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|Who what a blast from the
past! This site is great! I still tell people till this day about
the haunted mansion we had here in Long branch. And you cant explain
how different from any other this was. I remember Lizzy Borden and
that whole story I remember holding on to my brother for deal life
swearing that I will never go in there again... But I kept going
back also remember the woman at the door! By the way she was my
lunch lady at LBMS..Ill never forget the day that the pier burned it
was my mothers birthday people came from all over to watch Long
branchs history go down in flames. At least we all have good
memories... Hey What about STUFFYER FACE I still cant forget the
taste of those Strombolis.
|All I can say is WOW! This
brought back some memories of how a lot of us kids spent the long
summer days. Hanging out at the Bumper boats, and The haunted
Mantion. It brought back some happy times......Thank God, we have
the some picture to remember it by.
Buck West End, NJ
|I grew up in Keyport, now
living in Long branch for almost 10 years now. my dad used to bring
me down on saturdays in the summertime. I was scared out of my mind
to go in, i regret it now because my husband who grew up here has so
many stories of the mansion. my cousins lived on Melrose Terrance,
and i would stay down for a few days and go swimming in the pool.
What i thought was great was walking under the street to go to the
beach. But, i never would go in the Haunted Mansion due to the
person who would stare at you so bad that that would make me even
more scared to go in. Oh, i wish they had built the boardwalk back
up, i'm 32 now and it takes alot to scare me now and i know my kids
would love it!!!!!!!!!
|Great Website -better
memories. Thanks for putting this up. Re: the Long Branch Haunted
Mansion... First lets dispel some rumors. The Frankenstein character
never got shot. He got punched quite a bit, and did his share of
punching, but never shot. I recall shots at the Pier Pub, but they
were of Jack Daniels after working a 12 hour shift (I was 18 of
course!). Carmen Ricci and Pat Ciccalese were the owners. I was
always afraid of Carmen. No particular reason except he used to walk
through the building and fire kids on the spot for not working, and
I didn't want to get fired. Pat was a bit laid back and more
friendly. Overall, both were great to work for. I couldn't ask for a
better job as a kid. We worked mostly 12-14 hour days for about 2.25
an hour. (Man...I feel old now.) I was 15 when I started working
there in 1978. You had to be 16 but that's another story.
Lil Grauman was the manager and our immediate
supervisor ... but mostly our friend. Great work ethic and very
professional. She actually was (and still is) very young to have
such responsibility. You didn't mess with Lil. I learned early on
that Lil loved "spinach con queso" dip from the boardwalk
so I kept her in the dip. Yes, I learned my best brown-nosing
techniques when I was 15!
We met early in the morning and prepared for the
day. Lil would make the schedule, Scott Coulter, Terri and Dave,
Don, Annie, Mike Kinsey and Jack Kinsey did technical stuff,
Security and a little bit of everything else. Annie Rielly sleeping
on the beach and helping me solve the world's problems, Wolf-Puppy
(R.I.P.) , Dave at the back door with the fake rat in one hand and
the customers in the other. The ghosts in the Cathedral. The sweaty
mirror against your face in Headless, The old chemicals in lab jars
in the morgue and rat tunnel that will surely cause our premature
death someday. There was Presentation if you were good enough to be
Dracula. Lizzy Borden (Manulli was the BEST!) or Lester Borden if
they ran out of girls. Listening to the Psycho sound loop for 10
hours straight and drinking water out of a hose protruding from the
nose of an old man mask... I forget his name...but he had one.
Little Donna, (I think she was a real ghoul..no
one ever checked her credentials.)... Manulli my best partner (that
nut), Mag Ellis, Liz Young, who deserved an Academy Award for every
performance, and ELAINE!!! Hmmmmmmmmmm ELAINE!!!
There was Dr. Rattenhimmel, Headless, Morgue and
all of the extras...scaring people with an old sneaker, the busses
filled with people from the city...falling all over each other and
screaming "my shoe...my shoe" because you appeared and
said "Boo!" There was "Mummy", "wolf",
"back ramp", cathedral, grave yard and the banquet scene
to name a few.
We lived, laughed and loved for a short time at
"The Mansion." We were a family and are still
"connected" even though we have lost touch. Hope to see
you all someday...
||I was born and raised in
the Elberon section of Long Branch. After college I spent a few
years living in New York City but I missed living down the shore.
Now I have moved back to Long Branch and have witnessed the
redevelopment first hand. No matter what the city officials decide
to put in that area, nothing will ever take the place of that pier.
