Haunted Castle (Efteling)

Last updated
Main show Efteling Spookslot hoofdshow.jpg
Main show
Spookslotback.jpg
Back of the castle
Spookslot4.JPG
The originally very sinister front of the castle, now virtually invisible because of the ivy
Spookslot square by night Efteling Spookslot bord.jpg
Spookslot square by night
Detail from the inside of the castle Eft Spookslot 04.jpg
Detail from the inside of the castle

The Haunted Castle (Dutch : Spookslot) is a haunted attraction in the amusement park Efteling in the Netherlands. It was designed by Ton van de Ven and was the first attraction built outside the Fairy Tale Forest.

Contents

History and details

On July 24, 1976 the announcement [1] on the making of the world's biggest haunted castle appeared in Brabant's daily newspaper, Het Brabants Dagblad. The article mentions that the castle would be built between the Fairy Tale Forest and the rowing and canoeing pond. This was a strategic choice, because the location of the attraction would attract visitors to the normally ‘forgotten’ southern part of the park.

The main reason for this mega-attraction was declining numbers of visitors at Efteling. Aiming for a more general public, with an attraction that didn’t depend on the weather conditions, Efteling authorized their young designer Van de Ven to start designing the ride.

Van de Ven designed the castle as a walk-through attraction [2] and, in the style of Anton Pieck, the castle was designed to look old and decayed. It is meant to look as though it was once beautiful and majestic, but is now haunted and in ruins and somewhat romantic.

The construction took about 18 months and the castle was officially opened May 10, 1978.

On May 12 a television special was broadcast with Kate Bush singing in and around the castle. She had a big hit around the globe with "Wuthering Heights" at the time. [3]

Ride statistics

Ride details

Looking closely at the exterior of the Spookslot, a number of faces can be seen in the ruins. The largest can be seen above the main entrance: two windows are the eyes and the entrance itself is a gaping mouth, through which the visitors enter. When it rains, one window appears to be crying. Two of the tombstones outside the mansion carry the logos of the National Railway Organisation and the Rabobank.

The waiting hall is a dimly-lit area, with several spooky items, of which an eastern ghost with a crystal bowl is the most notable. The glass uses the pepper's ghost technique to show a beautiful woman turning into a skull. Another famous effect, added in 1979, are dogs lying behind a door, who start to rattle their chains when someone pulls the doorknob. In the tower area a hairy arm stretches from the roof, holding a big chandelier. Once in a while one might have a glimpse of three horrible demonlike creatures, (vlederikken) leering down at the visitors.

Upon entering the main attraction hall, a number of scary statues and scenes prepare the audience for the main course: a look into the inner court, graveyard, and the ruins of a monastery at night. When the clock strikes twelve, a violin (a uv lighted animatronic) starts playing the Danse Macabre of Saint-Saëns and the graveyard comes to life and a number of skeletons and ghosts are visible. One tombstone is labeled in Latin "Puella Innocenta" (innocent girl). The years on her stone (in Roman numbering) reveal that she has been living backwards in time, however, it is possible that it is merely a mistake of the artist who made the stone. There is also a tombstone inside the mansion with the name "Den Hegarty", an Irish rock singer who happened to be on the radio when the stone was made. Also, it is said that the main show's appearance was influenced by the 1971 horror film "Tombs of the Blind Dead".

Music

The main theme of the show is a shortened version of the Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns. The movements of the animatronics are synchronized with the music; the violin that opens and closes the main part of the show demonstrates this. The show itself has been adapted four times. During the opening season in 1978, the show lasted about 12 minutes. Three months later it was cut back to 8 minutes. In 1987 the show was renewed and in 1989 the final version was completed.

Leading up to the Dance Macabre is a prelude which contains - as part of the soundscape - two pieces of music: "Claws" was composed by Marc Rosen in the '80s for the Stock-music-library Omnimusic. "Terza Età", from the album "Città Notte" (1972) was composed by Egisto Macchi. "Terza Età" was already used before in the first version of the show at its premiere in 1978.

Related Research Articles

<i>Danse Macabre</i> Artistic motif on the universality of death

The Danse Macabre, also called the Dance of Death, is an artistic genre of allegory of the Late Middle Ages on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the Danse Macabre unites all.

Efteling Fantasy-themed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands

Efteling is a fantasy-themed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands. The attractions reflect elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore.

The Haunted Mansion dark ride type at Disney theme parks

The Haunted Mansion is a dark ride attraction located at Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland. The attraction, although differing slightly in every location, places riders inside a haunted manor resided in by "999 happy haunts."

