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.
All images that are © Disney are posted under commonly understood guidelines of Fair Use.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All-Time Best Mansion Photo?

Maybe one reason the Mansion has such an Internet following is that it's so photogenic.  Cameras are getting better all the time and easier to use, so good quality photos of the spooky interiors as well as nice shots of the handsome exteriors continue to pour into cyberspace.  Classic old photos are a big hit as well.

If I had to choose one pic as the best all-time Mansion photo, the one I'd put in the hands of someone who has never heard of the ride if I were cruelly restricted to a single photo, I would choose this well-known shot of the organist:

It's got just about everything.  It shows off the stunning Pepper's Ghost effect that makes what many consider the ride's climax, the ballroom scene.  It suggests the importance that music plays in the whole presentation.  It illustrates the blend of tradition and innovation in the Mansion:  ghostly organists are traditional figures, instantly recognizable, but the skulls wafting up out of the pipes—├╝bercool those are, very original, and inspiring the "how do they do that?" reaction that is also a big thing with the Mansion.  This scene is also a meeting place of various talents that put the ride together, what with Yale's daring use of Pepper's on an unheard-of scale, the characterization of this particular organist (Marc Davis, take a bow), the floating skulls (Claude Coats, I'll betcha), and Rolly Crump's wicked pipe set.  Plus, it's an attractive photo in its own right.

Yeah, I'd say it's just about all in that one shot.


  1. This is certainly a super shot. I'd never noticed the "bat" music holder on the organ with its feet keeping the pages in place.

  2. I love how the 20K organ was "recycled" for this attraction!

  3. Yep. Interested newbies might want to check out our earlier history lesson on the organ:

  4. Thanks for the tip on the organ, so cool. Of course this photo looks even better on a 3D Viewmaster.