Wilson, North Carolina

Acid Park

Public art and a strange urban legend

25

According to urban legend in Wilson, North Carolina, Vollis Simpson’s daughter was driving home late at night after having done LSD. After beginning to drive erratically, she crashed and was killed in the ensuing wreck. After her death, her father had dreams of what she saw the night she drove. Over the next forty years, he set about to memorialize her tragic death with massive reflector-covered windmills.

A wrecked car on a dirt road running alongside Acid Park supposedly gave further testament to this story, and built a lasting urban legend. In truth, the park was simply the creation of Vollis Simpson who referred to his creation as "whirligigs." They were not created in memorial, but as public art for drivers to enjoy. Simpson does have a daughter, but she is alive and well, making her existence the only truthful part of the tale.

The windmill-like structures are built with scrap parts from old cars and reflectors, with eight total in the park area. The whirligigs are a tremendous example of individual creativity and recycling. Since their creation, the whirligigs have achieved a certain notoriety, with four of them being installed in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympic games. They can be viewed along the road near Acid Park. Although entrance to the area is considered trespassing, many have reported that Mr. and Mrs. Simpson are gracious enough to show visitors around the park. Just don’t ask about Mr. Simpson’s daughter and her alleged harrowing experience with LSD.

 

  • Hours
    24/7, best observed during the day to make out the "whirligigs," or during night to see the effects of the reflectors
  • Website
  • Address
    Wiggins Mill Road, Wilson, North Carolina, 27893, United States
  • Cost
    Free, with the possibility of a trespassing fine if you actually go onto the property (it can be viewed from the road)
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Map/Directions
Intersection of Quaker Road and Wiggins Mill Road in Wilson, North Carolina
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