The DEVIL’s Den in 2020: A Pictorial


I recently flew back to the land of my youth, the enchanting green trees of northwest Pennsylvania. In particular I had my fondest memories in and around Conneaut Lake Park nestled in Conneaut Lake, PA. I lived near the park with my grandparents, uncle, his daughters, my mom, sister and various visiting relatives for my earliest memories. Later in life I ran rides at the park for three summers. I made friends, lost my virginity, and overall learned about the magic that strobe lights and machinery could fulfill. I LOVE THIS PLACE. It’s history and hopefully its future.

One of its star attractions is a ride most commonly known as The Devil’s Den. I say most commonly because it had its name changed for a season or two… but lets not dwell on that. This is a classic ride created in 1968.

Tom agreed to met with me during my visit, he is the man who keeps the ride maintained even during its down periods. Sadly the park has fallen on rough times in recent years with past inept owners and outstanding bills piling up, tax problems and even damn fires burning down historical buildings. Much of the park has sadly been sold off with the current managers, Jim Becker and his organization doing the best they can under the circumstances to give it a fighting chance. I met with Jim briefly and we discussed some possible options to save the place.

When in that area of the world, a main attraction is the lake itself. I took a ride on the water. I had too.. its the law there!

When the ride is in operation it looks like THIS

There’s little Easter Eggs around the ride such as Tom’s old uniform! Here is is lovely wife painting a sign. Tom is a helluva fella.


I posed in a cart from the ride.

So many memories, even the smells of the ride take me back.

Here’s a video I found on YouTube with the lights on and sounds of the creatures down. I didn’t take this footage. The rides are down due to Covid-19.

I took a tour inside with Tom and his wife. They told me about the classic old originals and the revisions. It was such a joy. Highlight for sure.

HERE is the ride in darkness.

A video I took from YouTube. Enjoy.



TOM has offered all the intricate details of the ride for my super-nerdy friends, readers, and fans, here’s the details for this classic:


Manufacturer: The Pretzel Amusement Ride Company (defunct)

Date of Construction: 1968

7 Cars, capable of carrying 2 average sized adults or 3 small children

Ride Restrictions: 46 inches alone, No restrictions with accompanying adult

Height of Structure: 16 Feet

Length of Structure:50 Feet, 5 Inches

Width of Structure: 31 Feet

Length of Track: 420 Feet

Height of Lift Hill: 8 Feet

Grade: 1%

Power Requirements:

Motor: 240 Volts AC, 16.5 Amps, 1735 RPM, Frame 215, 3 HP, Single Phase

Air System: 240 Volts AC, Single Phase

Lighting: 120 Volts AC

Stunts / Props: Most are 12 Volts Direct Current, 12 Volt Direct Current Adapters

run on 120 Volts AC, Some Stunt / Prop lighting is 120 Volts AC

Gearbox: Link Belt CD3-2-55, Ratio 31.4, 56 RPM Output, 1.5-gallon Oil Capacity, Serial M67-


Ride Cars: Ride cars are gravity run once released from the lift hill chain. Once released from

the lift chain, gravity, weight and temperature govern the speed of the cars.


Now let’s hear from the man himself.

Tom discussing the infamous GUM WALL

And finally, to follow the latest happenings at CONNEAUT LAKE PARK

and THE DEVIL’s DEN check this out:

*I’d personally like to thank TOM and the CONNEAUT LAKE PARK for rolling out the red carpet for me.

It was totally worth the $6 I paid to get the damn grease / oil out of my shorts.. lol. Love this place!

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