‘Haunted Mansion’ comic book unearths the history behind the Disney ride
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Marvel's "Haunted Mansion" explores the popular Disneyland attraction. (Marvel Comics)
E arly in the first issue of Marvel Comics’ “Haunted Mansion,” a new one-off, five-issue series inspired by the Disneyland staple, readers encounter a ghost. This is expected. After all, as Haunted Mansion lore tells us, there are 999 of them living inside the manor.
Only this ghost isn’t of the grim, grinning sort, as described in the attraction’s popular song. No, this ghost is all bones and menace, with a foreboding cape and a sword flailing wildly.
It’s the Haunted Mansion Disney aficionados know and love, only slightly more dangerous.
“It makes sense for a comic that we can go a little more sinister here and there,” says Tom Morris executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering, the arm inside the Disney company responsible for theme park attractions and experiences.
RELATED: Digging up the ghosts of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride
“I think that’s going to compel readers to continue on,” he continues. “I think it’s different in an eight-minute attraction, but in something that’s a series, you need tension, you need mystery.”
Since it opened its doors in 1969, the Haunted Mansion has specialized in mystery. It’s a collection of endless corridors and twisting rooms that are seemingly disconnected. What do hitchhiking ghosts have to do with the jolly ghouls who are seen frolicking in a ballroom? What about the bride in the attic? Does she have any connection to the spirit who appears in a crystal ball? And just who is the Hatbox Ghost?
All that says nothing of the gruesome tale once conjured up for the Mansion’s backstory, one involving a sinister sea captain who murdered his wife and buried her in a brick wall. Some of these stories have been lost to history. Today, for instance, there are only brief nods to the fearsome ship commander. But the entirety of the Haunted Mansion’s history was fair game for Marvel’s comic.
There was, however, one rule: Keep the past vague.
The opening page of Marvel's "Haunted Mansion" explores the theories behind the manor's history. The comic was written by Joshua Williamson and features art from Jorge Coelho.(Marvel Comics)
“Haunted Mansion” is not a creation story. In that sense, writer Joshua Williamson says he took inspiration from “Alice in Wonderland.”
“You don’t really have a definitive story of what Wonderland is,” he says. “There’s no origin story. You’re on this adventure going through it. You’re experiencing it the same time Alice is experiencing it. That’s kind of what I wanted for this.”
Marvel's “Haunted Mansion” is ultimately the story of a teenage boy who ventures inside the spooky house after discovering that the spirit of a loved one may be trapped somewhere within its walls. The boy, Danny, is something of “scaredy-cat,” says Williamson, and in the first issue, he encounters what millions of Disneyland guests have already seen — paintings that stretch, windowless and doorless rooms and floating musical instruments.
He also comes face-to-face with some ghouls that Disneyland regulars may have overlooked. The aforementioned sword-wielding skeleton figure, for instance, is indeed featured in the attraction, but only glimpsed briefly in a painting.
Instead of, say, assigning a narrative to a known figures, the comic allowed Williamson and Imagineers to explore lesser-known dwellers of the Mansion.
“The house itself is a personality, and the various elements are a personality,” Morris says. “In the endless hallway with many, many doors, your mind may begin to wonder. There are many places in this Mansion that we're not getting to see. ‘I wonder what they are?’ That’s what the comic really allows us to do — to walk around in our mind and expand our imagination about what the house is and who the rest of the inhabitants are.”
Numerous theories about the Mansion’s backstory have been bandied about over the years. The ride’s beginnings date to the early to mid-1950s, first gaining major traction when Walt Disney assigned the project that ultimately would reside in the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland to Ken Anderson, an animator turned Imagineer.
Anderson’s treatments give the ride a much more disturbing core than its current incarnation. A Disney Editions book, “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic,” details Anderson’s initial drafts.
They all present a morbid twist for the family attraction. There was a sea captain — Capt. Bartholomew Gore, to cite one of his early names — who was actually a notorious pirate. His young wife, on discovering this news, was murdered — bricked in a wall in one version of the story, thrown down a well in another.
The comic in its opening pages makes allusions to the many Haunted Mansion theories. One mentions the pirate captain. Another implies that the house belongs to the bride in the attic. Constance is her name, and she’s known as the “black widow” bride because of her penchant for killing her husbands.
Marvel’s “Haunted Mansion” tackles how to conquer one’s fears. (Marvel Comics)
Unlike, say, the poorly received 2003 Haunted Mansion film starring Eddie Murphy, Williamson and Imagineers did not want the comic to read as the end-all, be-all for the Mansion. Whatever theories may exist, the comic plays with them rather than trying to set them straight.
“It was important for us to not go back and try and create a definite origin for the house,” says Andy DiGenova, an associate show producer at Imagineering. “It was more important to have an adventure in the Mansion the way that it is. The Mansion is kind of a constant, and then we can have fun with what’s going on inside. Anything that happened prior to that, we still leave up to the fans.”
One character, however, has clearly fascinated Williamson, and that’s the bride in the attic. Though her face isn’t seen in the first issue, her chilling presence hovers over the story. “At all costs,” one specter warns, “you do not want to run into Constance the bride.”
In the Disneyland attraction, the attic that houses Constance is one of the few places in the ride with a clearly defined story. Now, an ax-wielding ghost, she’s seen as a bride in numerous photos, the pearls around her neck getting more extravagant with each groom.
“She’s a murderer, right?” Williamson says.
“She’s this force of nature almost like a Grim Reaper,” he adds. “She is going to come for you. She’s a supernatural force within the house that you wouldn’t want to encounter.”
Constance, Williamson says, is the scariest ghost in the attraction. And though Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion may rely more on humor than frights, Williamson says it still can teach one about managing fear.
“One of the lessons of the Haunted Mansion is that it’s OK to be scared,” he says. “Scary can be fun. Sometimes being scared can give you an edge.”
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Todd Martens joined the Los Angeles Times in 2007 and covers a mix of interactive entertainment (video games) and pop music. Previously, Martens reported on the music business for Billboard Magazine. He has contributed to numerous books, including “The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated, Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Film of All Time.” He continues to torture himself by rooting for the Chicago Cubs and, while he likes dogs, he is more of a cat person.
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The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion
164 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2010
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The Haunted Mansion
By: jason surrell.
The Haunted Mansion is one of the most popular and beloved attractions in Disney theme park history, and can be found in each Magic Kingdom Park around the globe. This newly updated book brings the Mansion’s inhabitants to an afterlife like never before. Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion illustrates how the Mansion’s 999 “grim grinning ghosts” moved from sketches to reality, evolving from earliest story concepts through adaptations and changes as it moved into each of the parks, to the very latest ideas for show enhancements. This book also confirms and dispels the various myths and rumors that have surrounded the mysterious Mansion since its opening. And now new history has been added as the attraction continues to evolve. In this third edition, there are even more details and artwork depicting the Imagineering of the attractions in California and Florida, as well as the corresponding Haunted Mansion attractions in Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong.
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The Haunted Mansion (franchise)
- View history
The gate plaque of The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a franchise owned by the Walt Disney Company. The franchise originated with the eponymous dark ride that opened in Disneyland's New Orleans Square in 1969, one of the last Disney theme park attractions overseen by Walt Disney himself.
- 1.2 Ride Overlays
- 1.5.1 Unproduced
- 1.6 Video Games
Items contained in the franchise [ ]
- The Haunted Mansion : the original 1969 dark ride located in Disneyland .
- The Haunted Mansion : a slightly different version of the same ride, which opened two years later at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World .
- The Haunted Mansion : a very similar reproduction of the Walt Disney World Mansion that opened in 1983 in Tokyo Disneyland .
- Phantom Manor : A reimagining of The Haunted Mansion that opened in 1992 in Disneyland Paris (then known as Euro Disneyland ).
- Mystic Manor : Another reimagining of The Haunted Mansion that opened on May 17, 2013 in Hong Kong Disneyland.
Ride Overlays [ ]
- Haunted Mansion Holiday : In October 2001, a Christmas overlay of the original Haunted Mansion debuted in Disneyland, themed after The Nightmare Before Christmas .
- The Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare : Another, very similar Nightmare Before Christmas -themed overlay, opened in September 2004 in Tokyo Disneyland.
- Haunted Happenings : A coloring book featuring Mickey Mouse and friends visiting the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion.
- Haunted Mansion : A non-canon Slave Labor Comics line of comics anthologies.
- Disney Kingdoms: The Haunted Mansion : A Marvel five-issues-long story arc published in 2015.
- The Haunted Mansion: Frights of Fancy : An IDW Graphic Novel produced for the 50th Anniversary
- Tales from the Haunted Mansion , a four volume young reader anthology series of tales told by Mansion librarian Amicus Arcane
Cinematography [ ]
- The Haunted Mansion , a 2003 live-action film based on both American versions of the ride, starring Eddie Murphy as a hapless mortal real estate agent who tries to buy the Mansion, not knowing it is haunted.
- Haunted Holidays : A short web-series starring a CGI Hatbox Ghost against live-action backgrounds, released in 2009.
- Muppets Haunted Mansion : A 2021 Halloween special starring the Muppets with Will Arnett as the Ghost Host .
- Haunted Mansion , directed by Justin Simien.
Unproduced [ ]
- An Unproduced Haunted Mansion Film planned and cancelled in the 1990's.
- An Unproduced Haunted Mansion Film developed by Guillermo Del Toro, announced in 2010, said to feature the Hatbox Ghost in a pivotal role.
- An Unproduced Haunted Mansion Animated Special , developed by illustrator Gris Grimly briefly in development in 2014.
