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, April 10, 2013

Digging Deeper in the Lost Graveyards

.                                                                           Got your shovel?
                         *Chik.  Shing. Chik.  Shing.*                                                         

This month Long Forgotten celebrates three years of digging 'em up and dissecting 'em, otherwise known as revelations and ruminations about the history and artistry of the Haunted Mansion.  This is also the 100th post I've written, by which I mean that it's the 100th post if you count the ones that are already written and currently in the can and ready to go.  So I'm cheating, but this way I can celebrate #100 and the third bloggiversary in a single post and help keep these annoying horn toots to a minimum.  Seems like we just had one.

Three years and a hundred posts.  Gee.
And yet there are still people who think that what I choose to say or not to say at Long Forgotten does or does not matter. What do they know?

Okay, that's done.

Back to business.  Let's lay out some fresh Mansionalia, recently unearthed.  Oh, and speaking of still people, that reminds me.  Two things:
First, remember to show some respect for the dead.  Still people are still people, you know.*  Second, always wear a tie clip to an autopsy.

Ordinarily, when I come across new material relevant to an existing post, I just add it to the post and then note in the Refurbished Posts list on the right that something has been added to the old post, but in this case the material is plentiful and interesting enough to warrant a separate sequel, so I thought I'd append it to the celebratory notice above and call that a post.  Again, you could think of it as a snack to hold you over until dinner rather than as a full meal.  Just so you know, I've got some upcoming posts that should be a lot of fun.

New Old Information

I've recently come upon some more 1962-63 blueprints that are new to me, and they augment both the Lost Graveyard post and the more recent To Find a Way Out post.  Those are, you will recall, the posts dealing with the two graveyards on either side of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion that were the final destinations for the twin walk-thrus originally planned for the attraction.  The one on the north (to the right of the HM) remained a cemetery and became the exit courtyard for the ride, albeit much altered from the original plans, and the one on the south (left) became a queue area. The new old blueprints give us more information.  For clarity, I've added color in many places.

In this one, you're looking straight at the front of the house.  I don't think you should attach any significance to the human figures on the balcony. I think they're only to show scale. One of the two elevators is depicted, and to the extreme left and right of the lower level one finds the two exits, confirming our analysis in To Find a Way Out.

If you're wondering what that dark band is, the one above the thin black band,
that's the brick wall that goes behind the building, up against the berm.

On the left in the blueprint, the staircase that would eventually be the "chicken exit" from the changing portrait hall is
plain, as well as part of the courtyard originally planned as an ornate cemetery, with its distinctive, stepped wall top:

It says "Garden," but as we know, it was indeed a cemetery they were planning.  Here's another new old blueprint.

As we have seen in previous posts, there was no opening in the front wall (red) originally.  It was simply a massive brick wall.

(1964 pic from Outside the Berm)

Here's a new blueprint view of that wall.  For some reason it makes me think of a sinking oil tanker or something.

But more fun is this one, which shows a "typical interior wall" (yellow on the drawing above).

That is, once again, the back wall with its two jogs, but the surface design is obviously different from what
we see today. When it was actually built, we got that row of trim and tidy mausoleums, not falling plaster.

Ah, but the crumbling wall in the blueprint matches what we see in that Duane Alt concept sketch we've posted so many times before:

One supposes that Walt's insistence that the exterior of the house look clean and well-kept was seen to apply as well to the interior of these cemetery courtyards, which is logical enough.  Still, I think it's great fun to find what amounts to a second sketch of the original concept.

On the right side of the first blueprint at the top of this post, there is less to be found.  That's still the brick wall going across the back of the lot you see.  The ground slopes slightly down toward the viewer from there (rainwater drainage considerations), so the "Garden" is a little lower than that back wall, and because of that we can see a strip of the bottom-most portion of it depicted.  The exit staircase on this side (now an emergency exit) runs east-west, not north-south like the other side, so there are no cute stairs drawn in profile in this rendering.

The other new old blueprint gives us a rare interior view of the north cemetery courtyard as it was originally planned.

The red is what you see from the front and resembles what was actually
built but eventually modified into the exit crypt complex we have today.

(modified from this original Daveland photo)

The yellow represents the left hand interior wall, as per the diagram above.  Thus we have at least
one piece of artwork which reveals something about the original planning for the north cemetery.

Presumably, the crumbling plaster look on this side was scrapped too, so all we really learn is
that the interior walls of this cemetery were going to look just like those in the other cemetery.


*The dearly departed was a bootlegger, you say? a maker of moonshine in the
mountains? It matters not. Still people who were still people are still people.


  1. Congratulations on 3 years and 100 posts!
    I have really enjoyed the truly insightful, detailed, and good-spirited contents.
    Thanks for what you've done here. I selfishly hope you continue for a long time.

    1. Thanks!

      Incidentally, everybody, Blogger is having trouble getting dates right. If you update a post, it gets a new date and moves to the front of the line. The dates on the last few posts are screwy, just fyi.

  2. Congrats and thank you for the excellent work! I'm a former WDW Cast Member and Mansionologist. I've loved the blog for quite a while and I look forward to more!

    1. Thanks! CM's and former CM's are some of my favorite people. Without them, nothing happens.

  3. Kreepy here, Congrats for entertaining and informing us. Ignore the naysayers who consider this unimportant. We have unearthed so many long forgotten facts and found possible inspirations for the music, ghosts and setting. Just when I think there is nothing more to learn something is uncovered. Years ago I had a long list of images I wanted or questions I had. At this point, thanks to your efforts here and inspiring the HM community on Micechat my list has dwindled to only one. Where the heck is a photo of the "Man in Web"???

    1. Thanks, Karl. First of all, I'm happy to say that there have been surprisingly few naysayers or trolls to ignore. Second, I know what you mean about dwindling wish lists. There are several Holy Grails (and also some Pretty Nice Grails, and quite few Just For Kicks and Giggles Grails) I never thought I'd see, and then poof, there it is. I mean, FILM of the Hat Box Ghost in the ride? As for the Man in the Web, hey, five years ago we despaired of even seeing concept artwork, remember? So don't give up hope.

  4. I've said it before, but Long-Forgotten is my favorite haunt on the web (and I've come to the end of the Internet, so I don't say such things lightly). A day with a new Long-Forgotten post is a joyous day, indeed. May inspiration continue to strike (or slow morph with abandon). :-D

  5. Thank you for all of your research, writing, etc. Your posts are always fascinating and it's always a treat to get a new tidbit of information about the Mansion!

  6. Thanks for the kind words, folks.

  7. Thank you for all the time you've spent researching this great attraction. As a kid (in the 70's) I always wondered where those doors went. Now I know some great history and trivia. Your blog is always an informative read. I recently finished reading it from the beginning. I've overlooked so many parts of the attraction. This history opens up an entire new viewpoint. Thank You for the incite.

  8. I read your blog and i just recently opend my own HM blog. is it ok if i link to your blog as I go here to grt the newest info.
    -Stuart Joseph

  9. You should go on my blog - leah joseph

  10. My husband and son truly enjoy reading your blog and are just as interested in the Haunted Mansion as you are. They just remodeled his room in a HM theme you can check it out here.

  11. Can confirm that the stucco was scrapped from the north graveyard as well. Instead, the walls were painted to look like stone.

  12. You seriously need to consider turning this blog into a book(though I understand that maybe too difficult because you would have to get Disney's and the artist's permission to use photos and it's concept art).

    Look into it, the work and research you did in this blog is too incredible not to publish in a book. I would not only buy this book but be willing to pay $50 for the hardcover edition.