I'm left this morning with a very heavy heart thinking about what happened in Connecticut on Friday. It fills my heart with profound sadness and I hope we all keep the families of the victims in our thoughts and prayers.
November 18, 2012 - 10:20 a.m.
Happy Thanksgiving folks. I hope everyone has a great holiday this year!
As a special holiday promotion, all t-shirts in the HH Store are on sale and are now only $14.99 + shipping. Please know that I've updated the inventory and there are very few select sizes available. If you are aiming to grab one up for a Christmas gift, act now. I won't be reprinting any shirts once they run out.
Thanks all! Happy Haunting!
November 12, 2012 - 7:49 a.m.
It's official. Trimper's Wheels of Yesterday Museum, which opened in 1997, is closing its doors. Check out an article about the museum's closing. Also, check out my gallery of photos taken at the museum about five years ago. It's sad, but times are changing folks!
November 4, 2012 - 10:49 a.m.
In light of the recent devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I can't help but to sit back wonder how Ocean City and the surrounding areas made out so lucky. Not only did several iconic amusement attractions get destroyed up north, but people have lost their lives, homes have been damaged into the hundreds of thousands, and communities are still dealing with loss of power and heavy flooding.
Many fans of Trimper's Haunted House were undoubtedly holding their breath as the storm made its way up the coast, wondering if Sandy would be its demise nearly 49 years after being built. But thankfully, neither Trimper's Haunted House or the rest of the Ocean City boardwalk suffered much damage.
Although Trimper's Haunted House is susceptible to major damage from East Coast storms, it actually stands a much better chance than a lot of its surrounding buildings and certainly many other iconic dark rides on the coast. Here are some reasons why:
Trimper's Haunted House, although very close the shorelines, sits well beyond the beach and inlet parking lot. Therefore, tidal surges often have a long way to go until they reach the gates of the ride.
The ride is closely sandwiched in between two other buildings, and partially blocked in the back by a building the houses a water gun-style game.
When the ride was expanded in 1988, it was basically torn down and rebuilt from the ground up using thick reinforced concrete. The ceilings, floors, structural beams, and many walls are thick concrete making it structurally sound.
When the ride was expanded, Granville Trimper opted to install a sprinkler system throughout the entire ride, potentially saving it from any fire caused by a storm.
After the first room, the majority of the ride on the first floor is elevated several feet. This means that even if the ride did flood, only the lobby and first rooms would be affected. Other locations in the ride would be spared with their 2'-3' change in floor/track elevation. During storms, the management always moves the cars inside of the ride to higher ground.
The façade of the ride was originally built with cedar, one of the toughest types of materials that Tracy used. If you look closely at the façade, he also reinforced every decorative clap board with countless nails, making it impossible to parish or blow away. Of course, the ride is showing some age and the wood is starting to deteriorate, but this indeed helps to save the ride from extensive abuse.
Unlike a lot of famous attractions the exist on piers built out into the water, Trimper's Haunted House sits on solid land on a strong foundation of pilings that are original from when the building served as a hotel, movie theatre, and skating rink before the ride's inception.
I certainly don't want to jinx the ride in the coming years, but I just wanted to point out that Trimper's Haunted House is a fortress that may take more than a storm to wipe out. More to come as there is yet another storm approaching later this week. Stay tuned.
October 31, 2012 - 9:46 p.m.
I am pleased to share that Trimper's Haunted House escaped Hurricane Sandy without so much as a scratch. The Town of Ocean City sustained very minimal destruction, and is in the process of being cleaned up. Mostly sand and water damage to report. I can't express enough how essential the emergency personnel and first responders were to assure the safety of OC citizens during the storm, as well as the preparedness of the city government. We dodged a bullet here, plain and simple. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Join me in wishing our friends at Casino Pier in New Jersey the best of luck as they recover. As some of you may have heard, Casino Pier collapsed in to the Atlantic Ocean on Monday night. Most of the amusement park was devastated including the destruction of their flagship dark ride, Stillwalk Manor. Folks, it simply doesn't exist anymore, not one part of it. You can learn about it here. It is unknown whether the pier will be rebuilt. Thoughts go out to them and other folks recovering from this disaster which OCMD came out of so lucky.
I have been using our official Facebook Page as a primary vehicle for updates and news relating to the hurricane. If you have a Facebook account, I would urge you to "Like" the page and follow. The "Live Scream Stream" on the homepage also feeds from it.
Stay tuned as the days and weeks progress. More to come.
October 29, 2012 - 12:13 p.m.