- An Unproduced Haunted Mansion Television Series , developed by Shannon Tindle in 2016.
Video Games [ ]
- The Haunted Mansion : A 2003 video game set in its own continuity, closer to the ride than the movie released in the same year.
- The Haunted Mansion: The Black Widow Bride : An Internet game centering on thwarting Constance Hatchaway .
- The Ghost Post , an interactive event in 2016 with its own storyline, apparently considered canon to the ride.
- The Ghost Gallery , a collection of unofficial backstories for the Mansion's characters, written by Walt Disney World Cast Members. Completely non-canon, but certain elements influenced the 2003 film and the SLG comics, among other things.
- 1 Alistair Crump
- 2 Constance Hatchaway
- 3 Madame Leota
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- Coming Soon: The biography of Disney animator Jack Hannah
- Coming Soon: A Haunted Mansion anthology
The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion
50th Anniversary Edition
by Jeff Baham | Release Date: September 14, 2018 | Availability: Print , Kindle
Welcome, foolish readers.
Expanded 50th Anniversary Edition!
Chill to the creepy but captivating history of Disney's Haunted Mansion. Come experience the mansion with the "lights on" and learn its ghostly history, its sinister secrets, and its ghoulish special effects. There's room for one more—and this time you're it!
Noted mansion authority Jeff Baham lifts the shroud and tells the stories on Disney's original plans for a "haunted house" attraction, why the mansion is there, who built it, how it became haunted, and the dastardly deeds done by some of its residents in their corruptible, mortal states.
Board your Doom Buggy for:
- Exclusive photos and commentary by Disney Imagineers, including Haunted Mansion "architect" Rolly Crump
- Insider accounts of the creative clashes over whether the mansion's haunts should be humorous or horrific, and the internal workflow behind each mansion rehab or addition
- An analysis of the ride, scene by scene, with insight into how the effects work, delightfully eerie trivia, and anecdotes from Imagineers and cast members
- The stories behind some of the mansion's many denizens, including the Hatbox Ghost, the Knight, the Sea Captain, the Raven, the unhappy couple Constance and George, and the Ghost Host himself
- A discussion of the most notable mansion collectibles released by Disney over the years
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rolly Crump
Part One: The History
Chapter 1: Origins, or To Dream of Ghosts
Chapter 2: The Ghost House
Chapter 3: Geppetto the Tinkerer
Chapter 4: On the Move Toward Animated Electronics
Chapter 5: Too Many Cooks
Chapter 6: The Spiritual Cacophony
Chapter 7: Eighty-Two Thousand, Five Hundred Sixteen
Part Two: The Experience
Chapter 8: Act One—Ghoulish Delight
Chapter 9: Act Two—Sympathetic Vibrations
Chapter 10: Act Three—Out to Socialize
Chapter 11: Needful Things
Appendix: Dear Old Sandy Claws
by Rolly Crump
I appreciate Jeff Baham's attention to detail and found The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion to be extremely interesting. I even learned some things I wasn't aware of. Even though I worked on the development of the Haunted Mansion along with the other Imagineers, at the time we were all working independently of each other, and we really didn't share what we were doing with each other. Somehow it all came together, but we'll never know what might have been if Walt had lived to see the Mansion completed.
Baham really did his homework, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
by Jeff Baham
Walt Disney’s Disneyland Park, a fantasy kingdom to which pilgrimage is made by 16 million people every year, hardly brings to mind the intimation of death, the occult—even suicide. Nevertheless, one ride—which Disney unfailingly included in his plans for every themed park he considered building—features such nefarious themes, sets them to toe-tapping music, and leaves its guests singing the tune on the way out of the stone crypt from which they emerge post-ride, perhaps scratching their heads incredulously at some of the bizarre visions they had just seen. This is exactly the type of magic that Disney so deftly created by establishing a themed realm so completely detailed and encompassing that visitors are happy to leave their preconceived notions of reality at the door. This, foolish mortals, is the Disney version of a haunted house.
There are those who love carnival haunted houses and dark rides, and those who don’t. The clackity-clack of the cars running along the track, the musty air with an occasional whiff of cotton-candy or bile, the gaudy plywood forms painted in fluorescent hues, the air-powered peek-a-BOO! pop-up ghoulies—all of these things inspire either fear and loathing or a giddy sense of escape, depending on the stars one was born under, it seems.
Walt Disney didn’t love the grimy atmosphere of the carnival, but he did love dark rides. The storied mogul took his favorite yarns and fairy tales (grim as the original stories often were), made them into feature films loved around the globe, and then turned those films into dark rides in his personal vision for what a carnival could be like—should be like. That vision eventually became Disneyland, and Disney’s dark rides remain among the most popular themed attractions in the world to this day. Just try to ride Disneyland’s Peter Pan’s Flight around two in the afternoon, and you’ll understand. Yes, they may be called “kiddie” rides. But who doesn’t want to believe they’re still a kid at heart?
Disney’s darkest dark ride, the Haunted Mansion, finally opened to the public on August 9, 1969, though Walt had started formal development of the attraction in the early 1950s, with some design sketches and concepts for the haunted house created long before Disneyland even opened its gates on July 17, 1955. But Disney’s ambition to create a truly mystifying attraction (along with worthy distractions, such as the development and creation of famous exhibits for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York) carried the design phase of the Haunted Mansion well into the latter part of the 1960s. After their work for the World’s Fair (for which Disney’s exceptional team of hand-picked WED “Imagineers” perfected their robotic actors, known as Audio-Animatronics), Disney assigned some of his strongest talent to get back to work on Disneyland. Those designers would go on to complete the world’s finest example of a robotic themed attraction (the Pirates of the Caribbean), and then the world’s greatest haunted dark ride in the hearts of legions of scare lovers, the Haunted Mansion.
Of course, those same designers might not agree with that assessment. Many of the Haunted Mansion’s key developers disagreed with the direction the project took after the death of Walt Disney in December 1966, nearly three years before the attraction would be completed. In fact, to this day, some of the designers are unhappy with the result of their efforts. The Haunted Mansion’s long development was rife with repeatedly discarded story concepts, disagreement on the types of scenes and effects to be used, conflicts over how many viewers should be carted through the attraction per hour—even as basic an idea as whether the attraction should be scary or not. Egos were bruised, tempers flared, and at the end of the day, it just seemed that there were “too many cooks in the kitchen,” as Imagineer Marc Davis would often recall. Most of the original design team members look back at their individual tasks and work on the Haunted Mansion with pride, but scratch their heads at whether or not to call the overall finished attraction a success. Yet many Disney theme park guests call the Haunted Mansion their favorite attraction, and it commands an army of die-hard fans.
The timeless nature of Disney’s mythic attractions such as Pirates or the Haunted Mansion plays a role in this continuing popularity. The Haunted Mansion, an attraction that Walt had planned to build in the early 1950s, is now nearly five decades old—but what’s forty or fifty years? Consider 250 years, which is the age of some of the most confounding magic inside the Haunted Mansion. Visitors experience entertainment technology here that spans four centuries. The “magic lantern” was used to project illusions on walls as early as the late 1700s. Pepper’s Ghost, a stage trick involving reflections, was used to create living, transparent ghosts in the 1800s. Disney’s own space-age robotic technology came to life in the mid-1900s, and digital projection and computer-controlled effects have just entered prime-time this century—and all of these techniques are used with great impact throughout the Haunted Mansion. It utilizes the best special effects techniques from the broad history of modern live entertainment, so it’s no surprise that it still appeals to anyone who loves being amazed and impressed by great feats of imagination.
Despite the recent addition of digitally projected effects, the Haunted Mansion’s late-’60s technology is the magic behind the ride that leaves guests stymied to this day. Not much has changed since then, though even today riders will leave scratching their heads, mumbling about the futuristic three-dimensional “holograms” that must be employed to create the incredible transparent ghosts seen inside the attraction—not aware that nineteenth-century audiences also marveled at the same stage trick. Nevertheless, there was some cutting-edge technology used to make the massive attraction function properly back in 1969. The characters in the ride are examples of Disney’s aforementioned Audio-Animatronic robots and are computer-controlled, as are their individual soundtracks. Some of the ride’s visuals are provided by projection, so film loops were in constant use (though those have been replaced by digital video projection today). And the ghost train carriage system itself—called the Omnimover system by Disney—was quite innovative in its own right, spinning toward the action at every scene and forcing the viewer to watch precisely what the show designer intended him to watch. All of these innovations clearly took the Haunted Mansion a leap beyond the previously existing expectations for a carnival dark ride, and set a standard for haunted attractions which still stands.
A trip through the Haunted Mansion leaves the typical visitor slack-jawed, whether or not he is a dark ride aficionado. The sheer scope of the ride is mystifying, especially since the guest is led to believe that the entire ride occurs in the relatively small visible facade of a late nineteenth-century plantation manor that you enter to begin your tour. But hidden elevators swiftly move visitors underground, and the massive ride itself occurs in an enormous warehouse beyond the visible berm that separates Disneyland park from the outside world. While the Walt Disney World version of the attraction has a larger, more imposing facade, the secret scale of the attraction is no less amazing.
