Inspired by old Tracy displays, Wayne created a bat, a large rat, tombstones with humorous inscriptions, and of course, skeletons. In keeping with the Tracy tradition, the stunts are illuminated by blacklight. “We have two old vultures and one skeleton, all Tracy-made, and
  we also acquired some displays from a company named Haunted Props (Deer Park, New Jersey),” Wayne said.

Left: And what Tracy dark ride would be complete with a graveyard and vultures? Here Wayne pays tribute to Tracy, and also gives himself a shout-out with headstone inscriptions. The scene includes two Tracy vultures from Ghost Creek Caverns.
“I am currently adding my own pieces to some of their animations. The bat I made was put on one of their pieces of animation and also replaced one of their skeletons with one I made. They are all triggered by photoelectric sensors and use compressed air to actuate them. Each of their stunts has self-contained sound effects.” Some of the Haunted House Dark Ride
stunts were retained from Wonderland Pier’s former Tracy-designed attraction, Ghost Creek Caverns which was shuttered in 1986.
That ride used to board passengers inside the main building to the left of what was once the shooting gallery.
Right: Another staple in Tracy’s dark rides was the Giant Bat, and riders will go batty over Wayne’s rendition in the
new Haunted House.

Earlier in his career, Wayne built some displays for that attraction. The gallery area is now a glow-in-the-dark mini golf course designed by Wayne. But decades after Ghost Creek gave its last ride, some of its Tracy artifacts have been resurrected and are “alive and well” in the new Haunted House.

While the park’s old workshop was utilized to house the ride, that wasn’t even half the battle in bringing the Haunted House to life.

“There were plenty of challenges in building the dark ride but a lot of it fell on the carpenters (Halliday-Leonard General Contactors) because they are trained to think that a straight job is a good job...but not so on a dark ride...a front that is made crooked and not square is considered a good job. It was amusing to see carpenters struggling to build the crooked window that was designed for the dark ride, but in the end, it came out great.”

Above: Make no bones about it, skeletons always took up residence in Tracy dark rides, and the new Haunted House has its share of occupants, including a skeleton stunt made decades ago at Tracy's studios for the park’s former Ghost Creek Caverns dark ride.


Right: A ghastly, shackled prisoner “extends himself” to riders.

Likewise, it was no walk in the park for Wayne to design the ride and oversee its installation.

“The challenges I had personally was the fluidity I had to have. For instance I couldn't be too locked into what I had drawn up as displays because, one, we didn't have room for some, two, some looked good on paper but when it came to fabricating them it was just too much work and they had to be streamlined, and three, new ideas came into play as to how the track layout floor plan was drawn before I knew the track was serpentine,” Wayne recalled.

Go To Next Page

Also in Laff Track: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Opens New Haunted Castle Dark Ride