Friday, February 06, 2015
I was very happy to find today's photos from Knott's Berry Farm! One of the "most missed" extinct attractions from Knott's is the beloved "Haunted Shack" - a wooden cabin built at such extreme angles (and on a slope), that all kinds of crazy phenomena could be seen there; phenomena that could only be caused by GHOSTS!
The Haunted Shack debuted in 1954; the story goes that it had once belonged to Slanty Sam and Shaky Sadie in Esmerelda County, Nevada. After they passed away, Walter Knott had the shack moved to the Berry Farm.*
The guide (or host?) looks like a gas station attendant. "Fill 'er up?". I remember this illusion; a guest was chosen from the audience, and challenged to get up out of the chair. They couldn't do it!
This next one was known as the "Scare Chair"… it was placed high up on the wall, resting only on its back legs on a thin piece of wood. We saw the host put it there himself! And yet there was no danger of falling. What audience members didn't know is that this kid was a "plant", and he stood at that angle no matter where he was. Because he was the great-grandchild of Slanty Sam and Shaky Sadie.
WHUT THE…?? Water is flowing uphill! He is a demon! Stone him! I remember another water illusion: a spigot hanging in the air above a sink, supported only by two thin wires, with no pipes running to it. And yet water was gushing out of it continuously! "How does it work?" someone invariably asked. "Very well!" would be the reply.
It looks like this guy is dancing with that broom, a la Fred Astaire, but in fact he was demonstrating how it would stand up on its own, and at a ghostly slant! There's nothing spookier than a haunted broom.
The Haunted Shack was demolished in 2000, replaced by the "VertiGo" ride.
*Info gleaned from Chris Merritt's book, "Knott's Preserved".