Ok, so besides the Toxic Avenger, New Jersey had one other amazing cultural treasure: The Haunted Mansion of Long Branch
Anyone who lived in the New York/New Jersey area during the 70s and 80s probably has some memories of this place, if only through their crazy commercials.
For those of you who are unaware of this long gone gem, it was a Haunted Mansion that had actors in make-up and costume chase you around and literally “attack you.” It was a amusement from another time. Here’s a brief description:
The Haunted Mansion was a 10,000 square feet, three-story collection of the grotesque, the bizarre and the horrible. It was located on the Long Branch pier in Long Branch, New Jersey. Unfortunately, in 1987 this ride and most of the pier completely burnt to the ground. Many people believe that this dark ride was one of the best ever built. Click on one of the buttons to the left to relive the horror of the Haunted Mansion of Long Branch.
The quote above is taken from the site Dark in the Park which has a great series of pages that give the overview, history, advertising, pictures, employees (I particularly like this page which features images of the actual workers in their makeup), and stories.
I’ll quote from Paul of Long Island’s story of Long Branch because I think it sums up the experience quite well:
To this day I have never found a place like the Haunted Mansion @ LB. I was around 11 or 12 when my parents would bring me and some of my friends from Long Island for a day at the pier. It was around 78 or 79. It was around the time it opened and the actors would chase you and none of the stuff was behind glass. We would go through 3 or 4 times and I would be scared every time! The commercial links bring it all back. Thank you for setting this website up, it is a real shame that the attractions will never be like this again!