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December 30, 2009
| For all you dark ride lovers out there, I uploaded another Funni-frite brochure in the archives section from the late 1960s that promotes the companys fun house projects. Its an interesting piece as it looks to be modeled after a cartoon strip, definitely a different look than the other two books in the archive. Enjoy! |
December 29, 2009
| Although it was originally thought that the chandeliers hanging in the lobby were the work of Bill Tracy, it was recently discovered that Granville Trimper actually installed them in 1988 during the expansion phase of the attraction. Presumably, the lobby would have been too small prior to 1988 to cater to the chandeliers, as it was only half as deep as it is today. Remember, prior to the Ghost Ship integration in 1988, the riders would exit the attraction on the far right or the lobby and literally walk right onto the boardwalk after leaving their coffin car! |
December 27, 2009
|Did you notice?|
Details make a big difference, especially in an attraction like Pirates Cove. Check out the skeleton faces blended into the stone wall panel in the obstacle course area. Whether this was the work of Bill Tracy or the park artist, it is a neat touch to a superior attraction. Cool, huh?
December 26, 2009
| Had a chance to check out the façade section lately? Give it a whirl. With a little help from contributors, I have been able to slowly build up a catalog of images documenting the façade over the last 15 years or so! Also, stop by the Ghost Hole area to see a newly-added and somewhat rare picture of the façade of this attraction from the 1990s as it sat on Trimpers lot. |
December 24, 2009
| Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Trimper's Haunted House Online! |
December 20, 2009
| Being snowed in for the day has proven to be quite productive for me. I was finally able to get a new catalog scanned in for you all to see: Unique Design, Inc. |
UD was founded in 1969 by Edward D. Hilbert and was based in Baltimore, Maryland. The company specialized in producing decorative scenery and stunts for the amusement park industry, most notably dark rides and themed attractions. UD was known in the industry for its skilled craftsman, sculptors, and graphic artists and was thought highly of by many of the East Coasts largest amusement parks. One of the company's most well-known jobs was the re-theming of Kennywood's Old Mill in 1974.
Hilbert was hired to build several attractions at Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, Maryland in the 1960s, work that most certainly helped to put him and his company on the map. His most popular project at Enchanted Forrest was The Chicken Little Trio, a computer-operated mechanical act that operated in the park until it closed in 1988. Hilbert also built a demon with a 40-foot wingspan for Hunts Pier in Wildwood, New Jersey along with transportable haunted attractions for traveling fairs and carnivals. Hilbert continued UD until around 1982. Sadly, Edward Hilbert passed away on August 22, 2006, the same day as Bill Tracy's death 32 years earlier. Enjoy!
Dont forget, many other catalogs, including some Bill Tracy rarities, are in the archive section!
December 19, 2009
| How about a little Haunted House Christmas cheer? Check it out!|
December 18, 2009
| The Haunted House is known for its oddities. However, the far right-hand wall of the Torture Chamber has always caught my interest, particularly because of its randomness. Obviously, this wall isnt part of Tracys rock wall panels, so where did it originate? It appears to be nothing more than some graffiti and random clap board. Is it a part of Ghost Ship? Speak your mind in the forum!|
December 17, 2009
| Check out a brand new stunt gallery by Mike Brilhart that shows all of the stunts in their natural black light environment in the stunts section! A great addition to the site! |
December 16, 2009
| Theres a lot of action picking up in the forum! Join in on the fun! And, tune in to the Live BranCam at night to watch yours truly working hard on your favorite website! |
December 15, 2009
| For those of you who were previously excited about the prospect of the Trimpers touching up and cleaning Bill Tracys original 1964 gags, your wait may be over. Thats right, there is a tentative plan to clean and touch up paint on some of the rides classic stunts, and even on some of the wall murals over the winter. In addition, the façade bat is in the workshop getting a makeover as we speak. Lastly, you may be experiencing a new effect in the attraction this year as the management is expressing interest in an addition. If you know of any commercial-grade dark ride products out there that you think might work in the HH, speak your mind in the forum!|
Paint touch-ups can make a big difference, especially when done correctly. Take a look at the before and after shot of the Old Mill from 1997 when she was completely overhauled. Although her head cant be seen, it is obvious a good job was done restoring this stunt.
December 11, 2009
| Kinda neat...|
The side of the Last Drop in Trimper's Haunted House is labeled "Trim," possibly the beginnings of the word "Trimper." Could this be one of Bill Tracys original markings designating the final destination of this piece during production?
December 1, 2009
| Its no secret that the Trimpers dont do much advertising in local publications, most likely because their park is the feature attraction of Ocean City. However, I came across two large ads from the 1970s that mention the Haunted House, Pirates Cove, and many other star attractions like the Yo-Yo, French Frolic, and Jumping Jack. I also happened upon a 1971 article celebrating Windsor Resorts 79th year in business. Check them all out in Trimper Publications! |
November 23, 2009
| One of my favorite childhood memories of OC is when my folks took me to the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum and let me take a gander at the Laffing Sal exhibit. There was just something about her that was mysterious, not to mention her intoxicating laugh. I put together a section of the site dedicated to Laffing Sal, specifically the Sal that inhabited Jesters Fun House on the boardwalk for decades. Join me in celebrating Laffing Sal. |
November 20, 2009
| Couple things. First, be sure to check out forum member Mike Brilharts new site Strange & Frightening Sounds to get the latest digitally-mastered audio relating to Disneys Haunted Mansion and Phantom Manor. A great resource for all who are into this creepy stuff. Kudos to Mike for a job well done.|
Second, I have a few new pics to make note of. One, a 1990 view of the Haunted House façade, an incredible view only two years after the addition in 1988! In addition, an early 80s view of the Aladins Lamp façade, and lastly, a 1970 view of Ocean Playland Park, where the side of Tracys Ghost Ship is clearly painted pink.
Keep your eyes open for a few new website additions in the coming weeks; a section dedicated to OCs Laffing Sal, a new stunt review, and more information regarding Morbid Manor, a previous Pier attraction that burned down in 1995.
That is all, my ghoulish friends.
