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 Review of Haunted Mansion @ Knoebels
2 Rating Posted by: hrrytraver on 6/11/2006 4:40:00 PM
yesterday i was given a wisdom from an older amusement park connoisseur who was hanging out in front of the haunted mansion. he said, "you can know a good dark ride if you see at least a few little kids coming out of it crying." besides being humorous, this has the ring of a universal truth, IMO. and i can say that without fear of reprisals concerning my lack of empathy for terrified little kids, because i was once a crying kid clutching his daddys arm on the way out of the haunted house at trimpers amusements on the ocean city, md boardwalk (which is often considered among the best dark rides ever). for all i know, that same guy i talked to yesterday may have formulated his theory seeing me crying next to my dad on the OC boardwalk twenty five years ago. but i dont think im any the worse for wear for that brief childhood crisis, and although many who are close to me insist that something damaged my mind when i was a kid, im ALMOST positive it wasnt that fateful haunted house ride. according to nietzche "that which does not kill us makes us stronger", and why not think of those little crying tots as primordial ubermenshen and uberfrauen learning the zen way to confront that which is deeply disturbing to the human soul? a haunted house should be fun of course above all, but it should be wicked and mean-spirited while it entertains you. by my lights the resonance of the "crying kid dark ride litmus test" theory is in the fact that a little kid is going to cry for two reasons - an injury or because something is happening which is fundamentally disturbing. the best haunted houses may be campy or hokey, but they should still tickle the dark crevices of your mind which adrenalize your system because of fear of the unknown and unassailable sensory overload. well, even in my old age (31 yrs) the knoebels haunted mansion succeeded in getting a little personal with me yesterday. sure i laughed at the some of the goofier gags (fans of old skool funpark kitsch will LOVE this ride), but i gulped in the black pitch and jumped out of my spine from some of the jarring surprises and generally felt my skin crawl as the dense layers of noise and shuddering light swirled around me and climbed the walls. a campy bad acid trip is a good description of this ride. i was impressed at how my jovial and sunny afternoon at the park quickly became an off-tempo, herky jerky nightmare that seemed like a tim burton movie which wasnt spooled properly on the film projector from the second our car banged through those entrance doors until the second our car banged through the exit doors. people trust hrry: this ride is fun and creepy and DOES make little kids cry.

Review Comments

adriahna on 6/11/2006 6:20:56 PM said:
Sweeeeeee-eeeet. "Wasnt spooled properly" - yup. That captures it.
darkridrMD on 6/13/2006 7:29:37 PM said:
I had no idea that all those thoughts were going through your mind as you exited the ride Saturday. It was a gas though. I was telling Ad that I see something new everytime I go in there!
hrrytraver on 6/13/2006 7:56:43 PM said:
i look forward to trimpers this summer and drawing a comparison between the two.
erinys on 6/14/2006 2:44:06 PM said:
Could also have been me crying outside Trimpers that led to the fellas theory, but that would have been 30+ years ago. We cant ever let on it might have had some permanent warping effect, or itll disappear as fast as toy guns and candy cigarettes. I cant wait to check out the Haunted Mansion!
adriahna on 6/14/2006 11:50:02 PM said:
Traver, youre going to freak out like a m*f*er once youve done Trimpers Haunted House... you think Knoebels is weird? In the immortal words of Al Jolson, "You Aint Seen NOTHIN Yet".
hrrytraver on 6/15/2006 8:57:31 AM said:
bring it!
darkridrMD on 6/16/2006 7:39:18 PM said:
When are we going again? Around Aug 10th?
Timberman on 6/17/2006 2:45:00 AM said:
Does anybody remember Doorway to Hell in Seaside Heights? Im pretty sure I never actually came out of there crying, but I did have some nightmares after the fact. What made it particularly unnerving is that sometimes virtually nothing happened, and other times, all hell broke loose.
hrrytraver on 6/17/2006 9:48:28 AM said:
darkr- ill make it happen whenever adriahna and her hub are down that way. my girlfriend loves the shore, making it easy to convince myself to get in the car and "cancelling all appointments". timberm- i regret not exploring seaside H in more depth. i went several times as an adolescent, but they were intense fleeting visits, involving young romance and rebellious use of parents cars to cross state lines etc. i only remember thinking SH was an amazing spot full of wonder, but details are locked away in my head somewhere...
adriahna on 7/5/2006 11:15:37 PM said:
Dark, Ill be in DE/MD that week, of August 10th. Will send an email...

Travers gonna pee his pants on Bill Traceys masterpiece...
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