One of the favorite aspects of my job is finding attractions I never knew existed and displaying them here on Theme Park University. I love just surfing the web and stumbling across an attraction I had never even heard of and then contacting the company who made it and learning all about it.
For example, while researching haunted house attractions, I stumbled across this video for Scream in the Dark, located in Thailand. SITD opened in 2011 in an entertainment complex owned by Ripley’s, which includes a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Ripley’s Infinity Maze, a Ripley’s Haunted Adventure (walk-through haunt) and a 4D Motion Theater.
So I reached out to the folks at Sally Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida and they graciously granted me an interview with Scream In The Dark head designer Drew Hunter. As Hunter explained, this concept had actually been around for a few years.
“Originally, the ride was designed for a small theme park in the United States with a slightly different theme,” he explained. “As these things go, that deal fell through and we hung on to it. Then we were going to build it in Europe in another park and then that deal also didn’t end up working out. It’s all part of the business. These things happen, but we never got rid of the concept entirely.”
The next year, they decided to dedicate a good chunk of the Sally Corporation booth at IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) to Scream in the Dark to see if they got any bites. Low and behold, an investor from Thailand saw their display, fell in love with it and thought it would be a perfect fit with their slate of other attractions.
As Hunter explained to me, Scream in the Dark is designed as a love letter to the classic Laff In The Dark rides from the early days of Coney Island, Kennywood and many other parks with classic haunted attractions. “We wanted to pay tribute to those early versions of haunted houses that so many of us grew up with,” said Hunter. “In addition for being able to shoot various targets to score points, we came up with a new twist that allows riders to ‘scream’ for points.’”
Instead of getting chastised for screaming, guests are actually encouraged to yell at the top of their lungs at various points in the ride.
When they do, cylinders will light up and “fill” with scream. The louder the scream, the more the tube is “filled” and the more points they rack up.
In addition, the ride is filled with traditional gags of various clowns popping out and newer technology, such as fog screens with projected images of crazy clowns, are used.
All in all, it’s an updated version of a classic attraction that you can only experience in Thailand. Or, to get a taste, click on the YouTube video below.