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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The July 2012 entrée: Doug Higley » » Scary Dark Rides » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

steven-gibson
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Tenish years ago, I was in the Haunted Attraction buisness and came across an interesting little book called SCARY DARK RIDES. It has tons of interesting pictures and even some popups. Its a fun read about carnival midway rides and thier history. Years later, my intrests turned to more intimate entertainment and I found bizarre magic. One of the first effects I really fell in love with was called Dark Museum. As I was pouring over the instruction book (Midnight in the Dark Museum), I realized I had heard of this Higley person before, but where? Later I put it together that you had written that book I bought ten years earlier! I just pulled my copy of Scary Dark Rides off the shelf and am going through it now. The book is signed by you as copy 68/100. Is this book a rareity? Is my comfortable retirement now secured?
stoneunhinged
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No, you're retirement is not secured. There are too many other collectables that you don't yet have.

My best piece is signed and numbered 2/10, I think.

Of course, I'm never selling my stuff, so maybe you have a shot at those tens of thousands of Ebay dollars.
Doug Higley
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Well Steven-Gibson...if you have 68/100...yeah I suppose it's a collectors item of some degree. Smile
That book was when Scary Dark Rides was new had the pop-up and was all Hand Made. Typos are rampant and it had tons of love.
It was before I had a computer and typed (banged) out on an old manual typewriter...the photos (which I had mostly taken myself) were cut out and laid out on a master sheet with the cut out bits of text etc...lots of White out and if I remember correctly the cover was 'painted' with white out on black construction paper.
That whole mess was taken to Kinkos and run off...brought home, collated and an attempt at assembling was made...sometimes I used staples but it was just thick enough to make them un-stable staples...so my wife came up with the idea of hole punching it and tying it in silver ribbons. Do you have ribbons? I've seen that version on eBay for quite a bit for some reason. Smile
The book then went through a drastic re-write (not enough!) and the photos were weeded out somewhat and no pop-up. I think there were a couple of hundred of those with the white cover and different art work.
Then about the time I discovered LuLu.com I got serious and re-wrote the whole thing, did some 'serious' editing, proofing it as best I could, and came up with the Gorilla cover for the soft back and the Skull for the hard cover.
The soft cover version is the current version and I'm real proud of it...it's the closest thing to an autobiography I'll ever write. It's about entertainment in the dark...not a list but written to be 'timeless' and not outdated since it deals with a hundred years of history and personal experiences etc. (Not that I'm a hundred...(yet) I like to think it's a perfect read for a flight to one of the Disney parks on either coast or just before a trip to the fair or amusement park. (or a haunt) It WILL get your blood running to RIDE!! (crap...sounds like a sales pitch...sorry...I still like the darn thing.) Smile

So Steven, is your retirement secured? if you can live on a hundred bucks maybe. Smile
I think the original sold for about $20 or so.

Current and final printed version is $12. http://www.lulu.com/shop/doug-higley/sca......287.html

ebook $7. http://www.lulu.com/shop/doug-higley/sca......993.html (NO COVER ART)

Or if you want it signed I have a FEW here $12 plus $3 post (USA) $6 post Overseas.
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steven-gibson
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No silver ribbons on my book.. I can see where it may have been a good idea though. The center stuff is not attached anymore and just sort of floats around in the middle. No complaints here. I love the look and feel of this book. I have started to reread and am enjoying it immensely. I just read the part about Phillip Morris and his promise to give away a REAL free dead body at every show. Great stuff! I really cant remember how or where I found this book. Was it possibly listed in Morris Catalog?

Is the newer edition different enough for me to get it? (I am now engaging my psychic powers and trying to gleam what your response will be. I have written my prediction on a piece of paper and left it in plain site.) Steve
Doug Higley
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Let me answer this way...no to bollox up your prediction but...I don't like 'loose ends'...the current version is tightend up (has less photos though) and is a much better READ. Rather than a grass roots kitchen project, it became what I consider a real book. There were changes to the text bbut I can't remember what they were...so to me...it is different...not as charming maybe...but without loose ends. Smile
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handa
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I am one of those people (and there are quite a few) with "crossover interests" related to haunted attractions, amusement parks, and most things Disney. It was fun to learn that Doug is also an active part of these communities of enthusiasts.

SDR stands out because the books on amusement parks are written by authors in a very narrow niche that is either regionalized or geared toward the ACE/NAPHA demographic. Books on specific genres of attractions are usually about roller coasters. Every book that I personally own about dark attractions is either a how-to or about a Disney-specific attraction.

Then there's SDR.

