And a host of new props were installed under the eyes of Larry Kirchner of Halloween Productions. The gags were actually the contents of a used haunted house that had been in storage at Halloween Productions' St. Louis, Missouri facility. Recalls Kirchner, "We actually came up to install but they hadn't gutted the inside, run electric, replaced the floors, nothing. So I went to Vince (Storino) and said 'Listen, I can gut this thing in ONE day," and he said "NO WAY. My guys would take a week". I said 'one day' and he said 'okay' and by that night we had this massive pile of junk laid out in front of the building as high as the second floor of the facade. You could walk off the second story and climb down the pile of junk."

Halloween Productions provided the newest assortment of life-like corpses, moving monsters and general decor. It was clear this ride was not intended to be a trivial romp through typical, caged dioramas of comic-like characters.
"We removed everything (from Nightmare Manor) but one devil type face and maybe a couple smaller props," recalls Kirchner. "You must understand, this wasn't really a dark ride rehab," continues Kirchner. "Those guys bought a used haunted house and we just retrofitted it into their dark ride. We had to repaint the whole thing and the whole project only took a week total." Kirchner notes that Stillwalk Manor uses a modular sound system that came with the former haunted house.                     
                                                                                                                                                                            Photos: Halloween Productions
 
 
A monstrous air compressor and tank sit just to the right of the sound equipment. Large black combination cabinets are located around the ride to house the on-site sound effects and mood noise.
 
   
An enormous transformer is located in the workshop, along with the sound rack complete with amplifiers, digital repeaters and a changeable loading-platform announcement stored on a compact flash card.
     
     
"It's not your typical dark ride because it's not exactly dark during the whole ride, yet there are lots of surprises," Storino says. "Looking back, it was probably too scary the first year."
                                                                    Photos by Gary Heller