I have recently uncovered three letters to Granville Trimper from Francis Messmore of Messmore & Damon, Inc. spanning from December of 1970 through February of 1971. In the letters, Messmore is following up with Granville about the "Springing Frankenstein" that he inquired about at that year's IAAPA show in Chicago. I don't believe the signatures is authentic, because it changes pretty dramatically in each document. It's still neat to see some behind-the-scenes business taking place for a ride that we all care so much about. Check them out: 1 | 2 | 3
"Springing Frankenstein" was said to be one of Granville's favorite stunts in the ride. It was installed in 1971 and was removed in 2006 to make way for "The Reacher Bale Character."
About 15 years ago, the Trimper family introduced the "Inverter" ride into their lineup. When it arrived to the park, it was by far the coolest, brightest, and most high-tech ride around. It has continued to be a favorite by all through the years as it sat beside the Zipper and Tilt-a-Whirl. Sadly, the Inverter has been retired permanently and will be replaced with a new ride next season. Join me in saying goodbye to this Chance classic. It certainly had a good run during its tenure at its home by the sea, but now it will find its new home in Trimpers ride graveyard.
September 18, 2013
I am still seeking photographs for the 50th Anniversary Book Project. Please read a Call for Photos announcement and share with your friends. Thanks for your help!
September 7, 2013
Howdy folks. The summer season is over, and things are winding down. Hard to believe another season has come and gone. The ride's 50th year in operation is upon us, and that is exciting! Speaking of anniversaries, this month marks the 6th anniversary of www.OCHH.net (I originally built the first version over the entire month of September back in 2007) and for that I wanted to release a brief article regarding Bill Tracy for you all to ponder. Enjoy!
I'm excited to share that I've been asked to co-author a book with the Trimper family to be released for the 50th anniversary of Trimper's Haunted House next year. The book will be published primarily about Trimper Rides & Amusements, but will include in-depth chapters on the Haunted House and Pirates Cove with a focus on their history.
The book will be published by Arcadia Publishing and will feature the history of Trimpers told through photos. I am making a Call for Photos for this project in support of our storytelling initiative.
If you have any photos of Trimper properties, rides, amusements, concessions, Haunted House, Pirates Cove, or the like, from the early 1980s or earlier and would like to contribute them to the project, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos must be of good quality, you must own the rights, and any individual who contributes a photograph will be required to sign a release waiver for our unlimited rights to use the photo in the book. No digital photos are permitted, so please do not inquire if you possess such photos. Additional photo requirements, such as scanning and quality requirements, will be addressed when you contact us.
The deadline for photo submissions is October 31, 2013.
There is no guarantee that every photo submitted will be used in the project, it will depend on how our story is told and the layout of the book.
Thanks in advance for your contributions to make this collaborative project successful. I look forward to sharing your memorable photographs in a piece that will live on for generations to come.
August 24, 2013
A special thanks to Mike B. once again for sharing photos of the newly-configured Aladin's Lamp funhouse at Trimper's. This year, in order to make room for another inflatable attraction, crews literally cut the funhouse in half by removing dead walking space and keeping only the essential floor obstacles. Although the "dark ride" element has been taken away from this 1970s classic, it still has all of the great features we all remember so well from our childhoods. Check out an updated gallery.
August 22, 2013
Do you believe in ghosts? Trimper's Haunted House isn't the only spooky place in OC. The property of Trimper Rides & Amusements is said to have plenty of REAL ghosts. The Inlet Lodge dates back to 1940, and the Carousel House back to the early 1900s. You have to believe there are some real souls wandering. Join the OC Ghost Walks to learn more!
August 21, 2013
Naturally, I've always been a fan of Bill Tracy's stunts in Trimper's Haunted House that are original to the ride's construction in 1964. Pieces like the Knit Wit, Old Mill, Torture Chamber, and Last Drop are just classics in every sense. But, I've always had a soft spot for the Tracy effects brought over from Playland's Ghost Ship in 1988, perhaps even more so. I think it's because the majority of the effects brought over from Ghost Ship are pieces that I've never seen anywhere else, even with all of my research of Tracy for The Bill Tracy Project. Pieces like the Seasick Pirate, Crab, Birthday Party, and Mermaid have yet to be seen elsewhere, save for different variations (the Crab was perhaps repurposed as a giant spider in other Tracy attractions, but never used in a nautical-themed attraction as an actual Crab).
