Sunday, September 24, 2006

Any Witch Way - Part 1

This week we begin a multi-week look at a painting from the Sinister 11, The Witch of Walpurgus.

This painting features a woman in a cave holding a cat with many magical items around her. Many people have speculated about some of these items, the one that comes to mind most is the large yellow disk in the corner with words written on it. What is it? What could it be?

Dan Olson from the Message board was very helpful with some of the symbolism in this painting. He pointed me to a book entitled Illustrated Anthology of Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy by Emile Grillot De Givry. He wrote a book decades ago about various aspects of the magical. Many of the pages in this book show various items that were placed into the Witch Painting (which will be future blog posts).

This disk in the corner is known as the Pentacle for Conjuring Infernal Spirits.

Yes, it would appear that perhaps this book was in the WDI Library or perhaps in the private collection of Marc Davis at the time he was researching for this painting.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Greetings Mortals!

At the Haunted Mansion's, two ghosts just can't let and old rivalry die. The duelists in the ballroom fire at eachother for all eternity while everyone else has a good time. But did you know that one duelist is actually a winner and makes his shot?

The duelist on the left (based after the Pirates of the Caribbean Auctioneer) actually hits his ethereal opponent. Both figures have the same movements, but the one on the right has one more. At the end of the sequence, right after the shot, his head jerks to one side. However, since they are turned to us, we never see the movement.

Next time you are visiting the mansion, take a gander at the right duelist, you just might see it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

You look familiar...

Patrons to the Disney World Haunted Mansion travel through a library where the 2 of the staring busts from the Disneyland mansion appear. What's odd however is that some people don't realize that out of the 8 busts, only 4 are actually there. They take the same busts and make two copies to stick on other shelves. At one time however, there were 8 different busts.

It is said that a resin positive of one of the missing busts occasionally appears on eBay. Rest assured that if we ever find pictures of these 4 missing followers, they will be shown.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Haven't I seen you before?

At all of the Haunted Mansions at every Disney park, many characters have a unique style. However, many figures share the exact same face. It is possible that numerous different characters may have the exact same face, yet sometimes its indistinguishable because of the different paint styling, clothing and wigs that they wear. Not only are the faces interchanged throughout the Haunted Mansion, but they also span to other attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Carousel of Progress.

Graveyard Hornblower and Carlos the dunking Magistrate

Ballroom Hearse Guest with Umbrella and Auction Wench

Ballroom Table Peeker and Ballroom Organist

Graveyard Horn Blower and Ballroom Birthday Girl

Other characters appear between the Haunted Mansion and Pirates such as one of the men in line to get dunked, the man sitting on the porch of his bayou shack and the king sitting at the ballroom table. The grandmother from Carousel of Progress is also the grandmother sitting in her rocking chair in the ballroom. One of the ballroom dancers is also the father from Carousel of Progress.

The faces are used in many different places but due to the pace we are traveling as well the amazing paint jobs placed on the figures by the Artist Preperators, we never know the difference. Next time you are taking a tour of the mansion or floating through that pirate sacking, see how many faces you can find that are similar.