About UsWho is DAFE?
The Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts, or DAFE (pronounced "daffy"), is a not-for-profit organization, staffed by volunteers, dedicated toward the appreciation, support, and documentation of attractions related to darkrides and funhouses. Appreciation manifests itself through each members individual memories. Support comes through the many events were we gather together to ride and tour these individualy unique attractions. Documentation starts here on this website and in our publication, "Barrel O' Fun". Some of the attractions we enjoy include: funhouses, walk-throughs (haunted houses), darkrides, glass houses (mirror mazes), mazes, Old Mill rides (tunnel of love), Noah's Arks (a rare type of funhouse), mystery shacks (tilted houses), haunted swings, and other illusion attractions. These attractions may be located in amusement parks, carnivals, or fairs. Some full-time stand-alone and seasonal attractions are also included.
Sit down, keep your hands and arms inside the car at all times, and enjoy your ride!
By their very nature, amusement park, fairs, and carnivals have always been worlds designed to overload your senses. Sights, sounds, and smells all compete for your attention. The spinning rides with their colored lights cause your eyes to dart from one to another. Music seems to surround you. Laughter and screams rise above the happy sounds of the carousel. And who could ever forget the eerie laughter of the fat lady in the funhouse?
Do you remember your first trip to the park as a child and that pleasant aroma of cotton candy, french-fries, hot dogs, and popcorn that seized the attention of your young mind? Somehow, your hunger was forgotten when an odd musty smell of grease and ozone drifted across the midway. Your ears detected the faint but horrendous sounds emanating from inside a place you had never seen before. Curiously you were drawn closer to something called the darkride.
For some unknown reason you stood in line anxiously waiting your turn as the fear of unknown terrors caused a knot in your stomach and made your heart race. Before you knew it, the attendant pushed a button condemning you to certain doom. The suspense of being alone in the dark while waiting for some unspeakable horror almost overwhelmed you. Shock set in with each new monster that appeared to attack you. Why did you ever decide to subject yourself to this torture? Finally you felt a sense of relief when the last set of crash doors opened revealing the light of day. You SURVIVED, but you soon found yourself back in line to do it again, starting a ritual that you would perform many more times, as you grew older.
Perhaps it was at that nearly forgotten amusement park near your hometown that you learned to control your fear; or was it the rickety old spookhouse at the county fair? You may not remember the name of the ride or even the cheap gags that once had you paralyzed with fear, but the musty smell of a darkride still brings you back again and again to that cherished childhood memory.
That is what the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts are all about. Memories. Childhood memories. Teenage memories. Adult memories. Future memories.
Much of the history of darkrides and funhouses has been lost over the years as the old parks have been torn down to be replaced with shopping malls and apartment buildings. Many attractions have succumbed to the more exciting thrill rides and some were lost due to rising insurance costs.
The Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts, or DAFE (pronounced "daffy"), was officially founded on October 31, 2000 by Rick and Sue Davis of Vienna, Ohio and Joel Styer of Reading, Pennsylvania for the appreciation of the old and bygone attractions as well as for enjoyment of the attractions that still exist today. For many years there were organizations devoted to roller coasters and carrousels, but there was no active organization to appreciate or document funhouses or darkrides. These attractions were as unique as the carrousels and were created by their own breed of artists that were worthy of having their talents recognized.
DAFE is a not-for-profit organization, staffed by volunteers. It's members are interested in attractions related to the darkride and the funhouse. Some of the attractions they enjoy include: funhouses, walk-throughs (haunted houses), darkrides, glass houses (mirror mazes), mazes, Old Mills rides (tunnel of love), Noah's Arks (a rare type of funhouse), mystery shacks (tilted houses), haunted swings, and other illusion attractions. These attractions may be located in amusement parks, carnivals, or fairs. Some full-time stand-alone attractions (I.E. no seasonal Halloween haunted houses) are also included.
DAFE currently has over 400 members across 38 states and five foreign countries. In addition to single memberships, DAFE also has many families as members as well as corporate members, including manufacturers and parks. DAFE itself is a proud member of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions).
While only a few of the old funhouses survive today, there are still many traditional darkrides that have survived. There seems to be a renewal of interest in darkrides as the industry embraces the state-of-the-art technology found in the current generation of attractions. We believe it is time to celebrate the long history of the industry and enjoy those attractions that still remain, as well as support those parks, carnivals, fairs, and manufacturers that have kept the faith.
DAFE is a proud member of the following following organizations:
The members listed below founded the club in October 2000.
- Rick Davis
- Sue Davis
- Joel Styer
- Director - Rick Davis:
- Membership - Sue Davis:
- Event Coordinator - Al Stromer:
- Board Member - Joel Styer:
- Board Member - Pam Kanai:
- Board Member - Christopher Handa:
- Board Member - Ron Patrick:
- Board Member - Heather Henry:
- Board Member - Jeff Niemiec:
These positions are appointed by the Executive Board. All positions are voluntary.
- Barrel O' Fun Editor - Rick Davis:
- Barrel O' Fun Associate Editors - Heather Henry, Al Stromer, Simon Baynham
- Webmaster -