The Haunted Mansion: Myths and Truths

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When hinges creak in door fewer chambers and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls, whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight….WELCOME FOOLISH MORTALS TO THE HAUNTED MANSION! I am your host, your ghost host and kindly step in, please! There is no turning back now….

Here lie the Myths and Truths on this eerie attraction that goes bump in the night….

Truth: According to an official Disneyland press release from 1969, the Haunted Mansion cost $7 million to develop and build. That translates to roughly $45 million today.

Myth: A baby left in a Doom Buggy by a forgetful parent died on the Haunted Mansion.

Truth: Madame Leota, the disembodied head inside the crystal ball, is the voice of Eleanor Audley. She also provided the voices of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella.

Myth: Black cats are routinely sacrificed in the Anaheim, CA attraction by satanic cults while the ride is closed for its annual transformation into Haunted Mansion Holiday with Nightmare Before Christmas characters.

Truth: Three films were major inspirations for the Haunted Mansion. The Cat and the Canary (1927), La Belle et La Bete/Beauty and the Beast (1946), and the Haunting.

Myth: The hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion is the actual horse-drawn hearse used to carry Brigham Young’s body to its grave.

Truth: The ghosts that disappear and reappear throughout the ride are the example of an old and simple visual trick known as “Pepper’s Ghost,” which uses strong lightning and glass to create a ghostly reflected image of a brightly lit object or person.

Myth: Construction on the Haunted Mansion began in 1963, and one of the first test guests was so scared that she died of a heart attack inside the mansion. Her death, legend has it, led to the closing of construction until 1969.

Truth: While waiting in line to enter the Mansion, look closely and you’ll find a wedding ring stuck in the concrete path. It is believed to be the wedding ring of the Bride in the Attic.

Myth: The exit of the Haunted Mansion is said to be haunted by the ghost of a boy whose mother spread her son’s ashes in the attraction without permission.

Truth: The one performing “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the theme song of Disney’s Haunted Mansion, is Thurl Ravenscroft. His most notable work is the singer of “You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch.”

Myth: One of the singing busts of the Haunted Mansion has long believed to have been of none other than Walt Disney himself.

Truth: During the production and assembly of the props and audio-animatronics for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, duplicates of everything were being made for Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion. It was decided that the Florida version of the attraction would be slightly longer and more elaborate than its California counterpart.

Myth: The Man with the Cane has been known to haunt the Mansion for more than 30 years. He appears in the loading dock every morning where one ride operator will see him as the park is opening, and disappears into the Doombuggy with the first run of the track. ​

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