Burbank, Illinois: Frankenmufflerman
Frankenstein's Monster is actually a former Muffler Man, 20 feet tall, who's been reworked into a smartly-dressed monster. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Visitor Tips and News About Frankenmufflerman
I lived in the area since the 1960s -- back then it was called the Fun Fair and was owned by a guy named Al. The sign featured a clown's face, collar and hands. The Haunted Trails logo is still based on the original Fun Fair sign.
The Fun Fair was then taken over by Rich Oltmann, who named the new place Haunted Trails. Signs were/are expensive, especially when you are a small business, so the basic, large light up sign was kept. The orange paint on the metal parts of the sign were painted black, some new sign panels were created, replacing the white faced, red haired clown face with the green faced, white haired ghoul face, adding some red stains on the collar (now I noticed the logo has a red bat bow tie) and keeping the hands.
When going past the area a few years ago, I noticed the old light up sign has been completely removed.
As a teen, I worked at Haunted Trails starting in the spring of 1977. I remember seeing the Frankenstein, just after it was delivered, when it was still crated up and lying on its side in front of the batting cage area. Rich bought the Frankenstein and our other fiberglass figures from a company in Wisconsin. He was made using the basic, existing Muffler Man design, with many alterations. Back in 1977 I was told he cost $5,000.
To help draw in customers, he was originally installed at the second hole of the old, original miniature golf course, facing Harlem Ave. He was later moved near the entrance when the golf course was redesigned.[Lewis DeWitt, 10/20/2010]
...either a fresh coat of paint or great upkeep by the staff makes this an outstanding figure. Standing just past the entrance and looming over a ghostlike trashcan, it looks like the blood on the ax is still fresh. This is one of my favorites so far.[Steve Lipe, Pensacola, FL, 07/16/2008]
He is in great shape at haunted trails Amusement Center![Andy Northern, 10/17/2006]
Two leads in your quest to find out what the Frankenmuffler in Bridgeview, IL (actually Burbank I think) really is. I'm a little older than the other Tipster, and I remember that in the mid '70s, Haunted Trails had a different name. I think it was "Happy Trails" or something along those lines. the Frankenmuffler used to be a CLOWN. They just modified the head and painted the suit. So, yes, that figure has been at that park since the late '70s, but it wasn't always a Frankenmuffler. I guess it was a Clownmuffler? I think they should've left it alone. A clown is much scarier than a Frankenstein![William A. Madej, 04/27/2004]