The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion

The Unauthorized Story Of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion

Thanks to my friends at Theme Park Press, I’ve recently started reading The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion. This book was written by Jeff Baham, the owner of Haunted Mansion fansite DoomBuggies.com. Though I have just started reading this book, I have already learned some interesting facts about the popular attraction. I can’t wait to find out more about one of my favorite attractions as I continue reading The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion!

Welcome, Foolish Readers!

Join your new Ghost Host, Haunted Mansion expert Jeff Baham, for the definitive history of Disney’s spookiest attraction. Sprinkled with photos, Baham’s book contains everything there is to know about the Mansion, with never-before-told stories and comprehensive coverage of the Haunted Mansion’s colorful past and its chilling presence at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and other Disney theme parks.

The Machine in the Ghosts

Beginning with the Haunted Mansion’s original (but never realized) incarnation as “Bloodmere Manor”, Baham pulls back the shroud on the clever effects that haunt the Mansion, including Ken Anderson’s plan for a cyclorama-enhanced Headless Horseman, Yale Gracey and Rolly Crump’s creative wizardry and “happy accidents”, Bob Gurr’s Doom Buggies, the technology behind Madame Leota’s crystal ball, and the controlled chaos of the Ballroom Scene.

You’ll learn why X. Atencio’s idea for a raven narrator was ditched in favor of the now infamous Ghost Host, whether a screaming man caught in a spider web once dwelt in the Mansion, and how technology exorcised the Hatbox Ghost.

Only Ghost Stories, of Course

There’s more to the Mansion than mere mechanics. More than perhaps any other Disney attraction, the Haunted Mansion is powered by story: the scenes and spirits you witness from your Doom Buggy all play roles in the overall narrative of the Mansion, and if you don’t know the story, you’ll miss out on a lot of the fun, and a few of the scares, too.

Baham clues you in about such things as 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.

A Taste of What’s Inside

From the comfort of your Doom Buggy you’ll read:

  • How Walt’s boyhood experience with the haunted Sauer Castle may have inspired Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion
  • Insider accounts of the creative clashes between Disney Imagineers over whether the Mansion’s haunts should be humorous or horrific
  • An analysis of the ride, scene by scene, with insight into how the effects work, delightfully eerie trivia, and anecdotes from Mansion 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
  • Extensive, exclusive commentary by Mansion designer Rolly Crump
  • A summary of the most notable Mansion collectibles released by Disney over the years

There’s always room for one more, and this time you’re it: come experience the Haunted Mansion with the “lights on” and learn its ghostly history, its sinister secrets, and why this Disney attraction continues to happily haunt fans young and old.

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

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