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||Hi. I just
came across this site and I can't believe my eyes! what a blast
from the past! I grew up in chester county PA. and me and my
friends would go to brigantine castle in the late seventies. what
an incredible time. In the summer of 1979 I was 17 and me and a
couple buddies were standing in line at the castle . In front of
us were a few guys who were maybe a couple years older. one of
them turns to my friend and asked him how his older brother was
doing. After they stopped talking. I asked my friend who the guy
was and he said "oh that's Kevin. He's an actor. My brother
was in a play with him." I found out later that
"Kevin" was none other than the famous actor Kevin
Bacon! Apparently he's from Philadelphia and had just finished
filming Friday the 13th! I didn't know who he was at the time
because he wasn't famous yet. Anyhow the castle was awesome!
Thanks for putting up this site.
|Your site is
amazing. I was never fortunate enough to venture into the castle
but I remember my friends and I thought the Headless Woman was a
real Headless Lady. Way back in 1980 we were a bunch of thrill
seeking seven year olds. We would see the ads on television this
poor Headless Woman in a room attached to tubes coming from her
neck that kept her alive. Well, we had to see her. That summer my
friends parents took her to the castle, my folks opted for the
Wildwood vacation instead. She reported back that there was a
woman in a room with no head and tubes in her neck stump that fed
her. We believed that she was real until we were at least nine
when an older sibling ruined it for us.
this website and for including a forum for comments. From reading
people's comments, it's evident your site has sparked good
memories for many people, including me.
I'm 42 now and my family took
summer vacations in Brigantine from the late 60s thru the mid 70s.
In fact, many of my memories revolve around the pier back when it
was the Seahorse Pier, before it became Brigantine Castle and
Amusement Pier. I remember the pier then had a seedy old bar, some
kiddie rides, and a wonderful penny arcade that featured
old-fashioned mechanical games of amusement and skill that, if any
still exist, are assuredly valuable antiques now. Even in the
early 70s those games were antiques! It was our last family
vacation to Brigantine in 1976 when I saw the transformed pier and
visited the castle.
On a weekend trip in the mid-80s I
introduced my future wife to Brigantine, the castle and pier,
Reflections Arcade (across the street from the pier but gone now
too I understand) and what I consider another Brigantine
institution, The Rod & Reel! (Is "The Tides" motel,
across the street from the Rod & Reel, still in business?). In
1989, I asked my wife to marry me on the beach just north of where
the pier once stood. At the time, only some pilings from the pier
were still standing.
So while much of my Brigantine
experience happened before, then after the castle, the Brigantine
Castle is part of those memories.
|I have a
funny feeling about the story Mary Ann 10/30/02 wrote. It seems I
stopped exactly at her name for a reason, I knew. I bet a finger
I'm right. Mary Ann is very decriptive and I thank her for her
memories, as mine were a little too vague. I also, stayed at the
Golden Dolphin Motel, and remember a few young girls MaryAnn 9,
Lee Ann Zumak 14(the first girl I ever kissed), me 13 and I think
a girl by the name of Diane, as they taught me how to play Crazy
Eights, as Mary Ann (from I think Sunbury, PA) went on about how
scary Brigatine Castle was,(in the Golden Dolphin Recreation Room
sitting at the picnic tables). And the last memory that I still
have is Frankenstein's Monster with his arms and hands stretched
out that gave me a feeling like he was really going to grab me,
though at 13, it seemed more funny than scary, but nevertheless,
left my imagination to perceive what it would really be like if
real, Woooo! I also remember the stupid rats they had stuck to the
wall, which was more realistic than the monsters and the boney
skeleton, as I remember lit-up by small flood lights. Being raised
by a contractor, I was aware of the cheap construction of the
castle, but again, it made the point. The castle should again rise
especially, with all the traffic in the area, due to the
Casino's...."Hey Donald Trump why the heck did you ever let
such a great, nearby landmark and attraction slip away"? As
for Mary Ann, I hope I didn't lose a finger.
Mark, Allentown PA
|As a child,
I vacationed almost every summer in Brigantine with my family at
the Ocean Front Motel. For me, Brigantine was the best part of my
summer, and there are a few vivid memories of the island I
remember to this day: The little lighthouse in the circle, the
Fudge Kitchen, Surf & Sundries shop, and of course, the
Brigantine Castle. To this day, whenever I smell creosote, I think
of the pier, the Castle, cotton candy and eerie organ music. I
remember the "painting" of Dracula that came to life,
the dark walkway with "rats tails" hitting your ankles
(as a fearless 8 year old, I reached down to sadly discover they
were rubber hoses), the chainsaw toting freak, and all the crazy
live dioramas. I have always been sad to see this part of my
childhood go. I miss the 50's "googie" style motels and
the dorky, but fun attractions of the 70's and 80's. About the
only place that reminds me of those magical days is Wildwood. Like
miniature golf courses, drive-ins and motels, places like the
Brigantine castle were a statement of the real American pastime.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with the same fun memories.
