Over last winter, amusement park Drouwenerzand (The Netherlands) worked on the installation of an almost new haunted house. The park originally planned to largely refurbish their existing haunted house, but while doing so things got a little out of hand. That resulted in the construction of an almost entirely new haunted house. Landhuys den Linden uses the ride vehicles of Spookhuis, but is completely different from the earlier ride. Since last week, the haunted house is open to visitors, and Team DRdb visited the park to take a look.
Landhuys den Linden can be translated to English as ‘Den Linden Mansion’, which is named after the Den Linden family who operate the park. Visitors enter the mansion through a long corridor, which has received some paintings on the walls referring to the new theme. Eventually, they arrive at the station to board the ride vehicles that take them further into the house. The first rooms they enter are pretty large, enabling the vehicles to move around the room, which truly gives the idea of a stately (though already haunted) mansion. However, when guests travel through more and more rooms, a statue warns them to not explore the mansion any further. From there the atmosphere changes, the rooms get smaller, and the scenes get creepier, until visitors finally find their way out of the haunted mansion.
Even though the experience and storyline are new, Landhuys den Linden is not an entirely new ride. It is essentially a massively rethemed version of the already existing Spookhuis (2014-2021). That ride was once purchased from a showman and used to travel fun fairs under the name ‘Inferno’ before being installed at Drouwenerzand. The park planned to give the ride a major refurbisment during the winter 2021-2022, but the project slowly became larger and larger as construction works proceeded. That resulted in the almost-new ride Landhuys den Linden: the ride uses the old ride vehicles (which is rumoured to be produced by Barbisan), but the ride system underwent a complete retrack. Furthermore the ride is installed inside a brand new building and includes a new storyline and new effects. The park retained the lay-out of the ride, though some of the walls were taken away to create the large rooms at the beginning of the ride. “Our visitors will probably hardly recognize anything from the old Spookhuis,” as the park stated.
“We really wanted to get rid of the funfair-atmosphere that the original hauted house had,” as the park states. “We wanted to create a truly unique and coherent experience, which is more suited for all ages as well. Normally we buy a ride which and that’s that; this one was developed by ourselves.” Even though the ride is still essentially a ghost train, the Drouwenerzand team created a coherent theme and storyline which form the basis for the scares during the ride. That makes Landhuys den Linden stand out amidst most ghost trains, which generally use a series of unrelated jump scares to scare their visitors.
The of Drouwenerzand collaborated with the Dutch company Leisure Games to create the decorations for the new ride. Initially, the park planned to open the new haunted house at the start of the 2022 season, as it was ‘just’ a retheme of their existing haunted house. However, since the retheme became more and more sophisticated, Drouwenerzand did not manage to complete Landhuys den Linden at that time. As no opening date was communicated to the public, they continued working until they considered the ride ready for opening, which eventually happenend at 14 May. Even though the ride is now operational, it is still being worked on and improved outside visitor hours. “About thirty percent of construction time is actually constrcution, all the rest is testing and finetuning,” as the park says. Moreover, the ride is meant to become even more scary during Halloween, when Drouwenerzand intents to add scare actors to the ride.