Dark In The Park




Brigantine Castle Online

Emails 2008

If you would like your memory of the castle posted on our page, please email it to us at webmaster@darkinthepark.com




Lori                   East Norriton, PA

I found your sight while looking something up for a friend. Memories, and ones that had me scared half to death most of the summer I visited the castle, came flooding back. Growing up in Philadelphia, the commercials were always on TV and intrigued me and I begged my parents to take me.

I, too, remember a lot about the castle. I was preteen when my parents took a friend and me to the castle. We were excited to enter but, like many others, found that when you reached the top and were able to go outside the castle and look over the ocean begged to go back down another way instead of finishing through the castle.

I remember the slanted room, the walking on glass over the lady in a garden atmosphere, and the rat room. I was crying hysterically throughout most of the castle and remember vividly grabbing onto a man, who I thought was my father, and not letting go.

In fact, after going thru the castle, I have never felt comfortable going into a haunted house or anything else scary like this again.


Paul Spatola

Hi Everyone,

Paul Spatola here, six year castle employee.  I'm so glad this site is still up and running, thanks to Bill and Seph, you guys are the best! I come to the site from time to time to read new email stories and see if any of my old coworkers stop by to relive some good times. If any of you are still out there looking for the rest of us, contact me at whtwolf333@comcast.net.  We do have an online Cast Group where we all keep in touch, I won't publicly announce the group here online, but if you email me, I'll hook you up!  I miss you all and would really like to reconnect. I still have vivid dreams about the castle though it lives only in my memories. We've lost a few of us along the way to illness and accidents and I sure would love to add to the ones that remain to our group. After all, you guys were my family through the most impressionable years of my life. Hope to hear from you soon!


Christopher Cox

My mom and dad had shops on the castle, the Shell Shack and T shirt shop. The Shell Shack later moved to the Small World mall with my mom's florist. I use to run pizza for the spooky people in the castle. I loved that time in Brigantine. I was born and raised there.

Phil Riley

Who is that young guy out on the boardwalk with his girlfriend!! I feel old now - well I am old now 61 - What a great treat it is to find your site with all Mike Spatola's photographs. I've gone on since then and written 16 books on the history of Monster Films - so some things never change. Being in the management and cast of the Castle were some of the best times of my life - I SCREAM - YOU SCREAM - WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICESCREAM

Best to everyone from


Phil Riley



I am absolutely haunted by my memories of the castle. I must have only been 3 and 4 years old when we went (while on vacation in Sea Isle City) but I remember vividly how scary it was for me. I feel like I remember a room with worms on the floor. It is really amazing how the memories stay with you from an experience when you are so young. So glad that you are keeping these memories alive…it was a special place.


I am 33..... I remember the commercials. I never went to the castle. We grew up in Philadelphia, PA. Around the age of 5-7 we used to talk about the castle. We all heard and believed you walked around a narrow path up high on the castle. About 1/2 way through, a hand of a dead man reached out of the sand. If you were not careful he would push you off the cliff to your death. Possibly it was not a story?

I know from the commercial alone I had nightmares/dreams about the headless woman.

THANKS for the memory.


Lou Iocona

My name is Lou Iocona. I used to live on the island back in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s.  My grandfather, Bruno Molinaro was a resident on 12th street North and fished on the end of the Seahorse Pier. As a kid, I remember buying a shirt at Harry’s Bar which was located at the center of the pier. Recently, I returned back and now have family members back on the island.

As a marketing interest, I took that original shirt, remade the silk screen and am now selling them exclusively at Rip Tide Tackle on the Blvd.  The original 1968 shirt now resides at the Brigantine Historical Center.

Thanks for keeping the memory alive. I do recall the Castle and all the fun I had there as a teenager, but my favorite memories will always be Pat’s Arcade, Harry’s Bar and the Fishing Pier at the end.  And the parking lot was once the Seahorse Motel!!!  Thanks again for the web page. I will bookmark it and come back again.


Lori, Manahawkin, PA

I grew up out side of Philadelphia and currently live in Manahawkin. My friends and I were out in Atlantic City talking about the Castle. And how scary it was!!! The one memory I have is going through with my Mom, I was probably about 8 years old. I was petrified and my Mom was giggling through the whole thing. We came up to the Rat making noise and the feeling of them crawling all over your feet. I was crying so much that they actually turned off the sounds and removed the squishy feeling of the rats and let us walk through. I swore I would never go in that place again. I wish it didn't burn down so I could have brought my kids there. As scared as I was it was a fun memory to have.

Christina Schindler, Maine

Browsing your web site, I must say that I have to chuckle and wonder at how much the castle traumatized me as a young girl. I grew up in South Jersey; I must have been about 4 or 5 years old when I visited the castle with my parents...probably in '79 or '80, so my memories are vague, at best. Does anyone remember strobe lights and blood-smeared walls? I also remember walking in a dark room and treading on a very 'squishy' floor. And I remember bloody body parts, hanging from chains. To this day, I am fascinated by horror movies and anything macabre. I remember reenacting scenes from the castle with my cousins...disturbing, but I wouldn't trade those gruesome memories of the castle for the world!
6/24/08 I'm 40 years old and live in Philadelphia. I remember my parents taking my little brother and I to the castle when I was about 11 and my brother was about 8. My dad took us both in.

