Helter skelter (ride)

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A helter skelter at the Royal Norfolk Show, near Easton, Norfolk, England

A helter skelter, or lighthouse spiral slide, is an amusement ride with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower. Users climb up inside the tower and slide down the outside, usually on a mat or hessian (burlap) sack. Typically, the ride will be of wooden construction and, in the case of fairground versions, designed to be disassembled to facilitate transportation between sites. The term is primarily used in the United Kingdom.


The term "helter-skelter" was first recorded in the United Kingdom at Hull Fair in October 1905, taking its name from the much older adverb meaning "in confused, disorderly haste". Other recorded names for the slide include: Canadian slide, alpine glide, lighthouse slip, slipping the slip, and glacier slip.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

The ride inspired the Beatles song of the same name, which was interpreted by cult leader Charles Manson as a message predicting inter-racial war in the United States. Manson titled his vision of this uprising scenario after the song. This in turn lent its name to the non-fiction book by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry.

This ride appears in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series of video games as both a useable attraction and a common UI element, Thrillville: Off the Rails as well as in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Lego City Undercover.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hull Daily Mail - Monday 9 October 1905

External links[edit]