February 23, 2007


Photo from the Tulsa Tribune August 1, 1973

UPDATE: I have updated this article with new photos and information provided by Bell's staff member Kyle J. Wood. The updates are indicated with orange type.

On November 8, 2006 Bell's Amusement Park was evicted from its ten acre lot in mid-city Tulsa, Oklahoma by the very county to which they've paid rent for more than fifty years. Over the past three months Bell's has been in the process of dismantling the attractions and preparing each one for storage with hopes that the park might someday find a new home.

Among the rides currently being deconstructed is Tulsa's only 'dark ride'- aptly named the Phantasmagoria. A couple of weeks ago I posted my personal history with the ride (which I've since updated with even more information and images).

As fate would have it, last Friday some close friends and I were granted a final walk-through tour of this mysterious ride! This time the lights were on and we were guided by the man who knows "the Phantaz" better than any other living soul, Buddy Stefanoff, the park's electrician and member of the Bell's family for over seventeen years. During this bittersweet excursion, less than a week before the entire structure was scheduled to be torn down, Buddy related a wealth of facts, memories and even "secrets" pertaining to the beloved Tulsa landmark. It is my distinct pleasure to share with you this exclusive last look inside the Phantasmagoria. (Note: all images can be viewed much larger if you click them.)

We approach the naked exterior of the dark ride. In June of 2006, a microburst (a sudden, violent downdraft of air over a small area) demolished the ride's wacky facade. A new one was ordered (at a cost of over 200 grand), but the request was cancelled after the park received news of the eviction.

Here's how it appeared in 2001

Let's step across the turnstile for one last journey through the Phantasmagoria. (Charles Kuralt's ghost told me to say that.)

This panel controls the whole thing. Every creep inside can be silenced with the push of a button.

This was the last remnant of the original exterior.

The ascent into darkness begins with this series of three bang doors. Right away the rider's senses are fooled. By the glow of the blacklights, the triple circles almost appear to be painted on a single door. Originally, this was the location of a different version of the trick called Diminishing Squares. It was a similar illusion but the doors turned out to be too heavy and slammed too hard so they were replaced.

This sign was followed by a large loudspeaker at the rider's "lap level" which blared vicious dog noises. The audio ceased to function early in the ride's history which caused latter day patrons to believe the sign was intended as a psych out. (Photo by Marsha Sites, 2001)

Once the site of a dip in the track and a grim reaper that hung from the ceiling, this lengthy dark corridor became quite popular with vandals. Each year (especially during the final weekend of the Tulsa State Fair) this area got ransacked by deviant patrons. At the time of our tour, wood patches from previous repairs had been removed revealing a long history of damage. In 2005 additional scenery (skulls, cobwebs, etc.) was added to this stretch.

This is a peephole that enabled staff to monitor patrons without being seen. The Bell's team was able to travel between any two points of the ride within moments thanks to a series of secret passages. (How perfect is that? A dark ride with secret passages!)

Two points of interest approach: ahead is a graveyard and to the left is the overlook of Skull Pond.

Here we look down upon Skull Pond and its green tinted water. The verdant pool was frozen solid on the day of our visit.

Any worthwhile haunted house must include a graveyard.

Here's a glimpse of the skeleton unhindered by the protective wire grid.

The backdrop is a rather beautiful rendering of a classic foreboding mountainside.

The next trick is a buzzard relaxing in his nest as he picks clean the bones of his latest victim.

Reminiscent of the era the ride was created, the psychedelic striped room remains trippy.

Next we find a ghostly date awaiting her caller. The frilly curtains and rotten lingerie seem to be part of the brothel motif hinted at on the ride's facade. Typically her shawl covered her body, but Buddy suspected that this immodest pose was the result of maintenance worker shenanigans. "You have to have a sense of humor to work at a place like this." He explained.

This "action" photo of the ghoulish gal was shot when the ride was operational. (Photo by Marsha Sites, 2001)

I mentioned secret passageways earlier, well this is one of them. Employees referred to this area as the "Kings Chamber." This perch provided easy access to both levels of the building (note the ladder to the first floor).

