Purple Stuff Podcast Halloween Minisode #4: Escape From Castle Dracula!


To us, Halloween has officially kicked off, thanks to Dino Drac posting his first video of the season. Of course, The Purple Stuff Podcast’s Halloween celebration had already been in full swing with our new minisodes. We bring you a spooky new installment that is sure to be the perfect antidote for those who still think it’s too early to celebrate Halloween! (It’s never too early!)

In this episode, me and Matt drive to Philly to check out an Escape Room that he read about. This attraction wasn’t your run of the mill escape room as you can gather from the picture above. We entered an escape room that was basically Castle Dracula, our favorite haunted attraction of all time. We’ll tell you all about our excursion trying to find the place and what we encountered inside! It was a total blast. There couldn’t be a more perfect way to get into the vibes of the season. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

As always, thanks for listening and reading! Please subscribe on iTunes and leave us a bunch of stars if you dig the show!

Halloween Countdown 2014, Halloween A-Z

Velcome to Castle Sexy Armpit! Just changing that W to a V made a world of difference, and it’s those little details that have completely transformed The Sexy Armpit into a virtual house or horrors, a terrifying realm of text in tribute to our favorite time of the entire year, HALLOWEEN!

For the past several years, The Sexy Armpit has taken on Halloween motifs that were parodies of stuff like famous horror film posters, and band themes like The Misfits. We continue the tradition with the parody you see above. This header is inspired by a brochure advertising the greatest haunted attraction of all time, Castle Dracula.

Castle Dracula is legendary among those of us who frequented the Wildwood boardwalk as kids. Although it burned down so long ago, it still lives on via the Internet. It’s been paid tribute many times by Matt from Dinosaur Dracula. He’s also gone on record to state  that “Last year’s Halloween season was one of the best ever,” and I am in full agreement with him. I’m not sure if 2014 will be able to surpass 2013, especially when the actual year number was an eerie one itself. Just from a commentator’s perspective, 2014 is going to have to pull off a big swerve to reach the haunted heights of last year.

So, the Halloween Countdown 2014 is on! On the horizon is our 2014 Halloween special which is categorized as “in production” as we speak.

It’s all a bit overwhelming for me. My brain is absolutely flooded with ideas. What will my costume be, will I have to drive all over creation to find the limited edition crap? It’s all about antici—PATION. My mind is racing with all the cool Halloween stuff, products, food gimmicks, events, attractions, costume parties, etc. We wait for it all year and then it just creeps up on us and BAM it’s officially here and I feel like I can’t possibly be ready. Glad this thing starts September 1st, otherwise it would be over with a snap of a monstrous finger.

There’s a moat around Sexy Armpit Castle, we’ll call it Crystal Lake, and we’re diving right in. The lake of course, is made of Ghoul-Aid, hopefully laced with some psychedelics.

So it’s here, we’re living it right now. It seems like everyone else is ready, while I feel ill prepared. It’s like those dreams that you show up late to class on a test day without studying for it. Well, that’s me right now and I’m in that Amazing Stories episode “Go to the Head of the Class” with Professor Beanes.

Every year I typically kick off The Sexy Armpit’s side of the Halloween countdown with a recap of the best posts of the previous years countdown. Since the blog is in it’s 10th year, I’m going to do it a little differently this time. Although I haven’t been doing the countdown for 10 years, I’ve still accumulated so many posts that I feel are worthy enough to present to you once again, especially since you may be new to the site. These are posts that include personal stories from life events, movies, attractions, trivia, monsters, and a homemade comic book among other things. Do a little digging and maybe you’ll unearth something spine tingling.

To get A through Z, I had to do some finagling to get it to work out. You’ll notice some repeats, for instance, it felt like I had 23 “H” entries and there could’ve been at least half of these starting with “S.” And you’ll also notice THAT I HAVE AN ENTRY FOR Q and Z! Hell yes.

BIZARRE AC Expo 2013 Recap Part 2

Where were we? Snowstorm is looming. I’m just pulling into the Trop. 

If you’re the geek/fanboy type like me and you’ve never been to the Tropicana in Atlantic City, there’s one thing that will strike you about it. Their parking garage is almost a replica of the one you see in The Dark Knight where Batman utters the greatest line in movie history “I’M NOT WEARING HOCKEY PADS.”

