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2008


December 31, 2008 - New Year's Eve
First off, I would like to wish all of you folks a very happy new year. 2008 has been rough, and I think many of us are hoping for a glamorous 2009!

I finally got around to uploading the photo gallery I shot while visiting one of Trimper’s warehouses in West Ocean City last summer. This particular property is home to the Marty’s Playland warehouse, and Trimper Amusements warehouse, which houses rides such as the Zipper, Tilt-a-Whirl, Inverter, Ferris Wheel, and Freak Out. This warehouse is also where any work to the Haunted House hush-puppy cars is executed. Also in the Trimper Amusements building is Granville Trimper’s car shop, where his crew would work on old cars and prepare them for their debut in the Wheels of Yesterday car museum, located on Rt. 50. The property is very interesting to explore: there are many old cars scattered throughout which were purchased by Granville throughout the years in hopes of restoring them. Many of Granville’s old boats, which he used back in the 70’s and 80’s, can also be seen among the old car shells.

It was a fun visit, and a delight to be able to explore such a treasure trove of antiques and rarities! Happy New Year!


December 30, 2008
No matter how well a stunt is manufactured, it is destined to become run down with non-stop use, especially when you are dealing with vandals. For example, take a look at this Witch Comparison. The two pictures are 12 years apart, and the constant abuse shows.

Not only do stunts become unsightly in terms of appearance and functionality, they also become downright dirty as many have pointed out in the forum. The Sawmill and Bathroom are two perfect examples. Although Scott makes a point to designate workers to “dust” the ride during the summer, the nonstop grease, oil, and humidity make each and every stunt destined to gather a thick coating of grim by the end of the summer. Hopefully, the original Tracy stunts will be attended to before the start of the 2009 season!

Speaking of the 2009 season, there is a good chance the Haunted House will see a few new additions this year. And, I just may be a part of the decision making for that! Stay tuned!


December 28, 2008
I came across an essay I wrote a while back entitled “The Alley” which gives detailed descriptions of a stereotypical bowling alley in a prose style. The piece is not very well composed or developed, but I thought it would be interesting to post as I used a lot of imagery that reminded me of Tracy and his attractions to write the piece. View in PDF format.


December 26, 2008
In recent years, the Haunted House management has implemented the use of photoelectric beam sensing switches to activate the stunts rather than the unreliable horseshoe magnetic trips that Bill Tracy originally installed in 1964.

In the early days, a small magnetic horseshoe was mounted to the underbelly of the vessel and tripped small magnetic switches which were mounted to small blocks of wood and placed near the track next to each corresponding stunt. This technique, although very inexpensive, proved to be troublesome and required a lot of maintenance. If the horseshoe was not aligned perfectly, the car would risk missing all of the track switches, which would result in an attraction full of motionless stunts. Likewise, because the magnetic switches were near the track, if one of them happened to get damaged or accidentally stepped on by an employee, it could damage the wire connectors or the switch itself.

After it was decided that the switches needed an upgrade in order to give every customer a flawless ride experience, small photoelectric switches were purchased along with their corresponding circular reflectors. Ever since these devices were installed, the stunts have been running beautifully without fail.

The switch itself is similar (but not identical) to THIS switch and emits an invisible beam horizontally across the path of the vessel. On the opposite side of the path, a circular beam reflector is mounted. In essence, the photoelectric switch sends a beam to the reflector and it is reflected back the unit, completing the switch circuit. The alignment of the switch and reflector must be precise or the switch will not work. When the vessel creeps by, it breaks the beam (or the circuit) which triggers the stunt to activate. When the car passes, the beam is reinstated and the stunt goes back to its previous position. You can see a mounted beam reflector on the Sawmill HERE and the photoelectric switch that actives the Jumping Ghoul upstairs can be seen HERE.

To prevent the photoelectric switches from being activated by an employee walking by, they are set at intervals greater than that of the quick movement a person would make walking by. More likely than not, it is set for one second, which would mean the beam would be broken for at least one second before the stunt would be activated. At the slow speed of the vessel, this interval is ideal for the stunt activation. If an employee were to stand in the beam’s path for 1+ second(s), naturally, the stunt would be activated.

To coincide with the stunt activation, each stunt inside the Haunted House works on a relay. On each relay, the number of seconds a stunt is activated can be programmed. As an example, the Knit-Wit works on a pneumatic cylinder which is compressed with air when triggered and therefore rotates the pedestal 180 degrees until the stunt faces you. It faces you for five seconds, then returns to its normal position. The relay is what allows it to face you for those five seconds, instead of returning immediately after the cylinder is compressed. On the relay, “five seconds” is programmed. Likewise, when you enter the Upside-down room, a small light turns on. The light is on for five seconds, and then turns off. That five second interval is executed by a relay.

As technology changes, so will the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Haunted House. Hopefully, the technology applied to the attraction will make the rider’s experiences more enjoyable without compromising its historical and classical stature.


December 24, 2008
I would like to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy and be safe!


December 22, 2008
Looking for the Bill Tracy Project? Don’t worry, it’s still here! Rather than the BTP sitting as a sub-section of OCHH.NET, it now has its own web environment, and can still be accessed from Trimper’s Haunted House ONLINE or direct at billtracy.net! Make sure you visit both websites daily to stay up-to-date with Bill Tracy and Haunted House information!


December 19, 2008
Let’s talk about the Witch…

Originally, the non-Tracy built Witch stunt, located near the Knit Wit, was a standalone effect with only a head and frame body covered with fabric. However, in the late 90’s, a few modifications were made to enhance this gruesome and somewhat repellent inhabitant.

Crews decided to add a moving broomstick to this stunt. By mounting the stick at a pivot point on the stunt’s midsection, the broom could move left to right freely. And thanks to a Dayton gear motor and custom-built cam mounted on the lower left of the stunt’s infrastructure, the broomstick pivoted creating a nice little addition to the stunt.

In addition, a Morris Costumes Cauldron with moving hand and some flicker-bulbs which acted as fire were added to complete the stunt’s makeover. Unfortunately, within two seasons, both the moving broomstick concept and the cauldron were horribly vandalized and nearly nonexistent. To this day, an exhausted Cauldron still remains beside the Witch, but the broomstick is nowhere to be seen.


December 15, 2008
Sound Bytes!...not really

So, I know that in the past I have conveyed my thoughts about the house sound in Trimper’s Haunted House, and I just thought I would touch base on the subject once more…

The house sound in the Haunted House is a continuous digital loop of wind, rolling barrels and morbid moans that repeats every 90 seconds. The digital sound repeater, which holds the cartridge for this sound byte, is run through an amplifier then wired to speakers in nearly every room of the attraction, keeping a consistent and uniform sound in the ride. Now, I for one think that no dark ride should be operating without a generalized sound looping from room to room. Why? I’ll tell you!

When you venture into a dark ride, especially a Tracy attraction, you enter into a new world the minute your car crashes through the first set of bang doors. The “new world” you enter includes only you and the stunts; that’s it! There are no other distractions, unless of a course a worker runs by your car attending to a maintenance issue elsewhere in the ride. But, you folks know as well as I do that the minute a worker does appear, it spoils the mood, and your “world.” A continuous looping house sound often helps set the mood, and helps you to remain in your own world without distractions.

Attractions that do not have a house sound miss one thing… that world, or mood. Why? Because the entire time you are in the attraction, you are bombarded with the sounds and distractions of the other visitors inside of the ride. You hear other sets of doors banging, other stunts activating and deactivating, other people laughing (or crying) and attributes that don’t contribute to your experience (or world) per say, but are just there and can’t be helped. A house sound dampens those aspects that may be distracting, and make you feel one with the attraction: it makes you feel like you are the only rider on the attraction, even though there may well be ten additional cars inhabiting the building along with yours. Sure, some folks would argue that what I am saying is outrageous and senseless, but I would disagree. I think the use of sound can either make or break an attraction, and I am proud that Trimpers have retained their house sound for all of these years… and hopefully for years to come!

Okay, enough with my silliness…


December 14, 2008
What a terrible, awful year. I am honestly not sure if the 365 days of 2008 can get any worse. Between the closing of Gold Rusher in Kennywood, the closing of Coney Island’s Astroland, and the news about the demolition of the Golden Nugget in Wildwood, I honestly do not think this year could get any worse, unless of course, Trimper’s Haunted House and/or Pirates Cove get razed. Actually, I won’t hold my breath. As much as I want to have faith in the remainder of 2008, unfortunately you just never know what lies around the bend…


December 13, 2008
The Electric Chair, which was first installed in Trimper’s Haunted House around 1996 or so, was Trimper’s first attempt to break into an era of modernization in hopes of attracting a younger and hipper generation of customers. Previously, Trimper’s Haunted House was packed full of Bill Tracy stunts, and while the papier-mâché figures and bright fluorescent colors were meaningful to those looking for nostalgia, it was just time for something new. And, the Electric Chair from Distortions Unlimited, represented by Morris Costumes at the IAAPA Convention in Florida, was the perfect transition.

Before the Chair was installed, Tracy’s Birthday Party sat in its place. During the same time as the Electric Chair install, the Birthday Party was moved to the opposite side of the wall displaying proudly as folks trek down the final descent. Needless to say, myself, as well as hundreds of thousands of customers, were very surprised to turn the corner from Headslinger and find this stunt, which was the start of a phasing out trend for the attraction.

When the stunt was first installed, it included a smoke machine that would fill their air with a spooky mist as a helpless man (surely deserving the punishment for his crime) was getting fried. After a constant struggle of keeping the machine full of fog juice, and dealing with an issue of over-smoking the upstairs (yes, it was so smoky at times during the summer that it was hard to see three feet in front of you) that it soon became old hat and it was no longer used. Let’s face it; the activation of the smoke machine every 32 seconds (car space time interval) was just a little too much for a building of that size.

One of the biggest problems with the new and improved stunt was the motor which made the body thrust forward and backwards constantly. The motor’s RPM was way too high, and the torque was quite overpowering for the foam-filled, latex body that it was animating. As a result, the body kept ripping, and the Trimper’s found themselves sending it back (under warranty) to the company every few weeks for a replacement. After going back and forth with that never ending nonsense, they switched out the motor on the stunt and replaced it with a lower RPM unit from Grainger. Since then, it has worked much nicer and the abuse to the body is minimal.

Over the years, the park artist has had to come in and touch up the body, as it is a little too expensive to replace with a price tag of a bout $800. With some love, paint, and attention to detail, the Electric Chair lives on entering its 14th year in Trimper’s Haunted House.


December 12, 2008
Ok folks. Navigation in the Bill Tracy Project has changed ever so slightly. Instead of full menus at the top of each page, you will now be directed to a sub page where you will be able to choose what sections you want to explore based on “Personal” or “Professional” preferences. I think it makes more sense, and it flows better.

Also, the Bill Tracy Project now has its own update page. All Tracy-related updates, news, and additions will be posted in this section, while this area will only have information pertaining to Trimper’s Haunted House and the dark ride community news in general.

Interesting Bill Tracy news is on the horizon, so stand by!


December 11, 2008
Stupid and Senseless…

It’s a sad day on Hunt’s Pier of Wildwood, New Jersey. The Morey Organization announced yesterday that it plans to demolish the Golden Nugget, an iconic coaster dark ride that has inhabited the back-end of the pier for nearly 50 years. The decision to demolish the structure came after many years of wrestling with the tension between nostalgia and innovation.

The complete press release can be found on the official website of Morey’s Piers. Be sure to check out photos of this classic ride in the Projects area of the Bill Tracy Project.
November 26, 2008
Greetings, folks. The next Bill Tracy update will come after Thanksgiving. Until then, you’ll just have to wait in suspense while you gnaw on your drumsticks.

While you spoon those delectable mashed potatoes into your mouths, download an original Pretzel Ride Inc. Car Machinery Parts Book I got my hands on. It is very interesting to see how they built these rides back in the day!

Happy Thanksgiving, folks.


November 25, 2008
DAY 7

Bill Tracy last lived at 543-A Wilson Drive, Cape May, NJ.


November 24, 2008
DAY 6

Bill Tracy has one daughter and her maiden name is Willow Tracy. Additional information regarding Willow will be coming soon.


November 23, 2008
DAY 5

Bill Tracy was married to a woman named Irene S. Tracy. Additional information regarding Mrs. Tracy will be coming soon.


November 22, 2008
DAY 4

Bill Tracy had a sister and her name was Laurabelle Tracy. She was born on May 15, 1915 in Toledo, Ohio and died on March 25, 2006 in Florence, Oregon.


November 21, 2008
DAY 3

Bill Tracy's father was Newton A. Tracy. He was born on August 9, 1888 in Toledo, Ohio and died on February 16, 1939 in Toledo, Ohio. Bill Tracy's mother was Juanita Tracy. Her maiden name was Hooper. She was born on July 10, 1889 in Trimble, Ohio and died on February 6, 1970 in Randolph, New York. Newton was a general practice lawyer and Juanita was a housewife.


November 20, 2008
DAY 2

Bill Tracy was born in Toledo, Ohio.


November 19, 2008
DAY 1

William Thomas Tracy was born on July 16, 1916.


November 18, 2008
Okay folks, let's switch things into high gear… “BTP, Phase 2”

Needless to say, we got a bug up our ass and decided to pull out all the stops researching Bill Tracy in order to obtain more detailed and private information about his personal life. Wayne Bahur, Bill Tracy expert and researcher, has made dozens of phone calls and sifted through a plethora of official legal documents and ancestry logs in order to shine more light onto Tracy’s life and family, from birth through death.

Beginning Wednesday, November 19, we will be posting one Tracy fact a day for ten days both in the Updates section and the Bill Tracy Curiosities section regarding Tracy’s personal life. By the end of the 10-day-span, all of the curiosities in the Bill Tracy Project will be answered, and then some! To our knowledge, this information has never been released to the public, so sit back and get ready to be Tracycized!


November 17, 2008
How did you first hear about Trimper's Haunted House Online?
Search Engine
YouTube
MySpace
Blog
Found link on another website
A Friend
  
Also, don't forget that major Bill Tracy Project updates are coming soon!

November 16, 2008
Welcome to the HH Store where you will be able to purchase unique apparel for OCHH.NET and the Bill Tracy Project!


November 14, 2008
BREAKING NEWS

I am excited to announce that we have made a HUGE Bill Tracy breakthrough! Through careful research, determination, and persistency, we have obtained never-before-released Bill Tracy information that will simply blow enthusiasts away! In the next few weeks, anticipate very large updates to the Bill Tracy Project that will include incredible details about Tracy’s personal life! I suggest keeping a chair nearby...


November 13, 2008
Gone but not forgotten…

The Body in the Cellar was one of Bill Tracy’s more gruesome stunts as a decomposing corpse lay in a heap of mold, mildew and running water. This stunt was item # 23 in Tracy's Amusement Displays Catalog, and was described as a 4X4X8 case with recirculating water pump. Very few photographs exist of this stunt, as it was tucked away in a corner and replaced in the late 90’s with a coffin prop. The stunt was very artistic in design and Tracy executed it well. I am sure in the stunt’s earlier years, the figure was much more recognizable as a woman and the backdrop and surroundings were less affected by the constant running of water and humid environment.

In this particular stunt, water would run down the back wall and collect around the body, only to finally end up in a tub in the diorama’s base, which was accessible from the first floor near the waterfall. The scenery consisted of artificial stones on the wall, cheese cloth, netting, and rags hanging from the ceiling. In addition, two of Tracy’s rats were seen surrounding the victim and gnawing on her flesh.

Approximately two years before the stunt was totally removed, it was actually restored by the Trimpers. During the restoration, they re-fiber glassed the face, gave her a new outfit and shoes, cleaned the scenery, removed mold and mildew, and gave the backdrop a paintjob. It wouldn’t be long before the stunt was totally removed to make way for a coffin and corpse ordered from Morris Costumes, which now sits in its place.

It is important to note that the Body in the Cellar was original from Tracy’s 1964 layout, and previously resided near the ride’s ending before it was moved during the addition in 1988. A similar stunt also resided at the Haunted House at Westview Park, later moved to the Fright Zone at Erieview Park.


November 12, 2008
During the original installation of Tracy stunts in 1964 as well as in 1988 as part of the Ghost Ship expansion, the Trimper’s made a point to mount the pneumatic filters and regulators very close to their corresponding stunts to allow for easy maintenance and drainage. Although often hidden from the average rider, a quick turn of the head after passing each stunt will reveal the pneumatic equipment needed to operate the stunt. A few of the predominant equipment locations are:

  • Rat (first room): on the back side of the “tree stump.”

  • Old Mill: immediately on the left after passing the stunt.

  • Falling Beam: left wall immediately before crashing through the doors. (shown above)

  • Falling Barrels: wall-mounted behind the stunt.

  • Rat (downhill): under the floor panel in front of the stunt.

  • Cuckoo Clock: behind the stunt in the storage room.

  • Waterfall: left while passing through the stunt.


  • November 10, 2008
    I must have forgotten about this particular world in Mario 2...


    November 9, 2008
    Did someone say “Tracy Forum?”

    I did! Because of Bill Tracy’s extensive career and the recent launch of the Bill Tracy Project, I decided it was time to build a forum specifically for Bill Tracy-related online conversations. The Bill Tracy forum can be accessed throughout the site, or direct at forum.billtracy.net. I encourage all enthusiasts to use this forum to discuss Tracy’s work and ask questions in an attempt to solve the infinite amount of Tracy mysteries. Please continue to use the Haunted House forum for Haunted House-related questions and conversations.


    November 8, 2008
    Odds 'n' Ends

    Are you folks interested in finding out what other enthusiasts think about a certain aspect of the ride? Check out the new Surveys section. Please help to grow this section by submitting creative questions of your very own.

    Thanks to a tip from David P., we discovered that Dorney Park’s Journey to the Center of the Earth closed in 1992, not in 2001 as previously thought! Remember, if you have corrections or contributions to the Bill Tracy Project, be sure to submit them to info@billtracy.net.

    How is your personal Tracy Gallery doing these days? Do you have one? If so, share it in the Haunted House forum!


    November 6, 2008
    Did you know?

    There are many different forms of vandalism that the management has to deal with on a daily basis, but one of the most common types is the destruction of the wall panels. Many of the walls inside the Haunted House are made with sheet rock, especially those on the second floor (addition). As such, they are much more susceptible to destruction in comparison to plywood, which is much more durable.

    Riders seem to constantly find humor in grabbing a piece of the wall and tearing it from the studding, often leaving it in the path of the car following. This destruction most commonly happens near the Falling Barrels, Wave Room, and the reentry from the balcony. As seen in this picture, the panels above the door in the Wave Room have all been reattached using large washers as vandals have left their dirty mark.

    It is important to note, however, that every vandal who has attempted to destruct the ride in this form has been caught and charged with destruction of property. My advice to you—don’t do it.


