Halloween Trivia, Haunted Mansion Style

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By Kate K (Disneykate.com and k8ilyeverafter.com)

Its almost Halloween here in Orlando and what better way to get into the spooky mood than with a little Halloween trivia, Disney style. Specifically, lets have some facts from the Haunted Mansion.

That Creepy Feeling…

You know that incredibly creepy feeling you get when you’re waiting in line to get onto the haunted mansion? Its due mostly to the fact that there are eyes everywhere. They’re carved into the banisters, door frames, and especially painted into the wallpaper! That paper is a fan favorite and was designed by ‘Museum of the Weird’ artists Rolly Crump and Claude Coats. 

Haunted mansion Wallpaper

The Location of the Haunted Mansion

The Haunted mansion

Did you know that the Haunted Mansion is the only Disney attraction that can be found in four lands (and no I don’t mean four distinct parks!). In Disneyland the Haunted Mansion is a spooky old New Orleans mansion located in New Orleans Square. In Magic Kingdom the Haunted Mansion is located in Liberty Square. In Tokyo the Mansion is located in Fantasyland and in Paris its located in Frontierland. Talk about a versatile attraction.

 

 

 

The Haunted Mansion Voices

There are some very familiar voices floating around the Haunted Mansion. The First is the Ghost Host himself who was voiced by the very versatile Paul Frees, who also voiced the auctioneer in the Pirates of the Caribbean. Ludvig Von Drake for Disney’s World of Color and other Disney shorts and special. The second familiar voice is for  Madam Leota. That creepy voice should be familiar to you. Miss Eleanor Audley provided the voice for the spookiest mistress in the main floors of the mansion is played two other characters for the Walt Disney Company: the Lady Tremaine, a.k.a. Cinderella’s Step Mother, and the other was the Mistress of all Evil herself, Maleficent.  

The final voice that Disney goers have heard before is that of Thurl Ravenscroft. Mr. Ravenscroft is most well known for voicing Tony the Tiger and for singing the songs from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ but Mr. Ravenscroft is a very versatile Disney voice artist as well. He sings the baritone vocals in ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’ as well as in ‘Yo Ho A Pirates Life For Me’. He also voiced the bullfrogs in Splash Mountain. On the screen side of things Mr. Ravenscroft has voiced many small characters for Disney films as well. He’s featured in:  Pinocchio (1940), Springtime for Pluto(1944), So Dear to My Heart(1948), Cinderella(1950),  Alice in Wonderland(1951), Paul Bunyan (1958), 101 Dalmations (1961), Donald and the Wheel (1961),  The Sword and the Stone (1963),  Mary Poppins (1964), The Aristocats (1970), The Brave Little Toaster (1987) as well as numerous small roles on Disney’s World of Color. That’s a whole lot of characters!

Bonus: The Mellowman

Thurl Ravenscroft (yes there’s more) was a part of a very famous quartet known as the Mellomen. The quartet sang the main version of the Buddy Baker, X Atencio song, Grim Grinning Ghosts as the busts in the graveyard. The quartet sang songs for the Jungle Book, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland as well!

Just Who Was Leota?

The model for Madam Leota was a woman in the imaginearing department named Leota Toombs Thomas. She worked in the Ink and Paint Department before starting to work in Animation (where she met her husband Harvey Toombs). Eventually she started working in the modeling department of Imaginearing where she helped create the faces for attractions such as ‘Its a Small World’, Pirates, and yes, the Haunted Mansion. She ended up having a mask of her face created for the ride. She also voiced the tiny bride at the end of the ride, who was later named ‘Little Leota’ in her honor. 

The Names on the Tomb Stones

Everyone has seen the famous tomb stones in the graveyard outside the mansion, but what most folks miss is that these tombstones share something in common with the windows on Main Street USA. What is that you ask? They just happen to share the fact that the names are real, or at least based off of real people. 

For example, “Grandpa Marc” is Marc Davis, one of the main animators and Imaginears who worked on the project (and many many more!) while Mr. Gracey of Gracey manor was named after the main effects artist for the ride. It was a way for the Imaginears, who were forbidden from signing their work, to put their stamp on the attractions they worked on. 

Did you enjoy our freaky facts? Here’s a bit of fun for you before you go.  This is one of the Tombstones at the Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion.

Can you complete the inscription?  “Dear Departed Brother Dave”   ______   _______   __  ______ ??

This is a tough one but once you see the answer it will be one of those “oh-yeah” moments.

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