haunted history" in the 1970's that led to the rise of haunted attractions at the Jersey shore. That brought back to mind another haunt, the Gingerbread Castle in Hamburg, NJ.
The Castle didn't start off as a haunted attraction. In fact it was a children's park built well before our brains were addled by instant gratification and digital excess. Ahh, simpler times. I think I might have gone here when I was very young because when I returned a few years ago there was a very real sense that I had seen it all before.
Now that it has fallen into a state of disrepair, the creepiness of the site is enhanced that much more. And it was a perfect setting for a haunted walk through which someone obviously hit on. About three years ago I found that it had been converted into a Halloween haunt and it was truly an enjoyable one. You walked through a lot of the original castle, though much of it was closed off. Even so it was a pretty extensive haunt and the actors did a good job out of scaring the bejesus out of people. That's why when I returned the following year I was surprised to find out it had closed down.
And that's how you find it today. Abandoned, dilapidated, with all the signs of the grandeur it once held, but now all silent -- perhaps even scarier than if it was a haunt again. Here's a YouTube video I found that shows a little bit of what it's like today:
Fairy Tale Forest in Oak Ridge, NJ. Now this park I had gone to as a child and had very fond memories of it. So when I moved to Oak Ridge with my family in the late 1990's I was very excited to take my own children. Well, all I was able to say was it wasn't like I remembered it, though it was exactly like it was back then. Nothing had changed, except it was much more rundown.
Here's a video of Fairy Tale Forest as it is, having been turned into a self storage facility:
It held fond childhood memories, but it had fallen on hard times and kids today just don't appreciate that sort of amusement that required the use of one's own imagination.
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