Bluebeard’s Amusement House

Dating back to 1929, this “amusement house” is designed to evoke Bluebeard’s castle. You’ve got two enormous Bluebeard faces with passageways leading to the castle proper. I’m not sure the castle in the story had massive heads as doorways, but there’s always room for artistic interpretation:

Frontal image of a carnival attraction with massive faces at the entrance and exit. The faces lead to passages that extend back to a castle. The passages and house establish an internal courtyard.
USP 1,738,752, FIG. 4

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story of Bluebeard, he’s the one who marries a young woman and gives her free rein in his massive house, with the exception of one room that she must never enter. Eventually curiosity compels her to look, and she finds the bodies of Bluebeard’s former wives. Hijinks ensue.

In this patent, the tourist is led on a path through the house. Along the way you see such thrilling sights as Bluebeard’s bathroom and Bluebeard’s kitchen:

A floorplan of the amusement house, showing the path that patrons take.
USP 1,738,752, FIG. 1

The thing with a haunted house is that you expect a certain amount of variety. Each room should have some punch to it. The description of the patent describes using moving structures and air nozzles to add to make patrons confused and uncomfortable, but there’s really only one room that has any horror to it:

Exit from the castle is over a tread mill 32 or over a floor with air nozzles 12, to a passage leading past a room 33 called the chamber of horrors in which are the decapitated bodies, heads and relics of Bluebeard’s gruesome amours.

USP 1,738,752, p. 2, lns 44-49

I’m honestly not sure how familiar people are with Bluebeard anymore. It’s a little graphic for our modern fairytale sensibilities, after all. Without knowing the story, most of this would be a pretty boring carnival attraction, just walking through someone’s weird empty mansion.

One final note for the patent nerds out there, this is an example claim from the patent:

7. An amusement structure having an area open to the sky at the top but closed from external view on three sides and from trespass but not vision on the fourth side, entertainment devices located outside the closed area on the first three sides connected by a tourists passage and sight openings through which tourists traversing said passage are visible from the fourth side only.

USP 1,738,752, Claim 7

Any house with a tall fence, Halloween decorations, and a path would infringe this claim. Patent lawyers used to have such an easy job…

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