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Brigantine Castle Online

Emails 2009

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

FROM/DATE

CONTENT

10/27/09

Carole

Hello – I visited Brigantine Castle when my husband was stationed at McGuire AFB/Ft Dix in NJ in the early 70’s – must have been right after the castle was opened for business. We loved it and the small seaside city. The castle scared the crap out of me. The attractions and actors were so life-like – and I actually was so scared I couldn’t walk all the way through and had to be escorted out! But it was great attraction, and I was sorry to learn of the closing and destruction of the castle. Thanks for putting up the site for the memories.
10/12/09

Paul

Although I only visited the castle once, it has been etched in my memory ever since. It was towards the end of the seventies, and I would have been in my early twenties. My family and I had driven down from Montreal, Canada, in two cars to spend some time in Wildwood. After seeing some fliers advertising the castle, we decided that this was a must see. What we experienced there was something that none of us had ever before could have even imagined existed. 

The actors were the best part of the castle and gave it that true "haunted" brand. I remember my sisters screaming out loud several times, and I myself was caught unaware by what I thought to be a mannequin standing by the elevator, or so I thought until he moved! I am now fifty-three years old, and would have liked to return there with my daughter sometime. I just learned of the castle's fate when I stumbled upon the web-site. What a true shame.

10/11/09 I am so sorry to hear the castle does not exist.  I was just telling my children about how much fun it was back then "olden days" this was only back in 1972 not that long ago lol.  At least someone had a good idea to make a site about how much fun it was, good memories. I was such a chicken sh*t and still am. Sitting here remembering what they did to me... touching my legs, whispering, yelling... dam they were good at what they did.  You could see the pleasure they had doing things to you, making sure you were scared out of your pants.  Now that I am 50 years old I'm not sure that I would do it again.  It was too real to me.
10/1/09

Barb

I always looked forward to going to the castle with all my cousins. It was fun being together and doing the beach but the best part was the castle each year. I remember taking my cousin Beth. She screamed and did not get past the first room. She never went back. My brother Jeff got his wallet stole in the castle by a lady pretending to be scared and grabbing onto him. I also enjoyed the arcade. I spent a lot of money there. The castle is one of the best childhood memories. Thanks 4 the memories!
9/29/09

Ken Northridge

I’m so happy I found this web site and am very impressed with its content. The sounds and pictures inside the castle bring back the most vivid memories for me.

As cast member of the Castle for a few years in the late 70’s, there is one thing I’d like to add that hasn’t been brought out enough, and that is the high level of professionalism of the cast and crew. From the management, to the make up artists, to the actors themselves, they all put 100% into their jobs.

Many of the actors that I worked with were very serious about their acting and played their parts with great enthusiasm. Some were college students studying acting and used the Castle as a summer job and a way to practice their craft. I learned so much about acting from them. Some of them would stay in character between groups of visitors, which I must admit, was sometimes a bit unnerving, but it was a great lesson on how to put your all into what you were doing.

I can’t remember many names but I would sure like to know what they are doing now. If they are not acting, I’m sure their commitment to excellence has brought them success. I can tell you that my friend, Mike Spatola, went to Hollywood and received Emmy awards for his make up work and now runs a successful photography business in Los Angeles. I understand that many of the pictures on this site were taken by him.

As for me, I stayed in the entertainment field and work as a professional magician. Please check out my web site and say hello. www.kennorthridge.com

You might be interested to know that the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge takes place at the exact site of where the castle was. This year, while my wife was taking the plunge, I couldn’t help to think about the late night swim party we had at that very spot some 30 years ago.

9/23/09

Chris Faulkner Los Angeles, CA

Great website! When my brother and sisters and I were young, our family would make the drive from Manayunk (Philadelphia) to Surf City (LBI) for a month-long vacation every summer. I can vividly remember vacationing in Surf City (LBI) during the summer that the Brigantine Castle opened and can recall seeing the TV advertisements and my brother and sisters and I bugging our parents to take us to see the Castle! What a fantastic haunted house it was! Too bad that nothing like it exists anywhere else today. Thank you for creating this web page so all of us can recall such fantastic memories from our childhood!
8/7/09