I always try to remain optimistic about the Ghost Ship-era stunts in the ride, but they always seem to be the ones to get the shaft and forgotten about, certainly not on purpose, but perhaps because of timing or circumstance. Looking back at all of the Ghost Ship stunts that have already left us -- Crab, Seasick Pirate, Mad Scientist, Attic Stairs, Wine Cellar, and Mine Shaft -- it makes me a bit concerned about the classic Ghost Ship pieces that remain, such as two of my personal favorites, the Birthday Party and the Mermaid. Mike B's most recent picture of the Mermaid taken this year really opened my eyes to the fact that these Tracy molds are practically rotting away and are endangered. I suggest everyone take lots of photos of the Mermaid the next time you visit, because in its current location, all it will take is for one patron to throw a punch to her head, and it will be all over.
August 19, 2013
Bald, green, and incredibly grumpy. That's the current state of the "Green Lady" who suffered an act of vandalism a few weeks back when some fool pulled her onto the track, only to be run over by the following car. Her base was damaged, and her iconic neon orange wig was stolen. For now, she rests peacefully in the corner near the Buzzard until she can be tended to this winter. Special thanks to Mike B. for the photo.
August 18, 2013 - 7:20pm
I'm on a roll today. The Track Plan & Stunt Placement feature has been outdated for years, so I've finally come around to updating it and adding a cool hover feature so you can more easily navigate through the layout and stunts. Check it out!
August 18, 2013
A special thanks to our on-site correspondent and forum member, Mike B., for sending back some up-to-date pics from inside the ride. Most notably, the new location for "Swing Girl". According to the management, she swings every 5 minutes which makes your chances of seeing her swing roughly 1 in 10 or so. More to come.
August 17, 2013
After a brief time out of commission, the Count has finally been fixed and he's back to his chatty ways once again. More importantly, I'm excited to share that a brand new stunt from the Scarefactory was recently installed. "Swing Girl" can now be seen right after the Revolving Barrel, immediately before entering the Upside Down Room. Due to space constraints, this area was one of the few places left for this stunt as it required ample clearance for its movement. Photos to come very shortly.
August 12, 2013
If anyone is making a special trip to Trimper's Haunted House to see the Count anytime soon, you better adjust your plans. The Count is currently down and out as CD player that controls the Count's sound, and which provides inaudible signals to make him move along with the narration, has gone up for the first time since it was installed in 1995. A new one has been ordered and is on its way, but in the meantime, expect a quieter than normal lobby with this trouble maker temporarily out of commission.
August 10, 2013
Trimper's Haunted House was mentioned as a "Beach Bargain" by Baltimore Magazine this year!-Proof that a ride through this classic Bill Tracy dark ride is one of the best values in OCMD. Check it out! Also, I uploaded a few original sound effects to YouTube for folks to enjoy. I'll continue to upload these throughout the fall and hope to acquire some new sounds this year including the new Organ Meister and new rat buzzers. If anyone has these, I'd love to share them on the site. The Virtual Tour has been updated to reflect changes made this year and I'm assuming that the two new additional stunts purchased from the Scarefactory, which are still in storage, will not be installed until next year. More on that later as I learn more.
Summer is coming rapidly to an end. It's hard to believe another season has come and is nearly gone!
August 3, 2013
Howdy folks. My apologies for a lack of updates this summer. I've been incredibly busy and there really hasn't been much news to report.
The ride has been running smooth so far this summer with very few incidences. That being said, I regret to share that the "Green Lady" from Phantasmagoria was pulled onto the track by a vandal a few weeks ago, then was run over by the following car. The stunt suffered damage, particularly to the base which includes the mechanism that makes her arm move up and down. She has since been moved from the Vampiress room to near the Electric Chair out of harm's way. I hope to get down there at some point this fall to check out the damage and perhaps fix it.
There are still a bunch of ideas and plans that the Trimper family hopes to carry out in the ride this coming winter, but only time will tell. There is a rumor that the Revolving Barrel will be overhauled with a new mold from the Scarefactory, eliminating Tracy's original celastic rock mold which is original from 1964. Unfortunately, nearly 50 years of rotating has caused the mold to break apart in places, and the illusion is slowly starting to disappear. More to come on this later.
Next year will mark the ride's 50th anniversary, and celebratory plans are underway. Stay tuned.
