Jan 31, 2002

Introducing The Villainy Of Cheesefinger

Cheesasaurus Rex comic
Kraft Foods (1992)

Jan 21, 2002

Dungeon Moat Ride

Here are the photos of the Castle Dracula Dungeon Boat Ride that I mentioned yesterday.  All of them were taken from 1985-1989.  Once again, the ones that look nice and clear were taken by my grandfather.  The grainy, off-center ones were taken by me when I was a kid.

These three photos of two staff members who worked at the entrance of the Dungeon Boat Ride were taken in the summer of 1989.  Like all of the folks who worked at Castle Dracula, they stayed in character, and they weren't limited to the entrance of the boat ride.  There were live performers hidden among the attractions in the dungeon, some of whom would jump on your boat as you were riding through.

These two photos from 1987 show my dad and I sitting in one of the boats as we're about to enter the Dungeon.  Each boat had a grim reaper statue standing at the back.  The concrete moat that held the water that the boat floated on was painted red, which made it look like you were riding through the dungeon on a river of blood.

There are lion face fountain built into the wall of the castle.  You can see them from a distance in the photos of the outside of the castle that I shared yesterday.  I'm pretty sure that I took this picture when I was sitting in the boat waiting to go into the entrance of the Dungeon.  Usually, the water squired out of the mouth of the lion in an arc, but I guess it wasn't working properly on the day that I took this picture because it appears that the water was trickling down from the mouth along the side of the wall.

After you boarded your boat, you'd enter the Dungeon through the mouth of this giant white skull.  There were red lights at the tunnel's entrance, which gave the impression that you were about to enter a blood-soaked hell.

I wish that I had more and better quality photos of the inside of the dungeon.  Keep in mind, these were taken in a dark tunnel by a kid between the ages of 5-9 using a 110 film camera with a lousy flash.

One of the rooms that I remember best was a pirate ship that was crewed by skeletons.  All of the skeletons moved, including the one at the center of this picture who turned the wheel.  The photos really don't do it justice.  The flash photography not only kills the lighting and the ambiance, but it reveals some of the wires that were used to make the skeletons move.  All of these were hidden in darkness, with the lighting used to show off only what they wanted you to see.  It was spooky as hell!

Here are three more of the demons that you'd see in the Dungeon, which are just a small sampling of that you'd see.

About halfway through the ride, the boat left the dungeon and went through a cemetery in an outdoor courtyard.  I'm not sure where in Castle Dracula this was set up, but you couldn't see it from the outside.  To the best of my knowledge, the only way that you'd see even a hint of this cemetery is if you rode through the Dungeon on a boat.

There was a catacombs section with mortuary cabinets that looked like the bodies were attempting to escape.

Last, but not least, you'd ride beneath this massive demon.  I think this was at the end of the ride, but it's been over ten years since I've been here, so I can't say for sure if that's right.  When you consider how the castle met its untimely end, the flames painted on the wall are even more unsettling.

Jan 20, 2002

Remembering Castle Dracula

My family and I went to Wildwood every summer when I was a kid, and one of my favorite parts was Castle Dracula on Nickel's Midway Pier.  It was by far the coolest haunted house that I've ever seen to this day.  I can't believe that no one is ever going to get to experience this incredible place again; all thanks to two jerks.

This was the billboard on the old carousel building near the Medford's Phillies Franks building, which you can see on the right.

There were two parts to it: a Dungeon Boat Ride and a guided walking tour through the rooms of the castle.  Unfortunately, I don't have any photos inside the main part of Castle Dracula, but I have quite a few of the outside and the Dungeon Boat Ride.

Here are some photos from outside the castle that were taken by my and my grandfather between 1985-1989.  The ones that look crisp and reasonably well-centered are his.  The grainy, off-center ones were from my 110 film camera that I had when I was a kid.

The experience at Castle Dracula began before you even set foot in the place.  Not only was the castle itself a stunning to see, but there were loudspeakers hidden on the grounds that played creepy music, and employees who were dressed as vampires and demons walking around the area in character.

The entrance on the left hand side (between the wooden fence and the black rod iron) is a ramp that led down to the Dungeon Boat Ride.  The entrance to the left of the brown garbage can in the photo above led to the drawbridge, which you would cross to get into the walkthrough portion of the castle.

I don't remember ever going to this Castle-I-Scream window.  I suppose it's where my father or my grandfather would go to buy our tickets to get in, but the name and the picture of a hot dog, pretzel and snowcone on the sign suggests that they served food too.  If they did, I'm pretty sure we never stopped there to eat.

The balcony had an animatronic Count Dracula that could move and talk.  I don't remember exactly what it said, but he would beckon everyone who passed by to pay a visit to his castle.  The little lion face on the wall beneath Dracula's balcony spit water out into the moat, and I'm pretty sure that the black object on top of the stone statues on either side of the drawbridge was a torch that they used to light when it got dark out.

Jan 19, 2002

The Castle Is Gone

Two idiots burned down one of my favorite places in the world.  Whatever punishment they get will not be nearly enough  [source: The Press of Atlantic City - 1/17/2022 - Page A1 and Page A10].

Jan 1, 2002

Recycle Your Calendars

Happy new year!  If you haven't already bought a new calendar, you might want to check you attic to see if you can reuse an old one.  Ones from 1974, like this one from Farmers' Dairy in Hazleton, will match up perfectly for 2002.