Spook House

AKA Temple Of Terror
Opened: 1954
Closed: 1966
Location: Central Midway

Charred remains of the Roller Coaster’s station and the Ghost Train after a fire in November 1953. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

The Spook House was part of a long tradition of scary dark rides at Lagoon that began when the Ghost Train opened south of the Roller Coaster in 1947. That ride burned to the ground in the large fire of late 1953.

Part of the Spook House is visible on the left of this photo from a 1954 postcard, next to the Octopus, which was later moved when the Fun House was built.

As part of the massive reconstruction of the west half of the Midway in 1954, the Spook House was added as a replacement for the Ghost Train. A few years later, the Fun House was built on the north side of the Spook House.

After a little more than a decade, Terroride claimed the old Spook House / Temple Of Terror building and has operated there since 1967.

Each of the photos on this page show slight differences on the facade of the ride. The 1954 photo above shows what is probably a skull and the wall around it painted to look like a hole. The illusion no longer appears in the photo below.

The front of the Spook House can be seen in the background of this photo from around 1965. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Another photo from later in the ’60s shows the name changed to Temple Of Terror (even though “Spook House” is still on the smaller sign below). There’s a skeleton on one side and a bald man on the other that seem to be sticking out of windows. These look like they could also be in the photo above. Another difference is that the mural that was used in Terroride can be seen inside, before Terroride opened in its place. There’s also additional wall art to the left that looks like the ride may have been based on ancient Egypt.

Spook House was known as Temple Of Terror in the 1960s. Photo: J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, University Of Utah
Closer view of a 1960s photo showing the mural with additional wall art to the left. Photo: J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections, University Of Utah

The Temple Of Terror may have simply been a short-lived transition to Terroride. It’s interesting that the skeleton looking out a window motif continued through three iterations of this dark ride. It’s possible that this is when the mummy and pharaoh’s coffin features originated.

Details and photos of the ride (especially of the interior) have been very hard to come by. But it’s assumed that the Spook House was a typical 1950s dark ride. Please contact me if you have any photos or information to share about the Spook House. You can also comment below if you have any memories you’d like to share.

Terroride after dark, 2005. Photo: B. Miskin

Lagoon newspaper ads, 1954.

Lagoon Opens This Weekend. Deseret News, 23 March 1967.

Lagoon press kit, 2004.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

COPYRIGHTED IMAGE. Contact admin about usage.