There’s never a time when I’m entering the Trop that I don’t pretend that I’m Batman in the Batmobile Tumbler navigating the wild mouse roller coaster-like turns and insanely steep inclines of that parking garage. It’s like a ride in itself. It’s also one of the more inviting garages in all of Atlantic City, because each and every one of them is abysmal. Bringing yourself to a near heart attack, getting rear ended, and not understanding the signage are constant possibilities in A.C’s parking garages. At least at the Trop you can pretend to have a run-in with Scarecrow and his goons.

bizarreACxmasAside from the nasty accident I passed earlier, things were going strangely smooth. I even found a parking spot about 20 feet from the elevator to the casino. This translates to “I was meant to go to this thing.”

Once inside the casino, it did seem a bit light on people. Is online gambling in NJ taking away from attendance? It’s possible, or it was just the shitty winter weather putting a damper on people’s weekends.

The setting of the Bizarre Expo provided a refreshing change compared to the other conventions that we’re accustomed to. Holding the event at a casino adds a bit of glitz to what’s usually just a bunch of people standing around a hotel lobby or convention room when you really think about it. Chiller and Monster Mania, I love you guys, but the hotel setting is limited and does grow a bit stale. There comes a time after 20 years of a convention that it needs to graduate to the next level of facilities. Bizarre skipped a grade. If only it went to school in the Spring time.

What’s cool about having the expo at the Trop, is that you’re right on the boardwalk looking out at the freezing Atlantic Ocean. Since it was bitter cold, walking on the boardwalk is an activity reserved for those of us on shrooms, people who like running, and those who don’t mind a little hypothermia now and again. Here you have the option to gamble, or you can get really drunk and then walk through two big horror convention rooms as well as a movie screening room. I always choose the horror option.


After I got situated and registered, I made my way into the first large convention room. This room housed the aptly named Bizarre Bazaar. As soon as I walked in I noticed the “look” of the event. Something about the whole space just looked cool. It’s hard to describe, but it’s possible that it was the lighting. It definitely gave the impression that it was a step above other conventions as far as presentation goes. There weren’t as many merchant/vendor tables crammed into a tiny space in the way we are all too familiar with. This gave them a nice boost since it focused your attention to the tables and the people running them rather than missing stuff in order to navigate through a mob of people.

The Saturday installment of Bizarre had just begun. As the day went on more and more people started filing in. Luckily for me, it wasn’t crowded to the point where you couldn’t walk around comfortably. This is important because I get claustrophobic in crowds. Of course, the promoters of the event probably preferred the floor to be packed with people, but it’s way more frustrating for attendees when it’s like that. I always prefer a larger space that’s less crowded to a smaller space with the same amount of people.

Shannon from Mallrats wouldn’t be too pleased with me since I didn’t have much of an agenda. This was a brand new event and I really wanted to enjoy it and take in the scene. As I strolled around, it was cool to run into a few friends at some of the merchant tables.

Maria from the 2014 Gorgeous and Gory Zombie Pinup Calendar

My buddy Jess Rajs from Gorgeous and Gory was promoting the new 2014 Zombie Pinup Calendar. It’s filled with hot undead women and it’s a perfect gift for the person with a zombie fetish in your life. She firmly believes this one is their best work yet, and coming from a dude who has all of them, I have to agree with her! Check out some of these incredible photos and head over to http://www.gorgeousandgory.com to get your own!

One of the best shops in the whole state is True Jersey. They are proud to be from NJ and all the stuff they sell reflects that. Naturally, I couldn’t walk away without picking up a shirt that I’ve wanted for a long time! Another t-shirt? Really? But, I’ve had this one on my mental wish list for quite a while now. It’s Jersey done in the style of the SEGA logo. Since I was a Master System kid this t-shirt was made for me. Aside from tees and other clothes, True Jersey also offers collectibles, accessories, and housewares.


I am a sucker for haunted attractions so I stopped by the Fear Factory Haunted House table. This is a newer haunt that I was meaning to get to this Halloween season, but, prior to its opening, it ran into all kinds of roadblocks from the town and it hindered them from having a proper opening season. Then, after talking to the girls from the haunt, I found out that there’s only TWO MORE NIGHTS of their Christmas haunt, Tinsel Town Terror. Not happy about the idea of missing this. Well, I made it to Bizarre A.C, so perhaps there’s a trip to Mays Landing in my near future for some yuletide terror?