Once inside the doorway, guests experience a haunting tour, eerie atmosphere, and obsessive attention to detail. Even the gleaming stanchions used to hold the chains that direct the queue to board the carriages are unique brass bat-gargoyles, custom-made for the ride. Crystal chandeliers are outfitted with thick, draping cobwebs. Bronze gargoyles hold flickering candles in their clawed hands. Detail was so important to Walt Disney that WED Enterprises even hired a master woodcrafter from Cuba to sculpt the enormous number of architectural details scattered throughout the Haunted Mansion. Suffice to say, there are plenty of silly sight gags and breathtaking illusions to go around. A gallery stretches before your eyes. Marble busts stare you down and follow your every move with their malevolent glare. Restless spirits materialize, and in one stunning set piece, you can watch them dance in and out of sight, disappearing and reappearing as you look right through them.
The engaging details can’t be contained to the interior of the mansion, however. Upon reaching the attic, with nowhere else to go, riders are thrown from a window into the private graveyard, where in a cacophony of crazy music and singing statues, the graves open to release their occupants, all of whom have “come out to socialize,” as the ride’s theme song insists. Behind a glowing veil of fog, dead socialites share a sip of tea with each other, while an Egyptian mummy murmurs in the background. An executioner sings a duet with his victim, a decapitated knight (who holds his singing head under his arm). And finally, as you are about to escape through a crypt, a trio of hitchhiking ghosts tries to join you by materializing aboard your Doom Buggy. In fact, the sheer amount of details even gave the ride’s designers pause—at least until they caught up with Walt Disney’s vision, which entailed leaving the guest ready for a repeat performance. WED Imagineer X. Atencio, who developed concepts and wrote the script and song for the Haunted Mansion, recalls a conversation he had with Walt about the Pirates and Haunted Mansion attractions, which were packed with scenes, sounds, and conversations surrounding the ride conveyances, which seemed to move past the scenes too quickly for the guests to catch all of the goings-on. “I said, Walt, I apologize, but you can’t understand what they’re saying. Then he said ‘X, it’s like a cocktail party. You tune in on this conversation, then you tune in on that. Each time they come in, they’ll hear something new.’”
Despite the rich, centuries-old technology, the attraction still appeals to today’s sophisticated theme park attendees. Many of Disney’s Imagineers, who designed and built the Haunted Mansion, are forefathers, in a sense, of today’s wired generation. There can be no doubt that many of those Imagineers would feel at home in today’s “maker” culture, were they part of this generation. You had arguably the world’s finest animator designing the gags for the ride in Marc Davis (the creator of Tinker Bell from Peter Pan and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty ), and then there’s the genius of tinkering duo Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey, who would lock themselves in a warehouse and engineer mechanical illusions so hair-raising that the cleaning crews would refuse to go into the room. In the early days of the Haunted Mansion’s development, WED Enterprises was composed of an intimate group of inventors, dreamers, and mad scientists, forging their way without precedent. Today’s geek culture is reflected in that set of circumstances.
However, the ride’s popularity demonstrates more than a simple appreciation of its creativity. It also distinctly appeals to a wide cross-section of folks, and it definitely appeals to a variety of vocal and active fan groups. Goths, geeks, artisans, actors, haunters, magicians, and the standard-issue Disney fan all can find something to love and relate to in the Haunted Mansion. Many of the current generation of fans are monster kids, influenced by all manner of groovy ghoulishness: the great genre rags of the 1970s like Famous Monsters and Omni magazines, graphic novels, building-your-own-hovercraft with instructions from the back of a comic book, glow-in-the-dark plaster skulls, owning an amulet filled with dirt from Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. Those who remember such great stuff will find a very soft spot in their hearts for Disney’s haunt.
But the Haunted Mansion also has a strong appeal to younger generations. One example of this occurs at Disneyland around the holidays, bringing about the largest yearly change to the attraction. In an inspired move, Disneyland decided to blend the story of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas with their Haunted Mansion franchise in the holiday season of 2001 by creating an overlay for the attraction: a “skin” applied to the ride that changes the soundtrack and some of the scenery and props to create a new experience for the rider. The holiday update was directed by Steven Davison, the Imagineer who went on to lead the production of the award-winning World of Color water show at Disney California Adventure. The experiment was an instant hit with holiday guests to the park, so the overlay has been repeated annually ever since. Blending the off-beat, monstrous world of Burton’s comic film with the kooky setting of the Haunted Mansion is so clever that it seems like an obvious and inevitable pairing, and the characters from Burton’s film fit right into the Haunted Mansion’s dank surroundings.
Walt Disney once said that “Strong combat and soft satire are in our story cores…There is no cynicism in me, and none is allowed in our work.” Much of popular culture today lazily rests on the laurels of grabbing a cheap snort through the use of cynicism. The idea that there exists an amusement park spook house that both encompasses the best of modern entertainment technology as well as innocent storytelling has an appeal to people of all types. There are no gory body parts, no horrifying decay, yet the dark humor rests underneath the surface, for those inclined to seek it out. The inoffensiveness of the Haunted Mansion is a greater draw then most people realize, and its adherence to Disney’s earliest intent for the attraction is key to that strong appeal.
Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion. As you read this book, I hope you’ll enjoy your trip through the secret spaces of the world’s finest haunted dark ride—a testament to Walt Disney’s fantastic commitment to drama and his consistent use of darkness to define the lighthearted nature of his art. After decades of daily use, the attraction’s magic hasn’t dimmed a bit. Here’s to decades more.
Jeff Baham has been a Haunted Mansion fan as far back as he can remember—at least back through 1973, which is his earliest memory of breaking his treasured Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion record album and crying inconsolably (until his mother relented and bought the first of numerous replacements that would follow through his childhood years).
More recently, Baham is known for founding and operating DoomBuggies.com, a Haunted Mansion fan website that has become a focal point for Mansion fandom to congregate and share stories, learn facts, and enjoy a common bond. DoomBuggies.com has contributed to numerous Disney parks’ Haunted Mansion events, and was an invaluable resource to Walt Disney Pictures during the production of The Haunted Mansion , starring Eddie Murphy. Baham also served a full term on the Disneyland Creative Advisory Council.
Even more recently, Baham contributed to the Walt Disney Records Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary CD and Box Set , and founded the Mousetalgia podcast, a weekly show dedicated to the exploration of Disney in today’s society, emphasizing theme park culture and exploring the past, present, and future endeavors of the people who have imagined Walt’s happy place into existence.
In 2013, Baham started The DoomBuggies Spook Show , a podcast about the history of the Haunted Mansion and other “spooktacular similarities” that might appeal to fans of the attraction.
A Chat with Jeff Baham
If you have a question for Jeff Baham that you would like to see answered here, please get in touch and let us know what's on your mind.
What's your first memory of the Haunted Mansion?
I was terrified! My first memory riding it as a child is cloudy—most likely because I was hiding my eyes for most of the ride. Ironically, I loved the soundtrack record album though, which I owned long before I ever tried riding the Haunted Mansion. I was definitely a monster kid—loved Famous Monsters magazine, spooky glowing model kits, and my Haunted Mansion record with incredible paintings of some of the most famous scenes in the Mansion by Imagineer Collin Campbell. So the album is really what I think of as my first impression of the place.
What about the Haunted Mansion led you to create doombuggies.com and devote so much of your spare time to researching and writing about the attraction?
I had a lot of Haunted Mansion ephemera saved up over the years, and to me, it seemed to be a mysterious attraction in the sense that Walt started it, but wasn't able to complete it. I always knew there was probably an interesting story to tell in that situation. In terms of creating DoomBuggies.com, I really needed to teach myself web site design back in the mid '90s. I had recently graduated from the San Jose State University School of Art and Design, and I was there just before the web became integral to life. I didn't need to take a single computer course to graduate, but I quickly realized I'd need to be able to design for the strange, new world of the internet. So that desire to learn web site design was probably of equal importance to my love of Disney history toward getting DoomBuggies.com online.
Was there any one Imagineer (we won't count Walt) who was indispensable to the creation of the Mansion, and without whom it wouldn't exist as we know it today?
Yes—but the thing about the Mansion that makes it unique is that it's an imperfect blend of ideas and concepts, which allows each Imagineer's input to really stand out as their own stamp on the project. I say imperfect in the sense that most of those designers were probably shooting for a full attraction that was a seamless experience; but I think the clarity of everyone's individual input on the attraction is part of what makes it so popular today. That said, without Imagineer Yale Gracey's penchant for tinkering around with stage magic, lights and mirrors, we wouldn't have some of the incredible illusions that make the scenes so involving.
If you could add one scene or prop or denizen to the Mansion (we won't count the Hatbox Ghost, the obvious answer), what would it be?
Marc Davis had a lot of conceptual illustrations of glowing, ghostly female characters in white gowns, some of which were probably ideas for the bride in the attic, but many of which seem to be younger girls, or the bride in various points in her life. I'm not entirely sure if these were only attic concepts or more than that, but the idea of a glimpsing a glimmering little girl in a white dress, holding a teddy bear or a flower, off to the side of the path—that gives me goose bumps even now. But Marc Davis had dozens of unused concepts for the Mansion, any of which would be a neat addition to the ride.
Have you ever been through the Mansion with the "lights on", and if you have, has the experience lessened your enjoyment of the ride with the "lights off"?
I haven't had that opportunity. I've passed up a couple chances, and now, the current thought at the parks is that demonstrating any attraction out of its intended character is frowned upon, so the options to be granted a "walk though" are far more limited. I think I'm so familiar with the ride today that a glimpse backstage would be a plus. I love peeking behind the curtain to see what Oz is really up to.
Have you been through all the Haunted Mansions in all the Disney parks where they exist? What's your favorite—and your least favorite?