    November 5, 2008
    The Rubber Glove Invasion

    In 1999 or so, the management decided that many of Tracy’s original stunts were missing hands from vandalisms or normal wear and tear. Their solution?—rubber gloves! The Sawmill, Frankenstein, and all of the Torture Chamber members received a fresh pair of hands that winter thanks to some store-bought packs of yellow dish gloves. But, thanks to some fresh paint and a little “stuffing,” the hands looked pretty realistic! A decade later, they are once again starting to look a little worn out, though. Anyone willing to lend a hand?


    November 4, 2008
    Would you like a little cheese with that Wine?

    One of my favorite and most memorable Haunted House stunts is the Wine Cellar, which is rarely talked about or remembered. The stunt came from Ocean Playland’s Ghost Ship and resided near the ride’s ending immediately before the Waterfall before it was removed in 1998. This stunt, which had a very short tenure in Trimper’s Haunted House of about ten years, sat in a case that was 4’ deep, 5’ high, and 10’ long. It offered a very nautical and whimsical feel to the ending of the ride, and complimented the Waterfall very well.

    The Wine Cellar at Trimper’s looked almost identical to Tracy’s stock catalog photo #41, and included a constant stream of water running over the body of a drunken, overweight pirate who apparently had one too many. Unfortunately, due to the constant exposure to water and the already-humid environment the stunt was in, the papier-mâché body deteriorated rapidly and needed to be refurbished on an annual basis. After several seasons of restoring the focal point of this nostalgic stunt with fiberglass and fresh paint, the management decided to do away with it and occupy the area with a Distortions Spider Web and a few giant plastic skulls.

    Being the avid beachgoer that I am, I have always been attracted to seaside attractions with nautical themes, which is why the Haunted House and Pirates Cove have always left a good taste in my mouth. The Wine Cellar had a very original seaside feel to it, and coincided with the rest of the Ghost Ship stunts very well. Unfortunately, this was the first Ghost Ship stunt to be removed from the attraction, followed by the Head Slinger, Crab, Drunken (Seasick) Pirate, and Bartender.


    November 2, 2008
    There is a strong possibility that a new effect will be purchased this year the IAAPA convention to replace the Family of Trolls near the Sawmill. The trolls have literally melted over their decade-long tenure in the Sawmill corner, and it is surely time for a replacement! In addition, Trimper family members will be on a hunt for a large slide to sit in the previous Sling Shot location. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

    Do you have Facebook? Be sure to join the Facebook group for Trimper’s Haunted House. And, while your at it, join the Bill Tracy Myspace page! Every Tracy enthusiast should be a part of this ever-growing community!

    Lastly, if you want to get rich with Bill Tracy knowledge, be sure to explore the Bill Tracy Project. It’s a hoot!



    November 1, 2008
    I added a few very well-written articles to the Trimper articles section that highlight the life and achievements of Granville Trimper. One article in particular entitled “A Humble Man” states how the Haunted House was Granville’s greatest achievement. Also, check out a video clip of Granville Trimper from "Once Upon a Sand Dune" where he explains his family's history and how the Trimper business came to be.

    If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out the Bill Tracy Project. If you think you knew a lot about Bill Tracy before, just wait until you explore the numerous photo galleries displaying his life’s work and read his extensive biography!
    October 31, 2008 - Halloween
    The Bill Tracy Project is now complete and live! The Project can be accessed via the menu option, or by clicking on several tiles placed throughout the site. In addition, billtracy.net will also bring you to the project externally.

    A special thanks goes out to Wayne Bahur, Tracy expert and researcher, for contributing his many years of research for this invaluable addition to the Trimper's Haunted House ONLINE website. In addition, a huge thanks also goes out to all of the generous folks who allowed us to use their images and information as part of this colossal consolidation and compilation of Tracy information so that all enthusiasts can get a better idea of just who Bill Tracy was, and how he and his company impacted the amusement industry with his phenomenal designs.

    Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!


    October 27, 2008
    OCEAN CITY, Md.- Granville D. Trimper, one of the resort town's icons and patriarch of his family's 118-year-old family amusement park, has died at age 79.

    Trimper died early Monday morning Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. His cause of death has not been released yet.

    In 1980 Trimper became the vice-president and manager of Trimper's Rides and Amusements on South First Street and the Boardwalk. He was also heavily involved in community service for many years. He served on Ocean City Town Council for 18 years, many of those as council president. In addition he served briefly as Ocean City mayor in the spring of 1985 after Harry W. Kelley died in office.

    Trimper also served on the Worcester County Commissioners as president for four years. He was recently elected Citizen of the Year (Millennium) by the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.



    October 4, 2008
    A new fan was recently installed in the Vampiress diorama to make the prop’s dress fly up as patrons creep by, thus making it seem like she is flying. Previously, an air hose connected to the ride’s air compressor supplied the air flow to enhance the stunt.
    September 30, 2008
    Sorry for the lack of updates folks. I have been busy as all-get-out. I have noticed that a small skull was added to the lobby. Hmmm, I wonder if there is a camera in one of the eyes?...

    The façade bat has been taken down for the winter, and the Haunted House is now only open on weekends. If you are visiting, be sure to call Trimper’s main office to be sure the attraction will be open.

    The Bill Tracy Project is coming along nicely, and I am positive you folks will enjoy the final result! Stay tuned!


    September 24, 2008
    Happy one-year anniversary to Trimper's Haunted House ONLINE!


    September 20, 2008
    It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when you are dealing with a mixed crowd of tourists, or regulars for that matter.

    Every night when closing the ride, the balcony doors get locked and bared from the back. The exit doors have small locks near the top that secure the door shut, while the entrance doors have both locks and a bar. Crews found out just how important it is to have secure doors a few years back when a vandal managed to hop over the balcony fence from a coinciding balcony, enter into Frankenstein’s area, and proceed to cause major damage. To my knowledge, the vandal was never captured, however crews were cleaning up the mess and fixing broken parts for days following.


    September 14, 2008
    Ready for a tease?

    Thanks for all who voted in the poll, but no one was correct! Tracy’s Torture Chamber was $3550.00 when purchased new in 1964.





    If you like what you see here, stay tuned for “The Bill Tracy Project” which will be completed sometime this fall. I have had the pleasure of teaming up with a Bill Tracy expert/researcher to compile the largest Bill Tracy encyclopedia of all time (…as far as we’re concerned). The Bill Tracy Project will actually be a sub-section of OCHH.NET and will include several intriguing sections featuring entire catalogs with price lists, a biography of Tracy complete with never-before seen photographs of him at work, a plethora of advertisements and brochures for Tracy attractions, and an intense database of “Tracy Destinations” where you will be able to visit any one of 45 parks where Tracy completed upwards of 75 projects during his career.

    As you may expect, this project is demanding, so my updates may be minimal during this fall. But, stay tuned! This will be the show of a lifetime folks!


    September 12, 2008
    Let’s try to get a grip on the overall cost of Tracy’s stunts when purchased new nearly 50 years ago. As an example, let’s look at the Torture Chamber. This stunt, which includes four characters, all of which move with a constant-duty motor, and elaborate scenery, was one of Tracy’s larger and more detailed stunts, but what do you think it was worth new? Cast your vote, and maybe…just maybe…I will reveal the true price of the stunt when it was purchased new, direct from the catalog!

    How much do you think Tracy's Torture Chamber was worth when purchased new?
    Less than $1000
    $1000 - $2500
    $2500 - $3500
    $3500 - $5000
    $5000 - $10,000
    Greater than $10,000
      


    September 10, 2008
    A piece of trivial knowledge…

    When Ocean Playland was in existence on 66th street bayside, it included a large fiberglass figure displayed at the park’s entrance that was clearly made to resemble a pirate complete with a sword being held between its two extending arms. Jolly Roger Amusement Park also has a similar figure presiding near the front gate. There is speculation that Jolly Roger purchased this figure from Ocean Playland upon its demise, but that is uncertain. Although these large display figures seem like they were manufactured specifically for amusement parks, think again.

    These large figures were originally manufactured for gas stations and auto repair shops in the 1960’s to help with their business initiatives. Back then, these figures, known as “Muffler Men,” would hold tires or mechanical parts in their arms as they sat in front of auto businesses throughout the United States to promote goods and services. The movie “Nothing But Trouble” depicts many of these figures lined up in junk yard as Chevy Chase and Demi Moore are running from… trouble!

    Check out this picture of a Muffler Man, which clearly resembles the pirate of Jolly Roger, as it stands in front of a Lube Center out west.


    September 9, 2008
    Did you notice?

    As mentioned numerous times, a common theme in Trimper’s Haunted House is attention to detail. Although hard to notice in the dim-lit room that inhabits the Reaching Zombie and Vampiress, the ceiling is adorned with velvet drapery tied off with golden ropes, which gives the area a stately and grand look. Although the elegant décor may seem out of place for the Reaching Zombie, it suited Frankenstein perfectly during his tenure as “owner of the house.” The prop that currently sits in this area is illuminated by a red flood light, whereas Frankenstein often had brighter lights showing him off, and the details around the room, including the window curtains, lamp, and table were more visible to the average ride-goer.


    September 7, 2008
    Ribbit, Ribbit

    When the Vampiress was purchased back in 2000 or so, several latex frog props were also purchased to be placed around the ride in various locations. Some frog props were just stand-still props, but others had small censors built into them which were connected to a digital sound repeater that played back a “ribbit” sound effect. Incidentally, the props never found themselves into the ride, and were stored away for nearly eight years. Surprisingly, one of the frog props, now extremely dirty and dated, made its way onto one of the giant skulls near the ride’s exit.

    Who would have known?


    September 6, 2008
    TROPICAL STORM HANNA

    TRIMPER CREWS WERE BUSY FRIDAY BATTENING DOWN THE HATCHES AROUND THE PARK IN PREPARATION FOR THIS TROPICAL STORM. ALL CANOPIES ON THE RIDES WERE REMOVED, INCLUDING THE TILT-A-WHIRL AND COMBAT, AND THE CARS WERE REMOVED FROM THE FERRIS WHEEL. NO RIDES WERE DISMANTLED. TO MY KNOWLEDGE, THE HAUNTED HOUSE IS READY FOR THE WORST. STAND BY FOR UPDATES.


    September 5, 2008
    B B B Bennie and the... Bumpers?

    This past summer, several of the revamped cars were sitting on the track with their front-ends up in the air due to an issue with the Unit on the car's underbody. Consequently, they were damaging the proceeding cars and often got stuck on their back bumpers. To remedy this issue, Scotty had to bulk up the back bumpers on several vessels using 2X4’s and some new rubber to act as a buffer. The extra four inches or so on each back bumper does the job of keeping the vessels “apart” and preventing damage to the proceeding car’s back-ends. You can see in this picture how the bumpers have been modified, and how damage has been done to the car body previously. The modifications were completed around mid summer.

    Also, it saddens me that Astroland on Coney Island will close its doors for good on Sunday. At that point, all rides will be auctioned off. Read about it.


    September 4, 2008
    I had a chance to pay a visit to the Headslinger stunt that once sat in Trimper’s Haunted House this past weekend. The Headslinger was removed around 2001 and placed behind a barn on Trimper’s storage property. Thanks to the hospitality of Chris Trimper and Scotty, I was able to visit the warehouse property to pay this friend a visit.

    What a sight for sore eyes. It’s a shame this morsel has to reside in the weather behind an old barn, but such is life. The head was nowhere to be seen, and the body was showing signs of aging. Enjoy viewing a gallery of this classic!

    On a side note, please be sure to use the Update Archives as a reference. Nearly twelve months worth of updates are available for your reading pleasure, and all exhibit interesting facts, images, and ride statuses. You can access the archives on the left side of the updates page using the dropdown menu. Enjoy!


    September 3, 2008
    Hurricanes are brewing in the Atlantic, and Hanna appears to be headed directly over Maryland. Furthermore, Josephine, which is currently way out in the Atlantic, appears to be b-lining directly toward Maryland’s coast. Needless to say, a little scary…


    Scott and I had an in-depth conversation over the weekend, primarily about what procedures are in place in the event a hurricane strikes. Because the building is nestled among other structures, and is made primarily of concrete, it stands a great chance of surviving a serious storm. Furthermore, the following steps would be taken in an attempt to preserve its legacy:

    1. The entire fleet of cars would be moved to higher ground. In previous storms, Scott moved them to the Mine Shaft Hill and up near the Falling Barrels.

    2. The façade Bat will be removed and taken inside.

    3. Both balcony doors will be screwed shut with the help of 2X4’s and plywood.

    Thanks to the ride’s heavy-duty front gates, there is little chance that the lobby décor will be damaged, although flooding is inevitable, especially if the ocean makes its way up to the boardwalk and beyond. All we can do is hope for the best, and be prepared!


    September 2, 2008
    Sometimes, the details are what make the biggest difference. The attraction has had several small additions over the past 100 days, and I think they are all good choices.

    I was impressed when I turned into the Upside-down room and saw the new fire that was added to the fireplace, located on the right as soon as you enter. Thanks to one of Scotty’s talented employees, who happens to be a tattoo artist, a creative design was drawn, cut out of plywood and attached to the area… upside-down of course. A black light makes the bright, orange fluorescent paint really pop, and it adds a nice touch to the entire stunt. Although I was weary when I was first informed about the small addition, the end result really surprised me. Somehow, although added 46 years after the stunt was incepted, it looks very “Tracy-like” and blends in well with the rest of the attraction’s styling.

    Furthermore, the skull shelf that was previously located in the Bartender stunt has been added to the wall immediately exiting the Upside-down room. Also, a hippo prop sits in the corner and is obviously from some other area of the park. Although it seems out-of-place, it is not uncommon to see areas of the Haunted House being used as storage.

    Lastly, an old farmer’s hat has been added to one of the Birthday Party characters, and there is a strong possibility that this stunt may be moved upstairs across from the Torture Chamber during the winter. Stay tuned!


    September 1, 2008
    A nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend wandering around Ocean City and the Park has resulted in a plethora of updates and intriguing images. Because my updates are so titanic, I plan to share them over the next several days.

    First and foremost, car #10 was taken out of commission three weeks ago. The wooden body was severely rotten and falling off of the steel frame, so it was taken to the warehouse in West Ocean City for an overhaul. Luckily, I was able to slip out to the warehouse for a brief time to shoot a gallery of the frame. Scott is in the process of grinding it down to bare steel in order to build it back up and re-weld any weak points.

    The wooden body is being restored by the park carpenter, and the entire vessel is expected to return to the park in time for next season.

    August 28, 2008
    It's Labor Day weekend, so let's have a round of applause for Trimper's Haunted House! It has made it through another year... it's 46th! I will be going downy ocean this weekend, and I should be able to give a full report when I return. Stay tuned!

    In the mean time, have you ever thought about what the Haunted House is worth?

    I distinctly remember a conversation with Cliff Hudson, former Haunted House manager, that took place back in the mid-90’s regarding the current monetary value of the Haunted House. I asked him, “what do you think the ride is worth?” After grumbling and a few tilts of the head, he replied, “two or three million.”

    It would be impossible to put a monetary value on a historical attraction such as Trimper’s Haunted House in this day. There are simply too many factors that come into play, and too many points of view.

    To an ignorant average Joe, the ride is worthless—nothing more than a concrete building with some old papier-mâché figures and a few black lights. To the average Joe, it is simply just another carnival ride with negligible significance and/or value.

    To a real estate agent, the value resides solely in the property. “Who cares about what is on it,” he or she might say. “We can put a condo here and sell it for 50% inflation when finished.” The value may be two or three million, but that value is in the property, not in the ride.

    To an enthusiast, the value is solely what is on the property—the ride. An enthusiast does not care about property value, but rather, the ride and its five decades of memories. An enthusiast’s concern is that the ride is running, in good shape, and is getting proper maintenance and attention.

    Although these points of view would not be viable for dispute in the real world, because we are a money-hungry society, they would hopefully come into play in some fashion if such a sale would ever exist.

    Today, I do not think Cliff’s “two or three million” remark is adequate, because I believe it is worth more. But, I may represent only a fraction of a percent of the population who feels this way. As more and more of these gems hit the landfills, the ride is, in my opinion, growing in value. Like an antique car where only five of its kind exists, when four of the five are no longer in existence, the fifth is a gold mine. The Haunted House should be no different.

    The true value of Trimper’s Haunted House is the smell of grease and grim, the dust collection on an age-old stunt like the Sawmill, the scribble of someone’s initials on one of the crooked timbers up Tracy’s Mine Shaft, the echoing of sound effects and looping screams and groans, the bubble gum on the re-entry door to the balcony, or the multiple coats of florescent paint on the Knit Wit’s attire.

    These aspects, from an enthusiast’s standpoint, are what make the ride so valuable. But, how can anyone, even an enthusiast, put a price on the priceless?


    August 27, 2008
    Folks, it’s important to dodge the curve balls life throws you, get rid of the garbage, absorb the sweetness, and always have fun. Don’t ever let anyone destroy your peace… ever!


    August 25, 2008
    Forum member Mike Biggs has unearthed cool video footage of Westview’s Tracy-built Haunted House that includes a façade similar to Trimper’s, including the giant façade Bat! The Haunted House action starts at 3:20. Thanks for the great find!


    August 24, 2008
    A superior setup for superior ride operation!

    Well folks, the end of summer has practically arrived, and our beloved Haunted House has made it through another 100 days of non-stop use. The last time I spoke with Scotty, he reported that the ride ran extremely well this summer, with few breakdowns. He stated that there were a few flat tires, which are inevitable and unavoidable, but the cars were not getting held up as often as previous years, thanks to the new sections of track and built-up track run.

    Sometimes, a car will need to be “lifted” to be put out of service in the first room. To do this, crews will push the vessel into the first room, lining the car up with the orange line painted on the floor. This orange line marks where a small section of the track is removable from the rest of the track thanks to four bolts. Once the bolts are removed and the section of track is lifted out, the Unit is free. By lifting the vessel up and back, the car can be scooted to the side in front of Tracy’s Skull Banister. Also in the first room is an accessible air hose, which is routed back to the compression room, in case a flat tire needs to be inflated. In addition, a shop light hangs in the corner for immediate use in the time of a quick fix.

    Also, as an interesting park fact, does anyone remember Trimper’s Wild Mouse Roller Coaster? If not, perhaps the Mouse hanging on the wall of the Carousel House will bring back some memories. This Mouse was at the entrance of the coaster at one time! Interesting, huh?


    August 23, 2008
    Wow--the landscape of Ocean City in the 1930's looked very different, especially after the inlet was formed during the storm of 1933. Needless to say, our favorite attraction was not even thought of at this time, although the primary structure of the building was more than likely in existence as it facilitated a roller skating rink, gay 90's nightclub, and movie house prior to the installment of the Haunted House in 1964.



    August 22, 2008
    I stumbled upon a Haunted House reference on the Talk Maryland forum where it mentions how Ocean City’s boardwalk ranked #5 on the “top five boardwalks of the country” list. The thread was originally posted in July of this year.


    August 21, 2008


    August 19, 2008
    An INCREDIBLE hole… Ghost Hole!

    For years, I have been searching for video footage of Ghost Hole while it sat on Trimper’s pad. This video, my friends, has finally come to fruition.

