Things You're Just Supposed to Know

Most of the time, Long-Forgotten assumes that readers are already familiar with basic facts
about the Haunted Mansion. If you wanna keep up with the big boys, I suggest you check out
first of all the website, Doombuggies.com. After that, the best place to go is Jason Surrell's book,
The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies (NY: Disney Editions, 2003; 2nd ed. 2009)
and Jeff Baham's The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion (USA: Theme Park Press, 2014).

This site is not affiliated in any way with any Walt Disney company. It is an independent
fan site dedicated to critical examination and historical review of the Haunted Mansions.
All images that are © Disney are posted under commonly understood guidelines of Fair Use.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Beginning of the Endless Hallway

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Life~by~the~Drop Jeff Fillmore

Once you've boarded your doombuggy, the Haunted Mansion almost becomes a different ride, doesn't it?  The walk-thru portion has one feel and the ride portion another.  You sit down in your omnimover, and there is an unavoidable feeling that the attraction has kinda hit the restart button.  That's okay; it's really not a problem, but it does mean that the Imagineers who built the ride needed to follow some of the same show dynamics at this point that they would ordinarily use at the beginning of any other dark ride.

At Walt Disney World and at Tokyo Disneyland, the first full tableaux are low-key affairs.  (I don't count either of the portrait halls as "full tableaux.")  The music room and library are just as much about setting the mood as they are about intriguing special effects.  By the time you get to the Endless Hallway, the subject of today's post, you're well into the ride.  This is also true of Phantom Manor.  Ah, but at the Disneyland original, the Endless Hallway is the first full tableau that you see after boarding your doombuggy, so it's far more important there.  It has the responsibility of leaving that good first impression people are always talking about.

I think it succeeds very well.  The tableau is low-key but gives you four distinct gags: the armor, the drapes, the candelabra, and the hall itself.  Shameless gasbag that I am, I have something to say about all of these, plus a history lesson, plus a post-script.

First the armor.  As it does so often, the story begins with Ken Anderson:


Yeah, it's a cliché, but it's a good one.  Marc Davis seems especially to have liked suits of armor.  You see them prominently in the concept artwork we looked at a couple of posts back (the "Weirder" one).  Here's an unfinished Davis sketch that you've probably never seen.  This was done after he had done the artwork for the Grand Hall (as it was called then), so you wonder what this was for.


They all look pretty normal, so you wonder how we got our odd-looking fellow.  There is no shortage
of really bizarre medieval helmets out there, but I haven't found anything that looks quite like ours.
 This is a case where one of you readers may know something the rest of us don't.  If so,  comment!



Now the billowing curtains (alas, often not visible due to the darkness).  There are actually two doorways with the blowing drapes, the first one immediately on the left as you round the corner.  It has the honor of being the first special effect you encounter up here, but it's easy to miss and hard to photograph, because your doombuggy immediately turns away from it, and the other buggies do their best to block it out.


(Just ignore the highlighted duct for the moment.  We'll get back to it.)


In the Claude Coats concept art, notice the pink chair and its position.  And did you see the ghosts in the drapes?

They're another cliché, but they represent an important idea.  The Ghost Host has already saddled you with one unanswerable question: real or imagined?  The blowing drapes pose another: natural or supernatural?  Seems like every haunted house story has a character who tries to explain everything as natural phenomena. "It's just the wind.  Someone probably left a window open somewhere.  That's probably what made the armor rattle too.  You're turning into a bunch of nervous Nellies."  Characters sometimes internalize this conversation.  After all, now that you're convinced that the ghosts are real—that this can't all be just a hallucination—there's still the danger of going to the opposite extreme.  Your skeptical side may have admitted defeat with regard to the big question, but that doesn't mean it has utterly abandoned you.  "Come on Jennifer, get a grip; every creaking hinge and every flickering candle isn't necessarily a ghost.  Some of these things have a perfectly rational explanation.  Good lord, next thing you know you'll be finding ghosts in the wallpaper!"   Heh heh.

