06/04/02 - posted by Warren Crandall
I was recently reminded of this rather creepy story. I had forgotton about it and as such I thought I had better share it. As I stated earlier I am a Whitney Family relative and this is one of the little known inside stories. I first learned about it on the History Channel of all places!
They have run several documentaries about old amusement parks and one episode mentioned a story that is straight out of the old Scooby Doo cartoons. What caught my attention is that the narrator stated that it had happened at Playland!!! Here is the so called legend: There was a real corpse inside Playlands Dark Mystery Ride. Supposedly this corpse was dipped in wax (ala the movie House of Wax which stared Vincent Price) and then was put on display.
I just laughed when I heard it and actually felt a weird sense of pride at George Whitneys sense of carnival entenprenureship! Well I forgot the story figuring that it was just something that the Whitneys made up to promote the Dark Mystery ride. But the thing kept popping back up into my memory so I started asking some other family members and they all swore that, that story is based on fact! I just laughed at it again until not to long ago I read a 1950 issue of The Saturday Evening Post which featured a lengthy interview with George Whitney. Boy was I in for a major shock! That story is based on fact!!! Apparently the crew reported for work in the morning as usual and during their morning ride inspection they did find a real corpse inside the Dark Mystery ride! This was about 1948. The police were called and they determined that this person was killed elsewhere and the body was dumped inside the ride! They cordoned off the ride for that day while they dusted for fingerprints etc. The body was removed of course. I guarantee you it was not dipped in wax and put on display LOL. For years afterward there were reports that the ride really was haunted which I tend to disbelieve personally, but who knows? LOL. Weird huh? Even weirder that they really did find a real corpse inside the thing. The killers were eventually caught. It was in fact a mob hit! Supposedly the kllers were imported from Chicago in order to take this guy out! I guess they figured that if they put it someplace that was filled with rubber dead bodies maybe nobody would notice, thus giving them time to cover their tracks. Very, very weird don't you agree?
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