I've only been to the Mansion's in the U.S. parks. Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion is, technologically, far superior to Disneyland's at the moment. In particular, their stretching gallery has an audio technology that floats the Ghost Host's voice around the room, while the gallery creaks as it stretches and bats flutter about. It's a simple sonic addition that sets that scene far ahead of the Disneyland version.
Is there anything left to discover about the Mansion, or have all its secrets now been revealed?
I was just talking to (Imagineer Marc Davis's widow) Alice Davis recently, and she surprised me with new information that I didn't already know. But generally speaking, I think the Mansion's history is pretty well told—but there will always be new secrets to tell about the attraction, because Imagineering keeps revisiting it. It's a deep well of potential stories, and for every decision and addition Imagineering makes to the ride in the future, there's bound to be a collection of stories to go with that process.
How do you think the new Haunted Mansion shop in Walt Disney World's Liberty Square (replacing Yankee Trader) will perform? Is there a pent-up demand for Mansion merch?
I don't know that the demand is pent up, but there's a strong, consistent demand, because as Disney has seemed to suddenly realize, the Haunted Mansion taps into a lifestyle that many people embrace—an occasional walk on the wild side. That said, along with the new shop, Disney announced over 100 new Haunted Mansion pieces that will shortly flood the marketplace. The well of demand is deep, but we'll see if Disney tests its limits. I think the new merch location will do just fine, but I think all of the merchandise available there will also be sold at Disneyland, and probably online too.
Tell me about the consulting work you've done for Disney as it relates to the Mansion.
Most of the work I've done over the years that's associated with Disney is either under the radar or unofficial. The most frequent requests I've had, from everyone from video game designers to licensees creating merchandise to graphic designers working on products or corporate literature, is for logos and research images of various characters, artwork or scenes in the attraction. I guess it's easier to go to DoomBuggies.com than to wade through the corporate libraries—and even then, Disney hasn't really had very good resources for some of the imagery in the Haunted Mansion. Beyond that, DoomBuggies was a big part of Disney's grassroots marketing for the Haunted Mansion movie in 2003, and we've also been asked for input regarding some of the celebratory events the parks have hosted celebrating the Mansion over the years.
Are there any really cool bits of trivia or personal anecdotes about the Haunted Mansion that didn't make it into the book?
DoomBuggies celebrated our tenth anniversary by renting out the Blue Bayou restaurant at Disneyland and hosting a spookily-themed steak dinner with a panel of Imagineers, and then we rented the Haunted Mansion after the park closed to allow our attendees to have an unusual, very personal ride without the usual clatter of the crowds. But the funny thing is that the most expensive part of the evening was hiring licensed characters dressed as the Hitchhiking Ghosts to make an appearance in front of the Mansion for an hour. Disneyland really knows the value of their properties!
- Geppetto the Tinkerer
- Ghoulish Delight
Walt assigns a new team to the Haunted Mansion project: Yale Gracey and Rolly Crump. Crump recalls how he and the older Gracey got along.
By 1959, Disney had assigned a new team to the haunted house project. Yale Gracey, a WED Imagineer who came from animation, as did many, was tapped to lead the new search for the best illusions and methods for portraying a realistically haunted piece of architecture. Gracey, a layout artist before being moved to WED, was a known tinkerer, and it’s likely that Disney knew that the special effects research and development would best be carried out by someone willing to create something new from scratch rather than rely on traditional theatrical techniques, as did Anderson’s climactic meeting with the Headless Horseman.
Along with Gracey, Disney also brought WED Imagineer Roland “Rolly” Crump to the project to assist Gracey. Crump, who also cut his teeth in the animation department, had originally come to Disney’s attention due to his own interest in three-dimensional design and kinetic sculpture. It’s quite clear that Disney decided that, perhaps as far as the haunted house project was concerned, two heads would be better than one, so he turned the duo loose on the project, and sent them back to the Studio sound stage to keep developing new demonstrations and illusions for the attraction. “Walt knew that I did little funky things, and Yale did little funky things, so he just put us together,” Crump said.
“Yale was so thrilled to be asked to come to WED,” Crump recalled. “He was an older guy, and came from animation and was ‘just’ a layout person. I don’t know how Walt picked him to come, but Walt was the best casting director that ever lived on the planet. So he decided that Yale and I should work together, but I didn’t know Yale from up. I knew who he was, but that was about it.”
But Crump quickly got to know Gracey, and soon realized how much creative energy they had in common. “Yale was like a ‘Geppetto’—a little tinker-toy man who was always creating strange things,” Crump recalled. In addition to building models of haunting effects at WED Enterprises and then constructing life-sized demonstrations of those effects at the Studio, Crump and Gracey ended up spending lots of time together researching the horror media of the day, which included seeing monster movie matinees. So Crump spent a good amount of time visiting Gracey for their various research trips. “When you walked up to Yale’s house, he had these little rods that stuck up, about every three or four feet, and on top of the rods, he had these little salt shakers that the cap had been taken off of, and then there was a little light bulb inside of that,” Crump said. “So his lights were little salt-and-pepper shakers turned upside down.” Crump was fascinated by Yale’s penchant for invention, and his ability to find a purpose for an item that was intended for something completely different.
At this point in the project, Gracey and Crump were still working with Ken Anderson’s story ideas and plot concepts, along with other ideas that had been tossed in the pot along the way. “Since Walt had wanted a haunted house in the park when he opened Disneyland, he had a lot of people in animation work on different crazy little ideas, but they never were much more than one sketch,” Crump said. “Yale and I got all those sketches and laid them out, and started looking at them, and…the interesting thing about it was that we didn’t know what we were doing.”
Despite their seemingly haphazard methodology, some incredible ideas and effects started to develop from the Gracey/Crump collaboration, based on the conceptual work that had been done prior to their involvement. “We worked side by side on ideas, and just had a great time. But Yale was really the leading force in that,” said Crump. “I was really just helping him, building the boxes. I was actually learning from Yale.”
Jeff Baham discovers a forgotten mansion denizen: the Knight.
In the 1980s, Imagineering tossed around a few ideas for adding an element of unpredictability into the Haunted Mansion, in an effort to keep the attraction on the spooky side of the tracks. So Cast Member Joe Dagostino was one of a select few chosen to portray a physical character inside of the attraction—a live-action knight in armor. He recalled:
I was a character that played the Knight in the Mansion in 1985. The role was originated through the Disneyland Entertainment division and pioneered through a gentleman named David Mink. For the first year, he was the only character authorized to be the Knight.
After this trial period, others were allowed that character, but only after a training session and test. The character was so popular that at one time there were two knights on duty, one relieving the other after a thirty-minute shift. The costume only had a front side to it. You had to be dressed in tights and a plastic breast plate, and thigh pads and elbow joints went over this. This meant that your back was exposed to the elements, and it was very hard to be frightening while dressed head to toe in tights with a chilled breeze going up your backside!
Originally we were armed with a six-foot battle axe. We were supposed to slam this on the floor to add to the guests’ experience, but other creative uses soon popped up. Hooking it around the Doom Buggy before the car swung around to reveal you to the guest was a popular move, as was slamming it on the back of the car. Needless to say, we were soon disarmed for safety sake. Some of my best shifts were as the Knight in the Haunted Mansion, and the character was so popular that there was talk about adding a live-character groom in the attic. The costume was even designed and produced, but both characters were discontinued before anything happened.
Another Cast Member who took on the role of the Knight was Kyle Clark. “The idea of dressing up as a knight in armor and scaring people was, at that time of my life, too much fun to behold,” Clark recalled. “I could cause people to scream, cry, laugh and jump from their seat. But the job also had its problems. I can remember a fellow Knight having his nose broken by an overly frightened female cheerleader. He got too close, touched her, and she promptly punched him square in the face.” The close quarters inside the Haunted Mansion where the Knight was stationed—between the conservatory scene and the corridor of doors—probably led to a lot of sticky situations. “This created a new rule in the character department—to stay at least six feet from the guests and to never touch them. Later, other rules included not scaring senior citizens and young children. I can only imagine why those rules were implemented,” Clark said.
After sixteen years of operating day by day without human characters, the sight of the Knight must have been a shock to many guests. “Even the long time patrons of Disneyland were not aware of what they were about to encounter,” Clark said. “This made for some very interesting sights and sounds. During my time spent in the hallway, I was witness to the best and worst of human behavior. I received many compliments…but at the same time, I witnessed drug use, vandalism, and several ‘make out’ sessions featuring topless women—you should see the look on a girl’s face when a knight tells her to put her clothes back on.”
Cast Member Graydon Van Ert, who also performed as the Knight, shared some more recollections. “Playing the Knight was both one of the coolest and one of the most disturbing things in characters,” he said. “Sitting on break behind the wall was disconcerting. You would always hear noises and sounds you swore you hadn’t heard before, and some days you didn’t feel as if you were alone. Also—behind the doors you could hear, repeatedly and very clearly, one of the voices saying, over and over, ‘Ohhhh…let me out of here!’” Van Ert also mentioned that the supervisors were fond of “sneaking in while you were out on set and waiting in the little hallway between the corridor and the break area to scare you when you walked off set.”
Van Ert recalled some other characters that might have been. “The Character Department had also tested a phantom character in the transition hall to the attic and in the attic, but lighting in the transition hall and space in the attic was an issue,” Van Ert said. “The idea of a specter in the Graveyard had also been mentioned, but never tested.”
Media consultant Tim O’Day, who worked with Disneyland at the time, credits the original idea of the live-action Knight to Randy Bright. “Mr. ‘Scary Knight’ only lasted a year or two due to complaints at City Hall about the Haunted Mansion now being too scary!” O’Day recalled. “We also re-instated the Phantom of the Opera briefly in the Main Street Cinema—lasted less time than the Knight.”
