We started a podcast, and guess what? Our first episode is now live! We’re talking Tales! Both of the Crypt and From the Darkside variety! Kicking off our inaugural episode, we thought it would be fun to tackle each show’s premiere episode. Sit back & listen as we breakdown The Man Who Was Death and Trick or Treat...You’ve been warned!
As most people know haunted houses are one of my favorite attractions to attend every October. After a very rainy trip to Salem, Massachusetts I decided to stop by a random haunt on my way to NYC. This photo was captured after exiting the Dark Manor haunted attraction in Norwich, CT. The haunt itself was terrifying but in a good way! Check out the review in my 2016 Halloween recap . After we regained our composure from fright; I decided to snap a picture of the spooky facade. I loved how intimidating it looked; the creepy red light glimmering through a window, Skulls lined up and down the side panels. The haunts name was primitively carved into the wood above. Everything screamed “DO NOT ENTER” which is something you want from a haunted house. The horror ended, and then just seconds after taking the picture, a scare actor (doing her best Jared Leto joker impression) popped her head out to compliment my girlfriend’s ear gauges. It was hilarious to see this girl dressed up as a psychotic clown completely break character just to share some kind words. It’s a funny detail and moment of levity in an otherwise sinister looking photo.
Check out the first edition of Pic Stories here, along with a short intro detailing why I started the series.
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Goosebumps, a wildly popular children's book series in the nineties, revolves around horror themed tales with pre-teens as the main protagonists. The books cover everything from ghosts, monsters, and even a sinister ventriloquist dummy. Like most things aimed at children, a plethora of Goosebumps related tie-in products existed; Toys, video games, even birthday party supplies. As a kid I wanted to get my hands on as much of this stuff as possible. Anything I didn't get as a kid I've since hunted for as an adult. A few years back on my birthday I was fortunate to have been gifted one of their board games. I was so stoked as I had no clue this game existed. Like most collectors I've kept it in it's original packaging in attempt to keep it as pristine as possible. Finally giving in, I said 'F-it", opened it and boy, was it worth it.Read More
It's been a little quiet on the site as of late and that drives me crazy! I enjoy writing, but finding the time isn't that easy. I'm on the tail end of editing our first feature film Good Day, so most of my time has gone to that. The plan is to change things in 2017 and come up with new material a bit more. That being said, here is something new!
I don't consider myself a photographer or anything, but taking pictures is something I enjoy doing. Whenever I visit a fun place or something random catches my eye, I'll snap a photo. I'll run it through different apps and edit it to look like vintage photography from the 80's/90's (It's an aesthetic I love) and post it on Instagram. Instead of just posting and seeing how many "likes" I'll get, I figured writing a brief description as to why I took it would be a cool concept, so here is the inaugural edition, Zombie Castle.
Above is a photo I snapped as I entered the "dark ride" Zombie Castle, located at Rye Playland. I'm pretty sure I've gone on this attraction about 50 times in my life, but never fully took the time to appreciate the art work plastered across the walls. All those zombies rising from their graves. The grotesque heads floating above; which stare down at you as you enter a void of darkness. Even the painted stone around the entrance appears sinister. I know It's basically just "horror" graffiti, but it's awesome! As a kid this artwork made these things intimidating as hell; it definitely tricked us all into shelling out a couple of buck and riding them, only to discover no flesh devouring zombies inside. Regardless I've always been a sucker for these types of haunted houses. No visit to a fair is complete until I go in one. Sure they always feel dated, but hold a certain charm you don't find on many attractions today.
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I’ve been visiting amusement parks since I was a kid. Some of my fondest memories growing up were at Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags, and even old-fashioned county fairs. Something about these places always resonated with me; I loved the attention to detail, as well as the thrills they provided. Over time, some of these rides have been retired to make way for something new and exciting. This phasing out of old favorites usually sucks, but is sometimes—not always—worth it. I thought it would be fun to run through some memories of my favorites. This will be volume one of a continuing series.
ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
Located at Disney's Magic Kingdom, in their "Tommorowland" area, the attraction ran from 1995 - 2003. The premise of the ride is: you're a guest at the "Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center" for a conference demonstrating new technology from the company "X-S Tech." After a Robot named "S.I.R" demonstrates the company's new teleportation device on a cute little alien, you're led into a large chamber-like conference room. Once inside, you're prompted to take a seat. A harness is lowered on your shoulders which locks you in place. On a screen, two employees of X-S tell the audience that one guest will be teleported to the meeting with Clench (X-S's Chairman.) Clench then changes his mind and randomly tells the audience along with his employees that he wants to be teleported into the room himself. As with most attractions, something goes wrong and his sudden decision causes quite a mix-up. The X-S employees mistakenly send the teleportation signal to an unknown planet and bring a nasty alien amongst the audience instead of the chairman. Chaos ensues as you and the rest of the group have to survive being locked in with this creature.
My first experience with this attraction was probably in 1995\96, so I would have been around 10 years old. I was heavily into horror films and loved almost anything involving monsters, but this ride still scared the bajeezus out of me! Keep in the mind the queue was a little deceiving with its cute alien sequence. When you finally get on the attraction, you're not expecting a man-eating alien to rampage through the audience. Needless to say, my first experience was a terrifying one. One of the most amazing aspects of this ride was the special effects and animatronic work. The "harness" you're wearing is actually an effects rig, similar to a harness on a roller coaster, but with speakers and other effects built into it. At one point, power in the room goes out and you can smell, feel, and hear the creature trying to remove you from your seat. By the time you actually got to see the creature, you were already terrified. Imagine, what looks like a giant 7 foot tall cockroach. That's the best way I can describe it. On later visits to Magic Kingdom (as I got older), the ride quickly grew to be my favorite (behind The Haunted Mansion.) Even knowing what was going to happen beforehand the ride still had a creep factor, which always made it awesome!
From what I've read online, the ride was closed down due to it being a little too intense for children. What's strange is the attraction was operational for almost a decade, so I'm sure there is more to the story then we know. An interesting side note, the attraction was original supposed to be themed around the "Alien" franchise. Looking back at it, I can see how the creature could have easily been replaced with the famous "Xenomorph." That would have been awesome if they stuck with their original plan, even though an R-rated-franchise-themed attraction would have felt out of place next to cheery images of Mickey Mouse and his friends.
Unfortunately, in 2004 "Stitch's Escape" opened, replacing ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. The current attraction borrows heavily from its predecessor. A lot of the same effects and props from the original attraction are intact, but it has now been toned down for younger audiences. Instead of a man-eating-alien trying to have the audience as its main course, Stitch, from the animated Disney film, runs playfully amok. He jumps on your head, tickles you, and even burps in your face. The dark atmosphere has been replaced with silly jokes and kiddie humor. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy "Stitch's Escape;" it's really cute and has a certain charm to it, but man, do I miss the original attraction!
Hopefully you enjoyed my first installment of "Extinct Attractions." Stay tuned for future installments!