Take I-471 south to I-275 east. Take I-275 to the Kellogg Avenue exit near the Ohio River on the east side of the city. Turn right (east) on Kellogg. Coney Island will be on your right.
Between 1500 and 2000 years ago, the Hopewell Indians frequented the land that is today Coney Island. There are still many mounds from mound-building Native American cultures in the surrounding area. Eventually, a European settler moved here and established an orchard. People moving through his orchard on the way to Cincinnati from the east would ask the owner if they could stop for a picnic on his land. He would always allow them to do it. Eventually the landowner built shelters and rides for his visitors.
In 1886, a company purchased the land and officially developed it as an amusement park. Perhaps the most famous owner of the park was a man named George Schott. He did much to make the park what it is today, including the construction of Moonlight Gardens, the dance floor and meeting area in the park. In 1935, Schott was attending an event at Moonlight Gardens when he suddenly had a heart attack and died.
Other tragedies have occurred at the park as well.
A young boy was riding the Scrambler and was thrown off. A spinning car slammed into him and killed him. A woman was riding the merry-go-round when she suddenly suffered a dizzy spell. She fell from her horse, hit her head on the ground, and died. A man dove into Sunlight Pool to race his friends to the island at its center. His two friends made it to the island, but the man had hit his head on the bottom and drowned in the pool.
Many ghost stories circulate about this park. Sometimes people will hear Indians chanting in the darkness, long after the park has closed. Other times people will witness strange fogs, which settle over the park—and only the park. Perhaps these fogs are giving the ghosts some privacy as they play.
The merry-go-round is haunted. People will hear commotion and screams coming from the ride even when there is no one nearby. Other times people will actually hear the merry-go-round music playing, even when the ride is shut down.
Sunlight Pool is haunted. When the pool is empty but filled with water, people will sometimes hear frantic splashing coming from the pool. Perhaps creepier, when the pool is empty and drained of water, people will still sometimes hear that frantic splashing.
Perhaps the most haunted spot in the park, however, is Moonlight Gardens. Many employees will not enter Moonlight Gardens at night. They claim that they feel uncomfortable and unwelcome there. Other times employees will see a man in the balcony area looking down at them. Sometimes this man is with a woman, but the general consensus is that this is the ghost of George Schott, haunting the area where he died so many years before.
To visit this haunted location, you will need to pay for admission. Tickets are about twelve dollars for either the Sunlight Pool or the rides, or you can get a pass for the whole park for twenty-two dollars. The park closes in September for the fall and winter and does not open up again until May. Perhaps the best time to visit the park to look for ghosts would be during the Fall-o-ween event held in October. The admission is slightly cheaper, and it gets dark earlier. Sunlight Pool is closed by this time too. Since it has been drained of water, you can stand outside the fence and listen for the ghostly sounds of splashing in the empty pool.
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