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The Haunted Mansion

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Today, May 11th, marks the fortieth anniversary of the worst day in the history of Great Adventure. On this day the Haunted Castle caught fire and eight teenage guests lost their lives. This tragic event changed the park and the entire theme park industry forever.


In the wake of the fire Six Flags spent more than $5 million implementing fire safety systems throughout the park with advanced fire detection and sprinkler systems retrofit into every structure. Parks all over the country and around the world followed suit to ensure a tragic event like this could never happen again.




If you follow our Facebook or Instagram you'll see I turned off comments on the posts simply because I didn't want to have to constantly moderate the comments. The fire has always been controversial and there is a "documentary film" that often surfaces when the subject comes up. I have never watched it in its entirety, but I found the assertions and conspiracies put forward by the film maker to be a stretch of the facts and I really didn't feel like debating with people on a day when there are the families of eight people who still feel the pain of their loss. There is also a constant call for the park to add a memorial of some sort, but that's not something we have any say in and they have chosen not to do it. 


Every year we always debate whether or not to acknowledge the event, but this year as we look back at the history of the park it's sometimes necessary to address the bad along with the good. 


Harry and I have always planned to do a spotlight on the Haunted Mansion but we have never been able to pull enough material together to really do it justice. 

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My first visit to the park was not for a few years until after this tragedy so I don't have any memories of it but it's very upsetting to think something like this could happen. I did watch that film on YouTube more to see what the attraction was like with their virtual renderings of some of the layout of the castle because almost all pictures online are just of the exterior.

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I wasn't even born yet when the fire happened and the situation is disturbing. I saw the youtube documentary years and found it rather sensationalized. The castle fire was several bad factors coming together into a perfect storm.  



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