A battered sign outside the abandoned theme park still reads “Closed for Storm” – while those who dare step foot inside are flung out by eerie noises and flickering lights.
Some 17 years after the colossal Category Five Hurricane Katrina – which killed 1,800 people in New Orleans – closed the Six Flags park, it remains frozen in time and is considered one of the most haunted parks in the world.
While apparently no apparitions have been reported, many urban explorers who do break in have said they feel like someone — or something — is watching them.
Others have reportedly seen lights flicker even though there is no power, and heard shuddering, rattling noises as if the rides have started.
Believe it or not, it’s true that the images of the abandoned park are disturbing.
They are reminders of the horror inflicted on the locals who would once have supplanted the lively attraction, and, according to one filmmaker, are the greatest monuments to the suffering of the survivors.
Jake Williams, who produces the hit YouTube show Abandoned on his channel Bright Sun Films, told The Sun Online how he got to explore the site – one of the largest abandoned theme parks in the world.
In his feature-length documentary, Closed for Storm, the Canadian urban explorer explains how the place that was once full of fun and laughter is now the epitome of the misery wreaked by the August 2005 hurricane.
In addition to the drowning of 1,800 people, more than 400,000 residents were left homeless, without possessions or income.
Many still live in poverty to this day – haunted by the tropical cyclone that devastated their community 16 years ago.
And for this reason Jake, the Six Flags theme park, originally called Jazzland, symbolizes Katrina’s legacy.
Chilling photos taken by Jake and his team show the incredible scenes around the 146-acre site that has been dormant for more than 15 years.
Roller coasters lie in disrepair and quiet, the main street now resembles a Wild West-style ghost town, and bumper cars are rusting where they once stood.
Speaking to Sun Online, Jake said: “The documentary not only tells a story about the devastation of a hurricane, but also about the economic and political problems that follow.
“Six Flags New Orleans became the last great monument to the dark Katrina past, and that was a story I felt needed to be told.
“Theme parks are generally thriving businesses where entertainment and fun are key, so the idea of an abandoned park had piqued my interest.”
William continued, “Six Flags New Orleans is the largest abandoned theme park in America once owned by a major corporation, so of course there must be a fascinating story behind it. Indeed it was.”
Everywhere you go, imagine thousands of people having fun at the same time, in addition to the current reality of what this theme park looks like
The ill-fated Louisiana town establishment was open to the public for only five years — first opening in 2000 — before being forced to close its doors when Hurricane Katrina hit.
With 80 percent of New Orleans flooded, the park was inundated with 20-foot-deep water.
While this subsided a month later, the rides were too damaged and in 2006 it was decided to close for good.
Williams said there is a sense of emptiness that permeates frozen in time, in a state of uncertainty and haunted by the past.
He said: “This park in particular, however, had an overwhelming sense of nostalgia.
“Everywhere you go, imagine thousands of people having fun at the same time, in addition to the current reality of what this theme park looks like.
“It’s incredibly depressing, especially when you see gift shops and rollercoasters of water pipes where the storm surge has been sitting for days.”
He added, “It really is an incredible sight.”
The theme park has now been largely taken over by wildlife and nature.
Creepy statues of clowns, mermaids and Mardi Gras figures now lie broken and dirty, rotting over the years.
Graffiti can be found on most of the buildings, while rubbish and debris remain from the running water.
Six Flags New Orleans originally had seven themed lands, including DC Comics Super Hero Adventures and Looney Tunes Adventures.
With season tickets costing just $34.99 (£28) in 2003, there were also plans to open an extension to the water park in 2005, although it was never built due to the hurricane.
FUTURE IN LIMBO
Some of the most popular rides included the Mega Zeph, a wooden roller coaster track built to withstand hurricane-force winds, and the SpongeBob SquarePants The Ride motion simulator.
The only ride to survive the hurricane with the least amount of damage was an inverted roller coaster ride called Batman: The Ride, which was removed from the park in 2007 and reopened at Six Flags Texas as Goliath.
Since its closure, it has yet to be decided what to do with the abandoned theme park.
Initial plans to reinvent it as a theme park, with names of Legend City Adventure Park or Dreamlanding Festival Park, have been proposed, along with a Nickelodeon attraction, though all have been scrapped.
The concept of a Jazzland Outlet Mall was also proposed, although other competitors led to this being canceled as well.
Current plans include demolition of the park, although this has stalled due to estimated costs in excess of £1 million.