Madhouse (ride)

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StatusIn Production
First manufactured1996
No. of installations16
Capacity685/1335 riders per hour
Seat capacity40/78
Gondola rotation15/30 degrees
Drum rotation360 degrees
Mystery Swing
StatusIn Production
First manufactured2000
No. of installations4
ManufacturerMack Rides
Seat capacity52

A Madhouse is a flat ride usually manufactured by Vekoma.[1][2] A similar attraction under the name Mystery Swing is created by Mack Rides.[3] The ride is designed to be an optical and physical illusion, consisting of several rows of seats attached to a swaying gondola within a rotating drum. The ride creates the impression that the rider is turning upside down, whereas it is actually the room that is moving around them.

The ride is a modern implementation of a haunted swing illusion.

Ride experience[edit]

Madhouses are often extensively themed during the ride sequence, and usually in the queue line. Several Madhouses feature pre-shows explaining a story behind the ride. Once in the ride, lapbars are lowered onto the riders, before they gradually experience an odd sense of movement. This is achieved through two mechanisms - the separate floor can move in a controlled swing from side-to-side by up to 15/30 degrees in each direction, but the surroundings of the room can rotate through a full 360 degrees. The pivot mechanism for the floor is hidden by two large objects at the end of the room, which are themed to match the ride.

At this point, both the floor and the room are slowly moving in unison. As the ride continues, the floor starts a separate movement from the rotating drum which gradually gives the impression that the room is rotating backwards and forwards further each time. Vekoma offers theme parks the option of programming their own sequence of how the room and floor move. In many Madhouses, the lighting subtly changes from moment to moment to add to the disorientation. Eventually, the drum mechanism turns through a full rotation and, by careful synchronisation with the sensation of the swinging floor mechanism, the riders are fooled into feeling as if they themselves are being repeatedly turned upside down.[2][4][5]

List of Madhouses[edit]

Interior of Villa Volta, the first modern madhouse.
Name Park Country Opened Manufacturer
Hexenschaukel(witches swing) - (Mobile Mad House)  Germany 1894 U. Keller
Hex’n Wippn(Witch's Wip) (Mobile Mad House)  Germany 1968 Lielie
Herzogschaukel(Duke swing) Märchengarten Blühendes Barock Ludwigsburg  Germany 1972 ?
Spukhaus (haunted house) Taunus Wunderland  Germany 1973 Schwingel GmbH
Verhextes Schloss (Chained lock) Freizeitpark Traumland  Germany ? ?
Merlin's Mystical Mansion Clark's Trading Post, Lincoln New Hampshire  United States 1990 ?
Villa Volta Efteling  Netherlands 1996 Vekoma
The Haunting Drayton Manor  Great Britain 1996 Vekoma
Jack the Ripper Wiener Prater  Austria 1997 ?
Space Adventure Genting Theme Park  Malaysia 1998–? Vekoma
Valhalla Borgen(Valhalla Bail) Tivoli Kopenhagen  Denmark 1998–2007 Vekoma
Houdini's Great Escape (Houdini – The Great Escape) Six Flags New England  United States 1999 Vekoma
Houdini's Great Escape Six Flags Great Adventure  United States 1999–2009, 2011 Vekoma
Houdini Bellewaerde  Belgium 1999 Vekoma
Fluch der Kassandra (Curse of Cassandra/Cassandra's Curse) Europa-Park  Germany 2000 Mack Rides
Hex – The Legend of the Towers Alton Towers  Great Britain 2000 Vekoma
Merlin’s Magic Castle Walibi World  Netherlands 2000 Vekoma
Le Palais du génie (The Palace of genie) Walibi Belgium  Belgium 2001 Vekoma
Feng Ju Palace(Wind Home Palace) Phantasialand  Germany 2002 Vekoma
Hotel Embrujado (Haunted Hotel) Parque Warner Madrid  Spain 2002 Vekoma
Magic House Gardaland  Italy 2002 Vekoma
Noah’s Incredible Adventure Noah’s Ark Water Park  United States 2003–2008 Mack Rides
Verlies des Grauens (Dungeon of Horrors) Belantis  Germany 2003 Vekoma
Rotating House Everland  South Korea 2007 Mack Rides
Le Défi de César (Caesar's Challenge/The challenge of Cesar) Parc Astérix  France 2008 Mack Rides
Alpenhotel Rasch (parts of) - (Mobile Mad House)  Germany 2011 ?
Maison Houdini (House Houdini) Rainbow MagicLand  Italy 2011 Vekoma
Haunted House: Monster Party Legoland Windsor  Great Britain 2019 Vekoma


  1. ^ "Vekoma". Retrieved 2010-06-26.
  2. ^ a b "Mad House | Vekoma Rides Manufacturing BV". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  3. ^ "Mystery Swing by Mack Rides". Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  4. ^ "Revolving House by Mack Rides". Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  5. ^ "Video of the mechanism". Retrieved 2014-11-17.

External links[edit]