Took a trip a few months back to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a famous California seaside amusement park that is still around...slightly ragged and worn out these days, but still fun to do and classic, beachside vibe and interesting for people-watching, especially the locals.
It is currently home to three dark/horror attractions, the more kid-friendly Ghost Blasters dark ride by Sally Corporation, the classic spookhouse style Haunted Castle, and the new-generation technology walk through Fright Walk.
Fright Walk is first up, and sadly, no photography allowed inside...but it is a decent, well-laid out walk through, near pitch black inside in some areas with elements like a mirror maze section with static horror figures in with you, a dropping platform/talking bust projection scene, and the like. Here are some photos of the outside...
Ghost Blasters is to be found over in the kiddie ride section of the park, underneath a obscure corner of the boardwalk, tucked behind a hot dog stand. The ride borrows several cues from Haunted Mansion, from general scenes and the like to what sounds very much like a hyperactive re-arrangement of the Grim Grinning Ghosts chorus throughout the waiting area and ride. Here are some photos...the ride is based around shooting targets and making interactive elements pop-up and reveal themselves, like Buzz Lightyear with the more added effects of a shooting gallery or the Universal Men in Black ride.
And last up, by far the most disappointing of the offerings, the classic style Haunted Castle. The exterior alternates between playing the Nightmare Before Christmas instrumental version of This is Halloween and the Phantom of the Opera overture. Inside, honestly, the scenes aren't badly put together or detailed...but the ride is poorly lit in all areas, lighting and sound effects don't work and the most successfully lit "scare" scene is also the most laughably cartoonish of them all. That being side, it is a prime example of the standard carnival dark ride and enjoyable for the merits of that style attraction.
Presenting...the most non-threatening werewolf ever!
That's about it, and thanks for looking and hope you enjoyed this look at the dark attractions of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!