coaster.
The entire park sat on 250 acres on top of a mountain, so it could only be accessed by riding a train or chairlift to the top. It had the second-longest chairlift in the United States, scaling 3,370 feet and moving at a rate of 310 feet per minute. This attraction was truly one of a kind, but today, it sits abandoned, making it a real-life ghost town. It has been closed for over two decades now.
Where was it Located?
The abandoned ghost town amusement park sits at the top of Buck Mountain in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The park had a top elevation of 4,650 feet. The exact address was 16 Fie Top Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751. However, without the train and chairlift running, it’s difficult to access the park’s remains.
When Did Ghost Town in the Sky Close?
This attraction opened on May 1st, 1961, and it closed in 2002. In 2007, it was sold and reopened, but closed again after the 2009 season due to financial problems and mudslide damage. It opened for a limited time a few years later, but has been permanently closed since 2013. Many plans for reopening have occurred since then, but none of them worked out.
Why Did Ghost Town in the Sky Close?
In 2002, the chairlift broke down and left guests stranded on it for hours. Three minor injuries were reported during the evacuation, and the park closed seemingly for good shortly after. So, the closure wasn’t due to a ghost town in the sky death, despite some beliefs. There are no deaths reported at the park, but there were many injuries.
Even though the park tried to reopen several times, there were always setbacks that caused it to close again. Bursting water pipes, vandalism, and safety inspections all caused the park to halt operations. There was also one incident in 2013 where a man got shot with a real bullet during one of the “staged gunfights,” but it’s unclear how it happened.
Every time the park closed, it wasn’t just because of one or two incidents. Overall, it’s a lot of work to transport people, water, and supplies up to that high of an elevation. So, whenever the park wasn’t busy, the business struggled to earn enough to keep the park in shape. Ultimately, there were too many issues to keep the ghost town theme park up and running, so it hasn’t been able to stay open in recent years.
Is Ghost Town in the Sky Reopening?
The property now has a new owner, but it’s unclear if/when they will reopen the park. Some reports claim that the park will reopen some time in 2022, but since no details have been shared, it’s unlikely that it will be that soon.
It’s possible that it will reopen in the future, but it needs to bring in lots of tourists to keep the business going. There’s a lot that needs to be done to make the park suitable for visitors again, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds for this unique attraction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though Ghost Town in the Sky NC is currently closed, many people still have questions about it. Here is some additional information about the park.
Can You Explore Ghost Town in the Sky?
No, you cannot explore this ghost town in Maggie Valley NC. Not only is it difficult to access, but it has a strict no trespassing policy. That being said, there are ways to see the abandoned attraction without putting yourself at risk. Several explorers have snuck into the old amusement park and shared their experiences on YouTube.
Are There Other Ghost Town NC Attractions?
Just because Ghost Town in the Sky is off-limits doesn’t mean you can’t check out other spooky places. North Carolina has several real ghost towns, but only visit them at your own risk. These abandoned towns aren’t rehabilitated as tourist attractions, so they may not be safe.
Here are a few ghost towns of North Carolina:
- Buffalo City
- Brunswick Town
- Diamond City
- Lost Cove
Are There Any Other Abandoned Amusement Parks NC?
No, Ghost Town Village is currently the only major abandoned theme park in North Carolina. However, there are a few other creepy ones in other states.
Remaining Closed for Now
For now, Ghost Town in the Sky remains closed and abandoned, but there’s hope that it may reopen in the future. For now, we’ll just have to reminisce about the days it was open. Luckily, there are plenty of other cool things to do North Carolina that won’t involve trespassing. So, if you had been hoping to visit this eerie park, don’t be discouraged! You can still have a great vacation in North Carolina by experiencing other attractions.