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Click on one of the legendary New Jersey haunted attractions above to learn more about its birth and demise...

UPDATES:

DECEMBER 15, 2013

David Bone, a huge fan of horror attractions, recently released his first novel, Styrofoam Throne.  The book takes place in coastal California during the summer of 1984.  A 16-year-old boy named Donovan, against his mother's wishes, manages to land his dream job working in a seaside haunted attraction called Castle Dunes.   At the castle, Donovan finds love, mischief, and a sense of belonging that he had never before experienced.  The summer of '84 becomes one that Donovan will never forget.

David Bone was born in New Jersey, but grew up in California.  He based his fictional Castle Dunes on Brigantine Castle,  but combined it with bits of other horror attractions across the country that he found interesting such as Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Skull Kingdom in Florida, Knotts Scary Farm, and Universal Horror Nights.  As you read the book, you will notice the many similarities to Brigantine Castle such as the fortune telling Oracle, the creepy television commercials, and the Dracula jumping onto the fireplace mantel scare.  

If you like horror, haunted attractions, or a good coming-of-age novel, then Styrofoam Throne is for you.  You can check out David Bone's website for links on purchasing your own copy.


Carmen J. Ricci, the person responsible for building Brigantine Castle and Long Branch Haunted Mansion, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2012. He was a talented visionary that brought joy and fear to thousands of people. Our condolences go out to his family.  Below his if obituary.

Carmen J. Ricci, of Lanoka Harbor, passed away peacefully at home on July 21st, 2012. He was seventy-three. Born in Philadelphia, Carmen lived most of his life in Seaside Park before moving to Lanoka Harbor with his wife, Nixa Ricci, eighteen years ago. He was the owner of Sonny's & Rickey's Amusements, and a central, influential figure in the New Jersey boardwalk community for six decades. He was predeceased by his parents, Anthony Ricci and Vita Dichiara Ricci, and his brothers, Angelo and Thomas Ricci. Surviving are his daughters Michelle Rindone, Lisa Ricci, Theresa Petaccio, Colleen Rosenblum, and Nixa Risk, his son Samuel Della Sala III, his daughter-in-law Jennifer Della Sala, and his son-in-laws Raymond Rindone, Randy Rosenblum, and Michael Risk. Also surviving are Carmen's grandchildren: Carmen, Andrea, Stefano, Raymond Jr., Jennifer, Kelsey, Jordyn, Maya, Nicholas, Aidan, Collin, and Kaylyn.


Black Diamond News Report from Dark in the Park on Vimeo.

On October 14th, Bill and Seph traveled to Knoebel's Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA to check out the reincarnation of one of their favorite childhood rides.  After two years of hard work, the Knoebel's rebuilt the former Golden Nugget Mine Ride from Wildwood, NJ as the Black Diamond.  This 7 minute report includes an interview with Dick Knoebel, president and co-manager of the park.

Several great pictures from Bill Schweitzer and Tina Frietsch were added to Castle Dracula site.  They can be found in the following locations:

13 new pictures were added to the Castle Dracula Exterior section 

8 new pictures were added to the Dungeon Boat Ride section 

A new picture was added to the Castle Dracula entrance hall 

A new picture was added to the Castle Dracula display 


Morey's Piers Ghost Ship Opening Ceremony from Dark in the Park on Vimeo.

Morey's Piers in Wildwood, NJ hosted an opening ceremony for its new 3 million dollar dark attraction titled, Ghost Ship. This invitation-only ceremony was held on May 28th, 2010 at 11:45 PM.  Dark in the Park was present and documented the event by producing a 7-minute report.


Golden Nugget Farewell Ceremony from Dark in the Park on Vimeo.

On January 31st, 2009, Morey's Piers hosted a farewell ceremony for the Golden Nugget Mine Ride in Wildwood, NJ.  The Golden Nugget was a custom roller coaster dark ride that first opened in 1960.  The ride has not operated since 1998 and will be removed by the start of the 2009 season.  Dark in the Park was present at the ceremony and documented the event by producing a 13-minute report.

The Memories of Wildwood, NJ article was updated to include pictures of the Golden Nugget farewell ceremony

The much anticipated "sounds" section has been added to the Castle Dracula site.  Listen to the classic robotic Dracula sound recording as well as other memorable tracks.

Pictures and information about the Haunted Castle from Six Flags Great Adventure.  The content came from an 1984 issue of Amusement Park Journal sent to us by Chris and Stacey Smilek.


Check out several pictures from the 1977 first season of Castle Dracula, Wildwood, NJ.  These pictures were sent to us by Donal O'Hanlon, a former castle employee.

A 1978 Long Branch Haunted Mansion TV commercial was added to the "Advertising Section" of the Haunted Mansion site.  The commercial was sent to us by Jesse Skeen.

Higher resolution versions of the Brigantine Castle television commercials were added to the "Advertising Section" of the Brigantine Castle site.

[1992 Dreamland Park pictures]

Check out several 1992 pictures of the remains of Dreamland Park, a small defunct amusement park near Reading, PA.  The photos were sent to us by Nancy DiSanto.


[Brigantine Castle brochure]A different version of a Brigantine Castle brochure was added to the "Advertising Section" of the Brigantine Castle site.  The brochure was provided by Ray Horan.

Two new pictures were added to the Brigantine Castle site courtesy of Chris Jahn.  One picture shows the pier from one of the castle's parapets.  The other picture features some castle actors.


Some new pictures of Castle Dracula were sent to us by former castle manager Anita Wheeler.  Main Room, Dungeon Boat Entrance, Execution Room


Some new pictures of Brigantine castle were sent to us by former actress Theresa Sarris-Welsh.  Castle Picture, Actor Pictures


[new long branch development]

Take a look at some current pictures of the new development at the former site of the Long Branch Amusement Pier.
[Castle Dracula Employee Handbook] Take a look at a rare employee handbook for Wildwood's Castle Dracula and Dungeon Boat ride.  This copy of the handbook was sent to us by Anita Wheeler, former worker and manager of Castle Dracula.   Also, Anita sent us a Castle Dracula ad from an old copy of Sunny Days magazine.

[Dark in the Park goes to Niagara Falls]

Read about Seph Cherkasky's Halloween eve visit to the dark rides of Niagara Falls in this article, Dark in the Park goes to Niagara Falls.

Check out the rare aerial photos of this defunct amusement park outside of Reading, PA.  The three photos can be seen in the article about Dreamland Park.

[Dreamland Park Murders]

A book about the Dreamland Park murders was recently published by two local authors.  The book, which features a picture from our site on the cover, is available from Borders Books in Wyomissing, PA.  You can read more details about the book or read our article about Dreamland Park

Read the winning entries of our Dark in the Park Writing Contest.

The Frights of Seaside Heights

Check out this article about the current dark rides of Seaside Heights, New Jersey.  The article was written by Seph Cherkasky.

Memories of Wildwood, New Jersey

Check out this article about Wildwood, New Jersey written by Bill Cherkasky.


 

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This site was last updated 12/15/13

2004 Dark in the Park.  This site was created by Bill and Seph Cherkasky.