Brian de Jong
have been browsing the internet for six years, I am always finding
something new . . . in some cases reminding me of something long
I grew up in north Jersey, though I
now live in Columbus, OH. I remember being horrified by the
television commercials and even billboards for these places,
namely the Brigantine Castle. When our family finally went there,
I chickened out and didn't go in :) That was in summer 84. Any
way, it was a real treat to actual read about this place, play the
commercials, etc. Makes me miss NJ and being young, quite
honestly. Sad that it's all gone now.
Thanks so much!
|I love your
web site for several reasons one... I literally grew up in the
castle. When I was a kid my mother used to work there in the
summer and I would spend my summer in the castle with my grand
mother and mom Second..... my future mother in law went there and
met my mother and my self who knew that 20 years later I would
marry her daughter(This may sound like nothing however my future
wife lived 150 miles from me and I met her by pure chance)third...
I am now a magician and attribute that to time spent in the castle
and on Halloween I put on a haunted house of my own(you can take
the boy out of the castle but you cant take the castle out of the
boy)forth... I want to rebuild the castle exactly the way it was.
|Hi ...... My
name is Mike ..... Just a few memories of The Castle. The Castle
was a great place for the kids of Brigantine to work at for the
summer. I started working at the pier the first summer it opened.
I started working in various stands such as the wheels and the
ball toss, but eventually found my home at the monkey water race
game. I worked there every summer through high school, when it was
in the main room with the rest of the games, then eventually moved
outside across from the Castle entrance next to Friar Tucks food
stand. I can still remember the speel I use to say over the
microphone " Step on up and give it a try, its only a quarter
to shoot the water. First monkey to reach the top is the winner,
and there is a winner each and every time". Some of the
managers I remember working for were Harry Orgo, Richie Tolk and
Ted Ciricillo. Whenever Carmen would come down from his office
everybody would panic and start saying their speel. Other people I
remember working there was Walt from Friar Tucks, Vince the
repairman, the Ricci sisters, Adolph from the ice cream
stand,Billy from the record stand, Harry and Dana from the arcade,
Dennis the security guard, Rodney the sweep up guy, Nicky from his
little corner, and the husband and wife from the candy store. One
person I remember the best from working up there is a girl who
used to work in the Duck Pond. Her name was Lisa. We both met
while working up there and started dating. We fell in love and 20
years and 3 kids later , we still have great memories from our
summers at the pier. So, as you can tell, the Castle has a place
in our heart. Amazingly, 24 years after we worked there, we still
have our Castle Cast jackets still hanging in our closet.
|i was only
there once i was 6 years old and i have had this memory my entire
life! i remember being in a room with a fireplace and there was a
hand in the fire and a portrait hanging above it and all of a
sudden a vampire comes out of it and i was so scared i started
screaming and my mom told me that we were kicked out because i was
screaming non stop!
Harris Swarthmore, PA
|This was a
great memory of this site. anyhoo, let me tell you about what
happened when we saw this castle when we are kids. Every year my
sister and I would BEG to go to this attraction. we begged and
begged and swore, and Dad caved in and when my mom had to see her
aunt he took us to see the castle. It came out of the fog like
that like a spooky film, so we walk around and play some games in
the arcade, then we go to see some men fish at the end of the
pier, then it was time to go inside. Just as we were about to go
in i see this scary face shilloetted in white light come out of
the darkness! I cried and cried and bawled and screamed, "No!
No! It's too scary!" and Dad took us home.
I am really sorry to hear that the
castle burned down. I was planning to go down to Brigantine with
my friends and my fiance and see this castle, but it burned down.
I would LOVE to see this great castle get rebuilt someday, on safe
ground, with a better cast, for a new generation of fans. Don't
let history go to waste, please.
I want to tell you are doing a
great service with your site, and we appreciate it.
wanted to say thank you for this site...I finally got to show my
husband the castle I have been talking about for years. My
family visited Brigantine every summer when I was younger and some
of my favorite childhood memories involve the castle, the peir and
the penny arcade. I wish they would rebuild...Brigantine was
the perfect family spot back then and the boardwalk was great for
young kids...so much better than the Atlantic City boardwalk if
you were young...it had everything you needed right there. Thanks
so much for the memories...this site is great!
my name is George McNichol. I used to work at the cotton
candy stand on the pier before finally befgging to be hired at the
castle. Ironically, I remember the best character actor they
had, a guy named Big Old Pete who was my buddy at the time.
He used to do the storage duties after the closing and we used to
eat way too much cotton candy together. If you hae any info
on his whereabouts please contact me.
