So, you think owning a dark ride is an easy job? See how the Trahanas family spent its off-season! Just as soon as Playland Park closed in September 2001, Nick and Jim Trahanas and their crew began preparing for the arrival of the new tenants of Zombie Castle.
First, the chasis, trolley wheels and rear axles and wheels were stripped from the old cars.
The old cars were Traver/Chambers original one-seaters that had been converted to two-seaters in the 1960s by Peter Trahanas. Once stripped of their hardware, they were removed from the park.

While the crew facilitated this, a local cabinetmaker began work on new wooden cars that compliment the Castle motif.

Next, Nick and crew started sprucing up the Castle’s exterior.

The façade’s fiberglass paneling was removed so that repair work could be applied to the original wood façade.

Once the repairs were completed, the paneling was put back in place and some roofing was in order.

Then, it was on to the interior. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to the old stunts that frightened riders for nearly a decade.

These old-timers began their reign a quarter of a century ago at the likes of Lake Clementon’s Polar-A-Rama and Playland Park’s Pirates Cove. Will they resurface again at Playland? Stay tuned!




Of course, the new track layout called for some interior gutting of the old building, believed to be constructed in the 1930s.

The floor held up well over the years, but with the new stunts due to arrive soon from Colorado’s Distortions Unlimited Corporation, the Trahanas family decided to replace worn floorboards now rather than later.



In February, there was cause for celebration: The new stunts were delivered to the midway!

Of course, some of the stunts proved to be feisty like these Zombie dogs who couldn’t wait for riders and decided to snack on the help.

It was a proud day for Peter Trahanas, who purchased the ride, then known as Laff In The Dark, in 1963.



And in typical celebrity fashion, the ride’s central character, Max Rotten, was the last to arrive

How did the Zombies take to their new digs?
Find out by going back to the front page
and clicking on the “Behind The Scenes” segment.

Meet Max!
Press the 'Play' arrow above