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Offline thunderbolt85  
#1 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 10:51:42 AM(UTC)
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Wanted to see if you all wanted to discuss unusual and unique dark rides you have seen, moved, or been on before. Doesn't seem to be as many unique dark rides as years ago, but I still see a few from time to time. Here are some of the best that I remember:

Lazer Dome: Deggeller attractions during the 80s, tubs had lazer tag type guns mounted on front to shoot at aliens/monsters, not sure of what happened to it.

Mike Scott's Ghost Train: loved that one, really interesting front usually with a live spook on busy spots that always drew a crowd.

Haunted Manor: Not positive on name, but was on Conklin's midway every year at the SC State Fair, walk thru I believe with Michael Myers music playing.

Demon World: Strates shows during the 90s and early 2000's I believe before he dropped it, nice two story dark ride.

Bates Motel: Reithoffer shows, themed on back end of ride as well, never rode it, but looked cool.

Cape Fear: saw it once on Pugh I believe after they bought Crown, nice looking piece. When the Upper State Fair was over that year it sat there for weeks for some reason before they finally tore it down.


Thor: Walk thru built by same company that made the Thriller I believe, saw it on Deggeller in the 80s.


What do you all remember, or that you have even seen today still on the road?
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Offline Astro85  
#2 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 2:26:02 PM(UTC)
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All Star / NAME has a Ghost Pirates that is really cool looking. Awesome art work. Would love to see more dark rides on midways. Some of the coolest rides I’ve been on are dark rides. I would love to see a carnival version of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. That ride is super cool.
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thunderbolt85 on 9/20/2019(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#3 Posted : Saturday, September 21, 2019 4:06:46 AM(UTC)
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Witch Castle and Ghost Mansion were nice...
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Offline thunderbolt85  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 23, 2019 10:59:01 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ridejocky Go to Quoted Post
Witch Castle and Ghost Mansion were nice...



Yep, liked those as well, Modern Midways was carrying a Ghost Train as well back a few years ago, can't remember who built it, but a nice classic looking dark ride.


There were lots of great walk thru/dark rides but you know there have been some cheesy ones as well, some I remember:

1. Walk thru with one level, big front that looks good, but when you get on the inside, noting more than dark hallways with a few cheap tricks. Really nothing more than walking thru a dark trailer.

2. Been on some dark rides as well that looked real promising on the outside, but on the inside nothing more than a ride in the dark back and forth, maybe a bell or buzzer but pretty disappointing.
Offline britt  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 2:23:03 AM(UTC)
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I think when PGAM gets their Owens Darkride back out it will be a good one. all new front paint from TJ and all new tricks inside. looked at several of them sitting in shop. impressive just sitting there.
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thunderbolt85 on 9/24/2019(UTC)
Offline bigjlh  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 6:59:20 PM(UTC)
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many years ago,bill boutell had a two level dark ride flight to mars built by mack very impressive piece not many around at time,also a huge pinfari zyclon coaster on the independent route the dark ride always had a good tip huge piece.ok then thnx big jlh
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thunderbolt85 on 9/25/2019(UTC)
Offline bigjlh  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 7:06:03 PM(UTC)
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iirc,the tubs resembled the tubs from a mack calypso it was pretty neat it kind of dropped into the loading,unloading station.nice scenery panels with huge sign on top saying flight to mars ok then thnx big jlh
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thunderbolt85 on 9/25/2019(UTC)
Offline JW  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2019 1:04:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: thunderbolt85 Go to Quoted Post


Mike Scott's Ghost Train: loved that one, really interesting front usually with a live spook on busy spots that always drew a crowd.



I remember a number of years ago, I visited with the late Jules Catarzi at his yard in Gibsonton, while he was building the prototype for what turned out to be Wisdom's Renegade rocking pirate ship fun house. Mike Scott's Ghost Train (which was built by Jules Catarzi) was set up at the lot and Jules told me that the Ghost Train was possibly the only, or one of few dark rides that was built "backwards". I asked him what he meant by that. He pointed out to me that on the Ghost Train the dark room is built forward of the trailer and scenery wall, as opposed to most dark rides that have the dark room behind the trailer. Also, although it is a single-deck dark ride, the boarding platform of the Ghost Train is a portable platform that is built at ground level and the cars are taken up and down ramps at the entrance and exit, which gives an appearance that the cars are taken up to a second floor level.

