Moments before I went on my first roller coaster ride as a kid, two boys next to me in line sent me into an absolute panic.
As many little boys like to do, they were trying to mess with me by telling me about how many people had fallen off the roller coaster and died horrible deaths. They’d noticed how nervous I was, so they must have figured it would be the perfect opportunity to entertain themselves by completely freaking a little girl out.
I still ended up going on the ride and enjoying myself when I realized that none of what they were saying was actually true, but had I heard these seven terrifying accident stories, I would have never stepped foot on another amusement park ride again.
1. SCAD Dives are attractions in which people are suspended high in the air and dropped into a safety net below without any harnesses or tethers to stop their fall. As you’ve probably guessed, many people have sustained pretty nasty injuries and have even missed the net completely.
2. In 2001, a woman named Lori Mason-Larezwas riding the Perilous Plunge, which was billed as the world’s steepest and highest flume ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, when she slipped out of her safety harness and tragically fell to her death.
3. In 1997, a group of 33 students decided to break the rules at Waterworld, a waterpark in California, by trying to go down the Banzai Pipeline slide at the same time. The tube burst open at the bottom from the weight, and they all fell into the concrete below and were severely injured. One 17-year-old girl died.
4. In the early 1900s, the Derby Racer Roller Coaster in Revere Beach, Massachusetts proved to be a very dangerous ride. The steep turns and loops violently jolted riders around to the point where they were seriously injured or even killed. Three people ended up dying on that ride.
5. The Big Dipper Coaster at the Battersea Fun Fair in London, England, not only caught fire in 1917, but two years later, a train car climbing up broke free from the track and fell backwards into the waiting station, killing five children and injuring 13 others.
6. The Human Trebuchet was a ride at a waterpark in Somerset, England, that threw riders 75 feet in the air into a free-standing net. Many people were injured on this ride and even broke their pelvises. A 19-year-old man was eventually killed in 2002 when he missed the net completely.
7. Despite the number of lifeguards at the facility, the tidal wave pool at Action Park in Vernon, New Jersey, claimed the lives of three people who drowned there between 1982 and 1987.