November 16, 2009
| I was able to add a 1971 price list and corresponding product illustrations from Messmore & Damon, Inc to the site. You may recognize a few of the products as the original works of Bill Tracy. In addition, a great article regarding Messmore & Damon from a 1950 issue of the Billboard has also been added. Check it out!|
November 14, 2009
| A few points of interest
1. Unfortunately, Ocean City was the victim of constant battering from the remnants of Hurricane Ida over the past few days and has suffered tremendously. The main beach is practically non-existent at this point due to erosion, and 2/3s of the dunes were cut by the ferocious waves and currents. Sand has covered the town ad nauseam, and many light poles are down as a result of the high winds. According to a few of my contacts, things are okay at the park, which is now basically a parking lot because the rides have been dismantled and stored for the winter. The Haunted House, being the mighty ride that it is, has withstood the storm, although, I am sad to report that we have lost the t in Haunted on the façade. If you folks are so inclined, you may want to check out a photo gallery on weather.com to see the damage. Needless to say, it will take a while to clean up this mess. Get first-hand accounts and updates from residents at the Ocean City forum.
2. One of my favorite miniature golf courses, Old Pro Pirate Ship on 136 st. has been demolished to make way for a brand new indoor/outdoor course. Luckily, they are saving the physical ship, one of my personal favorite elements, to reuse in the new outdoor design, while the indoor facility will be themed as a rainforest. Check out their blog to learn more about the new courses.
3. If you are a fan of Trimpers Haunted House, you may also remember Morbid Manor, a walk through haunted attraction that stood on the pier until it burned in 1995. I found an incredible full-page ad for Jolly Roger and the Pier from the summer 1987 issue of Ocean City Resport Guide that includes an illustration representing the park, and oddly, Morbid Manor is titled Year of the Vampire in the drawing, as if the attraction had a different name at this point. I have not been able to verify this, but interesting nonetheless. Also visible in the picture is the Treasure Island Petting Zoo, which sat under a large dome-type structure for many years. Be sure to check out articles pertaining to Morbid Manor's demise in the Ocean City articles area.
4. I found out a few days back that the track layout and stunt placement area of the site has been bugged in Firefox all of this time without me realizing, but it has been fixed and Im happy to report that it is now working fine.
5. You may notice slightly different navigation on the site. In an effort to clean things up and organize, some pages have been reordered or combined with others to offer a better user experience.
6. The Haunted House rocks.
November 9, 2009
| Granville C. Trimper, Granville Daniel Trimpers father, was a little over a decade shy of having the opportunity to experience the Haunted House, a ride that Granville commissioned Bill Tracy to build when he was only 35 years old. I happened to find an article out of the January 24, 1953 issue of The Billboard that breaks the news of Granville C. Trimpers passing. If he could have only seen what his son Granville Jr. had accomplished
November 6, 2009
| Well whata ya know! An impressive drawing of our favorite attraction has been featured on the front page of Coconut Times resort entertainment magazine and on its website! Take a look!|
November 4, 2009
| It has been a little over a year since Granville Trimper left us, so let's take time to pay a tribute to him and his accomplishments. |
October 31, 2009
| The wait is over! Our one-year anniversary special for The Bill Tracy Project presents a new and improved Bill Tracy biography that will take you on a complete journey through Tracys life with never-before-released information and photos. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween from Trimper's Haunted House Online and The Bill Tracy Project! |
October 29, 2009
| On October 19 at approximately 3:20 pm, a fire broke out in the Goin Wild souvenir shop on the boardwalk, only one store away from Trimpers Haunted House. Workers noticed the smell of smoke and immediately began to investigate only to find flames in the jungle-themed shop once the gate was open. The fire department was called and arrived within four minutes. Luckily, the buildings sprinkler system engaged to douse the fire until crews arrived. Jessicas Fudge House, the Haunted House, and the apartments above were all inspected for two hours before crews left the scene. Looks like we got lucky! Read the full article from the Dispatch here.|
October 18, 2009
| Be sure to slip over to The Bill Tracy Project on Halloween to read a brand new biography about Tracy containing information about him that no other organization has ever released. The new biography, consisting of 12 chapters, will also include numerous photos from Tracys early years including his involvement in parade float building. Be sure to stop by on Halloween to read about Tracys complete journey in the amusement and dark ride industry! |
October 12, 2009
| Good news!|
The sound effects for the Falling Beam and Torture Chamber are now back in order. New self-contained digital sound repeaters were ordered from Audio Innovators and installed on location and programmed with new sound chips. Currently, the Falling Beam clip sounds like timbers falling, and the Torture Chamber clip sounds like heavy breathing. All of the sound effects in the Haunted House are now working beautifully.
October 8, 2009
| For the first time in almost two decades, Tracys stone panels that are mounted on the side of Trimpers Pirates Cove have been overhauled to the fullest extent. Fiberglass was applied to open holes and cracks, and they have been primed. A new paint job will be applied within the next few weeks. During this time, some wood on the side of the building will also be replaced, and a new backdrop will be painted behind the pirate, as the wood appears to have been primed also. Earlier this summer, the pirate was patched and repainted to repair a few holes and blemishes due to the weather.|
October 4, 2009
| Its great to see that the Trimpers have finally started to promote their two star attractions on the parks colored LED sign that greets visitors as they make their turn onto the inlet parking lot.|
September 30, 2009
| I feel sorry for the Count Dracula Vampire prop that was installed in early 2000s. He doesnt get much attention here! This stunt, which is approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall, can be seen in a youtube video demonstration. It cost nearly $250 when the Trimpers bought it new, and originally resided across from Bill Tracy's Knit Wit, only to be relocated to the downhill around 2005 or so. |
September 27, 2009
| There seem to be questions regarding the origin of the decorative panels that surround Tracys Cuckoo Clock. The panels are actually remnants of the lobby from when the addition was completed in 1988. You may recognize one of them as being part of the ticket booth. The two panels to the right of the clock are actually attached to each other, and are hinged to act as a door to get behind the Clock into a small workshop area. The panel on the left is in place to conceal the mechanisms inside of the clock.|
September 22, 2009
| Trimper's Haunted House Online is two-years-old! Thanks to all of you who help make this site a success!|
Now, Im sure youve all wondered about the origin of the Shark mural that resides near the balcony re-entry to the Haunted House. Any enthusiast can clearly see that a hole is cut out of the sharks mouth. And, in my March 19, 2008 update, I hypothesized about a possible purpose of the hole. I guessed that the mural was a novelty 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. Turns out I was right!
