Monday, October 15, 2007

The Mystery of the Haunted Disco

Above is a photograph of the Michigan State Fair midway taken in the late 1970’s.

That is the extent of what I know. So now the important question: what exactly is the Haunted Disco?

1. Is it a disco themed haunted house?
2. Is it a discotheque where you can dance with ghosts and monsters?
3. Is it a live show?

There’s obviously a live show of some sort going on, but I’m assuming that’s just to attract paying customers who will then go inside. Let’s examine the photo in more detail to see if it provides anymore information.

Here we see some guy in a Frankenstein-like mask doing what appears to be the robot. The two backup “dancers” look to be completely uncomfortable or disinterested. Written on the wall behind Frankenstein is, “GET DOWN TONIGHT” Is that a clue to a bigger show that happens after sunset?

“Universal Productions Alive Haunted Disco” is clearly legible. There is certainly no relation between “Universal Productions” and “Universal Studios" in Hollywood, but I’m guessing that name was selected for intentional confusion with the Hollywood Universal.

The signage on the bottom is almost completely illegible. The words “Strange” and “Horror”(or is it “Terror”?) are just barely readable.

On the right we have three haunting faces seemingly representing three generations. It’s a rather restrained and esoteric work for carnival art.

On the far left is partial shot advertising of some kind of “exorcism’. I’m thinking this could be a variation of the old girl-to-gorilla sideshow act.

Now here’s something that caught everybody’s eye. It’s awfully racy for a family event like a state fair. I’m sure there were complaints, but who wouldn't be just a little curious that there might be some hot two-headed topless chick inside. Come on, imagine the Penthouse Forum letter you could write if she was real.


I don’t think I will ever know what the Haunted Disco truly is, and maybe not knowing is more fun.

I do know this… I got about 300 words out of a single 30 year old picture.


Kirk D. said...

Wow, that's truly great! I've never heard of such a thing. I think your theories are right on.
Looks like some sort of side show turned haunted side show turned disco side show. You've gotta love the establishments that alter their entire identity based on what's hot. That place probably turned into the Haunted Heavy Metal Show a few years later.

David W. said...

Thanks for the comment Kirk!

You're right about the about the possible future Heavy Metal theme too, or maybe it could have been the New Wave Nightmare Club.


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