Above left: An unusual critter lurking in the storage room. A Tracy crab? Right: A Classic Spook-A-Rama sign from the Garms era.
Now for a real blast from the past: We were shocked to find the original head of the big Frankenstein-Behind-Bars figure in the storage section of the ride. This dates back to the very beginning - 1955. The stunt was later rethemed to its present form as the giant Alien. I remember seeing this as a kid while sitting in a Spook-A-Rama car with my father - what a reunion! At right is a rare photo of the unfinished head in co-owner Paul Kleinstein's workshop. Notice the wood frame, wire mesh and Celastic construction.
Top left: Another stunning discovery was the animated singing squirrel trio. Garms apparently would acquire all kinds of animated figures and put them to work in the ride, no matter how thematically irrelevant they might be. Top right: Photo by Joseph Ladore of the Spook-A-Rama Bowery waterfall building. The plastic domed enclosure in the foreground housed the squirrel band.
Above: Dennis and Steve Vourderis with the mechanical squirrels which they hope to restore and display again at a future time.
The trip down memory lane took us past the figure of Stan Laurel who sat bemused through the great deluge. Many will recall Stan and his comic partner Oliver Hardy on their revolving turntable above the entrance to the main building back in the 70s. Although Oliver has not survived, they both originally inhabited the old Tunnel Of Laffs on the Bowery across from the Thunderbolt coaster.
Upper right: One of the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops heads recently resurfaced and is currently receiving visitors in the lobby of the Coney Island History Project. Above right: An under-fed employee takes a break. Yeah, it's been a tough year.
Below: George LaCross, Stacy Vourderis and Bill Luca share some quality time with a couple of Spook-A-Rama family members.
The authors would like to thank the following for their hospitality, assistance and contributions:
Deno's Wonder Wheel Park - Coney Island, N.Y.
Joseph R. Ladore
James F. Ladore