Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shhhhh Listen! - Happy Blogiversary!

Greetings Ghost Fans,

Today marks a special occasion. The Ghost Relations Dept blog has been online for one year today! That being said, today's post is a big one!

Today we look at something that wasn't, then was, and now isn't again.

Back in the planning stages of the Haunted Mansion, elements from one part of the show could have been used elsewhere first, and transferred later.

As the Doombuggies travel to the second floor of the mansion, the Ghost Host exclaims, "Every room has wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills.... Shhhh.... Listen...." At this point we are at the endless hall where candles slowly float back and forth. In 1995, the added lines about the Conservatory and Madame Leota were added back into the ride dialog. Some people thought that these lines were out of place, afterall, the Ghost Host just told us to be quiet so that we could hear the conservatory and the corridor screams... or did he? In the early planning stages of the Endless Hall, the candles were not even there. The main effect with the endless hall was to be the sound of ghostly footsteps clanking closer and closer to the entrance of the hall, even coming as far as a few feet in front of the doombuggies. With each step, the sheer force of the sound would rattle the nearby suit of armor. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FOOTSTEPS

In fact, with the placement of the speakers, it appears that this effect would have been an early type of surround sound as the audio would move from speaker to speaker as it came closer.

As the planning for Disneyland continued, Walt Disney World was also being planned. The Mansion at Disney World has a few more show scenes than Disneyland. Its first scene once on the ride is a small staircase and balcony with floating candles. Why would the Haunted Mansion have one set of candles on a staircase, then another set later? It would be redundant. Documentation shows that the only prop even near the endless hall was to be the suit of armor.

One area of interest for Disneyland Mansion was that instead of the floating candles to appear in the endless hall, they were to be floating with all of the other floating objects, the Seance. While the blueprint here only shows candles, an alternate blueprint set with the effects labeled clearly reads Floating Candleabra on the right hand side of the room near the Floating Drum.

Reasoning as to why the effect never came to be, was possibly because of the speed of the doombuggies. The slow clanking wouldn't be moving fast enough to really give the feeling that something was walking forward. This in turn makes the Ghost Host line about "Shhhh.... Listen" a little out of place.

NOTE: Thanks to Dan Olsen for bringing the missing candles to my attention!

As a last reminder: this is the final week of voting for the Disney Dream Job contest from I need all of the votes I can get. I appreciate all of them!

Thanks again, and Happy Blogiversary!

-- The Ghost Relations Dept.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Re-wallpapering on a Stretched Budget

Greetings Ghost Fans,

For years now there has been some debate as to various aspects of the Osmonds 1970 TV special featuring the Haunted Mansion. Much of the ride portion of the special was from a Super 8 reel featuring scenes from the ride. This was interspliced with film of the Osmonds on their tour. One common question however is to what mansion they are really in when they are in the stretch room. In the special, the stretch room appears to have Grey and White stripes, the style seen in the Walt Disney World mansion, whereas the current Disneyland Mansion has an assortment of red's and green's. Could it be that the Osmonds were taken to Florida to film this scene? Not likely. The Mansion itself wasn't fully finished yet.

After more study of the other details of the room, the portrait frames, the ceiling molding, it is apparent that at some point or another, the Disneyland Mansion had similar, if not the same wallpaper as currently seen in Walt Disney World.

And just a reminder from last weeks post: I am still running for one of the top 5 spots for the Haunted Mansion Butler contest. Please visit the following link and vote for me. There is no signing up to vote, simply click "This one gets my vote!" a popup window will appear and you can vote there. It takes 10 seconds tops. So please, help me get my dream job as a Haunted Mansion Butler.

NOTE: I want to thank BPGStudios for the images from the Osmond Special and also for the information.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I need to Axe you a favor...

Greetings Ghost Fans,

This week, we look to the past for answers to things we see in the present. Currently at Disneyland, the attic is now home to Constance, and the haunted portraits of her 5 suitors. Many feel that this character is way out of place. Perhaps that the original Imagineers would NEVER want something like this.

However, in 1968, Marc Davis created a concept for a changing portrait of a bride that murders her husband with an axe...

But Wait! There's More!

Readers, I don't feel I ask of anything other than you enjoy reading my posts. Well, I have a favor to ask of you. and Disney Destinations have created a Disney Dream Job contest. With this contest, 25 winners will get to be Parade Performers, Princesses, Pirates, Jungle Cruise Skippers and lastly, Haunted Mansion Maids and Butlers. I have made it to the finals and I am now competing with 18 other finalists for 1 of 5 spots to be a Haunted Mansion Cast Member. I ask only that you visit the following link and vote for me. You can vote as many times as you want, and I would be grateful for anything.

Thank you,
The Ghost Relations Dept.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Only REAL Ghost Stories, Of Course...

Greetings Ghost Fans,

The first order of business this week is an apology. I am sorry about not posting a new blog topic last Sunday. Unfortunately for me, I was stuck in O'Hare Airport! But, I digress. The coming weeks blog entries will surely be interesting enough!

So... on to this weeks blog topic!

When doing research for the Haunted Mansion, Imagineers read books and books on Ghosts, Hauntings, Demons, etc. Sometimes they would draw off of ancient lore about ghosts in order to create new characters. One such case, The Phantom Drummer of Tedworth.

"An early Poltergeist case around 1666, that was recorded by the Reverend Joseph Glanvill, who lived in a house at the present site of the Zouch Manor in Wiltshire. Two girls were occupying a bedroom from which they could hear a "strange drumming". It was thought that the sound was coming from "behind the bolster", though some believed the girls themselves were the cause. They were later cleared of speculation however, and the Reverend noted that he could find no "trick, contrivance or common cause" to explain it."*