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February 04, 2008



Hey Mark, did you come across the Mountain Park site in the course of your Googling? It's a great site with lots of mp3s of dark ride soundtracks, spooky pics, etc:


Great post.

Sally corp., a company that makes the sets and figures for dark rides has webcams to watch:

A week or so ago they were working on a Dark Ride for Lego Land in CA. Pretty neat stuff.


Last March there was a Horrorfest movie festival that had a B-slasher film called 'Dark Ride' alongside as such classics as 'Snoop Dog's Hood of Horrors.' Guess where all the murders took place. It starred Jamie Lynn Descala(?) from The Sopranos. Terrible flick, but had some great on-location shots of Asbury Park.

Miss v

Me love me some dark rides. Thanks for the post!

Chuck Jones

At the Wisconsin State Fair, these rides are built into folding tractor trailers the the facade folds open, making it look much larger than it really is, then the carneys just turn it on. It's disappointing, but it's funny how disappointing. I remember sreaming once: "Ahhh! Duct Tape!"


Chuck Jones

That would be "screaming" not sreaming, which I think is a form of sodomy performed in dark rides


The Hitchcock film "Strangers on a Train" has a great spooky scene involving an aquatic "dark ride."

Thanks for the post.


Thanks for the blog. I will add two memories of the original dark ride in Santa Cruz, CA (just called "Haunted House", if memory serves): 1)the most effective thrill was a series of shoelaces hung from the ceiling at forehead level. As they brushed over you, the tendency was to cringe and duck, at which point the compressed-air blower hit you from the side. Both of these were moveable, so you could never anticipate when, or even if it would happen; 2)the cars had a step on the back, and there was usually an attendant inside to monitor moronic kids like me. When we did something obnoxious, a voice yelled "HEY!", right behind my head. I froze stiff and didn't move or speak until the ride ended. When I looked, the back of the car was empty. I didn't ride it again for quite some time! Sometimes, it's the simplest things that get the biggest reaction.

DJ Psychomike

What a great post! I use to love riding these as a kid, nice to find out how and why they did what they did.


Don't forget the Spook-A-Rama at Coney Island!

Brooklyn Bridget

GREAT post, thanks!
There's still an original "old mill" ride at Rye Playland in Westchester that's been preserved since it was built in the 1920s. (RP is owned by the County, and they've kept some of the old rides going.) I thought the Old Mill was interesting mostly from a historic point of view, and not much to it. But unfortunately a little kid who was riding it by himself last year or the year before got spooked, jumped off mid-ride, and died. Not sure if they're going to close it down or change it now.


I can't believe that nobody has co-opted the dark ride as art instalation. That is my dream but I doubt I can get a grant for it so if you're a famous artist go ahead and steal my idea....

Pete Henderson

I can remember riding the Old Mill (presently age 38) when I was about 7 years old at Rye Playland. I moved from New York when I was about 16, haven't returned. I'd like to at some point, just to bring back old times. Speaking of Playland, I also fondly remember riding the Flying Witch and Laugh In The Dark. I had gone to school as a kid with Philip Trahanas that owns the Flying Witch ride. Back in the day it was called "Laugh In The Dark". These rides were of course built by the legendary Pretzel Ride Company which is no longer in existance. Going back to the Old Mill, very true, the ride didn't have much going on, but it was interesting how the large paddle created such a steady flow of water that could take the boats through the ride. It also has a conveyor that elevates you for a short time, and allows the boat to get a little boost at some point. I fondly remember the squeaks and the bumps from when the boats rub against the wooden sides of it's course. Little displays here and there, some creepy music. I think it's something to remember and no matter how many times you rode it, it was still fun, especially in the summer when it was HOT! I live in Pittsburgh now and the Old Mill in Pittsburgh was very much like the one at Playland, probably built by the same company. A couple of years ago, the entire interior scheme was changed to Garfield's revenge to give it a "family" feel. I think they did a nice job on it, but it's not my cup of tea anymore because of it. I like this article, brought back some very fond memories of mine, very appreciated. I'm very into Halloween, Haunted Houses and Dark Rides. This is all due to my encounters at a young age with the wonderful rides at Rye Playland.

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