A member of the Ocean City forum was able to relive a childhood memory after seeing an image of the shark in the recent Ghost Ship article. He knew it looked familiar, as if hed seen it in a family photo. Sure enough, his photo from the 1970's was able to solve the mystery of Bill Tracys shark mural. A special thanks to Britton M. from Altoona, PA for sharing his childhood photo and for helping us solve this mystery.
September 21, 2009
| Check out this incredible image that depicts the day after the storm of 1933 in Ocean City, and shows the newly-formed inlet. Visible in this image are the Capitol Theatre, the pier building, and the Trimper enterprise (carousel house and hotel where the Haunted House now resides). The Dough Roller building that just recently burned can also be seen here I believe. If you look carefully behind the Trimper carousel building, you will see a structure that looks similar to a mini stadium. This was actually a boxing ring back in the day that sat on the Trimper property, where the Tidal Wave roller coaster now sits.|
September 16, 2009
| When the Haunted House was expanded in 1988, the new building was built with concrete, both the walls and the ceilings. However, a section of the attraction remained as-is and untouched during the construction phase. From the start of the rotating barrel to the witch/graveyard area, the building is all original and dates back to the good old days of the Windsor Theater and Roller Skating Rink. Not surprisingly, the old section of the ride actually feels different when riding, toomore creaky, more worn. |
Its easy to tell when you have entered the old part of the building after crashing through the bang doors into the rotating barreljust look up and youll be able to tell!
September 10, 2009
| Ever wonder about Ocean Playland Amusement Park, which was once located on 65th street in Ocean City, Maryland from 1965 to 1981? Ever curious about what Ocean Playlands Ghost Ship looked like? Ever want to know exactly how the Trimpers acquired Ghost Ships stunts for the Haunted House expansion in 1988? Wait no longer! |
After a lot of digging and the gracious contributions of several Ocean City historians, I was finally able to solve the mystery behind Ocean Playland and its famous dark ride, Ghost Ship. As many enthusiasts know, the Trimpers purchased the Ghost Ship stunts when Playland closed and incorporated them into the Haunted House when it was expanded over two decades ago. Through many photos, advertisements and first-hand accounts from a former Haunted House manager, we can finally let Ghost Ship set sail into amusement dark ride history.
Presenting: The Real Story Behind Ocean Playland & Ghost Ship
September 7, 2009
| A new Labor Day tradition, perhaps? Balloons almighty!|
August 31, 2009
| A good Haunted House story for the books
Apparently, after the Haunted House construction was completed in 1964, Granville Trimpers wife, Joanne, was one of the first riders to experience Bill Tracys new work of art. As the story goes, the Waterfall at the rides ending did not shut off when it was supposed to because of a technical malfunction, and Mrs. Trimper got soaked to the bone. Scott Hudson, Haunted House manager, shared this story with me over the summer.
Interestingly enough, during the first several years of the new dark rides operation, Mrs. Trimper would single-handedly re-stain and touch up each of the Hush-Puppy Coffin Cars during the winter to keep them fresh. She always wanted the cars to be in top shape for their customers, according to Scott.
August 29, 2009
| Enjoy viewing a great picture of the Haunted House from 1995, submitted by forum member MTTB. This picture was taken less than a year after Count Wolf Von Vinderstein was added to the lobby! Check out more façade images in the façade area! Pretty cool to see the HH almost 15 years younger, huh? |
August 27, 2009
| Speaking of Trimpers Aladins Lamp funhouse, did you know that Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach, Maine has a nearly identical funhouse called Salem Aleikum: Grand Orient? Its true! Check it out!|
August 25, 2009
| Getting off the Haunted House topic for a minute, I wanted to introduce two newly-found images of Aladins Lamp funhouse taken in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Aladin's Lamp Funhouse is a classic Arabian-themed funhouse in Trimpers park that has been attracting tourists for over three decades.|
August 20, 2009
| Check out this amazing boardwalk picture from the summer of 1964! This photo was taken just months after the Haunted House contruction was complete. If you look carefully, you can see part of the facade peaking out on the left. You'll also notice that the "Bath House" in this picture is the Inlet Gifts store today. Even back in 1964, Playland arcade can be seen up the boardwalk in its present day location. On this particular sunny summer day, the Haunted House appears to be closed. |
August 18, 2009
| If you think the spider skulls on Tracys Skull Banister are original molds from his company, think again. Upon closer inspection of the skulls, they appear to be store-bought as they have holes in the bottom (as if they had a pole protruding out of the bottom at some point to stick into a lawn for Halloween). In addition, it looks like the original color of the skulls was blue, and later painted over in fluorescent green. The spider legs appear to be attached to the back of the skulls with fiberglass, which gives them the eerie appearance that we all remember so well. And, in case there was ever any doubt that Tracys designs had an impact on the current industry, just look at the modern-day rendition entitled Spider Head. |
August 13, 2009
| A lot of folks have been curious about the spider hanging off the timber in the room with the Falling Barrels. The foam-filled, latex spider was added a few years back in a very inconspicuous manner. And, unless riders are really looking for it, it is barely noticeable due to the timing of the lights. This spider was purchased around the same time as the hologram pictures adorning the walls upstairs. |
August 7, 2009
| Tracys Swamp Ghost, as seen in the graveyard of Trimpers Haunted House, has been hanging in its original location since it was installed in the attraction 45 years ago. Adding to the stunts creepy presence are its eerie swaying motions that make it seem as if it has just risen from the grave. Check out a behind the scenes view of the motor that makes the stunt operate. It is important to note that Tracy also installed a Swamp Ghost in his Pirates Cove attraction, also located at Trimpers Rides.|
August 2, 2009
| You folks may find it interesting that Tracys stunt entitled "Alone Again: Old Mother Hubbard", as seen in Hour 13 which was once located in Miracle Strip Amusement Park, includes an element that can also be seen in Trimpers Haunted House. On the back of the chair of this Hour 13 ad, Rest in Peace is clearly stamped onto the back of chair. Besides the Hush-Puppy coffin cars in the Haunted House, this is the only other time I have seen Tracy use this morbid artistic element. A special thanks to Wayne from The Bill Tracy Project for pointing this out to me! |
July 29, 2009
| Check out a few 40-year-old Messmore & Damon catalog photos for products such as the Elephant, Gorilla, and Things. Be sure to look at the coinciding description and price for each! I also included a one-page ad for M & D from the late 1960s promoting themselves as producing The Finest In Playland Stunts. |
July 25, 2009
| Last weekend, the founders of The Bill Tracy Project and the Bill Tracy MySpace administrator and forum moderator ventured to Ocean City, Maryland for a weekend of analysis, discussion, and to map out the next phase of the project.|
During the visit, we were able to spend time observing Bill Tracys stunts inside of Trimpers Haunted House thanks to the hospitality of Scott Hudson, Haunted House manager, and Chris Trimper, Quality Control Coordinator of Trimpers Amusements. We also spent a lot of time in Pirates Cove drooling over all of Tracys drunken pirates and other nautical creatures. Needless to say, we came back with a plethora of discussion points, photos, and new facts. Any new information will be released on this website, as well as The Bill Tracy Project, in the coming months.
