Today, Hayden Island just north of Portland, Oregon, is home to the shopping mall, Jantzen Beach SuperCenter. However, from the late 1920s to 1970 it was home to the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park; a sprawling 123-acre amusement park that was called "Coney Island of the West." Though initially a popular tourist stop, that popularity began to fade over the decades with the onset of movies and television. In addition, a flood that destroyed a nearby town, construction on an interstate bridge that connected Oregon with Washington right next to the park, the inclement weather of the Pacific Northwest, a fatality on one of its roller coasters, and a major fire all played a role in the park's demise. In fact, it was on this date in 1960 when that fire wiped out a couple of buildings on the West Promenade of the park.
Ironically, as its attendance decreased, the property values soared due to its convenient location between the cities of Portland and Vancouver, Washington. The end came on Labor Day 1970 when the park officially closed its door for good and the crews began the task of disassembling the park. Two years later, the area reopened as the Jantzen Beach SuperCenter and the sole reminder of the former amusement park was a 1921 C.W. Parker Carousel (see photo above) that had been saved and still operated inside the mall.
The mall remains today, as does the carousel that has become something of an iconic image for the residents of Portland. While it does have some other interesting stories to tell, perhaps none are as intriguing or creepy as the sightings of two small children dressed in circa 1920s clothing playing in the center of the machine. Oddly, most of the sightings are reported by children that ride the machine and have even been said to speak to the spirits, although there have been a few sightings from adults as well.
Read more on the reportedly haunted carousel of the Jantzen Beach SuperCenter.
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