Name: Scared Stiff
Abbreviation: SS
Birthday: 11/26/96
Purchased: Mar-22-2001
Serial No.: 53348-03172
Manufacturer: Midway Mfg. Co. (Wms)
Controller: WPC '95
Concept By: Dennis Nordman
Mark Weyna
Art By: Greg Freres
Graphics By: Adam Rhine
Brian Morris
Software: Mike Boon
Cameron Silver
Sound By: Paul Heitsch
Dave Zabriskie
Mechanics By: Win Schilling
Bob Brown
Joe Loveday
High Score: 81,957,270
(BTB) 6-24-01

Scared Stiff Links

Rule Sheet by Macauley

Rule Sheet by McCann & Wilson

Instructions on "Upgrading your Scared Stiff" from

Extra Gizmos for Scared Stiff, from Pin Gizmos

Robert's Scared Stiff Page & The Scared Stiff Store


Scared Stiff

"Elvira has the features that turn players on.  Scared Stiff, Bally's new pinball starring Elvira, the sexiest vamp this side of Transylvania, will scare the quarters out of players everywhere.  So fun, It's Scary!"

Game Information

Scared Stiff if a very fun game, with a playfield that has a number good shots combined with a sound track containing humorous sayings and lively game sounds.  While getting to the "Wizard Mode" is not overly hard, completing all 10 levels is not for the feint of heart and requires some practice.  Elvira and her friends make a number of smart-aleck comments while you play.  The spinning spider in the backbox, used by the player to pick bonus items, is also rather unique.  The spider is contained in a 3-D backbox display that is in itself quite impressive, and which features Elvira. 

For more general information on Scared Stiff, see the Internet Pinball Database entry at The Pinball Pasture.

Our Game

Purchased from a local dealer in Austin, this is one of our most heavily modified games.  The game was in very good shape when we purchased it, but to bring it up to my standards, it needed a deep cleaning and adjustment of all it's toys.

We tore the playfield down to the flat wood and cleaned every piece on the game.  After a good cleaning with Novus #1 and #2, the playfield was given 5 coats of a good hard wax to protect it.  Every plastic piece was cleaned with Novus #1, and metal ball guides were waxed and cleaned.  The coffin needed some "serious" adjustment as the coil stop for the coffin lid had come loose and the coffin could no longer eject balls reliably because the coffin lid would not open correctly.  Every coil mechanism had it's coil sleeve replaced and mechanism cleaned.  The rubbers were all replaced, as was every bulb in the game.  Finally, the flippers were rebuilt because there were several screws missing and/or broken off.

We've added several modifications to this game to make it slightly more fun to play or to protect the game from damage.

Game Modifications: Skull Pile Eyes Ramp Repair Kit
  Hole Protectors Dancing Boogie Men
  Backbox Cooling Fan Clear Slingshot Plastic Protectors
  Custom Pricing Cards  

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Skull Pile

Modification: Skull Pile Eyes

We added the Skull Pile LED Kit from Robert Winter, shown installed in the picture to the right.  This kit adds LEDs to the eyes of the skull pile which light up as you complete the tales you need to get Scared Stiff.  We also have a movie of the Skull Pile in action (4.3 MB) which shows how the LEDs light up during play.  They look especially cool during the game when both the blue and white flashers are flashed while the red LEDs are lit up!

They also flash during the game as it does the normal flashing of the lights, which looks very nice because they follow various patterns that make the eyes lights up in order.

Installation of the kit is easy, and really only requires a small hole drilled behind the skulls and a very minor bit of wiring which is all just snapping wires into connectors; no soldering or wire splicing!  I chose to use some hot glue to hold the LEDs in the skull pile and to prevent them from shifting.  The LEDs actually fit the holes snugly just the way they should, and the glue is not completely necessary.

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Ramp Repair

Modification: Ramp Repair Kit

Although we've seen this kit installed on other Scared Stiff machines and thought it was obnoxiously evident on the game and detracted from the clean look of the game, this remanufactured kit from Pinball Heaven is very subtle on our game, and we don't think it detracts from the game at all, even though it is supposed to be an exact reproduction of the original Williams repair kit A-21842.  I don't know if there is a slight difference from the original kit, or if the others were just badly installed, but this kit is not very noticable if installed correctly.

