Although many stunts and effects have come and gone throughout the years inside Trimper’s Haunted House, one thing is for sure; the Haunted House women have stayed pretty consistent. When examining Bill Tracy’s stunts which include barely-clothed tortured damsels and rotting corpses, it is hard to tell exactly where he got inspiration for such artistic design.
Most of Tracy’s women have an enormous amount of sexual appeal, although the majority of them are either getting cut in half, tortured, or suspended upside-down in a heap of chaos. I mean, lets face it—the Torture Chamber women is quite sensual with her moving breasts and over-emphasized facial features. Likewise, the Sawmill damsel would make an ideal prom date if it wasn’t for the fact that a 24” circular saw blade was cutting right up her torso.
Tracy, for whatever reason, enjoyed making his stunts semi-risky. Back in the 60’s, this kind of artistry was common in dark rides and funhouses. Today, however, if such stunts were introduced to the public by Distortions or ScareFactory, I am doubtful that the public would accept them in the same fashion they did almost a half-century ago.
Tracy’s Knit Wit, although not an exposing damsel, is a female nevertheless. I always viewed the Knit Wit as the grandmother or overseer of the household as she sits comfortably in her diorama and patiently knits her spider web. Unlike Tracy’s other women, the Knit Wit is content and remains “untortured” if you will. Instead of being forced unwillingly into a chaotic state, she sits in peace and enjoys one of her favorite hobbies as she greets your car as it inclines around the bend. The Knit Wit once located in Wildwood’s Whacky Shack presents the same sort of disposition.
The most mysterious stunt still remaining in the Haunted House is Tracy’s Mermaid. Please view picture to the right taken by Bill Luca of Laffinthedark.com. Although this stunt is not in its original location, the remains are now located on the second floor.
This stunt resembled more of a clown-like appearance in its day with its distorted face and green hair.
When this stunt was originally in its diorama across from Frankenstein, an air-powered pneumatic cylinder would rotated the clam shell 180 degrees until she was facing your car, only to return to its original position after your car exited onto the balcony. The remains of the Mermaid now sit upstairs across from the Jumping Goul. With her breasts clearly showing and her jewelry shiny as ever, Tracy pulled out all the stops with this memorable and amusing figure. The bright-colored fluorescent yellow and green paint will force you to take a quick glance as your car treks by.
Tracy’s women, luckily, still have a large presence in Trimper’s Haunted House. Although the stunts are leaving the Haunted House one-by-one, let us hope that the stunts including the staple women figures will remain for a long time to come.
Copyright © 2007 Brandon Seidl
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