Then there are the other two gags, the candelabra and the hall itself.  You've seen plenty of ghostly tricks up to this point, and you've heard plenty of eerie things, starting with the Ghost Host himself, but at Disneyland the first irrefutable ghost that you actually unsee is the floating candelabra.  I mean, there's an invisible ghost standing right there, holding a candelabra.  That's a real escalation in ghostliness.  And finally, what can you say about that hallway?  It's immense.  It's incredible.


It's also scary.  You look down that eerie hall, with all those doors, and you feel like you could easily get lost in this house forever.

Oh, it's all just perfect, isn't it?  Hard to believe that what you're seeing is . . . a patch job.

That's right.  This seemingly flawless scene is the result of some slapdash, improvised, last minute imagineering.  The hallway itself is basically what was planned, but if you could back up just a few months before opening day and experience it as it was planned up to that point, it would have gone something like this:

Your doombuggy moves in front of the Endless Hallway and you are hit with a blast of cold air, which flutters the armor's feathery helmet ornament and explains the billowing curtain.  There is no floating candelabra.  The Ghost Host says, "Ssssssh.  Listen!" and you hear the tramping of loud footsteps coming down the hall toward you.  As the sound passes the suit of armor, its hand moves.  The steps continue to travel toward you and pass right over you (or through you), only to continue on the other side as if you weren't there.  There are other sound effects with the footsteps: panting and chain rattling, and it's possible that a smoke-like effect is also used.


Huh?  What happened here?  Let's go back to the beginning, the very beginning . . .

The original inspiration for the Endless Hallway could be found in the old Sleeping Beauty Diorama, the castle walk-thru that was beautifully re-done and re-opened just a few years ago.  It's a hidden gem, recreating much of the look and feel of the 1957 original. (Thank you Chris Merritt and team.)  One scene from the original that was not re-created and which perished in the 1977 Barbie doll make-over was the Bottomless Pit.  It was located where the waltzing spinning wheels are found today.  You could peer into what looked like a stone turrett, but it had no top or bottom.  You couldn't quite get your head in there, but you could scrunch up pretty close and see a long way in each direction.



Way cool.  It was done with mirrors, of course, one on top and one on the bottom, reflecting each other into eternity.  Now if you think about it, this is exactly like the Endless Hallway, except that one is blue, vertical, round, and made of stone, while the other is brown, horizontal, square, and made of wood.  Don't bother me with such trifling details.  You might also object that the EH only uses one mirror, back there in the fog, while the bottomless pit uses two.  That's true, but at one point the Mansion team did toy with the idea of using several mirrors for the EH.  Here's a favorite piece of concept art, a watercolor by Dorothea Redmond:



Nice, eh?  But how would they have done that?  Well, the first vertical mirror, immediately in front of you, is a two-way mirror.  It's relatively dark where you're sitting, and it's brighter inside what is essentially a box made of four mirrors and two wooden sides, so you see through it like glass, but from the inside looking back at you, it acts just like a regular mirror.  How would you light up the inside, though?  There's no place to hide fixtures.  Simple, you just have these glowing orbs hanging down on very thin electric cables through holes in the ceiling mirror.  If the wires are thin, they can't carry much current, and the lights will have to be of very low wattage.  You'll compensate for that by having lots of them in there, as bright as the wiring will tolerate.  Really, they're just like Yale Gracey's fireflies from the Blue Bayou.  They can dance around like the fireflies too.

Anyway, you can see the Sleeping Beauty bottomless pit influence here.  But of course, they didn't do it like this and elected to go for a more natural look.  They settled for one mirror placed well back in the mist (i.e. multiple scrims).  Here's a 3D.  It may not be endless, but it's still a pretty long room.


The script for the "Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion" record album is based largely on an early  script for the ride, as we've mentioned before.  Consequently, with the record you can sometimes hear what they had in mind before they changed things, if they changed things.  For example, when the hero and heroine, Mike and Karen, climb the stairs (sans doombuggy, the lucky ducks), they notice a change in temperature:

Appalling Cold


This effect was really going to be used in the ride, and possibly it was for a short while at the beginning.  Two vents hidden on either side of the hallway entrance, probably in the steps, were going to blast you with cold air.  An exhaust vent on the wall behind you was going to suck it out of there as fast as it came in.  (That's the vent highlighted in the earlier photo.)  WED engineer Paul Saunders, who worked on the HM in 1967 and 1968, thinks the cold air effect was actually used.  I don't have any memory of it.     If it was used, it wasn't for long.  Perhaps it was difficult to confine and control the stream of cold air.  So the scene has lost one special effect.