I will be updating our Facebook page with updates as Hurricane Sandy moves through. Please "like" the page to follow my information. I will not be posting on the website during the duration of the event. Best wishes all, and good luck.
October 12, 2012 - 7:32 p.m.
I am pleased to announce some exciting news! Trimper's Haunted House and its builder, Bill Tracy, have been featured in The Baltimore Sun for the first time in a full-length article that outlines all of the ride's additions and improvements this year! I have been trying for years to get this ride some recognition in local publications, and I finally received a call out of the blue in August from a reporter, who happened to be a huge fan of Tracy and Trimper's Haunted House himself, wanting to do a story about the ride and its builder. I was able to meet the reporter down in Ocean City at Trimper's Inlet Lodge where I told him of the ride's past and unique story. Special thanks goes to Jake F. from The Baltimore Sun for reporting on this classic. It will be in print this Sunday, October 14 if anyone wants to pick up a copy!
I had the opportunity to visit Knoebels Amusement Resort on Saturday for my first time, and I must say, what an amazing experience. For anyone who cherishes pure amusement industry history or nostalgia, it is certainly a place that will make you stop dead in your tracks time after time. Their antique and yet still-operating rides are sensational, my personal favorites being the bumper cars and carousel. But with that said, I did have the opportunity to ride both their Haunted House and Black Diamond attractions. Just a few thoughts after my first impressions.
The Haunted House (I noticed inconsistencies with the name of this ride from Haunted House and Haunted Mansion several times while at the park on promotional materials) was very, very impressive and I'd have to put it up there as being one of the best in existence. I am still partial to Trimper's Haunted House, but to be honest, the two rides are hardly comparable. Knoebels offers an experience that is based on precise timing, lighting, sounds, and perhaps disorientation, while Trimpers offers a ride presenting, in my opinion, more value in terms of the artistry of stunts and impact of the effects and physical props. I only went on Knoebels Haunted House a few times, but for the life of me I can hardly remember one room from the next as it moves so quickly and presents you with more visually-stimulating material within seconds of each other throwing you off guard and making you anticipate more of what is to come. The facade of Knoebels ride was a bit disappointing, but I'm still trying to figure out if simple and well-kept is what they are after to make customers wonder even more about what is inside. In all, a great ride. I will be returning annually now to visit for sure.
Now, for the Black Diamond, I have to say it's unlike any other ride I've experienced. It's nearly 4 minutes long, three stories, and more or less a roller coaster in a sealed building. I was never able to experience Golden Nugget in Wildwood, so it's hard for me to compare the two. But, at first glance, I do have a few observations. The aging of the facade in the loading area is remarkable and very well done. It looks very vintage and authentic due to its precise weathering and decor. My favorite aspect of the ride is the technology behind the train/track operation. The ample number of sensors, breaking devices at several locations in the ride to slow the train, and monitoring system was second-to-none. It is a very complex operation, and I commend the designers/builders for executing such an awesome and pure riding experience. It's dead on. Now, my disappointment resides in the effects. I feel like the ride could still use a few more years to mature in this area. I just felt that many of them were too static, not very visually impressive, movements and animation were too subtle, and some seemed a bit to "cheesy" to be in the Black Diamond, if that makes sense. It's a solid ride with ample opportunity, and all in all, an awesome addition to the park. It was great to experience a ride that was moved from its home by the sea to the middle of the country for many future generations to enjoy.
Bottom line? Trimper's Haunted House is, and will always be, #1 in my book.
August 22, 2012 - 9:40 p.m.
We now have more 2012 Facade Bat T-Shirts in stock in the HH Store in sizes L, XL, and XXL. XXXL will be in in another week or two so please check back! Get them now. These will not be reprinted anymore this season.
August 19, 2012 - 5:55 p.m.
Check out our new Pinterest board, also located at the footer of each page!
August 13, 2012 - 10:10 p.m.
I wanted to take this opportunity to write about something off topic. This website, although dedicated to Trimper's Haunted House, doubles as my personal blog, and I know most of the fans that I've met have good hearts and will be able to relate to my writings. Although this ride has always been a love of mine and I have committed hundreds of hours to documenting its very being, sometimes things come up that interfere with my thinking. My grandfather, the man that I've looked up to my entire life, has recently been diagnosed with cancer. To most, this news is simple and very common, but for me, it's absolutely heartbreaking and has set me back quite a bit.
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate in the fact that the ones I love have been relatively healthy and death has been somewhat absent from my youth. We all have those who we've grown close to in life, some closer than others. For me, the idea of someone leaving existence is a bit confusing and very hard to digest. My grandfather was a huge part of my youth, and was the key component in building my miniature version of Trimper's Haunted House, which can be found in my Personal Collection section. He was there for me and with me every minute of my life, and still is. But the news that shattered me will never be forgotten.