Does anyone know if the Ghost Train still around?

Edited by user Wednesday, September 25, 2019 1:08:07 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"Don't forget to be half fair and give a little credit to the small concessionaire"
Offline thunderbolt85  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2019 11:14:45 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: JW Go to Quoted Post
I remember a number of years ago, I visited with the late Jules Catarzi at his yard in Gibsonton, while he was building the prototype for what turned out to be Wisdom's Renegade rocking pirate ship fun house. Mike Scott's Ghost Train (which was built by Jules Catarzi) was set up at the lot and Jules told me that the Ghost Train was possibly the only, or one of few dark rides that was built "backwards". I asked him what he meant by that. He pointed out to me that on the Ghost Train the dark room is built forward of the trailer and scenery wall, as opposed to most dark rides that have the dark room behind the trailer. Also, although it is a single-deck dark ride, the boarding platform of the Ghost Train is a portable platform that is built at ground level and the cars are taken up and down ramps at the entrance and exit, which gives an appearance that the cars are taken up to a second floor level.

Does anyone know if the Ghost Train still around?



Yep, that was one really cool dark ride, from the last I heard someone in the Midwest bought it and was using it, even saw it in a picture online on time a while back, but not sure of its current status now, sorry can't remember the show/person that bought it.
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JW on 9/25/2019(UTC)
Offline ridejocky  
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 12:17:26 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: thunderbolt85 Go to Quoted Post
Yep, that was one really cool dark ride, from the last I heard someone in the Midwest bought it and was using it, even saw it in a picture online on time a while back, but not sure of its current status now, sorry can't remember the show/person that bought it.



Let's not forget what a great job Mike Scott did with making that such a great operation. It was a nice piece, but the operation made it great.


Ride the Zipper?
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thunderbolt85 on 9/26/2019(UTC)
Offline JW  
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 1:04:07 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ridejocky Go to Quoted Post
Let's not forget what a great job Mike Scott did with making that such a great operation. It was a nice piece, but the operation made it great.





Absolutely.
Mike and his nephew, Scotty Stevens ran a first class operation (complete with live actor(s) and had a great presentation.

I liked the original BrOwning front on that ride.


In 1988, mike Scott debuted a second dark ride on Strates Shows themed, Demon's Dungeon. That ride had a front that was painted by doc Rivera.
"Don't forget to be half fair and give a little credit to the small concessionaire"
Offline JW  
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 1:35:25 AM(UTC)
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Although the topic is about unusual and unique dark rides, I suppose we can include Fun Houses (?)

A unique fun house that comes to mind is one that was built in 1997 for Fiesta Shows. It's called, "EARTHQUAKE".

I never got to see the completed project in person. It was built in-house by Fiesta Shows, or so that's what I was told when I saw it being built in Feb. of 1997 at Fiesta Shows lot in Gibsonton, FL. However, Fiesta Shows' website mentions Southern as having involvement with it.
When I saw it in Florida in 1997, it was just being completed. The front wasn't painted on it yet, however I was told it was going to be turned over to Bill Browning to paint the front on it.

I wrote a short article about it that appeared in the April 1997 issue of Carousel Magazine.

The headline was, "Earthquake Hits Gibtown" (I liked that attention-grabbing headline I came up with).

Here are some excerpts from the article...

