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michelle

The Haunted Castle

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Looking at GADV's history, seem like the 1980s was a dark decade for the park. 1981, a park employee fell to his death off of Rolling Thunder. The 1984 Castle fire where 8 people died. 1987 there were 2 stabbings and gunfire in the park on the same day! Also in 1987 a woman fell off of Lightnin Loops to her death. I wonder if the SF management of that time had anything to do with this?

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The 80's was a time of growth for the park and growing pains along with it.

 

The employee death on Rolling thunder could have happened anywhere (and similar accidents have happened at parks all around the world). Employees breaking rules unfortunately can end up with tragic results.

 

The fire was a result of looking to increase capacity to meet the growing crowds but with minimal investment. Had things been done properly, it might not have happened.

 

The events of 1987 were an indirect result of the fire. After the fire, people were nervous about coming to the park. Even though it was an accident that could never happen again, people need to be convinced when it comes to safety, and they needed time to forget. As a result, they were focusing on marketing to less than desirable elements.

 

The Lightning Loops accident (and the Sarajevo Bobsled accident a week later) were just really bad timing and bad luck as safety loopholes come to light.

 

All in all, it was bad luck, bad timing and bad planning. When Ray Williams came on as park president mid way through 1987, things changed immediately with the installation of the metal detectors, retraining of ride ops and attendants, ad just a general crack down on EVERYTHING. It really was do or die time, with the park needing to rehab its image or face closure.

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(and the Sarajevo Bobsled accident a week later)

 

What was the Sarajevo Bobsled accident?

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As a guest was boarding a sled it was advanced in the station, with the guest falling out of the sled and breaking his leg.

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Don't forget Great Adventure almost lost its food license in the late 80's. It was a major reason "Shockwave" was repurposed to Six Flags Great America for 1988 (despite being designed for Great Adventure). Had the Jackson, NJ lost its food operation license; the park would have been closed by Six Flags. For me, I found Great Adventure in its worst state during the Wesray years.

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Every park has accidents - GADV's just happened all in a row. It's a great park now - maybe we should focus on that.

Edited by scipiomask

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Every park has accidents - GADV's just happened all in a row. It's a great park now - maybe we should focus on that.

 

Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. With some of the recent cutbacks such as the disbanding of their fire department, hopefully they are not setting themselves up for another incident. Another thing is some of their safety measures such as metal detectors are becoming outdated since there are more and more ways to defeat them easily. Problem with a long period of no incidents is that it causes people to become lax which promotes future problems. Wild Water Kingdom is a good example of cycle.

Edited by The Master

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Found out about this news late. //articles.philly.com/2011-01-31/news/27092162_1_forensic-dentist-haskell-askin-arthur-bomar

 

Thursday, 27 January 2011 21:51

Haskell Askin, D.D.S., a 9/11 World Trade Center first responder, passed away on January 27, 2011 from esophageal cancer. He was 75. Born in Buffalo, NY on January 12, 1936, he moved to New Jersey in 1949. Dr. Askin practiced general dentistry for nearly 40 years in Brick, NJ and was a pioneer in the field of forensic odontology. He served as the chief forensic odontologist for the Philadelphia, PA Medical Examiner's Office for more than 25 years. His contributions to the profession were featured in numerous newspaper articles, books, textbooks, and television programs.

 

 

 

As a dental identification expert, Dr. Askin assisted many local, state, and federal agencies. His interpretation of forensic evidence confirmed the identities of missing persons and disaster victims, helped living and murdered crime victims by confirming the identities of perpetrators, and aided innocent suspects by clearing them from suspicion. Additionally, Dr. Askin testified often in both criminal and civil courts. His testimony concerning bite mark evidence in the Megan Kanka murder case was instrumental in the conviction of her murderer and, ultimately, the creation of Megan's Law, requiring the registration of sex offenders.

 

 

 

Dr. Askin served as a tour commander/supervisor for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, facilitating the identification of 9/11 World Trade Center victims and American Airlines Flight 587 victims later that year. As a member of the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT), he was deployed to Mississippi and Louisiana to aid in the identification of Hurricane Katrina's fatalities in 2005. He identified the Jackson, NJ Six Flags Great Adventure Haunted Castle fire victims in 1984 and the Philadelphia M.O.V.E. disaster fatalities in 1985, as well as victims of numerous small and large plane crashes.

Edited by The Master

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I saw this on youtube. I think? They had some documentary about the accident. Some guy made a simulation of what happened in the castle. It was quite interesting.

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Check out this cool book from the Haunted Castle

 

This book was not "from" the Haunted Castle it is about the Haunted Castle and is mostly speculation and conspiracy theories.

 

We have had discussions about the "documentary" about the fire before, and once again I will state my view on this-- it was not filmed with the park's permission or cooperation not because "they didn't want you to know" as thee book/documentary states, but because there is no new credible information in this, it was something that happened under previous owners and managers who have little to no connection with the park any longer.

 

This is not anything available from our Trading Post, and I am moving the discussion to the existing Haunted Castle discussion thread.

 

 

 

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I am presenting a recreation of the fire at the NFPA national conference in June (2014) and have some questions that someone here may have answers to.

 

Here's a few:

 

Does anyone know how the fiberglass barrel worked? Did you walk across the barrel as it spun or was there some type of bridge? Also, the adjacent trailer had vision panels cut in it which overlooked the barrel. Were these plexi-glass? The barrels were on flatbed trailers mounted on wheels to make the barrel turn, was there a weather covering beyond the barrel?

 

Thanks.

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The barrels (there was one on each side of the attraction) were large rotating cylinders almost the entire height of the trailer. It sat on tires below it which spun and rotated the drum. Guests crossed through the barrel on a walkway that was suspended through the middle of the drum. The barrels were inside the enclosed trailers (not on flatbeds) so they were protected from the weather. Guests could see the barrels spinning from the sides as they approached it. Openings were cut in the trailer walls (between two trailers) and chain link fencing covered the openings - no plexi-glass.

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The photos I have show the barrel trailers to be of distinctively different construction than the rest. (The photos I have are mostly post fire). They appear to be stake bodies. Looks like they built wood frame walls and roof around the barrel. And I can see the fencing material in one of the photos. Thanks! I'd post the photos, but I had to sign a copyright with NFPA.

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I work in the fire service and visited Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari for the first time earlier this week. I just wanted to confirm if I found the spot where the Haunted Castle used to stand?

If I read correctly then the Autobahn facade is located behind the fence behind the Dark Knight Coaster found in Movietown?

Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

RJC

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hi everyone, i was wondering if anyone has any interior photos of the haunted castle prior to it's demise in 1984. it would be interesting to see what the interiors looked like. thanks.

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There are very few pictures of the interior since flash photos weren't allowed and camera technology at the time wasn't able to take pictures without a flash (or a tripod and LONG exposure). That's a big part of why we haven't done the spotlight yet is there are so few pictures of the Haunted Castle from the inside or the outside.

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I never saw the haunted house. Think my first visit was the year after the fire. All the info available on this site sparked my interest to look further. Saw the documentary and was horrified. Didn't really care about conspiracy or faults. The facts alone were enough to turn my stomach. Just a horrible story. Do have one question, the doc references speakers mounted in the trees as the last remains of HH. Think I spotted them a short walk to the right of showcase in the trees. Is that accurate?

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