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The History of My Spinning Tunnel

Vortex DevilI've been decorating the yard for Halloween since I was in Junior High School, some 30 year ago. In 2000, I convinced my family to attempt a walk-through attraction through our back yard. Professor Time's Nightmare was born. The success of that endevour convinced me to open a commercial haunted attraction the next year. For two years we operated "Nightmare University" inside a 4000 square foot tent in the parking lot of a local mall. Despite our best efforts, we had do give up after the second year. We just couldn't convince the people of Marin County, California, why they would want to pay to go through a haunted house. You can read more about that experience here: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Tam-Valley-man-opens-haunted-house-at-San-Rafael-2864112.php.

I had some "professional" experience in haunted attractions when I was running the Entertainment Department at Paramount's Great America theme park in Santa Clara, California. We had the opportunity to borrow an "Elm Street" model haunted attraction from our sister park in Toronto. Our marketing people saw it in operation in Toronto, but wanted to take it up a notch. Of course, when this opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance.

We bought several props at the Transworld Halloween and Party show to improve the attraction. One of them was EffectTech's Black Hole. This is the Spinning Tunnel you are probably most familiar with.

When it arrived at the loading dock, I was in shock. The entire thing fit on one pallet. I was sure there were many more shipments. The only thing that was missing was the two steel I-Beams that make up the bridge. They arrived the next day.

What follows is my attempt to re-create the effect. While the final version was quite successful, there were a lot of failures along the way. Hopefully, this will help anyone who wants to build a spinning tunnel by learning from my mistakes.

Click here to be taken to the construction page. http://www.timepasses.com/vortex 

 

 

 


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