[Edit] Or almost lost.  Several readers affirm that you can feel a slight blast of cold air about this point, especially at WDW.  The effect is still there, but it seems like it's toned down quite a bit.  The building is air conditioned, after all, and according to someone who used to work there, air conditioning vents are very deliberately arranged in that area to create a cold spot.  It's soft enough for a guest to think without thinking, "Oh, that's the air conditioning" and fail to appreciate the "special effect."  The blast of cold air coming out of the EH and hitting you full in the face – that's gone, perhaps never was. [Edit]

The traveling sound was more interesting.  Once again, take it away Thurl:

Through the Dimly-Lit Mist


To accomplish this effect, they installed a string of speakers in the hallway on the left side wall, continuing up to the track, and continuing again on the other side.  The sound would simply pan along this string of speakers.



They actually installed the speakers in the hallway, and they're still there today.



The red wallpaper has never been replaced, so it's no surprise that it's faded in some places.  That's why the speaker cover camouflage paint is now too bright in some places.  Otherwise, look how carefully those covers were painted!  Speaking of the EH wallpaper, here's a tile so you can use it for your wallpaper, a fine freebie for faithful Forgottenistas.  It's made from a photograph of the real thing.


If the "Story and Song" narrative is to be trusted, there were footsteps, screams and rattling chains.  A sound file for the footsteps has been preserved.  Here's a clip:

Footsteps  (many thanks to Brandon, "GRD")


[Edit] As reader "Grinning Ghost" has pointed out to me, that's probably the full blend of footsteps and other sounds that you hear in the background on the Story and Song album during the "Corridor of Doors" sequence. [Edit]



These heavy footfalls are directly inspired by the 1964 film, The Haunting.  There are two places in the film where the same kind of heavy, slow, marching, muffled footsteps are heard, and one of them is in the same scene in which the "bulging door" effect is used (although the footsteps don't actually start until after the door stops bulging).  That effect, of course, is another idea directly borrowed for the Haunted Mansion.

Footfalls from The Haunting


The record also mentions some kind of "ghost-like figure."  The only hint I have seen of a lost visual effect at this point is this peculiar but widely used publicity photo.


What's with the smoke?  No one seems to know.  I've been told that it's probably just something they threw
in for the photo shoot, but I don't buy it.  Seems like a lot of bother for something you don't need at all.

It's really no mystery why these effects were never used:  The sequence takes too damn long.  So there go some more gags, right down the drain.  Oh fine, that's just great.  We're well into 1969 now, and that Endless Hallway tableau is going to seem pretty bare unless someone can come up with an idea, and whatever it is, they'd better come up with it soon.

What did they finally do?  They moseyed down the hall to the Séance circle and stole an effect that was intended for that room and put it in the Endless Hallway instead.  That would be the floating candelabra.  It was simple, but it looked great in its new location.  Problem solved.




They must have done this before they filmed the inside of the ride (July probably, maybe June), because you can see the candelabra in that film.  (You will remember that the WED film was edited and has been re-used ever since as stock footage of the HM interior, so you see parts of it even today in Disney commercials, TV shows, etc.)  There is our candelabra below on the left, but notice that in the scale model of the ride (below right), it isn't there.


Those scale model photos are mighty fine things.  Besides being just plain fun to look at, you can see what made the cut and what didn't in the final attraction.  Here's another shot of the EH model:


The blowing drapes, the suit of armor, and the overstuffed chair are all there.  Even the large floor candelabrum is there in the scale model (see the blowing drapes photo above).  That handsome, paneled wainscoting was going to be used throughout, but I suppose time and money considerations eliminated it.

