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Haunted Swings & Mad House Things!

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I love Haunted Swings, or what some might also call Mad Houses. The principle is simple, but as with all I have ridden around the world (and there still many, thankfully), the outside and inside theming of the whole attraction, is what makes some of these to be so awesomely unique, even with a different story line attached to it. Just love them, even the more simple ones, too.


I have a folder for these attractions, and here are ten of what I have collected in photos, so far.

I am also not captioning them, as several will probably be memorable to you, as well as myself. Enjoy.


And please post and regale your experiences and adventures

with a very unique "flat ride" (ha). With photos, too!



(And THANK YOU to all of you who took photos and posted them here at TPR,

or on the Net. Much appreciated!)











Edited by Nrthwnd
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^ It's honestly the same concept I have found, around the world.


SPOILER!!! You sit in a balanced bench like setup, with the outer "walls"

turning around you, and over and over. You enter and exit at the ends of the "tube".


Inner workings of such a fave attraction!

Edited by Nrthwnd
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Yeah, Vekoma just bought the concept back to the fore with Villa Volta and many more since then. Mack also do a version too. My favourite is probably Hex at Alton Towers. It has a lot of depth of narrative and is actually based on a real local legend. There are a lot of nice touches throughout the ride and it's extremely detailed. The music is also one of my favourite scores on this type of ride.


The one at Parc Asterix I thought was outstanding. The preshows (both of them) were just about the best I've ever done on a Mad House; the first one is super clever, the second is just spectacular. And the actual ride itself is very cleverly themed with it looking like you're on a capsizing boat. It's like no other Mad House I've done.


I also really like the music on Efteling's Villa Volta, but as a non-Dutch speaker the pre-shows go on for too long and aren't visual enough for me to really enjoy. I also am not such a fan of the brightly-lit room.


I remember enjoying Merlin's Magic Castle at Walibi World and also Houdini's Great Escape at Bellewaerde too, whereas Europa Park's (by Mack) is extremely ordinary.


Regarding the more classic-style ones, I've only done the one that was at Blackpool, and also one at the end of Alpine Hotel which is a German transportable fun house. Neither of them do anything for me as the trick is not convincing at all, but I love what Vekoma have done with the idea since.


I think Legoland Windsor is getting one this year which I'm looking forward to as it has the potential to be really unique.

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I remember being amazed by Blackbeard's Revenge at Carowinds when I did it the first time as a kid. Looks like it was one of two Magic Rooms built by Arrow. Once I figured out the illusion, the re-ride factor dropped considerably. My daughter and I did Houdini's Great Escape at Great Adventure during a coaster break last year. I had no clue what it was going in, but memories of Carowinds in the early 80s came flooding back after it got going.

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Hex was the first "Madhouse" ride I ever experienced, and I liked it quite a bit. Who here has been in the Surprising House at Hanayashiki in Japan?




It seems "homemade," like the one at Dutch Wonderland.

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I remember being amazed by Blackbeard's Revenge at Carowinds when I did it the first time as a kid.

THANK YOU! I *knew* I'd ridden one of these, but couldn't place where it was. I don't specifically remember the details at all, but knowing there was one at Carowinds does enough to know I'm not completely crazy.

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^ I found that a lot of the smaller ones, and mainly in Japan, build a house-like structure around it.

Then, it's just a matter of how they wanted to theme it, decorate it, etc. I enjoyed the one at Hanayashiki.


This is the one at Tobu Zoo in Japan. Pretty plain on the outside. Not exactly small, either.

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I wouldn't mind a few credits...where is the Bug House and the Dutch Wonder House located?


I enjoy these attractions a lot as well. Whenever I visit SFGA, I find myself enjoying Houdini's Great Escape more than nearly any other ride there. I really don't know why these haven't hit more on the Western half of the US. Personally, I think one of these would go great at Knott's Berry Farm... they don't take up much space, it's very family friendly, and I think they could have fun giving it a haunted western theme of some kind.


For many years, we did have a "mad house" style attraction on the West coast... the old ice/volcano/mummy tunnel at the end of the Studio Tram Tour at Universal Studios! That one was especially memorable to me as it was unexpected to drive into one, and because it went the entire length of the tram, seemed to stretch on forever!

