ELYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – There is one ride at a popular Pennsylvania amusement park that has been scaring guests for 50 years. This is none other than the Knoebels Haunted Mansion.
The Haunted Mansion at the park opened in 1973 after the flooding from Hurricane Agnes. According to the Dark Attractions and Funhouse Enthusiasts website, the flooding caused many rides to be full of mud and cottages were destroyed.
Between Christmas and New Year of 1972, the park began construction, digging footers and pouring concrete. At the time, however, the park was unsure whether to either build a new skating rink or a haunted house. Obviously, they chose the latter.
The Dark Attractions and Funhouse Enthusiasts website says some of the gags inside of the attraction are from other parks around Pennsylvania. Park artist David Wynn created many of the ride’s paintings found in the ride.
The Dark Attractions and Funhouse Enthusiasts website states that all the sound effects used in the ride were created in-house and that the track for the ride was placed by park staff. This is one of the few dark rides in the country that does not use a fence to protect its gags from vandalism. This is due to the ride being not included in the pay-once price plan and is an additional upcharge to guests to this day.
The ride was supposed to open on May 30th, 1973. But it did not open on time, due to the birth of Brain Knoebel. The Dark Attractions website says that there was a sign posted at its entrance reading, “Sorry, not open, it’s a boy!”
The ride did in fact open on June 30, Rick Knoebel’s third birthday.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the attraction, the park is offering special food items, limited edition merchandise, and fun experiences throughout the park to celebrate the ride.