Freaky Deekys horror and geek pillows

Just so you know, skipping the merch tables and going straight for autographs is never a good idea. You’ll definitely miss out on cool stuff. I did manage to buy ONE Christmas gift. I was hoping to get a few more, but funds were diminishing. But, I will say that the $5 dollar margaritas were pretty cost effective.

The horror personalities were out in full force and Bizarre offered the opportunity to hobnob with them without getting shooed away due to crowds. Just a few of the actors I saw signing and chatting with fans included Heather Lagenkamp, Doug Bradley, Kane Hodder, John Kassir, Bill Mosely, Tom Savini, Alex Vincent, Micheal Berryman, former WWE Superstar Gene Snitsky, and Clerks’ Brian O’Halloran.

One of the Q&A sessions was going on as I was walking around the merch tables. This one was called “Being Jason,” and it featured Kane Hodder and Steve Dash answering questions from the audience about their experiences playing Jason in the Friday the 13th films. This was enlightening to several members of the audience who apparently have never seen or read Crystal Lake Memories.

Just before I made my way down the escalator to the 2nd convention room, I ran into our NJ friend Ryan Scott Weber, writer and director of Mary Horror and Sheriff Tom vs. The Zombies. At the moment, Ryan was screening Sheriff Tom and we were shooting the shit about the upcoming third part of the trilogy called Witches Blood. It’s coming out soon so look out for it! I also talked with the Jersey King of No Budget Horror, my pal Armageddon Ed.

After a while, weather apps and text messages kept alerting me to how bad the snow was getting up north. This meant that I had to miss out on the costume contest and some of the other truly Bizarre aspects of the expo and hightail it out of Atlantic City. In various parts of the state there was already 3 or 4 inches of snow. Oddly enough, the South Jersey area and Atlantic City was spared and only got rained on. As I made my way back up the Garden State Parkway, I was baffled because all I hit was rain. Then, sure enough, around exit 100, I abruptly entered Hoth. The rest of the trip home turned into my very own Twilight Zone episode called Nightmare at 15 Miles Per Hour.

Hosting a convention in December runs the risk of inclement weather. The snow definitely had an impact on attendance, but the expo kicked ass. If you didn’t make it, you missed out because the organizers improved upon horror fans gripes of other local conventions and it showed. Hopefully if this becomes and annual thing, the Bizarre Expo will only get bigger and more enticing next year. You’re going to look back and wish you were at the first one because you know how many jackasses (myself included) will be bragging about how “I was at the FIRST Bizarre Expo man!” 

Castle Dracula Was My Jam

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eQG_J2yQ5s]

Growing up, a lot of my friends would brag about exotic vacations lasting several weeks that they went on every summer. I was never jealous of them because my family went to the Jersey Shore every summer, more specifically, Wildwood. If you remember the Santa Cruz scenes in The Lost Boys, the type of vibe happening on the Wildwood Boardwalk wasn’t too much different, and of course…all the damn vampires!

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.

Check out Matt’s amazing tribute from the X-E days:
And Dark in the Park’s got cool stuff about it as well:

My First Mission as a Pint-Sized Ghostbuster

As a kid, most movies I saw made me want to actually be in the movie itself. This compulsion lead my best friend and I to initiate what’s basically equivalent to role playing our own story lines with complete creative control, but without having to rely on rolling dice. We usually made the stories up as we went along, culled directly from our active imaginations. It’s a practice commonly referred to as pretending. One of the earliest memories I have of one of these sessions was back in the summer of 1984.

We lived our characters. If we “played Batman,” we had costumes and props and if we “played Back to the Future,” my buddy wore his down vest a.k.a his “life preserver.” Aside from Masters of the Universe and Super Powers, one of the earliest memories I have of doing this was the day I became a Ghostbuster. This was way before being a Real Ghostbuster was even possible because it was right after my mom took me to see the original Ghostbusters at Movie City 5 in Iselin, NJ in 1984.

After seeing Ghostbusters, my path in life was revealed to me. Although, that same summer I also wanted to enter a karate competition and get a black skeleton body suit, but the Ghostbusters gig actually came in handy sometimes.

