To the right the wall, made of the same purple stones as the doors I just banged through, is rotating upward. The wall to the left, constructed of old wooden barrel slats, is doing the same. Directly ahead a glowing set of horizontal stripes is rising upward like some crazy conveyor belt to nowhere. All this upward motion makes me feel as if the boat I am sailing through this chaos is sinking. I almost reach the belt before there is another hairpin turn to the left and I find that the moving wall of barrel slats was the outside of yet another rotating barrel through which my little craft now passes, the world swaying uncertainly yet again. At the far end a spinning object turns out to be

some poor, terrified looking sailor clutching the ship’s wheel for dear life as it spins him around and around. Behind him the sea yaws crazily beyond the broken deck rail.
      With a rough hitch my boat navigates sharply to the right. Another dark corridor. At the end, dimly, I see a lot of broken boards, seaweed and mud. Ummm…is there something behind there? I can’t tell for sure, but…up flies something nasty and frightening! Way up! This thing is looming over me and I am not pleased. What is it? Hard to tell for sure. Lots of tentacles, sort of like an octopus, sprouting from a body that looks to be made of red coral. That head! Something from a nightmare! Bulbous, with red eyes full of hate and a huge gaping mouth filled with jagged teeth!
     Left, away from the terrible thing that almost made me pee my shorts. I seem to be underwater. Very weird. The walls are blue, and there are fish swimming on them. Above me too. Well, the skeletons of fish to be precise. The sound of rushing water is all around. To the left, in a pit, is a treasure chest with some antique coins strewn about. Behind this, a huge skull, water pouring from the eye sockets into a pool. Or is that stuff blood? To the right, my boat moves up a slight incline and suddenly there are flashing lights all around me! The walls are made of mirrors and my own surprised image (and there is my dad, laughing again) flashes back at me seemingly hundreds of times! I curve through here, dazed and dazzled, and all of a sudden there are no more flashing lights and mirrors but in front of me are two skeletons in a rowboat pulling an equally skeletal fish from the water at the end of their line. Beyond them in the distance I can see an old lighthouse, its beacon dark now. As I sail to the right, past the fishermen, I am absolutely horrified to see a ten foot rat reared on its hind legs amid some cargo crates, pawing the air and baring its red fangs! How long have I been lost in this madness? A few hours? A few days? Now, of course, the rat is starting to pounce toward me…
     My boat continues its right turn and I get past the thing before it lands on top of me, and…WHOA! HEY! Is that the outside I see through those doors ahead? Is that fresh air from the sane world I feel? Yes! I did it! I… With a weird sound a waterfall appears just a few feet ahead! A wall of water between me and the outside! Rotten, stale seawater with god knows what in it and I am going to go right through it ohgodohgodoh… Before I can close my eyes, it stops! Just vanishes! Although a few shuddery drops from the ghastly upper recesses of this hellish ship fall onto me as my boat sails through the final set of doors to freedom, I have made it! I have done it! I have seen it all and I can tell about it! The feeling is such pure triumph that it really, really is making me wonder what my dad is finding so funny.

Photos at top: Examples of Bill Tracy catalog photos showing figures that were
typically supplied by his studio for use in Pirates Cove and Ghost Ship dark rides and funhouses.
Drawings at bottom: Tracy's sketches of figures and scenes to be fabricated for the
Kennywood Ghost Ship as described in Ned Johnstone's text.