This short-lived Phantom of the Opera character haunting Disneyland’s Main Street was also briefly considered for a possible live-action resident of the Haunted Mansion. Photograph from the collection of Jeff Baham.
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The Tightrope Walker , officially named Sally Slater is a character found within the Haunted Mansion .
- 1.1 Background
- 2.1.1 Magic Kingdom
- 2.2 Main Street, U.S.A.
- 2.3 Disney Parks
- 3.1.1 The Haunted Mansion
- 3.1.2 Haunted Mansion
- 3.2.1 The Ghost Gallery
- 3.2.2 Haunted Mansion (comics)
- 3.2.3 Frights of Fancy
- 3.3.1 Lion King 1/2 Virtual Safari
- 3.3.2 Kinect: Disneyland Adventures
- 3.3.3 Disney Crossy Road
History [ ]
Background [ ].
Tightrope Walker was at some point in her life, a guest or resident of the Haunted Mansion , as explained by the Ghost Host . As her name might imply, she was a tightrope walker at some point during the 19th-early 20th century.
During one show, she performed on a faulty rope which snapped causing her to fall into the water. As a result, she was killed and eaten by an alligator in the waters below. Following her demise, a portrait of her was hung up in the portrait gallery of the manor. It can be inferred that her ghost as-well came to be an inhabitant of the estate.
Appearances [ ]
The haunted mansion [ ].
This character appears in the Stretching Room scene of all the mainstream Haunted Mansions, including those in Disneyland , Walt Disney World , and Tokyo Disneyland . In all of these appearances, her design and function stays the same.
Sally's portrait appears in the stretching room along with those of an aged Constance Hatchaway , a suited gentleman , and a man in a bowler hat. Each portrait shows their bust profiles until the room begins to stretch and expand, revealing a morbid addition to their tableaus underneath. In Sally's case, the portrait expands to show Sally standing on a withering tightrope above the gaping jaws of an alligator.
Magic Kingdom [ ]
As of 2011 , the Magic Kingdom's version of the Haunted Mansion, there is a librarian crypt in the queue dedicated to a poetess named Prudence Pock . Prudence's ghost reads several morbid poems aloud and of them, one of them goes, " In the swamp, poor Sally Slater was eaten by an alligator ".
While originally this could have been inferred to have been a separate character, the name of Sally Slater would be used for the tightrope-walker for live-appearances, the Ghost Post, and merchandise. Some merchandise even expanded this name to be Sarah "Sally" Slater although the canonicity of this is unreliable.
Sally Slater's fully stretched portrait
Main Street, U.S.A. [ ]
In Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A., there is a fortune-teller box with a mechanical fortune teller inside called Esmeralda . Esmeralda holds four cards, each of which shows a different one of the Haunted Mansion's stretching room portraits, including that of Sally Slater.
Disney Parks [ ]
Tightrope Walker is a rare meet 'n' greet character although one reliably found at Haunted Mansion themed events at the Disney Parks . Before 2011, her name was typically given out as being Daisy de la Cruz , this having been her name in the SLG comics based on the Haunted Mansion.
That being said her characterization matched the inferred characterization from the ride rather than her more malevolent character in the comics. She was portrayed as being somewhat oblivious, distractible, and innocent with a macabre charm about her. She is also portrayed as having a French accent, possibly giving credence to how the original Haunted Mansion was set in New Orleans .
Other Appearances [ ]
A character modeled after tightrope walker appears on a tree-branch in this movie, her alligator having been written out of the film.
Haunted Mansion [ ]
Sally Slater, identified as Ballerina in the credits, appears in the film. When the Hatbox Ghost attempts to kill Ben Matthias and Travis in the stretching room, she comes to life and directs the two to hang onto the gargoyles to escape.
Printed Material [ ]
The ghost gallery [ ].
In the 1990s, cast-members of the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World created a backstory for the attraction as a means of answering guest questions. All of this backstory was recorded on paper and while unofficial, has since influenced both the original Haunted Mansion's official and semi-official features as-well as adaptations based on the Haunted Mansion.
In this backstory, tightrope walker was given the name of Lillian O'Malley and she was characterized as being a melancholy early 20th century circus performer, traumatized by the death of her beloved at the hands of a circus lion. Her beauty attracted many suitors including one George Gracey Jr. , the master of Gracey Manor. The two came to be married and Lillian became the mistress of the estate, although George was frequently adulterous and had an affair with his clairvoyant, Madame Leota whom he sired a daughter with.
Madame Leota came to be deeply jealous of Lillian however and used her magic to convince Lillian to put on a performance for the Gracey family in 1937. During this performance over the Hudson River, Leota summoned an alligator and used magic to snap Lillian's rope, sending her to an early grave.
Haunted Mansion (comics) [ ]
In the Haunted Mansion comic-book series, tightrope girl was given the name of Daisy de la Cruz and was an evil witch in the bayous of New Orleans outside of the Haunted Mansion. She had a habit of using her performances to seduce and lure away men so that she could transform them into alligators to keep in a river as pets. Her death is never focused on in the comics, but it is implied that the alligator which killed her was one of her victims, seeking revenge.
Frights of Fancy [ ]
Video games [ ], lion king 1/2 virtual safari [ ].
Sally Slater is referenced in this DVD game where Timon is in a Stretching Room portrait in Sally's pose, holding a parasol. The portrait stretches to reveal he's standing on a fraying vine above the hungry hyenas Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed .
Kinect: Disneyland Adventures [ ]
Sally and the rest of the Stretching Room portraits were shown in the opening scene of the Stretching Room level of the Haunted Mansion game, their full portraits were revealed when the floor dropped to the point of forming a bottomless pit.
Disney Crossy Road [ ]
The Tightrope Walker is a playable character in the Haunted Mansion section of this app, being named Sally Slater.
- Before 2018, Sally was homaged in Phantom Manor's Stretching Room by the character of Mélanie Ravenswood . In two of the portraits Mélanie was dressed as Sally, even holding a parasol in one of them. In one of these portraits she was going off the edge of a water-fall where in another she was being approached by a crocodilian river-monster, once again inspired by Sally Slater.
- The Disney Villains variant shows Captain Hook on a tightrope above the crocodile .
- The Nightmare Before Christmas variants show Sally on a tightrope over the mouth of a giant snake .
- The Mickey Mouse & Friends variant shows Minnie Mouse over the jaws of the crocodile from Peter Pan ( 1953 ).
- In The 7D , a portrait of Hildy Gloom shows her mirroring the tightrope walker over an octopus.
- In the Random Rings short "Scratch Calls The Haunted Mansion" (where Sally's portrait also appeared), there is a "Hang In There" stretching poster where a cat hangs onto a branch over the water where a hippo opens its mouth similarly to the alligator.
Gallery [ ]
- 1 Once Upon a Studio
- 2 Lock, Shock, and Barrel
- TIPS & TRICKS
Disney Adulting Ride Guide: Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a dark ride attraction in Disneyland (CA), Magic Kingdom (FL), and Tokyo Disneyland. The original attraction opened at Disneyland on August 9, 1969. The attraction, while slightly different in each location, retains the same storyline by placing riders into a “ Doombuggy ” and transporting them around a haunted manor where “ 999 happy haunts ” await to greet you.
- Rating: Dark Ride
- FP Available: Yes
- Height Requirement: Any Height
- Single Rider Available: Yes
- Duration: 19 Minutes
- Disney Investment: $7M ($45M by Today’s Inflation )
- Top Speed: 3 MPH
The Queue: Haunted Mansion
Guests wait in line outside the mansion, passing a pet cemetery, and are led into a spooky parlor by Cast Members dressed as maids and butlers. The mansion is based on the “ Shipley-Lydecker ” house in Baltimore, Maryland. Once guests enter the house into the foyer they are greeted by candles lighting the room from sconces and the sole chandelier, while an organ plays a single-note melodic line which serves as the theme for the rest of the ride. A mirror is at the entrance. After enough guests have gathered in the foyer, the “Ghost Host” introduces himself and welcomes everyone to the Haunted Mansion. ( This is where the real fun begins .)
From there, the guests are brought into an octagonal room, where the door by which they entered becomes a wall and the chilling voice of the Ghost Host taunts them. As the voice speaks, the walls quietly seem to stretch upwards, elongating the paintings on them to reveal the fates of previous guests. The lights go out, lightning and thunder effects fill the gallery, and, in a rare instance of Disneyland “dark humor,” a glimpse of the earthly remains of the “Ghost Host” are shown dangling by a noose from the ceiling rafters above – his “way out”. A loud scream is heard followed by the sound of bones clattering.
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Virtual Queue Experience: Haunted Mansion
Warning: This is a first-version experience of the actual queue. If you have never ridden the attraction, we strongly recommend not watching this video and experiencing the ride and the magic for yourself in person the first time.
At the attraction in Disneyland, the room is, in fact, an elevator with no roof that is being lowered slowly to give the illusion that the room itself is stretching; this brings the guests down to where the ride begins, below ground level. The ceiling above is a piece of fabric called a scrim, which conceals the hanging body until it is lit from above. This elevator effect was necessary to lower the guests below the level of the park-circling Disneyland Railroad.
The actual ride building of this attraction is located outside the berm surrounding the park and the Imagineers developed this mechanism to lower the guests down to the hallway leading to the actual ride building. It is interesting to note that although it is not necessary to lower the guests at the other theme parks, this effect of the stretching room is still used at the other instances of this attraction at the other Disney theme parks, not as an elevator like at Disneyland, but by raising the roof of the room.