One remaining curiosity is the wallpaper.  The models show that they intended to use the demon-eye wallpaper starting here and continuing all the way down the corridor to the Séance room.  That is indeed how it is at Phantom Manor and at WDW since the big refurbishing of 2007, where it provides the basis of an impressive new gag, as the eyes appear before the walls do.  But before 2007 all three Mansions (DL, WDW, Tokyo) had this yellow, off-the-shelf wallpaper in the EH tableau:

(1999 pic by Allen Huffmann)

Disneyland and Tokyo still have it.  I don't know why they used this instead of the demon-eye paper, but whatever the explanation, I like the yellow stuff.  I know I'm going well beyond the conscious intentions of the Imagineers here, but the fact is, that pattern serves as a good transitional step.  It's not fake; it's real-world wallpaper.  It's got a perfectly normal, old-fashioned design.  In other words, it's not supposed to have faces in it, but like many intricate patterns, you can't help but find faces in it if you have any sense of whimsy, or if there's anything left of your kidhood imagination.


I guess it's possible that whoever picked it out noticed that the pattern lent itself to this sort of thing very easily, and that it would therefore be a good pick for the Mansion, but even that much is probably pushing it.  At the very least, it's a happy accident.


A Post-Script: Pink Floyd and the Endless Hallway.

I'm a fan of early Pink Floyd, so this little example of synchronicity is a hoot.  Skip it if you want.


Floyd was always a bold, experimental band, and in 1969 they were the first to use a quadraphonic sound system, with speakers placed in all four corners of the room.  They had a home-made device, whimsically called the "Azimuth Co-ordinator," which enabled them to pan the sound around the auditorium with a simple joy-stick.


The first time they used it was at a concert on May 16th, 1969


What they did at one point in the show was play a tape of some heavy footsteps invisibly walking around in the audience, pausing now and then to jingle some keys (rattling chains!) and slam a door, all of it with lots of reverberation.  It worked great, and it was an audience pleaser, so they used this gimmick in their concerts for the better part of a year.

In other words, a bunch of guys at Disney and a British rock band were creating exactly the same sound effect at exactly the same time, with no apparent knowledge of each other.  Here's a clip of the Floyd effect from a concert on September 17th, 1969.  Compare it with the HM version.

Pink Floyd


Haunted Mansion


Of course, at Disney they added further sound effects to the footfalls, but then, they never used any of it anyway.

At these concerts, the Floyd played a lot of material from their third album, released in the US on . . . wait for it . . . August 9, 1969.

LOL, as the kids say.

47 comments:

  1. Another great and interesting post. As a Mansion and Floyd fan I love the connection. But I question the release date, I thought the soundtrack to More was released in July of '69 in the US and Ummagumma the following November. Oh well, it does not really matter. The endless Hallway was always one of my favorits. I recall when I was a kid both my mother and I being seriously creeped out by the hallway when the doombuggie would stop there, and it seemed it always did for us. Now though I look at it as great liminal place, perfect for the transition between natural realism and ghostly supernatural. As you noted the wallpaper both in and round the hallway is not overtly spooky or strange and isn't quite ready to stare back at us. Yet the architecture continues to under go its, "disquiting metamorphosis," not only the doors but the snake brackets. The candelabra and its unseen appartition also add to the liminal quality. Then of course there is the halway itself, it is a physical part of the Mansion, it has size, dimension, achitecture, sold walls for Pete's sake but it is endless, which seems to counteract all of that sold stuff. It is as if looking into a portal, into the murky threshold of another world. It is stange, frightening and wonderful all at the same time. Though sound would have been interesting the visual candelabra was and is perhaps for the best, as it has become iconic. Oh, and one more thing, thank you for the the wallpaper tile, I'm sure I will use it.

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  2. Thank you and you're welcome!

    More was indeed released in July—in the UK, but according to the official PF website, the US release was on August 9th.

    http://www.pinkfloyd.com/history/timeline_1969.php

    Not surprisingly, "portal" is a word that seems to crop up sooner or later in any discussion of the EH. That Redmond watercolor practically demands it. I think the Mansion probably needs something like that, and the EH fills the bill handsomely.

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  3. Fantastic!

    Congratulations on another stunning article about our beloved Mansion.

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  4. The Mansion... plus Pink Floyd? My favorite band? My favorite ride? Is it possible???