Some kids are fearless. It would be unnatural to say I wasn’t scared of anything back then, but as a little tyke I was really only scared of Michael Jackson in Thriller when he had those yellow eyes. Nothing was creepier to me. But when it came to the supernatural and ghostly activity, I loved it. I wanted to be around the supernatural as much as humanly possible. Even before I ever saw Ghostbuters, my favorite attraction in Disneyland was the Haunted Mansion. After my first trip there ever, all I talked about was that ride. My parents still tell me how enthralled I was with seeing the hitchhiking ghosts and how supremely amused I was at having sat by an actual ghost (or so I thought) in our Doom Buggy as the ride came to an end. I was the type of kid who loved all the stuff that scared the crap out of all my friends. It may have been all this conditioning that prepared me for my first ghostly experience.

It’s not often that I have to do much in the way of investigative work to formulate a post for this site. Once in a while though, it helps to return to the scene if details in my brain are sketchy. In preparing to write this post, I felt that I needed to jog my memory since what I’m about to let you in on happened so long ago when I was very young.

First, the back story. When I was a little kid, my older sister had a close friend who we’ll call Mary. It was no big secret that I had a major crush on the angelic Mary. Although I would get all weird and uncomfortable if anyone asked me about my dreamy, dirty blonde maiden or mentioned my infatuation for her in conversation, I still didn’t mind advertising the fact that I adored her, it just had to be on my own volition.

Mary’s appearances were rare. Only getting to see her maybe a few times a year amplified the occasions that I did see her. The only sucky part was that she wasn’t there to see me, she was there to hang out with her pal, my sister. When the time came that the two of them would get together, I knew that the time I’d get to be in her presence was limited. And yes, I was the annoying little brother, but I complied when I was told that they needed to hang out by themselves with no interference.

Once in a while, when the situation presented itself, I was invited to hang out with them. Those times were few and far between, but I savored those moments. And it wasn’t just to be able to hang out with the object of my desire, I also loved being able to hang out with my sister too.

Early on, Mary lived fairly close to us, but she moved about 1,400 miles away due to her father’s job. You can imagine how much more rare her visits became. Fortunately, Mary’s grandparents used to live in an old house a few towns away from us, and when she did come to visit, maybe once or twice a year, she’d stay with them. Their development was filled with giant houses built around the turn of the century. As I eluded to, I’m not sure why, but I was invited along with my sister to go to Mary’s grandparents house one day when she was visiting.

When we pulled up to the house in my Mom’s early ’70s Chevy Caprice, a car that felt like a 2-door Peacekeeper missile to a preschooler, I was in awe of the “mansion” that towered before us. It wasn’t an actual mansion, but to me, it sure looked like one. With an imagination as wild as mine was, this place could easily have had 37 bedrooms inside for all I knew. My house had 3 and I thought that was a lot.

Just like plenty of houses built during the same time, the interior seemed to be made of some kind of expensive wood. I’d never been in a house quite as stately before. We were in a middle class town, so the property wasn’t exactly built on a sprawling estate. My feeling probably stemmed from the fact that I was a little kid and it all seemed so grand at the time and different than what I was used to.

Perusing the inside, I noticed the seemingly never ending staircase, which immediately reminded me of the scene in Ghostbusters when they took the emergency stairs to the top of Dana Barrett’s apartment building. Thinking back, the staircase reminds me more of the one in the Bates house in Psycho rather than the scene in Ghostbusters, but I hadn’t scene Psycho yet.

It didn’t take more than a few milliseconds before my curiosity took control of me and launched me up the stairs without any regard for the inhabitants of the house. I sped up the stairs with reckless abandon. What if I’d be walking in on someone getting out of a shower, or waking someone up who was taking a nap? I didn’t care and I finally made it to the first landing. There was an open window adorned with white drapes that were slowly lifting by themselves (or so I thought) due to the incoming breeze. There was something so haunting about the silky, white, almost see through drapes, especially on such an eerily calm day. It was cloudy, warm, and comfortable, but not hot or humid enough to need air conditioning. In fact, it looked like it might storm later that day. As I toured one of the upper floors (there were at least 3 levels and an attic) I noticed that most of the other windows in the house had a similar drape situation as well.

