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The James Stowe Family Collection, no. 1 - Lon Chaney, Jr. at Western Playland (1964)

Diane Stowe

Silent | 1964

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  •  This rollercoaster is named Mad Mouse 
  •  Lon Chaney, Jr. 
  •  The child in the Frankenstein mask is Ernest D. Farino, who grew up to become, and is now, a Hollywood Visual Effects Artist 
 
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This home movie from El Paso's Stowe family captures scenes of a trip to Western Playland in Ascarate Park in El Paso, where in addition to the normal rides and attractions that day, actor Lon Chaney, Jr. made a special appearance. While the crowd, mostly of children in Halloween costumes, is excited to meet The Wolf Man and get a signed 8x10 glossy, one small child very clearly wants no part of it at all. Chaney was on hand for a Pre-Halloween party October 17-18, 1964 at the amusement park.

From the El Paso Herald-Post, Wednesday, October 7, 1964:

Lon Chaney, one of Hollywood's all - time greats in the monster line, is coming to El Paso.

Mr. Chaney, who has done creditable jobs as The Wolfman, The Mummy, and even Dracula, will be the spookiest guest at a big free pre-Halloween party at Western Playland Amusement Park Oct. 17-18.

Mr. Chaney has played the part of horror monsters throughout his lifetime—scaring the wits out of pretty starlets, digging into coffins and generally keeping horror fans on the edge of their seats.

At Western Playland he will make personal appearances on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 18, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At the Pre-Halloween Party, 5000 pictures of the Wolfman will be given away. Prizes will be offered for those dressed in the best spook masks and costumes. Mr. Chaney will act as judge — on the theory that it takes one to know one.