What did the Haunted Mansion sound like in 1976, just seven years after opening? Here is a rare audio document that will be of interest to ordinary HM fans as well as dedicated Mansionologists. The tape is about sixteen and a quarter minutes long.
I owe a big thanks to Doombuggies.com board member "Guy the Ghoul" for sending me a few years ago an audio cassette recording made while riding the Disneyland Haunted Mansion circa 1976. I also owe thanks to a knowledgeable source who prefers to remain anonymous, plus comments by the usual gang of idiots over at the ongoing "Long-Forgotten" thread.
Here it is, slightly cleaned up (with our thanks) by "Grim Grinning" Gerry:
Here are some mini-files featuring particular points of interest:
Load Area Laugh #1
Load Area Laugh #2
Conservatory and Corridor of Doors
Some notes on the recording.
- It is a little ragged at the beginning, with one or two tiny deletions (pause button accidentally hit?). The tape ends abruptly part way through Little Leota's goodbye speech. The version above edits out these defects and cross-fades the beginning and end.
- Either it was horrendously crowded, or the pranky spirits were having a very good day, because the section between the stretchroom and the doombuggy is incredibly long. You board the doombuggy at about 9.5 minutes on a 16.5 minute tape.
- There are ghostly laughs, etc., heard from time to time in the loading area. These are long-forgotten Haunted Mansion effects in the most literal sense; it's doubtful that many people remember them today. I don't think they're crowd noise, not with that artificial reverb.
- The graveyard soundtrack is full of interest. You can clearly hear the so-called "la-la" singer, a track since deleted. Even better, the pop-up ghosts loudly vocalize during the last line of each verse of the "Grim Grinning Ghosts" song.
Plus, if the pop-ups weren't there, the HM wouldn't really have anything that makes you jump, and that, my friends, would make the HM an Epic Fail in the eyes of some. Fans frequently testify that the pop-ups were the only things that really frightened them when they were younger.
How long did this original show production last? At Disneyland and at Walt Disney World, sharp-eyed riders may notice that the long-silenced pop-ups, robbed of their individual lighting, are still synchronized with the last line of the GGG verses. At Tokyo, however, they are not. This suggests that by the early 1980s (when Tokyo DL was built), the glory days for the pop-up ghosts were over.
Note! A 1973 recording has now been found and can be heard HERE.