Drawing your attention in the House of Horrors

When Rocky Point Park’s Castle of Terror opened in 1963, its wooden corridor walls were free of any artwork.  Bill Tracy, who designed and created all the scenes for the ride with his company Outdoor Dimensional Displays, wasn’t one to apply anything that would distract riders from his three-dimensional creations made of papier mache or fiberglass.  The only illustrating he would do was within the scenes themselves, and that was usually limited to the pieces of the backdrop which were usually plywood cutouts.

In the mid-1980s, the landscape changed inside the Castle of Terror – now renamed the House of Horrors.  In addition to the overhaul of the ride’s interior, which included the removal of many original Tracy stunts, some wall scenes were painted in day-glow colors were added.

One of the most observed of these was the executioner added to Bill Tracy’s Old Mill scene.

Here’s the scene when first installed in 1963.

Old Mill[1]

And here it is after the back walls were illustrated in the mid-1980s.

RP Real Old Mill


Just to the left of the Old Mill was an illustrated scene of a sacrificial altar.


Summer Scene

Immediately following was a quote from the movie “Dawn of the Dead” inscribed on the bump doors leading to the graveyard.
Dawn Scene

And speaking of the graveyard, here it is in the early 1970s.  It is not known if Tracy painted this background, although the figures and the fence are definitely his.

Castle grave
And here’s the same back wall after it was re-illustrated in the mid-1980s.

RP Graveyard2

Leaving the graveyard, the next set of bump doors had this zombie illustration.


And then it was on to the corridor housing the dragon.  Prior to 1970, this was the corridor that hosted the Viking, and at that time, the walls were black.

Vike corridor3

Next to the paper machie dragon was this illustrated rendition.




Some of the illustrations have captured the imagination of young artists.  Here’s 19-year-old Sean McCarthy’s illustration/cutout of the dragon illustration.


Not really an illustration, but during the mid-1980s, the next corridor, originally inhabited by Tracy’s Giant Bat, was transformed into the attack by the shark in the movie JAWS.  This was that shark up close.

Castle Jaws

The walls around the shark were graced with nautical scenery.


You just saw the available interior photos of the Castle of Terror/House of Horrors interior wall illustrations.  If you know who the artists were, please name them in the comments section below.

So, did these illustrations embellish the ride experience?  You can draw your own conclusions!

Photo credits

Liam Gray

You Must Be This Tall (movie)


John Malone



Sean McCarthy

Robert Hamel



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