Members of the Darkride And Funhouse Enthusiasts (DAFE) recognize Doug's work as definitive in documentation of the evolution of dark attractions. As personalized as it is, it provides a general history that many of us also relate to our own experiences as we travel across the country looking for classic dark attractions before they disappear from the landscape. Most of the retrospective articles that I have seen were written in the years after Doug's introduction to the pasttime. Fortunately, the number of written works is growing, but SDR still stands out as good source material and one of the first comprehensive works written on the history of dark attractions.

Chris Handa
DAFE Executive Board Member
Contributing writer: BARREL O' FUN and FRIGHT TIMES Magazines
Doug Higley
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Thanks Chris. Appreciate those kind words and acknowledgement from a true 'insider'. From the many responses I have recieved over the years I was always most happy that the little book was an inspiration to hundreds of folks who had never given the rides much thought and decided to get out there and RIDE!!! Especially those folks who had never rode one! At the time, it was the first such book...I think I wrote the 1st version in 1999? It will always be my favorite thing I ever wrote and probably the best as well. Every once in awhile I re-read it and always think..."I wrote that?" haha.

Occasionally I get the urge to add some new material (like the INCREDIBLE 'Transformers' ride at Universal)...but then that's not what the book was for...it was to be more of a 'chemistry' of entertainment in the dark...more of a WHY and of course a personal journey (even though it covers 100 years of rides and even touches on movies and LIVE spook shows etc.) But like you say...since Scary Dark Rides, others have picked up the torch, so I don't have to mess with it. This final version is complete forever. An editor needs to know when to STOP. Smile SDR is my pride and joy...while I can dismiss most other things I've done with a piffle. Smile
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steven-gibson
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Dougs top 10 from Scary Dary Rides 1999
10. Escape from Dinosaur beach
9. Any Double decker Barbisan
8. Voyage to the Center of the Earth
7. Haunted Mansion (Disney)
6. Indian Jones (Disney)
5. Mine of Lost Souls
4. Phantom theater
3. Haunted Hotel (Myrte Beach)
2. ZOMBIE!
1. Haunted Mansion (Elysburg PA).

So Doug, any updates 13 lucky years later? How about Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror? Which from your list still exist (excepting Disney, of course).
Doug Higley
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Well...that list is very misleading out of the context of the original version of the book and its story of the the type of experiences I was talking about, both bad and good. The list includes cheese...and that's all I'll say about that. The list does NOT exist in the later versions of the book by the way. Smile The point of the book was not listing rides at all, to not date it and make it obsolete, so the list was meaningless and removed.

These days my favorite rides in NO ORDER are Pirates Of The Caribbean (not heavily covered in SDR because there were experts writing all the time about that ride, even back then. The new Transformers at Universal is phenominal. A real winner. Jurassic Park The Ride (UNIV Hollywood) ahs a terrific dark ride experience as does the Tram Tour with KING KONG and the T-Rex attack. Truely awesome technology. I love Mr. Toad at DL. As to the Carnival rides so 'lovingly' covered and detailed in SDR...I haven't been on many lately and those I have were really let go to seed.
Again the book is about the Chemistry and how they came about and where they were going. It it's still valid and fun to read....and as it was when first written...for those who ride, want to ride and those who can't. Smile

And yeah...I LOVE Tower Of Terror! Smile
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handa
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From recent research: #3, 4, and 10 are all gone. #3 and #10 due to the amusement area closing. #4 was replaced with another attraction that has since been retooled into yet another attraction. I don't know about #2 because several attractions with zombie in them have opened and closed since 1999.

#1 is alive, well, and consistently a top pick of DAFE membership.

You can still find Barbisans in operation. I ride them whenever I know that they are set up at a local carnival or fair, which is still not often enough.

Chris
Doug Higley
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#2 is still going...year after year...plugging along...still crummy. Smile

And THAT post by Chris, is why I removed the list after the 1st bunch of books. Those kinds of lists are pointless and become soon obsolete. The rides in SDR are there for TYPE and essence of experience...some even though long gone are strong in memory and legasy. Smile
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steven-gibson
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Haunted Mansion (Elysburg PA)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br35uc0dtGE
Doug Higley
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Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Doug Higley
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Dark Rides on video are pretty pointless no matter the quality. It's all about a young kid in the dark fearing unknown surroundings. Not video-able. Smile
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ringmaster
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Give me a spinning or a gravity Pretzel anyday. Or a Zukenni Witch Castle if I somebody else sets it up.
I'm always looking for more on turn of the last century Fights to the Moon, and Attractions by Roltar and The Great Loen.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
steven-gibson
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That was agreat video! Thanks Doug.
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