The Atlantic Ocean Park Edit
In the late 1970s, Maine magnate and Kingsmouth enthusiast Nathaniel Winter bought the old Henderson farm with the intention of turning the land into an amusement park. With its picturesque location, amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean and bustling tourism during summer, Kingsmouth seemed perfect. Besides, Henderson's long abandoned property came dirt cheap.
The local population were not as keen. Not only would it disrupt their otherwise peaceful surroundings, the noise levels and logistical nightmares would explode in peak season. There was also much murmuring about the choice of location. Most people agreed it was a bad idea - the Henderson farm had a sinister history and was surely haunted by spirits or worse. There was something there - embedded in the soil - something evil and hostile.
Petitions were signed and letters sent, all trying to change the mind of the entrepreneur, but to no avail. Despite the common consensus that the investor should be deterred, the town council saw the potential of great income for the small town and fast-tracked his permits through the red tape.
Nathaniel Winter pushed hard for the contract and kept his true intentions secret. His interest in Kingsmouth had always been twofold - he loved Solomon County and Kingsmouth for its natural beauty, but he also knew about its occult history, a subject he had a passion for.
He had no innate talent for magic. For all the things his money could buy, the powers of anima were not among them. Instead he used his wealth and influence to gain access to people within the secret world. These people revealed ways to tap into the sources of occult powers and infuse them into oneself, the way a parasite lives off its host.
Gaining power this way would take a long time and require a constant supply of fresh energy in any of its forms. Kingsmouth was the ideal location. The occult force trapped there gave great promise to his goal of learning magic and using it to increase his power. He had only to find a way to produce energy near one of these sources without revealing his true intentions.
The solution was to build a large, advanced amusement park to harvest the kinetic energy from the rides, and develop a scientific method for channeling the mix of local occult force and amassed kinetic energy into his very being. All of this while masking the operation and noise from the process with the bustle of visitors and loud laughter of children. It was a masterful plan.
Deals were signed, money exchanged hands and construction started in the spring of 1975.
As soon as the work crew arrived, the premonitions of the locals came true. The building site suffered a number of accidents - several workers were injured, water and gas pipes sprang leaks, nuts and bolts mysteriously vanished the day after being welded in place. At first, the episodes weren't frequent or lethal, but then the large structures arrived on the island, ready to be assembled and installed, and history took a turn for the worse.
The tracks of the roller coaster would curl and turn, as if the metal had been heated until malleable, then pinch, twist or bend so that the assembly piece would require massive repairs or altogether have to be replaced.
Some mornings, the crew would be welcomed to a work site with large slabs of concrete peeled back or broken into pieces. Windows shattered, fires broke out and concrete and asphalt had to be laid and re-laid several times to cover inexplicable cracks that appeared over night. The crew heard strange whispers at night and swore they came from the rides themselves.
When two workers fell to their deaths from the top of the Ferris wheel, despite using safety harnesses, the Kingsmouth town council approached Nathaniel Winter about abandoning the accident-prone project. But the magnate wouldn't budge. He told them the park was crucial to the economic future of Kingsmouth. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, he fretted the possible loss of his best chance of learning to control anima. Winter got his way, as always.
Finally, three years after construction began, with the budget busted several times, the Atlantic Island Park was completed. It opened to much pomp and circumstance, with the Governor of Maine present to cut the ribbon on opening day and long queues by the gates. The smiles wouldn't last.
The accidents and mishaps from the early construction days continued after the grand opening. Sudden power losses, peculiar ride malfunctions, filled up sewage drains and several other unfortunate events earned the park a bad reputation among visitors to Solomon County. In the beginning of its second season, terrible accidents put a final end to the park's viability. A family of three was killed by a derailed roller coaster cart, a young boy was seriously injured on park grounds and an employee stabbed two teenagers in the eyes. No one could explain how or why these things happened.
The ill-fortuned amusement park and its management were subjected to investigations and, by the end of 1980, the owner and the town council saw no other option but to close the park down.
Nathaniel Winter had squandered much of his fortune on the scheme. If he had returned to his business empire, he would have lived a comfortable life, but instead he chose to stay in Solomon County, with his estranged wife and young son despairing in Boston.
He spent the remains of his personal fortune to pay off any debt owed by the park and secure his ownership for years to come. It was almost enough. Within five years of the park shutting down, Mr Winter filed for bankruptcy. There was nothing to his name other than the remaining hardware of the park. He withdrew from the public and didn't resurface until his recent death, after which his son, Nicholas, inherited the park grounds.
Locals believe it's haunted. It has a soul, they say, eternal, dark and evil. Myths and stories of the park have spread outside of Kingsmouth, kids have dared each other to enter the premises. It continues to stand there in lonely majesty. Without legal rights to demolish the park, Kingsmouth has had no choice but to leave it in its increasingly derelict despair.
For thirty-some years, the park and its surroundings have remained abandoned - left to the mysterious powers embedded in the very ground, the fleeting whispers, and the unknown truths behind its owner's intentions.