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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spooky World Estate Sale...

Photo from Metro West News
The much heralded Yard Sale/Estate sale by the former owner of the original (and incredible) Spooky World which first found it's start on a great farm land in Berlin Ma-- held at his home in somewhat nearby Sudbury may have been an amazing array of vintage collectibles and memorabilia from a time I fondly remember but when I got there sometime around 1:30pm on the first day of sale little was left save for a collection of movie posters, some impressive, some not so much and a few other items that I found interesting but way beyond what I'd ever pay for them.

He had a few latex mannequin heads, a Dracula doll mint in the box and a Dracula statue that I thought were interesting.  He also had a great autographed Martin Landau photo from Ed Wood that I would have bought had the price been more along the lines of $25 instead of $200.

Newspaper articles since the sale report that there were close to 100 people who began lining up at 6am on that first day.  By 1:30 not too many people seemed to be buying anything.

Spooky World in it's original incarnation was so much more than any of the imitators that carry on its legacy today.  Rather than just a spectacle of gore and shock, the original Spooky World featured a 30+ minute hayride that took you through one set after another of mini-performances complete in settings right out of Hollywood and our imaginations.  The enthusiasm was contagious.  The zombie that hid under the wagon and only made his appearance towards the end of the ride by sticking his hand up through a loose plank was clever.

The hayride stopping halfway for hot cider and donuts was a nice touch.  The attack of Leatherface on the wagon with his chainsaw was amidst a sea of dramatic lighting and fog.

Back on the main grounds it was set up like a carnival-- a carnival out of HP Lovercraft's nightmares, but it was fun.  There was a great museum of vintage horror artifacts in a converted barn, performers who kept you entertained both while you waited in line and as you walked the fairgrounds.

There was another huge barn which acted as a gift shop so you could buy masks and other trinkets to remember your visit.

The guests they had ranged from Jason to Batgirl from the Batman TV Series.  It wouldn't be unusual to see the vintage Batmobile parked next to the Munsters Koach.  It wasn't all about horror- it was about classic nostalgia as well.

My last visit to the modern Spooky World was after I was hired to do an illustration by the new owners for Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster), they gave me tickets and I went and was saddened by what Spooky World had become.  Now housed in the Hynes Convention Center and dominated by zombies I just wasn't impressed at all.  The hayride had been replaced by variations on the walk thru Haunted House theme that so many of the imitators have come to rely on.

I don't think there will ever be another 'real' Spooky World, and sadly, I had hoped something from the yard sale would have brought back some of those fond memories.   Instead it only emphasized the sad ending of a true original.