It was certainly nice to go on this adventure not only with two of my best friends, but enthusiasts who actually realize the true value and historical significance of Tracys attractions.
From right to left: Wayne Bahur, Founder of The Bill Tracy Project.
Brandon Seidl, Founder of Trimpers Haunted House Online and Co-founder of The Bill Tracy Project.
Amber Bahur, Bill Tracy MySpace Administrator and Forum Moderator.
July 24, 2009
| Did you know?|
Currently, the ornate lids of the Hush-Puppy coffin cars are painted purple. But, originally, the lids were a red/crimson color. The color was changed back in the 1980s to give the cars a more gloomy and ancestral look.
July 22, 2009
| Check out a brand new area dedicated to the Lobby Barkers, Count Wolf Von-Vinderstein and the Gargoyle. The new page includes some new facts and a photo gallery. Enjoy!|
July 19, 2009
| If you ever have doubts about when the second story addition was built on to the Haunted House, just look up at the wall as you pass by the Falling Beam. A date of November 21, 1988 is clearly marked on the cinderblock near the concrete ceiling. |
July 17, 2009
| Once again, Bill Tracys attention to detail has us scratching our heads. Below is a picture that hangs in the upside-down room, upside-down of course. It has been turned right-side up here for analysis purposes. At first glance, this portrait appears to be of a small child. But
is it? And, why isnt he or she wearing a shirt? And, why does it appear that this child is bare-chested? Is it really a child, and who is it? Tracys tricks will always keep us wondering!|
Also, if you get a chance, slip over to the forum to check out a lobby remix executed by member MTTB that includes a creepy rendition of the count and organ music!
July 16, 2009
| Well folks, I will be heading down to OC this weekend with Wayne, my project partner on The Bill Tracy Project, to see what sorts of mischief we can get in to. Aside from our Tracy talk and Haunted House/Pirates Cove visits, we also hope to also venture up to Rehoboth Beach to check out The Haunted Mansion at Funland. Should be a pretty interesting time! |
On a side note, there have been many posts in the forum asking the exact square footage of Trimpers Haunted House. This question, my friends, is a question I dont have an answer to. But, I think with a little analysis of the building, it could be easy to calculate. By using a view of the building from Google Earth and some estimations, I imagine a square footage of the building could be calculated, but it will be difficult with the 1988 addition and the fact that the top floor is actually split in half (the front half is the HH, the back half is the main office). Hmmm
July 12, 2009
| There is always talk on the forum about how perspective in Trimpers Haunted House has a big impact on the ride-goers experience inside the attraction. Needless to say, this picture of Tracys Swamp Ghost and graveyard murals dont look all that impressive with the lights on and from a higher angle.|
July 11, 2009
| Lets do the math
During the peak 100 days of summer, lets assume the Haunted House has 500 riders a day. 500 X $3 = $1500. If you multiply $1500 X 100 days, you get $150,000. Now, in the off-season, say September through November, and February through May, lets assume the attraction has an average of 100 riders a day. 100 X $3= $300. Multiply that times roughly 50 days (weekends only) = $15,000. $150,000 + $15,000 = $165,000/yr. Even if my math is somewhat perverted, which is probably is, its still not bad for a ride that cost less than $50,000 new, hmmm?
Check out the original ride proposals!
July 8, 2009
| For some reason, the count was not working at all on 4th of July! He sat still for the entire day. On the 5th he was working fine, however. Clearly, someone forgot to turn him on. Not even an air leak would have caused him to sit completely silent for the day! Mind you all, the count works on part air, part electric, and requires a manual turn on in the morning before the ride opens.|
July 7, 2009
| As a safety precaution, every one of Trimpers rides are inspected by the state of Maryland at least once a year, in conjunction with the day-to-day inspections by supervisors. Trimpers Haunted House is no exception. |
If you glance behind the door to the ticket booth near the ride operator, you will be able to see three stickers affixed to the wall near Tracys original plate. The state registration number of the Haunted House, which is 1155, is marked on all stickers. A new Certificate of Inspection sticker is added to the growing stack every year, usually in February, which is the start of the operating season of Trimpers Haunted House. The other stickers or plates are from the State of Maryland Division of Labor & Industry.
July 1, 2009
June 29, 2009
| If you all get time this summer, stop by the Ocean City Lifesaving Station Museum to see the brand new Trimper exhibit that features old photos of the family and boardwalk. Although the display features an incorrect inception date for the Haunted House, it has pictures of the Count and the Pirate on the façade of Pirates Cove. Other new displays include a prop from Jesters Funhouse, and a full Boardwalk Elvis exhibit featuring a timeline of his life. Definitely a worthwhile stop! |
June 26, 2009
| So, I happen to be a huge fan of the dangling light bulb in Tracys bathroom stunt, formally referred to as The Last Drop. But, my last visit left me feeling perplexed as I noticed it was replaced with a red lantern light fixture: the same fixture that is used two feet to its right to illuminate the corpse hanging on the wall... |
June 22, 2009
|Aladin's Haunted House...?|
My normal visit through Trimpers Haunted House this past weekend ended with some head scratching and a bit of confusion. Unexpectedly, and to my surprise, a bearded man wearing a white polo shirt was hovering above the Old Mill with his fists closed tight and his eyes wide open, as if hed seen a ghost. I snapped some pictures, and upon closer examination, I discovered this unknown character was wearing a turban
a turban. So, I started racking my brain trying to think of where this character came from.
