Halloween has yet to arrive, but there was a warm-up haunting of sorts in the area when a group of good ghouls from the largest known haunted amusement in the tri-state area reunited over the weekend after decades.
The Haunted Mansion of Long Branch opened in the summer of 1978 to massive crowds of people who flocked to the Jersey Shore from all over for a good scare.
Television commercials dared visitors to enter the three-story house of horrors filled with live actors portraying infamous murderers, monsters and mythological characters, like Lizzy Borden, Jack the Ripper, Psycho's Norman Bates, Dracula, a headless woman, werewolf and more, and reenacting their tales of terror.
The actors hailed from all over the state and beyond for the opportunity to get into costume and make-up at 10 a.m. and work sometimes into the early morning hours the next day scaring thrill-seekers into early graves — or at least through the ramped building.
The mansion sat at the end of the Long Branch Pier until 1987, when a massive fire burned the three-story haunt that had become the most famous haunted attraction on the east coast.
A group of famous ghouls got together over the weekend to remember what it means to give a good scare and socialize like the living dead.
The Mansion's actors, make-up artists and technicians were alumni of just about every high school in the state. Many are professional actors and make-up artists today. For all, though, it was the college years' summer job of a lifetime.
Take a look at the slideshow above to get a good idea of what it was like to be a Haunted Mansion ghoul back in the day and how some things never change when it comes to giving a good scare.
From the Haunted Mansion cast: "Scared o' you!"
Thanks to reunion hostess Thayne Huhn-Tessenholtz, of Little Silver. The slideshow features: Tessenholtz, Larry "Freak" Mains, Dave Bass Sr., Jimmy Hornung, Janis Dixon-Errickson, Jade Greene/aka/Lauren Parnes, Rich Bernard, Bob DeLeon, Tony DeBartolis, Don Evans, Teri Binger-Evans, Liz Young, Paige Stevenson, Leslie Zanzalari, Cynthia Quenet, Lisa Penzimer, Joanne "Maniac" Manuli, Annie Reilley, Tim Belford, Kathleen Vollo and Elaine Van Develde.
*Old photos courtesy of Dave Bass Sr., Lillian Grauman and Larry Wolf.