When Frank L Baum wrote and published the Wizard of Oz back at the turn of the 20th century, he probably never imagined how beloved the story would remain over a hundred years later. Along with the famous 1939 film adaptation, it has inspired more books, movies, and plays than I could possibly count in this article (Wicked – the musical, not the book – being my personal favorite!). Most recently, television is taking another run at re-imagining Baum’s world with Emerald City, though it’s too early to tell how that will turn out.

Photo Credit: Johnny Joo

That’s why it isn’t a surprise that someone tried turning the merry old land of Oz into a theme park back in 1970. Located in North Carolina’s Beech Mountains, the park initially attracted thousands of visitors – over 400,000 people wandered the yellow brick road in its opening summer. Sadly, the coming decade brought a fire and dwindling sales, resulting in the owners’ filing for bankruptcy and closing the park in 1980.

Photo Credit: Johnny Joo

Photo Credit: Johnny Joo

Photo Credit: Johnny Joo

Now, the place sits overgrown and abandoned, an eerie spot in the mountains if one should stumble upon it. And thanks to photographer Johnny Joo, we don’t need to make the hike to catch a glimpse.

Photo Credit: Johnny Joo

Photo Credit: Johnny Joo

If you’re interested, there are a few companies that still offer guided tours (and you can even get married on the property).

h/t: Vice.com

h/t: Daily Mail UK