Ahha! This dummy torso came from Aladins Lamp funhouse! Back in the day, the façade of the fun house included several bare-chested Arabian men with turbans extruding from the windows. One such character can be seen in the 1980s park brochure, down in the bottom right-hand corner. Apparently, the park stopped using these papier-mâché characters years ago, and kept them in storage. So, someone made the executive decision to put them to good use
June 15, 2009
|Did you know?|
The Rotating Barrel inside of Trimpers Haunted House was actually developed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Visit the Blueprints area for a complete set of the Assembly Details. The rock formations on the inside of the barrel, however, were designed and constructed by Bill Tracy and his Outdoor Dimensional Display Company, and were added after the barrel was installed in 1964.
June 12, 2009
| Over the next few weeks, be sure to sneak over to The Bill Tracy Project as we will be releasing extraordinary information about the designer of Trimpers Haunted House! |
June 9, 2009
|Technical updates and reminders
Our e-mail address has changed to email@example.com! Feel free to contact us with questions or contributions any time!
A new subdomain has been created for the forum, and it can now be accessed externally by visiting forum.ochh.net.
If you visit the Haunted House this summer, dont forget to write a note in the Visitor Log to let us know how your visit was, and if any changes were apparent in the attraction.
Join our Myspace community and make friends with other HH enthusiasts!
Dont forget to become a fan of Trimpers Haunted House on Facebook!
Other contribution opportunities to be found in our Contribute area of the site. We look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!
June 8, 2009
| Start off the work week right by checking out an original price list from Bill Tracys Outdoor Dimensional Display Company that was sent to clients along with initial correspondence and their 1963 product brochure. This price list includes over 50 of the companys most popular stunts, including Haunted House classics such as Knit Wit, Attic Stairs, and Last Drop, along with prices and case dimensions. It is important to note that this price list was not a part of any original O.D.D. catalog.|
June 5, 2009
Although many Haunted House visitors believe that the Train stunt is an original Tracy piece, they are wrong. The Train was actually developed using the rotating barrel stone molds from Ocean Playlands Ghost Ship attraction, which was built by Tracy in the 1960s. Instead of discarding the textured panels, Granville Trimper decided to reuse them in the form of a rock tunnel. The parks artist then painted a large panel to resemble the front end of a train locomotive to complete the stunt. A train whistle sound effect and a track completed the new stunt, which debuted for the first time in 1988 when the rides addition was completed. Unfortunately, those who think they definitely remember it prior to 1988 must be mistaking it for something else!
May 28, 2009
| I added two very interesting catalog pages from Messmore & Damon to the catalogs area. The characters depicted in the ads are a Giant Gorilla, Go Go Girl, and Hippy Guitarist. Although the figures are not necessarily scary in nature, they are classic nonetheless. Enjoy!|
May 19, 2009
| Check out this picture of the air line that powers the talking gargoyle plaque that hangs over the entrance door. This hose and regulator are actually located behind the waterfall near the exit. Recently, the air hoses in the attraction have slowly been replaced with the smaller hose as shown in this photo. The newer, smaller hose has proven to be more effective and longer lasting than the older hose used, and eventually, all hoses will be replaced with the smaller size.|
May 17, 2009
| Thanks to the hard work and dedication of forum member mttb, we now have sheet music available for the lobby sound track. The sheet music can be viewed in the sounds area of the website. Also, I was informed over the weekend that the Falling Beam and Torture Chamber sound effects will be brought back to life this year. Please join in the conversation on the forum regarding new sound suggestions for these classic stunts.|
May 13, 2009
| Did you know?|
According to the Haunted House management, when the expansion was complete in 1988, the ride actually began operating before most of the new structure was painted black! Because of the additional square footage that required black paint, it wouldnt have been financially smart to wait until the painting was complete, as it would have taken several days away from profits. Thus, the ride operated with white sheetrock and concrete walls exposed and workers painted during the nights after the ride closed to complete the project.
May 12, 2009
| I created a new section in the articles section entitled Various that includes two new advertisements from the International Fiberglass Company from the mid to late 1960s. And, Trimpers Haunted House is now on Twitter! Join in the action at our distinct URL, http://twitter.com/TrimpersHH. Website updates and late-breaking news will also be shared via Twitter, so we hope to see you follow our lead!|
May 10, 2009
| Welcome to the Haunted H...|
Thats right folks. Its that time of year when the Bat is mounted onto the façade and the letters and star are painted with their classic neon orange color. As you can see, some of the letters are primed and will probably receive paint this week.
A trip through the Haunted House this weekend presented several stunts that were not working, including the Barrel, Falling Beam, Falling Barrels, Attic Rat and the Cuckoo Clock. Hopefully, they will be fixed in time for Memorial Day weekend!