More importantly, upon installation we immediately noticed that balls ejected from the spider hole no longer made a cracking sound as they hit the ramp.  There was also less vibration noticable in the cabinet when the balls were ejected.  The repair kit is now taking the momentum from the ball rather than the ramp and bones, and our ramp will probably last much longer!

Modification: Hole Protectors

We also installed the Scared Stiff Hole Protectors from Mantis Amusements.  Shown to the right is the installed hole protector for the coffin entrance, from the bottom, with the under-playfield scoop and ramp removed. 

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Hole Protectors

Click the image to see a shot from the top of the playfield of the spider hole protector installed.  You can see the beginning of some wear on the top side of the spider hole.  This protector should help minimize further wear.  After installation, the spider hole ejector had to be adjusted slightly to get it to kick the ball out correctly. The protector, while not overly think, was slightly in the path of the ejected ball, and caused it to bounce incorrectly, missing the hole in the ramp.  Gently bending the ejector under the playfield and straightening it out caused the ejecting to happen correctly again.

Not shown is the crate ejector protector.  Why? Cause I couldn't find the picture.

These protectors are very easy to install.  You merely need to remove the ejectors or scoops from under the playfield, and then insert the protector and screw it in place.  Then, reinstall the ejectors/scoops.  Be sure to review the Mantis Amusements installation page to make sure you get them oriented correctly or they can get in the way of the game hardware.  Also be sure the protectors are snug against the inside opening of the hole.  You may need to bend them out a little to make sure they are snug.  Then, make sure the screws are installed correctly to maintain the snug fit.

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Boogie Men

Modification: Dancing Boogie Men Kickers

We also added the Boogie Men Kickers from Robert Winter, shown in the picture to the right.  This kit is a replacement for the existing kicker arms that includes an extension upon which the plastic Boogie Men are mounted.  The kit includes several Boogie Men in case the arms come off over time. 

This kit, along with a setting in the game setup, makes the Boogie Men dance (i.e. the kicker kick) in time to the Disco dancing music from the spider award. 

This "dancing" is a neat addition to the game. 

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Cooling Fan

Modification: Cooling Fan

We installed this 12 volt micro-fan (Digi-Key part number P9723-ND [FAN 12VDC 2.06W PANAFLOW FBK SRS], around $17) by moving the screen over the cooling vents to the left, and then mounting the fan over the now exposed hole using two small screws. 

Power for the fan was drawn from a 12 volt playfield supply.  The fans draw 0.2A, which that supply should have no trouble supplying.  The connection was made with automotive piggyback connectors to the wires #1 and #2 on wire harness connector J101 of the power driver board.  They, and the fan, can be easily removed without damage should this be desired. 

The fans are a low-noise model that gently removes hot air from the top of the backbox.  Convection will then draw hot air from the lower cabinet into the upper cabinet to replenish the air removed by the fan.  The result is that the fans keep the cabinet several degrees cooler (4 degrees when measured), which should help the electronics and plastics.  Plus, the air entering the backbox from the bottom will be cooler that if it were not being assisted.  Because the fans are low noise, they are not obtrusive, and are barely noticible even when the game is quiet in attract mode in a quiet room. 

Modification: Slingshot Plastic Clear Washer Protectors

For protecting the unique boney slingshot plastics, we've installed the "Bullet Proof Plastic Protectors" from Pinball Pro.  These clear washers protect the slingshot plastics from being damaged, but do not damage the ball the way metal washers might (and a scratched pinball may chew up the playfield).  Since they are clear, they don't cast a shadow under the slingshot plastic, and are barely noticable.  We strongly recommend them for protecting those hard to find slingshot plastics (and they all are)!

Custom Pricing Cards

Taking from an idea in, I've created custom pricing and instruction cards for all my games, all with a similar design.  Click one of the following to see the Instruction Card or the Pricing Card.  These are high quality 300 DPI images, 6.00" by 3.25", and should be printed as such.


For a copy of the most recent ROMs:

ROM  Game ROM Revision 1.5.

ROM  Sound ROM Revision 1.1.

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