    Mike Biggs, a forum moderator, has found footage and posted it on YouTube. View this opus! Since we are on the topic, don’t forget to check out the Ghost Hole page to learn of the ride’s layout and origin.

    Also, enjoy viewing footage just uploaded at the begining of August of the Ghost Hole interior. These folks, unfortunately, think it's a "f**king rip-off"!


    August 18, 2008
    Changing times…

    This image from the mid 1970’s depicts a very different boardwalk landscape. A fairly young, one-story Haunted House façade peeks out from the surrounding buildings on the main boardwalk strip as a few ride-goers gaze into the attraction’s lobby. Wow—how times have changed.



    August 17, 2008
    This sounds odd...

    It has been brought to light that the Sawmill sound has been fixed—but, I am somewhat perplexed. The sound that plays at the Sawmill now is actually the sound that used to play at the Knit Wit. For some reason, the management simply moved the playback to the Sawmill speaker instead of the Knit Wit speaker.

    As I sit and ponder, I wonder if this sound, which is composed of a creaking sound followed by a woman screaming, was originally designed to accompany the Sawmill. Years ago, there was a distinct sound that played at the mill of a woman in distress, not the sound that is playing currently. As far as I can remember, the Knit Wit sound has always accompanied the Knit Wit, while the Sawmill sound was different.

    I suppose I will have to further research this the next time I visit.




    August 15, 2008
    If I could have any stunt inside the attraction (past or present), which one would I choose?

    This question has commandeered my mind for ages. Being such an avid fan of the dark ride, it would be hard to single out any one stunt for my keeping. So many of Tracy’s stunts are so nostalgic, original, and symbolic of the dark ride era that has practically faded into amusement history. Nevertheless, I think both the Knit Wit and Sawmill, or Old Mill as Tracy called it, would be candidates for a corner in my living room.

    So, I will leave you with this question over the weekend: if you could own any of the stunts inside Trimper’s Haunted House, what would you choose? Why? Leave a comment to let us know!

    Knit Wit
    Old Mill
    Rat (First room)
    Skull Banister
    Swamp Ghost
    Falling Barrels
    Torture Chamber
    Toilet
      


    August 13, 2008
    The Trimper’s really hit it right with their great idea of using long tinsel-like material in the graveyard backdrop murals. Due to the fact that black lights do not have a phosphorous coating, they release very little visible light, and therefore, the metallic material that the tinsel is made of does not reflect light the same way it would if it were exposed to normal fluorescent or candescent lighting. The tinsel looks ghostly as it’s draped over the large painting on the walls, which is actually divided up in five separate sections. And, thanks to a fan that was recently installed in the Graveyard, the tinsel sways eerily in the breeze. This effect, along with the hovering Swamp Ghost, make the graveyard a spooky a memorable part of the ride.

    As an aside, I decided to upload some additional pictures of the amusement games I built in my younger years with my grandfather. The amusement games, along with my Haunted House project, were known as “Zoomer Amusements.”


    August 12, 2008
    I think I’m lost. I must really be lost good… Can you help me get unlost?

    Being that I administer this website and think about the Haunted House and its many aspects on a consistent basis, it is not surprising that the attraction sometimes slips into my dreams. The other night, I happened to dream about the attraction, and it stuck out in my mind as being one of my more interesting dreams.

    It is a fact that I am against change in the attraction, and fear year-to-year that I will visit only to find my favorite stunt removed, or to find that something has been added that I don’t necessarily like. Coincidentally, my dream consisted of a “changed” attraction.

    When I first entered the attraction, things seemed normal in the first room as I moved briskly passed the Rat and Skull Banister. But, as I crashed through the bang doors into the second room, changes began to occur rapidly. The second and third rooms were turned into outdoor scenes complete with trees, brush, grass, and green lighting. The Upside-down area was a morbid display full of blood and guts. As I turned into the Graveyard, I remember animatronic clowns that screeched and laughed as I passed, and as I proceeded up the Mine Shaft, water began submerging me and I had to swim to the balcony. When I finally made it to the balcony, I was inside a Bingo Hall, and I can remember seeing many elderly people gazing at their bingo cards and an announcer saying numbers over a loud speaker. Oddly, when I reentered from the balcony, the attraction turned into a “crawl-through” (which undoubtedly relates to my many childhood crawl-through creations in our basement) and after many odd rooms in the second half of the ride, which I remember were full of modern Distortions-type props, I finally exited the ride in total fear and disgust.

    Not only was the attraction weird in terms of the stunts and layout, or because of the fact that I swam and crawled through most of it, I find it interesting how my subconscious worry about “change” created a dream that consisted of total change. And, I distinctly remember feeling lost, unable to find my way out, and disoriented.

    Ahhh, yeah folks, that was a weird one. Have you recently had any Haunted House, or Bill Tracy-related dreams that you would like to share?


    August 8, 2008
    Go straight to the Haunted House! Do not pass go, do not collect $200…

    The weekend is here once again. Phew, what a week! Since we have all been so hard at work this week, let’s have a little fun—with an Ocean City board game!

    The “All About Ocean City, Maryland” board game was very popular in the early 80’s and was obtainable by visiting any one of OC’s many souvenir shops. If you look closely at the drawing of the boardwalk, you will be able to make out our favorite attraction—the Haunted House! Because this game débuted originally in 1982, the Haunted House is depicted as a one-story ride with the exit door in its original, far right position. Oddly, the façade bat is not illustrated in this drawing, which leaves me to believe that it was drawn from a photo taken during the off-season.


    August 6, 2008
    I finally had a chance to upload some photos of the brand new hologram portraits that were recently installed on the second floor and near the ride’s exit.


    August 4, 2008
    Black light VS. Candescent Light

    In many of Bill Tracy’s attractions, including Trimper’s Haunted House and Pirates Cove, the use of black lighting is the dominant choice for illuminating the stunts and effects. Incidentally, a trip through a Tracy attraction without the overuse of black lights would seem somewhat incomplete or lacking. It has become expected, and somewhat of a trademark or staple in his attractions, as well as other rides from the 60’s and 70’s era.

    A handful of Haunted House stunts require candescent lighting, and would otherwise look odd with the inclusion of black lighting and fluorescent paint. Stunts such as the Upside-down room, Sawmill, Falling Barrels, Train Tunnel and Bathroom are quite effective by the absence of black lighting.

    The recent addition of fluorescent fire to the Upside-down room has me thinking about the appropriateness of adding black lighting to a stunt that was originally designed to use candescent lighting. As the dusty, timeworn lamp clicks on to allow you to make out the outlines of the upside-down madness you have just entered, it would seem that a black light may take away from the mood or feel of the stunt. Likewise, if a black light were to be placed in the Bathroom stunt, it would surely lose its original and nostalgic flavor.

    Let us know what you think! Should black lighting and fluorescent paint be added to stunts originally designed to be used with candescent lighting?
      


    August 2, 2008
    Come on baby light my FIRE

    Sometimes, the smallest additions to the attraction have the greatest impact.

    Last night, Scott Hudson, current manager of Trimper’s Haunted House, called to let me know that he added 'fire' to the fireplace in the Upside-down room. To accomplish this, he used some fluorescent paint, lumber, and a black light. From what he tells me, it adds a nice complement to the room and the fireplace, which otherwise remains very dimly-lite and barely noticeable as you enter. Although I have not seen the addition, I am hoping to snap some pictures the next time I visit.

    Since we're on the topic, be sure to check out the stunt analysis of the Upside-down Room!


    August 1, 2008
    This one and that one…

    Let’s start off the month with the pop quiz answer from a few days back! A bluebird can be found in an old picture hanging upstairs near the Reaching Zombie. These pictures were installed when the addition was completed in 1988 to compliment Frankenstein, a stunt that sat in this location previously. Although Frankenstein was removed from the attraction in 2006, the old pictures and elegant window curtains still remain to give the area a “homey” feeling.

    The last time I was down in the Inlet Village, I happened upon a set of neat drink coasters in a small shop called Down Memory Lane. The coasters include artwork from a local artist, and two of the coasters are scenes from Trimpers. What drew me in closer was the fact that one of the coasters had a great painting of the Haunted House! The next time you are down, I would recommend peeking your head into this neat shop and picking up a set. They would make a great addition to anyone’s Haunted House collection!

    A few reminders—If you have any fan art that you would like to submit, please send it my way. If you haven’t already done so, join our MySpace community! Memories are always welcome to be included in our Memory page, as well as videos, pictures, or sounds. OCHH.NET has been live for a little over ten months now, and it would not be possible without your help! Thanks for your contributions!

    July 31, 2008
    Food for thought...

    Back in the day, workers were able to watch riders much easier thanks to the large dioramas of the Ghost Ship stunts which previously inhabited the top floor. The Drunken Pirate, Bartender, and Headslinger were perfect for hiding behind. Sitting behind the “bar” of the Bartender was not uncommon, nor was sitting behind the HeadSlinger staircase. However, ever since they were removed, the top floor has become more “airy” and hiding is almost impossible. The first floor still remains a good hiding area, as there are many doors and objects to slip behind.

    What areas in the ride do you think would make great places to "scope out" the ride?


    July 30, 2008
    The arsonist responsible for setting the Dough Roller fire and potentially destroying Marty’s Playland Arcade has been arrested and is being held in jail with $50,000 bond. Read the full story.


    July 29, 2008
    Well, only a few more days left in the month... and then... well.... I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

    I would like to thank forum member Dragonwyck for contributing a rare photograph and article of West View Park’s Haunted House, created by Bill Tracy. When the park closed in 1977, the ride was disassembled and taken to an alternate location, however, many of the stunts and the façade are nearly identical to Trimper’s Haunted House. This attraction included Tracy’s famous Bat on the façade, as well as a Skull Banister, Body in the Cellar, Torture Chamber and Graveyard. West View’s Haunted House was added to the park in 1963.

    Anyone have any ideas about yesterday's Pop Quiz yet? hmmmmm.....


    July 28, 2008
    I am proud to report that all of the effects in the attraction were working perfectly this past weekend when I ventured through! Overall, the ride is in top shape and I am impressed!

    Pop Quiz! – Where in the attraction might you find a Bluebird? Yes, there is one in there somewhere folks!


    July 24, 2008
    Ever since this website’s inception, the forum has included a topic thread entitled “Era of Modernization.” In this thread, members discuss how modern electronics, special effects, and CGI have worked their way into the average dark ride replacing old papier-mâché stunts making attractions more desirable to the general public. Unless you are a true enthusiast of the classic styling, amusement-goers tend to gravitate toward the newer, high-tech stunts and expect the same. Needless to say, if a brand new haunted attraction facilitated Tracy-like stunts, they would certainly not make ends meet because that era of “acceptance” has faded into history.

    An interesting YouTube video explains how haunt builders are using the most up-to-date technology to execute their effects because that is what the public is asking for and expects. Therefore, 10-feet-tall animatronic monsters are replacing the Tracy Head Slingers of the 60’s, as pneumatic floor obstacles and shock simulators are replacing Tracy’s Crooked Timber Hallways and Shrinking Corridors.

    It is fascinating how times change our amusements, but sad to see such classical, nostalgic treasures get swallowed by the modernized society we live in.


    July 23, 2008
    I found an interesting job advertisement designed to recruit summer workers at Trimper Rides & Amusements. It seems like it is targeted to over-seas workers, but I can’t be sure. It is interesting to see how the Trimpers position themselves in the job market in order to recruit and obtain workers. Check it out!


    July 22, 2008
    Many classic dark rides use only one set of double-doors at the ride’s entrances and exits, but this often allows light to filter into the attraction spoiling the experience for other riders. Proudly, Trimper utilized two sets of doors at the ride’s entrances and exits to prevent light pollution inside the attraction. Because of the Waterfall stunt at the ride’s lobby exit, only one door is used at that location in order to separate Gloom house from the “real world”.


    July 21, 2008
    Wowsers! A long week in Vegas for a work conference ended nicely with a trip to Ocean City with my lovely lady, and now its time for an update…

    A trip through the Haunted House resulted in the discovery of some new additions! Three possessed hologram portraits were purchased and placed upstairs in some of the vacant areas.

    One was placed on the wall near the Moving Coffin, one was added beside the Electric Chair, and the last was added in the Wine Cellar diorama near the ride’s exit. Needless to say, they add a little flavor to the top floor, and I find them absolutely spooky!

    All of the stunts were working properly except for the Falling Barrels. And, it appears the sound effect for the Sawmill has been fixed. Bingo!


    July 14, 2008
    Well folks, I will soon be off to Las Vegas for a business trip and will most likely be unable to update until next week. Although I will be pretty busy with work-related activities, I am hoping to veer away from the beating path to try my luck at some gambling. Although, after what happened last year with the Bartender, I may just decide to stay away from the tables. Check out this snapshot taken last year when I was beat time after time…


    Have a great week folks!


    July 13, 2008
    This year marks the 10-year anniversary of my Toxic Man addition to Trimper’s Haunted House. I am proud and honored to have had the opportunity to build a stunt for such a classic dark ride, and I continue to be thankful that both the Haunted House management and Trimper boys allowed me to include it in such an outstanding seaside treasure.

    I built Toxic Man when I was only a young teenager, and primarily used plaster and wire a frame to shape the stunt. Although I did not have the smarts back then to add animation, I worked nearly three days making sure it was built tough enough to withstand the ride’s many obstacles.

    I remember the first day I took Toxic Man down to the park, and crept into the office of Chris Trimper with this large, fluorescent painted thing. I was so excited about what I had built, and hoped that he would want to use it. That morning, before the ride opened, we walked through the attraction hoping to find the perfect location. We did! Upstairs, where the Mermaid remnants currently reside, we sat the Toxic Man down for its debut. Little did I know that the stunt, built with an old hamper and some simple art store supplies, would last this long inside the ride. I am continuously shocked every time I visit the ride and see him glaring at me as I ride by.


    When the remnants of the Mermaid were moved to that area, he had to be moved to the opposite corner in front of the Leaping Ghoul, however his presence is still recognized, and Scott has told me that many visitors have commented on “Toxic Man” and his bright, flamboyant colors…


    July 12, 2008
    While the cars were being refurbished this past winter, Scott did a lot of the steel work for the frame structures internally. As seen in this image, a lot of grinding was needed to rid the frame from rust, corrosion, etc.


    Here’s a challenge: Who can explain how the “Falling Beam” stunt works? Anyone willing to give it a try?


    July 11, 2008
    Yet another fantastic painting of Trimper’s Haunted House is available from Adcock Studio. What a great addition to an enthusiast’s family room!


    July 10, 2008
    Trimper’s Haunted House—In a childrens book? That’s right folks, you heard me right. Although it has been out for a while, visit Trimper's Online Store to buy your own copy of Hermione. This book and its sequel story were written by Granville Trimper’s wife, Marty Trimper and illustrated by the wife of one of Granville's grandchildren.

    The first story’s preface: Hermione, Shipwrecked! in Ocean City, Maryland, is written by Marty Trimper and illustrated by Amy Holloway. This is the first book of an exciting series wherein Hermione Hippopotamus was captured in Africa and placed in a cage on board a huge ship where she was destined for life in a zoo. But during a turbulent storm at sea she was swept overboard and landed ashore in Ocean City. This initial book also sets the scene where Hermione finds her future home--a secret room in the Haunted House at Trimper’s Amusement Park.

    The last time I was down, I stopped into Down Memory Lane, an Inlet Village shop, and flipped through the pages of the first book. The illustrations are very nice, and the writing is very imaginative. Check it out!


    July 9, 2008
    This past winter marked the 20 year anniversary of the 1988 Ghost Ship merge. Needless to say, that project was a strong move on Trimper’s part, as it resulted in one of the longest and most popular dark rides on the continent’s East Coast.

    With a ride as classical as Trimper’s Haunted House, it is important to constantly upkeep the ride, no matter how major or insignificant. The details are what enthusiasts and the general public notice, and the management’s dedication shows.

    While browsing recent photos of the HH interior, I noticed that there is one aspect of the ride that is need of attention: the black paint that covers every inch of the interior’s floor, walls, and ceiling.

    After 20 years, the paint has had a beating, and I feel that it is time for some touch-up. In some areas, the floor is almost white due to dust and the Oil Dry mixture which is used to slow the cars at the ride’s declines. Other areas show overspray from sloppy spray paint touch-up work, and other areas could just use a fresh coat.

    In the late 90’s, when the Crab, Drunken Pirate, Torture Chamber and Bartender were restored by the management, the floor and walls were painted upstairs in that general area. In only ten years, however, the constant wear and tear really shows.

    What do you think about the black paint?
    It looks fine the way it is
    It could use some touch-up
    It really needs attention
    Paint the entire interior blue
    Does it really matter?
      
    A few moot points:

    We have passed a milestone on the forum: over 1000 posts as of last week. If you would like to share some thoughts, don’t hesitate! Join in on the action at forum.ochh.net

    Join in on our MySpace fun! myspace.com/trimpershh

    If you haven’t already done so, check out the classic ride breakdown video footage from forum member Trleft.


    July 8, 2008
    First and foremost, while browsing Laffinthedark.com, I stumbled upon a recently debuted Laff In The Dark Documentary DVD : Laff In The Dark’s Behind The Scenes AtKnoebels Haunted House. These folks continue to amaze me with their work, and this one-of-a-kind feature will surely make a great addition to anyone’s darkride collection! Check it out!

    Secondly, it may surprise you that the Haunted House actually sits on property owned by Windsor Resort. Although Granville Trimper owns the Haunted House ride, the property belongs to the Trimper family corporation, meaning that a percentage of the attraction’s profits are paid to Windsor every year for “renting” the property. The Windsor Resort originated back in 1900 and included two hotels (The Eastern Shore and the Sea Bright), a theater and an amusement park.


    July 7, 2008
    After a stunt is activated thanks to its individual photoelectric sensor, it must rapidly recover in order to scare the next set of guests, which are usually no more than 30 seconds behind. As such, it is important to note that not all of the stunts inside the attraction require such a “recovery”. The stunts that use air for animation are the only effects that would recover after being activated, while the motorized stunts continue their endless cycle regardless of the car’s location inside of the ride.

    The stunts that require recovery are:

    • Rat #1
    • Sawmill
    • Knit wit
    • Witch
    • Jason Grave
    • Flying Bat
    • Falling Beam
    • Falling Barrels
    • Reaching Zombie
    • Moving Coffin
    • Jumping Ghoul
    • Rat #2
    • Cuckoo Clock

    Recently, a forum member brought up the Falling Barrels’ recovery as he noticed they created a deafening sound while recovering after the lights in the falling barrel room went off. The Falling Barrels are actually mounted on a platform that tips forward when activated thanks to its air cylinder, which is mounted on the stunt’s back-end. The front of the platform is hinged to the concrete floor, allowing it to remain stationary while moving. Each of the three barrels are not all individually animated, but rather are hinged together in the front and are able to move in a uniform manner when the platform is tilted forward, giving the illusion that they are falling toward you in a rather helter-skelter way.

    After the lights go off and the cylinder becomes decompressed, the platform slowly lowers back to the ground allowing the barrels to haphazardly fall backward into their original, stacked position. The loudness that can be heard is nothing more than the barrels, which are made of a plastic resin, freely tilt backward on top of one another into their originally position.

