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Traumafessions :: Reader EA on the Haunted Mansion of Long Branch, NJ

August 26th, 2010 by aunt john · 7 Comments

Hello again…you posted my “Sgt. Pepper/Aerosmith” trauma a while back so I thought maybe I’d send along another…

Growing up in New Jersey, you have more than your fair share of emotionally-traumatizing pitfalls. Every town, it seems, has a wooded area that is home to Satan worshipers. Abandoned prisons and mental institutions dot the landscape. And don’t even ask about what’s lurking in the Pine Barrens.

And yet, what to this day traumatized me so much that it STILL causes me to reflexively reach for the channel dial (even when viewed via YouTube on a computer) and STILL sends a cold shiver down my spine at the mere mention of Long Branch, New Jersey? “The Haunted Mansion.”

Specifically, this local T.V. ad for the Haunted Mansion.

It starts out with bouncy music and playful images of summer fun. The perfect weekend “down the shore,” as we say. Nothing at all wrong with it. But it plants that weird seed in the back of your mind: Why is it called the “Haunted Mansion and Amusement Pier”? Oh, wait…

Then it happens. The shadow on the stairwell. That’s what did it. A hunched figure in tattered clothes. Not a remote-controlled dummy, not a plastic mannequin. A REAL THING. Lurching towards the screen and disrupting the sun-drenched playfulness. He’s followed by a woman popping out of a coffin. Before my young brain could even process these images…we’re back to fun music and bumper cars. Almost like…you didn’t see what you think you saw. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here….

Which made the Haunted Mansion THAT MUCH MORE TERRIFYING. Does it exist? If so, why did they cut away so quickly? Is it REAL? Who is that man lurking in the stairwell? OH MY GOD, TURN IT OFF.

Researching this clip, I swear, the opening “For a day you’ll never forget…” almost stopped me cold. I hit pause and seriously considered whether or not I could play the whole thing…I could almost hear my older brother making fun of me and vowing to drag me to the Haunted Mansion

UNK SEZ:: Ack! EA, your traumafession reminded me of my own personal experiences with a commercial for Brigantine Castle. I tracked it down and egad, it’s got the very same hunchback shadow guy in it!

The scariest part of the Brigantine commercial for me was the skeleton arm chasing Rhoda. I was sure she was going to get pushed over the wall to her death!

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Tags: Traumafessions

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 RedMenaceNYCNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Good lord, The Haunted Mansion at Long Branch….My third grade class had a field trip there one spring, and you want to talk about trauma?!  The rat tunnel you had to go through to escape was enough to have the whole school in therapy forever.  To this day, it’s still the most intensely scary haunted attraction I’ve been through.  Of course, you may be thinking that I’m seeing it through a 9 year-old’s memories, but I was a jaded little S.O.B and was one of the few to get through the whole house without having to be removed through the chicken exits. 

    It’s too bad that’s the only commercial for it out there.  There was a much longer one featuring Renfield and his rats, and the “Graveyard of the Living Dead.”

    It was a shame the place burned down, but it was a bigger shame that they toned the whole place down when the boardwalk became Kiddie Land.

    Patrick from the SCREAMQUEENZ Horror Podcast – “It’s Where Horror Gets BENT!!”

  • 2 JergyNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Add in Castle Dracula in Wildwood and you have the triple-threat of great Jersey Haunts. I’m sure this site was visited in doing your research but for those that want more info on these three legendary scare joints, check out:
    Man I miss the Castle.

  • 3 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    These places might have been scary, but a pork roll and cheese sandwich at a good diner made it all better.  And if you were extra good, a trip to a White Diamond or White Rose for a burger made the nightmares go away.

  • 4 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Aug 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I’m in the Northern Jersey area so, yes, I’ve seen that commercial & the others tied into it.  I think I had said to my parents, as they were planning a trip to the shore, that I would like to AVOID that place!    Too bad it burned down.  Snooki & Co. could have been set up in there!

  • 5 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Aug 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

    This is gonna drive me crazy cuz for the life of me I cant remember what the place was called, but when I was a kid there was a “Haunted House” attraction and that was pretty much all they HAD, no boardwalk or rides or other attractions. It was just a huge ass Haunted House people paid to go in and get scared. The commercials scared me as a kid – but sign of Horror Fan To Come – I could never look away.

    My best friend swears he went to this place and there was a girl dressed as a cavegirl ‘eating’ mice or something like that. He says he and his friends hooted and wolf-whisteled at the girl who was the “cave girl”.
    Ill have to call him and as him what the place was called though (we’re in Queens , NY so it was proabably somewhere in Long Island) cuz I honestly dont remember. Probably had the same hunchback though!

  • 6 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Aug 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

    UPDATE: he just text me back and sure enough its Haunted Mansion in Long Branch New Jersey.

    Theres a longer commercial out there somewhere! I swear the thing ran for about one or two minutes!

  • 7 JergyNo Gravatar // Aug 31, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    @mamamiasweetpeaches Check out the site I posted.  Here’s a link directly to the Haunted Mansion commercials page. There are several. The one you are thinking of is bound to be there.

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