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^ I remember that Ice Tunnel very very well. Went through it on the Tram Tour in Sept.1975!

It was created for a (then) Clint Eastwood film that was running, around the world. When we

entered it, we did indeed get rather dizzy, since the end of the tunnel was so far away.


Our Haunted Mansion at Playland in Vancouver, has a walk through one of those, with black light

colours all over it. Walking through it has it's unsure moments of balance, as well, lol.


Those tunnels are always fun, walking through or riding through them. Thanks for the Universal mention.


Yup. Sign says it all.

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^^ Dutch Wonder House is in Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster PA.

And The Bug House is in Arnold's Park, Okoboji Iowa.


Inside of the DWH. Thank you Chuck/cfc for the pic.


Thank you to whoever took this great photo of TBH! So "innocent looking"...

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I believe the trade name for Mack's version is "Mystery Swing" while Vekoma calls theirs a "Mad House" with Haunted Swing being the original generic name.


These are my favorites

Best Pre-Show - Magic House at Gardaland

Best Storyline - Hex at Alton Towers

Best Surprise - Cassandra's Curse at Europa Park

Best Themed - Le Defi de Cesar at Parc Asterix


Outside of the Houdini's at SFGAdv and SFNE (Vekoma models), I believe the only other ones still existing in the US are the smaller park made Bug House and Wonder House and the one at Clark's Trading Post (also a Vekoma).


The one at Clark's Trading Post had a actor dressed in a Merlin robe and hat give a spiel and lead you into the actual ride.

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My Fave 6, from all the tours I've done Thanks TPR!, are these, with the reasons....


#6 ~ Feng jun Palace, Phantasialand, Germany. Best Exotic of all of those I have ridden.


#5 ~ House of Surprise, Hayanashiki, Japan. Best Simple, but effective theming and nostalgia.


#4 ~ Merlin's Castle, Walibi Holland, The Netherlands. Best Location, location, location!

I mean it's on an island (kind of) with a moat around it!


#3 ~ The Haunting, Drayton Manor, England. Best Total Surprise. Had no idea what it was. Thought

it was a haunt house walk-through but...not to be, I found out! Aliens Attack! Great idea.


#2 ~ Le Defis de Cesar, Parc Asterix, France. Best Humor and use of themeing. From beginning to

end, this attraction was fun, all the same knowing what the ride was going to be. Especially enjoyed the

use of animation screens in the ride! Great idea!


#1 ~ HEX, Alton Towers, England. Best Overall Everything! They put it in a historic castle! And let

you exit out, into the castle grounds, to stroll around a bit. Instant history lesson, it was!


#6 ~ Feng jun Palace, Phantasialand.


#5 ~ House of Surprise, Hayanashiki Park.


#4 ~ Merlin's Castle, Walibi Holland. How it looked when I rode it.


#3 ~ The Haunting, Drayton Manor.

Photo from themeparkreview.com thank you!


#2 ~ Le Defis de Cesar, Parc Asterix. Tim, Jeff, Ginny & Ben (and me) in queue for the attraction. TPR 2008 Europe Tour.


#1 ~ HEX, Alton Towers. My very first Big Time one of these, lol! Loved it from start to finish, and exiting into the grounds.

Edited by Nrthwnd
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^ I didn't know, either! It wasn't until the first TPR Tour I went on (2006), to the UK "and beyond", that I rode HEX for the first time, and really REALLY enjoyed it, including the pre-show, etc. And I've been enjoying finding/discovering them and riding them, ever since.


Here's some more photos of ones I've either ridden, or discovered they exist(ed)!


And THANK YOU, to all of you who took these great photos

of these various great attractions, outside and (sometimes) inside of them!


Inner Workings of HEX at Alton Towers.


Shot of Hanayashiki Park with House Of Surprise in back.


Overview of Hanayashiki, with House of Surprise's roof, below.




A well hidden one in Hokkaido Greenland Park. TPR 2013 Japan Tour.


Entryway looks great!


I love the outside architecture, put into this one.


Speaking of Houdini's.... (o;



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