The haunted park in Pennsylvania known to the locals as “the playground for dead children”
Nay Aug Park, nestled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, stands as a testament to the rich history and culture of the Keystone State, but it also harbors darker tales of mystery and horror.
Established in 1899, this public recreation area, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is the largest park in Scranton and boasts a variety of attractions including a zoo, a museum, a gorge, swimming pools, and several playgrounds.
However, it’s not just the park’s amenities that draw attention; it is also the spine-chilling lore surrounding the Dead Children’s Playground.
The Haunting Legend
According to local legends, this particular playground within Nay Aug Park, officially named the Dead Children’s Playground, is built atop an old cemetery, the final resting place of many children from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
During the playground’s construction, it’s believed that some graves were disturbed or removed, leading to tales of angry spirits haunting the site. Adding to the eerie ambiance, there are stories of a trolley car accident in 1903, which reportedly claimed the lives of several children playing in the area.
Visitors to the Dead Children’s Playground have reported a plethora of unsettling experiences. Common sightings include ghostly apparitions of children, unexplained laughter, crying, or screaming, especially at night or when the park is empty.
Mysterious handprints, footprints, or writings have been found in the sand, dirt, or snow around the playground, and there are reports of toys moving by themselves or being hurled by invisible forces.
More sinister encounters involve physical sensations such as an unexpected cold touch, a push, or a scratch from an unseen hand, and visitors experiencing sudden nausea, headache, or dizziness.
Some have reported seeing a dark figure, a hooded man, or a clown in the vicinity, occasionally chasing or attacking them. Disturbingly, some visitors have carried these experiences with them in the form of nightmares or flashbacks related to the alleged tragic past of the playground.
The Park’s History and Attractions
Beyond the haunted playground, Nay Aug Park offers a rich historical and natural tapestry. The name “Nay Aug” translates to “noisy brook” in the Munsee dialect, indicating the park’s connection to the Munsee Lenape tribe. The park features Roaring Brook, flowing through Nay Aug Gorge, a popular yet dangerous swimming spot.
The David Wenzel Tree House, offering breathtaking views of the gorge and surrounding areas, opened in 2007, marking the first fully handicapped accessible treehouse in the region. However, access to the treehouse was closed in 2017 due to structural concerns.
Luna Park, an amusement park operational from 1906 to 1916, was located near Nay Aug Park. It was part of a series of Luna Parks built across the country, featuring various attractions including vaudeville, circus acts, and a dance hall.
Scranton’s Luna Park was considered a “trolley park,” meant to attract weekend streetcar riders. However, like many amusement parks of the era, it succumbed to financial struggles and changing public interests.
The Enduring Mystery
The Dead Children’s Playground remains one of Pennsylvania’s most haunted locations, drawing curiosity and fear from those who dare to visit. The inexplicable nature of the reported paranormal activity leaves many questions unanswered, with theories ranging from restless spirits seeking appeasement to lonely ghosts wanting to play.
Nay Aug Park, with its combination of natural beauty, historical significance, and eerie legends, continues to be a place of fascination and intrigue.
In conclusion, Nay Aug Park is a complex tapestry of beauty and mystery, offering visitors not just recreational activities but also a glimpse into the supernatural.
The legend of the Dead Children’s Playground remains a compelling story, attracting both paranormal enthusiasts and those curious about the darker aspects of local folklore. Whether these tales are rooted in truth or mere urban legend, they contribute to the enigmatic aura that surrounds Nay Aug Park, making it a unique and intriguing destination in Pennsylvania.