| Here you can see how a small section of the track is designed to unbolt, allowing the Unit of the car to slip out. In the event of a flat tire or mechanical failure, the ride will be temporarily shut down and the malfunctioning car will be pushed into the first room and lined up with the orange mark on the floor. Then, after removing three bolts from the specially-designed section of track, the car can be lifted out and set aside for maintenance. Its important to note that this is the only section of track in the entire ride that is modified to allow the removal of a car. Enjoy the weekend!|
| I took some time to revamp the page that explains how the stunts inside the attraction work. I also included a new photo gallery showing some behind the scenes images of the mechanisms that make the stunts work. The views are rarely seen in the attraction, and might give you a better idea of how your favorite stunt operates. Enjoy!|
April 30, 2009
| Veering away from the dark ride theme for a moment, check out a really interesting one-page advertisement for the International Fiberglass Company from 1964 that features many large figures produced by the company, some of which were used in amusement park environments. The most recognizable product is the large bearded salesman, which stood 20 feet tall. This figure was used twice in Ocean City, Maryland; once at the entrance to Ocean Playland, which featured Bill Tracys Ghost Ship ride, and another which is still in use at the entrance of Jolly Roger Amusement Park. Lets lift our glasses high to the 1960s; simpler times, happier days!|
April 27, 2009
| I thought you folks might enjoy a cool picture of the inside of the Cuckoo Clock. Although the inner workings and mechanisms of Tracys clock are extremely uncomplicated, they have proven to be fundamental in this stunts operation ever since it was installed in the attraction 45 years ago. |
April 22, 2009
| I added about 10 new images to the up-close and personal gallery in the stunts section. New additions include detailed pictures of Swamp Ghost, the Birthday Party, and the man and woman mounted at the end of the Spinning Barrel. All new images were taken in March of this year. Enjoy! |
April 20, 2009
| Pirates Cove was one of Tracys most popular attractions during the dark ride boom. Many parks along the east cost commissioned Tracy and his company to build this attraction, which included an enormous pirate on the façade, floor obstacles, and nautical-styled stunts like drunken pirates, skull waterfalls, and killer sharks. Check out the original project proposal from Bill Tracy and his company, Amusement Display Associates, from the early 1970s that outlines the attraction in full detail. This proposal includes a full price list for the completed attraction, totaling roughly $47,000 (what a bargain!) |
April 13, 2009
| I decided to start off the week after Easter with an interesting brochure from Messmore Damon, Inc., a company that manufactured many dark ride stunts and props during the time of the dark ride boom as it were. This piece is only three pages in length, and was originally designed to be a mailer to prospective clients. |
Interestingly enough, this publication has whited-out prices on the price list that were replaced by manually-typed revisions. It also shows a blackened out address, replaced by a new address stamped in the upper right-hand corner of the front page.
On the interior of the publication, hand-drawn illustrations show clients what the stunts look like conceptually, and are followed by revised prices. Check it out!
April 8, 2009
| The letters on the sign for Pirates Cove were recently removed to be sanded and repainted for the season. And on that note, I am off to OC for my Easter vacation! Happy Easter all!|
April 7, 2009
| Check out a new rare postcard from the archive. This postcard, from around 1965, shows a one-story Haunted House peaking out from the shadows on the left. Youll notice the white garage doors on the front, and Tracys iconic fluorescent orange letters which can still be seen on the attraction to this very day.|
April 6, 2009
| Its an exciting time here at Trimpers Haunted House Online! I would like to present another extremely rare catalog from Bill Tracys Outdoor Dimensional Display Co. regarding the two-story Haunted House he originally tried to sell the Trimpers in 1964, even though Granville Trimper would eventually choose the one-story option to be installed. The twelve-page book includes many of the stunts that occupy Trimpers Haunted House, as well as floor layouts and schematics. Check it out!|
April 3, 2009
| Lets face it... Scott Hudson, the manager of the Haunted House, has done a fantastic job running the Haunted House over the past decade. Lets take this opportunity to give him a round of applause to thank and congratulate him for keeping this one-of-a-kind attracting running smoothly! You DA MAN Scotty!|
April 2, 2009
|Lets take bets
It interests me that the female torture victim in Trimpers Haunted House is identical to the picture of Jungle Jane in Tracys Amusement Displays catalog of 1967, with the exception of 40 years of grime and a bad hair day. Even down to the tears in her dress, formations of her arms and face, and her stance. It wouldnt surprise me if we are looking at the same stunt here. Of course, one may argue that the catalog stunt is called Jungle Jane and does not refer to the stunt as a torture victim. True, but it is clearly a mistake. The real Jungle Jane, as seen in the Plan a Winning Move Now for 64 catalog, is totally different and is much more charming. It seems like there was a slight mix-up somewhere, but I just dont know where. Is this lady the same? I dont know, but its interesting to think about!
April 1, 2009
| Tracys pop-up Gravestone Ghoul in the graveyard has also received a facelift this year. For the past 20 years, the zombie behind the gravestone has always popped up to reveal Jason wearing a hockey mask. Now, the morbid creature happens to be a skeleton zombie, complete with fluorescent-painted eyeballs and new attire. I guess its the little things that tend to have the greatest impacts.|
The Gravestone has been a permanent feature in Trimpers Haunted House since its inception in 1964.
March 31, 2009
| The Electric Chair has received a facelift this year. Originally installed in 1995, the stunt was showing major wear, so a few bucks were shelled in an attempt to restore it to its former glory.|
A new body was installed, two new skulls were replaced on the top of the chair, and new tubing was added all around the body to make it seem like the victim is wired up. The old latex, foam-filled body, which surprising lasted several years, was not discarded. It was moved to a corner immediately after the Upside-Down Room.
March 30, 2009
| After a visit to Ocean City this past weekend, I learned that there are many small changes in Trimpers Haunted House to make note of over the next several days. In the mean time, please join me in congratulating one of my best friends, Chris Trimper, as he was recently nominated to fill a seat in the states Amusement Ride Safey Board, which was co-founded by Granville Trimper in 1976. The group, comprised of eight members, includes representatives from amusement parks, carnivals, and fairgrounds and has statewide oversight of safety, maintenance and inspection of rides and attractions. **applause** |
March 26, 2009
| Enjoy a rare postcard of Ocean Playland from around 1965. Although this image does not show Bill Tracys Ghost Ship attraction, which was later merged with Trimpers Haunted House during the 1988 expansion, it is still charming and depicts a very calming amusement atmosphere with carefree passersby enjoying the classic Ocean City amusement atmosphere. |
March 24, 2009
| Check out an original Bill Tracy brochure from 1970 promoting his multi-level dark ride packages. Included in this publication are original floor layouts and descriptions for Whacky Shack and a walk-through funhouse. In addition, check out four new Fan Art submissions by a few of our most dedicated forum members! Its a happenin' place here at Trimpers Haunted House ONLINE! Join the forum and help keep us alive! |
March 23, 2009
|One story, two stories, a great story
You folks might find it interesting that Granville Trimper wanted the Haunted House to look like a two-story ride, even though he commissioned Bill Tracy to build a single-story attraction in 1964. As such, Tracy built the façade to include two doorways on the balcony. Of course, this made it extremely easy to reuse the same façade when the addition was being completed in 1988. Granville simply used the existing dummy doors from the original façade and made them functional with his newly expanded ride.