As we reach the halfway point we see where riders originally emerged into the outdoors for a breath of fresh air and a second dip in the tracks. The riders’ reaction to this public dip provided some entertainment for folks who were still waiting in line. When the dip was removed (due to people's belongings constantly flying out of the cars and blocking the track) this stretch was enclosed.

To the right we find a cutout that originally sported a decorative window containing multi-colored lights (the one on the right in the photo below).

(photo courtesy of Kyle J. Wood)

Front and back views of the ride's original Wacky windows. The one on the left hung near the entrance.

In 2005 Kyle J. Wood added a "witches head" to the opening.

Here we have yet another secret panel that allows access to a maintenance area on the first floor which was known among employees as the "Queen's Chamber."

After an all-too-brief glimpse of the real world, riders are forced back into the darkness where this warning foreshadows the next trick.

The mineshaft was the passage back down to the first floor. Note the cracks in the support where the ceiling appeared to cave in.

A rarely seen resident dwells high above the beams.

Purchased at Wal-Mart in 2004, this owl was first placed above the dock where it failed to scare away the pigeons that were "crapping on the cars." Kyle J. Wood painted it up and it eventually wound up in the mine shaft "where the kids couldn't reach it."

Now it's another encounter with Skull Pond. This time riders got a close-up view. At the water's edge there are intentionally loose boards to create a racket as cars passed over.

While crossing Skull Pond, if you look up over your shoulder you can see an earlier stretch of the track.

Chances are, while patrons were busy studying Skull Pond they failed to notice another hidden door on the right. This was the entrance to the secret Phantasmagoria Workshop!

Inside the workshop we find a rat and a buzzard on the operating table.

On the opposite wall hangs a grim reaper who will eternally await repair. He was originally suspended above the first dip in the long corridor.

Here's another view of this grizzly customer.

This is a shot of him back when he was in active duty. Now you know why they called it the PhantasmaGOREia. (Photo by Marsha Sites, 2001)

On the floor we spot the original swirling eyes from the facade.

A buzzard recuperates from a neck injury.

In the back of the workshop we can see the original flower display that once hung outside above the external dip. The heads that line the wall were from an Arabian themed ride.

This is the coupon requirement notice that used to hang in front of the queue. Here you see that 5 coupons were required to board.

However, during the off-season the sign was simply turned around to reveal a cost of only 2 coupons.

Back on the track and around the next corner we approach a seven-foot lunging rat.

Here's a rare look at the rat unhindered by protective wire mesh.

This shingled corner was once home to a shrouded skeleton lady...

...we found her packed up and looking scarier than ever.

Finally we come upon the most popular trick in the house, the oncoming bus. The phantom driver (originally a skeleton, more recently a skeleton with a hockey mask) had already been removed at the time of this photo. The gag was made from a real city bus, and it was the replacement for a lackluster "tilted room" where water appeared to flow uphill. As riders encountered the bus, a blaring horn would sound. No matter how familiar visitors were with the ride, this stunt rarely failed to frighten.

From this angle we can see yet another hidden passage. This is the ladder leading up to the "King's Chamber."

The 12 volt track takes another disorienting turn into the mirrored hallway.

Hanging out in the corner is the packed up half-naked, half-rotten lady. Always keeping with the times- she was nude in the 70s, bikini-clad coming out of the 90s, and she wore a thong in 2006.

The dayglo tunnel was sure to blast your mind just in case it hadn't been blasted prior.

Be careful, I think that's a vortex.

Back when he had a head, this fellow used to hang from a noose.

As bats often do, these bats hung in the cave.

The cave is the final trick and it used to be home an uphill-running water illusion as well as a water curtain that threatened to soak passengers, but shut off just in time of course. The trick was plagued with problems (I'm guessing some folks got accidentally soaked) and so the water was removed relatively early on.