    It is important to note that when stunts recover, they will recover in the same track that they were activated. (i.e. if a Rat falls downward when activated, it will recover moving upward. If the Jumping Ghoul leaps forward in a given track when activated, it will recover in that same track, just the opposite direction.)

    Needless to say, the recovering time for an air-operated stunt is usually on a fraction of a second, depending on the amount of air compressed into the cylinder.



    July 6, 2008
    Please enjoy a feature page dedicated to Ghost Hole, or Geister Hohle as it was originally named. This attraction, which was a portable darkride that sat on Trimper property until the late 90’s, was sold to Coney Island. Enjoy viewing a track layout and old pictures taken during the Ghost Hole’s assembly by Trimper employees during April of 1999.


    July 3, 2008
    A new What is it? quiz of the week and an exciting Fourth of July weekend on tap! Enjoy folks!


    July 2, 2008
    Let’s talk about the Witch…

    Originally, the non-Tracy built Witch stunt, located near the Knit Wit, was a standalone effect with only a head and frame body covered with fabric. However, in the late 90’s, a few modifications were made to enhance this gruesome and somewhat repellent inhabitant.

    Crews decided to add a moving broomstick to this stunt. By mounting the stick at a pivot point on the stunt’s midsection, the broom could move left to right freely. And thanks to a Dayton gear motor and custom-built cam mounted on the lower left of the stunt’s infrastructure, the broomstick pivoted creating a nice little addition to the stunt.

    In addition, a Morris Costumes Cauldron with moving hand and some flicker-bulbs which acted as fire were added to complete the stunt’s makeover. Unfortunately, within two seasons, both the moving broomstick concept and the cauldron were horribly vandalized and nearly nonexistent. To this day, an exhausted Cauldron still remains beside the Witch, but the broomstick is nowhere to be seen.


    July 1, 2008
    Guess what!?

    There are three power switches located on the wall behind the door to the ticket booth, all of which are easily accessible to whoever is operating the attraction.

    One switch turns current to the track on or off. If there were ever to be a breakdown, the operator would easily be able to shut down the track power in the entire building. The second switch operates all of the effects, black lights and sounds. Yes folks, every effect is wired into one single switch. In the morning, in conjunction with flipping on the breakers, this switch is thrown to bring the ride to life… literally. Lastly, there is a switch to operate the “house lights” which are turned on when there is an emergency, or when the ride is closed. All three of these switches are hidden to the general public, but serve as an operator’s best friend in time of trouble.

    Captivating, huh?
    June 29, 2008
    "Let’s turn the track off please. Let's get all the cars turned off in the building, there is a breakdown!"

    We all love when the Haunted House is in perfect working order, but it can also be pretty exciting when it fails. View extraordinary video from forum member trleft depicting a summer breakdown due to a flat tire. Excitement starts at 2:21. Impressive!

    Trleft also filmed videos inside of several other Trimper attractions including Aladins Lamp, Pirates Cove and the Pirate Ship. Watch away!

    June 27, 2008
    Looks like the folks at Theme Park Review spent a nice Memorial Day weekend at Trimpers this year documenting the Haunted House and many other Trimper rides. Needless to say, they have put together a nice forum post full of Trimper images!

    June 26, 2008
    Here is an interesting task for you folks. Try to describe the Haunted House in five words or less. It does not have to be a complete sentence, but a series of adjectives would be sufficient. You can post your thoughts on a designated forum thread and after a plethora of good ideas has been posted, I will choose the best to be added to the main website pages.

    If you are not a forum member, do not worry! You can still sign in as a guest to share your thoughts.

    Happy wording!

    June 25, 2008
    The Haunted House, along with every other ride in the park, gets inspected every year at the beginning of the season to assure safety. After being inspected, an inspection sticker must be placed on the ride in a visible location. The Haunted House’s inspection stickers are kept on the wall behind the door to the ticket booth. In the old days, the sticker was stuck to the wall above the entrance door to be seen by all who visit, but after “the guardian” was purchased, the management decided to move them.

    In terms of safety, it is evident that the safety inspectors like to see a plan in place to handle emergencies. In two locations throughout the ride, postings can be seen stapled to the wall which clearly outline what the “door bell” system codes are. These instructions, as seen immediately before the first room on the right, and upstairs near the emergency exit door on the left, were added in 1988 after the merge. These are also used to help train newly-hired crew members at the beginning of the summer.


    June 24, 2008
    Not sure if you folks knew, but Trimper’s Haunted House now has a Wiki page on Ocean City Wikipedia! Feel free to check it out and add images and/or content to the page. This is the perfect way to inform the world just how much of a gem this attraction really is!


    June 23, 2008
    The Spinning Barrel stunt, located in the third room of the ride, is extremely effective thanks to the slow RPM (rotations per minute) of both the barrel and gyre and the tunnel’s end, and the built-up platform which makes the vessel lean to the right as you trek down the tunnel at an unhurried and somewhat sluggish pace.

    Unbenounced to most, last year, the wrong motor was purchased to replace a defective motor for the spinning gyre at the end of the spinning barrel stunt, which is crucial in completing the effect. The motor that was purchased had an extremely high RPM, and therefore, was not in sync with the barrel itself. The high speed of the gyre actually caused some customers to get sick, as I recall hearing from Scott at the beginning of the season. Luckily, a new motor was purchased, which has a fairly similar RPM to the motor used to rotate the barrel. Currently both the barrel and gyre are working perfectly, and offer a very qualmish feeling to riders as they tour the first few rooms of Gloom House.


    June 20, 2008
    It’s a fact: When the latex foam-filled bodies on the Jumping Ghoul are replaced after excessive use, Scott often recycles the old bodies and strategically places them throughout the ride. Currently, an old Jumper body is hanging on the wall to the right of the Bathroom. He also installed a faintly-lit red lantern to cast a red haze onto the body as you turn the corner out of the Train Tunnel.

    Have a great weekend, folks!


    June 19, 2008
    No trip to the shore would be complete without a stop at the boardwalk's newest tee-shirt shop: Cool Breeze Traders


    June 18, 2008
    The simple things…

    I always chuckle when I see the small novelty spider tacked to the wall above the entrance doors in the lobby. This was obviously placed here somewhat arbitrarily and perhaps temporarily at one point, but it has managed to inhabit the area for decades. Likewise, unbenounced to the average ride-goer, there is a small, rubber novelty mouse pinned to the door that divides the first room from the second room. It is not visible when you are on the ride because of the darkness, but can be seen during walk-throughs with the houselights on. Back in the late 90’s, there was a small rubber skeleton which hung on the doorknob of the first-room shop as well. It is quite amusing how such simple, inexpensive objects can find their way into a multi-million dollar attraction and draw as much attention as a $5000 stunt from Distortions.

    A far as a few house-keeping items go, I am happy to debut a Fan Art section for those who wish to share their Haunted House artwork with the world! Drawings, craft projects, models, or any other artistry is welcome. This section can be accessed from the "Contribute" area. Also, I am in the process of building a new flash interactive exterior, and I plan on posting some old pictures I found of the amusement games I built years ago.

    Stay tuned!


    June 17, 2008
    Let’s take a moment to talk about something a little off topic, shall we? I am willing to bet that most of you will find this hilarious, at least I did.

    A few months ago when visiting Trimpers, I decided to visit the old Shooting Gallery inside the Carousel House that has been a nostalgic staple at Trimpers for nearly 50 years. I am always amazed to watch all of the old animations activate as tourists, both young and old, try their luck at a 50 cent round of target practice.


    The Shooting Gallery uses old-fashioned photo-electric sensors that are activated using a beam of light, in this case the light provided by the artificial rifle gun. When the user aims the gun correctly at a target and pulls the trigger, the sensor picks up the light source and activates the movement of the corresponding prop.

    If you ever happen to walk by the shooting gallery with a camera and a working flash, do yourself a favor and stop to take a picture. Unbenounced to many and humorous to those in the know, the flash from the camera will simultaneously activate ALL sensors in the entire gallery, making every prop move, all sounds play, and all paying customers jump with confusion. I couldn’t help to take several pictures of the gallery, and I must say, I was practically on the floor laughing. Little did the original engineers know back then that the sensors would be activated by futuristic digital cameras!

    Goes to show that sometimes the smallest little things provide the most exciting and interesting entertainment! Speaking of entertainment, check out this extremely amateurish flash animation I made when I first started this site. Vintage ochh.net!


    June 16, 2008
    I’m still waiting for Fan Art submissions in order to get a Fan Art section up and running. If you happen to have any drawings of anything Haunted House-related that you would like to share with other fellow enthusiasts, please be sure to e-mail them to me!

    I would like to note that all of the Skee-Ball machines have been returned to Marty’s Playland after being “dried out” from the Dough Roller fire. I am impressed at how quickly Playland has reacted to the damage from the fire. In only two months, they have managed to fix all fire-related damage entirely. Not only is it savvy from a business prospective, but it allows the hundreds of thousands of visitors to enjoy the classic arcade that has been a staple on Ocean City’s boardwalk for decades!

    On a Haunted House note, did you know that the main sound and power cut-off for Count Wolf is accessed from a small trap door on the box he stands on? Unlike many of the other sound and power sources, which are located in the first-room shop, crews literally have to reach into the box and flip the switch every morning in order to activate the CD (which holds both Count’s voice and digital signals to make him move) and the air compression system. Fascinating, isn’t it?


    June 15, 2008
    Well, we had a blast this weekend as we wandered through Trimper’s in search of anything interesting. We happened to visit many attractions including the Pirates Cove, Aladin’s Lamp, and of course, our old friend the Haunted House.

    I would like to report a few small changes in the ride. A portrait of the half-faced rock star (for lack of a better term), was moved from the Mermaid area and hung on the wall near the Moving Coffin. It looks a lot nicer, and adds a little intrigue to that particular area.

    Furthermore, I couldn’t help but notice that the sound effects were way off, and half of the speakers inside the attraction were not working. It sounds almost as if the sound units once again were hit with lightning, although I cannot be sure. I noticed that the house sound in the second room, Knit Wit area, and Graveyard area was almost non-existent. And, both the house and lobby sound’s volume was deflated tremendously. Sort of weird!

    All effects seemed to be working perfectly, including the Spinning Barrel and Falling Barrels. In all honesty, the ride was in near perfect shape, and thanks to the air conditioner (and its classic yellow bucket full of condensation near the Torture Chamber), it was a fairly cool experience!

    All in all, a great weekend full of great memories!


    June 13, 2008
    Another B E A U-tiful weekend is on tap, and I must say, I am thrilled! My lovely chica and I will be heading down for a getaway both this weekend and next weekend, while being sure to enjoy several cold beverages of choice from local taverns, eating unhealthy but delicious bar food, soaking in some sun, and wandering around town in search of entertaining or amusing activities.

    This morning while standing in the shower listening to Deacon Blues by Steely Dan on the radio, I was thinking about the timing of cars inside the Haunted House…

    As a rule of thumb, the buzzer, which is activated in the second room, signals the ride operator to send the next car into the attraction. This simple yet effective system assures an ideal distance between each car. However, this system only works correctly if the tire pressure on each vessel is adequate.

    During the summer, you may find that the ride operator allows extra time before sending the next car, even after the buzzer sounds. This is because the tire pressure on the previous car is low, making it drag and take longer to make its way through the ride, or because the next car being sent has an inflated tire pressure, making it move through the attraction faster. (It is important to note that if more than three cars are in a particular zone at any given point, it may cause the breaker to blow, and therefore, will result in a shutdown of the ride.)

    In terms of maintenance, Scott checks the tire pressures often in the first room, and uses an air hose, which is routed back to the compression room in the graveyard, to make adjustments as needed. However, when times are busy, he may not necessarily have time to perform this kind of maintenance constantly. Furthermore, if a car is carrying three 250 LB men as opposed to two 100 LB children, this may also affect the car’s “timing” in the attraction.

    Needless to say, the timing of the fleet is a cumbersome and often frustrating task. However, it is crucial for a smooth operation of the ride.

    Have a great weekend, folks!



    June 12, 2008
    ‘Twas the Birthday Party, then the Gallows stunt, but before the time of these two anomalous and somewhat compelling stunts, the Downhill was vacant!

    Before 1998, the Downhill consisted solely of orange stripes cascading the walls, which were designed to add a somewhat psychedelic effect while racing down to the lower level. During the winter of 1998, crews constructed a shelf-like platform over top the Downhill and moved the Birthday Party from its original location, which was where the Electric Chair now resides, to the platform. At the same time, they added animation and a new paint job to the three pirate clowns playing with a corpse’s head in a birthday cake.

    Needless to say, the Downhill is a little more exciting ever since the space has been occupied by one stunt or another. Question is—what Distortions or Scare Factory stunt will occupy this space in the future?

    Hmmmm.....


    Rest assured…

    June 11, 2008
    Rest assured…

    Unlike the rest of the buildings along the main boardwalk strip, the Haunted House has the upper hand when it comes to hurricanes, nor’easters, or fires.

    The majority of the strip was built in the 40’s and 50’s, and because of its age, many of the buildings are not up to code in terms of wiring, safety, sprinkler systems, etc. But, when the Haunted House addition was executed in 1988, the building was brought up to code 100% (for that particular time period), making it extremely safe and less of a risk factor for disaster. Because of its safe wiring, sprinkler system and good construction, that baby ain’t goin anywhere!

    On a side note, I am thinking of making an Enthusiast Fan Art Section. Do you folks have drawings of the Haunted House or stunts inside that you would like to show the world? If so, e-mail them to me!


    June 10, 2008
    The digital sound byte of organ music that plays in the lobby includes a snippet of Vincent Price’s dialog from Michael Jackson’s Thriller! The Trimpers initiated this addition to the preexisting organ music to add a little flavor to the lobby. Needless to say, Vincent Price’s choice of words adds for a very sinister entry into the attraction:

    Darkness falls across the land
    The midnite hour is close at hand
    Creatures crawl in search of blood
    To terrorize yawls neighbourhood
    And whosoever shall be found
    Without the soul for getting down
    Must stand and face the hounds of hell
    And rot inside a corpses shell
    The foulest stench is in the air
    The funk of forty thousand years
    And grizzy ghouls from every tomb
    Are closing in to seal your doom
    And though you fight to stay alive
    Your body starts to shiver
    For no mere mortal can resist
    The evil of the thriller


    Listen to the lobby byte in the Sounds area!


    June 9, 2008
    It is a new week, so I think it’s time for a new update…

    When the addition was made in 1988, the lobby was expanded and reconfigured in order to have more cars in queue. Originally, the exit door was on the far right side of the lobby, and when your vessel exited the attraction, it would literally dump you onto the boardwalk, at which time you would exit the car and step right into the boardwalk crowds. However, when the exit door was moved, the customers were immediately confused as to how to exit the attraction. To the enthusiasts, the exit is simple: life the lid, step out of the car, and walk along the back wall and around to the right side of the lobby. Most of the customers, however, exit the car and try to walk back into the car queue, which is to the right instead of the left. This becomes extremely dangerous, as the possibility of injury is present due to the track, cars, etc.

    In the late 90’s, the management attempted to stop this problem by building a large, hinged gate that closes in front of the cars at the exit. It was anticipated that the gate, along with the large “EXIT” sign, would help ride-goers find their way back to the boards, but it is still a very large problem.

    Currently, a worker is designated to stand at the ride’s exit to help customers find their way on busy summer nights. This not only makes for a smoother running ride, but prevents the possibility of injury.


    June 8, 2008
    Could it be any hotter out? I mean, give me a break!

    Before the 1988 merge, the Knit Wit and Witch locations were actually reversed! The Witch leaped toward you as you climbed the small hill after the Sawmill, followed by a clockwise turn of the Knit Wit as you turned left down into the grave yard. Crazy, huh?


    June 7, 2008
    The paintings which hang on the lobby walls, as well as other areas of the ride, were purchased in 2003 in conjunction with several small latex foam-filled props which are scattered throughout the ride. Most of the small props can be found on the second level near the Mummy, Torture Chamber, and near the ride's exit in the "Wine Cellar" diorama.

    Although I was a little hesitant about embracing the paintings when they were first added, I am starting to think that they add a very nice look of ancestry to the overall attraction.


    June 6, 2008
    Well folks, another beautiful, yet hot, weekend is on tap for OC lovers to venture down to ride the Haunted House. Needless to say, it is the best $3 you can spend on the boardwalk! And if you get a chance, let your kids take a trip on the Frog Hopper and Flying Tiger rides, located in the main park. They are two of the most entertaining childrens rides inside Trimpers!

    You may not have been aware, but it is a fact that a lot of Tracy’s Ghost Ship stunts have been removed and discarded to be replaced with more modernized stunts and props. However, it is important to note that every single original 1964 stunt still resides in the attraction—and that says a lot!

    Have a great weekend folks!


    June 5, 2008
    When the Electric Chair was first installed in the Haunted House in the mid to late 90’s, the original motor used to animate the latex figure had so much torque and high RPMS that it constantly tore the latex figure, most often causing its head to rip off the body at the neckline. This was poor engineering on Distortions part, and caused the Trimpers to purchase numerous latex foam-filled bodies.

    After paying for numerous bodies, which maxed out at about $750 each back then, the park mechanic switched out the motor to a lower RPM motor, making the intense thrashing much less harsh, in order to preserve future replacement bodies.

    The body that currently resides on the Electric Chair has been in use for many years. Several years ago, it split at the right arm, and it was repaired and painted. Now, the split has opened back up, and the head cap is beginning to show signs of abuse.

    The Electric Chair included a working smoke machine when it was first installed, but it soon broke and was no longer used in the effect.


    June 4, 2008
    Out of curiosity…
    Where do you access OCHH.NET most often?
    Home
    Work
    School
    Cyber Cafe
    Other
      


    June 3, 2008
    This may sound interesting…

    When the Haunted House management decided it was time to convert Tracy’s sound effects from tape to digital, several Mackenzie DigiMac Digital Message Repeaters were purchased. The individual sound effects for stunts like the Sawmill, Knit Wit, Falling Beam and Torture Chamber were recorded onto digital sound chips in these units, and played back at each location using a relay.


    The house sound and lobby sounds are stored on digital cartridges on a Mackenzie High Fidelity Digital Message Repeater bank. This monster of a unit can actually hold several cartridges, each having its own output to different locations throughout the ride.

    Unfortunately, during a fierce lightning storm several years back, the majority of the digital sound repeaters were fried, leaving most sound effects non-existent. Today, the only sound effects you will find are those that coincide with the newer stunts, and that live at each individual location in the ride.

    It is my hope that someday in the near future, additional sounds will be purchased or recorded to further enhance the rider’s experience.

    Listen to sounds from the ride!


    June 2, 2008
    Did you know?

    When the Haunted House addition was built, the concrete work and center beam support construction was contracted out to an external company, while the Trimper crews constructed most of the walls and interior finishings in-house.