I'm sure we all handle these types of things in different ways... some of us probably handle differently depending on our personalities and sensibilities. When the news was broken to me, I was rather unsure how to handle it, other than being supportive. Further, the initial decision of my Pop was to decline treatment, which to me seemed ridiculous. He has so much life to live, both with himself and his family, four grandchildren, one great grandchild, and the members of his extended family that are still living in this world. With a little talking from myself, my dad, and other family members, he opted to participate in treatment that will inevitably make his quality of life worth the fight. Despite the ease of giving up and calling it quits from the minute bad news is delivered, with a little convincing, he moved forward assuring he would be around to see another day/week/month/year. For that, I am forever grateful. Needless to say, my outlook on life, death, and loved ones has changed dramatically over the past month or so, and I just think it's important for every single one of us to reach out and validate our love and commitment for the people that mean the most in our lives.
Want me to tie it in? Ok. Similarly, the Trimper family never gave up on the ride that gives us all so much joy. They could have called it quits on the ride years ago for one reason or another, but they didn't. It has been kept alive for all to enjoy, as we are doing!
Folks, reach out to the ones you love, call an old friend who once meant something to you, be there for others, help others, and be a good citizen. After all, if your car gets stuck in Trimper's Haunted House, you'd expect Scotty to come to your rescue and push you along, right? Well, try to come to someone else's rescue and "push their car along" to get them out of the darkness!
Thanks for listening. That's all. Stay well, all.
August 11, 2012 - 10:31 a.m.
The Morbid Manor mystery deepens! This archived photo from the Baltimore Sun, currently for sale on eBay, shows a crowded beach scene on Labor Day of 1973, and Morbid Manor is clearly visible in the background on the pier. Originally, it was thought that the Manor was built in either '75 or '76! We still have not been able to lock down a firm build date, but this unforgettable classic keeps getting pushed back closer and closer to the Tracy era! Special thanks to our friend Karl for pointing this out. It's certainly mind-boggling!
August 3, 2012 - 9:41 p.m.
When I was down last weekend, I was able to check out a car's axle being rebuilt by Scotty. It was pretty cool. Check out a small gallery! Also, Trimper's Rides is now offering official Haunted House embroidered flex caps. Check out our Facebook page for details! Lastly, the Flying Bat that got vandalized a few weeks ago has been removed from the ride to get fixed. The person that did it was caught and charged as appropriate. I encourage everyone to use their brains and make smart decisions when riding, especially now that the ride has upwards of 10 cameras monitoring every corner. You WILL get caught! Stay tuned for exciting updates in the coming weeks.
July 31, 2012 - 7:05 a.m.
There has recently been an escalating interest in the old Morbid Manor attraction that was on the pier, which burned down in 1995. I decided to give my Morbid Manor content a page of its own which I will continue to add to as I find more information. I did a small write up, but I hope to expand upon it and/or correct information over the coming years. Check it out! If you have photos or facts regarding the old Morbid Manor, please contact me. Enjoy!
July 23, 2012 - 9:41 p.m.
Good news, bad news, just news.
Bad news first... about a week ago, one of the wings to the Lunging Bat at "Bat Hill" was ripped off by some kid. Mike B. from the forum recalls riding through just as it happened and seeing it lying on the floor. Mind you, this is pretty much the first incident in two years since it was overhauled. Hopefully it is repairable as we are only midway through the summer!
The good news... several more night-vision cameras were installed in different rooms of the ride to further keep an eye on patrons. The Old Mill, Wavey Room, and Torture Chamber now have additional sets of eyes, so be good and stay seated, unless you want to get kicked out and/or charged!
More good news... In case you haven't already seen or heard, a new sign was installed on the front fence of the ride that outlines the ride and celebrates what an incredible job Granville Trimper and Bill Tracy did designing and building the ride back in 1964. Check out a pic!
Even more... the height requirement sign on the ticket booth was redone and looks better than ever! Check it out!
Also, my wife tells me I should start a Pinterest Board for Trimper's Haunted House. I know nothing about this, but if anyone would want to help with this or start one, I'd be more than happy to include it in the footer. I am thinking a lot of the fan art could possibly go there!
Nat's all for now. Cheers 'til next time.
July 20, 2012 - 7:32 p.m.
New OCHH stickers are now available to help you get the word out about Trimper's Haunted House! Stick it on your binder, door, car, your girlfriend's forehead.... anywhere! Buy now in the HH Store for only $3.99 with free shipping!
