Posts Tagged ‘Haunted Houses’

The Bill Tracy Project

Published April 2, 2010 by Molly

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Apropos of our post on the Theme Park Maps archive, WLYS reader Hugh kindly pointed us in the direction of the Bill Tracy Project. Reader, if you are interested in spelunking down into your most fearful childhood memories, we’d recommend you start paying attention right now.

According to its manifesto, the Bill Tracy Project is a website founded in order to “consolidate all known Bill Tracy information into one dedicated resource, thus, creating the largest official source of information pertaining to this subject in existence.” Um…who is the Bill Tracy to whom we owe such a fervent resource? Good question!

As for an answer, hmm. Where to begin. Tracy was a master of dark rides—theme park rides, that is, designed to convey guests through an indoor space. Early dark ride technology centered around things like ultraviolet lights and fluorescent paint and moved onto mechanically complex systems designed to give the illusion of, say, a female victim being severed in two by a circular saw.

Tracy’s hallmarks included complex facades and detail-oriented creepiness, and some of his most famous rides included the Whacky Shack at Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas and The Haunted House at Trimper’s Amusements in Ocean City, Maryland. Check out the site’s insanely comprehensive biography as well as the section full of rad concept drawings and ride layouts. Spectacular!

Valero Doval

Published October 19, 2009 by Molly


Some artists make pictures; some artists create a visual universe that is unmistakably theirs. Guess which category Valero Doval falls into. Born in Spain, Doval studied in Valencia and relocated to London to continue his work, which ranges from Volkswagen and Paul Smith commissions to collages of bird-plane hybrids.

His output is as varied as his clients. Typical Doval subjects include zeppelins, ghosts, pets, and haunted houses––none of it rendered in any form you’ve seen before. With a visual allegiance to geometric forms and rich color, Doval’s work escapes the curse of cutesiness that can attend pet-themed art–yet still manages to have an adorable aspect to go with its visual punch. Always a balancing act, as they say.

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