Although I enjoyed going to Wildwood immensely, I think I took many aspects of it for granted since the majority of my attention span was spent on daydreaming about Castle Dracula. Then, once I was actually on the boardwalk and in close proximity of the sinister fortress, I’d spend the next few minutes walking slowly toward the ornate Castle, spending every moment in awe of the dread it beamed up and down the boardwalk. For me, Castle Dracula was a mecca.
Aside from some funny stories at the local restaurant The Captain’s Table with my sister and my cousins, my main memories are of anticipating, and finally getting to go into Castle Dracula. When my sister was younger and more brave, she would come with me as we both had a blast getting the bejesus scared out of us. Of course there was boardwalk games, prizes, ice cream, and boogie boarding, but none of it was ever high on my priority list.
Once inside that Castle, my mind was in utter disbelief that I was actually about to experience my favorite haunted attraction again, and it was all located right in Jersey. Although I loved Disneyland and Disney World, I didn’t need to, nor did I get the opportunity to go to Disney every year like some of my friends. A lot of them seemed like they didn’t truly appreciate how grandiose their trips seemed to other kids who weren’t as lucky. Now, I’m so not implying that I was “less fortunate,” because that would be ri-f*cking-diculous. I was overjoyed to walk the boardwalk, fantasizing about one of the greatest dark rides the Jersey Shore has ever offered. It felt like it was there for me, and it was…for a long time.
Castle Dracula burned down in 2002.