June 2, 2013
A few items of interest - Wolfman, a longtime member of Trimper's Haunted House that hasn't really worked well for two decades or so, is being worked on and will hopefully be fixed shortly. He is definitely one of the oldest "antiques" of the ride, so his return in working condition will be greatly welcomed. Also, the photos below depict where things were moved to in order to make room for the new Organ Miester stunt from The Scarefactory. The locations are not ideal by any means, but Scotty is running out of room and did the best he could with finding space without having to eliminate any effects from the ride. More to come!
May 29, 2013
For all you shooting gallery fans, I'm delighted to share that Trimper's has THREE (3) new shooting galleries this year, one of which is a horror-themed gallery from The Scarefactory called "The Haunted Parlor". The horror gallery sits in the place of the former Eli Ferris Wheel and has been built into a portable shed. The other two galleries are located in the Merry-Go-Round building and were manufactured by a company called Daniels Wood Land, Inc. Of course, the big classic shooting gallery with the piano player is still very popular. Check out photos of the new galleries and be sure to stop by and try your luck!
May 27, 2013
Happy Memorial Day! I would like to introduce the newest member of the Haunted House family, "The Organ Miester Zombiette." Brand new for this year, this creepy dude plays some chilling tunes out of his trusty organ made up of skulls and other body parts. He comes direct from the Scarefactory and was added upstairs in the place of the Buzzard from Phantasmagoria. Check out the original catalog listing here. His head turns from side to side, and there is an audio track that plays along with him. The Buzzard cabinet was moved to the Electric Chair area to make room, and the Mermaid was moved to the Cuckoo Clock area. It's hard to keep up with the ongoing changes! Check out a full gallery of the new stunt. More updates to come this week.
April 18, 2013
I've added two additional sounds to the sounds page, a remastered audio byte from "The Last Drop" from 1986, and another "Train" byte from 1991. Also, please join a new Morbid Manor fan page to help share photos and memories of the beloved ORIGINAL defunct attraction.
April 17, 2013
Check out a brand new section celebrating the stunts that have been retired from the ride up to this point - Gone But Not Forgotten.
April 16, 2013
Thoughts and prayers to all of those in Boston who were affected by yesterday's tragic events. I am left speechless about the situation, and I hope we are able to come together to support those involved, and bring those responsible to justice. Stay safe, folks.
I have updated the Modernization section to include last year's additions, and this year's new addition "Breakthru" which has been installed in the lobby. More to come as new stunts are revealed. It's amazing that several of the "new" stunts on that page have been retired from the ride already, including the Borecon Trolls and Mammoth Spider Web!
April 15, 2013
To any old-timers who remember when the Trimper family owned the portable Ghost Hole dark ride back in the 1990s, I'm sorry to report that the ride has received very severe damage from Hurricane Sandy last fall up in Coney Island, and its future is uncertain at this point. From what I've heard, a lot of the stunts from the inside were damaged, as well as some of the exterior. Check out a thread which talks about the situation. Photos of the damage can be seen at the bottom of the page.
April 13, 2013
For those that missed the Tribune Archives photos of the original Morbid Manor on our Facebook page the other day, I uploaded them into our Morbid Manor section. Pretty cool pics from the 70s and 80s that show the building, and even the water slides.
April 7, 2013
Granville Trimper's Big Eli Ferris Wheel will surely be missed this year as it is the first year it will be excluded from the park since it was purchased over a half-century ago due to the ride's retirement. It was one of the first rides in the outdoor area of the park, and certainly one of the most memorable. For many years, it served as the only Ferris Wheel in the Trimper ride lineup. Below is a clipping from a 1954 issue of Amusement Business that advertises the Eli Wheel as being not only an attractive piece to have in your park, but also the most profitable of its time. In the list of owners, Granville D. and Pearl M. Trimper are proudly named.
March 31, 2013
Spring is in the air, and so is an abundance of dramatic changes.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter holiday this year. It's hard to believe another summer is on our doorstep, but based on the amount of people out on the boardwalk this weekend, I think folks are ready for sun and fun. It has been a quiet winter until recently, and I'm excited to share some changes to Trimper's Haunted House, as well as some alterations elsewhere at Trimper's. I'll leave the Haunted House news for last and begin with some jaw-dropping news related to the Salem Aleikum - Aladin's Lamp funhouse.
This year, the attraction was literally cut in half and set up with a smaller footprint to make room for another new attraction (to be named later) that will sit right beside it. The photo below displays what the shrunken facade now looks like. The first part of the walk-thru, which previously included a maze, several dark hallways, and strobe room, has been eliminated. Now, customers will go down one hallway, enter the room with the spinning disk, and proceed to the rotating barrels at the ride's ending. As of now, I am not sure if the obstacle course at the attractions entrance will be included in this year's setup.