After the journey concluded we emerged into the chilly twilight where we were greeted by a very real and very appropriate black cat.

The closing of this magic little amusement park is a heartfelt loss to many Tulsans (as well as frequent visitors like myself.) It's just like Buddy said- Some folks met their future spouses there, got their first kiss there, families played together there year after year and kids have grown up there.

But wait, I do have some good news. The decision to relocate and reopen Bell's has been made official by park management! The park will move to an as yet to be determined location in the vicinity of South Tulsa, and is slated to open its doors again in the Summer of 2008. With the exception of a portion of the Sky Ride (which was purchased by the city for future use at the Tulsa State Fair), every Bell's attraction will be disassembled, moved and rebuilt at the new location including Oklahoma's largest roller coaster, the Zingo. An amusement park relocation of this scale has only taken place twice before in U.S. History. The new park is expected to be twice the size of the original and will incorporate up to seven new rides (also yet to be determined). So does this mean the Phantasmagoria will "live" again? The answer is yes, though not as we've come to know it...


A new dark ride is indeed in the works for the next Bell's location, and it will retain the name Phantasmagoria. The next incarnation will be nearly twice the square footage, and will feature more modern and elaborate tricks. The new goal is to make the ride a story-driven experience with a tone that's a bit more family friendly. Bell's is considering a collaboration with a horror-influenced recording artist named Doctor Steel. The ride's storyline would be based on the singer's backstory which is that of a mad toy maker attempting to make the world more fun by way of his monstrous creations (as well as his music.) For sentimental reasons a number of the old tricks will be integrated into the new ride, but they will take on a more scenic role. For example the Skull Pond could wind up as Doctor Steel's hot tub. Here's an exclusive look at a concept drawing for the new Phantasmagoria...

And finally, if you're wondering how this whole incredible visit came to be... It's a tale of divine timing and the joys of blogging.

A couple weeks ago a news story covering the disassembly of the Phantas inspired me to blog a lengthy retrospective wherein I detailed all of my own experiences involving the ride. This included mention of an attempt to personally paint the ride's faded fa├žade in 2002 which ultimately failed due to miscommunication between myself and the park's maintenance department. (In hindsight I ultimately blame my own lame, indirect communication with the park's owner.) In my article I took a few playful jabs at the maintenance crew and even joked that they would have sabotaged my scaffolding, and in effect, killed me.

A week after I posted the piece I got a comment from someone claiming to have more information on the ride (I've since removed it to protect his email address). I emailed the commenter and the response came from none other than Buddy Stefanoff, the senior electrician for Bell's! This was the very man I was unable to connect with during my paint job debacle. I cringed as I began to read his email, fully expecting a severe rebuttal to my snarky comments about his team. He did briefly explain the unique challenges they had faced in maintaining my favorite ride. But to my pure surprise and delight he offered me the guided tour I detailed above, so that I might have "one last look."

When we first spoke on the phone I spent the first chunk of our conversation trying to assure Buddy that I harbored no grudges and that I only brought that stuff up because I wanted to document my entire history with the ride. All of my blabbering was completely unnecessary because Buddy had taken no offense to my initial post (though I could understand a person of lesser character doing just that.) He told me that he and Robby Bell thought that a visit would make for a better end to my story. They were absolutely right; it couldn't have been more perfect. Thank you Buddy and Robby for making this dream a reality, and for the millions of happy memories you guys are responsible for.

UPDATE: Reader Nick Beals was kind enough to share this great photo of the dog that once bobbed in and out of the facade. He said it was sitting near the Sky Ride soon after the micro burst of Summer 06...

