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, After that, the best place to go is Jason Surrell's book,
The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic (NY: Disney Editions; 2015). That's the
re-named third edition of The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies (NY:
Disney Editions, 2003; 2nd ed. 2009). Also essential reading is Jeff Baham's The Unauthorized
Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion (USA: Theme Park Press, 2014; 2nd ed. 2016).

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.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

"Let Me Innta Here!"

Speaking of misfiring jokes, there are some that don't exactly misfire, but they do sputter a little, and no harm done.  Take for example, the Brick Arm Guy, another memorable gag:

A lot of people seem to think this is a tip of the hat to  Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado."  I don't see why.  It's hard to find anything in common between the two beyond the motif of being walled up alive, and even there it's different:  There someone is doing it to someone else; here someone is doing it to himself.

Anyway, it's an amusing gag as it stands, but I think it's supposed to be a much more pointed punch line to a much larger joke.  First of all, while other ghosts are "coming out" to socialize, this Oscar-the-Grouch ghost is trying to get away from all of that.  Second, he stands in contrast to other ghosts in the same exact circumstance.  I'll bet not one rider in a million catches the joke, though.

There are three bricked-up crypts in the graveyard that feature bulging, flexing brickwork.  The ghosts inside are trying to break out.  By the time you get to ol' Brick Arm, you're supposed to be expecting the exact opposite of what you see, enhancing the gag.  You can see on the blueprint the three bulging crypts in purple, with Brick Arm in pink.


The first two are next to each other, right after the Royal Seesaw, and the third is up on the hill a bit, between the Hearse scene and the Mummy scene.  Do you want what's behind Door #1...

Door #2...

or Door #3?

Brick Arm Guy doesn't want any part of it.  Party pooper.


  1. He's probably trying to get away from the noise.

  2. It is a good sight gag, indeed, but I think it gets overshadowed a bit as well. Being it's right at the end, between the trio (headless knight, Gus, and executioner), and where guests are trying to see the first appearance of the hitchhikers.

  3. Maybe, although I don't think I've encountered anyone yet who hasn't noticed it. It seems to me to catch your eye and stick in your head. It also reads very well at a single glance, in the best Davis tradition. You know, maybe that's where a "Cask of Amontillado" connection is legitimate: perhaps it is this extremely well-known story more than anything else that makes the setting here instantly recognizable to the average rider.

  4. Yep, I've noticed him every time I've ridden the HM. He's a great gag.

  5. I've been through both the DL and WDW Mansion well over 100 times each, and it's always been SO dark in the graveyard that I never knew until now that those crypts were bulging! So I never made the connection to the Brick Arm. And quite honestly, I never perceived Brick Arm the way the rest of you have. To me it was the arm of a confused ghost. It reminded me of a monkey at the LA Zoo that I saw once; he was using a stick to reach something through his cage but the stick wasn't long enough, so he kept breaking off bits of the stick thinking it would reach further. To me, Brick Arm WAS trying to get out, but he was just confused.

    1. But how would that explain the trowel, mortar, and bricks?

  6. Haunted Mansion Fan ClubFebruary 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    LOL, who knows. It was the perception I had as a kid when I first saw it and it stuck with me.

  7. It seems I very well may be alone in this, but the impression I had always gotten from this ghost was one of horror, not comedy. This was the way it was to me: He's a ghost that's not all there and doesn't realize that he's dead. He's walling himself inside in an attempt to escape the horrors of the ghostly festivities. All completely futile because the other ghosts can pass through the walls to get to him if they want to and even if he doesn't realize it, it couldn't really keep him inside anyways because he can do the same. What's the matter with me?