The interior of the Haunted House is complex and extensive, creating a
disorienting atmosphere for even the most experienced riders. With
every square inch painted with black paint, it is hard to tell where
your world stops and Bill Tracy's world begins. Stunts are strategically
placed throughout the ride, creating a perfect mix of fright and
suspense. It is obvious that the Trimpers and Bill Tracy were careful
in the layout of the ride, paying close attention to how each rider's
experience would be enhanced by coordination of the track and the
In the late 1980s, the Haunted House was expanded into two stories.
Granville Trimper himself designed the new track layout and placement
of the stunts from the former Ghost Ship ride, which came from the
closed Ocean Playland Amusement Park, located on 65th Street bayside.
In most areas of the ride, the track is elevated by wooden platforms,
which cause the coffin cars to tilt from side to side. This effect
adds thrills to the ride, making riders feel like they will suddenly
plummet off the edge of a dark cliff, or crash into an oncoming train.
This attention to detail in the track layout helps make this ride a
classic on the Boardwalk, but without the incredible stunts and decor,
the Haunted House would be just another roller coaster, instead of the
unique landmark that it is.
The majority of the stunts inside the Haunted House are made with
papier-mâché and plaster on top of a steel-wire frame. Tracy's basic
construction techniques were certainly innovative, but his stunts
easily suffer from the wear and tear of a busy summer season, and
require frequent refurbishment. The routine maintenance given to the
stunts makes each of them unique pieces of history that reflect the
outstanding devotion of the Trimpers and the employees of the Haunted
House. Contributing further to the distinctive experience riders get
at the Trimper's Haunted House, the stunts present very artistic
backdrops, made with care and dedication, unlike many of today's
pre-made stunts from more modern companies. Each stunt is its own work
of art, and resembles some of the best artistry and imagery in
It's important to keep in mind that the Haunted
House provides not only a thrilling ride experience, but also an
overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Many enthusiasts will argue that
some of the newer stunts, with their shiny plastic facades and
commercial appearance, are less effective. However, the Haunted House
still offers a ride through a virtual Bill Tracy catalog, complete
with his classics like the Knit Wit, Sawmill, and crooked passageway
The Haunted House stunts are often painted with fluorescent paint, and
require frequent touch-ups. This results in a display of a virtual
rainbow of colors. The rooms and passageways are lit with black light
tubes and colored flood lights, which switch on as riders pass by.
This unique mixture of lighting effects offers a very suspenseful
riding experience for casual tourists and seasoned riders.
Additionally, the ride is equipped with houselights so the workers can
do their jobs when the ride is not in operation. There are also
secret doors to allow quick access to different parts of the ride.
This is also beneficial when workers keep an eye on patrons, ensuring
that they are not vandalizing the property within the ride.
The success of the Haunted House can't be attributed to just one characteristic, but the phenomenal stunts certainly contribute to each rider's experience. They represent a combination of artistry and dedication unparalleled in other dark rides.
EXPLORE THE INTERIOR (LIGHTS ON)
Click thumbnail to enlarge
THE TRUE RIDE EXPERIENCE (NATURAL LIGHTING)
Gallery by forum member Mike Brilhart - Photos taken in summer 2009
in•gen•ious - Marked by inventive skill and imagination; Having or arising from an inventive or cunning mind; brilliant.
Click HERE to view track and stunt layouts. (NOTE: Track layout and/or stunt locations are approximate. Please refer to the key provided for name of stunt. It is possible that some minor stunts are not included on these schematics; this was done purposefully as I did not feel they were significant enough to include).