APPENDIX A: Phantasmagoria facts

Opened: July 1973
Demolished: June 19, 2007
Number of levels: 2
Duration: approx. 5 minutes
All of the 'bang doors' close solely by the power of gravity.
There are nearly as many smoke detectors as there are spooks in the ride. Not one fire occurred in the ride's history.
Items commonly discarded in ride: Stuffed animals, hats, litter, cigarette butts, ladies undergarment, feminine products, condom wrappers
Means of mischief: Getting out of car (most common), making out, occasional stink bombs.
Number of tricks: 23

APPENDIX B: List of tricks

1. The spinning eyes (exterior)
2. The lunging dog (exterior)
3. Three ascending bang doors with circular cuts (originally diminishing squares)
4. Guard dog sign/barking audio
5. Dip #1
6. Grim Reaper (originally hung above the dip in the long corridor)
7. Skeleton in the graveyard
8. Singing skulls
9. Buzzard in the nest
10. The psychedelic room (aka tinfoil room aka strobe room )
11. Skull faced "lady of the night"
12. The witches head
13. Dip #2
14. Collapsing mine shaft (aka Falling Timbers)
15. The Skull Pond with rattling floorboards
16. Cloaked skeleton lady in front of shingles
17. The giant rat
18. Rotating naked/bikini woman
19. Skeleton in the noose
20. The bus (formerly the tilted room where water ran uphill)
21. The mirrored hallway
22. The spinning tunnel
23. The bat cave with water curtain


Jamey Clayberg said...

12:55, somebody's gonna have a case of the Fridays... Well worth it K, and thanks for the chance to join you on that excellent excursion. Was a once-in-a-lifetime, to be sure. Phantaz 2007!

Todd Franklin said...

I feel much better about this place, since I was bummed out that I missed out on it. Now, thanks to your 'toon and posts, I feel like I've been there. Also, when the new one is open I'll make point to visit it.

Anonymous said...

Yay, Kirk! You have the best adventures, ever. Thank you, Mr. Stefanoff!

chuckbaris said...

good blog, good pictures, good end to a story. Now you have done everything you could every possible hope to accomplish. Go purchase your grave plot and lay down in it, it's all over

Anonymous said...

Best Friday post I've ever read! Great entry. I loved every photo- I am thrilled to hear that Bell's is moving. I'm ready to ride that rickety old Zingo again!

I also loved how the ticket sign was misspelled on both sides!

Unknown said...

Awesome! I lived in OK for 20 yrs and never heard of this, but if you're into cool secrets, go to...


Catch it!

Steven Altis said...

Wow! Every one of these Phantasmagoria posts have managed to top the previous entries... which couldn't have been easily done seeing as how they were all amazing! A big thank you, Kirk, for all the time and effort that went into this whole "Phantasmagoria-palooza opus/omnibus"

And I'm glad to hear that Bell's will live on... in the words of the immortal Nipsey Russell- "There is nothing amusing about the closing down of an amusement park"

Anonymous said...


Oh, how I've longed to see the inside of a dark ride with the lights on. I think I was 8 when I took my first ride. I immediately went home to figure out how to build one. I used my Lionel trains to make a miniature version. There's something about these things that just get my creative juices flowing.

Wouldn't it be a kick to design and build these things?

Imagine my giddiness when a dark ride made an appearance in the movie Ed Wood.

Thanks a million for posting your visit!

Brian O.

Erick said...

Wow! Great story, thanks for sharing.

Graham said...

There's a ride on the boardwalk in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, called "Haunted Mansion," which features a lot of the same gags and props - I wonder if they were built by the same company or what. I know the DE Haunted Mansion was originally built and operated somewhere else, and transplanted, but I'm not sure where.

The similarities I noticed right off the bat were the "giant skull" (nearly identical to the DE one) and the "hit by a bus" trick - again, nearly identical.

A few years ago we shot part of the independent horror film "The Roost" there, and had full run of the place for a day or so.

Anonymous said...

Great blog I added you to Fastamber's blog directory under blogs for fun.


Buck Roberts

gentle_dissident said...

thanks ever so much for the photos and the info on the new incarnation. i hope it's not TOO family friendly. doesn't matter how friendly it is, my little girl would still refuse to ride it

are you makin an article for laffinthedark.com?

Anonymous said...

A reasonable question at this point would be: Did you get to take anything home to keep as a memento from this wonderful artifact of your childhood?