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  5. It's Disneyland. Dreams come true.

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  6. I really miss the original yellow and brown flocked wallpaper from the Endless Hallway. I realize they sort of had to replace all of the wallpaper at WDW once they had established those eyes fading into the wall, but I was always fascinated by the way your mind read faces into those floral patterns even before the creepy actual faces appeared in them. It really added a lot of atmosphere to that scene. Also, the color tone better matched the very murky yellow "candlelight". A lot of the other new wallpapers in Florida are improvements or at least a wash, but not that one.

    By the way, the "cold air" effect still exists at WDW. It's done with an air conditioning vent in the ceiling. Not as elaborate, as obvious, or as graceful, but up until the moment where your car faces directly down the center of the corridor, there is no air blowing directly onto the vehicles in the ride. then, at that moment they have two-three very large vents, one after another, to create a "cold spot", and another hidden in the archway into the Corridor of Doors. Almost subliminal but certainly intentional. There's a few more further down the corridor and in the seance room but those are not set to be as cold nor clustered as close together so they aren't likely to be meant to have any particular effect.

    And, at least in the WDW Maintenance manual, a "muffin fan" to blow the armor's feathers was specified. This was never present when I worked the ride. I don't know about you, but I've always preferred the arrangement on the model with the knight on the left and chair on the right. I feel like the twitching suit of armor should be the first thing you see as you float out of the darkness.

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  7. That footsteps sound is used on the Story and Song Lp, just before you turn the record over. I'm surprised you didn't include a sample from the Lp.

    For decades, I could not figure out what that booming/banging sound was. It was drenching in so much reverb that I couldn't tell it was footsteps!

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  8. That shot of the "hidden" speakers is amazing! That's an effect they could probably try reinstating at some point if they wanted to.

    Although I love the purple Crump wallpaper, of course, I think it's a bit overused at WDW. Kind of hits you over the head instead of mysteriously creeping you out.

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  9. The very first time I saw this effect, I thought to myself: "Well, there's a mirror down there..." Then my brother or someone who was clearly thinking the same thing, said "Why can't we see ourselves going past?" The answer was "Magic."

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  10. Wow, thanks FF and GG, good stuff. I had forgotten that WDW used to have the yellow wallpaper too, and I'd never noticed that the Story and Song LP used the full footstep effect. I'll be making some revisions. Thanks.

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  11. I would assume the cold air and walking effect were not used, because like the HBG they were not convincing(at least at Disneyland). The continuously moving Doombuggies really do not give the effects the time to work. Rolly Crump mentioned in an interview(Extinct Attractions HM video) that the mansion really suffered being a ride thru. I wonder if these were part of what he was referring to.

    What your presenting HBG2 displays something far more fantastic than the ride we all enjoy so much.

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  12. I too loved the original yellow wallpaper at WDW and miss it. Btw, they also have it at Tokyo HM, unless they changed it, but it was originally there as well. I searched youtube and saw it. I think it just looks so cool and is a nice transition to the demon wallpaper that comes after.

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  13. Ach, you're right. Thanks JB. I'll be revising that part of the post too.

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  14. Dan, what were you going to say about the vent that is circled in the one photo? It's an intake vent for the fan that provides the cold air blast that's supposed to come from the first window on the left at the top of the staircase, across from the Endless Hall.

    I think it [the fan] is even noted on one of the blueprints, isn't it?

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  15. Check out the paragraph that begins, "This effect..."

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  16. "The blast of cold air coming out of the EH and hitting you full in the face – that's gone, perhaps never was."

    It was never supposed to come from the Endless Hall. It came from the first window on the left at the top of the stairs - across from and before the Endless Hall. However, I think at WDW, it comes from the window where the "Duck" chair is just left of the EH.

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  17. As described in the post, the "window" you speak of is simply a second blowing-drapes door like the one to the left of the EH. The blast of cold air was to come from vents on either side of the EH. It's all on the blueprints:

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y32/danolson/dd-4.jpg

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  18. Ah, now that's more like it! Thank you, that's exactly what I needed to see!