The memories are too many to list, but I remember the Haloween
party and the New Years events. Often times they wouldn't
let me past the velvet rope into the p[arty but it was still grrat
being there even if I was somewhat of a "wanna be".
all, thank you for this site. my (abbreviated) memories of
brigantine castle are surprisingly quite vivid after all these
years. i was always fascinated with haunted houses as a kid. (the
good kind, with live people inside, none of that fake stuff). so
when my mom took me to brigantine castle after seeing the tv
commercial, it was, needless to say, a thrill. it must've been
sometime in the late 70's. i was probably 8 or 9. unfortunately,
we didn't make it very far...as i remember, a person swung by on a
rope off to the side and when we turned back forward somebody
jumped out--it freaked my mom out and she ordered the guy to tell
us how to get out which he did, ironically, probably out of fear
of her. i just wish it was still around. just the fact that it's
not there fuels my longing for it even more. looking at the
pictures, watching the commercials, it brings back quite a cool
feeling. i'm 33 now, but this site makes me feel like a kid again!
surfing the web and found your site. It is marvelous! I knew I was
going to Atlantic City this past week and made my friends bring me
to the site of the pier, to take a look and to get a piece of rock
from one of the pillars. Of course my friends thought I was nuts,
but that has always been the case, and they catered to my whim and
made a stop in Brigantine. It had been such a long time since I've
been, and I must admit it was very sad. We pulled up and into the
parking lot, and I just gazed to where the castle once stood. The
site was more distressing than any I remember from inside the
castle. It was like a train station with no train. A piece of the
puzzle was missing - the biggest piece. It seemed so strange. But
the memories are strong, without a doubt, and I talked my friend's
ears off as we pulled away. The same pillar you have pictured is
still there and I was able to pry a large piece of the stone off,
along with one of the refectors. They have two more at the rear of
the lot, out of the ground on their sides. I am framing the piece
and the reflector as a small reminder of what once was and some
great times. While I was doing my amateur excavation, there were
two surveyors working on the walk, and they could care less. Not
that I expected the Brigantine Police to wisk me away, but I was
still "cautious", out there with my small hammer and
bag. It was nice to come away with a nice momento, but a last trip
through the castle would have been that much sweeter. I guess I
can do that in my mind.
Too many cool things are
disappearing. It needs to stop.
Thanks again for your site and for
keeping the memory of Brigantine Castle alive. I means a heck of a
lot to all of us.
Peace and Screams! :)
|when I was a
kid about 1981 I guess, I was about 12 or so, I went there with my
family and fathers friends. I remember it bein pretty scary but
one of my fathers friends ( a real cool BABY) got freaked. I
remember he started pounding on the walls tryin to get out. He was
screaming . I don't know what scared him but he wanted out in the
worst way. What was really cool is how a couple of the actors
instantly came to help him. they weren't tryin to scare him no
more but to calm him down. When he got out of there he said it was
just a joke but we knew. That was one of my greatest memories of
the castle .I was there about 5 more times before it closed. And
now Wildwood's castle is no more
|Hey there, I
grew up in Brigantine, lived on 30th Street...and one of my most
wonderful memories of Brigantine was my young teen years spent at
the castle. That place sure was hopping all summer long...remember
how crowded it would get there! My friends and I would take the
local bus there and spend every night there in the summers of
1977, 78 and 79. The actors were awesome, especially Mike Spatola.
He became a good friend of mine back then and I often wonder how
he is doing.
have no idea how happy I was to find this site!!! Now with Castle
Dracula gone too, I've been on this pilgrimage to find pictures,
websites, and people as well who considered the Castle's part of
they're childhoods. We've had a house in Brigantine our
whole lives, it's my grandmothers. Every summer, as far back
as I can remember, the Castle stuck out in my mind. It was
probably because I was forbidden to go in because I was so young,
and my mother thought it was way too scary for a little boy.
But everyday on the beach I would look up north towards the
Castle, and there it was. And every summer for seven years,
I would look north and there it was...scary as ever. I do
remember one summer being on the pier and a Count Dracula looking
man was trying to scare us out by the Castle's entrance I'm
guessing, trying to get us to come in. Then one summer, the
gates to the entrance ramp were closed locked tight. My
mother took me almost every day for a car ride to walk up the
ramp, with the castle looming over me, with hopes of the gates
being open so maybe I could go in. Then like a snap of a
finger, one summer the castle was gone. Talk about luck.
Now with the sea wall there, my friends and I go and walk
appreciating what used to be there. I guess you don't really
appreciate some things until they're gone. I wonder
sometimes if the Castle didn't burn if it would still be
there...with the way Brigantine is lately, i'm sure the town would
have order it demolished because it didn't draw a good crowd.
HAHA...my mom always said the north end of the island was
the rough part. In any case, I was down last weekend with
some friends, and I'm glad someone else noticed the Castle remains
in the old parking lot. I noticed them about two years ago
and should go and chip off a piece, because the lot with be houses
im sure soon. Anyway, thanks for the site!!!
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