Despite the attraction's downsizing, the two torsos of Arabian men have reappeared freshly painted in the facade's windows for the first time in over a decade. The attraction has been a staple tradition at Trimper's since its installation around 1975.
In Haunted House news, the biggest addition thus far has been to the lobby. For the first time since 2005, a new effect has been added to the far right corner of the lobby as guests exit the ride. It is an effect called "Breakthru" from Pale Night Productions. It is a high-impact video effect where zombies appear to flood toward a set of chained doors as air pistons physically move the doors. To make room for the effect, a piece of Tracy's original wall panel was removed and relocated to the second story. The crew did an outstanding job painting the added shingles and scenery around the effect to make it blend in with Tracy's original panels. A timer will shortly be installed to allow the effect to trigger every five minutes. Check out a full gallery of this new addition.
To enhance the new video effect and present a more ominous feel in the lobby, many of the flood lights were removed, save for the light on the Count and at the entrance doors. The chandeliers were also elevated slightly. This combination makes the entire lobby a bit darker. An example of the effect can be seen here.
While the wall panel from the lobby was moved upstairs behind the Dancing Coffin, a small wall was built beside the Leaper to hide him from view until he actually leaps. Two additional new effects have also been ordered for installation this year. More to come.
In other news, Trimper's famous Eli Ferris Wheel has been retired as of this year and will not be set up for the 2013 season. It has been a staple fixture of the park for decades and will surely live on in the memories of millions of visitors. Also, Davey Jones Locker, a bar and grill that resided in a Trimper building that used to house Burger King, will not be reopening this year. Instead, the Trimpers will open a new venue called "Sandy Bottoms Bar & Grill" and continue the tradition of offering great food and drinks paired with a great view. Stay tuned for future updates on this.
Please join our online forum to share stories, ask questions, and meet fellow enthusiasts!
February 26, 2013
Well folks, hold on to your hats. Lots of changes coming to Trimper's Haunted House for the 2013 season to include a MAJOR adjustment/addition to the lobby and some TLC to some Tracy classics inside. Stay tuned for updates. I think you guys will like what's to come.
February 20, 2013
For those that missed this picture on Facebook, it's an awesome image from the mid 90s of two Chance classics that are no longer with us; the Sky Wheel and Toboggan. They are missed by all! I'll be the first to admit that the Sky Wheel was one of the most frightening rides I had ever been on. Also in the picture is the old park entrance sign, which was replaced about a decade ago.
When the Trimper's decided to retire the Sky Wheel, it was disassembled and the seats and light strips were put in to storage. The majority of the steel is sitting in the woods rusting away. The Toboggan body was hauled off by scrap metal salvagers this past fall after any valuable lights and electrical harnesses were removed.
With changing tides come changing rides. I am just glad we were able to experience them for as long as we did!
February 2, 2013
Check out an awesome shot of the pier and Morbid Manor from August of 1983! What a different landscape the pier had back then.
January 30, 2013
Hi all. Long time, no talk. I wanted to touch base as I believe you all deserve some sort of update! Not too much to report from the home front. All is well, Trimper's Haunted House is staying strong through another Maryland winter, the park is quiet, and everyone is getting ready for another season- the ride's 49th.
I hope everyone had a great holiday, and while I had some time off to think, I've been pondering where "I" and "we" as a group can take this site next, and what the next phase will be. I started the site in 2007, and I think it is safe to say that nearly all of the ride has been documented up to this point through hundreds of detailed updates. What I don't want to do is continue to provide updates about things already discussed. It seems to me the focus, going forward, will be on more big-picture things leading to articles, similar to last summer's "Facelift of 2012" feature. I might also begin to focus on other areas around the park (Pirates Cove), but there are also some unanswered questions about the HH that we can touch on. For example, physical room dimensions, sharing more stories of customers/passengers, employee experiences, etc. Rather than continue making this a factual website, which it very much is and will always be, I may begin to focus more on customer experiences. In all, that is what makes the ride successful in a given season. I've started to share a lot more information on my Facebook page dedicated to the ride, but if anyone has suggestions on things they'd like to see going forward, please don't hesitate to email me. I enjoy hearing from fans of the ride, and in particular, fans of the site.
Stay well all. Stay tuned for updates as spring nears!