The Wacky Shack
Waldameer park - Erie, PA

By Bret Malone

Whacky Shack at Waldameer ParkThe "Whacky Shack" located in Waldameer Park, Erie PA is a wonderful example of a Bill Tracey designed ride. Waldameer wanted to replace an earlier Dark Ride, the Pretzel built "Fun-In-The-Dark", an early series of rides the company did in many places including Coney Island and Bertrand Island. Both William Cassidy’s Pretzel Ride Company and Mr. Tracey bid to build the new ride, with Tracey winning and creating another one of his popular rides, possibly utilizing the "Hush-Puppy" ride car system. The "Whacky-Shack" was one of three of Mr. Tracey’s most popular and haunting fronts, the others being his "Kooky Castle" and "Haunted House" facades. This ride is very well known by enthusiasts for its decreasing hallways, the #1, Giant Rat stunt, and the "#18 Skull Stunt. This is a classic Tracey design, and a later work in his career, being built in 1970-1971. Other examples of Tracey’s work along with his association with the Messmore and Damon Company would be built on several New Jersey Piers and in amusement parks from Maine to Florida, and all the way west to Kansas. About a dozen or so of his twisted and demented, yet gracefully made rides are still in existence. This ride should receive a "Classically Haunting" award for its contents and facade by enthusiasts

Waldameer also has the Pirates Cove Funhouse
Click Here to go to
Waldameer Pirate's Cove

This article is 1999 by Laff In The Dark. All photos except top one are Rick Davis. Top photo is 1997 Joel Styer. All are used with permission.

©1999 Laff In The Dark/

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This page was last updated Tuesday, May 11, 1999