Did I tell you I loved monsters when I was a kid? Oh, did I love monsters. One of my favorite summer activities was going to the amusement park. The State or County Fair would do fine, too. I loved the midway, and the carnival rides. Do you know what ride I loved more than all the others? Not the roller coaster. Not the Ferris Wheel, the Spinning Rocket Ride or the Mouse. I loved the old-fashioned Spook House.
You’d pay your twenty-five cents, then sit down in a cart. There were no seat belts– you just had to keep your hands to yourself, and everybody back then behaved like good little boys and girls. Well, boys, mostly. You didn’t see too many girls heading into the spook house. The cart would roll noisily along a track, smack its way through two black steel doors, and you’d get a three-minute ride lurching around inside a dark and musty trailer.
The ride took place mostly in total darkness. But when your cart hit a certain point on the track, a light would flash on, illuminating a little display–a witch with a cauldron, a big monkey in a cage, Dracula in a coffin, you get the idea. Then you’d speed past, on your way to the next tableau. Most of the monsters on display were just rubber masks and dusty costumes, and you probably wouldn’t find them scary at all. But I loved them anyway.
Every road trip, every vacation, every chance I got to ride in a spook house, I did. In fact, if the lines weren’t too long, I’d go on the spook house ride a couple of times. They don’t make rides like this any more! I think I got my money’s worth, though.
Oh, and that’s my little brother David with me in these old pictures. I think he probably preferred the Fun House, with the rolling barrel and the mirror maze, but he always humored me and came along for the ride through the Spook House, too. BOO!