    It would appear that the cold air blast from the EH was never implemented at DL. If I read that right, the ducts were to be in each corner directly behind the wall with the swag valance, and you can see in the speakers photo that the ducting isn't there, and doesn't appear to ever have been installed. The original wallpaper is intact and undisturbed for about 4 feet above the door opening.

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  19. ...unless the ducts were below the floor level of the EH and shooting out through unseen vents in the steps, which is what I guessed in the post.

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  20. What an attention to detail! This was a great post, I especially loved the bit about Pink Floyd at the end. Thank you!

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  21. I've added a nice piece of concept art for the blowing drapes. If you compare it to the scale model photos, the pink chairs match up nicely, but in that case the blowing drapes correspond to the position of the Endless Hall. If we remember that cold air was supposed to be blasting out of the EH, the concept art and the model bounce off of each other in interesting ways. If we put the chair on the other side, as in the blueprints and in reality, then the blowing drapes correspond to, um, blowing drapes.

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  22. I am gonna DIE if you don't put up a new post soon!

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  23. he's probably working on something excellent.

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  24. Great info in this post! I've always loved the Endless Hallway, and this is a fascinating history of one of my favorite parts of the HM. It does indeed work well as a first tableau.

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  25. I just wanna say:

    For as long as I can remember, if you wanted to learn about the Haunted Mansion, you went to DoomBuggies, and that was it. But after visiting them for over ten years, I felt like I'd read everything there ever was to read about HM and other sites had less and less to offer. Long-Forgotten was the first Haunted Mansion site/blog/thing to tell me something new in several years. The first post I read was so interesting and insightful, and just plain good, I had to go back and read all of them! I can't begin to describe how awesome it is.

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  26. Forgot to ask, does Phantom Manor use the same "Donald" chairs as Dl? Or does Paris use them at all? I've looked at photos, but I haven't noticed those chairs at PM.

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  27. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure PM doesn't use them.

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  28. Wow, I strongly disagree with so much of what has been said here that I don't know where to begin:

    Firstly, I can honesty saw I have NEVER felt like the ride-thru part of the attraction was a "reset" or a completely a different ride and have never heard anyone else beside you express those sentiments. Why would you think that? We have the same Ghost Host and same architecture and mood. It's not different at all. The problem is on your end, probably over thinking everything, then some oversight of the Imagineers in maintaining a consistent atmosphere.

    Secondly, the yellow wallpaper stinks. It's bland and ugly and ruins the theme. We're supposed to be in a haunted mansion where even the walls are possessed and all of a sudden we see ordinary run of the mill wallpaper??? Talk about an atmosphere killer. Up until that point, just about everything we saw including doors and windows had a obvious and unsettling face and life to it and all of a sudden we get this blah yellow stuff. Yeah, one with a "child" mind can see faces in just about anything, including this puke colored stuff, just as one could also imagine faces in the cereal bowl if they so wanted, but it wouldn't make for a good effective spooky wallpaper.

    It's too much of an effort and with a shallow and ephemeral result at best. You kinda can sorta see a face if you stare really long and at the right spot. And even then they are more weird and ugly then truly creepy.

    To respond to some of the comments defending the boring yellow paper:

    "It's not fake; it's real-world wallpaper."

    The Demon Eyes are real wallpaper too, they happen to be custom made instead of off the rack is the only difference. Besides, this is a theme attraction, who cares if the wall paper is fake or not? Next you'll demand the "fake" ghosts be replaced with 'real' ones.

    "It's got a perfectly normal, old-fashioned design."

    Fine, then send it to a perfectly normal, old-fashioned home. It does not belong in the fantasy world of the HM.

    "Also, the color tone better matched the very murky yellow "candlelight".

    Whah? That smacks of coming up with some esoteric criticism just for the sake of piling on. Since when does candlelight, simulated or otherwise, "match" wallpaper or is even meant to??? The color tone of the lights looks perfectly fine with the Demon Eyes and don't look in any way inferior to how it did with the yellow wallpaper.

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  29. "I think it just looks so cool and is a nice transition to the demon wallpaper that comes after."