    Also, all skeeball games should be returned to Marty’s Playland at this point for customers to enjoy! They were removed from the venue to be cleaned/dried out after the Dough Roller fire in March. The next time you are downy ocean, be sure to pop a coin in to one of those classics and try your luck!

    Lastly, I found THIS article entitled "Playing Games" posted on delmarvaNOW! which further explains how the Trimpers refused a tax credit for this year. This move has been looked upon as admirable and savvy. Gotta love politics!


    June 1, 2008
    Ahoy Mates! Well, it’s the start of a new month. So, why not get off to a good start? I think it is only necessary to explore Trimper’s Pirates Cove, don’t you? Check out the galleries! … unless of course, you would rather walk the plank! Pirates Cove is the most exciting funhouse in all the seven seas! Enjoy!

    Also, for those who enjoy posting one-lined postings in the forum containing four words and which are not helpful to the discussions at hand, but only raise your post count, please stop. I will not tolerate it, and I will ban you. Thanks!
    May 31, 2008
    According to Scotty, the façade bat will leave after this season for a full makeover where the park artist will slap on a fresh coat of paint, and repair and holes with fiberglass. It is this kind of dedication and constant maintenance that has allowed this Tracy icon to be a part of the Haunted House and Ocean City’s boardwalk for nearly 50 years!

    And, as a side note, I added forum.ochh.net to the quicklinks dropdown menu on the homepage for easier access to the forum. Talk away!


    May 30, 2008
    Another beautiful weekend appears to be on tap for HH visitors! And, by this time, all of the other rides and attractions are up and running inside Trimpers Rides & Amusements for a weekend of guaranteed fun and excitement!

    Unbeknownst to the average ride-goer, both the house sound and lobby sound digital repeaters are wired to a single AC switch, which is located in the first-room shop. With only a flip o’ the switch, the sounds of organ music and falling barrels rolls throughout the ride’s lobby and long hallways. This alternative is much easier than worrying about amplifier switches, repeater switches, etc. Smart thinking, huh?

    Also, if you get a chance, check out THIS article published by The Carousel News & Trader regarding Trimper's bright outlook into the 2008 season!


    May 29, 2008
    At nearly 1400 riders on a busy summer night, the Haunted House management is bound to encounter customers who want nothing more than to cause trouble. But, thanks to the hard work of the Haunted House employees on constant foot patrol and the use of six security cameras, trouble is often kept to a minimum. The five cameras are located strategically throughout the ride in the following locations:

    • Sawmill area
    • Graveyard area
    • Mine Shaft
    • Jumping Ghoul/Electric Chair
    • Rat at the downhill
    • Lobby

    So, before you decide to get out of your car or cause a ruckus, you’d better think twice. The cameras are constantly monitored by the park secretary in her office, which is located directly above the Sawmill.

    If you haven't already done so, join the Trimper's Haunted House MySpace community! It's a riot!


    May 28, 2008
    To be honest, I was disappointed when the management removed the Lady in the Cellar and installed a realistic coffin and latex foam-filled corpse. However, after years of sitting in grease-filled air, the stunt actually looks quite realistic. Similar to the Lady in the Cellar, the Corpse and Coffin represent and tremendous amount of macabre, and act as a perfect transition from Bat Hill to the Mine Shaft and Falling Beam.



    Currently, a red light shines on the stunt for illumination.


    May 27, 2008
    Okay folks – I hope you are all sitting down because this will blow you away. Jen B. has finished her Haunted House model replica, and I must say, it is the best piece of work I have seen thus far. Her detail is unbelievable and the likeness is uncanny. Her coffin cars and façade are extraordinary, while her color matching is nearly identical!


    I applaud Jen for devoting so much time and energy into mimicking Bill Tracy’s original 1964 styling. I hope you folks can appreciate the artistry in this model; coincidently, the detail and artistry in this model reminds me of Tracy’s attention to detail—no stones left unturned and no cutting corners… just quality and craftsmanship!

    View a complete gallery of this model along with the process HERE.

    Also, stay tuned as I will be posting an article at a later date exposing Jen’s hardships and triumphs while building this one-of-a-kind miniature masterpiece!



    May 26, 2008
    Have you folks ever noticed that the Spinning Tunnel and Train Tunnel are identical in terms of texture and styling? There is a reason for that!

    The Train Tunnel was actually used as a Spinning Tunnel effect in Tracy's Ghost Ship before it was brought to the Haunted House in 1988. When it was brought over, the Trimpers decided to use it in a different capacity: a train tunnel. The park artist painted a nice locomotive front for the tunnel’s end, and strips of wood were bolted to the floor like train tracks to complete the effect.


    May 22, 2008
    A beautiful Memorial Day weekend is on tap, and the official start of the OC 2008 tourist season will soon be under way. I will be heading downy ocean very soon to enjoy a long, relaxing weekend.

    Most of you folks may not know this, but the track waves in the Wave Room are actually residual from the original 1964 ride. Before the addition, the waves, not the room itself, were located immediately after the graveyard before entering Bat Hill. When the addition was built, Trimper decided to move the waves and incorporate them into a room by themselves, rather than just have them randomly placed in the ride. The mere simplicity of the wave room (the zig-zags on the wall) is what makes the room one of the neatest additions to the ride.

    As a side note, a Haunted House enthusiast named Jennifer B. has been working on a model of the ride. She has done an excellent job thus far, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. Her detail is amazing! Check out the model if you get a chance. I will be sure to post more pictures as they are sent to me.

    Whether you are having a family cookout, a wild party or keeping it low-key, everyone have a safe weekend. I will bring you updates at the beginning of next week.


    May 21, 2008
    Did you know?

    Before the Haunted House addition in 1988, the lobby was only half its size!

    Before the expansion, the lobby was only half as deep. Instead of it being roughly 14 feet deep, it was only 8 feet. When the car would exit the ride (during this time, the exit was on the far right of the lobby), the car would swing around and let passengers off right onto the boardwalk rather than drop them near the exit door as it does today. Because the ride was significantly smaller, there were not as many cars in queue, and therefore, the smaller lobby was sufficient for optimal ride operation. Furthermore, there was no ticket booth during this time, which allowed more space for the ride operator on the far left of the lobby.

    If you look at the paneling on the lobby ceiling, you can actually see where the back end of the lobby used to be, as the new lobby ceiling is slightly raised compared to the old. Interesting, huh?

    Also, check out THIS article published today in DelmarvaNow which summarizes how the Trimpers have turned down an amusement tax credit from the county.


    May 20, 2008
    During the 1990’s, the Trimpers owned an additional haunted attraction called “Geister Hohle” or “Ghost Hole” which sat on the side street beside the Matterhorn and across from the main park entrance. The ride was portable and included a canvas roof with very old-fashioned stunts. In 1999, Trimper sold the attraction to Coney Island. During April of that year, crews traveled to Coney Island to set the ride up per the contractual agreement. Thanks to Scotty, I was able to get my hands on a rare photograph of the Trimper crews finishing up building the ride.


    May 18, 2008
    Coming soon—

    • Rare photographs taken of Ghost Hole (Geister Hohle) when the Trimpers transported it to Coney Island and set it up in 1999.

    • After meeting with Scott for an extensive period of time over the weekend, we created a track layout/stunt placement diagram of the Haunted House before the 1988 expansion. Back then, stunts such as the Lady in the Cellar, Torture Chamber, Frankenstein, and Toilet were in alternate locations on the first floor.

    • An extensive photo gallery of the Pirates Cove with up close and personal views.

    Stand by!


    May 16, 2008
    Last night while watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island episodes, Tracy’s use of forced perspective hallways popped into my mind…

    Throughout Bill Tracy’s many imaginative worlds, riders were always destined to encounter at least one corridor where forced perspective would come in to play. In most cases, forced perspective hallways were used to inhabit large areas of “dead space” or to throw in a break from traditional Tracy stunts such as the Knit Wit, Hell’s Kitchen, or Sawmill.

    The forced perspective hallways, if executed well, were often very effective and required little-to-no maintenance, except for minor paint touch-ups or panel repositioning. Unlike a stunt that would require a molded figure, pneumatic unit and annual maintenance, the hallways were cheap to create and took care of themselves, assuming riders would not vandalize the property.

    Trimper’s Haunted House employees three such hallways, all of which are very effective thanks to the tilted ramps which force the cars to lean to the left or right causing the riders physical bodies to shift.

    Tracy’s trademark of including illogical sequencing in his rides is what makes them so memorable, and being that a crooked mine shaft hallway leads riders to the second floor of the ride is no surprise. The Mine Shaft’s perspective gives riders the impression that they will ride the corridor into the depths of hell thanks to the brilliant artistry on the door, which carries on the effect into infinity. Likewise, the crooked timber hallway in the second room, where wood grain is painted onto the panels in flamboyant, fluorescent colors, will undoubtedly turn you inside out as you peer into the green light at the end of the tunnel. An identical forced perspective hallway could be seen in Wildwood’s Whacky Shack before it was demolished.

    Another forced perspective hallway in the Haunted House is at Bat Hill, where one may suspect the room is indeed shrinking on them! The wall panels start out quite tall, but shrink in height as they proceed back to the door. This hallway, along with the Flying Bat stunt overhead, makes for a very interesting transition to the Mine Shaft inside the ride.

    Similarly, Tracy fooled many other patrons at countless other attractions, like at Phantasmagoria, where circles were painted on a series of doors to throw rider’s senses off. In addition, this ride offered a Crooked Mine Shaft, and Psychodelic Hallway to force customers into a state of mental collapse. Unfortunately, this attraction was demolished in 2007, but these classic skewed additions will forever live on!

    Although forced perspective hallways are being phased out in “modern” dark rides, Tracy’s imaginative optical illusions will always be remembered as classical and innovative techniques of the initial dark ride era.


    May 15, 2008
    If you folks get a chance, take a few minutes to examine the Mermaid, which is currently sitting on the second floor immediately following the Torture Chamber. You will soon realize that this stunt is a true masterpiece! This stunt originally came from Ghost Ship, which was a Tracy-built ride located at Ocean Playland Amusement Park on 66th Street bayside. The ride was purchased by the Trimpers and the stunts were used in the Haunted House expansion in 1988.

    This unique stunt never fails to crack me up; it is so dementedly twisted in every way, yet it has an enormous amount of appeal. Tracy’s detail is extraordinary; the net-fitted tail, pearl jewels, and textured half shell. I wish an effort would be made to return it to its original diorama upstairs near the exit to the balcony (the Vampiress now resides there). Because of the Mermaid's exaggerated facial expression, bare chest, and bug-eyes, this will definitely go down in the history books as being one-of-a-kind.

    On a side note, I have never heard of or seen pictures of another Tracy attraction using the Mermaid as a stunt. Have you?


    May 12, 2008
    Gone but not forgotten…

    The Lady in the Cellar was one of Tracy’s more gruesome stunts as a decomposing corpse lay in a heap of mold, mildew and running water. Very few photographs exist of this stunt, as it was tucked away in a corner and replaced in the late 90’s with a coffin prop. The stunt was very artistic in design and Tracy executed it well. I am sure in the stunt’s earlier years, the figure was much more recognizable as a woman and the backdrop and surroundings were less affected by the constant running of water and humid environment.

    In this particular stunt, water would run down the back wall and collect around the body, only to finally end up in a tub in the diorama’s base, which was accessible from the first floor near the waterfall. The scenery consisted of artificial stones on the wall, cheese cloth, netting, and rags hanging from the ceiling. In addition, two of Tracy’s rats were seen surrounding the victim and gnawing on her flesh.

    Approximately two years before the stunt was totally removed, it was actually restored by the Trimpers. During the restoration, they re-fiber glassed the face, gave her a new outfit and shoes, cleaned the scenery, removed mold and mildew, and gave the backdrop a paintjob. It wouldn’t be long before the stunt was totally removed to make way for a coffin and corpse ordered from Morris Costumes, which now sits in its place.

    It is important to note that the Lady in the Cellar was original from Tracy’s 1964 layout, and previously resided near the ride’s ending before it was moved during the addition in 1988.

    As a reminder, if you have any fond memories of the ride that you would like to share, please submit them!


    May 11, 2008
    Let’s talk about some knockers…

    No, no…I’m not talking about those kinds of knockers. I am talking about the Grave Knockers!

    The grave knockers were original to Tracy’s 1964 design. In essence, several panels of wood are painted with “grave” artwork and hinged to the walls. They are held back by metal chains and springs to prevent them from protruding too far into the main drag. When the car races down the small hill after paying a visit to the Knit Wit and Witch, the front of the car knocks the small, hinged panels back against the wall. You can see a backward view of this area HERE. They make a neat addition to the ride, and are definitely something to look out for!

    Don’t forget to try your luck at the “What is it?” quiz of the week. And, please join us on MySpace to help build our Haunted House enthusiast community!


    May 10, 2008
    Howdy folks! So I am starting this new weekly quiz called “What is it?” Basically, I will take an image from the Haunted House (could be interior or exterior) and magnify it to the point where it becomes unrecognizable. Your job is to figure out what it is. You’ll be able to find the quizzes in the side columns, or in the forum in the “What is it?” category. It is important to know that I may rotate the image to disorient you. Feel free to make comments on the forum as to what you think it is. After a week passes, I will reveal what it is and roll out a new quiz.

    Check out this week's "What is it?"


    May 9, 2008
    Well folks, another weekend is on tap! Anyone going downy ocean?

    The Sounds area now has new sound players that are pulling from .MP3 files instead of .wav files as before. They load a lot faster, and are much more user friendly. Enjoy!

    As a side note, yesterday I was thinking back to when the first Tracy stunt was removed from the ride. The Wine Cellar was the first stunt to go from the ride’s 1988 merge, and it was removed in or around 1998. Because the stunt included a water feature (water running upwards), the papier-mâché body constantly deteriorated, and they “gave up” on the never-ending repairs.

    When the management removed it, they also cleared out the wine barrels and other props that inhabited the large diorama, and then painted it flat black. The diorama actually sat vacant for roughly two seasons before the Distortions spider web and other small props were added.

    Have a great weekend!


    May 8, 2008
    Do you have a personal party, wedding, or corporate event to execute, but need a venue to handle it? According to eventective.com, you can host your extravaganza at Trimpers Rides & Amusements!



    May 7, 2008
    The oddest thing…

    The two foam-filled latex skulls that reside on the top of the electric chair have melted—Yes, MELTED! During my last walkthrough, I noticed that they were practically a pile of goo, and I began to question Scott. He had no explanation. Hopefully, he will be able to order some new skulls to replace them sometime this summer. Take a look for yourself!


    May 6, 2008
    This is interesting…

    On rcdb.com (Roller Coaster Database) they make light of the fact that Trimper’s may have purchased Melvin’s Amusement Rides, which was located on the corner of South Division Street and Baltimore Ave back in the 1960’s. The author concludes that this is where Trimpers acquired the Wild Mouse roller coaster, although there is no concrete evidence to support this. Check out what they have to say!

    Needless to say, this was around the same era the original Haunted House was built in the boardwalk building that previously housed the Windsor Theatre, a roller skating rink, and a gay 90’s night club.


    May 5, 2008
    The Alien Bust located near the ride’s ending was added around 1998. The barrel that the bust is sitting on was previously used in the Wine Cellar stunt located directly across from it. If my memory serves correct, the stunt was built from scratch using a mannequin and alien costume. The Alien’s glowing face never fails to grab your attention as you quickly turn the corner from the Cuckoo Clock to the Water Curtain.If you haven’t already done so, check out Trimper’s Haunted House on MySpace! It’s a riot!


    May 4, 2008
    All New! Trimper's Haunted House is now on MySpace! Join in on the fun and be our friend!


    May 4, 2008
    This winter, Scott made some adjustments to the up-hill with the falling beam. At the bottom, he built up the right tire platform for additional support while also reinforcing the track with more steel brackets. Because of the incline of the hill and strain put on the vessels, the up-hill is need of constant attention.

    On busy nights, it would not be uncommon to see Scott or another employee sitting at the bottom of the hill watching for potential problems. More likely than not, cars will get stuck at the very top of the hill, which can be seen in this YouTube video.


    May 2, 2008
    I forgot to mention this earlier, but there is some news on the boardwalk front. The Carousel Corner Gift Shop, which sat between the Carousel House entrance and Can Alley, has moved to the Inlet Village, and a high-end T-shirt shop now inhabits its former location. The shop is very nice with high-quality shirts and merchandise. I would suggest stopping in during your summer vacation just to see what a quality retail store looks like compared to the dozens of “junk” stores that seem to multiply every year on the boardwalk. Also, the Toyland toy store, which was previously in the Inlet Village, is now located where ‘Hooties Too’ used to be, next to Jessica’s fudge shop. Let’s wish both of these businesses the best during the busy summer season of 2008!

    As I said a few posts ago, three Haunted House cars have been completely restored for this season. To do this, they needed to be extracted from the attraction and taken to a West Ocean City shop where the carpenter could work his magic. But, how did they get them out of the attraction?

    The section of fence in front of the attraction is actually removable. A few years back, the management added brackets and a new stand-alone post so the fence could be removed temporarily for this very reason. After removing the car from the track in the first room, thanks to a foot-long removable section of track right after the second set of doors, they simply carried it out into the lobby and onto the boardwalk. A flatbed truck was then used to transport the car to the west side of town.

    I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


    May 1, 2008
    Let’s start off the new month with some great news…

    The Trimper Carousel House has been designated as an Ocean City landmark!

    Also, incase you folks are having trouble finding it, the forum is now located in the contribute section. Let’s get talking!
    April 30, 2008
    The kind folks at Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts posted my winning logo in their news section for public viewing. Check it out!

    Also, did you know that wild cats live under the upside-down room? A few weeks ago during a walk through, we turned the corner from the spinning barrel and a family of cats was walking through the upside-down room and scattered to underneath the floor! MEOW!


    April 28, 2008
    I am excited to announce that DAFE (Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts) chose my logo as the winner for their Art Challenge. What an honor!

    They sent me an awesome t-shirt as a reward, and they will supposedly feature my logo on their website along with promotions for my website.

    Needless to say, their website, along with Laff in the Dark were the two websites that inspired me to create a darkride web presence of my very own. I am fortunate to have won the contest, and I cannot thank them enough.

    On a Haunted House note, does anyone remember seeing the back door to the ride? It is located to the left of the Water Race game (which is beside the Pirate’s Cove), and to the right of the Carousel House entrance. On the inside, this exit is located immediately following the upside-down room on the left. If you ever see park employees racing toward this door on busy summer nights, most likely there is a break-down.


    April 27, 2008
    The new cars have arrived, and they look nice. While at the shop, they were sanded, restained, repainted and repolyurethaned. Rotted wood was replaced, new rubber bumpers were added, and new hardware was installed. Most notably, the new hinges drastically change the appearance of the cars. The new hinges, unlike the older piano-style hinges, are more durable and seem to be sturdier. However, Scott is not a big fan. Needless to say, after looking at something for 30 years then having it switched can throw anyone for a loop. But, the new style was approved by Doug Trimper, so the changes will continue to move forward. Personally, I think it gives the car more of an antique feel. But, to each his/her own. A gallery of the new cars can be seen in the "cars" area.

