Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses

Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses

Amusement Parks can be a lot of fun. There’s the typical rollercoasters, tilt-a-whirls, and such, but when I was a kid, a lot of Amusement Parks had my favorite attraction, the Funhouse. They had their heyday in the 50’s and 60’s, so the younger GaGers might not be familiar with them, but the Funhouse had interactive activities inside, where you walked around at your own pace, and you could actually do things, as opposed to most rides, where you sat in a car while it pulled you around.

When you went in, you never knew what you would encounter next. There might be floor boards you’d have to walk across where the boards would move back and forth in opposite directions, or a staircase that would rock from side to side as you walked up, or a room full of mirrors where you’d have to figure out which way to go to get through, or walk through a room that was slanted at 45 degrees, or maybe a big slide. These places were terrific if you had a date.

Funhouses Really WERE Fun Houses

A room full of mirrors. Which way out?


Videos aren't as good as the real thing, but this gives the idea.

There wasn’t really a limit on how much time you wanted to take doing something, but most people would move on after about a minute out of courtesy (there was usually a group behind you!).

There are few Funhouses left anymore, as they’re kind of from a bygone era. Supposedly the electrical wiring in Funhouses was substandard, and you could just imagine the present-day requirements for electrical wiring, safety concerns, handicapped access, or whatever. I could picture lawsuits in the making.

There’s also the possibility of mugging or rape, concepts that would have never even dawned on me decades ago.

What signaled the end of Funhouses as far as I felt, was an experience I had in my last walk in a Funhouse, somewhere around 1970, I guess. I was walking through a Funhouse, having fun, of course, and when I reached the place where the moving floorboards were, there were two teenage boys hanging around smoking. Part of the fun of Funhouses was that you could mentally leave the outside world outside, while you enjoyed the surreal world inside for a few minutes. These two weren’t really ‘doing’ anything, but their mere presence shattered that surreal illusion.

That’s probably ANOTHER reason why Funhouses could never come back - lack of consideration for other people. You just do whatever you want, and screw everybody else. It’s sad, really. A lack of courtesy.

I’ll admit, the computer games today are mind-blowing compared to what entertainment we had decades ago, and the internet is great for learning things and connecting with people (some of these applications, like Snapchat and Twitter, I have no idea how they even WORK!). Still, I miss the old Funhouses, and they’ll always be something fun I can remember.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Fun houses seem interesting but in these days I think people would be worried about getting sick if somebody were to fall or trip or throw up on the ride

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Most Helpful Guy

  • somebody I worked with years ago once had an amazing idea involving fun houses. he thought it would be so cool to have a 3 story fun house that doubles as a laser game hall. honestly I didn't think it was a bad idea. would have needed a bit tweaking but the core was fun.

    and if you ever get the change to visit toverland in limburg, the Netherlands. they still have a fun house as one of their attraction.

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What Girls Said 0

The only opinion from girls was selected the Most Helpful Opinion, but you can still contribute by sharing an opinion!

What Guys Said 3

  • I remember! Nice video. Watching it, I kept thinking about how expensive it must be to build and maintain a funhouse.

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  • Interesting Take !!!

    Thanks for sharing your Take.

    It reminds me of Nicco Park which is also referred to as Disneyland of West Bengal. This is because Rajive Kaul wanted to ‘create a Disneyland here (Kolkata)’. There are a variety of rides which are exhilarating. They’ve also added the ‘Crazy Tea Party’ ride. Surprise it boasts of an Eiffel Tower. AWESOME!

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  • The only ones I've seen are the cheesy portable ones at carnivals.

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    • Those are the cheaper ones, and they're not as big.

    • Someone told me they had a real classic old one at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, but it was long gone by the time I lived there.

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