July 18, 2012 - 9;24 p.m.
A picture is worth a thousand words... or is it?
This year, the original picture from the Upside Down Room featuring a Mr. and Mrs. has been cleaned and repainted to bring it "back to life." Although, I am curious if Bill Tracy was up to one of his old tricks by including himself in the painting, mustache and all! It has been said that Tracy often included himself in the attractions he built, whether it be a picture, an old bourbon bottle, or, well, use your imagination. You be the judge! Either way, it's great to see that this feature got an overhaul nearly 50 years after the ride's inception! Thanks to Mike B. for providing the photo.
July 9, 2012
I'd like to share one of our forum member's creations-- some virtual 3D models of Trimper's Haunted House and some effects inside. Mike B. did an awesome job and really captured the true essence of the ride. Check it out!
July 5, 2012
I am happy to announce that in addition to all of the new gear introduced for this year, yet another full-color shirt is now available exclusively onsite at Trimper's Haunted House! The shirt includes the Bat and star on the front, and the back features a collage filled with Tracy's original characters and a great picture of the façade. This shirt is $20, and can be purchased at Trimper's Haunted House and other locations around the park. Don't forget you can still purchase other gear in our HH Store directly online and have it shipped right to your front door. Thanks for helping to "get the word out" about Trimper's Haunted House!
June 25, 2012
Wusssup? Few things of interest. First, I managed to finally update the 2012 Virtual Tour to include this year's updates and additions. Second, the HH Store is now up and running with this year's brand new design as well as some fresh colors for the Eat Sleep Ride design. We also now have a tank top for ladies in the new design. Limited quantities exist in the sweatshirt for now. Go get some gear!
June 23, 2012
I made an addendum to my Ghost Ship article that was released last summer to include several more photos from when the original structure was being demolished in the winter of 1987 to make way for the new concrete, two-story structure. One of the photos was taken from the side near the Mirror Maze, which was also removed and built into a new building during this time. Special thanks to Monica T. from Trimper's Rides for contributing these awesome photos! Check it out.
June 15, 2012
Can one of the stunts in Trimper's Haunted House tell you your fortune? Well, maybe not now, but perhaps years ago!
New evidence has surfaced regarding the origin of the Alien Bust prop at the ride's ending which was installed sometime in the late 90s. A fan named Victoria, who has been following the ride's transformation in great detail over the past two decades, recently brought to my attention that the Alien Bust closely resembled 'Morgana,' a vintage fortune teller machine by Bacchus Games, Inc. that was commonly found in arcades around the country and at beachfront amusement parks during the 1970s and 1980s. Based on research, 'Morgana,' was a faceless mannequin behind a window in a large blue cabinet. After inserting money and typing in your date of birth, players pressed a button that activated a hidden projector. Suddenly Morgana's face appeared, and her somewhat frightening lifelike image moved as she spoke and told the customer's fortune. After doing some searching, I was able to find a photo of a Morgana machine, and indeed, it is the same bust! The same sparkly material for the outfit, same pendant, and same featureless face!
I can't be certain, but perhaps this came from a defunct machine at Marty's Playland or some other location in Ocean City. Rather than throw this away, management figured it would make a great addition to the ride, and with a little yellow and black paint on the face, it is!
As an aside, this machine was very popular in the early 1970s. 'Morgana' was a primary feature in Disney's Contemporary Resort in the Fiesta Fun Center in the early 1970s and was commonly mistaken for a Disney-made machine because of the technology used to project a face on to the bust, similar to the effects of Disney's Haunted Mansion. It fit in perfectly with Disney's innovative and highly-technological atmosphere.
Special thanks again to Victoria for helping us solve this mystery!
June 14, 2012
Trimper's Haunted House now costs $4 to ride. This change was put into effect last Monday. You CAN still use the afternoon wristband and you CAN still use 8 blue tickets to ride, as the blue tickets went up this year to 50 cents each. It had remained at $3 since 2002. Even so, it's still the best money you can spend on the boardwalk!
I enjoy straight-forward HH talk as much as the next guy, but it's not every day that generic HH talk and experiences can be translated into some complex poetry. Special thanks to Todd Anthony, a talented writer and musician, for sharing his poem entitled 'Mythic' which deeply describes his experiences in Trimper's Haunted House and Morbid Manor on the pier. Check it out!
May 25, 2012
Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2012!
As I was driving in to work this morning, I was thinking back to the summer that I worked at Trimper Rides. It was around this time ten years ago when I graduated high school and made the journey down to OC with my car packed, ready to be a carnie for the summer. It was something I wanted to experience for the majority of my life, and I was finally old enough!