    What's so cool about it? It's just random floral patterns that you can see in lots of other wallpaper. It does not "transition" because it does not echo the Demon Eye wallpaper or have anything substantially in common with it. Actually, all it does is break up the theme and ruins the atmosphere. Like I said, up until then everything is explicitly designed to appear as if it's staring at you and then all of a sudden we get this yellow stuff that only vaguely gives that impression of "faces" if your contrive and delude it to be so and then we get explicit again with the Demon Eyes. It's very disjointed and it ruins the effect of being watched by the house itself the whole time. All these exotic mental gymnastics from all of you about how interesting and so obvious the faces in he yellow wallpaper is is coming off as very forced and contrived me as if you're trying to convince yourselves on how it must be so.

    "I think it's a bit overused at WDW. Kind of hits you over the head instead of mysteriously creeping you out."

    Nonsense, even with it being used also in the small area of the Endless Hallway, it still only takes up a very small part of the overall ride. Hardly "hits you over the head". The new eyes effect is a million times creepier and mysterious than some stupid ugly puke yellow floral crap. Besides, the Demon Eyes are not "overused" it's being *correctly used to it's full effect*. The Endless Hallway up until the Clock is supposed to be all the same area. So why at Disneyland is one part of it a completely different wallpaper? Very garbed, inconsistent and inane if you ask me. At DL, the demon eyes are *underused* actually.

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  30. "I don't know about you, but I've always preferred the arrangement on the model with the knight on the left and chair on the right. I feel like the twitching suit of armor should be the first thing you see as you float out of the darkness."

    Strongly disagree. Gives away too much and too soon that way. It's much better the way it is now, everything looks relatively peaceful and benign and you are lulled into a false sense of security until suddenly you turn the corner to be greeted by this eerie, seemingly moving knight. Much more startling, surprising and effective that way. It's a slower build than the model and a better one for it.

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  31. "Rolly Crump mentioned in an interview(Extinct Attractions HM video) that the mansion really suffered being a ride thru."

    It's too bad he feels that way about his own Masterpiece...more so because he's very wrong. Beyond the obvious crowd control problems a walk thru would create it also would mean long boring pauses between scenes and effects which would kill any attempt to create a sustained atmosphere. Also, it gives you too much time to study the sets and notice out not only the things which are used to create the effects but also flaws in the decorations and settings. Plus, you lose that beautiful Doombuggy ability to point and direct you where the Imagineers want and thus get a full theatrical effect. There also also other reasons why a walkthrough is inferior to a ridethrough but those are just some of the more obvious ones.

    "What your presenting HBG2 displays something far more fantastic than the ride we all enjoy so much."

    STRONGLY and VEHEMENTLY disagree. The original intended idea smacks of overkill. Too many effects at one time competing for your attention. Also, very showy and overblown. The way it is now is much more sublime in it's subtlety and much more eerie in it's understated nature. Just because something sounds great on paper and in theory does not mean it'll work in the real world.

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  32. You're free to hate the yellow wallpaper as much as you like, of course, but it certainly isn't the only "normal" wallpaper in the place: most of the downstairs uses authentic Victorian-era designs (foyer, stretchrooms, portrait hall) and so does the grand ballroom (although that's actually painted on, like a stencil). Most tellingly, the Endless Hallway itself sports a perfectly normal, real-world, red and black striped wallpaper. So whatever else the yellow stuff is, it isn't anomalous, not even at that particular stage in the show flow. And remember: it was in all three HM's from their births until 2007, and it's still there in two, so ultimately you'll have to take your complaints about the yellow stuff to the original Imagineers, as well as the teams that followed them.

    The walk-thru was always going to be a guided tour, with groups herded from one room to the next. The overall show would have been sort of like a string of mini-Tiki Rooms with some Carousel of Progress-like ghostly tableaux, so I don't see how the defects with the walk=thru format that you describe would apply.

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  33. To Anonymous: The reason the HM feels like a different ride when you hit the EH is because so many great but different minds contributed to the ride. The stretching portraits and changing portraits are essentially Davis', and then we hit a scene right after them that looks like Coats'. And as for the yellow wallpaper, the HM is supposed to become slowly "more haunted". I think hitting you with the Crump paper at the very beginning is a big flaw in the show quality. And the yellow stuff looks like it would belong in a creepy old house, maybe even a haunted one. Nothing against your opinion, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

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  34. Oh, and the HM is NOT a fantasy world. That's why the yellow stuff makes so much sense.