These pictures really send you back down memory lane and leave you
wondering what this city could have been and what the people of Long
Branch could have benefited from this great place. I was only 14
when that fire destroyed this town. I remember it like it was
yesterday. I was at freshman baseball practice at the Iama field on
Indiana Ave. We could see the black smoke and hear the roar of many
fire engines. As practice ended a few of the players that lived in
Elberon walked home and when we hit Woodgate and Cedar Ave. we saw a
fire truck from Wall Tsp. we immediately got our bikes and rode as
fast as we could to find the fire. Eventually we ended up at the
batting cages across from the Mc Donald's. I remember that day was
very windy and the fire seemed to jump from store to store. I also
remember Mayor Huhn (at the time) save a firemen who fell through
the boardwalk. Now as an adult I see this area and just think how
many young people have been cheated from such a great place. But I
guess the Hilton was to fill that void.
|One of my Cousins sent me
this Web page and boy did it bring back memories of better days .
I'm only 45 years old but I cherish those days that me and my other
two cousins would be at Cramer's pool. We would ask our aunt and
grandmother for some money to go get something to eat at Mike's at
the corner of Ocean Avenue & Chelsea. You used to be able to
walk into Mike's from Cramer's and that's exactly what we did, and
then walked out one of the sliding glass doors with the money still
in our hands and go on the bumper cars on the pier instead of
getting something to eat! I cried like a baby the day the pier
burnt. All I saw was my childhood going up in smoke. Thanks again
for the great pictures.
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO
THE HAUNTED MANSION WAS THE SUMMER OF 1980 AND BOY THERE IS NO
HAUNTED MANSION LIKE THE HAUNTED MANSION AT LONG BRANCH. WE GOT SO
SCARED WE ALMOST TOOK MY COUSIN SWEAT PANTS OFF. THEY SHOULD BUILD
IT AGAIN THAT WAS THE BEST. I AM MARRIED NOW I HAVE THREE GIRLS AND
I TELL THEM ABOUT IT. I STILL REMEMBER LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. THE
GOOD OLD DAYS.
|I grew up in Long Branch. I
can remember the summer of "83" like it was yesterday. I
was 13. I can remember going to the Haunted Mansion, the water
slide, Pistol Pete "s restaurant. I remember the swings and the
rides at the boardwalk. I ALSO REMEMBER FOR A SHORT TIME THE
ROLLER-SKATING AREA AT THE BOARDWALK, WE WOULD GO TO Max's FOR
HOT-DOGS THAN WATCH THE PEOPLE ROLLER SKATING. All you heard
blasting from the rides were "Michael Jackson's song "WANNA
BE STARTING SOMETHING" OR Billie Jean" What sweet
childhood memories came back to me while visiting this website. I
remember the haunted mansion, Lizzy Borden, I can remember walking
through one part of the mansion where the rats would grab your
feet.,also the headless women. I'm so sad that my children will
never get to experience what I did growing up in Long Branch. Its a
shame it was never built back up. I will never forget my Junior Year
at long branch High school. I remember we all left school to go
watch the board walk fire. What a sad day that was. IT CHANGED
EVERYONE'S LIFE FOREVER!!!!!
|I am completely blown away
by your website !!! For seventeen years I have been searching for
anything related to the Haunted Mansion and Brigantine Castle and
your site has it all wrapped up in a nutshell.
I remember being in elementary school when the
Mansion first opened and the urban legends went wild. The kids would
say that half the people going through would never come out, and
those that did would be covered with rats. They went on to say that
if you angered the "Mansionites" they would be under your
bed that night, or try to snatch you through a mirror in your room. Needless
to say, I was ultimately terrified the first time I went through,
but it turned out to be one of the most exciting experiences in my
entire life, especially for a kid who loved horror movies as much as
I. With some of the sets inside spanning three stories high, such as
the Sacrificial Demon Pit and the Grand Dining Hall with its rotted
ghouls dressed in Victorian finery, feasting on a human torso,
served upon a silver platter, garnished with vegetables and
entrails, it left a lasting impression. I soon became a regular
patron of the Mansion and if I counted how many time I went through
before its demise I would have probably set a record. Mostly due to
the Mansion's influence, I began sculpting and building horror props
for fun in high school art classes. After my senior year I
approached Anne, the manager. I was overjoyed at getting a job on
consignment making the actors' prop battleaxes and a few gargoyles.
She also signed me up to be an actor, but my grueling day job in the
construction field left me too debilitated, to my regret. Still, I
helped to get Ken, one of my best friends, a job playing
"Jason" and was able to act with him on the sets once in a
On June 8, 1987, the Mansion burned down and it
left me severely hard hit. Frequently visiting its ruins I managed
to salvage a few pieces of gatework from the cemetery set and a
heat-warped bed grill from the Exorcist set, which was later used on
the Nightmare on Elm Street set. I continued to build props over the
next few years for myself; then eventually built quite a few pieces
for Wildwood's Castle Dracula and Orlando's Terror on Church Street.