I stayed at the Ocean Lodge on 9th street, and I rented a small room, maybe 12’ by 15’, with only a bed, sink, and old fashioned television. Oh, and it did have an AC window unit, thank goodness.
I remember walking or taking the bus down to the inlet every morning that summer (this depended on how tired I was in the mornings) and I had to arrive at work by 10am. Back then, the rides were open longer hours, beginning at 11am. I had Saturdays off, as well as Thursday nights, but I often spent my time off down at the park as well. The boardwalk was truly my life for the summer.
Being that I didn’t get off work until usually around 1am, it wasn’t until about 2am that I was able to actually go out and have some fun and relax (on an empty boardwalk with some friends I had made). I was usually in bed by 4am, then back to work the next morning again at 10am. It was a hard summer with very hot days (especially working rides like the Sling Shot where I had to walk around on reflecting steel platforms all day long). But, it was certainly one of the most fun summers thus far. And, it’s how I met some of the people who are today my best friends.
For the first few weeks, I worked the Tilt-a-Whirl and Sling Shot. They were my two posts, and I was often on them for 12+ hours a day. Then, I was eventually given the Haunted House as an assignment. I was doing the HH for four days a week, and the Sling Shot for three. During my HH days, I stayed inside the ride for the majority of the day watching riders and spotting problems. It was a different ride back then; a time when the Headslinger, Crab, Scientist, and Frankenstein were still honorary members of the Gloom family. Despite the tiring schedule and abundance of Red Bull to keep my awake, it was an awesome experience, especially for someone like me who is an avid fan of dark rides, particularly Trimper’s Haunted House! In all, it was an awesome summer with tons of great memories.
Stay tuned for a full feature web article later this summer outlining all of the changes, additions, and enhancements in Trimper’s Haunted House for the Overhaul of 2012!
May 12, 2012
For anyone curious, the blue color that was painted on the giant skull actually appears white under a black light. So, riders will see a giant white skull as they pass. This year, crews also repainted the skulls on the Skull Banister in the first room with this paint so they glow white now, with orange eyes. Pictures to come soon.
May 10, 2012
Who likes new stuff? We all do! So, here is some new stuff in Trimper's Haunted House for this year, in addition to what was installed from Phantasmagoria back in February.
Presenting "Giant Angel of Death Articulating Zombiette" direct from Scarefactory. 11’tall & 7’ wide All electric fully articulated Giant Angel of Death movements including Head raise/lower, torso breath, lantern arm raise/lower, scythe forward/back, torso pan. Includes LED eyes, Scythe & Lantern.
Presenting "GraveCrawler with Lantern Articulating Zombiette" direct from Scarefactory- Ragged zombie crawls out of the grave holding an electrically lit lantern to light the way. Movements include head, chest, independent arm, leg and torso pivot.
The old foam skull and hands from the Mad Scientist area have been mounted to the wall in the graveyard!
Several new headstones were added around the attraction this year.
Extra skeletons mean extra drunks! In the spirit of Bill Tracy, and keeping the attraction true to its seaside home, a drunken skeleton is now visible at the end of the ride on the left right before you exit. Poor fella had a bit too much whiskey for his own good! Argh!
Crews add a fresh coat of blue paint to the Skull from the Skull Waterfall at Phantasmagoria!
What a difference! Stay tuned for more as we get closer to Memorial Day weekend! Up next, a new location for the Witch and the Reacher!
May 6, 2012
This year is the 40th anniversary for Tracy's Pirates Cove attraction at Waldameer Park in Erie, PA which is the sister attraction of Trimper's Pirates Cove. Randy Skalos, ride operator and master artist for the some of the park's rides, has been restoring the stunts of the attraction back to their former glory during the winter in preparation for its opening. Check out a gallery of some of his progress. One of the photos is Randy holding Tracy's original mold for the Skull Water fall that he found when visiting Eric Princz Studios. In addition to the internal features, the giant mural behind the Pirate on the facade was also repainted by some local artists. You can learn more at the WaldaBlog.
May 5, 2012
***There is only a very limited quantity of OCHH.NET t-shirts left in the HH Store. I do not plan on reprinting them so if you'd like one now is the time to place your order. The price is discounted. Only a few left in orange with black print. Get yours now in time for summer!***
May 5, 2012
Remember about two years ago when I posted news that a web film series was being filmed in Trimper's Haunted House? Well, I have an update. The series is called "Tilt-A-World" and it's about a young man that comes back home to Maryland after his father's death to take over the family's carnival business. It was filmed mostly at Trimper's Rides. It actually debuted back in summer of 2011 I believe. I have searched the internet high and low trying to find the web series to watch, with no luck. I did however find a video with a small clip from the series. You'll recognize Trimper's Haunted House as soon as the video begins (near the Electric Chair), and the clip ends at about :50 in. You can even see my Toxic Man in the clip! Please make note that the clip has bad language. If anyone finds more footage of the series, please let me know! Take a peak.