Nicole        Marshfield, MA

I’m 36 now and we would always go to Wildwood for our summer vacation. I remember the red Brigantine Castle brochure on your website and begging to be allowed to go with the ‘bigger kids’. It was the absolute scariest experience of my life. I too remember wanting to get out of there and being pushed through with the herd and not being allowed to get out of the castle. The worst part was the skinny room with the cut hoses scraping against your ankles. I think this is what everyone is calling the rat room. My mother couldn’t take my screaming so she told the staff ‘my daughter has a heart condition’ and they let us out. This was even scarier than watching the Exorcist. Great website.
7/25/09

Kate Barna

My brother turned me on to this website.  I worked at the castle for the 2nd & 3rd seasons, and looking through the actors photos, low and behold, I found myself.  What wonderful memories! I still consider it to be the best job I have ever had. The hours were long and the pay was low and it was extremely physically and mentally exhausting but it is almost impossible to put into words the experience of being a "castle lady". The people I worked with were amazing and the fun we had most of the time was beyond description. I remember how hot it would get being in full makeup & costume but we were not allowed to open any windows because it would let too much "reality" in. Mostly I was a rover, but occasionally got my head cut off and also was a sacrificial virgin and worked in the slant room as Lizzy, which is the costume I have on in the picture. I remember at closing how sometimes when the last group came through we would follow one by one from each scene and chant. Also, although it was frowned upon when people would do their scenes comically, we had soooo much fun. There was plenty of backstage drama etc. and it would make for a really great prime time TV, late night of course, lol. Since that time I have traveled extensively and had many incredible adventures but I will never forget my two seasons as one of the "live ones".  Ooo Scary Boo!!!!!!!
5/22/09 I remember what to say to keep the rats away  in the rat  room  as you walk through, "Ratsy ratsy dark and lurkey, please go bite some other turkey!"  lMAO...loved the castle.
1/31/09

Ed Perkins

Neat website of info on Brigantine Castle. I remember going there back when it was open and may have some old pictures I took of it on the outside and pier. Just visited the area around Christmas 2005 and it's hard to believe that castle and pier with shops actually stood there at one time. The area has changed big time. I also remember the commercial on TV that got played a lot on Phila. TV and NYC for that matter showing a girl entering it with the music of Bach's "Toccata & Fugue In D Minor" playing and the vampire coming out scaring her where you saw her running down the ramp to the sidewalk away from it with people looking at her strange like. I went through the castle a few times while on vacation in Brigantine in the summers of 77, 78, & 79. Neat place and memories of something that isn't there anymore.
1/19/09

Jeff Slater
Manheim, PA

Thank you for maintaining this wonderful piece of history.

I only went to Brigantine Castle once when I was in elementary school in the 1970s.  My parents, along with my sister, an uncle, and my grandmother, went to the castle after my pestering to visit the attraction.  I remember the ride from Port Richmond (Philadelphia) being long and hot.

I remember having a death grip on my father as we traversed the interior of the building.  Two locations within the castle had a profound impact on my young psyche and I still get cold shivers up my spine when I thing about it even today.

The first one was a room we entered where a young girl was strapped to a sacrificial alter and a "Satanic" priest welcomed us for the human sacrifice.  As a young boy (maybe 8 or 10) I was totally freaked out that this teenage girl / young woman was strapped to a alter, pleading for her life to the crowd, while this weird guy in a robe held a large knife and explained how he was going to kill her.  I remember he went around the table and with his back to the audience, proceeded to stab this woman to death while a strobe light flickered like mad.  I remember hearing her screams and seeing a bloody manikin on the table when the ceremony was finished.  That little play gave me nightmares for years.

The second thing I remember was the so-called rat room.  I had shorts on that day and remember feeling the rubber tails of the rats rubbing against my legs.  What was also comical that day was one of the ghouls appointed a young African-American guy as our "Rat Guide" to lead us through the room.  This guy decided to completely ad lib and make a speech to the group that he was available as a professionally licensed rat guide if we ever needed his services.

The only other thing I remember about the pier was making color sand sculptures in bottles at one of the stands with my sister after we had finished in the castle.

Looking back, I wish I had had the opportunity to visit the castle more than once.  Despite that, I am sad to see that this piece of history was lost and will never return.

 

 

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