R.I.P. The Haunted Castle

My favorite dark ride in America, based on my limited experience, was Dante's Inferno at Coney Island. It was removed when Coney Island basically got sold to condominium developers. We've already discussed that here and here.

Second favorite: definitely the Haunted Castle at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. I've just learned that it was demolished last summer. God-DAMN-it. Here's a ride-through:

Crews are hard at work building a new Haunted Castle with multiple floors and Disneyland-style rotating buggies, set to open later this year. I'm sure it'll be a technological improvement, but the cheap-thrills carny style of the original will be missed. Here are some of the plans:

As long as I'm talking about this, the thing I miss most about the two years I lived in Germany is all of the Geisterbahns. There was always at least one at every Bierfest, and the Munich Oktoberfest had dozens of them. They seem to be no less a crucial component of German culture than scale models.

Speaking of which:

This is the greatest object I've ever seen. The guy who shot this video built and painted it from a kit. Faller models of Germany sells loads of motorized carnival model kits, including woodie roller coasters and working log flumes (unfortunately, this particular model has been discontinued since the mid-90's). They have a website, but the video maker guy has a better one here, complete with more videos and build-up instructions. Super-fun. If I didn't fancy myself as a sculptor rather than a kit-builder, I'd buy alla this shit, man.

And if you're interested in visiting the handful of dark rides remaining in America, once again, the resource for finding them is here.

No comments: