The Spookslot Haunted House lives on in Danse Macabre

Find out which objects from the Spookslot Haunted House will have a role in new attraction Danse Macabre and how a giant orchestra revives the 150-year-old composition.


Which Spookslot Haunted House objects are returning?

Architectural Designer and member of  the Heritage Management team at   Efteling, Ronald Donkers, explains how the past comes back to life in the new attraction. Ronald says: "The Danse Macabre was originally a poem, turned into music by composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The singing was eventually replaced by the iconic violin sounds as we know them from the Spookslot Haunted House. Some never-used sketches, which designer Ton van de Ven made for the Spookslot, inspired the new attraction Danse Macabre."

In September 2022, several Spookslot elements were carefully removed from the building. Those parts of the attraction that are of value to Efteling have been safely stored in the archives. Ronald says: "We find it very important that the items, which were made for and by Efteling, are preserved for eternity. Some of these pieces from Spookslot were still beautiful even after 44 years. That is why you will soon see these in Danse Macabre. For instance, the old entrance to Spookslot will return as the entrance to the souvenir shop Dr Charlatan's Kwalycke Zaken."

Ronald: "An example of this is the creepy Candle Holder, which hung in the queue of the octagonal tower of Spookslot. Of course, we are going to repair these a bit and give them a bit of paint, but eventually, they will come back one by one. The Saters [NB1] also still contain so many details that we can reuse them in the new attraction. Of the former gargoyles, the gargouilles, we made a 3D model and enlarged it. In Danse Macabre, they carry the ceiling beams! Did you know that you can already admire the large chandeliers that hung in the tunnel next to Spookslot? They are, in fact, hanging from the ceiling of the hospitality venue In den Swarte Kat! The main protagonist of Spookslot, the neon-coloured violin, will not return to its old form, but it will have a major role in the new show. How exactly I can't reveal yet!"

The largest Efteling orchestra performs the new music

The musical brain behind a large amount of Efteling music, composer René Merkelbach revives the music of Danse Macabre with his immense orchestra.

René says: “I am very proud that we are recording the music for Danse Macabre with a gigantic orchestra of up to 75 musicians. It is the largest Efteling orchestra ever and so big that we couldn't fit in the studio at the same time! The wind instruments were, therefore, recorded separately from the strings, for instance, and the music was later merged. Despite being  a very well-known piece of music, we think we have some surprises. With this unique version, we pay tribute to the original Spookslot music. Connoisseurs and fans will certainly not be disappointed. Besides the attraction music, music for the guard tour is also included, including the mysterious music fragments you hear in the graveyard.”