The history of Laughing Sal, an animatronic funhouse lure

Originally published at: The history of Laughing Sal, an animatronic funhouse lure | Boing Boing

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver definitely HAD a Laughing Sal, but it was put into storage when the fun house was torn down in 1985, according to Denver’s Lakeside Amusement Park by David Forsyth. I’ve definitely never seen it at the park during my lifetime.

The laughing sailor dummy in Sleuth (visible at 1:39 in the trailer) was perhaps another model of the same product.

Ahhh, Laughing Sal… at the tender age of 5, she was my first experience of The Uncanny Valley.

While trying to play Skee-Ball in the arcade at Kennywood Park, Pittsburgh, you would hear chilling laugh echoing in the background.

Naturally, Coney Island had one.


I guess that is a Laughing Jack, a coin-operated automatic nightmare-haunter from Garbage Island. I saw one on the pier at Weston Super Mare when I was 8 or so. It might be from the same company, but more likely someone just ripped off the idea in the days before transatlantic lawsuits were a big thing

OK, clowns were the nightmare

Thanks /s

Back in the day, I did a tour that had a sound art piece based on samples of Laughing Sal. Dreadful.

I don’t know what happened to the Laughing Sal at Revere Beach but the entire park was turned into condominiums back when the condominium craze started. A true loss to Boston and communities north of it. You could take a bus from the border of Boston and Milton MA in the south and travel all the way there on that one fare with a transfer. A great loss to fun lovers everywhere.

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