The breeze moving the drapes made me feel like this place had to be haunted. I ran back down the stairs to make sure my sister and Mary were still there. Oblivious to the fact that Mary was standing behind one of the drapes, she jumped out at me and thought she scared the living crap out of me, but little did she know that it was merely a matter of a day or two since I’d seen Ghosbusters so instead of getting scared, I just got excited. “This could be my first job” I thought to myself. Next thing I knew, I was pretending to bust ghosts while upstairs in her grandparents house.

We couldn’t find my sister but I assumed she was hiding to try and scare me too. As Mary and I descended the stairs, my sister seemed to have come out of nowhere before us. That’s when they started getting serious. Keep in mind, the girls were only a few years older than me, but we were all very young at the time. They started telling me that they planned on trying to scare me, but instead they began telling me all about the ghosts that they believed haunted the house. Just as I expected. Janine, don’t worry about ringing the buzzer, I got this one. Sorry about the bug eyes thing, I’ll be checking out Mary, uh, I mean Mary’s grandparent’s house.

It did cross my mind that if this house was haunted, that’s precisely why I was asked to join my sister – to bust some ghosts! Of course! I listened intensely to Mary and my sister describe the array of mysterious occurrences that happened in the house. Mind you, these are stories that were actually reiterated by her grandparents to my own parents, meaning this was the real deal, not just a couple of ball busting kids trying to scare the youngest one.

I heard all about bedroom doors that slammed by themselves and the aforementioned drapes on the windows continued to ripple even after the windows are closed. I knew something was up with those damn drapes. They went on to describe hearing people walking up the creaky wooden stairs, but no one was ever seen.

I believed ALL of it, and I was taking detailed mental notes as if I just accepted a job to eliminate a focused non-terminal repeating phantasm or a class 5 full roaming vapor at the Sedgewick Hotel. I would’ve given off a more professional vibe, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that Kenner marketed an actual Proton Pack and Ghost trap toy. Armed with nothing but an imaginary proton pack, I swore I would protect the girls if anything happened. It wasn’t about showing off or being brave in front of my princess. It was now about defeating evil spirits who may not have liked us being in their old dwelling playing around. I knew how things worked, even back then and I didn’t need Tobin’s Spirit Guide either.

The fun didn’t end after the girls kept trying to freak me out. That didn’t work because I just kept getting more excited. Another kid might’ve cried and begged to go home. I wanted to stay forever.
As if the day wasn’t overwhelming enough, Mary asked if we wanted to go try on costumes. When the hell could any kid refuse a good cosplay session? I’ve always loved dressing up for Halloween so this was a super appealing suggestion to me. We made our way back up several flights of stairs and then it was time to go into the attic.

The attic was huge. It was a quintessential attic that you’d see in a movie. It was filled with dusty old creepy paintings in ornate gold frames, seasonal decorations, ancient photos, and boxes of random knick-knacks. The Goonies hadn’t been released yet, but if you remember when Mouth, Chunk, Brand, Data, and Mikey were all up in the attic discovering all the cool artifacts up there, this was very similar. There were big old wooden trunks filled with costumes and masks that we tried on. My sister and Mary wore beads and put on crazy hats while trying to act glamorous. I wasn’t part of their little costume party since there was mostly just girl stuff and I was on important business to take care of. I was concentrating on locating the evil spirit and locking it away indefinitely.

My endorphins were off the charts and I didn’t think my imagination could get any crazier at that point, but it did. We left the attic and Mary and my sister brought me over to a small compartment in the wall outside a couple of the bedrooms. Mary opened it and told me it was a trap door. Where the hell was I? This was a haunted house! It was actually a dumb waiter! I thought a dumbwaiter was a secret elevator for kids. Other than Webster, I personally never knew of anyone rich enough in my limited circles during that time to have one of these. At that moment it was so cool and mysterious. In my mind, it very well could’ve been a trap door.

It really felt like it was just the three of us. As I made my way up the stairs even further, I remember the house being virtually empty except for “the spirits,” that my sister and Mary told me about. To you, the reader, it sounds logical that my sister may have informed Mary that we had recently seen Ghostbusters and they devised a plan to try to freak me out. A game of “hide and scare,” if you will. Little did they know that I was on my way to becoming an official pint sized junior Ghostbuster and it would only enhance my experience “playing Ghostbusters.”