    The façade letters are sanded and primed and will be painted in time for next weekend’s SpringFest. I think a fresh coat of paint will certainly make them pop. Although, it is a little weird seeing them “white” for the time being.

    A had the opportunity to browse through Aladin’s Lamp, so I shot a set of photos both inside and outside. Check them out!

    For anyone interested in OC bar news, I compiled all of my Cork Bar construction progress galleries into one page. You can view it HERE. There are several galleries on the page starting in October of 2007 and ending with April.


    April 26, 2008
    The new cars are back! The HH letters are sanded and primed ready for a fresh coat of orange paint. And, I was able to shoot a full set of photos in Aladin's Lamp. Photos to come early next week. Stand by!


    April 25, 2008
    I am leaving work early today to head downy ocean. It is supposed to be a great weekend, and I am looking forward to some cold beverages, crispy bar food, and a day of picture taking on the boards. I have a feeling that I will be coming back with some major updates.

    Stand by!


    April 23, 2008
    Has anyone ever noticed the window next to the previous Bartender stunt? It almost looks like graffiti of some sort, and I always get a kick out of the pieces of nautical driftwood from Ghost Ship leaned up in the corner. If I had to guess by the appearance of this panel, it came from Ghost Ship’s boat deck. Also, check out a picture I found of the falling beam, except this picture was taken inside the Falling Barrels room from the backside. You can see the piston and how the beam itself is constructed with 2X4’s. Interesting!


    April 22, 2008
    The new site is up and running, but I will continue to work out kinks—if there are any. I hope you folks enjoy the new architecture of the site. Please note that I am still building out a few sub pages. If you have suggestions or comments, please make a point to contact me. Stand by!


    April 21, 2008
    I am working diligently to get the new site up within the next week. Mind you, it will not be a total overhaul, but rather different information architecture. Rather than the menu having 22 items, it will have 12, and several pages will have “child” pages. I think it is 100 percent better—it makes subject matter so much easier to find. Aesthetically, things will not change much, but it will be much better organized and much more professional. Stand by!


    April 17, 2008
    After many years of a somewhat geometric-looking façade, the Pirate’s Cove side façade has had a makeover—and it looks great! The park artist spent the entire winter repainting the panels into more of a nautical theme, and needless to say, it is an eye catcher! I snapped a few high-resolution photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5.


    April 15, 2008
    DelmarvaNOW! published an article that explains the recently-passed legislation that would allow officials to grant tax credits to resort amusement parks, including Trimpers.


    April 14, 2008
    I realize that my updates have been scarce, and I apologize. I have been super busy! Once the season kicks into gear, I will have a lot more updates/stories to share.

    As an interesting little tidbit, if you look closely at the backward view of the second room (crooked timbers), you will notice that the word “Trimper” is written on the back of the right-hand pieces of plywood in black magic marker. I am guessing that either Tracy or an employee of his wrote that as a specification of destination back in 1964 when they were originally installed. Neat, huh?


    April 13, 2008
    So apparently, the balcony seems to accumulate a lot of water from rain. This is no surprise as we begin to look at the lobby ceiling… OPPS!



    April 10, 2008
    When workers from over seas start their training at the Haunted House at the beginning of the summer, it can become overwhelming for the ride management. There is a recognizable language barrier, and the workers often do not comprehend the systems in place to handle certain types of problems. Furthermore, they may have trouble learning how to operate the ride itself.

    To help with this problem, Scott has recently installed color-coded buttons on the main control box for the lobby track. The colors make it easier for him to train his foreign employees, while still allowing the control to be functional. Currently, black is zone 4, yellow is zone 3, blue is zone 2, and green is zone 1.



    Needless to say, teaching with visual cues such as color-coded buttons makes Scott’s job a lot easier, and promotes a smoother running ride during the busy summer nights.


    April 6, 2008
    I am happy to report that Scotty has fixed all HH effects except for the spinning tunnel. The ride is in great shape for this coming season—let’s keep our fingers crossed!

    I shot a few photos of the Dough Roller demolition and Marty’s Playland rebuild. The gallery can be seen HERE.

    I will have more updates coming this week.


    April 4, 2008
    Talk about being at the right place at the right time. I happened to spot a Black Crow on the Haunted House façade peak last weekend. How coincidental and creepy!

    Also, read THIS article published in the Baltimore Sun today explaining the aftermath of the devastating Dough Roller fire. Doug Trimper is quoted in this article.


    April 3, 2008
    Folks— I would like you to meet my new girlfriend, Nancy Thompson. I met her at BJ’s Bar and Grill in Ocean City, and she is a ton of fun! I was able to get one of the waitresses to take a photo of us. Check it out HERE.


    April 2, 2008
    No matter how well a stunt is manufactured, it is destined to become run down with non-stop use, especially when you are dealing with vandals. For example, take a look at this Witch Comparison. The two pictures are 12 years apart, and the constant abuse shows.

    Not only do stunts become unsightly in terms of appearance and functionality, they also become downright dirty as many have pointed out in the forum. The Sawmill and Bathroom are two perfect examples. Although Scott makes a point to designate workers to “dust” the ride during the summer, the nonstop grease, oil, and humidity make each and every stunt destined to gather a thick coating of grim by the end of the summer.

    Man, I miss the boardwalk Dough Roller already… I specifically remember a conversation with George LaCross from Laffinthedark.com which we were praising Dough Roller for its good-tasting pizza and cold draft beer. There was nothing better than catching a ride on the old HH and strolling up a block to the Dough Roller to enjoy its knotty pine interior and classic carousel horses and lunch boxes. What a shame, it will be missed. Perhaps in 12 month's time, a new Dough Roller Pizzeria will be constructed and ready for business!


    April 1, 2008
    Needless to say, March was a weird month for Trimpers, myself, and the entire country. But, the suffering doesn’t end there.

    Last night, the Trimper’s reported that this summer will be the last official season for the Haunted House to be open, and then they will tear it down because of coding violations. The inspectors came to the property last week to do their annual inspection and found many faults. Enjoy it while you can folks! Demolition crews will start their teardown in September.

    ...JUST KIDDING! APRIL FOOLS!
    March 31, 2008
    Yesterday was pure hell for the boardwalk block that houses Dough Roller Restaurant, Marty’s Playland & Appartments, and a T-Shirt Shop. Fire broke out around 12:20 and burned for two hours before it was under control. Dough Roller was destroyed, the T-Shirt shop burned out, and Marty’s Playland suffered primarily smoke and water damage. Furthermore, four of Playland’s apartments were completely destroyed.

    I have learned that Playland plans to have their arcade operation up and running within a month or so. They will hire contractors to quickly repair any burned areas and to clean up the mess so they can be open in time for the busy summer season. On the same note, crews will tear down any remaining structure from the Dough Roller building in order to rebuild on the same lot.

    Although it is a shame to loose a classic business such as the downtown Dough Roller, we can be thankful the fire did not spread further, or impact the Carousel House or any other nearby nostalgic properties. An overview of what happened, reported by delmarvaNOW! can be viewed HERE.

    March 30, 2008
    Around 12:30 PM today, fire broke out in the Dough Roller building that sits beside Marty’s Playland. The fire burned for two hours and destroyed Dough Roller completely, heavily damaged the T-shirt shop next door, and caused water and smoke damage to Marty’s Playland, which is owned by Trimper’s. I called the Trimper office, and the nice lady confirmed that Playland has been saved. Articles and photos are circulating the web, and some can be seen in the Ocean City Forum. Also, I have posted a few articles below to read. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blaze.
    Articles : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4



    March 29, 2008
    If you take a look at THIS photo, you will notice a hole cut out in the wall to the right of the Witch, and to the left of the Knit Wit. This hole allows crews to maintain the Spinning Barrel stunt. Because the second and third rooms are actually built up about 2 feet or so, it is feasible to crawl around under them. And, due to the fact the Spinning Barrel’s motor and guide wheels are nestled under the floor, this opening in the wall is practically the only way to get to them for repairs. Cool, huh?

    March 28, 2008
    In THIS picture, you will notice a white powder scattered on the floor near the track. Initially, one might think that its dirt, but think again. For the past several years, Scott has been trying to implement new systems for the downhill in terms of car braking. With a lot of trial and error, he has finally hit the jack pot!

    During several different times of the year, the wooden blocks, which are crucial in slowing the cars during their decent, begin to sweat and become moistened which will inevitably inhibit the blocks from being affective when slowing the cars. Friction is the key element used to slow the vessels: when the Unit scraps the dry wood, the car is immediately held back.

    The white powder seen in the picture is a substance called Oil Dry (or kitty litter). If the blocks become moist due to sweating, Scott will sprinkle the oil dry onto the blocks which will immediately dry them out. Once the blocks are dried out, they once again become affective.

    Who would have thought?...

    March 28, 2008
    The Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation that would let Ocean City government give tax breaks to Trimpers, which would allow them to stay in business. Check out the article HERE.

    March 27, 2008
    Each year before the start of the busy summer season, the façade letters and balcony star get re-painted with fluorescent orange paint to mimic Bill Tracy’s original style. Due to the ride’s constant and intense sun exposure, the letters require attention every season because of fading.


    In recent years, the letters were replaced due to rotting. After each individual letter was cut out of plywood, it was sanded, routed, primed and painted. This time, however, small spacers were added behind each character to separate it from the building. The previous letters were screwed directly onto the wooden façade, and due to the constant humidity and salt air, the wood deteriorated rapidly. The spacers allow air to circulate behind the letters lessening the chance of wood rot.


    As an aside, the only original letter left on the façade that has not been replaced is the “E” in “Haunted.” All the other letters have been replaced thus far.

    March 25, 2008
    Let’s get right down to business…

    The three cars that left for an overhaul are now complete. Rotted wood has been replaced, and they have been sanded, re-pained, re-varnished, and new hardware has been installed. As said in a previous post, the piano-style hinge has been replaced with two black antique-looking steel hinge units, which will hopefully be a bit more durable. Scott has done the metal work himself, which involved grinding and priming the frame base. After the wooden body is re-attached to the newly-restored frame, the Unit can be reinstalled. The cars are currently sitting in a West OC warehouse ready to be brought back into town. When they return, three more cars will leave for the same treatment. Scotty informed me that he will attempt to throw a few photos my way when he goes to inspect and add the finishing touches to the cars in the warehouse, so stay tuned!

    I had the opportunity to take some pretty detailed images of the cars, so I added a “Cars” gallery to the Cars section. I have wanted to add images that depict more car detail for a while, and finally had the opportunity. Enjoy!

    Also, take a peak at a Carousel House photo gallery in the Trimper’s section. This building is perhaps the most nostalgic part of the park, and includes upwards of a dozen kiddie rides, a few carnival-style games, and a vintage shooting gallery. Can’t miss this folks!

    March 24, 2008
    Easter weekend in Ocean City was fantastic! I have a lot of news to report, and will do so over the next week or two.

    Forum member JLMatterer encountered a slightly unusual Haunted House ride this past weekend during his ascend in the Mine Shaft. Check out his YouTube video that catches all the action!

    Also, as a special treat, I added another gallery to the Effects section entitled “Up Close and Personal.” This gallery contains magnified images of Bill Tracy’s Haunted House figures and shows a tremendous amount of detail. Enjoy!

    EASTER WEEKEND UPDATE
    I finally had a chance to dig out my copy of Violets are Blue and pull the clip where the couple is walking through Trimper’s. Mind you, this movie was filmed in 1986; a time before the Boomerang Coaster and before the Haunted House addition. During this time, the Matterhorn and Himilaya ride locations were switched, and the Wild Mouse Coaster inhabited the park along with a few “old-fashioned” rides that you will see in the clip. Other classics such as the Ferris Wheel, Zipper, Toboggan, Yo-Yo, Aladin's Lamp and Tilt-a-Whirl can also be spotted.

    The Haunted House façade can be seen starting at about 1:00 on the right side of the screen. You will notice that there is no fence on the balcony, and the difference in the shingled section of the balcony area. Back then, the two Mad Bats that are now mounted on top of the stored section of roof near the Electric Chair were actually mounted on poles that protruded high into the air to the right of the chimney. If you look carefully, you will be able to see the poles sticking up off the façade. The total clip length is 1:21. It can be viewed HERE.

    My family and I will be heading down to OC this weekend for Easter, but I will be sure to update you folks on any developments when I return. Happy Easter all!

    March 20, 2008
    It is interesting to read the reviews by folks on themeparkcritic.com regarding Trimper’s Haunted House. To my surprise, a lot of the comments were quite negative in nature, as if people did not grasp the true value and historical significance of the ride. It seemed like people just “expected more.” Nevertheless, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. Check it out!

    March 19, 2008
    Recently, Trimper’s Amusements was added to the “Endangered Maryland” list by Preservation Maryland. This extra support will only add to Trimper’s plea for tax relief to save the family business that is nearly 12 decades old. You can read the complete delmarvaNOW! article HERE.

    Also, I noticed something odd—If you look at THIS photo of the shark wall scenery upstairs near the Shaking Mummy, you will notice that there is a hole cut out of the panel in the shark’s mouth. It is a bit hard to see, but it is there!

    I feel like this was at one time a novelty photo prop outside of Ghost Ship; the kind that a customer could stand behind and put his or her face into the hole as if the shark had their head in its mouth, at which time a family member would snap a quick photo as a novelty souvenir. These photo props can be seen in front of a lot of attractions, and I cannot think of any other reason for this hole to exist. Judging the height of the hole, it seems to be at a reasonable level for an adult or child’s face to be.

    Just an observation…

    March 18, 2008 - 5PM
    Please, make a note! My primary e-mail address for this website has been changed to info@ochh.net. The previous yahoo account is no longer activated, so I will not be receiving or responding to any correspondence at that address.

    March 18, 2008
    I hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patty’s Day! With the anticipation of increased usage of the Live Chat Room, I have added a Chat Section to the menu! This way, the applet is much easier to access, and should promote additional use. I feel this will give enthusiasts more of a “community feel” on this website.

    Also, check out THIS photo of the steel bar bolted to the concrete wall at the base of the down-hill just in case the vessel should decide to have a mind of its own.

    March 17, 2008

    Happy St. Patrick's Day Folks!
    I added upwards of 30 new images to the Effects Photo Gallery that show a lot of great detail. Also, new memories! Thank you to all who have contributed!

    As an interesting little tidbit, shown below are the four cutoff switches for the waterfall at the ride’s ending. Multiple switches were installed in case two cars happened to be so close that the back car tripped the waterfall while the front car was still under it. I have seen this happen, and it can leave a customer a little angry, considering the basin of the waterfall is filled with greasy, dirty water that has been used 1000 times over. With these multiple cutoff switches, it makes it impossible for the stunt to be accidentally tripped while a car is creeping out the exit.


    March 16, 2008
    An update from the primary source…

    I had an extensive conversation with Scott today after I took my first trip through the HH since fall of last year. The ride was in great shape as most of the stunts were in working order and the majority of the black lights were lit. The lobby chandeliers were not in working order, however. Scott informed me that they were disconnected because of an electric wiring problem. The spinning tunnel and falling barrels were the two major stunts that seemed to be broken, while the black light near the cuckoo clock was out. The waterfall, naturally, was not yet in use because of the risk of freezing water.

    Three cars are in West OC getting a revamp. This means that there are currently only eight cars in the fleet. The cars that were shipped away are getting new hinges on the lids; instead of the piano-style hinges that ran the width of the lid, the new hinges will be two solid-steel units which will be connected to the front-end of the vessel. According to Scott, it will completely change the look of the car. And, from what it sounds like, there will be some other major changes, although he didn’t go into any details. Over the course of the next few years, he anticipates all 11 cars of the fleet will have total makeovers, changing their appearance in full.

    No new stunts were purchased this year, and no progress has been completed with the balcony façade. However, he said he will talk to park management shortly to try to get the go-ahead to order a Scare Factory Coffin wrapped in chains complete with a jumping skeleton for the other side of the lobby area, near the loading point.

    In park news, the Zipper is running behind schedule for assembly. This year, the crew ordered 12 new steel cars, and they need to be assembled. To do this, they must remove the cushions and fiberglass panels from the old cars and apply them to the new. In all, nearly 3000 holes will need to be drilled, and rivets will need to be air-gunned in to hold the fiberglass panels in place. They hope to have the Zipper set up in the next few weeks in order to continue setting up the rest of the park. Mind you, Trimper’s is the last amusement park in the country to have a “permanent” Zipper. Other than them, you will only find Zippers at traveling carnivals and fairs. Furthermore, Chance Rides does not manufacture the Zipper anymore, which means most parts will need to be custom ordered or built from scratch.

    Keep an eye on the forum for extravagant video updates from member JLMatterer. I know his enthusiasm and commitment are appreciated by all who visit! Lately, he has been experimenting with different camera lighting techniques, and the videos he created will be posted on his YouTube channel.

    March 15, 2008
    This is interesting—I was browsing around Hoovers and found an industry overview for amusement parks and arcades. It is interesting to see how they have broken it down by park size, based on the size of the labor force. Keep in mind that Trimper’s has 200 employees during its peak 100 days of summer. The briefing also touches base on competitive landscape and products, operations and technology. If you are so inclined, you can also do a search on Hoovers for Trimper’s Rides and Amusements. Check it out.

    March 14, 2008
    Let’s talk about the Vampiress…

    When the Mermaid was deemed non-operational in the late 90’s, the crew ordered a Vampiress foam-filled latex prop from Distortions to take its place. When the Mermaid figure was moved to the Head Slinger area, the crew decided not to rip out the compressor air line that powered the pneumatic cylinder for the Mermaid stunt or its enormous diorama. Instead, they installed the Vampiress figure in the preexisting diorama, disconnected the air line from the non-working cylinder, and aimed the air hose upward underneath the figure’s attire. By doing this, the skirt of the Vampiress blows up when the relay is activated giving the illusion that she is flying or floating through the air. Needless to say, it was a good way to use what they already had to jazz up the newly installed Vampiress that would have otherwise been motionless.


    March 13, 2008
    Howdy folks! Well it is that time of the year; St. Patty’s day is right around the corner, the smell of spring is in the air, and the HH season is under way. I spent some time today to create an article for a behind-the-scenes analysis of exactly how the HH stunts work. I included in this article yesterday’s posting regarding the photoelectric sensors, but also included information on the pneumatics, compressor filtration and relays. I will probably add on to this little tidbit as time goes on, but at least it’s a start. Enjoy! Haunted House Stunts: How Do They Work?

    March 12, 2008
    First and foremost, I have added a Live Chat feature to the forum. The button to activate this feature is located in the top menu bar of the forum page. You DO NOT have to be a member of the forum to use this feature, and you DO NOT have to install software on your computer to use it. I think this is an incredible way to share knowledge and get to know one another. I hope to see some of you folks on it at some point. Check it out!

    Horray! We have our first official documented memory! Check it out! Also, I have been getting several e-mails asking exactly what system is in place to make the stunts work. Well, I’ll tell ya…

    In recent years, the Haunted House management has implemented the use of photoelectric beam sensing switches to activate the stunts rather than the unreliable horseshoe magnetic trips that Bill Tracy installed.