Flashfink! said...

When I saw how long this entry was I postponed reading it until I had time to digest it all in one sitting. It's like a getting reward for coming in to work on a Sunday!

Kirk D. said...

Hey folks, sorry it's taken me so long to chime in on comments. I've been busy as a crazy fool. Anyway, I'm thrilled to see that so many of you share my enthusiasm.

herva- I'm so glad you got to be there. Also glad that you were willing and able to be cameraman.

todd- I'm glad you're no longer bummed out and you can get on with your life.

k2- Glad you enjoyed it! I second your word of thanks to Mr. S.

chuck- I would take your advice, but if I die before David Copperfield does then I'm the one who loses. It's that simple.

travis- thanks so much, really!
The misspelling is a great point! You know, I think I realized that several years ago while visiting the park but this time around I didn't even notice.

scott- Yes, I am into cool secrets. very into cool secrets.

steven- you are truly too kind, and you are quite welcome. Phantasmagoriapalooza 2007! Nice quote too, BTW.

brian o- man, I know what you mean. I've wanted to create a dark ride in some form be it virtual, miniature, or life-size for most of my life.
That dark ride scene in Ed Wood is roughly 32% of the reason why it's one of my all time favorites.

erik- you're totally welcome, and BTW I enjoyed your Hugo eye piece as well. (Guess I should comment there instead of here)

Grahm- another commentor on the Phantasmagoria Remembered post pointed out that the gags in the ride you described were indeed built by the same guy (Bill Tracy). He had such a cool recognizable style.

Buck- alrighty

Gentle- I did write an article based on these posts that's scheduled to be in the Dark Ride and Funhouse Enthusiasts newsletter.

flamen- well, now that you mention it, Buddy did present me with the coupon sign. Needless to say I was floored. It's now proudly displayed among my other goodies.

flashfink- that is awesome. I'm quite pleased to have made your weekend workday a little more spooky!

Unknown said...

Native Tulsan...came across your blog during a search after an email from my mom telling me the terrible news about Bell's closing. Thank you for the trip down Memory Lane, and for all of the info in this post, which happens to be more info than many news articles I've been reading. Thanks again!! T living in Florida

Kirk D. said...

You're welcome Tanya, I'm glad you found it informative.

Max the drunken severed head said...

This is one of the best things I've ever read on the web-- one of the most fun, certainly! Thank you for taking me on a virtual dark ride with you, Kirk.

Like others her, I'd sure like to see a return of Flip! It's one short film I show to all my friends the first time they come to visit. They inevitably laugh a lot and like it very much.



Anonymous said...

Way cool stuff! I love haunted houses and it was real neat to see some behind the scenes stuff!

Anonymous said...

Awesome stuff! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Grew up in Broken Arrow, from 4th to 12th grade/1983, and then got the heck out of the buckle-of-the-bible-belt. However, some of my fondest childhood memories were from the state Fair, and Bells.

And my favorite part of Bells, was the Phantasmagoria! Gosh, I hadn't thought of some of those "tricks" in many, many years. It's funny how when you're living "in the now", it doesn't seem unique, but looking back on the pop-culture of the 70's is most entertaining now.

I wonder if there wasn't any social backlash in OralRoberts-ville against all the nudity contained within. I was too young to notice, but I'll bet there was some protest.

Thanks for your work on this tribute, and I'm also glad to hear they're going to give the whole park a 2nd life.

Anonymous said...

gentle_dissident said...
thanks ever so much for the photos and the info on the new incarnation. i hope it's not TOO family friendly

My thoughts exactly. One of the reasons I think I enjoyed it so much as a kid, was because it was truly weird and scary. To "G-rate" it, would be to neuter it.

But like I said before, it's the buckle-of-the-bible-belt, so there's no use fighting the bible-thumping majority there.

Anonymous said...

As a fan of haunted house rides, I want to thank you for that incredible tour. Great photos and facts.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

I remember when the ride opened up back in 72-- I was a littel girl, and my parents wouldn't let me ride it until I was in Jr. High.

