Saturday, 21 March 2009

Where is the "Abandoned Clown Train"

I have an unusual request and a topic that has been bugging me for a while.

As some may be aware there is a current culture on the internet to make joke 'Motivational Posters' and i must admit one of my favourites is the rather scary "Abandoned Clown Train".

If your not sure what that it is exactly, punch it into Google Images for example and you will soon find out!

The thing thats bugging me is, WHERE IS IT EXACTLY! Someone, somewhere, must know!

Obviously it appears to be in some form of abandoned theme park.

After some searching, many people actually think its in the Pripyat fairground of Chernobyl fame. But to be fair, ive seen many pictures from the Pripyat area but have never seen the Clown Train before. I may be wrong, and await someone to confirm.

Ive also heard it may be somewhere in the USA? I will have to look up the possible locations and post them here!

Please leave me a comment if you do know of its location!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="The Abandoned Clown Train"]The Abandoned Clown Train[/caption]

 Leads (thanks to all who have replied to this post!)

Pripyat - Incorrect - Pripyat is the abandoned town near the Chernobyl Power Station in the Ukraine. Although this has a very famous abandoned fairground, i am 99% sure this is not the resting place of the Clown Train.

Chippewa Lake Park - Ohio, USA - Unconfirmed - Conflicting opinions in replys, no additional photographic evidence found

Fairyland - Outside of St. Louis - MO, USA - Unconfirmed - Vague reference

Old Indiana Fun Park - Partially Unconfirmed - A similar ride has been the result of a tragic accident, but wasnt the clown train

Tweetsie Railroad Amusement Park - Boone, NC, USA - Unconfirmed


  1. It's located in the amusment park of prypiat.

  2. Hi.

    I have yet to see more photograhic proof that this is located in Pripyat. I happen to have a keen interest in the whole Chernobyl thing and have looked through many images taken from the immeadiate Pripyat area. But have never seen another image showing this item?

    If you can proove me wrong then please do so!

  3. I found your site because i was searching for the same thing. From what i've uncovered, I think its might be from and abandoned amusement park in Indiana - and, to make matters freakier, the park was abandoned because it was shut down after this train jumped the tracks and killed a 4 year old child and her grandmother who wwre riding in it.

  4. Hi Stephanie.

    Thanks for your comment.

    I too have read rumour that this may be located in Indiana, then again ive also read it may be in Japan!

    Also that is a freay addition to the already standing mystery!

    Please check back if you find anymore information!

  5. Hi. I can confirm that the clown train is from Chippewa Lake Park in Ohio. It was open from 1878 to 1978 but was apprantly shut down due to lack of intrest. Apprantly they are now making plans to clean up the park and reopen it. Hope this helps.

    My first thought was also Pripyat, but no photos of that clown train were ever seen in all the websites I have seen of that fairground.

  6. Hi Hank

    Many thanks for your reply. I will now do my research and see if i can find more photographic evidence of the ride. Unless you can point me anywhere quickly.

    As mentioned previous, alot of people assume this is in Pripyat. But i have done many hours of research on the whole Chernobyl and Pripyat area and it definately is not there!

    Again, thanks for your input :)


  7. Hi, I am from Indiana, and while I am aware of the sad accident mentioned by a previous poster, it did NOT involve this clown train. That accident involved a miniture train. This clown train was not in Indiana, nor the Ukraine. The two most likely settings I have found for it are Chippewa Lake, outside of Medina Oh, or Fairyland in Mo.

    1. After doing extensive research I can confirm that it is definitely in the USA or Canada.
      I've wrote an article about my research here;

  8. P.S. since I have had the misfortune of living in Indiana almost all my life and seek out cool artifacts/stuff...I would definetly know if it was here, and, nope, it's not!

  9. Hi, I have had the misfortune of living in Indiana almost my entire life. I am aware of the accident in the previous poster mentions. It was NOT this train or even like it. Alas the abondoned clown train is not in Indiana. I constantly seek stuff like this out. I would know it if it was here. I know it isn't at Pripyat Ukraine. It is not at Chippewa Lake, OH either. I have seen a vague reference to Fairyland (closed in '90) outside of St. Louis, MO, and many in Japan. It is driving me nuts. I really want to know exactly where it is also!

  10. If you go to this website,, there are a lot of pictures of the area, but no mention of the "Clown train". Could be the "turtle" they talk of? I don't think so, the cars don't look anything like this.

    I've sent the photo to a few rail enthusiasts I know - one of them may know who built it, and many records of where their products were originally shipped to are available.

