The Ghost Hole – June 2014

The oddly named “Ghost Hole” dark ride in Coney Island NY is a traditional family friendly tracked doom buggy ride through an automated darkened house of horrors. As soon as we spotted the attraction, complete with it’s weathered retro veneer and giant demon sculpture perched just above a vomiting mannequin in a clear glass box, there was absolutely no question that the day must include a trip into the Ghost Hole.

For Coney Island the ticket price was fair, and midday, even on a beautiful Saturday, there was no line to get in. Patrons ride through in classically styled and seeming hand painted doom buggies. Two adults fit in each, albeit a tad snugly.
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Once the ride lurches forward and through the entry blackout doors, it’s quickly apparent that the dark part of the name dark ride has you at an immediate disadvantage as daylight adjusted eyes take a few moments to adjust to the pitch black conditions inside. I would estimate the attraction to be around 80-85% darkness with around 15% actually occupied by props of various shapes and sizes, some static, some shaking about, and some actual basic animatronic movements.
To a seasoned haunt goer the Ghost Hole is not in the least bit scary, but definitely a fun and cute ride. The decor inside shows it’s age via wear and tear from years of use, however the managed decay adds a bit of a nostalgic and dystopian charm to it.
The ride path was also surprisingly well designed, with a longer than average ride duration, well concealed by the exterior which in no way led on that there would be two stories of scares inside.
Overall, The Ghost hole may be a little retro and worn, but the charm of a classic dark ride still operating in Coney Island is undeniable. Perhaps the most fun part of all was thinking about how a youngster, perhaps even myself years ago, would see the ride as a harrowing experience, primarily due to the darkness and uncertainty about what horrors lurked just out of sight.