Halloween Horror Nights is fast approaching, construction is nearing completion, and props are appearing in the streets. Ladies and Gentleman haunt season is upon us! This year Halloween Horror Nights boasts a whopping 9 houses. This tops their previous record of 8. I wanted to focus on just one house in particular: Run. But even more specifically it’s relation to Eddie and it’s tragic inspiration.
Those familiar with the event will remember that the original Run house went through a great deal of changes after September 11th. The incarnation that made it to the event Was a game show (much like Running Man) where you were chased through a maze of death. Your prize was that you got to live if you could get past Eddie who was supposed to be the grand finale. However, he was removed and large amounts of the house were modified to the point where the house became a repetitive series of chain link fences, barricades, and construction materials.
The original incarnation of Eddie’s back story did somewhat survive however he was changed From Eddie Sawyer to Eddie Schmidt at which point he became Jack’s brother. Originally, he was to be just a crazed movie fan who renamed himself “The Phantom” after he was burned alive in his own haunted house by some teenagers. This, of course was more like what Run would have originally been. A series or trailers put together for a home haunt.
It’s that surviving original bits of his back story the are tell tale of his tragic inspiration. Eddie built a haunted house from trailers and joined them together. The house was burnt down with him inside it. This is remarkably similar to the Haunted Castle tragedy of 1984.
The Haunted Castle was your typical haunted attraction full of plastic props and employees dressed as classic horror monsters. It was located at Six Flags Adventure Park, New Jersey. It’s construction was of 17 aluminum semi-trailers connected together. This created a twisty path for the patrons to weave through. It was always considered a “temporary structure” as the trailers were on wheels and were just connected with wood to bride the gaps between.
On May 11th, 1984 what is considered one of the worst theme park tragedies occurred. Allegedly, a teenager was guiding another child through the house. He was doing so with a lighter as there was a defective strobe light and the hallway was pitch black. The teenager bumped into a rubber wall fixture and set it ablaze. The two left the attraction but 8 other teenagers we trapped in the structure as it burned down. The park remained open, while the attraction burned, for another hour and a half. The teens weren’t even discovered until much later that night as the firefighters mistakenly thought their charred remains were mannequins. It was deemed that the teens died of monoxide inhalation.
Knowing all this, it isn’t hard to see the correlation between the two. The similarities are just too obvious to rule it coincidence. Will we see Eddie again this year? It’s hard to say but I would wager a guess that if he isn’t in Run he will be haunting the streets of ICONS-HHN. Now you know there is a deeper layer to this manic. One which adds both tragedy and horror.