When the walls finally do open, guests are ushered into a hallway lined with paintings that change from normal to “spooky” every few seconds. A simulated thunderstorm rages outside while the grim busts of a man and woman placed at the end of the hall seem to turn their heads in relationship to the viewer’s perspective. Guests will load a continuous track of Omnimovers called “Doom Buggies” and begin their journey into the Haunted Mansion.
The Ride: Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion consists of 7 different scenes each leading you deeper into the storyline of the mansion:
- The Endless Hallway: Pass by an endless hallway and a conservatory containing a coffin whose occupant is trying to get out.
- Corridor of Doors: Eerie door after door with spooky sounds and beings trying to get out.
- The Séance Circle: Hosted by Madame Leota, or more like her disembodied head instead of a crystal ball.
- The Ballroom: Ghosts dance mid-air as a ghostly organist plays the original pipe organ featured in the 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea .
- The Attic: Guests will meet Constance Hatchaway, a bride with a terrible habit of decapitating her many husbands.
- The Graveyard: Descend into a lively graveyard full of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” who have come out to socialize with guests and the rest of the dead.
- The Exit & Hitchhiking Ghosts: Guests will discover that they’ve been selected to fill the quota of 1,000 happy haunts an as they pass a group of mirrors a little surprise awaits them.
Unique Facts: Haunted Mansion
- The Hatbox Ghost , who had previously been removed during the attraction first week of opening, was reinstated on May 9, 2015, as part of Disneyland’s 60th-anniversary celebration after a 46-year absence.
- The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland opened the same day the infamous Manson murders occurred in Beverly Hills and it was based on the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California where Walt Disney actually visited.
- In Walt Disney World, one can see a tombstone for J. Thaddeus Toad , the hero of the park’s long-gone attraction Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
- From the fall season through the end of the year, California’s Disneyland Park annually transforms the original Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday .
- There was a real Madame Leota . Well, sort of. An actual model-building Imagineer named Leota Toombs.
- The voice actor for the Ghost Host is Paul Frees . He was also the voice of Ludwig Von Drake, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and Boris Badenov of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame.
- In one of the Haunted Mansion’s early drafts , Walt Disney himself recorded the narration for the attraction. It was eventually scrapped for today’s Ghost Host version.
Disney Adulting Pro-Tip for Riding The Haunted Mansion
We recommend that you try your luck during a parade or keep an eye on lower wait times. Using a Fastpass ( or try taking advantage of Maxpass ) is a wise choice, especially because it can run as long as 45-minutes or even 120-minutes during the Halloween season. We don’t usually recommend that you try not to wait longer than 30-minutes but do keep in mind that while the wait time and line may seem long, the attraction begins in the queue, and it worth the experience.
Virtual Ride Experience: Haunted Mansion
Warning: This is a first-version experience of the actual ride. If you have never ridden the attraction, we strongly recommend not watching this video and experiencing the ride and the magic for yourself in person the first time.
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Haunted Mansion ending explained, with full backstory for iconic ride characters
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Warning: This story contains spoilers from Disney's Haunted Mansion .
Disney 's new Haunted Mansion movie doesn't end with room for just one more unlucky spirit; it concludes in a dining hall filled with several jovial attendees of a ghostly jubilee, not unlike the one riders encounter at versions of the classic ride operating at parks around the world. Fans of the Walt Disney -devised attraction, however, will similarly rejoice after seeing the film, as director Justin Simien and writer Katie Dippold finished the film with a fleshed-out backstory for two fan-favorite canon characters: William Gracey — whose identity is sometimes confused with that of the "Ghost Host" ride narrator in certain attraction lore, including the 2003 Eddie Murphy movie — and Jared Leto 's endlessly creepy Hatbox Ghost.
"How can you not make the movie about Hatbox Ghost and Gracey?" Simien — a former Disney parks employee and full-time Disneyland aficionado — asks during an interview with EW. "I'm a real fan of the ride. I probably would be classified as a Disney Adult if I wasn't making movies for a living. Those are the faces you're immediately drawn to."
Riders might easily recognize Gracey and Hatbox Ghost from the attraction, but the movie takes their stories one step further, expanding their personal lore far more explicitly than anything in versions of the experience operating at Disneyland , Disney World , and Tokyo Disneyland.
Walt Disney Studios Jared Leto's Hatbox Ghost in 'Haunted Mansion'
The film's central plot follows a grieving widower and paranormal tour guide, Ben ( LaKeith Stanfield ), who's hired by a single mother ( Rosario Dawson ) to help her banish invading ghosts from her newly purchased Louisiana estate (modeled for the film exclusively after Disneyland's iteration of the ride). Along the way, he teams with a ragtag group of supernatural sleuths, including Father Kent ( Owen Wilson ), Professor Bruce Davis ( Danny DeVito ), and a New Orleans psychic named Harriet ( Tiffany Haddish ). Together, they uncover a crystal ball inhabited by the head of legendary medium Madame Leota ( Jamie Lee Curtis ), another legendary staple from the ride, who informs them that most of the ghosts aren't actually nefarious in nature. Here's where Gracey's story comes in.
Leota tells the group that she once worked with Gracey, the prior owner of the mansion, to help him contact his deceased wife, but a dark spirit latched on to his grief, promising to reunite him with his former spouse. Believing the force's word, Gracey commits suicide (as the Ghost Host/Hatchet Man, a separate character, does at the top of the stretching room in the Haunted Mansion ride queue, indicated by the corpse hanging from the rafters). It's later revealed that Hatbox Ghost is actually the spirit of a man named Alistair Crump, who's on a mission to collect 1,000 souls (his current total stands at 999 happy haunts) in order to set him free from a sort of supernatural purgatory.
Crump's origin story is far more sinister. It begins with his father kicking him out of Crump Manor — which is also depicted in the film as a modern-day haunted museum populated by wacky tour guides played by Dan Levy and Winona Ryder — for grieving his deceased mother too deeply. After his father died, Crump returned to the manor and threw lavish parties for the same social circle who previously excommunicated him; in an act of revenge, he began murdering them, until his staff revolted and decapitated him (thus, explaining why his head manifests inside a hatbox, just like it does on the California iteration of the ride). In his final moments, Crump also vowed revenge and became entangled in the 1,000-soul plot.
Disney Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish. and Danny DeVito in 'Haunted Mansion'
"Hatbox Ghost, this character, fans of the ride co-created with Disney. They started calling one guy Gracey, and another Hatbox Ghost — now they're canon characters. They pulled Katie and I's attention," Simien explains when asked why he expanded the legacies of both characters.
He adds that, thematically, there was clear motivation to parallel their experiences with Ben's.
"It also was kind of beautiful, because Gracey provided such a Ghost of Future's Past interpretation of Ben's character. Gracey does everything Ben is doing at the start of the story, and it felt like Crump is doing everything if Ben were to keep going on [the] hating people, misanthropic journey he was on. They were these two sorts of things we were watching this character try not to become," Simien observes. "Gracey, the way he confronts his grief, and the way Crump confronts his grief, they're really logical, they're what most of us would do in those situations. Ben has to choose something in the middle to be the hero the movie wants him to be. I thought that was a perfect way to put the audience in the literal seat of the riders, where you're not really of the mansion, but you're a visiting guest, and to give you the candy of what the actual haunts are up to up in there."
Haunted Mansion is now playing in theaters nationwide.
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Trips With Tykes
Complete Guide to Holidays at Disneyland 2023
Posted: October 30, 2023 | Last updated: October 30, 2023
The Halloween decorations are about to be packed away and the holiday decor will soon be unveiled at the Happiest Place on Earth. As much as I adore Halloween Time at Disneyland , the Christmas holiday season is perhaps even more magical. My family has been able to make many trips to experience the Disneyland Holidays over the years.
Everything at Disneyland has been quite different since the parks’ reopening, but the 2023 holiday season marks a return to more normal Disneyland operations. All of the larger scale offerings like parades and fireworks are back. Of course, there are always new food offerings, merchandise, and entertainment at Disneyland every holiday season too.
Keep reading to find out what you need to know before you go to Disneyland during the holiday season in November and December 2023 and during the first week of January 2024.
(Trips With Tykes uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through links in this post. See our full disclosure policy linked in the menu at the bottom of this site.)
When Are the Holidays at Disneyland in 2023?
The Disneyland holiday season in 2023 officially runs from November 10, 2023 to January 7, 2024.
The celebration now officially always kicks off in time for the Veterans Day holiday weekend in early November. Never fear if you have an even-earlier November visit either because many of the decorations go up even before the official opening date of the holidays at Disneyland. In fact, the snow on the castle shows up before Halloween!
While many of the offerings in 2023 during the holiday season are familiar favorites from previous years, remember that Disneyland has made a lot of major permanent changes since its reopening, including the introduction of a new cut-the-line program Disney Genie+ (replacing Fastpass and MaxPass) and some new tech like MagicBand+ . Disney continues to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary with the Disney100 Celebration this year too.
See my guide and tips for how to do Disneyland differently in 2023 so you are prepared for the logistics of the parks more generally.
What to Do: Holiday Ride Overlays in Disneyland Park
Disneyland park has two special ride overlays for the holiday season – both of which are very popular and truly immersive experiences. The Disneyland park offerings to know about are:
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Jack Skellington and his Nightmare Before Christmas pals take over the Mansion with their version of Halloween and Christmas mixed together. Haunted Mansion Holiday is a continuation of the overlay already in place from the Halloween season, so it’s already ready for early November visitors with no interruption between seasons.