Recently my most successful venture has been making gothic horror
lamps and Necronomicon-style books for the Chiller Theater Horror
Convention in East Rutherford, New Jersey. My friend, John,
approached me with an idea to sell them on a website, and we started
zmalice.com, where I also wrote a dedication to the Haunted Mansion,
Brigantine Castle, Castle Dracula and Terror on Church Street with
some rare interior pictures of these attractions.
After looking at your great site I was amazed to
find that other dark amusement fans also would salvage the original
Brigantine Castle stones from the parking lot. In fact, when I
sculpt something that I want to relate to the "Mansion,
Brigantine mythos" a small piece of the stone is incorporated
into the armature. Such is the case with our website logo of a Demon
materializing from a bottle, which is dedicated to the
Mansion"s Nightmare Tavern set, or the "Brigantine wyrm"
which was printed in "Amazing Figure Modeler" magazine,
issue #25 in the readers gallery.
All in all, I think DARK IN THE PARK is awesome
beyond description to the fans of the ultimate haunted attractions
of the past.
|THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO
THE HAUNTED MANSION AT LONG BRANCH WAS THE SUMMER OF 1986. I
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT, I STILL TALK ABOUT IT TO THIS DAY WITH FRIENDS
AND FAMILY. MY FRIENDS AND I WOULD JUST KEEP GOING IN FIVE OR SIX
TIMES A NIGHT. ONE NIGHT WE WENT IN SO MANY TIMES THAT THE WOMEN
PLAYING LIZZY BORDEN GOT OUT OF CHARACTER AND STARTED TALKING TO US.
IT WAS JUST SO AWESOME. NO OTHER HAUNTED ATTRACTION HAS EVER
COMPARED TO THIS ONE. I REMEMBER WAITING FOR OPENING WEEKEND IN THE
SUMMER OF 1987. MY FRIENDS AND I WENT AND THEY HAD CHANGED THINGS
AROUND. THEY ADDED FREDDY KRUGER, JASON VORHEES WOULD CHASE YOU
THROUGH THE STROBE LIGHT ROOM, IT WAS JUST AWESOME. THEN ON THAT
MONDAY I HEARD ON THE RADIO THAT A FIRE HAD STARTED IN THE
MCDONALD'S AND WAS THREATENING THE WHOLE PIER. I WAS SO MAD, ALL I
COULD DO WAS HOPE THEY GOT IT UNDER CONTROL AND IT WOULDN'T GET TO
THE HAUNTED MANSION. WELL THAT DAY HAD CHANGED MY PLANS FOR THE REST
OF MY LIFE. THERE WOULD BE NO MORE HAUNTED MANSION AT LONG BRANCH.
THE BRIGINTINE CASTLE HAD ALREADY CLOSED DOWN A FEW YEARS EARLIER
AND I HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE ONE IN WILDWOOD. AS FOR BRIGINTINE I
NEVER WAS THERE. IN WILDWOOD I HAD SEEN IT YEARS LATER, BUT NEVER
WENT IN, BECAUSE MY WIFE HAD BEEN IN IT AS A KID AND WOULD NEVER GO
IN AGAIN. NOW PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO PUT A HAUNTED ATTRACTION TOGETHER
AROUND HALLOWEEN AND THEY ALL SUCK. THEY ARE NOT SCARY OR THEY'RE TO
SHORT EITHER WAY THEY SUCK.
|I miss the haunted mansion.
My sister and I went there every weekend. We are from wappingers
falls and we drove there. There was a time we stayed there for the
weekend and actually helped out scareing people. My sister ended up
working there for a couple of weeks until she went back to college.
Man this place was the best in the world...come back...come
back...no body knows how to do a haunted place the way long branch
did. Hats off to the owner.
|I went to the Haunted
Mansion when I was 7 and it TERRIFIED me. It was so scary to my
older sister and brother, that the minute the door closed and
Dracula greeted us, my sister pried the door open with her finger
nails (because there was no knob on the inside) and she and my
brother ran out. Somehow my mother and I didn't notice them do this,
so we ended up going through it thinking there was a another way
around that they ended up taking. We found out when we got out that
my dad, who remained outside, watched us go in and then not even 5
seconds after the door closed, he saw my brother and sister running
out hurtling the cue railings. LOL This was the 70's, when people in
these places could touch you and get right in your face
(pre-lawsuits) so my mother spent the entire walk telling the actors
to leave me alone because I was only 7. They kept grabbing me. I
ended up holding the hand of this tall guy in front of me most of
the way (good thing he was patient and understanding LOL). I still
remember things in it like the room set up like a funeral chapel
where you had to enter by ducking a statue that swung an axe towards
the doorway and the lower level that you looked down into that had
all the guillotines and torture devices. It was CREEPY! It is a
shame it burned down. I think it would've become a landmark. I wish
I could go back now that I'm older to see if it would still be as
scary to me.
|I actually was in the
Haunted House with some other family members. It was one of the most
frightening experiences I have ever had. At one point I turned
around because someone was crowding me and I walked right into
Frankenstein. I nearly jumped out of my skin. Well, about 6 weeks
later we read in the newspaper that someone had shot Frankenstein.
