The track brings the car into a very close encounter with this impish demon. The view affords a perusal of the back end of the car with its large motor, "seat-lifting brackets" and the elaborately shaped spring bumper.
The motorized "Dancing Girls Changing To Skeletons" bear a similarity in their jointed physiques to the clowns used on the mid-period facade.
A large floodlight fixture is situated at upper right, suggesting a theory that
the skeletal bodies behind
the dresses were phosphorescent and glowed visibly through the filmy fabric when the floodlight was turned off. We'd love to have seen this one in action.

The ride that started in 1935 now comes to an end with two of Traver's most popular tricks - The Fighting Cats and Kicking Mule.

The battling animals were cut from sheet metal and painted. Both were equipped with electromagnetic actions. The cats crashed together with a scissor-like mechanism. The mule's solenoid is located on the floor beneath its head, tethered to a bar that rocks the hind legs.

Harry Traver died in 1961 in nearby New Rochelle, NY. Playland Park Commission leased Laff In The Dark as a concession to various operators over the years.
It continues in the park today as Zombie Castle,
operated by Trahanes Amusements
in the same building where Traver installed it
almost 75 years ago.


Laff In The Dark gratefully acknowledges the assistance of:

Kathryn Burke
Westchester County Archives and Records Center
Courtney Fallon - Assistant Archivist
Jackie Graziano - Reading Room Manager
Jim Trahanes
Nick Trahanes
George LaCross
Ed Serowik
Thomas Doran
Photographs used with permission - Westchester County Archives