Dante's Inferno dark ride on Morey's Pier has undergone several changes both inside and out since it first appeared on the Wildwood Boardwalk in 1980. Since that time a new generation of dark ride companies have entered the industry introducing a wide variety of animatronic characters which led to many parks choosing to throw out the old and bring in the new. One of the more modern animatronics to appear in Dante's was The Woodsman (from V.P. Productions Graveyard Shift line which was introduced in the early to mid 1990's).
The Woodsman was pretty creepy - holding a bloody hatchet in one hand and his own decapitated head with the other, presenting his trophy to all who passed (astonishingly his severed head spoke). The stunt was powered by an air compressor and originally equipped with a cassette player and amplified speaker however this particular stunt would receive some modification during its time in Dante's.
Over time the woodsman's severed head was replaced with a female severed head. Additionally a static head was attached to the woodsman's bloody neck stump changing him from a self-beheading specter to an axe wielding murderer (pictured below).

Above and left screen shots are from a video taken by You Tuber Hawg Gnarly in 2001.


Photo above shows The Woodsman stunt donning a devils mask. Photo taken by laffinthedark in 2004.


Consequently the woodsman's original severed head wound up on the exterior of Dante's, recessed into the wall where it spoke to riders awaiting in their cars to enter the ride.
Screen shot above from video taken by You Tuber Menachem Piekarski in 2002.
Ultimately this prop, along with many others, was removed and discarded in 2005 when Dante's was remodeled by Halloween Productions and rethemed Dante's Dungeon.
I was able to rescue the original head from a trash dumpster days following removal.

Copyright 2021 Ralph Grassi