April 30, 2012
Hi guys. Sorry I've been absent. Tons going on and hardly ever enough time to do it all in. I haven't posted updates about the ride because frankly I don't have any. Last I checked, the three new effects that came in are still in storage, but should be installed by Memorial day. The ride will undergo a few more changes, most likely a new location for the Witch as the Reacher will more than likely go in its place. All of the comments from riders so far this year have been really positive regarding the changes we made. And by Memorial Day, the ride should be tweaked even further to the tune of perfection for the upcoming year. Stay tuned and please keep our forums active in the meantime. Until the workers finish putting up the rides around the park, the HH will be on the backburner.
April 17, 2012
It's always good to be headstrong at all times.
'Memba the latex foam-filled head that was in the old Mad Scientist bar before it was moved? Well, it's still nearby. I stuck it in the fire as part of the Torture Chamber, and I think it looks just fine. Don't worry, the paper towel roll was not incorporated as a new feature in the stunt.
April 15, 2012
The Hanging Skeleton stunt, being eight feet tall and about six feet wide, was undoubtedly one of the harder pieces to place, but we found the perfect spot. In 2006, Tracy’s Mad Scientist stunt was removed from this location and replaced with a large, modern-day latex skull. The original counter of the Mad Scientist was retained and used as part of the new stunt. This location seemed to be the most practical as the Hanging Skeleton would carry the theme of the Torture Chamber to the other side of the corridor. A black light was placed in the bottom of the cabinet shining upward, and a double fixture was mounted above the newly-installed set of bang doors just after the Torture Chamber.
The counter from the Mad Scientist did not go to waste. It had a very cool look to it, so we decided to incorporate it in to the Birthday Party scene. Due to the fact that the Birthday Party only has two characters now, the large table that was part of the stunt was not only too big, but it was very low making it hard for riders to see the props, and it was blocking some of the walking space next to the track. So, we opted to put the original Birthday Party table in to storage and use Tracy’s Mad Scientist counter to elevate the display higher. Further, the old chains from Ghost Ship and barrels from Phantasmagoria were also added to bring the stunt back to life. It was a win-win situation as we were able to keep Tracy’s Mad Scientist stunt alive in some sense, but also add some more original styling and color to one of Tracy’s most memorable and freakishly grotesque stunts.
April 8, 2012
The Attic Rat in the first room has received a new buzzer. The old chirping horn mechanism broke and the stunt remained without sound for quite some time. The new buzzer does the job and still keeps the stunt true to Tracy. The Attic Rat at the downhill area is in queue to receive a new buzzer soon as well. Check it out.
April 7, 2012
The Rio Grande Wild West train ride that was constructed in the Carousel House at Trimper's is now open. I took some snapshots yesterday and I was pretty impressed. Check it out. To build it, the Land Boats and Motorcycle rides had to be retired after a very long run. The coolest thing about this new attraction is that the station is named "Granville Station". Very cool!
March 26, 2012
The sister attraction of Trimper’s Pirates Cove underwent a major makeover this winter. The Pirates Cove at Waldameer Park in Erie, PA, another Tracy attraction built in 1972 only a year after Trimper’s, was pampered over the last few months in preparation for its 40th anniversary.
Randy Skalos, caretaker of both the Pirates Cove and Whacky Shack at Waldameer, not to mention an awesome artist, has been working to restore a lot of the original Tracy stunts in Waldameer's Pirates Cove. He was also able to restore some of the original sounds which will be included in the opening of the ride this summer. Below, you’ll find one of the moving skulls that Randy has been restoring to its original glory, as well as the original sound byte that I uploaded from the “Last Drop” stunt at Waldameer, a.k.a "Pirate’s John." In addition to the interior stunts being refurbished, the entire backdrop of the attraction is being repainted.
If you love Trimper’s Haunted House and Pirates Cove, a trip to Waldameer should absolutely be on your calendar for this summer!
