I tell ya - with the Halloween season rapidly approaching, all this stress makes it difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Usually by now, the MP3 player is primed for the occasion. We pack it with Halloween themed music, toss in some Cramps and some Misfits and other tasty rockabilly treats for good measure, and top it all off with a heaping ladle of Rob Zombie's finest ghoul rock. We break out the foam tombstones and the pentagram candle holders; we dust off the resin skulls and take stock on our number of bugs, body parts and trinket rings.
But no, the spirit is eluding us this year so far. Although, we did get a bit of a kick out of helping our friends at Home and Garden Culture in Kennett Square set up over 250 pumpkins, gourds and other fall treats at their shop last week. And since we've been perusing titles for our upcoming Satanfest 2013 next month, sorting through all those horror movies is kind of getting my spirit in order. There are just some vital components missing, still - and I'll be damned if I can put my finger on what those components are.
Anyway, as we continue to prepare for Satanfest, we're also trying to carry through on our promise to bring
you some feature articles on some of our region's best Halloween-themed attractions. However, we're a bit behind on those for a few reasons - and I swear, not all of them are my reasons! If all goes according to plan, however, we will be bringing you a feature on the region's oldest and truest haunted attraction Jason's Woods this Sunday. And next week, we hope to feature Eastern State Penitentiary's Terror Behind The Walls - one of the spookiest sights you will ever set your eyes on!
In the meantime, I figured I would bring you a fun little feature on one of my favorite haunted attractions - although this one isn't holiday related. It's a permanent, ghoulishly delightful attraction that can be found on the one and only Inlet Boardwalk at Ocean City, Md. Hallelujah.
Called simply the "Haunted House," the ride sits close to the Inlet side of the Boardwalk, its monstrous vampire bat and bright orange letters easily seen from the adjacent Inlet parking lot. First opened in 1964, the ride is still owned and operated by Trimper's, a family name in Ocean City and the ones that own practically every ride and attraction along the boards.
Since opening its doors nearly 50 years ago, the ride has undergone a number of changes and upgrades over the decades, including the addition of a second story in 1989 that enabled riders to briefly emerge from the inside to catch a glimpse of the Boardwalk before being thrust back into darkness.
The attraction underwent its most recent upgrades last year, when literally dozens of the scenes inside were retooled, replaced or otherwise touched up for the first time in years. Some long-dormant pieces were fixed and a number of classic elements were restored, much to longtime fans' delights.
The ride is as simple as any other of its style - coffin-shaped carts just big enough for two to fit snugly into
move down a track past ghoulish sights like a hooded body flop
ping form a gallows, a spinning nightmare tunnel, and a near head-on collision with a train. There are dayglo spiders, talking vampires, a classic Electrocuted Man fixture from Distortions Unlimited, a torture rack and so much more. And the ride is still under $5 a person, so you cannot beat that with a baseball bat, now can ya?
This is something my family and I made sure to visit every time we went to Ocean City, which was quite
frequently when the kids were younger. My oldest son was always terrified of the ride, while my youngest was always ready to strap himself to the front of the cart in defiance of the horrors within. But now, they both share a loving nostalgic view of the attraction, and we still make sure to ride whenever we make it down to the shore. It's a wonderful piece of Americana and one that I hope stays around for another 50 years for future generations to bond over like my family did.
If you want to learn more about the rid,e they maintain a great website, which you can visit by clicking here. It's a great site that has the whole history of the ride and other tidbits about the history of Ocean City and Trimpers Amusements.
By the way, these are all my photos, taken during a 2008 trip with my kids and my wife, from whom I am now separated. And below, check out a video my son and I shot inside the ride back in 2010. Enjoy folks and thanks as usual for reading!
|The Unstoppable Movie Monster's family: From left, Josiah, Melissa and Elijah.|