There used to be a gunny sack slide near the site before, but it had been gone for years.

One of my greatest joys was introducing my kids to the joys of Bell's. I hope it finds a new home. We live ner a Six Flags, and my kids raved about Bell's becuase, in one day, you could ride twenty times more rides there than you could at one of those corporate parks. They especially liked the Chili Pepper ride-- they rode that and the log flume about ten times each.

Unknown said...

Great write up, I always wondered what the inside of that thing looked like with the lights on. Lived in Tulsa for over 20 years and will live there again in the next few, and I hope the new Phantas lives up to the old one. That thing was SCAAAARY when you were a kid :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool! I found this via fazed....I will be back again!

I live in Cleveland and there is a theme park called Cedar Point about 1 hour west. Back in the 70's and 80's they had a couple of cool rides similar to the Phantasmagoira [but not as good!]; one a pirate ride and the other an earthquake ride.

I always wanted to go through one of them with a guide like you did.....thanks for the trip!

Paul Tay said...

The guard dog sign was a nice touch. My creepy neighbor has this creepy sign: Forget the dog. Beware of OWNER!

There's a creepy Santa rolling all over town, peering into cars and scaring the pants of unsuspecting motorists. Doing a great job of ruining EVERY cherished childhood memories of Santa. More like SATAN Claus. Maybe P-goria 2.0 will take a cue.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this article. I grew up in Jenks from K-7th grade. I loved the Tulsa State Fair! and Phantasmagoria was my favorite ride. Thanks for letting me take a stroll down memory lane. Loved it.

Kirk D. said...

r. scott- yeah, it makes you wonder what elements of today's culture are taken for granted but will someday be fondly reminisced about.

rhea- You're welcome. I'm happy to share with a fellow haunted ride fan!

ms. cornelius- great point about the availability of rides at Bell's. Yes, with the proper timing one could dominate the park. I hope that will be the case with the new Bell's.

travis- as long as they put some dark in the new ride, there will be some scared kids : )

dj hojo- I've always wanted to tour the dark rides of Ohio and PA in particular. Those two states seem to know how to do the dark rides.

paul tay- sounds like something straight out of the movie Silent Night, Deadly Night. A man who has the power to enter any home has built-in creepiness.

james- I know what you mean, the Tulsa State Fair was always one of the highlights of the year and I too had some great times there. I'm glad this brought back some memories for you.

Anonymous said...

REALLY great blog & post!

Just Go said...

this was like getting to ride the ride one more time. thanks for the great article and pictures!

Unknown said...

I had so much fun looking at these pictures and reading everyone's comments about Bell's and the Phantasmagoria. Thank you so much for the opportunity to see the Phantas again, and for a completely new, behind the scenes perspective. I grew up in Tulsa and spent countless hours at Bell's during my childhood and adolescence. When I was a kid, my mom bought my brother and me a season pass every year. Before we turned 16, my friends and I would get our parents to drop us off nearly every day during the summers and we would spend hours and hours riding everything and flirting with girls. The Phantasmagoria was always a favorite because it was so unique (and nice and cool on a sweltering Oklahoma day). And there were some genuine scares in there, too! I always felt a bit uneasy in the pitch black parts of the ride (which seemed to go on forever) because I just KNEW that one day some deranged guy would be in there hiding, waiting for an unsuspecting teenager to pass by! You could almost "feel" someone else in there with you. My favorite part of the ride was the bus. No matter how many times I rode the Phantas and knew exactly what was coming, it always made me jump when the horn blared and the headlights cut through the dark. I heard that in later years they turned down the loudness of the bus horn. I remember it being deafening. Thank you again so much for the respect you have for the Phantasmagoria and for reminding me of details from those summers that had been forgotten until I saw these pictures.

