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“Welcome Foolish Mortals,
You are hereby invited to a spirited adventure in the home and estate of a prosperous yet departed sea captain, Captain Bartholomew Gore. Alas, the sea captain and his family long ago met an ... untimely ... end. The mansion is now home to 999 ghosts, ghouls, and goblins. Enter .. if you dare!”
My rendition of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion closely resembles the Shipley-Lydecker mansion, Imagineer Ken Anderson’s inspiration for the attraction and includes many of his original concepts as well as iconic ghostly scenes. It is built on a 32x32 base plate and is fully modular. Not all 999 ghosts can be seen but many have a home.
“Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat; call in the spirits, wherever they’re at!...Let there be magic from regions beyond.”
Inside Madame Leota Toombs welcomes visitors to the home and has summoned the house’s permanent residents. The long departed sea captain sits in the living room trying in vain to warm himself by the fire. The library is stocked - only ghost stories of course. A pair of ghosts wait for their meal that they will never again be able to enjoy in the kitchen/dining room. The size of the dining room is a lot smaller than in the attraction and the kitchen is based off of a concept drawing that was never incorporated into the ride.
Behind the central grand staircase a grandfather clock chimes that the witching hour has begun. A pair of ghosts dance to music begin played on instruments without apparent players. The stretching gallery adorns the walls of the staircase (images from Avastindy on Deviantart). The Hat Box Ghost is ascending the stairs and nearing a strange picture of a young boy that appears to change while you look at it.
More ghosts, including the captain’s wife, a weeping Priscilla who was entombed behind the bricks in the fireplace by her husband, are haunting the upstairs. Eerie music emanates from the organ being played by a ghostly figure. I wonder if he met his untimely end from the axe wielding black widow bride, Constance Hatchaway standing behind him. In Master Gracey’s bedroom a small ghost plays with her teddy bear on the ornate canopy bed.
What ghoulish things happened in the bathroom at the top of a second set of stairs?
A few more ghosts and ghouls can be found in and around the house as well as the caretaker and his trusty yet nervous dog, who has found Priscilla’s wedding ring that was thrown out the attic window. A toad seems to gaze on the remains of another, “Here lies Mr. Toad. Sad but true. Far less popular than Pooh.” while being serenaded by some singing bust statues. When (and if) you leave please don’t pick up the hitchhiking ghosts, Gus, Ezra and Phineas.
“Hurry Back! Hurry Back! Be sure to bring your death certificate, if you decide to join us. Make final arrangements now! We’ve been dying to have you.”