As the summertime approaches and summer activities start to ensue, the opportunties to get outside and enjoy some festivals, street fairs, carnivals and other fun stuff. Right? Perhaps... Carnivals are scary. When you're a kid you don't really take the time to think about the jankity factor behind the fact that many of these rides are assembled and disassembled and reassembled thousands of times every year. Then you start to get a little older ..and one day you get on the Ferris Wheel and notice a loud creaky noise after your first lift up in the car. Then you look over your shoulder and make the observation that there is nice rusty bolt holding your swing from falling while you're approaching 100 feet up in the air. That's when you start to regret having scarfed down that delicious candy apple earlier at the fair. As the panic and nausea sets in, you realize that the fear is not a response to motion sickness... it is a response to being scared sh*tless that the ride is going to fall apart.
Here are the top 5 scariest carnival rides:
You probably won't find this crazy ride anywhere in the US - with good reason! The Tagada is a ride where the riders take a seat in a rounded bowl that have NO seatbelts or even restraints! So what keeps the riders from falling out? There are basically bars behind the riders that they are supposed to grab onto and hold on for dear life. The ride begins with simple spinning much like the spinwall ride. Then the music starts jamming and then hydraulic arms begin to bounce the bowl forcing the riders to bounce up and down from their seats. It's the responsibility of the riders to keep themselves from falling or being thrown out of their seats. The Tagada is usually operated manually by a technician as they synchronize the bounces with the beat of the music. In some cases riders will be informed the ride has ended. Then the riders will get up to exit and then BOOM - the technician will restart the bouncing causing almost everyone on the ride to go down. Oh fun! Tagada rides are often associated with personal injuries to the occupants, along with ejections from the ride, or even broken bones of riders who fall into the middle of the ride. A number of street fairs ban the Tagada ride. Hmm.. Wonder why?
The Skywheel aka Double Ferris Wheel
This ride is whole a lot scarier than it looks. At first glance, it looks like a nice mild ferris wheel... but then you get on and realize it's much faster and scarier than it looks as the two ferris wheels spin independently of one another, the large boom rotates with major drops when you rotate and fall from the very top. The Sky Wheel became a popular carnival ride in the 1960's and many people enjoyed riding the double wheel into 80s. These days it is rarely seen at carnivals due to high maintenance and transportation costs. Unlike the Tagada, safety doesn't appear to be an issue with the Skywheel.
The Spider Ride AKA Octopus
The fear of this ride comes from the history of bad accidents.
It looks harmless enough, but being in one of the 8 spinning cars attached to eight arms and moving up and down in randomly might also prompt some major nausea from riders.
Another ride that hit the midway scene in the 60s, the Zipper has individual caged in cars that each rotate along a frame that spins around like a Ferris wheel in the shape of a hair pin. The Zipper isn't all that fast, but with the rocking motion combined and whipping around, thrill-seekers experience prompt bursts of speed almost always flipping the cars over..sometimes up to three flips in a row. It's enough to put anyone slightly claustrophobic into a sudden panic when they first lock you into the small-spaced cage.
Carnival Haunted Houses
As far as Haunted Houses go, these rides might not be all that scary...they don't have live actors trying to grab at your feet. You usually sit in a car that takes you on a small zig zag journey through a creepy dark place. It's safe to say these rides are certainly creepy. Riding along in these dark and smelly assembly flimsy haunted houses is enough to creep you out for all the wrong reasons.