Kirk D. said...

jack frost- Thanks very much! I hope you visit again sometime.

sarah- Awesome. You're more than welcome.

david- I'm delighted that you enjoyed the article so much and that it stirred up so many great memories. Thanks for sharing them with us. Wow, season passes every summer! It sounds like you truly made the most of the park. Maybe they didn't turn the horn down.. maybe it was literally deafening.

Anonymous said...

it is so sad that expo could not work it out with robbie. in high school (1981) my best friend, brandon dated laura bell, robbie bell's sister, and i ended up dating her friends. we practilly owned that park and had free reign and unlimited access to things that most others would never see. i will never forget the good times ind memories there....r.s.

Unknown said...

I am thrilled to hear that Bell's is going to rebuild. After suffering blows from the whining, litigious neighbors (the majority of whom moved in after Bell's was there), the microburst, and the stupid, secret decision of the County Commissioners to not renew their lease, I figured Bell's would just go away quietly; unsupported and under-appreciated.

I will still miss Bell's greatly as I currently live within walking distance of them. I wish them the best and hope that they hold on to some of their history even as they relocate and expand.

Anonymous said...

I just want to cry! I worked there not to long ago, and got to experience Bell's from both sides of the world ( as a kid growing up), and ( as an employee) for them. No one has any more rights to exercise their complaints whether good or bad, than those of a co - worker! Bell's is great, no matter what anyone says! and please remember parents of all kinds... Bell's is not your Babysitter! It's a place to have fun and remember, not a place to drop off your teens! and for everyone's safety, LISTEN to the RIDE OPERATOR, use good judgement, and not your poor habits!

laurie said...

Thank you so much for the guided tour. I miss that place more than I can say.

My husband is in the Navy and we haven't been home in the summer in six years. But each year I find myself tracing a map of Bells or trying to replicate it with roller coaster tycoon. The Bell family made such a impact on my life and so many others. I wish them nothing but the best.

Yes, I can confirm Buddy is a great guy, My first job was at BA movies 8. Buddy serviced all our video games. So, once again thank you for this way for me to say goodbye to a park I love from far away. I will be there in 2008

Anonymous said...

Thanks for creating such a great archive of information on the Phantasmagoria. Here is a link to a video taken inside the Phantasmagoria in August of 2006. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnMhiBwrI38

Kirk D. said...

Richie, Paul, anonymous, and Laurie- thanks so much for your thoughts. (though I'm just now seeing them. My comment notifier email must not have been working in May.)

Wendi- Love the footage! I posted about it here...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Steel for the win!!!

Anonymous said...

As one of Dr. Steel's Toy Soldiers, can assure you if it becomes Steel Manor as shown in the concept, you all will have fun.

He's a wonderful guy who just wants us all to have fun in everything. All kidding aside, we're all lucky. He loves amusement parks.

Anonymous said...

You can't go wrong with Dr. Steel's fun i really hope that the new version comes to pass.

Anne's Blog said...

Thank you so much for your story. I have so many memories of riding that great ride at Bells as a teenager. I had forgotten about a few of the tricks but they all came back when I saw the photos.
Great job. Thanks again for the fun!

Anonymous said...

Job well done.

You brought back a few memories I had stored away. Bell's was a pretty cool place for us t-town people growing up.

Sure will miss the memories.


Unknown said...

What a story. Well told. Sad, happyish ending, facts, super memoir...really felt we were there with you. Please post again when the 'new one' is built!

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering when you went through where youwalking or where they able to let you aactually ride it? And great article awesome job!

Kirk D. said...

I wish! But by the time I got there the cars were not functional.
(Glad you enjoyed the post!)

Jughead Joneser said...

I've been revisiting this page for years to relive the Phantasmagoria. Thank you so much for your extensive coverage! As of September 18, 2019, Bell's has announced that they will be rebuilding and reopening soon!!! Just in case you hadn't heard. :D

Kirk D. said...

Glad you've enjoyed it!
Thanks for thinking of me. Yes, I certainly hope it comes to fruition. The Zingo and Phantas should be the first things they build IMO. : )