On a side note, the new, rebuilt boardwalk Dough Roller that suffered a fire nearly a year ago is set to reopen next weekend! Cant wait for that hot pizza and cold beer!
March 18, 2009
|'Tis the season to be
The Haunted House was open last weekend for the first time this year and will continue to be open every weekend until Memorial Day, weather permitting. It is important to note that the Trimpers will start closing down rides if the weather is not in their favor, so I would suggest calling the main office ahead of time before visiting.
The park hours will also change for this year. Trimper Amusements (rides on the side street that include the Tilt, Avalanch, Inverter and Zipper) will open at 1 p.m. during the week, and Trimper Rides (rides in the back lot) will open at 3 p.m. In previous years, the rides in the back opened at 1, but because they dont get much business in the early afternoon, they figured they would cut back some labor to help save money. The Haunted House may or may not continue to open at 12, depending on business and weather.
The Haunted Houses neighbor, the boardwalk Bug Buster game, will be removed this year completely and replaced with some arcades and crane machines. The game has been in that location for nearly 15 years, but it simply is not making any money. Look for something new in that location this year.
March 16, 2009
| Lets start off the work week right with an original catalog photo of Frankensteins Monster which previously resided on the second floor before it was eliminated from the attraction in 2006. The stunt was an original piece from Messmore & Damon, Inc. |
March 12, 2009
| Enjoy viewing an original full-page advertisement from Tracys Outdoor Dimensional Display Co., Inc. regarding the Amuse-Pak, the sound system that was used by the company in conjunction with many of its stunts that included sound effects. Although Tracy used an external company to supply the player, he used it with such Haunted House stunts as the Old Mill, Last Drop, and Knit Wit. |
March 9, 2009
| Over the next week, check out the newest Bill Tracy catalog to be added to the site. Plan a winning move NOW for 64 was released in 1963 under Outdoor Dimensional Display Co., Inc., and showcased several of Tracys biggest sellers, including Whacky Shack (which includes a sketch that clearly resembles that of Hunts Pier), Lost River, Tales of Alice, Gold Nugget and others. Youll recognize a lot of stunts in this catalog as being occupants of Trimpers Haunted House, and youll be able to browse through dozens of stunt photos and descriptions that were never included in Tracys original We WORK in the DARK catalog or the Amusement Displays catalog. It is interesting to see just how many odd-ball stunts Tracy came up with during his day, most of which were not very widely known or seen. It is important to note that this particular catalog is extremely rare, and to my knowledge, it has never been released to the public by any dark ride organization. Enjoy! |
March 6, 2009
| Over the weekend, enjoy viewing original photographs of Trimpers Pirates Cove, taken in 1971 before construction was complete on the project. Youll notice that the lobby and obstacle course are not yet built, and the paint is as fresh as ever on the façade! Check it out!|
March 3, 2009
| It is quite interesting and somewhat baffling that evidence has proven the Haunted House was built in 1964, not 1962 as originally thought. All correspondence, proposals, and blueprints, original from Tracys company to Granville Trimper, are dated January through March of 1964. So you might ask
why is there a 1962 build plate screwed to the wall in the lobby? Your guess is as good as mine. But, as Wayne Bahur, my partner in The Bill Tracy Project, pointed out to me the other day, this makes sense as Trimpers Haunted House was not featured as a completed project in the Outdoor Dimensional Displays catalog of 1962. |
What is most convincing about the 1964 date is the fact the Bill Tracys original correspondence to Granville, dated January 3, 1964, states It was nice talking with you at the convention regarding the possibility of building a dark ride for you at Ocean City, Maryland. Also, all original blueprints and drawings have 1964 sketched at the bottom. So, why a wrong build plate? Here are some possible scenarios:
The person who stamped the plate accidentally stamped the wrong year.
The 1962 plate represents a concept, which was created in 1962 (sort of like a copyright on the Haunted House concept itself).
Because the plate states pass, perhaps it is a plate for the original car and track system, which may have been inspected to some degree in 1962, but not installed until 1964.
Needless to say, one build plate with a stamp of 1962 cannot possibly override the numerous documents uncovered relating to the rides inception. And to any disbelievers out there, I suggest you visit the archival documents section and start examining the evidence proving the two year difference. 1964 is the year of the HH!
March 1, 2009
| In winter of 1964, Bill Tracy attempted to sell Granville Trimper a two-story packaged dark ride and sent him a track plan proposing the layout and stunt placements. Although a one-story attraction would end up being Granvilles final choice, the track plan remained in the original file of the ride. The original two-story track plan is now included in the blueprints area for your enjoyment. See if you can point out the similarities and differences between the rendering and the actual Haunted House as we know it today! |
February 28, 2009
| Keep your eye on the catalogs area over the next week or so as several never-before-seen catalogs will be added. For the time being, enjoy a 1968 promotional brochure from Amusement Display Associates, Inc. The brochure is four pages in length, and features the famous picture of Bill Tracy talking on a telephone as the cover. Enjoy! |
February 27, 2009
| I am happy to announce that I have uploaded the assembly details and blueprints for the Revolving Barrel, which was manufactured by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. The blueprints date back to April 19, 1963, and due to their poor condition and numerous grease stains, they may be hard to make out. The original prints are physically large, at 44" wide and 33" tall. Nevertheless, an interesting find and a significant addition to the one and only OCHH.NET! Enjoy! |
February 26, 2009
| Well folks, I am happy to announce that we finally have an answer for that age-old question where did the witch come from? The answer is Funni-Frite Industries!|
Now uploaded into the Catalogs section for your enjoyment are two original catalogs from Funni-Frite Industries dating back to the mid to late 1960s. Many dark rides house stunts manufactured by Funni-Frite, and you will most likely recognize a bunch of familiar pieces, especially from the 1966 catalog. The witch or as Funni Frite called it Witch Hazel is featured on page 23 of the 1966 catalog and was originally listed for $385. Enjoy!
