Phantasmagoria (amusement ride)

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The Phantasmagoria is a deteriorating haunted house ride. With a facade similar to several other Bill Tracy rides like several Whacky Shack rides, Lumalusion at the Texas state fair, and Fantastic Journey at Wonderland Amusement Park in Texas.[citation needed] The two-person track cars that carry the riders were made by Bell's, but the ride itself, including psychedelic tunnels and a mannequin freak show, was designed by Bill Tracy. The Phantasmagoria was chronicled on Davis' site in 1999.

According to Davis' history of the ride, "In 1971 or ’72, Bob and his father decided that a dark attraction was needed at the park so they headed off to the East Coast to do some research. What they liked most were the gory attractions built by Freddie Mahanon and Bill Tracy. Although New Jersey had some fantastic walkthroughs, complete with attendants haunting the insides, they thought that it was a bit too risky for them. They decided on a Tracy dark ride, but what to name it? Bob’s dad was looking for just the right name...something dealing with gore and phantasms. Bob blended the two words together and came up with the name Phantasmagoria, finding a word that described the dark ride experience perfectly."[citation needed]

While many of today's haunted house rides are geared towards younger patrons, the Tracy ride is geared towards teenaged riders and adults accustomed to hardcore horror films with its lack of restraint concerning gore. In one portion of the ride there was once a naked woman to tantalize the male riders. However, when the bare bottomed vixen spun around, she revealed that the front half of her body had been skinned down to muscle and bone.

The ride is dark, but not without novelties. A waterfall pouring over the track appears to threaten riders with being drenched, but shuts off as the car passes underneath. In one pitch black room, the riders are teased by apparent nothingness, but are startled when a bullhorn blares and headlights reveal the front end of an actual bus, driven by a rotting corpse.

One of the most noticeable changes since the ride opened is the outside portion. About halfway through the ride, when riders are on the second floor of the haunted house, the car pops through a door and travels along a balcony above the queue area outside, swiftly dips to the first floor, then glides back up to the second floor. The rollercoaster-like dip has since been removed, but the car still comes outside for the entire queue area to see.

The Bill Tracy Project -