Façade changes are nothing new to Spook. When the ride consisted of two buildings up until the mid-1980s, both had its own Cyclops on the roofs. For a number of years, figures of the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, rescued from Coney's former Tunnel of Laffs ride, sat on a turntable that rotated around the Building Two Cyclops.

Building Two also had its share of eclectic ornamentation, including a plywood hillbilly witch. And both buildings had plenty of roadside diner-like signs promoting the "menus" of the scares one would see inside the buildings. Perhaps the most unusual façade piece was animated singing chipmunks on a log near the loading area of Building One. This author recalls them singing "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" - probably a 45-rpm record being played at 78-rpm. The last two decades saw the loss of all the Building Two roof ornamentation until Scare Factory added an Impaler stunt in 2005.

Above: Scare Factory's design concept for the new facade.

Right: The towering dragon that menaces all who dare approach Spook-A-Rama.

Below: View of the stone-like castle structure and carvings.

When it comes to a Spook-A-Rama façade, anything goes, so why not make it a medieval castle protected by a dragon? That's what the DJ, Stacy and the Scare Factory decided on. The Scare Factory presented a rendering in January 2013.

"We wanted Spook-A-Rama to have some height and stature," explains DJ.

Mission accomplished. Adding the castle roof turrets makes Spook more visible throughout the park and the back of the ornamentation can even be seen behind the ride in Luna Park. The imposing dragon peers over Deno's midway, snapping at his potential meal beneath him.

The Impaler was retained on the roof and there's a new "barker" at track level. The original Reaper (designed by Halloween Productions), after decades of promising "My Spook-A-Rama will show you death", has been promoted to the interior of the ride where he now snarls at riders. His successor, a more corpse-like Reaper (below right) designed by Scare Factory, gives the same spiel as the original, only he lunges towards patrons upon completion of his ballyhoo.

Rounding out the new cast of facade characters is Scare Factory's sinister-looking Organ Meister Zombiette who moves his head from side to side while tickling the ivories, enticing riders with his bone-chilling repertoire.