Halloween Hacks: Building A Dark Ride In A Garage

Instead of the usual Jack-o-lanterns and creepy Halloween decorations, [Rick Murphy] built a dark ride in his garage a few years ago.

In case you’ve never been fortunate enough to see one in person, a dark ride is a track-based haunted house meant to be experienced on a small cart. Usually featuring sound, light, and animatronic displays, dark rides can be just as entertaining now as when you were eight years old.

[Rick]’s dark ride, “Scream in the Dark” was built in his 2-car garage over a few years. The kids that went though the ride were genuinely scared, but that made the kids in line even more curious – just the reaction [Rick] wanted.

The build is for the most part completely modular. The track is made up of 4-foot square panels that have either a straight track or 90 degree bend. The modular design means [Rick]’s garage doesn’t need to be a dark ride the entire year. The cart rides on this curved, raised track with the help of a few gear motors and 12 V battery pulled from a Power Wheels.

There’s a great gallery of the interior of the dark ride and a video after the break. If you’d like to build your own dark ride, check out dafe.org for a whole bunch of dark ride and fun house enthusiasts.


15 thoughts on “Halloween Hacks: Building A Dark Ride In A Garage

  1. Wow! Very cool idea. From the looks of it his hard work payed off. The kids and parents seem to love it.

    For a garage project this has to be one of the best self-made Halloween projects I’ve ever seen.

    Great job!

  2. that brings me back to some school tours as a kid. One spot i went to had black dark wooden carpeted tunnels running all around every room in a wax museum at different slopes and the whole class would dive for it and someone would get claustrophobic and then everyone would have to back out again.

  3. This is downright splendid!

    Just when I thought I had seen all there was to see with DIY haunts, its refreshing to see something so creative and well executed.

    If you’ll excuse me, I must be going back to my own drawing board now.

  4. “All board step right this way
    The dark ride is leaving soon
    Just sign your name on the dotted line
    All I want is just your soul
    Tighten your belt and lets go
    Standing in line to get to the fairground
    Heading to the wicked side
    One way ticket, there is no returning
    Leave your soul at the gates”

    1. Yes, how dare people have fun with the most popular holiday in the country? Why, it’s enough to give one the vapors!

      On a separate note: fun build. I wish I had the space and the time to do something like this myself. :)

  5. I’ve seen this in person, and ridden it. Rick did a wonderful job, including making fresh improvements each year. Delightfully creative, mechanically clever.

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