Six Flags in New Orleans has been shut down for 15 years, and the sign out front still says Closed for Storm. Filmmaker Jake Williams of the YouTube channel Bright Sun Films focuses on the theme park in a documentary film.
The urban explorer was given permission to roam the abandoned park, and according to the U.S. Sun, the film explores the misery, poverty, and devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Williams claims that the park is a symbol of that devastation for hundreds of thousands of New Orleans residents.
As the largest abandoned theme park in the U.S. and, allegedly, most haunted theme park in the world, Williams wanted to showcase the dark reality of Six Flags New Orleans.
Six Flags Theme Park: Really, Truly Haunted?
People have been breaking into the abandoned theme park for years. Usually, they come out of it reporting strange occurrences. Flickering lights, and sounds like rides starting up, to name a few. There is no electricity in the park, so there’s absolutely no reason for those things to happen. Although there haven’t been any actual ghost sightings in the park, the noises are enough to cause haunted rumors.
And rightfully so; the images from the park are terrifying. Dark, atmospheric photos of roller coaster cars strewn about the grass; a teddy bear prize among debris; a giant severed clown head. Nature is taking back the land, and plants have grown over many of the attractions, lending it an apocalyptic feel.
Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
During the storm, because the theme park was located in a low area, nearly 20 feet of floodwater engulfed the park; it took nearly a month for the water to dissipate. The resulting destruction was too much for the park to reopen. The storm and resulting floodwaters ruined every ride in some way. Even the Mega Zeph, the wooden roller coaster built to withstand hurricane-force winds. It didn’t account for flooding, though.
Only one ride made it out unscathed; after the storm, Batman: the Ride was removed from Six Flags New Orleans and taken to Six Flags Texas. It was rebranded as “Goliath” in 2007, and there it stays.
Hurricane Katrina did over $32 million worth of damage to the theme park; officials tried to find a way out of the 75-year lease they had signed for the park. They considered Six Flags New Orleans a complete and total loss. Now it sits, creepy and abandoned, for urban explorers to trespass and post videos of the devastation on YouTube.
But it’s not all bad; hopefully, one day, nature will have reclaimed it completely, and we’ll have a beautiful, possibly haunted, forest in the middle of New Orleans.