Jul 30, 2014

PHOTOS: Construction Continues on Wild Bill's Funhouse

Bill Ziegler has dark ride artist Chuck Burham creating the world's largest walk-through funhouse on Newfield Street. Here's a peek at what's been done so far.


It's a spooky apparition day or night and soon to become unfathomably more so under the expert construction of dark ride artist Chuck Burnham. Construction of the anticipated world's largest walk-through funhouse is humming along on Newfield Street — at the rear of the Wild Bill's Nostalgia lot.

Ziegler says Burnham is using only reclaimed wood from trees on the property to construct the haunted house. Also, Tuttle Brick Co. (see historical story here) bricks are being used under the flooring, Ziegler says.

In August, the city planning and zoning board approved the permit for two 4,000-square-foot pole barns which will soon contain pretzel cars in a ride-through fun house.

About 10 years ago, Ziegler purchased Pretzel Amusement Ride Company cars from the Staten Island fun house in Beachland. "We went and took the all apart. We need to put a new facade on them," he said. They'll be reconstructed much like the original track ride, where people sit inside and wend their way through a "fun/scary" house with doors that open, lights and "tricks," Ziegler says.

Laughing Louis, who sits patiently inside a pretzel car inside the nostalgia shop, will soon find a permanent home in the funhouse. There are only two remaining in the world, Ziegler says, and his is the only one that still works.

"He's animated and he has a really evil laugh — ha ha Ha HA!!" Ziegler gives his best imitation.

If you haven't seen the funhouse in person, stop by. Burnham's work is inspired and wholly artistic. This will be nothing like the plastic construction of such well-known amusement parks like Lake Compounce or Six Flags. Each piece is entirely constructed by hand.

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