Ooooh BABY! The featured photo above isn’t from the Orange County Register re-press, but from a Huffington Post article on the sale of the home (on eBay!) – by far the coolest pic I’ve seen of this rockin’ pad.
At the risk of sounding petty due to my envy, I have to say they’re doing the house a disservice by only having one slightly haunted room. Man, you have that kind of time and money to do this little side projects? Go ALL OUT.
You don’t need to have Doom Buggies installed to shuttle you from room to room (though I could live with that) and I know you can’t recreate the Disney holograms, but come on, if you’re going to go to all that trouble, construct a ‘stretching room’ and at least one hallway with transforming paintings on the walls. Have your door chime play an abbreviated version of the chorus of “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” The place doesn’t have to look like it’s decaying, or be so dark you can’t walk across a room without tripping over something …but would having your dinner table be in a Grand Ballroom with a few holograms you designed yourself be so bad? You got that kind of bread, go to fucking town!
It’s located in Atlanta, too, so have kudzu vines around the exterior and make it look like a sturdier, cleaner version of the mansion from the classic Thriller episode “Pigeons From Hell“* OK, you should have the place be more structurally sound than the PFH mansion, since you probably won’t have much company in the place if it has vermin and it’s rickety enough inside you’re worried the grand staircase won’t hold you.
Get one of those pipe organs for the Ballroom. Hey, fun fact: the one at Disneyland Anaheim Haunted Mansion was the actual pipe organ used in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Yeah, I’m a Disneyland –classic Disneyland you know, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jetsons-era Tomrrowland, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride–geek; the hardcore, loyalist type who becomes enraged about older rides being “updated” or tweaked, and who actually goes through the stages of grieving when I hear about a beloved ride or attraction being shut down despite all the letters, petitions, and emails to save it. But that’s a story for another piece.
Honestly, until a day or two after I posted this, I hadn’t read the captions for the eight photos included with the article, and there’s only one exterior of this new place. The remainder of exterior photos consist of the actual Disneyland New Orléans Square attraction. I’d been thinking, “great detail, they have the Disneyland Haunted Hearse outside, and looks like people must line up to see it on Halloween!” Those are of the real thing (I was going on zero sleep due to jury duty at the time, and not exactly detail-oriented). To the owner’s credit, they did include a plaque outside their gate just like the real one:
Now that’s not too shabby. Look for a couple more pieces from Horror Boom on The Haunted Mansion (Halloween season seems like great timing), including some cool links. If I wrote full-time from now to Halloween, there’s no way I could completely do that Disneyland attraction justice, and there’s some sites out there with such loving attention to every cool detail that they simply cannot be missed. Here’s a Disney version of Grim Grinning Ghosts originally aired on a Halloween special that takes place at a “swinging wake”…that’s one catchy-ass song!
Until then, mind if we… HITCH A RIDE?
*if you’re not familiar with “Pigeons From Hell”, it’s way scarier than it sounds. It took me literally over 20 years to finally see from the time I first read about it in the early 80s in Stephen King’s first non-fiction title Dansé Macabre to the time I found it on iTunes to buy the single episode. Not because I was too scared to, but because it was hard to find, plus there was a HORROR BOOM! kicking off in the early 80s that distracted me with so much other kick-ass horror movies, books, TV shows and even comics that my schedule got crowded and I could barely keep up with the new stuff, let alone stuff from the 60s besides Night of The Living Dead. Do yourself a favor if you’re unfamiliar; PLEASE go in as clean as possible! All you need to know is it’s a very frightening Southern Gothic tale (filmed in black and white, introduced by Boris Karloff) that takes place in the early 60s. I can reveal that the titular pigeons are the SO least of the character’s problems, though.
- The Creepy Merryville Brothers (on SNL) Wish You a Happy Halloween! (horrorboom.com)
- Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is Beautiful (tor.com)
- The Haunted Mansion and Paint the Silence (kevinhunter.wordpress.com)
- Awesome Haunted Mansion Pumpkin Carving (betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com)