If you ask my sister about this, she’ll remember the day, but not the details. That’s most likely because it wasn’t as monumental of a time for her as it was for me. Coming off seeing Ghosbusters for the first time ever and getting to hang out with Mary, I was pretty much on a high that whole summer. A young boy let loose in the immense antique abode in the early ’80s, just call me Danny Torrance. Only I was a kid turning the corners of the halls of the house in an imaginary Ecto-1, not getting scared by the Grady Twins, but my big sister and her friend…my first crush.

Brookdale Haunted Theater!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpB5CLXlqCE?rel=0]
Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ is celebrating 10 years of their HAUNTED THEATER! This is a very scary haunted attraction put on by the Brookdale performing arts and theater students. It’s been called the “bloodiest, scariest, haunted space.” They also offer a child-friendly version of the tour. R.A Mihailoff who played Leatherface in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 3 will be appearing on 10/26, 10/27, and 10/28 and you can meet him with paid admission. $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for kids.
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738

Amityville House At Bargain Pricing!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR2AuwGOs58?rel=0]

If you’d like to live in The Amityville Horror house, all you need to do is scrounge up is $955,000 bucks! Your next paycheck will probably cover that price tag, right? An article by Gabriel Falcon at CNN Entertainment explains why this is actually a bargain price right now. It’s quite a drop since last year it was priced at $1.45 million! The house is located in Toms River, NJ and the couple selling the place swears it’s NOT haunted.

The events in The Amityville Horror took place in a house on Long Island, but when production of the 1979 film commenced, the movie company was denied permission to film there. A house in Toms River was then made up to look like the house on Long Island. What that means is the Toms River house is not haunted just as it’s inhabitants claim. Things change though. The couple who live in the house are in the middle of a divorce. Who knows what they’re liable to do to each other if they can’t unload this huge stressor off their back in the form of a legendary facade of horrors. The property is on the river, so it’s easy access for a couple who are at odds to attempt to pull a Norman Bates and drive the other into a watery grave. I doubt it would be the first body dumped in that water!

In addition to the iconic house in Toms River, The Amityville Horror also features scenes filmed in Ocean County, Scotch Plains, and a church in Point Pleasant, NJ. Not bad for a movie about a story that took place on Long Island!

Is The Hollywood Horror Cafe a Gamble for Atlantic City?

Horror Themed Restaurant New Jersey

The Press of Atlantic City.com, Shock Til You Drop, and Dread Central have all previously reported that a horror themed restaurant and wax museum may be coming to Atlantic City!

I want to be elated about this news, but there’s something that really burns my ass about it. We have had a complete drought of any haunted/horror attractions in The Garden State for decades. For those of us who were lucky enough to experience them, we had the luxury of Castle Dracula in Wildwood, The Haunted Castle in Six Flags Great Adventure, and The Spookhouse in Keansburg – which is still there! But for some reason our theme parks and our boardwalks have ignored horror themed attractions for a long time most likely because it might scare the kids. That is such bullshit. Kids need to get the crap scared out of them once in a while, it’s good for them! Personally, even as a kid, being scared was my favorite feeling. I craved horror movies and I longed to go back to Disneyland just to go into the Haunted Mansion. Over the years you could imagine how my hunger for horror has increased since then.

It seems to me that, aside from bloggers, indie filmmakers, and a select handful of others, that the renewed love for the horror and Gothic genres is due to the fake vampire/werewolf craze that Twilight started. It makes me want to puke. The only way we can get wax museums full of monsters and haunted restaurants in New Jersey is if developers see dollar signs. If Twilight does happen to be one of the driving forces behind this new attraction, then I’m fine with it because I’ll take what I can get. I spent too many hours traveling to Manhattan to go to Jekyll and Hyde’s as a punk kid not to mention too much money on their damn food as well.

Attorney Bela Lugosi Jr. is lending his legal help to the project while both he and Sara Karloff are assisting with procuring licensing agreements through their industry contacts. The Hollywood Horror Cafe is only one of the working names for the restaurant. The other possible names are The Gothic Grille and and Frank-N-Stein Bar and Grille.

Don’t hold your breath on this new horror themed attraction. Developers love to stir up the pot but never actually serve the brew. Luckily you have another option. Not far from Atlantic City you can visit Elaine’s Haunted House and Dinner Theater in Cape May NJ, especially during October!

