The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movie classics. But with its eerie sets and odd cast of characters, it’s easy to see why many children have been fighting nightmares over it for years.

There’s a real-life place that exemplifies this: the former Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. The park opened in 1970, and everyone thought it would be a pleasant family attraction. When it unceremoniously closed in 1980, however, it was obvious that that would not be the case…

Even though it opened decades after the success of the film and book, the Land of Oz was pulled in 20,000 visitors on its first day.

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Developers wanted to make the park a year-long attraction. Since the park was built on top of an old ski resort, the chairlift doubled as the hot air balloon ride Dorothy takes at the end of the film.Johnny Joo Photography

But with time, visitor numbers waned and sales dropped off in the years that would follow. By 1980, the park was closed.

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These days, the park is a complete mess. Props and sets that weren’t destroyed in a fire have been looted or vandalized.

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Many of the 44,000 yellow bricks that made up the Yellow Brick Road have been stolen.

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No matter where you go in the park, you are reminded of Dorothy’s treacherous journey through Oz.

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When the park was still open to visitors, they would start their trek at farm of Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.

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As visitors wind their way through the forest, they meet many characters from the movie, like the Tin Man, the Wicked Witch Of The West, the Scarecrow, and this ominous Cowardly Lion.

There is something seriously freaky about these munchkin statues.

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Once visitors reached the end of the Yellow Brick Road, they came to the Emerald City. There, they were treated to a performance put on by park employees.

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Though the park was inspired by the book more so than the movie, The Land Of Oz did have a number of historical props from the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Some of these pieces were even displayed in a museum on the park’s property.

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But a fire tore through the Emerald City in 1975, and many of the props from the film were destroyed.

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With shadows and light playing tricks on visitors’ eyes, the park maintains a mysterious beauty unmatched by many places on Earth. Because its appeal was clear, workers and volunteers decided to re-open the park for special events in June, 2016.

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If you’re intrigued by the haunting beauty of the Land of Oz, you won’t find it in Kansas…

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 … But you will find it in Beech Mountain, North Carolina!

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The fact that costumes are close but not exactly the same as those in the movie, lends an eerie quality to it all.

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In the distance, spires from the park’s abandoned buildings give the landscape a spooky appearance.

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One thing’s for sure, when it comes to the feeling you get at the end of a trip through the park, there’s no place like home!

The decision to reopen this park is definitely a huge undertaking, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who want to walk the Yellow Brick Road – creepy or not!