Witching Waves is an amusement ride. It was first introduced at Luna Park on Coney Island, New York, United States, in 1907. It was one of the most popular rides at Luna Park, invented by Theophilus Van Kannel, who also invented the revolving door.
The ride consisted of a large oval course with a flexible metal floor. There were hidden reciprocating levers that produced a wave-like motion. The floor itself did not move but the moving wave propelled small scooter-style cars with two seats, which could be steered by the riders.
There were sometimes accidents with the ride. Witching Waves was installed at other amusement park locations, such as Blackpool in England, London’s Imperial National Exhibition in 1909, Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, Paragon Park in Massachusetts, Turo Park in Barcelona, Rockaway Beach, and Palisades Park in New Jersey, to name a few.
It is about the biggest fair in England. The whole of St Giles' … is thick with freak shows, roundabouts, cake-walks, the whip, and the witching waves.
- Jeffrey Stanton, Coney Island — Independent Rides, 1997.
- Witching Waves, Coney Island, NY, CardCow.com — Vintage Postcards and Ecards.
- Hall of Fame / Inventor Profile: Theophilus Van Kannel, National Inventors Hall of Fame, USA.
- Caught in Beach Machine Rockaway Firemen Destroy Witching Waves in Rescuing Boy, The New York Times, 4 August 1919.
- Fun on the Sands at Blackpool 1914/Happy Days at Blackpool 1926, DVD, Blackburn Archive Films, 2007.
- Alison Petch, Calendar related artefacts: St Giles Fair, England: The Other Within, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK.
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