Wildwood's Dracula Castle burns in fire

Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2002 7:33 PM | Contributed by Rob Ascough

Dracula's Castle, a landmark dark ride/haunted house on the Wildwood boardwalk for decades, was reported to have caught fire this morning. No details have been released at this time.

Read more from WPVI and WCAU.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2002 7:37 PM
Aw.. This really stinks. It's always sad to see a dark ride get destoyed.
Beer, My Baby, and Coasters. Is this a great country or what? ;)
Wednesday, January 16, 2002 8:01 PM
I have alot of good memories riding the dungeon, and Draculas Castle. Just another of the boardwalks "trademark attractions" destroyed. I hope they rebuild it. I have seen so many changes in Wildwood since going there every summer since I was little. Its a shame to see it go.
Thursday, January 17, 2002 5:35 AM
Guess I have to put another "Defunct" code on my "Dark Ride" tracker that I keep in Excel.

I honestly doubt if it will be rebuilt... at least in its original form.   While a "Classic", it was very low tech compared to what is out there today.  Unfortunately, there is some thing captivating about that low tech that makes it quite irreplacable.   I read somewhere that this was one of 3 practically identical "castles" that were along the Jersey Shore.  One was "Briganteen Castle" (never visited this one, but I remember seeing commercials for it back in the 1970's on Channels 17 and 48 out of Philadelphia), and I am not sure where the other was.  The other two are now gone, and now it looks as though Dracula's Castle has joined them on the list of "lost" dark rides / attractions. 

My wife visited the castle and took the dungeon boat ride this past summer.  I liked the boat ride much more than the castle.  Not sure how it originally was, but this past year it was a "guided tour" of a few rooms with a very lame story line... not what I would consider scary in the least.  However, the dungeon boat ride was very very creepy and macabre.

Thursday, January 17, 2002 6:42 AM
This is terrible i heard on the news a couple of teens did this. I cant imagine destorying a landmark like that.
Thursday, January 17, 2002 6:51 AM
I was on the boat ride years ago, I remember it being REALLY creepy, and that was before our boat got "stuck"... eventually someone who was supposed to jump out at us helped to "unstuck" us!

Ahhh, memories.... :)

Thursday, January 17, 2002 6:59 AM
P>TRONG>FONT face=Verdana color=#ffffff size=2>l/TRONG>LFAKE,/P>
P>You have a list of dark rides?  I always wanted to see somethintg like that since dark rides are my favorite kind!  Is there anyway you could send one to me./P>
P>A href="mailto:mzarzecz@bw.edu">mzarzecz@bw.edu/A>/P>
Thursday, January 17, 2002 7:20 AM

Brigantine Castle was in Brigantine NJ and was not a clone. Brigantine was a huge walk through haunted house. It really looked like a castle- like it belonged on the windswept coast. I've always loved haunted houses and went there when I was about 11 or 12. Scared the beejesus out of me.

Thursday, January 17, 2002 9:35 AM
Chad, any chance you have a picture of it?
Thursday, January 17, 2002 9:36 AM
I visited the WPVI site and I loved the Real Audio video compilation of the TV reports. I find this event really sad because as long as I live, I'll never understand arson (except for insurance scam of course).
Thursday, January 17, 2002 10:16 AM

Never saw Brigantine... only remember the old TV comercials and reading an "article" on the Web (either laff in the dark or the dark ride enthusiast site) that stated Dracula's Castle was one of three identical attractions along the Jersey shore.   

Guess the article I read was wrong Or I remembered it wrong. Finding a web site on Brigantine http://halrappaport.tripod.com/article1.html and looking at pictures of Brignatine, you're right, it was huge in comparrison to Dracula's Castle. The lower "stone" portion of Brigantine looks acutally comparable in size to Dracula's Castle. One interesting thing that the article said... some of the old props from Brigantine could be found in Dracula's Castle.

"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 1/17/2002. ***

Thursday, January 17, 2002 11:46 AM
This is sad news. I remember the boat ride from my many summers in wildwood in the 50's -80's. I'm almost as sad over this loss as the loss of the Coaster -Jack Rabbit/Scream machine- my first coaster.



Thursday, January 17, 2002 11:54 AM
My ultimate sadness came from the loss of the Flyer... my first coaster.  It hurts...
Thursday, January 17, 2002 12:31 PM
You have a list of dark rides?  I always wanted to see somethintg like that since dark rides are my favorite kind!  Is there anyway you could send one to me.


PS I don't know why this showed up in html format the first time around.
*** This post was edited by Zar on 1/17/2002. ***

Thursday, January 17, 2002 12:36 PM
These punk *** kids are freaking idiots, i wanna do something about it i want them to rebuild it better than ever, i loved the ghouls always walikng around and now... theres just going to be annoying people walking around.
Thursday, January 17, 2002 3:14 PM
    Dracula's Castle was a very cool haunted attraction, and will be sadly missed. I hope nothing like this ever happens to the Haunted Mansion at Knoebels Grove.
Thursday, January 17, 2002 5:19 PM
It was also another thoughtless charity act from the Morey family. Their staff spotted the fire and called it in, then took their fire hoses from Mariners Landing in an attempt to save Nickels Pier. Within 20 minutes, the entire structure was engulfed.

The Morey's staff then began to throw water on the front of Mariners Landing, as the wind was blowing heavily towards them. If it had crossed the boardwalk, the main offices would have been destroyed. The Moreys kept the surrounding area pretty soaked to keep the fire from spreading.

Friday, January 18, 2002 3:44 AM
Try  http://www.laffinthedark.com/ They have a pretty good list. (The link is working now) 

There is another one out there on a web site somewhere with pics of several dark rides (including Dracula's Castle... and the apparently mistatement about it being a "sister" to Brigantine Castle), but I searched yesterday and could not find it again.

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 1/18/2002. ***

Friday, January 18, 2002 6:02 AM
Any idea if La Ronde will keep its dark ride for this season?  Thanks for the link, but when I tried accessing that link but it said:

The page cannot be found
Matt's Homepage for la jolie fille de France et le gâteau de Marie:
http://www.bw.edu/~mzarzecz *** This post was edited by Zar on 1/18/2002. ***

Friday, January 18, 2002 7:21 AM
Hi Rob~

Check out www.hauntedattraction.com. You'll find back issue #21 with a big story on Brigantine.


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