Graveyard Shift
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Amusement Park Employees Describe The Scariest Things They’ve Ever Seen Happen On A Ride

Updated November 10, 2020 97.3k views14 items

Amusement park rides should induce fear. But tales of thrills and chills on roller coasters with safety bars are the only scary stories about amusement park rides anyone wants to experience. For the most part, despite a few dangerously designed rides, theme parks remain entirely safe, and everyone goes home without any problems - other than some motion sickness or soaked clothing. But sometimes, what happens on amusement park rides is far from amusing.

Theme park workers on Reddit, who've also discussed other horrifying things they've seen while on duty, regularly share their stories about scary things that happen on rides. Sometimes, people misbehaving can lead to problems. But in other cases, everything from weather to employee errors to mechanical problems can induce unintended ride turbulence and terror.

  • When The Ride Hit A Duck

    From Redditor /u/TeakatKitty42:

    I worked at Busch Gardens Colonial Williamsburg as a teen. I worked near the train tracks and every day I was amazed how close the ducks would come to getting hit by that thing. Well, one day one got too close and got ran over.

    The heartbreaking part was that it was a mallard, and his mate spent the next half hour or so quacking forlornly at his corpse until the maintenance guys finally showed up to clean it up.

  • A Really, Really Gross Clean-Up Job

    From Redditor /u/brittkneebear:

    I operated a few different roller coasters during my fun-filled summers at this amusement park, but most of my horror stories come from one ride in particular. The train was one of the ones that you had to step into, with a lap bar restraint.

    On one particular day, it was over 100 degrees and the ride had been running as usual for most of the morning. As we were loading the train, a guest came up to me to say that there was an awful smell coming from the front car, and my stomach immediately dropped. Usually with these types of complaints, we’d find that the previous rider had one too many slushees before riding and had lost their lunch. Gross, but we were used to cleaning that kind of stuff.

    I started approaching the front car and immediately called for my coworker to direct everyone out of the train and back into the line, and to call our supervisor to close the ride. Instead of a normal puke situation, I found a greenish-brown liquid spread all throughout the front car, from the seat down to the floor. Whoever was the last person to ride the ride had sh*t all over themselves and hadn’t bothered to tell anyone about it.

    Cleaning human feces is one thing - it’s absolutely disgusting but it can be done. But trying to clean up human diarrhea in 100-plus degree weather, off the floor of a car where you had to kneel down and stick your head into the car to reach the very front, is a situation that I never would have imagined even in my worst nightmares. The ride was down for the rest of the day, and it took over an hour to clean everything out of the car before we could start really sanitizing it.

  • The Madman Ride Operator

    From Redditor /u/bionicvapourboy:

    The head ride operator and guy that taught us all how to operate each ride was a madman. I saw him ride the swinging ship by standing in the center and holding onto the mast decoration. He apparently hung from the Paratrooper ride while it was spinning around along with a litany of other sh*t like that.

    The guy smoked up while on the job. I remember seeing the train ride travel through his pot cloud once. How he managed to stay employed at the park for so long, I'll never know. That being said, he was cool as hell.

  • Stuck After Dark In The Deserted Park

    From Redditor /u/wired89:

    I was working security at a theme park when I was 18. One evening one of the roller coasters that was stopped in the station got rear-ended by another. There were some injuries, nothing severe, thankfully. I did, however, end up staying up all night, after the park had closed, sitting on the coaster to ensure no lookie-loos or news media tried to get access to the cars.

    It was dark and creepy, and I was 18 in a closed, deserted amusement park.