March 23, 2012
Tracy’s Skull from the Skull Waterfall in Phantasmagoria was a tough item to place. Not only is it gigantic, but it’s a bit awkward to situate in a location by itself. After searching for the perfect spot, we decided to put it at the downhill behind the banister where the Vampire prop previously sat. There may be future plans to remove the banister, but for now, it will stay original to the 1988 redesign. The challenge now is to find a way to make this stunt look cool. Black lights, red lights, strobe lights, lights in the eyes – what would look the best? The car generally goes by this location rather quickly and the corner is rather dark otherwise. For those who were a fan of the Vampire prop, don’t worry. It has been moved a little to the left to the corner directly across from the Attic Rat at the downhill.
It’s cool to note that Trimper’s Pirates Cove also has this identical mold in its original Skull Waterfall. Two of Tracy’s Skull molds at one park – now that is for the record books!
March 21, 2012
Check out the facade section to view our first ever color of photo of Trimper's Haunted House from 1964! It looks to be from the early fall of that year. It came from a Facebook group called Ocean City Then and Now. Join it for some great pics from the past!
March 19, 2012
I know everyone is anxious about the new additions this year, so I’ll give you a few more photos to help feed your Haunted House addictions.
Below, you’ll find Phantasmagoria’s Hanging Skeleton now located where the Giant Skull and Mad Scientist were once located, directly across from the Torture Chamber. The cabinet for this item fit perfectly in the corner. You’ll notice the doors were up and ready for painting when I took this photo. This particular stunt took five men to move and is about 8 feet tall. A monster! Scott was able to mount a double black light fixture above the new set of doors to make the stunt glow like Tracy originally intended it. He was also able to place a single black light in the cabinet's base. After looking it over, I concluded that it still has the original paint from when it was installed in Phantasmagoria in 1973. Click here to see how the stunt originally looked in the Mirror Room of Phantasmagoria.
Next up is the location for Tracy’s Pop-up Coffin which is across from the Knit Wit and Witch, right before heading in to the Graveyard. The skeleton in this stunt actually sits up upon activation. It is very creepy. This location allowed us to tap in to the air line for the Old Mill stunt which is on the other side of the wall. We plan to make it activate at the same time as the Witch so it is certain to scare you regardless of where you are looking. A double black light fixture was mounted on the wall behind this stunt to bring it alive! Click here to see how this stunt looked in the Graveyard of Phantasmagoria. Stay tuned for future updates.
March 16, 2012
Good news all around!
Trimper's Haunted House will be open on weekends starting March 31! That said, I spoke with Scotty today and he has confirmed that the new vintage effects from Phantasmagoria have all been lit with blacklights and are ready to scare visitors. They are still in the process of getting the effects operational but hope to have them ready by Easter weekend.
In all, six effects from Phantasmagoria have been installed, and two brand new effects from Scare Factory are in transit. Several older effects got moved around to make room for the new stuff. I am working on an article that will outline all of the changes complete with installation and construction photographs. I hope to have the article done shortly after Easter this year, so stay tuned! I think it's really going to blow your socks off!
In the mean time, I will include one teaser photo below of the new bang doors we constructed upstairs. We have talked about this dream for many years in the forum, and we have finally executed it! Stay tuned!
February 22, 2012
I was thinking today about the new additions in Trimper's Haunted House from Bill Tracy's defunct Phantasmagoria as well as the Ghost Ship installation in 1988. The Ghost Ship stunts were welcomed in to Trimper's Haunted House in 1988, exactly 24 years after the ride was built in 1964. The Phantasmagoria stunts were being welcomed into Trimper's Haunted House exactly 24 years after the Ghost Ship stunts were installed in 1988. Add the two together and that makes 48 years, the exact age of Trimper's Haunted House this year. As of the current age of the ride today, the Ghost Ship stunts were installed halfway through its lifetime. We seem to be on some sort of 24 year cycle. I wonder what will happen in 2036? An installation and expansion including stunts from Waldameer's Whacky Shack? Hmmm?
Stay tuned for updates regarding the placement of the Phantasmagoria stunts as well as some other major changes!
February 20, 2012
Check out an awesome advertisement from The Deadline featuring the famous animated talking door knocker that adorns the wall above the entrance door. The Deadline was a company set up as a joint venture between V.P. Productions and Boneyard Productions. Although, whenever service or parts are needed for the effect, the management calls V.P. Productions directly. Special thanks to Randy Skalos, caretaker of Waldameer’s Whacky Shack for sharing this piece from his collector’s vault!
February 18, 2012
Oh, how I love the smell of progress! ... or fresh paint.
So far this year, several key things have received a fresh paint job in Trimper's Haunted House:
The floor (ceiling) of the Upside-Down Room
The floor of the first room (if you can remember, practically all of the paint was worn off)
The Lobby floor
The HVAC unit above the Torture Chamber
The HVAC duct work above the downhill area
The front wall in the Wave Room that was showing a lot of screws and washers from when it was reattached to the wall after being vandalized.
