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  1. #1

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    Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    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.


































    Beware of.....

    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!

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    I go to the boardwalk all the time, mainly to do these attractions...they're my favorite. Santa Cruz is about 25 minutes from me so I always go. When I was a kid the Haunted Castle looked better. The exterior had more stuff. Like a creepy Demon who talked about the castle. and when I was REALLY little I remember seeing a trio of singers...like they were monsters or something. They were animated, but not very well. To this day though, I still get startled on some parts of the Haunted Castle. Fright Walk is pretty cool too!
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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    I went to the Boardwalk a few months, first time in years. We did the Haunted Castle and Ghost Blasters, but not Fright Walk. Haunted Castle is cheesy but fun, I kind of enjoyed it. I was hesitate initially, as I hate things jumping out at me (even if they aren't really scary, just easily startled), but the only thing that truly made me jump was that final door before the exit, you hit that thing hard.

    Ghost Blasters was surprisingly entertaining for what it is. Of course I got my butt handed to me by my 12 year old cousin score wise, but we had a good time.

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Boy! This sounds like a blast. As I am a NorCal resident, I'm especially tempted to go. Thank you for all of the hard work that you did in order to give us this beautifully written and photographed report!
    To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!


  5. #5

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Quote Originally Posted by princedalton View Post
    I go to the boardwalk all the time, mainly to do these attractions...they're my favorite. Santa Cruz is about 25 minutes from me so I always go. When I was a kid the Haunted Castle looked better. The exterior had more stuff. Like a creepy Demon who talked about the castle. and when I was REALLY little I remember seeing a trio of singers...like they were monsters or something. They were animated, but not very well. To this day though, I still get startled on some parts of the Haunted Castle. Fright Walk is pretty cool too!
    I rarely go actually heh, that trip was the first time I'd been in maybe 15 years. Yeah, it seems like Haunted Castle is rather showing it's age..I still enjoyed it, it's just I could see spots where stuff obviously wasn't working at all. Fright Walk was well done, the effects were good just it had a few too many parts that were merely pitch black. One would have been good, for getting disoriented and the atmosphere, but more than one just black area with no decor in a attration for me seems like overkill.

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Quote Originally Posted by Brain Toad View Post
    I went to the Boardwalk a few months, first time in years. We did the Haunted Castle and Ghost Blasters, but not Fright Walk. Haunted Castle is cheesy but fun, I kind of enjoyed it. I was hesitate initially, as I hate things jumping out at me (even if they aren't really scary, just easily startled), but the only thing that truly made me jump was that final door before the exit, you hit that thing hard.

    Ghost Blasters was surprisingly entertaining for what it is. Of course I got my butt handed to me by my 12 year old cousin score wise, but we had a good time.
    The final door on Haunted Castle was very loud yes heh, the most startling thing in the ride really, you are correct. I liked Ghost Blasters quite a bit, it had fun detailing and design..the music and the sound of the "laser" guns got to me after riding it a few times is all heh.

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    I remember way back in the early 80's when the scenes in the Haunted Castle had little to NOTHING to do with being in a castle.

    Anybody else remember the gorilla that broke through it's cage, or the bus that looked like it stopped dead in it's tracks and the people all got whiplash?

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    That werewolf looks like the wolf that used to be at Show Biz Pizza. Looks like they got their hands on one and mangled him up.

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Nice pictures!
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    Check out my pin collection at www.pinpics.com. User name is WheresMickey




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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    That werewolf looks like the wolf that used to be at Show Biz Pizza. Looks like they got their hands on one and mangled him up.
    It certainly could be something like that, a existing figure they got from somewhere...it's very silly, it is the most well placed and properly lit "jump out" figure, and then it looks horribly silly when it lights up negating any scare factor the gag would have.

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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Great Pics. I love Halloween.
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    Re: Ghost Blasters, Fright Walk, and Haunted Castle-Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    I have yet to see Fright Walk... but being an old Gyro's worker, I've heard that they took all the classic elements of Gyros and placed it here. Could be wrong though!
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