    In the mean time, I don't think this is in Ohio. I've written Elena, the motorcycle lady from Chernobyl, perhaps she's seen it in her travels. Her web site is here: and is worth a read. No, she is not crazy, she is aware of the risks and takes steps to minimize them in her travels to Chernobyl.

  11. Wikipedia has a record of an accident involving a 4-year-old and her grandmother (the grandmother was killed, evidently the child was paralyzed) at Old Indiana Fun Park, but it states very clearly that the train ride involved was in severe disrepair to the point of the track being littered with broken parts, and the ride derailed.

    Here's a link to a page with a photo of the train ride involved at that park (taken by the sheriff at the time of the accident!):

    There's also an extensive site of photos from Chippewa Lake Park in Ohio ( that has a map and a ton of pictures that don't show this ride either.

    I'll totally take your word for it not being at Pripyat. Any other leads?

  12. Thanks for all the replys so far... still no outright success though! Thanks for all suggestions and leads, i will look to head them up sometime.

    Its quite frustrating, thats aside no one is absolutely sure where this is... there seems to be no other photographic evidence of it!

    That would be a start!

  13. I've heard it's at the Tweetsie Railroad amusement park in Boone, NC. I've been to Tweetsie, and I definitely did not see this, but it would probably be kept out of sight of the general public if it was somewhere on the grounds.

  14. Hi. Thanks for the reply! It may at least help to draw someone in even if its not there :)

  15. It's in Pripyat:,+ukraine&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=53.741627,99.404297&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Prypiat&ll=51.408137,30.055359&spn=0.002613,0.006067&t=h&z=18

    The original pic was there, but I can't find it anymore:


    4th pic. The poster says it's somewhere in South Korea?

  17. The happy worm of this website is very similar:

    Look at the mouth and form of head:

  18. "...A phenomena in the 1950s was for small Kiddie Land parks to open in shopping malls and other areas throughout the United States. Many were found in California and in the Southwest where the weather allowed year round operation..."

    If you see it, you will realize that the happy worm mouth and head form is very similar to the clown train.

  19. I mean:

  20. Perhaps the first step in finding the train would be to locate who took the photo of it?

  21. I would really like to know where this is to! But if someone finds it, it may be fenced off.

  22. Alas i have tried but no luck as of yet, i was hoping said person may one day come across this!

  23. An interesting lead... ill work on that, thanks.

  24. To me it looks like an American location. I would say either Northwest or Southeast United States. I say Northwest because the trees in the background look to be evergreens and judging by the dead trees around it the season seems to be winter or late fall. I say Southeastern U.S. because I know conifers (if the trees aren't evergreens they are conifers) can last through the winter easily and the Southeast has plently of these.

  25. wow intriguing !!!!!!
    I'm trying to know too, looks it's just a mystery !

  26. "...small Kiddie Land parks to open in shopping malls..."
    Ok my english is not too good, but:What the hell it´s obvious that the clown train was part of a little kiddie park of a mall of the EEUU(the form of the head and mouth are exactly the same).

    It isn´t in South Korea.That's like when people says it's from prypiat.

  27. I think that this park is in Indiana because you can see the ticket cabinet behind the train, and it really looks like the picture of one in the photos. Also we must know what says behind in the little sign and if its writen in russian,japanese,or english

  28. I found an actual picture,of the the abandoned clown train..looks to be in the late 50's, early 60's...on the back of the photo, it just reads San is black and white photo. You can see a pic of it on a link on my facebook. Rachel Myers...also it is on a face book belonging to Norm Merkler in Indiana. We posted both... I finally "kinda " found it, my researh took a yr...

  29. ooohhhn, is the same photo that another person posted. That a Russian, (Odessa)and someone that lived in Indiana was in neither place/

  30. Hi Rachel

    Thanks for your comment, i kind of got a little excited when i saw the email come through thinking somebody had finally found the missing link! But alas we appear to still be on the trail!

    I had a look on Facebook for yourself and Norm Merkler but access was limited through privacys settings but i could see the picture in question on Norm's profile, and yes, sadly its not the right one and is on an earlier link on here.

    Better luck next time :)

    Also interesting that you are educated in Russian history. I have a facination with the same thing and have been learning the language on and off over the years, as ive always had a suspicion that this is in the ex-Soviet Union states, so have done my best to sift through Russian urbex websites and such... but no luck so far :(

    Keep hunting ;)

  31. To all who have posted, thank you for the information so far, but the hunt goes on!

    Hopefully the person who took this picture will one day come across this blog!

    It cannot be THAT old as i assume this is a digital image from recent times.