The door and trim for the lobby ticket booth was replaced and repainted, as well as the entire interior of the ticket booth.
In addition, we spent a considerable amount of time combing the ride and painting any miscellaneous pipes or wires black that would have otherwise stood out. Part of the agenda for the remainder of this winter is to start repainting floors on the second level. We might get there, we might not. Either way, we are making great progress!
February 16, 2012
Artifacts in Trimper’s Haunted House? Oh Rats!
While the installation of the newly-acquired stunts from Phantasmagoria was taking place, we also spent a lot of time cleaning the ride and collecting a decade of trash. Attention was given to places in the ride that otherwise would have been ignored, and as a result, we found an artifact that is incredibly interesting!
While contemplating the relocation of the Mermaid on the second story, we were cleaning the diorama where it was originally located and in a far corner found something odd. It didn’t really look like anything at first glance other than a melted pile of rubber. I picked it up and realized it was a rubber Rat that apparently melted as a result of multiple summers of hot beach weather. There was also a possibility that the Rat melted during a small fire that took place in the Mermaid area some years back.
I turned the Rat over and realized it was hollow and stuffed with newspaper to keep it “full” in its prime. Out of curiosity, I pulled out the piece of newspaper inside and discovered it was a New York Times issue from July of 1964, the same time period that Trimper’s Haunted House was being installed!
So, since we know the Rat is dated back to the ride’s inception, the question is, where was the Rat located and how did it end up in the Mermaid?
Back in the 1990s, I vividly recall a Rat of similar dimensions (sans the melting) being mounted in the Falling Barrel room on one of the timbers. There was only one Rat in there, but it always stood out to me. One day, the Rat disappeared and I always wondered where it went. My guess is that some rider grabbed it, held on to it until the Mermaid area, and then threw it in the diorama afraid that he or she would get caught with it. And, there it stayed for almost 20 years.
The only other place in the ride where I remember a similar prop was in Body in the Cellar before entering the Falling Beam hill. But, my logic tells me this Rat did not come from that effect as the water in the stunt would have deteriorated the newspaper within minutes. The Rat we found clearly came from a “dry” area.
As this historical ride continues to make millions of people smile, we continue to piece together the mysteries of the mysterious! Awesome find!
February 8, 2012
Okay, I'm about to drop two gems on you. I hope you're sitting down...
This video is the first of its kind; a ride through Trimper's Haunted House in 1986 when it was one level. It was expanded to two stories in 1988, only two years later. The video also contains shots of Morbid Manor on the Pier, and the interior of Marty's Playland. Credit for this exclusive goes to Chris Evans, historian of all things retro and nostalgic.
Although this video was shot prior to night vision on cameras, you can still make out a lot of your favorite features and their sound effects. Although the effects were clearly in different locations back then, it's awesome to see the original placement of the stunts when they were installed in 1964. Most visible is the Rat, Crooked Timbers, Upsidedown Room, Old Mill, Knit Wit, Torture Chamber, Franenstein's Monster, and Last Drop effects. Back then, it appears the interior sound effects were actually played at a faster speed, making them sound different. But don't be fooled, they are indeed the same! Enjoy!
Below, check out an awesome video featuring a ride through of Trimper's Haunted House in 1991, only three years after the second story was added which included installation of Bill Tracy gags from Ghost Ship at defunct Ocean Playland Park on 65th street. In this video, you can see several long lost stunts including the Wolfman, Body in the Cellar, Wine Cellar, Mermaid, Crab, Attic Stairs, and Mad Scientist. You can also see the original location for the Birthday Party before it was moved to the downhill area. It's awesome to see how fresh the paint is on some of these effects! Credit for this video goes to Chris Evans, historian of all things retro and nostalgic. He allowed Trimper's Haunted House Online to show this exclusively.
February 6, 2012
WHOA! Check out a video just added to our YouTube Channel of Trimper's Haunted House and the Ocean City Boardwalk from 1986 shot while riding on the boardwalk train! A one-story Haunted House can be seen at the very end of the video, complete with the organ music playing in the lobby! Special thanks to Chris Evans for sharing!
February 3, 2012
I posted some old photos from 1991 of the Crab and Headslinger on the Facebook page. Check them out! Also, I have been in touch with someone who might have video footage of inside of the ride from 1986, back when the Haunted House was one level! Stay tuned.
The installation of the new "old" effects will take place in about a week. I'll be updating the Facebook page with the progress. Check back for updates!