Within its aging and decrepit walls, hidden deep in the ruinous, musky manor, they lurk...incessantly...and agelessly...wandering the old, dreary domain that is their home.
One prime case of the horrors within would have to be the grisly tale of the severely aged and putrefying grandmother they call...knit wit. Where did "she" originally come from?...How long has she been here?...no one seems to be able to answer these simple questions that have plagued many an inquisitive mind for ages. Many details of the past remain a mystery but her story is one that goes known to everyone who is lucky enough to hear it from someone even luckier than them to have been involved in the incident many years ago...and lived to keep the tale alive. The "knit wit" was surely not her real name, but this is what has been assigned to her, seeing as her real name has never been known to anyone. One day, many, many decades ago, before the haunted house was what we know it as today, it was a side show of sorts. All the "rejects" and "outcasts" of society were housed here by "The count", as attractions for passersby and drifters. It was settled way off by itself, close by the lonely and foreboding shore and train tracks, where fisherman looking for entertainment after months at sea and hobos hopping off the trains would frequent it.
As fate would have it, old "knit wit's" only child, Willy, was born deaf and dumb. In addition to that, one of his ears had been torn clean off by a shark while learning to swim one overcast, summer day five years prior. So he was undoubtedly, perfect fodder for the patrons of this little attraction. Being that work was rare and money was almost non-existent in those times, "knit wit" had no choice but to "lend" ol' Willy to the Count, so that they would have enough money to eat every night and keep their small, one room home which was settled on a rocky cliff overlooking the barren, frothing sea. So one day, Willy finally had enough of this exploitation of himself. He was tired of being made a fool. Even though he was unable to hear or speak, he had a mind that told him he wanted to be treated like a human being. So he lashed out at the Count, puncturing one of his hands with a fork he'd brought there from home. The Count was not one to be made a fool of, so he ended Willy's life right then and there, without thinking twice. Gutted him just like the fish that were pulled from the nearby sea every evening. And he was buried, under the floor boards of the side show, in the dirt just as if he had been a rock lying in the earth's soft soil. When "knit wit" had been told of his "disappearance" she fell to the ground and wept incessantly.
Something in her knew he was still present, but she could never quite place a finger on it. Months went by, and years. And still no sign of Willy. So, feeling somewhat sympathetic in his twilight years, the Count offered "knit wit" free boarding in a spare room in the depths of the sideshow, which had, in prior years, been converted into some sort of living quarters for the freaks that had made the Count the fortune he possessed. For many years, she sat down in that lonely room, quietly knitting in her rocking chair, waiting and yearning for the day that Willy comes back home. Until one day...something in her snapped. She rose to her feet, knitting needles in hand, and systematically executed every inhabitant of the house, by means of gruesome stabbings. The Count finally got his lastly, and in the worst way. She had decapitated him with a large piece of broken glass from a neglected window in the rear of the house that she had taken while passing it by. After the bloodshed, she returned to her room, and quietly sat down in her rocker to resume knitting...and waiting for that day when Willy was to finally return home. And so it is this that us patrons of the haunted house are faced with when our caskets creep up on "knit wit" as she awaits the arrival of Willy...who she has yet to learn the whereabouts of...which are right around the corner...under the earth...but now he's crawling up from the grave and rotting more and more by the day!
This stunt is surely one of the most terrifying, as well as detailed. With its subtle yet ghastly colors and artistry, it is a perfect compliment to the chilling atmosphere of the haunted house. Upon approaching the stunt, the riders (or rider) are faced with what appears to be a nice old lady in her rocker. Until they get a little closer...then the real horror is revealed as she turns to face them with an evil grin splashed across her creepy face! Who knows what Tracy had in his head when he came up with this one. All we know is it satisfies those who are fond of the old fashioned ways of spooking people! Riders should also take note of the detail that went into the background, such as the wallpaper in her room, and the tassels that hang from what was probably meant to be a curtain. And lest we forget, those infamous knitting needles in her hands that committed many sadistic acts of violence all those years ago! This stunt is operated by an air-powered pneumatic cylinder attached to a rotating pedestal. As you approach her, she will turn clockwise until her face meets yours only to return to her original position after your car passes.
After all the time that has passed, she still sits in her chair, grinning menacingly at all those who dare cross her path or remove her from her home...who knows what crazed thoughts are swimming in her head as we pass by?...
Above video shot in 1996 - 6 seconds
SPECIAL NOTE: Although Tracy’s Knit Wit has appeared in many of his attractions over the years, it was undoubtedly a hit at the Whacky Shack on Hunt’s Pier, located in Wildwood, NJ. This version of the stunt looked very similar to Trimper’s although there are several subtle differences. A front and back view of Whacky Shack’s Knit Wit can be seen by visiting Funchase.com.
A special thanks to Mike (horror nut) Biggs from VA for contributing his imaginative thoughts for this article.