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Wicked Witches Haunt

 

 

One glaring admission from Thorpe Park's line up at the moment is any form of dark ride. This wasn't always the case as they built Phantom Fantasia in 1983, although I didn't ride it until after it became The Wicked Witches Haunt in 1994. That early on I'd not done many ghost trains, and the dark rides I'd done with a spooky theme felt predictable and clichéd. This then holds the distinction of being the only pre Hex, non Disney spooky dark ride that I did that was in any way above average.

There are some comparisons to the famous Disney ride, as it used the same system of moving people through a spooky environment, but it did more than enough to distinguish itself in it's own right. It had some traditional scenery such as the ghostly ballroom dancers and mad scientist, but the scenes that really stand out in my memory used more original ideas from British history and legend.

One that stands out in my mind is a throne room with Henry VIII with the ghosts of his dead wives watching him. My favourite though was based on the Sweeny Todd story, having him claiming a victim in his shop, and the pie shop next door where the bodies were disposed of, and you thought the meat in value brand burgers was dodgy.

Sadly this ride was destroyed by a large fire in 2000 and the area was redeveloped. I have to wonder would the ride still be with us if it wasn't for the fire. I reckon with Thorpe Parks older target audience it would have had another makeover at some point, but even without this it would be good enough to have remained a popular attraction today.