Apparently, they had had a gun and he had crowded up against this
guy and he shot him (Frank lived to my understanding).
|My family and I have a
shore house in Rumson so when we were little we used to go to Long
Branch. I was terrified of The Haunted House. I can still hear the
music that played outside on the speakers and remember the witch
that would let you in. I was only about 5 or 6 so I was too scared
to ever dare go in. This site rocks though. Totally brings so many
|Here is my Haunted Mansion
story. In the summer of 1979, me, my 2 older sisters and a couple of
my cousins all decided to go into the Haunted Mansion and we did it
with alot of confidence because we had been there many times before.
Well, we were in for a rude awakening!! The very
tall guy who played the character of Frankenstein was hiding in a
very dark corner of the hallway ever so still, I thought for sure it
was absolutely a dummy.
I even said, look at that dummy standing there.
His really ominous and deep voice started growling at us and he
chased my eldest sister who was in her early 20's at the time and
chased her down the corrider until she realized that she couldn't
outrun him and she literally fell to her knee's crying and my older
cousin, laughing hysterically had to go and pull her out. My poor
sister!! It really just freaked her out. Your imagination can really
get away from you in these scenarios... I was only 13 going on 14 at
the time and now have children of my own and if the Mansion was
still there, when they were old enough to handle it, I would have
definately brought them there too. This is one of my favorite
childhood Jersey Shore Amusement pier Memories EVER!!!!
|The summer after I was
graduated from high school, I worked in the Haunted Mansion. It was
one of the strangest summers I have ever spent. If you worked there,
you were expected to remember a few rules; the first one was not to
laugh. That really isn't as easy as it may sound, even though you
were surrounded by all those frightening things. All you had to do
was walk around the corner sometimes, and people would start
screaming and running away! Of course, you were wearing scary
makeup, done by some of the most excellent makeup artists ever. It
was truly a summer to remember.
|I just had to tell you,
that I was sitting here at work, and for some reason "the
haunted mansion at long branch" popped into my head. So I
stopped what I was doing to look on the internet, to see if it was
still around. I was really sad to see that is had burned down long
ago, but I remember it being the BEST haunted house ever!!!! I went
there in the early 80's when I was about 12-13 on a camp trip, and
got the crap scared out of me. I remember the only way out was to
walk this corridor where you believe tons of rats were (I don't know
how they did it) but it felt like real rats nipping at your ankles.
I think I climbed on someone' back so they could carry me out of
there. So sad it is gone, but thanks for the memories.
|Some time in
the early 80's, my parents and I went to the Haunted Mansion in Long
Branch, NJ. My mother wouldn't go in but my step dad and I, trying
to be macho, went in. We were first ushered into the library and
then in to a church like room. There were pews were set up and a
coffin towards the front of the room. I remember seeing a woman and
her daughter looking into this coffin so I thought "Ok,
someone's in there," and proceeded towards the coffin.
Suddenly, I saw a woman sit up in the coffin and let out this
piercing blood curdling scream! The other woman jumped back about 5
feet into the pews and ran out of the room screaming...without her
daughter, only to be met by another "monster". Well, all I
heard after that were screams...
One other memory was this: as my step
dad and I progressed into the mansion, we heard a woman screaming
and running towards us. We braced ourselves because it was almost
totally dark in there and "spooks" were coming out of
every nook and cranny. It was another "rider" running the
other way!!! She ran into my step dad's arms and BEGGED him to get
her out of there! He calmed her down and she walked with us the rest
of the way out, crying and whimpering as we went. My step dad and I
weren't feeling so macho when we got out of there, 45 minutes later.
This was the BEST haunted ride/walk
I've ever been to till this day. I've been to Disney World, been to
Coney Island in NYC. Nothing compares to the legendary Haunted
Mansion in Long Branch.
Thanks for the memories! I hope one
day someone builds a ride as great as this once was.
|Don't you EVER take the
Dark In The Park website down! You have my whole childhood wrapped
up into that one website. I spent a majority of my youth on the Long
Branch pier, but was always too scared to actually go in the Haunted
Mansion. Other than the fantastic pictures, I can't believe that you
actually have the TV commercials too! I remember them so vividly!
Thank you so much for putting this site together and helping me
remember a time in my life that I never thought I'd see again!
|The Mansion site looks
great! Really a first class job! I love the commercials. Those and
the Brigantine ones make me feel like a kid a again.
I never saw pictures of the actual fire before.
That gave me more creeps than the mansion ever did.
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