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  35. Sorry to be commenting again, but the wallpaper doesn't NEED to be watching you in the EH, because, "There's an invisible ghost standing right there, holding a candelabra." The candelabra is supposed to be your focus point, NOT the wallpaper.The purple wallpaper distracts from what you're supposed to be looking at. We'll stick to our "stupid ugly puke yellow floral crap", you stick to your "commenting a million times with rants about wallpaper" crap.

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  36. When I was at WDW last week, I took note of something which I had not read about (perhaps because it is not also at DL) or taken notice of before myself. Right after you board your doombuggy, the first scene is a sort of entryway to the rest of the mansion which currently includes two of the Sinister 11 portraits and a staircase up to a small balcony which we pass under and into the hallway with the changing portraits. At the top of the stairs, on the landing, there is a floating candlestick. I had to check around online to confirm that other people saw it as floating, but at least 2 other sources mentioned it. I have yet to find a photo of it (how would a person search google such a thing?) and the videos of WDW's mansion are typically too dark or pointed in another direction at that point. What I'm wondering is: does this floating candle holder match the one in the endless hallway? If so, is this supposed to be the same ghost? If this is the case, then we are seeing the same "first ghost" in both stateside mansions, just in different locations.

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  37. That scene has always been there. Here's a photo of the floating candlestick from the defunct grimghosts website:

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y32/danolson/wall14_1024.jpg

    It is indeed the same style as the one in the Endless Hallway. However, so are all of the candlesticks in the Grand Staircase scene, as well as various candlesticks around Phantom Manor. They use that mold for quite a lot of the HM candlesticks, so I don't think you're necessarily supposed to think you're seeing the same ghost twice.

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  38. Thanks for the link to the picture!
    One of the great things about the Mansion is how much conjecture is possible about what you see in there because so little is explained explicitly. I know that losing some of that quality was one of the complaints surrounding the Constance changes in the attic a few years ago. This time, the repeating raven character (and Gus) has planted the seed in my mind that other characters might also repeat. While there is certainly no real evidence that the ghost holding the candlestick on the balcony is the same one in the endless hallway (because, well, you can't SEE him, can you?), there is also no real evidence that it's not. Heck, it could be the ghost host himself. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing other than the possibility of a repeat character that would suggest that (if this had been the intention, you'd probably see the floating candlestick at least one more time), but the very fact that so many things are possible is part of the allure of the Mansion. There are probably LOTS of othr things in there that COULD be.

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  39. All of that is very true. The more doorways are left open the better, says I.

    I've added a sound file to this post. The heavy marching footfalls in the COD are borrowed very directly from The Haunting and it's worth pointing that out.

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  40. Are you saying the sound effect came directly from the film? Do you have a clip?

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  41. Clip added. No, I don't mean the actual sound file was lifted from the film, just the idea. I've reworded the text to remove any possible confusion.

    They mimicked it pretty brazenly, though. Heavy muffled footsteps with plenty of reverb, in a slow, solemn, regular march, with a sound of wind in the background.

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  42. I don't think anyone's pointed this out as of yet, but that armour with the beak really reminds me of a Plague Doctor Mask. A better visual here.

    The history behind the masks was that during the Plague in medieval times, doctors would put herbs and aromatics in the 'beak' of the mask to mask the smell of the plague. It because a very frightning figure, because that mask signaled that the plague was in town. The fear has toned down in recent years, but it is still a 'scary' figure. I might posit that the armour has its roots in that. But I could also be so very wrong, because birts are dang scary.

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  43. I think that the yellow wallpaper does look like it belongs there because it looks like the old fashioned type of wallpaper you would expect in a haunted house.

    -Mel

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  44. I noticed something odd in your 23rd photo down, in the image of the endless hallway model, is that some kind of giant octopus tentacle reaching out from the top of the doorway on the left?!?!

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    Replies
    1. Those are just the blowing drapes.

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