    In the early days, a small magnetic horseshoe was mounted to the underbelly of the vessel and tripped small magnetic switches which were mounted to small blocks of wood and placed near the track next to each corresponding stunt. This technique, although very inexpensive, proved to be troublesome and required a lot of maintenance. If the horseshoe was not aligned perfectly, the car would risk missing all of the track switches, which would result in an attraction full of motionless stunts. Likewise, because the magnetic switches were near the track, if one of them happened to get damaged or accidentally stepped on by an employee, it could damage the wire connectors or the switch itself.

    After it was decided that the switches needed an upgrade in order to give every customer a flawless ride experience, small photoelectric switches were purchased along with their corresponding circular reflectors. Ever since these devices were installed, the stunts have been running beautifully without fail.

    The switch itself is similar (but not identical) to THIS switch and emits an invisible beam horizontally across the path of the vessel. On the opposite side of the path, a circular beam reflector is mounted. In essence, the photoelectric switch sends a beam to the reflector and it is reflected back the unit, completing the switch circuit. The alignment of the switch and reflector must be precise or the switch will not work. When the vessel creeps by, it breaks the beam (or the circuit) which triggers the stunt to activate. When the car passes, the beam is reinstated and the stunt goes back to its previous position. You can see a mounted beam reflector on the Sawmill HERE and the photoelectric switch that actives the Jumping Ghoul upstairs can be seen HERE.

    To prevent the photoelectric switches to be activated by an employee walking by, they are set at intervals greater than that of the quick movement a person would make walking by. More likely than not, it is set for one second, which would mean the beam would be broken for at least one second before the stunt would be activated. At the slow speed of the vessel, this interval is ideal for the stunt activation. If an employee were to stand in the beam’s path for 1+ second(s), naturally, the stunt would be activated.

    To coincide with the stunt activation, each stunt inside the Haunted House works on a relay. On each relay, the number of seconds a stunt is activated can be programmed. As an example, the Knit-Wit works on a pneumatic cylinder which is compressed with air when triggered and therefore rotates the pedestal 180 degrees until the stunt faces you. It faces you for five seconds, then returns to its normal position. The relay is what allows it to face you for those five seconds, instead of returning immediately after the cylinder is compressed. On the relay, “five seconds” is programmed. Likewise, when you enter the Upside-down room, a small light turns on. The light is on for five seconds, and then turns off. That five second interval is executed by a relay.

    As technology changes, so will the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Haunted House. Hopefully, the technology applied to the attraction will make the rider’s experiences more enjoyable without compromising its historical and classical stature.

    March 10, 2008
    Now, I know none of you folks are going to believe me. But, yesterday, I was standing in front of the Haunted House and happened to start a conversation with the headless Count. I asked him “Don’t you get tired of people watching you all the time?” He replied “Well, it gets a little cumbersome, but why don’t you give it a try to see how it feels?”

    “Okay!” I replied. We traded places right there in the lobby. It was a little awkward, but I must say, it was rewarding. A tourist passing by happened to snap a photo while we were in the midst of trading places--CHECK IT OUT!

    Also, I have been trying to phase out all of the html table galleries and replace them with flash interactive galleries just because they load faster and are easier to work with. I am hoping to have AT LEAST one memory submitted soon for the MEMORIES section. If you have anything at all, be sure to e-mail it to me!


    March 9, 2008 - (3:30 PM)
    I added a few more images to the Façade gallery. One of the photos was taken in 1999 and the other in 2000. Interestingly enough, the image from 1999 is missing “THE” from the façade title. The 99 picture also shows a line of customers running down the entire front of the ride depicting just how busy this ride can get. Also added is an image from 2006 contributed by a forum member. Also, check out the Pictures section for a few old images I found in my archive that I took while riding through the ride in 2000.

    March 9, 2008 - (4:13 AM)
    Folks, if you get a chance, check out a great set of photos and movies from inside the Haunted House HERE. The page was contributed by forum member JLMatterer. Also, check out THIS brief article written by Doug Trimper regarding how the family feels about the fact that their tax assessment was over the top. It is an excellent article, and points out several key facts, including how with their current assessment, it averages out to roughly $200 per square foot of property. In other words, a park bench may be assessed at $1200, or a dumpster at the edge of the property may cost, in essence, $3000 per year. It is truly intriguing, and it wouldn’t sound better coming from anyone other than Doug, who is currently the vice president of Trimper's Rides and Windsor Resorts in Ocean City.

    March 8, 2008
    Okay folks. It is 2:01 in the AM and I am feeling melancholy while thinking about a little bump in my life that I have been experiencing. I have been sitting on this Double Feature Stunt Analysis for a while but decided to just publish it. It is not my best work, but because of the lack of photos and information regarding the two stunts in this article, the piece is somewhat limiting. I apologize if it lacks information or visual representations, however, it is all I have.

    I am working on a letter to the editor for the Ocean City Dispatch Newspaper concerning Trimper’s and Jolly Rogers. I am unhappy that Jolly Rogers is begging for the same tax consideration without any effort on their part. They have done nothing to help themselves, but are rather trying to hop on Trimper’s band wagon. Shame on them! The two properties are not even comparable! The monetary values are totally different! What gives? Hopefully, I will finish it soon to send off to them.

    I am really looking forward to good pictures and videos taken inside the Haunted House this season by my visitors. If you have a good set of photos of inside the HH, I will create a gallery for them in my Effects section. Just be sure to let me know where I can access the images to put into a flash gallery! Also, this is a request: I am interested in a “backward” ride through the HH—meaning that someone record a video through the ride while facing backwards. This may allow us to get a close look at things never seen before, or a “behind the scenes” look. If anyone ever has the opportunity to record such a video, pass it this way so I can post it!

    I am anticipating an update later tonight, so check back for updates!

    March 7, 2008
    And the feud continues…

    Buddy Jenkins, owner of Jolly Roger Amusement Parks, is still asking the Mayor and City Council and County Commissioners for tax relief because he feels he deserves the same treatment as the Trimpers. Even though the Trimper family has been researching and working diligently toward their tax appeal from the very start, it doesn’t surprise me that JR is coming up on their tail wanting a piece of the action, even though their “circumstance” does not exactly meet the minimal requirements for a property to be considered historic, which includes property ownership for at least 100 years, rides continuously operated on that property during that time period, etc. Check out a journalist’s take on the situation from the Delmarva Now HERE.

    I believe that any amusement business in Ocean City is absolutely essential in preserving that “family” feel and offering a venue for entertainment. However, when it comes to business and money, you can’t hop on the wagon at the last minute just because you could run fast enough to catch it. Jolly Roger needs to do its own work and create a case of their very own, to be fair. Besides, I would be willing to bet that the Trimper properties are worth a lot more than Jenkin’s, so what exactly is the comparison? The two individual cases are 100% different and deserve individual attention.

    March 6, 2008
    Well, it has been one year since the preliminary work on the façade was complete. For most of the off-season and some of the spring of last year, the two end pieces of the façade were totally removed and taken to Trimper’s warehouse in West Ocean City for a revamp. Let’s be honest—the HH looked a little ridiculous without its corner pieces! I am a little disappointed that crews were not able to get around to addition façade restorations this winter, but at the same time, I am grateful that Tracy’s original work will have to opportunity to be viewed by hundreds of thousands during the peak 100 days of summer 2008!

    March 5, 2008 -- Later that night...
    It is later in the evening and I am nursing a beer (or several perhaps) while checking out a few things. I have added a menu item called “Share your Memories.” In this section, I am anticipating memories and/or experiences that folks have had while enjoying the ride. Granted, I could have just used the Forum for this, but I wanted it to be stand-alone on the site because it will be such a crucial part. If I get no responses after a few weeks, I will eliminate the section completely, but let’s give it a try. Check out the section HERE.

    Also, (this is REALLY off-topic), but for those of you with a sense of humor and imagination, check out this video that I remember from my childhood. It has a “crazy house” in it that changes colors and always reminded me of Trimper’s Haunted House when I was a youngster, for whatever reason. This video is trippy, nostalgic and mystical in its own way, and I absolutely am thrilled to have found it (it sort of reminds me of Tracy’s work, too). The music in the beginning is unbelievable. It was originally from Sesame Street, and is from the 70’s era I believe.

    March 5, 2008
    Haunted House OPEN for its 46th Season!

    Jim on the FORUM has confirmed via a phone call to the Trimper main office that the Haunted House is OPEN for the season. Right now, the ride will be open on Saturdays and Sundays starting at noon and staying open until 4 or 5, depending on traffic and weather. Wow—the off-season went so fast! Thanks for the update Jim!

    Regardless of anticipated ride updates, we can be thankful that it is still in operation and existence. In all honesty, if the ride lived out eternity without another update, that would be fine with me. Let’s be thankful for what we have!

    As a side note, I have been performing site maintenance and polishing up the sections one at a time. I would like to eventually start posting ride memories as news updates daily or weekly. User experiences are perhaps the most valuable writings, and I feel they would make extraordinary additions to this site. More information to come at a later date!

    For now, check out another postcard I found in my archive, this one from the mid to late 90’s era. The Haunted House can be seen on the left squeezed between Bug Buster and Jessica’s Fudge Shop. In this postcard, you will notice a concrete boardwalk, the absence of the new train depot, and a little less exhausted Trimper property.

    March 4, 2008
    A commitment to quality control coordination

    It was a hot summer day in 2002 and the Haunted House was rockin. The line was long out front, and the cars were flowing through the ride like water flowing through a funnel.

    I was on my rounds inside the ride, basically walking from start to finish repeatedly looking for break-downs, vandals, or any other problems. I slipped through a trap door, which took me from the grave yard to the Cuckoo clock area.

    Things seemed alright at first, but low and behold, a car sat broken down at the bottom of the decline. I tried giving it a push, and no luck. The car was full of 3 female passengers. They were frightened, and I assured them that everything would be alright. Just as I gave them some comfort, I started hearing the sound of doom; a car was beginning to screech its way down the final hill, and another car had just entered the Train Tunnel. With the speed of the decline, if a car were to hit the stopped one, certainly there would be a huge problem.

    After calling Scotty on the radio to ask for assistance, I pushed the car as fast as possible to the exit knowing more cars would soon follow. I finally reached daylight, and Perry, the ticket booth operator, looked over at me with disbelief as he called for additional help on the radio.

    The customers exited the ride and Scott and I pushed the car through the lobby to the first room. We had to close the ride for about 10 minutes in order to lift the car off the track. Come to find out, the entire transformer, which converts DC current to AC in order to power the 1 HP motor, had shattered its bolts and completely fallen to the ground. It was no wonder the car stopped, and frankly I was thankful that I spotted the car when I did. I am convinced that someone would have been injured with whiplash if both cars would have collided simply because of the speed of the decline.

    Scott searched the park for a transformer and we finally installed the new one in order to get the car back on track. Within an hour, all of the cars were back in working order, the customers were happy, and I was relieved.

    You may ask “What am I getting at?” Well, simply stated, in a ride as old as Trimper’s Haunted House, I found that walking the dark floors of the ride is imperative for smooth operation. It is impossible to monitor the conditions of such a gigantic ride without physically being present. This is why Scott, the Haunted House manager, will spend hours on end patrolling the corridors during the summer. Trimper’s Amusements is known for its responsive management and commitment to safety and cleanliness. And, also for the high quality of user experiences inside the park, no matter what attraction the customer is enjoying. The Trimper’s don’t mind spending the extra labor-hour wages for employees to keep an eye out or to take care of its facilities. And, without this commitment, Trimper’s would be just like any other stereotypical amusement park in the country.

    March 3, 2008
    If you haven’t already done so, take a stroll down to the Courtesy Shop at 3 Talbot Street in the heart of OC. There, you will be able to browse their extensive inventory of Cat’s Meow pieces. Back in the 90’s, they created a Haunted House piece, and I must say, it is pretty impressive. They also offer many other OC attractions, restaurants, motels, hotels, etc. At nearly $20 each, this hobby can become expensive, however, they make awesome additions to anyone’s collection. Visit the store’s website for more information.

    March 1, 2008
    Believe it or not, Trimper’s Haunted House, along with the rest of the park, were actually used as a backdrop for a movie entitled Violets are Blue which premiered in 1986. The primary filming location for the movie was inside the Carousel House, where the main characters were filmed riding a few rides and having some fun. A one-story Haunted House can be seen in the background while the couple is walking on the beach. To this day, pictures and mementos of this film can be seen in a trophy case inside the Carousel House toward the back near the Kiddie Ferris Wheel. An autographed photo of Sissy Spacek, who was the main character for the movie, can also be seen here. Although I do not believe the movie has been transferred to digital, a copy of the VHS would be a fabulous addition to any OC or Trimper collection.
    February 28, 2008
    When I was a youngster, I was quite in to computer games, especially those in DOS mode. My favorite all-time DOS game is Hugo’s House of Horrors. This game is simple, but it involves a young patron searching through a haunted house for his beloved girlfriend who was captured and taken away to a remote part of the house. You actually control the movements of the character. And, you make commands with the keyboard—So, if you wanted him to pick up a candle, you would type “Pick up candle.” The house in this game reminds me of Bill Tracy’s work with the steep angles and peeks, and the interior of the house is creepy to say the least. You must be careful though—Like any haunted house, there are plenty of ghoulish inhabitants who will try to get you. It is an absolute riot. Download it HERE. It will initially be a zip file, and will need to be extracted. You may have trouble loading the game depending on your system. Have fun!

    February 26, 2008
    I found another great PHOTO in my archive of the classic Ocean City inlet. I am fairly confident that this picture was taken in the 30’s or 40’s. Notice how different the Trimper properties were during this time period, and the lack of “traditional” rides and attractions as we know them today. Also, notice how the Inlet Lodge, which is now a full two stories, was mostly one story during this time. The Pier Building, which now houses Ripley’s Believe it or Not, stands tall and housed a Ball Room Dance Floor during the time this picture was shot.

    A new double-feature stunt analysis will be coming shortly.

    February 24, 2008
    I uploaded a zip file of about a dozen HH avatars for use in forums, for computer accounts, etc. All images are 100X100 pixels, as this is the average size limit on many forums. They are basically “up-close” shots of the stunts inside. It can be downloaded from the Downloads section.

    February 23, 2008
    An article was published in the Dispatch on 2/22 regarding tax breaks for Jolly Roger Amusement Park, located on 30th street and the Pier on the boardwalk. Doug Trimper, who is opposed to Jolly Roger’s request for a tax break, is quoted at the end of the article with a brilliant statement. If you get a chance, check it out.

    February 20, 2008
    I would like to report that as of today, no progress has been made on the Haunted House façade, and to my knowledge, no effects were purchased at this year’s convention for the interior. However, crews are beginning to set up rides for this season. So far, the Avalanche and Tilt-a-whirl are up, with the Inverter and Zipper to follow. Also, I noticed that many shops in the Inlet Village have closed, including Bear Friends and Co., Toyland, and the Carousel Corner, which was located on the main boardwalk next to the Carousel House. Apparently, the stores were repeatedly losing money on an annual basis, so the Trimper family members that owned them decided to shut them down. All else is quiet in the park, and the Haunted House remains closed. Please find a few pictures taken over the past few days HERE.

    February 16, 2008
    Breakdown at the Haunted House!

    Below, please find several neat photos from 2002 hosted by Webshots of a couple of summertime visitors stuck inside the Haunted House upstairs near the balcony entrance. As I have stated, if more than three cars are in any particular zone at one time, it may cause the circuit to blow. This was apparently the case on this summer’s eve. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    February 15, 2008
    Putting a price on the priceless…

    I distinctly remember a conversation with Cliff Hudson, former Haunted House manager, that took place back in the mid-90’s regarding the current monetary value of the Haunted House. I asked him, “what do you think the ride is worth?” After grumbling and a few tilts of the head, he replied, “two or three million.”

    It would be impossible to put a monetary value on a historical attraction such as Trimper’s Haunted House in this day. There are simply too many factors that come into play, and too many points of view.

    To an ignorant average Joe, the ride is worthless—nothing more than a concrete building with some old papier-mâché figures and a few black lights. To the average Joe, it is simply just another carnival ride with negligible significance and/or value.

    To a real estate agent, the value resides solely in the property. “Who cares about what is on it,” he or she might say. “We can put a condo here and sell it for 50% inflation when finished.” The value may be two or three million, but that value is in the property, not in the ride.

    To an enthusiast, the value is solely what is on the property—the ride. An enthusiast does not care about property value, but rather, the ride and its five decades of memories. An enthusiast’s concern is that the ride is running, in good shape, and is getting proper maintenance and attention.

    Although these points of view would not be viable for dispute in the real world, because we are a money-hungry society, they would hopefully come into play in some fashion if such a sale would ever exist.

    Today, I do not think Cliff’s “two or three million” remark is adequate, because I believe it is worth more. But, I may represent only a fraction of a percent of the population who feels this way. As more and more of these gems hit the landfills, the ride is, in my opinion, growing in value. Like an antique car where only five of its kind exists, when four of the five are no longer in existence, the fifth is a gold mine. The Haunted House should be no different.

    The true value of Trimper’s Haunted House is the smell of grease and grim, the dust collection on an age-old stunt like the Sawmill, the scribble of someone’s initials on one of the crooked timbers up Tracy’s Mine Shaft, the echoing of sound effects and looping screams and groans, the bubble gum on the re-entry door to the balcony, or the multiple coats of florescent paint on the Knit Wit’s attire.

    These aspects, from an enthusiast’s standpoint, are what make the ride so valuable. But, how can anyone, even an enthusiast, put a price on the priceless?

    February 14, 2008
    A simpler time...

    In the following picture of Trimper’s Haunted House before the merge (1970’s), I would like to point out several things:

    • There was no ticket booth during this time.

    • There was no fence on the balcony

    • The façade did not include the large shingle-faced section beside the far right door that it does today, but rather a shorter shingled section.

    • The two main columns in front were for cosmetic decoration only, rather than load baring supports that they are today. Also, they are in different locations.

    • The façade spot lights were mounted on extension rods rather than being mounted on the adjacent buildings to the right and left.

    It is important to note that it is difficult to get a view of the Bat. The side-panels, mounted on the far left to the adjacent blue building, are blocking the view of the center of the façade. Needless to say, both the HH and the boardwalk were simpler during this time period.



    Also, I was able to find THIS video shot inside Ghost Hole last year. It looks like they have upgraded a lot of the effects, although, there are still some stunts from the Trimper era. (i.e. the siren stunt, some “pop-ups”).

    February 13, 2008
    A rainy, icy, snowy, windy day sets a melancholy mood here in Maryland today. And, I happened upon a great photo by Crazysanman on Flickr of a snow-covered Haunted House and boardwalk taken back in 2002 before the façade letters and panels were replaced. How creepy! Check it out!

    February 12, 2008
    Pop Quiz Answer!

