A Mansion Full of Haunting Memories

Group of ghouls from The Haunted Mansion ghouls get together after decades


Halloween has not yet arrived, but there was a warm-up haunting of sorts in the area when a group of good ghouls from the largest known haunted amusement in the tri-state area reunited over the weekend after decades.

The Haunted Mansion of Long Branch opened in the summer of 1978 to massive crowds of people who flocked to the Jersey Shore from all over for a good scare.

Television commercials dared visitors to enter the three-story house of horrors filled with live actors portraying infamous murderers, monsters and mythological characters, like Lizzy Borden, Jack the Ripper, Psycho's Norman Bates, Dracula, a headless woman, werewolf and more, and reenacting their tales of terror.

The actors hailed from all over the state and beyond for the opportunity to get into costume and make-up at 10 a.m. and work sometimes into the early morning hours the next day scaring thrill-seekers into early graves — or at least through the ramped building.

The mansion sat at the end of the Long Branch Pier until 1987, when a massive fire burned the three-story haunt that had become the most famous haunted attraction on the east coast.

A group of famous ghouls got together over the weekend to remember what it means to give a good scare and socialize like the living dead.

The Mansion's actors, make-up artists and technicians were alumni of just about every high school in the state. Many are professional actors and make-up artists today. For all, though, it was the college years' summer job of a lifetime.

Take a look at the slideshow above to get a good idea of what it was like to be a Haunted Mansion ghoul back in the day and how some things never change when it comes to giving a good scare. 

From the Haunted Mansion cast, "Scared o' you!"

Thanks to reunion hostess Thayne Huhn-Tessenholtz, of Little Silver. The slideshow features: Tessenholtz, Larry "Freak" Mains, Dave Bass Sr., Jimmy Hornung, Janis Dixon-Errickson, Jade Greene/aka/Lauren Parnes, Rich Bernard, Bob DeLeon, Tony DeBartolis, Don Evans, Teri Binger-Evans, Liz Young, Paige Stevenson, Leslie Zanzalari, Cynthia Quenet, Lisa Penzimer, Joanne "Maniac" Manuli, Annie Reilley, Kathleen Vollo and Elaine Van Develde.

*Old photos courtesy of Dave Bass Sr., Lillian Grauman and Larry Wolf.

Susan Anechiarico DeSantis September 17, 2012 at 02:22 PM
love, love, love it. Miss you guys! hope you participate in the zombie walk Oct 6th in Asbury Park.
Greg Coben September 17, 2012 at 05:22 PM
You can't talk about the Haunted Manion unless you are listening to this: http://www.darkinthepark.com/Haunted%20Mansion/Home/HMoutsidemusic.mp3
Elaine Van Develde September 17, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Thank you, Greg. The outside music makes it ... ;)
Lisa Penzimer September 17, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Nicely done Elaine! Ahhh, the memories!
Debbie Bentley September 18, 2012 at 09:11 PM
This brings back such great memories!


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