Plan ahead to save time in what can otherwise be a very long standby line. Haunted Mansion Holiday is a smart attraction to “rope drop” to skip longer lines later in the day. Now that the new Genie+ service is in place at Disneyland, it can be a smart investment to avoid long lines for this attraction and other popular choices. See my advanced tips for Genie+ at Disneyland to find out just how early in the day you need to select this attraction to get an optimal return time in relation to other attractions (hint: it’s early – it should probably be your first or second choice of the day).
“it’s a small world” Holiday
Outside, the facade of this classic Disney ride is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights that are breathtaking at night. Inside, Christmas lights and decorations adorn every room and the children sing Christmas carols in a medley with the traditional “it’s a small world” song. In my opinion, the holiday version is better than the original! Be sure not to miss the projections and musical shows that run about every half hour on the facade at night (check the showtimes guides in the Disneyland app for exact times).
Like Haunted Mansion Holiday, “it’s a small world” Holiday is one of the attractions available with Disney Genie+. This service is an excellent option to cut the line which is very necessary during the middle of the day and on busier park days. Early morning visitors on lower crowd days, however, may be able to get on with minimal waits. But this ride is definitely much more popular during the holidays with the overlay (especially after dark!), so expect crowd patterns to be very different than they are for the standard version of the ride the rest of the year.
What to Do: Holiday Ride Overlays in Cars Land in California Adventure
Over in California Adventure, there are a few more ride overlays as well. In Cars Land, two rides have gotten holiday transformations. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is now Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters turns into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl .
These overlays are nowhere near as extensive as the ones in Disneyland and mostly just feature some decor and holiday music to help set the seasonal mood. But these are especially great attractions for toddlers and preschoolers at Disneyland with often very reasonable lines in the always amazing setting of a decorated Cars Land. So I highly recommend them!
Related: Best Rides in Disney California Adventure Park for Toddlers & Preschoolers
What to Do: Shows, Parades, & Fireworks
Disneyland’s holiday parades and shows include several of the classics that have been going strong at Disneyland for years. Returning is “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade which runs in the daytime in Disneyland park – usually twice daily.
Characters like Goofy, Pluto, Anna & Elsa, Buzz & Woody, and several Disney princesses and princes ride on the holiday themed floats. And it’s all capped off with Santa himself closing the parade. The parade is always popular, so plan to camp out at least a half hour or more for prime seating on its route from it’s a small world to Town Square at the end of Main Street U.S.A. The reverse route is used for the second showing – ask cast members for details on the route for the showing you plan to see.
(If you really want to make sure you snag a prime parade viewing spot, guests can splurge on a Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort Guided Tour for reserved viewing. This 2.5 hour tour also includes holiday treats, a cut-the-line ride on it’s a small world Holiday, and inside information about the holidays all over the resort for $110 extra per person.)
After the sun goes down, the Believe… in Holiday Magic fireworks show is another can’t-miss. Projections appear on the castle and Main Street USA. And it all ends with a magical snowfall. Who said there’s no such thing as winter weather to California? The fireworks are currently scheduled to be offered daily during the 2023 holiday season instead of only on weekends as is sometimes necessary.
Over in California Adventure is ¡Viva Navidad! – part parade and part street festival. It is part of an expanded celebration that debuted in 2016, Festival of the Holidays, which is also making a return (more on that below). I have now gotten to see ¡Viva Navidad! many times the last few years and it always exceeds my every expectation. The show is led by the Three Caballeros and features Mexican and Brazilian dancers and music. It’s a joyful celebration that had everyone dancing and singing along.
The other nighttime spectacular – World of Color – Season of Light is back again in 2023 California Adventure. This evening show uses water and projections to light up Pixar Pier and features holiday music and favorite Disney animated classics.
Last but not least, California Adventure also hosts “Mickey’s Happy Holidays.” This show is a procession of dancing Disney and Pixar characters marching with the Holiday Toy Drummers. Check the app for showtimes.
Festival of Holidays
The debut of Festival of Holidays in 2016 was a resounding success, resulting in a major expansion the past few years. It’s back in 2023 and just as big as ever over in Disney California Adventure park.
Festival of Holidays celebrates diverse cultures from around the world, with musical performances, crafts, dancing, and FOOD – lots of it. Expect to see nods to Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. The concert schedule is robust so be sure to check the times guide or the Disneyland app to see when shows will take place.
The other the big draw for this festival is the food. Fans of food festivals like Disneyland’s Food and Wine Festival or the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will enjoy a holiday spin on that same tradition: the Festival Foods Marketplace .
The marketplace features about a dozen booths with holiday treats and drinks. During the winter months, Disney usually experiments with a lot of comfort foods in addition to treats, making for a lot of good eating! My favorites in previous years were the shrimp and grits, holiday stuffing mac n cheese, turkey slider with cranberry dressing, and hot cocoa macaron.
Disney mixes up the menu a bit every year, so look out for the 2023 foodie guide to the Festival of Holidays on the Disney Parks Blog soon for complete offerings (see last year’s 2022 foodie guide ).
While visitors can certainly order the food items a la carte, I am a big fan of the “Sip and Savor” pass . Historically, this offering was only available to Annual Passholders (now known as Magic Keys), but it expanded to all guests a few years ago. The Sip and Savor pass comes with 8 tickets for any of the food, dessert, or non-alcoholic drink options at the Festival Food Marketplaces. It’s a great way to taste a wide variety of foods while saving money. (Pricing for 2023 has not been released yet but in 2022, it was $57 for all guests or $52 for Magic Keyholders.)
Photos with Santa
What holiday outing is complete without a chance to see the big man himself? Santa will be available in DCA for photo opps in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney California Adventure park this year through December 24, 2023. You can be sure to find Photopass photographers at this location to get everyone in the holiday shot.
He’s also available in Critter Country in Disneyland park as well as as the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and at the Disneyland Hotel, so there are multiple options depending on your park touring plans.
A huge part of the magic of the holidays at Disneyland is the decor. In Disneyland park, the most unique decor and my personal favorite undoubtedly goes to the Mardi Gras colors and themed Christmas decor in New Orleans Square.
Always a favorite is the giant tree near the park entrance on Main Street, U.S.A. and the hub decorated in poinsettias. Finally, Sleeping Beauty castle decorated with a winter overlay that lights up at night is a spectacle to behold. With the new darker blue colored castle turrets that went up in 2019, the castle has a slightly different snow-covered look!
Over in Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle get festive. But the crown jewel is in California Adventure in Cars Land. Neon and holiday lights combine for true holiday awe at night. Plus, the tire themed wreaths and decorations add a whimsical flair in keeping with the movie’s endearing sense of humor.
Check out this a deeper dive into the Christmas decorations at Disneyland from This Crazy Adventure Called Life.
Tips & Tricks for the Holidays at Disneyland
If you are planning a visit to Disneyland during the holiday season, here are a few additional tips to make the most of your visit.
1. Prepare for crowds : The Holiday season at Disneyland is always popular, so plan accordingly. If you are expecting to go on a crowded day, read up on my best line Disneyland avoidance tips and on things to do on a crowded Disneyland day . And seriously consider budgeting extra for Disney Genie+ which will surely help with lines. Indeed, I think it’s essential if you plan to visit the week between Christmas and New Year’s, along with a smart strategy for using it.
2. Don’t pay full price for your tickets : This tip is true all year round, but who couldn’t particularly use a little extra cash in your pocket around the holidays? The bottom line is that I don’t recommend buying your tickets from Disney. Why? You’ll pay full price! I have a partnership with the largest seller of Disneyland vacations, Get Away Today , where you can buy any multi-day tickets or Disneyland vacation packages at a discount – and usually there are some pretty good discounts around the end of the year, especially on Black Friday. Use promo code TYKES10 for an extra $10 off all package stays of 2 nights or more.
3. Maximize Photopass : There are so many photo opportunities during the holidays. If there is ever a time to spring for Photopass, this is it! (Photopass is included in the $30+ cost of Genie+.) Some of the best spots for photos include: Cars Land sign, in front of Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle, in front of its a small world holiday, by the tree on Main Street USA in Disneyland, and anywhere you see a holiday costumed character!
4. Make time for shopping : The merchandise at Disney is always pretty amazing, but Disney goes all out for holidays and special events. You can always find some special holiday gifts for Disney fans on your list. World of Disney in Downtown Disney is always one of the best places to go to shop. I recommend doing this on your arrival or departure day when you don’t have a park ticket to maximize your time in the parks. And when you are in Disneyland park, be sure to check out the still newish Plaza Point Holiday Shoppe at the end of Main Street USA that features unique holiday gifts year round.
5. Treat yourself : And it goes without saying that you’ll be tempted by at least a few of the holiday treats. The Festival of Holidays Festive Food Marketplaces are teeming with options, but there are more choices all over the parks. The perennial favorite the past few years seem to be flavored seasonal churros so keep an eye for this year’s food innovations.
6. Don’t forget the hotels and Downtown Disney : Last but certainly not least, it’s not only the parks that get a holiday makeover during the holiday season. Downtown Disney has festive decor and the hotels really go all out too. The tree and gingerbread house in the lobby of the Grand Californian are always a sight to behold. The hotel also has a pop up sweet shop with additional holiday goodies. Both the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier (soon to be Pixar Place Hotel) will have special decor as well.
Editor’s Note : Disneyland hosted an after hours event, Disney Merriest Nights, in 2021 for a few select evenings in November and December. Note that this event has been permanently retired and will not be offered in 2023.
