Monday, July 28, 2008

Rest in Peace - Harriet Burns

Greetings Ghost Fans,

It is deepest sadness and sympathy that I must report this week that on Friday, WDI's first female Imagineer, Harriet Burns passed away.

Harriet worked many years within WDI, being a pioneer to lead the way for several women working behind her. She had shown that just because of her gender, she could work just as hard and diligently along side other Model Shop Imagineers such as Fred Joerger and Rolly Crump to name a few. Crump later recounted in a letter to the Ghost Relations Dept., "Harriet was one of the kindest and most genuine persons I had known at WED. We had spent several years together in the model shop. She had this wonderful sense of humor and was a real hoot."

In terms of the Haunted Mansion, Harriet designed many of the original models that were later constructed into the show scenes we know and love today.

While riding through the Walt Disney World Mansion just yesterday, I had noticed that a very kind and wonderful haunt payed his respects to her tribute tombstone in the Graveyard Finale.

Rest in Peace, Harriet.

-The Ghost Relations Dept.

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Axe to Grind

Greeting Ghost Fans,

In previous weeks I had mentioned about several props from the attic being reused in the Mansion after the rehab as well as other props from the mansion being placed in the attic. Well, it looks like Constance liked to hide more than her riches in the attic. Lets take a look shall we...

Here we see the attic near where Constance is currently standing. Notice anything interesting?

How about now?

Thats right. In addition to Constance hiding her marraige gifts and the secret of her husband's deaths, she is also hiding the murder weapon! And though its near impossible to see in the darkness of the attraction, it's just one more amazing detail provided by Imagineering.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hush Hush... Sweet Widow

Greetings Ghost Fans,

Coming from the departmental drawer of speculation, I bring you this: In 1964, 20th Century Fox came out with a film entitled: Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte. The film featured an old woman in a Mansion to herself. She refused to leave the house on the basis of fear that if the Mansion was destroyed, the axe-murder of her husband would be discovered.

Now... with a plot like that, it sounds quite similar to our favorite axe-wielding widow, Constance. But, now the plot thickens. For you see, Marc Davis painted the Stretch Portraits in early 1965. The movie started releasing press photos in 1964. One early press photo features Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in a graveyard, both sitting atop tombstones, but what is most interesting is how Ms. Crawford is sitting atop hers.

Again, just speculation on my part, but I'll let you be the judge as to wether Marc Davis may have used this as partial inspiration for his Widow on the Tombstone.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Greeting Ghost Fans,

When Disneyland and Walt Disney World Mansion's refurbished their attic scenes to incorporate Constance and her husbands, a lot of the junk around the attic was removed and replaced with more wedding style gift items. However, items within the attic that held the theme of wedding gifts were kept.

In the instances of Walt Disney World:

A table that was once on the left-hand side of the track that held the sheet music book "On my Way to Mandalay!" (Seen under the table is actually a Sally plush doll as part of the hidden references to The Nightmare Before Christmas.)

A tall curio cabinet that was once empty features various brick-a-brack. Beneath the vignette is a red carpet that used to be at the feet of the old bride.

In the area of Frank's gifts, a set of plates (which now form a Hidden Mickey), a carpet, an old wicker screen and the candleabra that used to sit atop the Music Room piano.

Across the Doombuggy path from Constance is the old lamp that once hung above Leota when she was in her stationary phase on the table.

A Chair, the painting by L. Mason of a woman grooming her daughter and various other small paintings that once resided near the old bride. Also, a small carpet bag that was once near a hiding place for one of the old pop-up groomsmen.

Of course, these are but to name a few of the interesting props now found within the scene, but it's only with time and more discovery that we can uncover some of the other artifacts.