Does anyone else feel like there's a dark underbelly to carnival midways? If I feel that way, I certainly have some good reasons. Actually, three reasons are coming to mind right now! I'll explain what's going through my head when I visit a midway, while showing you some photos I took at The Wisconsin State Fair's midway a few days ago.
This clown was part of a fun house I walked past at the midway. Looking at him, my mind instantly went to something scary from my childhood. That "something scary" was this guy:
If you're in my relative age group, you probably know about Zeebo the clown. If you aren't familiar with him, here's a trailer for the episode "The Tale of Laughing in the Dark"
When I was in high school, I first read what was to become my favorite book: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I've never read any other book that painted such clear images in my mind. There's a definite darkness behind the carnival in that story! If you've read that book, you know why I think of it every time I see a carousel. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read the book, since the carousel is central to the plot.
I also first watched one of my favorite movies as a teenager: The Lost Boys. I'm sure most of you have seen that movie, so I won't be spoiling anything by saying that I also think of it when I see a carousel. When watching kids circle around on bright, colorful horses, my mind is filled with images of young, 80s vampires!
I may not have seen Kiefer Sutherland on the midway, but I did run into a few other interesting characters...
I found Cousin IT airbrushed onto the side of a fun house. Another cool find were the pirates painted on the side of The Ghost Ship ride.
This guy was standing in front of the ride.
I have no idea what this next creature was supposed to be. Maybe he was an evil gargoyle. Whatever he was, I thought he was cool! This creature's eyes shifted back and forth as he made low, grumbling noises. He was sitting outside the midway's haunted house.
This hairy gremlin had a little friend who was sitting on top of the haunted house.
Does he remind you of anyone? He reminds me of...
Do any of you have some childhood associations with carnival midways? I mean, are there any movies, books, or TV shows you've come to think of every time you're at a midway? Maybe some of you even have my same associations.
Well, tomorrow I'm going to our local Renaissance Faire. You might remember my Ren Faire blog post from last year. I hope to get many more pictures to share with you this year!