The Spookhouse in Keansburg, NJ


On a whim I recently took a ride to The Keansburg Amusement Park merely to go on a dark ride. After the extremely short ride was over, Miss Sexy Armpit wondered why I wanted to take the drive just for this ride. She also commented that it was “so old,” and for a girl who is usually scared of haunted houses, she thought this was remarkably unscary. She didn’t quite understand the history that this ride holds. This isn’t any old dark ride, this is THE SPOOKHOUSE, one of the first dark rides that ever existed, and even more incredibly…it still operates today!


Sure, it might seem like a hokey old ride to some young kids who are conditioned to see scarier stuff in video games, but The Spookhouse (originally called The Mystery Ride) is truly a landmark in New Jersey. The cars you ride in and other parts of the ride itself date back to the late 1920s! Since I live fairly close, haunted house aficionados, dark ride lovers, and fun house freaks consider me extremely lucky to have the opportunity to hop on this Preztel Ride at my leisure.


I can remember going to Keansburg every summer when I was a kid. My Dad always took me on the rides since he was a good sport. I don’t think he was ever particularly a fan of amusement park rides, (i.e the Tilt-a-Whirl) but he rode them with me anyway! If my mom went on rides she definitely would’ve lost her lunch!

Keansburg hasn’t changed one bit. Many of the same rides that I rode as a child are still there. As for the Spookhouse, yes, it’s been updated and blacklit, but it’s still the same classic ride. It’s truly a piece of American history. If you live in Jersey and have never been to Keansburg, it’s nothing like Six Flags or even Seaside, but it’s a lot of fun for children, it’s very reasonable, and it will bring back tons of memories from when you were a kid!

For the BEST coverage and information ANYWHERE on The Spookhouse, check out Laff In The Dark. They have a complete history of the ride as well as exclusive photos.

Also be sure to visit our friends at The Onezumiverse for more great pictures!

Keansburg Amusement Park: 107 years of Jersey charm

Elaine’s Dinner Theater in Cape May NJ


Don’t give me that crap about summer being over! There’s still time to sneak down to The Jersey Shore and don’t worry, in Cape May you definitely won’t run into Snooki or JWoww. You’re exempt if you live too far away, but if you are within a reasonable driving distance you MUST venture down there to experience Elaine’s Dinner Theater. Miss Sexy Armpit planned it all and surprised me, and I was skeptical at first, but I already want to go back!

Elaine’s offers such a unique night for those who appreciate superb food and live entertainment. The entertainment isn’t a burlesque show or a male revue either, but it does offer lots of laughs and a taste of the macabre. I was in luck because the show I witnessed had zombies, surfing, and even some magic mushrooms.


The Zombie Beach Party was a fun throwback to the ’60s beach movies starring Frankie and Annette, only with a horror comedy twist. Think of it as Off Broadway…160 miles off Broadway. A couple of the actors played multiple roles, but that’s one of the most entertaining aspects of the production. The cast clearly loves to perform since they were having a blast up on stage. After inhaling an unbelievable meal and kicking back and laughing at the great stage show, I couldn’t believe what a great time I was having.

The entire cast was extremely talented and had excellent comedic timing. The main character, Jeanette (pictured surfing above), not only made me laugh the entire time, but she also created such authentic mannerisms. It was as if Judy Garland killed some brain cells and started hanging out with the girls from the movie Clueless. Her singing voice was so precise during her performance of “Be My Baby” she sounded exactly like Ronnie Spector.


Dinner Theater seems like an old fashioned concept, but Elaine’s has brought it back. People want something fresh and sometimes it doesn’t have to be revolutionary, but perhaps just an existing idea re-imagined. For example, movie theaters aren’t bringing in as many people as they used to because of ticket prices, on demand, and the sweet home theater they have set up in their living room. The fancy AMC Fork and Screens are morphing theaters into movie theater/restaurant hybrids in hopes of attracting more business. In this landscape of sitting at home watching blu-rays, going to a dinner theater was an enjoyable change of pace.


Included with your reservation is a full course dinner and then when you are nice and full, the show begins. To start off, I had Cream of Broccoli soup and then the amazing Eggplant Roulade for my main entree. For the price, Elaine’s Dinner Theater is an unbeatable night out.

In addition to their Dinner Theater, Elaine’s also offers a haunted mansion, murder mystery weekends, ghost hunters weekends, and ghost tours. Beginning in November through December, Elaine’s will be presenting Scrooge The Musical.

Elaine’s Dinner Theater