    The two items hanging on the walls near the former Mermaid stunt are wall-mounted fish skeletons. Similar to a trophy collector mounting his or her prized Bass fish onto a plaque, these two props are no different, except they are purely skeletal in nature. Unfortunately, these wall decorations are not noticeable because they are painted with fluorescent paint, and the room lacks a black-light to make them stand out. Furthermore, as you crash through the doors entering the room, your attention is drawn to the Vampiress rather than the wall, rightfully so. Although I do not have any clear photos of these, I pulled two snapshots from my video for you to view to get the idea. The next time you take a ride, be on the lookout for these! 1 | 2.

    During my next visit, I will be sure to grab a few snapshots of these for the gallery.

    February 11, 2008
    In THIS picture of Ocean Playland in its prime, what attraction do you think was Ghost Ship? It is my guess that it was probably the small building in the upper-right of the park with striped side walls. If not, it may have been located inside one of the buildings on the left. Does anyone have any information about this? Let’s talk about it! Also, does anyone have any ideas about the pop quiz?

    February 10, 2008
    Pop Quiz!

    Okay folks—This is one you may have trouble with. Upstairs before exiting onto the balcony, there are two items hanging on the wall to the right of the previous Mermaid stunt, which is currently a Vampiress. These items are barely noticeable as your car rides by, and are somewhat hidden with a screen of fish netting. These two items came from Ghost Ship and have been hanging in this location ever since the merge in 1988. Any ideas?

    While you’re working on this, I wanted to let you know that the new agenda for the Ocean City Council Meeting is available to view on the OC website HERE. If you desire to view the available PDF agenda, you will be able to view the bulleted guidelines for an amusement park to be granted historical amusement overlay district status.

    February 8, 2008
    I realized that a small memento was kept from the Bartender stunt, which was discarded in 2006! It looks like one of Tracy’s rats, which was located on the shelf behind the Bartender, was kept and moved to the Torture Chamber. It may not be much, but every little bit helps! Check THIS out.

    February 6, 2008
    First and foremost, The Worcester County Commissioners are on record in support of draft legislation granting tax relief to Trimper's! Check out the article HERE.

    Secondly, it may surprise you that during the 1997-1998 seasons, the ride and its stunts were refurbished. The updates were nothing major, but crews fixed broken hands, splashed a little paint here and there, rehabbed a few stunts and even fixed a few sounds.

    During this time, the stunts attended to were:

    • Upside-Down Room: Floor (actually the ceiling) was painted grey
    • Set of trolls added in corner beside Sawmill
    • Sawmill painted in full, new hands
    • Cauldron and moving broom added to Witch (beside Knit Wit)
    • Grave stone (RIP w/ Hand) added to graveyard
    • Lady in the cellar was totally redone (only to be completely removed the year-after)
    • New sound added upstairs (where Frankenstein once sat)
    • Crab repainted with new crab legs
    • Seasick pirate refurbished with new attire
    • New hands and touched-up paint on the entire torture chamber
    • A new head for the head slinger
    • New animation for the birthday party (head and arm movements)
    • Entire floor upstairs repainted with flat black.

    It was a “fresh” year for the Haunted House. I remember my first ride of the 1999 season was extraordinary; all of the effects worked and all of the effects looked perfect. Unfortunately, nearly ten years later, the improvements are barely noticeable due to vandalism and neglect.

    February 5, 2008
    Choo Choo! Did you notice?

    The train tunnel has proven to be one of the more effective sections of the Haunted House. The built-in train tracks and surrounding fiberglass stones certainly do the trick, along with the face of a locomotive and loud train whistle. When the train tunnel was installed in the haunted house, it came in large sections and only needed to be bolted together to create the large tunnel. At the end of this tunnel however, the Trimpers were forced to create make-shift stones for the wall using fiberglass and a little craftsmanship. It is unclear as to whether or not the panel was unavailable, or if it was too large and would have demanded too much track real-estate. Furthermore, the panel would have made it difficult for the vessel to make the right-hand turn toward the bathroom and downward toward the lower elevation of the ride. Needless to say, the make-shift stones were painted and most folks don’t realize the difference. However, it’s the details that make a ride like this so extraordinary. You can check out a picture of the train tunnel HERE.

    February 4, 2008
    Money well spent

    Hypothetically, if an unknown patron approached Granville with a $10,000 grant towards Haunted House upgrades, how do YOU think the money would best be spent?

    • Refurbishing current effects?

    • Purchase new effects? (IE Distortions, Scarefactory, etc)

    • Upgrade sound effects with new recordings and digital sound system(s)?

    • Lighting package with sophisticating lighting programs?

    A lot of folks have commented that a new deck of pre-recorded sounds would make ALL the difference in the world. But, I tend to think that a mixture of sounds/lighting would be effective. There is nothing more terrifying than uncertainty in a dark ride, and a blend of lighting and sounds effects working hand-in-hand, in my opinion, would be extraordinary.

    Join in the conversation HERE to share what you have to say!

    February 3, 2008
    Check out an all-new Sawmill stunt review HERE.

    February 2, 2008
    When the old HH is shut down, it sort of makes me want to just shut down. Click HERE to see what I mean.

    February 1, 2008
    Let's Lobby!

    In the early 2000’s, the HH management installed a foot-operated switch in the lobby that was used to conduct current to all 4 sections of lobby track. On busy nights, this was very useful in order to move all the cars in queue around simultaneously instead of trying to hold all 4 switches down on the junction box. The switch used was similar to THIS switch as shown on the Grainger website. It is unclear to me as to whether or not it is still in use, but based on my observations, I would say that it was removed a few years back.

    Furthermore, it becomes interesting on summer nights when, at times, the lobby is completely empty because all of the cars, somehow, are inside the ride. If you want to talk about overload capacity, you can only imagine the kind of strain and current running through the ride in order to handle the entire lineup of cars. If you ever walk up to the HH façade and look in the lobby to find zero cars, don’t be surprised. This happens from time-to-time, just not very often.

    On the other hand, if it is a busy summer night and there is on average only 1 car in the lobby at any given time, you may find the “unloader” physically pushing the car (while running) up to the loading area to speed up the process. This technique, although somewhat unsafe, proves to be much more efficient then relying on the push-button current to do the dirty work.

    January 28, 2008
    If you are interested in Ocean City government and council, you may get a kick out of this. I always keep up-to-date with the Council Agendas and minutes posted publicly on the Town of Ocean City Website, and I happened to read the Council Agenda for December of last year. One of the agenda items is the discussion of proposed historic amusement tax district for downtown Ocean City. It includes a letter from Granville Trimper, and a map of the suggested parcels to be designated as tax districts which would hopefully be frozen at 2004 tax levels. You can view or download it in PDF format HERE.

    January 27, 2008
    A lil' support can go a long way

    When the Haunted House was modified in 1988, the building was practically demolished and reconstructed from scratch, with the exception of the second, third, and forth rooms. During the time of construction, the fleet of cars actually resided in these rooms so they would not get in the way of the construction crews.

    Although the original Haunted House from 1964 was constructed primarily of wood, the revamp was completed mostly in concrete, with the exception of a few minor areas. To the average Joe, the upstairs may seem overwhelming in terms of design and layout. This ride, unlike other dark rides, does not cross the same path twice, and there is no reference to other parts of the ride from any certain point, so it appears that the facility is enormous. However, looking at this Layout Diagram, you can see that the concrete floor layout is really quite simple. You will notice that there are only two openings in the concrete slab; one for the up-hill incline, and the other for the down-hill decline. With the exception of these two voids, the entire upstairs consists of a solid floor.

    To reinforce the weight of such an enormous addition, a solid beam was constructed. In the THIS image, you will notice that one of the front pillars is a bit wider than the other. That pillar happens to be made of steel and is the support for the center beam, which runs down the center of the ride. The large beam can be seen on the right when declining in the ride, as viewed HERE.

    The down-hill ramp is constructed out of plywood, as is the quick turn at the hill’s bottom. Likewise, the up-hill incline is wood as well as bat hill. The graveyard, the cuckoo clock area and the first room include concrete floors that were poured during the construction. If it weren’t for the use of concrete during the construction, it is my guess that this classic would not be as durable with the day-to-day use and the harsh weather elements.

    January 26, 2008
    I found THIS picture of the Haunted House lobby from the late 90’s. It was snapped quickly and is a little blurry, but there are several things to notice in this photo. You’ll notice the painted portraits are not smothering the lobby walls as they are today, the talking gargoyle is absent above the entrance door, the large “grease spots” on the entrance doors from years of workers rushing in to attend to a broken car or rowdy visitor (Note: these doors were touched up by the park artist in the early 2000’s to eliminate the greasy areas). There is a microphone hanging in the corner to the left of the doors that was used for emergencies. That microphone has since been relocated to the ticket booth. You can still see the annual yellow inspection stickers adhered above the entrance doors and the attraction requests are mounted in their original position above the doors (the panel was relocated when the gargoyle was added). It was a simpler time in the lobby and many things have been added since. However, the lobby is still classic and terrifying in its own mysterious and whimsical sort of way. A more recent photo of the lobby entrance, taken in fall 2007, can be seen HERE.

    January 22, 2008
    A Bad Perception

    I happened upon a small website written by a Haunted House worker from summer 1997. This fellow is obviously from over seas, and spent the summer contributing his hard work to the park. He explains in his brief write-up his experiences working inside the Haunted House, following cars, unloading passengers, and taking care of rowdy folks. It was interesting for me to read about a foreigner’s experience, but I was sad that his perception of the American amusement-goers is negative. It is no secret that HH riders tend to display a range of discourtesy on the ride, and I wish folks were more tamed. Be sure to check out the site HERE.

    January 21, 2008
    I reworked the sounds page to eliminate lag time when loading. Instead of each flash element being on the sounds page itself, a new window will open when you click on the actual sound, allowing you to listen in a separate window. I think it should be easier to listen now, and if not, contact me to let me know.

    Otherwise, I would like to note that this site has officially been live for four months. Oh, how it’s grown – thanks to you all! Take a look at THIS original banner from when the site first went live.

    Lastly, if there are things you would like to see on here that are not, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I may or may not have the content relating to your inquiry, but you never know until you ask!

    January 20, 2008
    Thinking ahead!

    A few Miller Lites, a plate of nachos, and a rack of ribs will get you thinking about things otherwise unthought-of. As such, tonight it popped in my mind that the Trimpers were thinking ahead when they built the addition to the HH!

    When the Trimper’s expanded the Haunted House in 1988 with concrete, it is evident they thought ahead in the process. You may or may not have noticed this, but the four main original water features of the ride (Waterfall, Wine cellar, Bathroom, and Lady in the Cellar, which all had running water) were all within a small area to allow for the speedy replenishing of water for the water pumps, which came from a water source near the water fall.

    Immediately to the left of the water fall at the ride’s ending is a hose to replenish water when depleted. The Waterfall and Wine cellar are both side-by-side near the end, and the back of the Lady in the Cellar exists to the left of the waterfall, which had a trap door to allow easy replenishing of water when the pumps ran dry (of course, this was when the stunt actually existed. Today, it is nothing more than a corpse in a coffin in that diorama). Furthermore, the bathroom, which has water pouring out of the toilet in the summer, sits right above the waterfall at the top of the downhill, and was easily refilled with water from the hose when it was needed. Check out THIS schematic to give you an idea just where these stunts are located and how close they were to the water source.

    Although it may have seemed like these four water stunts were spread out in the ride, they actually resided very close to one another, and therefore, were easily replenished with water when dry. On the flip side, think about how inconvenient it would have been to refill a water basin that was over by the Sawmill, upstairs near the Mermaid, or over by the Head Slinger.

    Oh man, those Millers – encouraging great thought and fantastic conceptual ideas...

    January 19, 2008
    Just a few pics of Trimper's Inlet Village shot in the off-season. Check the gallery out HERE. Also, when is someone going to attempt a Ghost Ship with RCT?

    January 17, 2008
    The good old days -- a time when prices were low, and rides were cheap -- a time when a family could enjoy a full afternoon of rides and games for only a fraction of today’s cost. At 10 cents per ticket, the Haunted House would only cost 80 cents per ride in 1980.


    January 16, 2008
    I found THIS picture in a local forum. It will give you an idea just how gigantic this ride is, from a bird’s eye view.

    January 15, 2008
    If you like cars, you'll love this! I uploaded a photo gallery of Granville Trimper's Wheels of Yesterday car museum. I shot these photos over the weekend, and I must say, I am more impressed every time I step foot in this place. What a gold mine! View the gallery HERE.

    January 14, 2008
    A brand new stunt review of the Knit Wit is now available for viewing. A special thanks to Mike Biggs for helping with this article. Also, I uploaded the HH 1996 video in mpeg format. It can be downloaded in zip format in the Downloads section. Please note that this download will only be temporary because of the large amount of space it takes on my server.

    January 12, 2008
    A beautiful day for strolling down here in OC. We were up early this morning to wander around the inlet, go shopping at Rt. 50 outlets, and cruise up and down the highway looking for good eats and major changes in the city landscape. I am happy to report that changes are minimal and it seems like we won’t be losing any more of our favorite hotels and restaurants. I snapped a few quick photos of the Haunted House and boardwalk which can be seen HERE. The sky was incredible early this morning and the calmness of the boardwalk was surreal.

    In case anyone is interested in local updates, the Cork Bar construction located across from the pier is in full swing and pictures of progress can be seen HERE. It seems like they are mimicking the original style, just updating it to code. Can’t wait to indulge in Ocean City’s coldest beer at this new location in the spring.

    As an aside, I would like to report a major change in my second favorite vacation location; Wildwood, NJ. Stanley Sportland Arcade has been purchased by the former manager of Variety Casino and has been converted into a combination arcade, Lime Ricky and ice cream parlor. The manager has been a long-time friend of ours and has been waiting for the opportunity to purchase an arcade venue of his own for years. The opportunity came this fall, so he opened a second location of his store, Lime Ricky, and used his arcade industry knowledge to revamp this arcade into a brand new hangout. More information can be accessed by visiting Lime Ricky World.

    January 11, 2008
    Well folks – We are down the ocean as we speak. I took a half-day from work and we were on the road by 12 pm. After eating (and drinking) at OC Frogs Grill & Bar and Dough Roller, I would like to share with you a development with the Ocean City tax district ordeal. Jolly Roger Amusement Park, located on 30th street and Coastal Hightway, now also wants in on the “tax break,” and according to several local sources, the Mayer and council will offer a break to them. Be sure to read THIS article which will break down this story into greater detail for you.

    I knew this was going to happen – It was only a matter of time before other amusement businesses in the city would be knocking on the door of the local government asking for relief. I am guessing that the Old Pro Golf Courses will be next in line wanting their discount coupon for the taxes, which continue to rise. And, although I remain somewhat neutral about the whole situation, I will say that unlike Jolly Roger, the Trimper’s are the founding fathers of this town, and deserve special treatment more so than Jolly Roger, which has only been in existence for a fraction of the time of its competitor.

    As far as HH updates, I am sorry to say that no work has begun on the balcony. Although I was told work would begin in November, it is no surprise that they haven’t started considering they have upwards of 25 rides to paint and/or refurbish.

    On a different note, I was surprised to see the Carousel Corner Gift Shop has been gutted completely. To my knowledge, this is not a normal practice for off-season, and it looks like they may be moving in another game or attraction. We shall wait and see.

    January 9, 2008
    I have a sickening feeling about this coming year with the HH. I am not sure if you folks are as concerned as I am, but I just have a feeling that a lot more stunts will be going by the wayside and replaced with “alternatives” from Distortions or Scare Parts. If more effects were bought, as I was told in the fall, then there are only so many places to put them, and I know they aren’t going to create “new space,” so existing stunt(s) will have to go. My guess is the Witch beside the Knit Wit, which wasn’t an original Tracy anyway, and needless to say won’t be missed. But what about the other two? I am guessing the Rat in first room, Cuckoo Clock, and maybe the Trolls after the Upside-Down Room will be discarded, but it is hard to tell with a ride as big as this.

    As George LaCross from Laff in the Dark suggested to me; Trimper’s should market the ride as being an original Tracy masterpiece and try to keep anything and everything original and true to Tracy as opposed to change the ride to suite the needs of modern-day society. Newer is not always better, and just because something can be replaced does not necessarily mean it should be. I mean, look at the classic Corvettes or antiques. Sure, over time, they show signs of wear and perhaps neglect, but a little time and money can make a world of difference. Stunts are no different; some paint, some fiberglass and some attention to detail can bring them back to life to be enjoyed by millions.

    The writing on the wall is becoming clearer and clearer. Who knows—the ride may not even be recognizable in a few years based on patterns of change from the last half-decade. The day I see the Crooked Timbers, Upside-down room or Knit Wit go will be the day I make my own solid conclusions and take acceptance of the fact that the ride is permanently changing, not to my liking. As of now, I am giving it the benefit of the doubt and remain optimistic. But, all the signs are pointing down a dark and deserted avenue that I would rather stay away from.

    With roughly three months remaining until the ride opens for next season, one can only hope that things are not drastically changed during the winter…

    January 8, 2008
    Hey folks. If you get a chance, check out the RCT3 Atari Forum HERE. A very brave and talented individual is attempting to reproduce a Whacky Shack with RCT3 including all the major stunts and transitions. Based on the screenshots shown thus far, I must say, I am impressed. This is a fantastic way to express appreciation of these places. It would be interesting for me to see someone create the interior of the HH, but instead of putting the stunts in their actual locations, rearrange the ride according to how YOU would like it to be. IE: Maybe, the Sawmill would be in the first room, maybe the Knit Wit would be in the second etc. The possibilities are endless as is the talent amongst this generation of internet users. If and when the Whacky Shack is finished by this individual, I will be sure to throw the link your way. PS: When is someone going to attempt a Ghost Ship?

    January 7, 2008
    As an aside, if you would like to contact me regarding Haunted House or other Bill Tracy related jibber-jabber, you can now instant message me at AIM screen name "THHTALK". I make no guarantees of when I will be on, but will try to sign on at least nightly. I hope everyone is having a great new year thus far!

    January 6, 2008
    A little casual browsing on the internet unearthed a few effects for sale that are identical to the modernized effects added in 2006 to replace Tracy’s artwork. All of the effects are located on a website entitled “Find Costume.” The Shaking Mummy, which took the place of the Crab, can be viewed HERE. The Reaching Zombie that took the place of Frankenstein upstairs can be viewed HERE and the Leaper can be viewed HERE.. Lastly, the Giant Skull and hands that took that place of the Bartender can be seen HERE. The Mummy and Zombie props are AC only, while the Leaper requires an air compressor.
    More searching revealed the manufacturer of the Reaching Zombie is Scare Parts.

    January 4, 2008
    I added some content including some new facts and some interesting information relating to the track, and cars, as well as a new contact page. Don't get seasick! I will be heading down the Ocean later this month being sure to take pictures of any updates and hopefully conversing with some personnel. I am also curious as to whether or not the park artist has finished painting the back drop for Pirate’s Cove. I guess we shall see in due time. Also, check out THIS article where Granville Trimper is quoted about the possibility tax being placed on arcades.





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