Need even more Disneyland Christmas info? Check out these articles for more:
- Best Things to Do and See at Disneyland Holidays
- Top Disneyland Holidays Picks for Families with Young Kids
Headed to Walt Disney World for the holiday season? Check out this guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for all the Florida holiday fun.
Where to Book Your Disneyland Vacation & Save Money!
Save big on your Disneyland vacation with trusted Trips with Tykes partner, Get Away Today. Get Away Today sells park tickets at a discount, helps you find great deals at both on-property and off-property hotels, and provides expert customer service from representatives who visit Disneyland all the time.
For park tickets, don’t purchase direct from Disney and pay more! Book discounted Disneyland park tickets from Get Away Today here . Tickets purchased now are valid through January 12, 2025. Both park hopper and single park per day tickets are available, as well as tickets that include Genie+.
To take advantage of hotel and other package discounts from Get Away Today, explore and book Disneyland vacation packages here . Be sure to use code TYKES10 for $10 in additional savings.
Current Get Away Today Specials & Deals :
- Kids Special Ticket Offer! : For visits from January 8-March 10, 2024, kids ages 3-9 can visit for as low as $50 per day ! Deal valid on 1, 2, or 3 day tickets (note: Get Away Today sells multi-day tickets only). Genie+ and/or park hopper option is available as well. No blockout dates but use is subject to theme park reservation availability.
- Extra Day Free Tickets : Get 5 days at Disneyland for the price of 4 with this extra day free special for longer vacations.
- 3rd or 4th Night Free : available at select Anaheim area hotels exclusively through Get Away Today bookings (can be combined with all ticket discounts).
The post Complete Guide to Holidays at Disneyland 2023 appeared first on Trips With Tykes .
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Category : Mansions in Moscow
- See also: Category: Houses in Moscow .
This category has the following 77 subcategories, out of 77 total.
- Historical images of mansions of Moscow (3 C)
- Interiors of mansions of Moscow (5 C, 1 F)
- Afanasy Grigoriev Mansion, Moscow (11 F)
- Arbuzova Mansion, Moscow (12 F)
- Arseny Morozov House on Vozdvizhenka (2 C, 101 F)
- Arsenyevy mansion (1 C, 18 F)
- Bakhrushin mansion (12 F)
- Bakhrushina Street, 30 (4 F)
- Alexey Bakhrushin's mansion (2 C, 31 F)
- Belyayev Mansion (4 F)
- Black Swan Villa (22 F)
- Bokovy Mansion, Moscow (8 F)
- Bolshaya Ordynka Street 14, Moscow (5 F)
- Bolshaya Ordynka Street 19, Moscow (1 C, 4 F)
- Bolshaya Ordynka Street 21, Moscow (17 F)
- Bolshaya Ordynka Street 31, Moscow (1 C, 12 F)
- Bolshaya Ordynka Street 43, Moscow (11 F)
- Bolshaya Ordynka Street 6, Moscow (8 F)
- Chertkov Library (1 C, 45 F)
- Dolgorukovy Mansion (9 F)
- Gagariny-Tyutchev estate (10 F)
- Goloviny Mansion in Potapovsky Lane (12 F)
- Grachevy mansion, Povarskaya street (1 C, 6 F)
- Gubin House, Moscow (1 C, 53 F)
- Homestead Turgenevy — Botkiny (11 F)
- Ilya Glazunov's gallery (22 F)
- J.L. Ding House in Moscow (37 F)
- Karpova mansion (11 F)
- Kazakov mansion (3 F)
- Kazakova house on Sadovo-Spasskaya Street (6 F)
- Kekusheva's house (Ostozhenka) (36 F)
- Khovanskaya mansion (11 F)
- Knop mansion (25 F)
- Korobkov mansion (40 F)
- Kuznetsova's mansion (14 F)
- List House (36 F)
- Lyzhin Mansion (6 F)
- Maltseva-Petrov Mansion (10 F)
- Mamontov mansion on Sadovo-Spasskaya Street (12 F)
- Mansion of Altufyevo Estate (23 F)
- Markin mansion (10 F)
- Meshcherskaya-Buturliny mansion (1 F)
- Mikhaylov Mansion (12 F)
- Miliutin mansion, Moscow (14 F)
- Miliutinsky Lane 19/4, Moscow (10 F)
- Mindovsky mansion (28 F)
- Mitkov-Arbatskaya mansion, Moscow (7 F)
- Monakhov-Stulova Mansion, Moscow (12 F)
- Morozova mansion (30 F)
- Muraviev-Apostol's house (Basmannaya) (1 C, 45 F)
- Nebolsin house (1 F)
- Nekrasov mansion (6 F)
- Nosov mansion (1 C, 11 F)
- Novikov-Davydov Mansion (8 F)
- Olenina-Dumnov Mansion, Moscow (7 F)
- Orlov-Denisov Mansion, Moscow (21 F)
- Podsosensky Lane 26, Moscow (12 F)
- Podsosensky Lane 28, Moscow (7 F)
- Pozdnyakov manor (3 F)
- Prospekt Mira 39-41 (1 C, 57 F)
- Pyatnitskaya Street 16, Moscow (20 F)
- Pyatnitskaya Street 18, Moscow (1 C, 16 F)
- Pyatnitskaya Street 30, Moscow (6 F)
- Reck mansion (26 F)
- Ryabushinsky House, Moscow (2 C, 71 F)
- Saarbekov House (9 F)
- Schechtels own house (Bolshaya Sadovaya Street) (10 F)
- Shemyakin mansion, Moscow (7 F)
- Smirnov's house (Tverskoy Boulevard) (32 F)
- Soymonov Mansion (8 F)
- Stanislavskogo street 25, Moscow (7 F)
- Svyatopolk-Chetvertinsky mansion (1 C, 4 F)
- Sytin Mansion (15 F)
- Vorontsov-Dashkov Manor, Moscow (10 F)
- Yakov Yakubov Mansion (9 F)
- Znameka 13, Moscow (11 F)
- Znameka 7 Mansion, Moscow (2 F)
Media in category "Mansions in Moscow"
The following 11 files are in this category, out of 11 total.
- Houses in Moscow
- Mansions in Russia by city
- Mansions in Russia by region
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- Bahasa Indonesia
- Science & Tech
- Russian Kitchen
5 Russian hotels haunted by ghosts
Paranormal activity isn’t just something we see on TV - many people believe there are places where ghost sightings are real. Russia is no exception - Grigory Rasputin, Sergei Esenin and even Vladimir Lenin - are just some of the ghosts said to inhabit Russian hotels as well. Would you dare to spend a night there and check if these ghost stories are true?
1. Hotel National (Moscow)
One of the most luxurious hotels in Moscow, Hotel National opened in 1903 and has hosted many well-known names over the years including prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, French poet Anatole France, English writer Herbert Wells, and American pianist Van Cliburn. The leader of the Russian Revolution and the first head of the Soviet state, Vladimir Lenin, also lived here for a week with his wife - in room 107. According to rumors and the hotel staff’s accounts, a figure of a man with a bald head and a beard is often seen at the hotel sipping tea, walking the corridors and turning the lights on and off - it seems the Soviet leader loved it here so much he didn’t want to leave the place - even after his death!
2. Apartment Baltapart On Gorokhovaya (St. Petersburg)
Want to get a glimpse of Grigory Rasputin , the famous mystic and friend of the last Romanovs? Try your luck at the hotel on Gorokhovaya 64 in St. Petersburg, a residential building that dates back to the early 20th century and has, at some point, hosted Rasputin on the third floor. Some of the guests share that they regularly see the white figure of Rasputin roaming around at night. Others think the ghost tends to visit those who are sad or in a bad mood. If he visits a man, he would stroke him on the back at night, or, if visiting a woman, he’d whisper something nice to comfort her.
3. Grand Hotel Europe (St. Petersburg)
The five-star Grand Hotel Europe opened in 1875 on Arts Square in St. Petersburg. As the legend goes, it replaced an earlier inn situated on the same site - a lodge where since 1706 guests would hear and witness horrifying things like footsteps in the attic, moans, and squeaks. The story tells that once a brave resident went up to the attic once and saw a ghost of the killed officer Belyaev-Tolstoy - a thing that terrified the owner and prompted him to sell the inn. Later, the building was demolished and a new Grand Hotel Europe was built in its place, but it’s believed that the ghost moved into the new hotel as well - there are stories of guests sometimes mistaking the ghost for a porter!
4. Angleterre Hotel (St. Petersburg)
Another place believed to be inhabited by a ghost is the Angleterre Hotel in St. Petersburg - a place where the famous Russian poet Sergei Esenin was found dead in room No. 5 in 1925. Some believe he was suffering from depression and hung himself while others believe it was actually a murder and that suicide was a cover-up. Maybe that’s why the soul of the poet has still not found its peace and is still seen within the hotel’s walls.
5. Arkhangelskoye estate and sanatorium (Moscow region)
A monument in honor of Tatiana Yusupova in Arkhangelskoye.
The picturesque estate just outside of Moscow, Arkhangelskoye has seen many owners, including the Yusupov family, one of the wealthiest in the country. According to legend, the estate is inhabited by the ghost of Tatiana Yusupova, who died in 1888 at the age of 22 as a result of typhus. Her inconsolable father buried her here and ordered a marble angel to stand over her grave. After he died, the monument was moved to a nearby tea house and since then the ghost of Tatiana has been seen walking around the park searching for her father’s present.
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