Archive for haunted houses

AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Coney Island’s Dante’s Inferno and a few other dark rides

Posted in Frankenstein, Halloween, movies with tags , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by Paxton

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Today, I finish talking about haunted dark rides. I’m going to start with a former Coney Island attraction but I’ll also talk about a few others as a bonus.

Let’s begin…

Dante's Inferno entrance
Dante’s Inferno (Coney Island, NY) — Constructed and originally located in Europe, this two story portable dark ride was brought to New York’s  Coney Island Astroland in 1971.  It was originally run as an independent carnival concession until the owners of Astroland bought it outright a few years later.  In the ’90s ride designer Lou Nasti completely redesigned the inside.  Despite the name, the ride isn’t based on Dante’s poem nor is it a “ride into Hell”.  A “bumper” type car would ferry you through several unconnected scenes of horror including monsters and human torture.  As of 2008, this ride as well as the entirety of Astroland has been closed.  Check out an in-depth article including pictures about this ride here.

The Haunted House
The Haunted House (Ocean City, MD) — Located in Trimper’s Amusement Park, this ride was originally built in 1964 by Bill Tracy, a legend amongst dark ride enthusiasts.  In 1988, the ride was expanded with new and updated scares.  However, at least 20 of Bill’s original stunts are still intact throughout the ride making it the most complete Bill Tracy ride still in existence.  Check out Surfing Pizza’s nostalgic rememberances of this ride as well as the unofficial website.

Castle Frankenstein

Castle Frankenstein (near Darmstadt, Germany) – I couldn’t pass on mentioning this when my theme this year is Frankenstein!!  Built sometime in the 13th century by Konrad Reiz von Breuberg (who took the name Frankenstein) it is said that this castle was the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s novel.  However there is a lot of controversy about this and there is nothing historically to prove it.  For instance, in the actual Shelley novel, there was no Frankenstein castle. It would be James Whale’s 1931 movie that would popularize the idea of a Frankenstein castle. This “real life” Frankenstein castle, however, is now mostly in ruins as there are only two towers and a chapel left standing.  If you ever go to Germany and want to see it, tours are available.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Midway Pier’s Castle Dracula

Posted in Halloween, holiday, New Jersey with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by Paxton

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Week 2 of AWESOME-tober-fest. This week we are discussing haunted dark rides. On Monday I talked about Six Flags’ Monster Plantation. Today, we are looking at a much older attraction. It was located at Midway Pier in Wildwood, NJ; Castle Dracula.

Midway pier billboard

Midway Pier amusement park was first opened in 1919.  the Nickel family purchased it in the ’70s and opened the Pier’s most recognizable attraction, Castle Dracula in 1977.

Castle Dracula Castle Dracula drawbridge

This huge haunted castle attraction was built over an old mill ride that had been there since the Pier’s opening in 1919. The mill ride had been “themed” differently throughout the years (Arabian Knights, Circus, Mine Train, etc).  The Nickel family decided to build the ride up as a haunted castle attraction.  The upper portion of the mill ride became the walk-thru haunted dark ride known as Castle Dracula and the ride portion underneath became the Dungeon Boat Ride.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Six Flags’ Monster Plantation

Posted in Atlanta, Georgia, Halloween, holiday, Six Flags with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by Paxton

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Okay, here we are at Week 2 of AWESOME-tober-fest 2009 (click here to see past articles).  Last week I discussed Halloween treats you can find in the supermarket.  This week, I’ll be discussing some of my favorite as well as some other famous haunted rides.

During the Halloween season, who doesn’t enjoy going to a scary haunted house?  Well, my wife doesn’t, but we do it anyway (last year we went to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights).  So I thought I’d look at some cool haunted houses and rides.  Today, we start at one of my all-time favorites.

Six Flags over Georgia

Today’s haunted ride can be found at Six Flags Over Georgia.  It opened in 1981 and is consistently listed as one of the most popular rides.  It’s called The Monster Plantation.

Monster Plantation Monster Plantation 2

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