February 25, 2009
| Original drawings of the Haunted House front are now available for viewing as well as original car designs from K.D. enterprises. Enjoy!|
February 24, 2009
| I am pleased to release all original Haunted House correspondence between Granville Trimper and Bill Tracy, as well as those with Francis Messmore of Messmore & Damon Inc. See if you can follow along with the Haunted House inception timeline! |
February 23, 2009
| I would like to present a brand new Features section entitled Archival Documents that will eventually contain the original hand-drawn Haunted House blueprints direct from Outdoor Dimensional Display Co., Inc. and all original correspondence between Bill Tracy and Granville Trimper during the time of proposal. In addition, four never-before-seen Tracy catalogs will be released to the public, one of which being the official 1963 promotional brochure for Tracys two-story dark ride. For the time being, quench your Haunted House thirst by taking a gander at the original Haunted House ride proposals from Bill Tracy himself! |
February 21, 2009
|Breaking news and other interesting tidbits
To start off, I would like to touch base on some not-so-important factual information, then I will work my way into the good stuff.
First off, the 65th Slide & Ride in Ocean City will be demolished early next week after over 30 years of being in operation. I managed to sneak down and shoot a photo gallery earlier today to try to capture some of its final days. I practically grew up here as a kid, and I know this amusement venue will be missed by millions.
Secondly, the Matterhorn ride in Trimper park will fly in circles for its final season this year before being retired permanently. The rides original manufacturer is no longer in business, and because of the rides age, safety regulations are calling for extensive repairs that are virtually impossible both financially and realistically. You folks might want to take some pictures this summer!
I just recently uncovered an error in Haunted House history that some may find extraordinarily crucial in the attractions timeline. Thanks to newly-uncovered sources, which I will release within the weeks and months to come, the Haunted House was actually built in late March/early April of 1964, not February of 1962 as originally thought. Although Granville Trimper originally told me and my peers that the ride was built in 62, sources are proving otherwise. And, the engraved plate that hangs in the ticket booth, although stating 1962, is incorrect. In the interest of accuracy, these changes have already been made site-wide. Also, many of the stunts that were originally thought to have come from Ocean Playlands Ghost Ship were actually original to the 1964 Haunted House. Some of these stunts include the Scientist and Wine Cellar.
I would suggest to all to keep an eye on the features area in the coming weeks as unbelievable and one-of-a-kind Haunted House documentation is about to be released. Stay tuned!
February 18, 2009
Strikingly unconventional and far-fetched in style or appearance; odd
I think it is safe to say that this adjective describes the stunts inside of Trimpers Haunted House, and Bill Tracys stunts in general. However, the word 'bizarre' may not be enough to describe some of Tracys masterpieces, most of which represent an extensive imagination and a representation of whimsical beings. Even so, any one of the original stunts inside of Trimpers Haunted House can easily satisfy the term 'bizarre'
some more than others. Arguably, The Knit Wit or Wine Celler (removed in 1999) may be classified as bizarre because of their random appearance and somewhat slapdash placement, while the Old Mill and Torture Chamber scenes may be classified as bizarre because of their grotesque exhibition.
What stunt to you think is (was) the most bizarre in Trimpers Haunted House? Obviously, I have included previous Ghost Ship stunts into this survey, because in my world, they still exist, and always will. Please share your thoughts in the forum!
February 16, 2009
|A Ed Thresher Opium Tuns...|
Who loves anagrams? I do! Can you guess how many words and phrases can be created with the letters in Trimpers Haunted House? Hmmm...how about 50001! Dont believe me? Check it out for yourself!
February 11, 2009
|I uncovered an original 1965 advertisement for Ocean Playland Amusement Park, which was located on 65th street bayside. Ocean Playland was home to Tracys Ghost Ship, which included many unique Tracy stunts that were incorporated into the Haunted House during its expansion in 1988. Many of the nautical-themed stunts have since been removed from the Haunted House, and the only one remaining is the Falling Beam along with a lot of wall scenery. Besides the aerial view postcard of Ocean Playland, which can be seen in the Galleries area, no other images of the park have been uncovered until now. |
The advertisement actually shows Tracys Ghost Ship on the left side of the image, and is recognizable by the large ship mast towering into the sky. Also, if you look closely, you can make out Tracys famous Skull Crab on the façade.
February 10, 2009
|Well folks, I just spoke with the Haunted House management today. The Shivering Mummy and Leaping Witch were fixed today in preparation for the 2009 season, and three cars are out to the West OC warehouse getting refurbished. We are also trying to pick out some new effects for the attraction this year, but are constantly dealing with durability issues. Modern effects simply arent built to trigger every 30 seconds. We need to find a stunt that will withstand thousands of activations and decades of abuse. Stay tuned!|
February 9, 2009
|I found an impressive postcard of the boardwalk from the late 50s/early 60s before the Haunted House was installed in 1964. It is apparent that several store fronts, and possibly some amusement games, resided where the lobby now sits, and I find it charming to see the bathhouse, which is now Souvenir City, across from the main block. |
This image, along with several others, has been added to a reworked Classic Ocean City gallery, where folks can see the evolution of Ocean City and its famous boardwalk. Although the OC boardwalk looked calm and uncomplicated back then, I much prefer the bright orange letters of the Haunted House peaking out from the strip!
February 7, 2009
|So, my lovely girlfriend and I were watching the original Psycho movie tonight and loving every minute of it. There is just something about the original that really strikes a chord with me, although I do love all of the sequels that follow, especially Part 3.|
Toward the end of the movie, Steph tapped me ever so gently and whispered; doesnt that look like Tracys Knit Wit? In shock, I looked at the television and immediately verified her claim. After all of these years of being a horror movie fanatic, I never made the connection with Norman Bates mothers corpse and the Knit Wit, but Id be willing to bet that Tracy was inspired by this movie.
The original Psycho movie was released to the public in 1960, plenty of time for Tracy to get inspired before making his rendition of the creepy character. I think it is safe to say that the Haunted House Knit Wit was one of Tracys first-produced, and this version undoubtedly has many similarities, including:
Old fashioned conservative dress with fancy ruffled hems
Ladys boots with high heel
Short hair style in a bun
Skinny body type
Nose structure, cheek bones, forehead
Similar face structure with deep eye sockets and extruding jaw/teeth
Even if you argue about the concrete similarities, I dont think anyone can argue that the two characters are similar in style. Did Tracy find motivation and inspiration with Hitchcocks original Psycho? I guess we will never know. I would like to thank Steph for pointing this out to me, and I think its important for all of us to remember that a boys best friend is his mother
Thoughts? Spill your guts in the forum!