<i>Danse macabre</i> (Saint-Saëns) tone poem written by Camille Saint-Saëns

Danse macabre, Op. 40, is a tone poem for orchestra, written in 1874 by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It is in the key of G minor. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based on an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin part.

Phantom Manor is a dark ride attraction in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Paris. Phantom Manor is the park's version of the Haunted Mansion attractions at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland, although a lot of scenes from the Haunted Mansion have been reimagined to coincide with a darker theme. It opened with Euro Disneyland on April 12, 1992.

Haunted attraction (simulated) form of entertainment simulating a haunted location

A haunted attraction is a form of live entertainment that simulates the experience of visiting haunted locations or storylines typical of horror fiction. They usually feature fearsome sets and characters, especially demons, ghosts, monsters, witches/wizards, serial killers, and/or psychopaths. Humorous characters may also be included.

Ton van de Ven Dutch industrial designer

Ton van de Ven was a Dutch industrial designer. He is best known as the creative director at the Efteling theme park.

Fairytale Forest attraction at Efteling Theme Park, The Netherland

The Fairytale Forest is a 15-acre (61,000 m2) wooded section of the amusement park Efteling in the Netherlands, where a number of well-known fairy tales and fairy tale figures are depicted by animated statues and buildings. Most of the figures are inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault.

Diorama (Efteling) in Efteling amusement park

The Diorama is a miniature world in Efteling amusement park in the Netherlands. The highly detailed mountainous world, or Diorama, was designed by Anton Pieck and opened in 1971, in honour of the 20th birthday of Efteling.

Dreamflight dark ride in Efteling

Droomvlucht is a dark ride in Efteling amusement park in the Netherlands. It was designed by Ton van de Ven, built by Translift and opened in 1993.

Villa Volta Efteling

Villa Volta is an attraction in the amusement park Efteling in the Netherlands. It is a rare type of ride known as a Madhouse, which is a sort of haunted house, where the visitors get the illusion that either the building, the visitors themselves or both are turned upside down. It has been designed by Ton van de Ven and was built by Vekoma in 1996. At the time it was the first of its sort; nowadays the concept has been taken over by a number of other amusement parks.

Fata Morgana (Efteling) Efteling

Fata Morgana, the forbidden city, also known as 1001 Arabian Nights is a dark ride in the amusement park Efteling in the Netherlands. The attraction was designed by Ton van de Ven and Jan Verhoeven and opened in 1986.

The Indian Water Lilies is an indoor automatic puppet show in Efteling amusement park in the Netherlands. It was designed by Anton Pieck and opened its doors in 1966.

The House at Haunted Hill

The House at Haunted Hill is a high-tech haunted attraction at a home in Woodland Hills, California. The attraction, technically a yard haunt, showcases a mixture of age-old tricks such as Pepper's ghost, and advanced special effects and multi-channel audio.

Raveleijn Efteling

Ravelin is a theatre at the Efteling amusement park in the southern Netherlands. It was designed by Sander de Bruijn at a total cost of 30 million Euros and opened its doors on April 8, 2011.

Aquanura attraction in the Efteling, Netherlands

Aquanura is the name of a fountain system in the Efteling theme park in the Netherlands. The premiere took place on 31 May 2012 on the park's 60th anniversary, and it opened to the public the following day. The fountain was developed by WET Design, Efteling and Tebodin Consultants & Engineers. The fountain is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world, after The Dubai Fountain and the Fountains of Bellagio, though it could better be compared as a smaller version of Disney's World of Color.

Baron 1898 rollercoaster in the Efteling

Baron 1898 is a steel Dive Coaster at the Efteling theme park. The first test ride was held on 8 May 2015, after construction of the track was completed, and the first manned operation was conducted on June 18, 2015. Music was created by the Brussels Philharmonie symphony orchestra and several producers, under the direction of René Merkelbach. The ride opened on July 1, 2015. It is the first dive coaster manufactured by B&M that doesn't feature a turn between the lift hill and the first drop.

The Six Servants European fairy tale

The Six Servants is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm and published in Grimm's Fairy Tales. It is of Aarne-Thompson type 513A.

Symbolica darkride in the Efteling

Symbolica is a trackless dark ride at Efteling theme park in the Netherlands, which opened July 1, 2017.

References

  1. Documentariaat de Efteling The date of announcement (July 24, 1976) also marks the official date of foundation of Documentariaat De Efteling, largest privately held collection and source of information concerning the Efteling Themepark [ citation needed ]
  2. Official site
  3. Kate Bush' television special, filmed in the Efteling
  4. Fansite (in Dutch)

Coordinates: 51°38′56″N5°02′55″E / 51.64889°N 5.04861°E / 51.64889; 5.04861