Following the Yellow Brick Road is increasingly difficult in the Land of Oz, an old amusement park that once simulated L. Frank Baum’s mystical world.
The park, located atop Beech Mountain in North Carolina, has fallen victim to an outbreak of vandalism and theft in the past year, the Charlotte Observer reports. And its Yellow Brick Road, consisting of 44,000 custom-glazed bricks with the color baked in, has been a prime target. “It’s probably the most sought-after relic we have,” said Cindy Keller, caretaker of Oz.
Although the park has been closed since 1980, after a short-lived decade of operation, this recent increase in foot traffic appears to result from urban exploration and a fad called “ruin porn.”
Ruin porn is not as lascivious as it sounds. Websites and Facebook pages list abandoned spots, that adventurers—many of them teenagers—search for; if found, they post pictures from the sites to social media. The Land of Oz has been listed as one such abandoned site, local police say, despite the park still hosting events throughout the year.
Keller, meanwhile, has run out of special replacement bricks and must settle for regular ones painted yellow. Unfortunately, they quickly lose their color due to the elements.
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