"An EARTHQUAKE has emerged in Gibsonton, Florida over the winter and is predicted to be a mover and shaker on Fiesta Shows this season.
This spring, New Hampshire based Fiesta Shows will debut a new fun house attraction that is sure to be a crowd stopper on the midway.
Themed "EARTHQUAKE", the one-trailer, double-deck unit is framed out to resemble a city skyline of skyscrapers and buildings in the midst of an active earthquake.
Portions of background scenery are hinged at the base and motorized to move forward and backward, giving the illusion of buildings swaying. Other rooms and walkways rock from side to side.
The "EARTHQUAKE" sign, built to resemble a huge slab supported by columns on each side, is animated to simulate the columns collapsing and the slab breaking in half.
Show owner Eugene Dean pointed out that to add to the realism, the attraction will also feature "some interesting sound and lighting effects". For example one room will have strobe lighting.

I assume Fiesta Shows still has this fun house as there are photos of it on their website...


http://fiestashows.com/rides/byid/387
"Don't forget to be half fair and give a little credit to the small concessionaire"
Offline thunderbolt85  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:04:49 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: JW Go to Quoted Post
Absolutely.
Mike and his nephew, Scotty Stevens ran a first class operation (complete with live actor(s) and had a great presentation.

I liked the original BrOwning front on that ride.


In 1988, mike Scott debuted a second dark ride on Strates Shows themed, Demon's Dungeon. That ride had a front that was painted by doc Rivera.



Yes, they ran a first class operation without a doubt. I remember that Demon's Dungeon, seems like it had Freddy Kruger on somewhere. I only saw it a few years before it disappeared, did it not make money, or just decide to switch up?
Offline thunderbolt85  
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:09:05 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: JW Go to Quoted Post
Although the topic is about unusual and unique dark rides, I suppose we can include Fun Houses (?)

A unique fun house that comes to mind is one that was built in 1997 for Fiesta Shows. It's called, "EARTHQUAKE".

I never got to see the completed project in person. It was built in-house by Fiesta Shows, or so that's what I was told when I saw it being built in Feb. of 1997 at Fiesta Shows lot in Gibsonton, FL. However, Fiesta Shows' website mentions Southern as having involvement with it.
When I saw it in Florida in 1997, it was just being completed. The front wasn't painted on it yet, however I was told it was going to be turned over to Bill Browning to paint the front on it.

I wrote a short article about it that appeared in the April 1997 issue of Carousel Magazine.

The headline was, "Earthquake Hits Gibtown" (I liked that attention-grabbing headline I came up with).

Here are some excerpts from the article...

"An EARTHQUAKE has emerged in Gibsonton, Florida over the winter and is predicted to be a mover and shaker on Fiesta Shows this season.
This spring, New Hampshire based Fiesta Shows will debut a new fun house attraction that is sure to be a crowd stopper on the midway.
Themed "EARTHQUAKE", the one-trailer, double-deck unit is framed out to resemble a city skyline of skyscrapers and buildings in the midst of an active earthquake.
Portions of background scenery are hinged at the base and motorized to move forward and backward, giving the illusion of buildings swaying. Other rooms and walkways rock from side to side.
The "EARTHQUAKE" sign, built to resemble a huge slab supported by columns on each side, is animated to simulate the columns collapsing and the slab breaking in half.
Show owner Eugene Dean pointed out that to add to the realism, the attraction will also feature "some interesting sound and lighting effects". For example one room will have strobe lighting.

I assume Fiesta Shows still has this fun house as there are photos of it on their website...


http://fiestashows.com/rides/byid/387



Sure lets talk Fun Houses as well, I remember that story in Carnival/Carousel years ago, thanks for giving us more information on that Earthquake fun house, very unique.

I remember one called Thor, shape and size was a lot like the Thriller (same company built as well I think). I didn't go in, but had a nice front, only saw it once right beside a Thriller.

Fun House wise, I always liked Strates big German Fun House (Hofbraus House, not sure of spelling), also like the Persian Camels.

Loved the Magic Carpet/Alpine Slide type fun houses.
Offline ridejocky  
#15 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 12:51:54 PM(UTC)
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I think Mike Scott was was moving the Wicked Witch on Strates for the Zucchinis when I met him.

Back then Strates had an Alpine Slide, a Glass House and a two-trailer Haunted House. He must have gotten the German fun house in the early ‘80s.

Did he get it from Lester Colgrove maybe?

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