    Finding the original source of the image would be a huge bonus, but sadly never comes up with results. :(

  32. Some people on this page claim its from Fairlyland Park in Kansas.

    They say the ride wasn't safe and was removed in 2003 or something like that. Seems plausible...

  33. My father is from Russia...he came from what is now the Ukraine...Kiev....I wish people would quit saying it is in Indiana...I lived there (YUCK) and that accident was awful...but it was a kiddie train ride, and that ride was shaped like a miniature real train.....thanks!

  34. I can totally confirm that it is not in the people referring to a very tagic accident...that occured on a kiddie ride, but it was shaped like a miniature real train...people also have the details of that sad accident wrong. I am not sure it is any where else in Russia...doubtful. I truly belive this was somewhere in the USA. yes, hopefully one day the originator/photographer will indeed come forward.

  35. I was in Pripyat last month. This is my work. I can assure you it's not in Pripyat bumper cars, swings, a chair-o-plane and ferris wheel is all that is there. This is my work by the way. check video clips at the bottom of the feature.

  36. Definitely not Tweetsy Railroad near Boone, NC.
    Tweetsy is still going strong.

  37. This is definitely at Tweesy Railroad near Boone, NC.

    I was there last year and Tweetsy is still going strong.

  38. What's with all you idiots who claim you know where it is. YOU DON'T KNOW, so why do you think you can say you do in fact know? Post a pic if you know. You lead people in the wrong direction with your stupid lies. Oh, hey, I know of this one abandoned amusement park in this one place in the world, so it must be that one. Hey guys!! Its In Pripyat!!

    Stop making false claims when you have no damned idea where it is. You probably do the same thing everyday with other information you think you know something about, .. wasting people's time w/your 1/2 baked conclusions.


  39. this is not in indiana nor never was, the amusement park in indiana is long gone, now a nature reserve, the deadly train was called the chief and was from some park in ohio.

  40. Well this might sound crazy, and i'm not positive about it, but I'm thinking it's somewhere in South Korea.


  42. Or Laos, so I heard.

  43. [...] Where is the “Abandoned Clown Train” March 2009 42 comments 4 [...]

  44. I am obsessed with the quest for the elusive clown train. Has anyone made any progress. I am in CA and thinking about doing a road trip to the three likely US locations in STL, NC and Ohio. I am going to Japan and Beijing next week and am going to ask around as well, see if we cannot rule out the Orient..

  45. The train looks like it could be related to an old one at Atlanta, Georgia, USA's Six Flags:

    Not definite, but eh. You could look to see about the train's manufacturer or designer or something.

    Read Jeremy Kennedy's comment about it here:

  46. Oh, but, further GoogleFu-ing:

    Look for simrobert2001's comment. It seems that the Atlanta Six Flags acquired the trains from the Indiana park where the girl died.

    So may trace the manufacturers from there instead of Six Flags.

  47. Its officially in Pripyat if you look up Pripyat amusement park on google images the clown train is featured along with many other rides that look like they are located near the trains location not to mention the operation booth looks the same as the other rides operation booths.

  48. I seen this somewhere around Andromeda...

  49. Fairyland was in Kansas City, not St. Louis, as listed under possible locations. I don't think this was ever at Tweetsie, because the terrain in this picture is far too flat. Fairlyand is, geographically, far more plausible. I believe that Chippewa and South Korea may be mistaken locations as a result of people posting this picture on webpages relating to those locations.

  50. Comment 1 of 2
    Hey Guys, It has bothered me so bad that I did 5 Hours & tons of research on this, it appears the name of the ride is called "Jolly Catapillar" and their was many variations of this ride. Unfortunately the exact location of this ride is unknown however you may wish to view some sample pictures. I learned the Allan Hershell Company Inc, in 1957 was the worlds largest manufacturer of amusement rides and shows a picture of the Jolly Catapillar on a ebay ad that sold
    I started digging more when a kid thought he rode the ride, but the sad thing is if you look at the nose, it is shapped slightly differently. Other links in my research (from the kid) and I had to go to the park website myself to pull up a bigger picture and that is at: but you will have to go to the "View Tab" on Internet Exlorer and click ZOOM to 400% to see it a whole lot better.
    When I started searching for "Jolly Catapillar" to see what I could find, I found similar rides like this one:
    They all seem to have the same type of face as the "Clown Train" so I believe what we are really searching for is the "Jolly Catapillar" because if you look at the Clown Train the blue in the picture shows like a wavy blue catapillar moving along. Also view the video above to see how this ride most likely would have "rode" at the guess is it would move like a this ride is set up the same way. This was certainly a kiddie ride that we are looking for, here is another variation pic with the same type of face: (Click Jolly Catapillar)
    Although we see a severly rusted photo in this blog and all the others relating to this story about the "Clown Train" when we switch and look for Jolly Catapillar we notice their is not much of a variation in his facial expression in all of these pics : caterpillar ride

