In the early 1960s, Granville Trimper, inspired by the dark rides at Glen Echo Park, decided that he wanted to bring a dark ride to Ocean City. He hired the top dark ride developer at the time, Bill Tracy of Outdoor Dimensional Display Co, to design and install thrilling haunted displays within the Haunted House. Granville decided to build Trimper’s Haunted House on the same block as his family owned amusement park near the Ocean City Inlet. This would ultimately replace the rundown space that was once the Windsor Theater. Construction of the the one story ride was completed in 1964 and has been delighting fans ever since.
The first major change to the Haunted House came in 1988 when a second story to the original building was designed, funded, and built by Granville. In order to fill this new space, he completed a renovation that included the incorporation of ride systems, displays, and the front facade from the recently closed Bill Tracy attraction ‘Ghost Ship’. These ride and displays were once located in Playland Amusement Park, a local defunct park on 65th street in Ocean City, Maryland.
In 2012, the Trimper’s Haunted House was updated to include additional Bill Tracy stunts and new modern stunts. The new Bill Tracy stunts were from the closed ride “Phantasmasgoria”, built in 1973 and once located at Bell’s Amusement Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The updates and additions were meant to stay true to Bill Tracy and Granville Trimper’s vision for the Trimper’s Haunted House.
Currently, the Trimper’s Haunted House is owned and managed by the descendants of Granville Trimper and remains one of the best haunted attractions in the country. The Granville Trimper family takes pride in their history and is dedicated to preserving this dearly loved attraction for future generations.
- The ride originally cost 25 cents to ride when opened in 1964.
- During the installation of the Haunted House in 1964, Bill Tracy offered his workers to assist at a cost of $80 per day, per man, plus trip costs. That is equivalent to $666.23 dollars in 2020.
- When the Haunted House was being designed, plans called for an additional 23’ to be added to the rear of the building.
- The Rat in the first room has been in the same location since 1964 and has been the Haunted House greeter since the ride was built.
- The stunts original from the 1964 installation are primarily made of papier-mâché, fiberglass, celastic and marine plastic and have a wire and stick-built frame.
- Car bodies are built of 3/4in solid core mahogany with pinewood overlays. The carvings are meant to resemble a combination of a four-post bed and coffin.
- Car bodies were developed by Bill Tracy of Outdoor Dimensional Display Co., Inc. Cars originally had a 1/2 horsepower motor, but were replaced with 1 horsepower motor in the 1980s.
- The brake system for the cars consists of steel crescent-shaped molds going down the ‘downhill’—When the car starts declining, the tire will be forced into this contraption to slow it down. On rainy days when the tires are wet, they make a terrifying screeching sound as they are squeezed going down the hill to help you stop! This adds to the unique nature and ever-changing experience for riders.
- When the second story was added in 1988, crews constructed a concrete beam center support and poured a concrete floor on top. Construction of the entire addition was done in concrete.
- The direct descendants of Granville Trimper still operate and work on the ride. Feel free to stop by and talk to them! They love to discuss the historical aspect of the ride.
- There have been fan websites, facebook groups, books, and documentaries created in support of this great attraction. It has a world-wide following.