Haunted House POV thread

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by waffa, 12th May 2014.

  1. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    The Haunted House was never really meant to be traditional or nostalgic as such, but the difference in maintaining and respecting a ride with more professional parks really is clear. The Haunted House was quite a scaled up and unabashed experience when it was built, although its most surreal/characteristic touches and its style were always under contention from Alton Towers at the time, who wanted a more straightforward ghost train style jump-scare ride.

    Originally it was a fun, dramatic mix of daft, macabre and scary, with original ideas and unsuspecting moments. In hindsight its more obvious how the ride could have been better understood by its own management, for the sake of maintaining the best guest experience. After years of fiddling about, it has become an average 'ghost train' experience, when it could have continued as a real gem of a dark ride.
     
    Last edited: 12th May 2018
  2. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I spent a few hours searching in the AT Archives for a full HH POV.

    I failed.

    Look forward to your video!
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    As someone who never got to ride the original Haunted House a full POV will be very welcome! Very much looking forward to it.

    :)
     
  4. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    I loved the Haunted House, it was a brilliant ride, took me about a year to work out how they did the jumping jellyfish...(await the ride video!).
    I hated the rapid neglect of the features, and hated Duel even more, but it is still a nice excuse for a sit down after lunch,
    or a bit of respite from the weather.
    In the words of Moloko...
    Bring It Back.
     
  5. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    The jellyfish were odd things, they weren't part of the original ride and were added by Alton Towers some years after opening so they're not in the early tapes. They were something like bits of cloth on a wire with an air cannon, quite a low budget affair to add some simpler jump moments in I suppose!
     
  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    More like rubber shower caps I think...I saw one dead on the floor, but I couldn't quite reach it for a special souvenir.
     
  7. shawnoc

    shawnoc TowersStreet Member

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    The original Haunted House was a great experience. When it didn't have the LED's you could see the theming and enjoy the story. When they converted it to Duel I was really pleased they kept the tilted room as well as the ghost girl in the dolls house.
     
  8. MichaelTowers2001

    MichaelTowers2001 TowersStreet Member

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  9. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    I loved the jumping jellyfish and the hilarious sound they used to make. I remember going the year they were added in because would always look for the new effect.

    It's a pretty simple old ghost train effect to be honest. This video shows how the effect works, skip to 3:20 to see them jumping

     
  10. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    They're a fine shock but fairly basic and ghost-trainy, compared to how the scene was intended to play out. They truncated the spider sequence to add it in (in the mid 90s I think?)

    There was a lot more set design around that area like a cobwebbed crypt. You'd head through the first arch into the darkness as the voice calls "Are you scared of... spiders?" (the voice was on a cue). At the word "SPIDERS" the first, smallest spider would light up in front of you, then turn a corner and a slightly bigger one, as the sounds got more intense. Around the next corner it escalated until the final arch where the giant spider appeared overhead (originally glowing very eerily).

    It was truncated so that there wasn't as much progression, it starts now about half way through the original scene and the "Are you scared..." vocal just repeats infinitely throughout the whole area, instead of on cue, and there's no timed lighting or eerie fluorescence anymore. Just lots of uncontrolled strobes lighting up black walls.

    Most the set dressing was removed, like the large glowing cobwebs around you and attic props, leaving it feeling very empty. The original background sounds were very intense and have all since gone sadly. It's a shame the whole ride became so fiddled with in this way!
     
    Last edited: 31st Jan 2017
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  11. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    A lot of what you say rings a bell. I can't wait to see this POV footage you've got.
     
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    Posted 1st Feb 2017
    #31
  12. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Last edited: 12th May 2018
  13. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    How atmospheric is that garden scene on that?

    Amazing difference really...
     
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  14. waffa

    waffa TowersStreet Member

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    Great video, thanks!
    Interesting to see the lighting changes over the years, I think I preferred the later years lighting that got rid of the mutli colour gels and UV effects - think they have a tendency to look a bit campy and dated

    I love how the Haunted House really didn't rely on jump effects, its surreal nature really made it stand out!
     
  15. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Campy was key! Well not silly campy but vibrant. The ride once past the preshow was both surreal and fun, very dark but colourful rather than purely a horror show. I love it like that, though others thought it should be more normal, so the lighting was toned down.

    These days what with Merlin and most things since around Oblivion, themes are thought of needing to be very serious and there's a lack of wanting to just offer something purely dramatic and fun. I think the Haunted House got that spot on in some of its scenes, something that's really absent in the ride now.

    Interesting though the UV effects were a layered mix of 'normal' lighting and creative painting style, (rather than a glowing flourescent look that tends to look rather cheap & seedy), which allowed things like the spider scene to really loom in the dark, or the flying heads to pop and disappear very quickly.
     
    Last edited: 15th Feb 2017
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  16. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I have been awaiting this video for over a decade.

    Thank you so much.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
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  17. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    Oh God, that takes me back. Aside from the dark ride element, I really loved the fun nature of the Haunted House. It was one of the more entertaining ghost trains.
     
  18. BritishThemeParkArchive

    BritishThemeParkArchive TowersStreet Member

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    Not really sure where else to put this (it's not limited to just Haunted House).

    I'm producing a book on British themed attractions design & history, covering largely the 1970s to 2000, recently as part of this have been in touch with Roland Mack (obviously of Europa Park, Mack Rides).

    He has kindly asked to send in any questions to have his input on the book. I'm taking the opportunity to take any questions others may have about Mack's work in the UK, so any questions you may have, feel free to comment (or PM) our Facebook page.

    Mack worked closely with British designers Keith Sparks and later John Wardley for many years. They all played a big part in developing theme parks in the UK, with Mack producing the ride engineering for the original Log Flume, Around The World in 80 Days, later on The Haunted House (with a very complex transit design for its time), Runaway MineTrain, etc.
    Also at at Thorpe Park Phantom Fantasia and Loggers Leap, Chessington with 5th Dimension/Terror Tomb, Dragon River,etc.

    Any relevant questions I will send over to Roland :)
     
    Last edited: 10th Jul 2017
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  19. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    How does he feel about the fact that Towers have either ripped out or ruined all of their classic Mack rides? :p

    In all seriousness that sounds great! All the best with the new book, sounds like it will be an interesting read.

    :)
     
  20. BritishThemeParkArchive

    BritishThemeParkArchive TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks Rob :)
    Have sent the questions now.

    EDIT

    For those interested here are the answers to the questions our followers submitted to Roland Mack, the full interview will be in our book next year. :)

     
    Last edited: 20th Jul 2017
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