  51. Comment 2 of 2
    When I initially started my search, I found a boy online who said he thought he rode what we are calling as the "Abandoned Train Ride" ride at "Benson's Animal Park" which was renamed to New England Playworld (located in New Hampshire)back in 1980's when they started bringing in rides to avoid bankruptcy... so I thought that was very promising information so I searched high and low for everything I could find...turns out the place went bankrupt and sold all everything..IN AN AUCTION...geez so I did everything I could but found a link to the original "Benson's Animal Park" which shows 1,000's of pictures to sift through and a park map of rides can be found and i never did go through them all yet but all the things I read about this guy Benson was amazing and quite a story there...(But who knows if he ever owned this ride were all searching for here..but their was lots of wooded areas to his place and all of his stuff was sold to a flea market and auctioned off..but their is still some builings and things in the woods is what the story said) If you wish to read up on all this, feel free if you have the time: (The park closed down in 1987 after tons of years in business) (1,000's of photos)(Lots of history here)(Lady who runs this site perhaps might have photos of rides...haven't contacted her yet..was so busy searching for answer) (Final Days Ad 1987) (map of park and rides) (sign entrance) (boy who claims he found the train but the nose is slightly different) (Benson's animal park became new england playworld in 80's here's brochure)(Closed down 1987) (This lady seemed to know the whole story about the parks decline, and who knows that maybe this "Clown Train" may have been part of the parks decline..but that is a speculation and would love to find the original picture of it in operation)

    This is the best research I could do, my findings rest here for now.

    1. Dear Tom

      Thank you ever so much for your comments, your research and for taking the time to post them up here.

      I will take some time in the near future to have a look at the links you have posted.

      I do agree with you, the Catapillar ride seems to make more sense than the orignal clown reference. I only ever picked up on this due to the original comments found on the modified image.

      Thank you again, although i would still love for the orignal photographer to perhaps stumble across this post one day! I think only they know the real truth!

  52. I've been researching this for the past 2 days now.
    I've read that many people think that it's located in these locations;

    South Korea
    Takakanonuma Greenland, Japan
    Koga Family Land, Japan
    Prypiat amusement park
    Chippewa Lake Park, Ohio

    I've seen the caterpillar train photos and it's not the same train, look at the shape of the carriages. The clown train has gaps as the caterpillars don't.

    I'm eager to find out where the clown is hiding also and this has my head battered!
    Many people on here have mentioned Kansas, but nobody has been able to check it out.
    It could be worth finding out where the park was exactly and finding a forum that is local to that area, somebody must have explored it if it's still there.

    I've mostly researched Takakanonuma Greenland, Japan, not many people are aware of it's existence and the place is rotten, scariest place I've ever seen! Can't even see it on google maps because of the lingering fog over it! I've seen many pictures of the place and nobody has got a picture of clown train, so I can't confirm that.
    Koga family land is a rusty old mess too, Japan looks promising, but I'm yet to find it.

  53. If you want to completely rule out Chippewa Lake, there was a horror movie made there called "Closed for the season". Watch it, if it's not in the film, it's not in the park! There's no way they would not use something that scary in a horror movie if it was there!

  54. Here's a thought; I don't see any other rides in the photo, maybe we can't find it because it's not in an amusement park?
    It could have been left behind in a field by gypsies, so it could be anywhere.

  55. Done some more research;
    It is not the same "Happy Worm" or the "Jolly Caterpillar" from older photographs, although I am confident that it was manufactured by the same company which originated in Rochester, New York.
    The company made numerous worms and caterpillars, shipped them across the USA and Canada, which is why I now believe that it's in the USA. Each worm would have had differences, one of which was clearly wearing a clown hat that nobody remembers in action.

    This article shows positive feedback from places that the caterpillar/worm rides were shipped to;

    It is likely that the clown train was operated by one from the list as they made so few of them, being carousel specialists after all.
    3 out of 4 from the list are gypsy carnival operators, so when this ride broke down they literally could have dumped it anywhere! (Although most likely just left it at one of their locations at their last visit).

    So far I have only had time to search the first on the list; Schafer's Just For Fun. It was in Longview Square, Texas and they were active in the 50's, on record they were there in May-June 1950 and 1951.
    Thy may have travelled around, I haven't got as far as finding that out.

    Here is a bit about the company, it went through name changes and location changes, it could be a starting point for you to find all dispatches of the worms;