I had been wanting to go for so long. We used to sit down on the beach and look up at the castle and see the characters standing up on the balcony area (whatever that is called in a castle) with their costumes blowing and looking so scary. You'd just sit there and watch them - trying to imagine what was going on inside - and wanting to go inside, but not wanting to at the same time.

I don't have the detailed memories that some of these emails stories have about the entire walk-through, but I do recall some of the castle in vivid detail. One thing that stands out is my memory of the room with the Plexiglas walkway. I remember being in there and having one of the ghouls sneak up behind me and totally freak me out. I also remember walking over top of the woman under the glass. I recall this room looking like a dark garden. Was this the swamp?

I remember that when you would stand to watch the headless woman, there was a wall behind you. There were a bunch of people watching her with us - when all of a sudden, this ghoul comes over the top of the wall behind us swinging a giant hatchet down over our heads. Everyone is ducking and screaming and running.

As others have written, I recall reaching that area where you are at the top of the castle and had to go outside. You get that little taste of freedom, but then have to go back in! And when you went back in, it was to go into the rat room. I remember people standing out on the outside area and not wanting to go inside because you could hear the screams from people who did go in and you didn't know what was causing it. People were really afraid of the rat room. I remember laughing in that room. It was cool. I loved seeing people get so freaked out.

Wow, I remember the walk through the castle taking a really long time. Does anyone remember how long it was? Seemed like 20-30 minutes.

I remember my brother being too scared and crying - total freak-out mode - and my dad wanted to take him out. The ghouls started saying "no scare" and led my dad and my brother out through a back passage - leaving me alone in the castle. I LOVED being scared! Still do.

I also remember some kind of mattress room? Am I mixing this up with another haunted house? Did a floor drop out and make you fall into a padded room below?

What made the castle so cool was that it really felt like you were roaming around in a castle - so many stairwells, labyrinths, rooms....it felt like you would be trapped inside and never find your way out. And there were so many live characters inside. Some of them crawled around on the floor, which was extra-creepy!

I also definitely remember the end - there was a guy with a huge bat (like a giant baseball bat - but really fat - a "club") and he was in the narrow corridor leading to the outside. In order to get out, you had to run past him and he would slam that bat against the wall in front of you as you tried to run past - really hard and it would make this "boom!" sound that echoed and you could hear the BOOM even before you got to this area - so you knew something BAD was coming up as you walked through this part of the castle- then you'd come to this section and realize it's the exit and if you can get past him, you're free. You had to run for your life to get out - and then he'd chase you out. People would come running out screaming their heads off and with tears running down their faces. After you got out, you'd stand there to catch your breath and others would also be standing there - looking back at the door...hearing the BOOM and knowing someone else is trying to get out....and then they'd come flying out and everyone would cheer for them! So cool - yet so terrifying! Then the guy with the club would come running out waving his club and everyone would scream and run - and we were already OUT....

Looking back, I'm amazed that a place like this existed. It actually did seem kind of dangerous. You had so much freedom inside the place and nobody was "leading" you though....and you could take your time (if you weren't too terrified - but everybody was!).

I know there will never be anything else like it! I only went in once - but that is a memory that I will always carry. It is so cool to have found this site.


AnnMarie   Gelndora, NJ

When I was a kid, my grandparents owned a summer house in Beach Haven West. One night, when I was about 6 (around 1978), my parents, grandparents, and my aunt & uncle all went to Brigantine Castle. I remember seeing the commercials on TV and I wanted to go so badly! They said no, that I was too young. When they came back, they said that my aunt was grabbed by Dracula and peed herself! I never did get to go, always too young. It’s sad that I never will.


My brother-in-law and sister (just teenagers and dating) always took me on ventures "down the shore" I would sit in the back seat of the Red Volkswagen and await the trip to Brigantine. The TV commercial did me in every time. Finally at the age of 11 they convinced me to enter the castle for the first time. All I remember was being so terrified to pass this one monster guy. I slugged my fist with all the might I had into his stomach and ran. An overhead light went on and the guy said "Listen kid, the next time you do that in here, you will be kicked out!" Petrified still, I eventually made it out of the castle without a punch.

Joan H. Wilmington, DE

I went thru the Castle with my sister and some of her friends during the summer of '76, at the same time that Elton John was in Atlantic City. He and his manager went thru the Castle at the same time I was going thru it, and he was kind enough to hold my hand (since my sister's girlfriends were all screaming and pushing me into people - I guess Elton took pity on me - or maybe he was scared?? Nah, not Elton.). Anyway, we didn't even know it was Elton until we got outside and could see him and his manager. That was the most fun I've ever had in a haunted castle!


Although I was 10 years old when the castle burned down, I still remember visiting the pier with my family when it was open. The last time we there, I was about 6 or 7 years old but still remember it very clear. I was too afraid to visit the castle and had nightmares because of seeing a few actors in costume out back taking a break. They must have seen that I was frightened and decided to run down the ramp in my direction screaming with their arms extended. Needless to say, it worked.

Anyway, I recently found the castle brochure along with some arcade tokens in an old box. My question is, would anyone remember what the tokens looked like because these might be from the pier? They have a clown on one side with the words "NO CASH VALUE" and an eagle on the opposite side. Thanks for allowing me to post this question and for providing so much information on your website.






© 2022 Dark in the Park.  This site was created by Bill and Seph Cherkasky.

About this site.