November 18, 2005

Disney Artist, Harry Holt

While on our honeymoon in Florida, in October 1990, we went to the Magic Kingdom, and found Disney animator , and artist, Harry Holt, signing pencil sketches.
Mr.Holt signed one for us, and over the years it was lost.
Last week my wife found it.
Click image to enlarge
It was Halloween Day (And we were FIRST in line to the mansion that morning. of course!), so I asked Mr. Holt to sign it "Happy Haunted Honeymoon". But he wouldn't do it, citing that it wasn't a proper Disney sentiment, or something like that.
Having just ridden the haunted mansion several times that morning, I was very perplexed! Anyway, I didn't argue with this Disney legend.

Mr. Holt worked on such projects as Snow White, Lady and the Tramp, The Flintstones, and had a hand in the design of Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Peter Pan attraction.

Harry Holt passed away on April 14, 2004, at the age of 93.

November 11, 2005

Mansion Comparison

Based on my fairly accurate 3D models of the Liberty Square Mansion ,and the New Orleans Square Mansion, I put together this size comparison. From what I can tell, the tower of Liberty Square is only about 1 foot taller than the top of the New Orleans Square cupola. The Liberty Square "front" facade is wider, which is why I decided to put New Orleans at an angle. Nothing Earth shattering, just a little interesting.

October 10, 2005

"STONES" - New England Tombstone Photos

I'm back from the haunted dimensions of New England.
Just in case you don't have a 17th century New England cemetery in your neighborhood, I created a new section in "Other Haunted Dimensions", called

Here you will find my eerie, but interesting collection of tombstone, and cemetery photos, from some of the spookiest graveyards in Boston, Salem, and Marblehead. Hopefully it will get you in the Halloween spirit a couple of week early! 

October 2, 2005

A Tour of the "Haunted" Penitentiary

I added the first addition to the "Other Haunted Dimensions" section since last December!

This is a little photo log I put together, documenting the sights, and experiences I had while touring the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Turn down the lights, and turn up your speakers. And I promise, this is not one of those sites which flash a scary face on your screen, accompanied by a blood curdling scream! It is just a series of my photos, accompanied by my own mix of sound effects.

August 9, 2005

Good Enough for Jan!

It was brought to my attention that a link to my Liberty Square Haunted Mansion Paper Model Kit can be found on the site of famed pop-up book writer/designer Jan Pienkowski!
Mr. Pienkowski is famous for writing and illustrating children's books, including his series of 
"Meg & Mog" stories, which feature a little witch named Meg, and her
black cat, Mog.
But know him for his wonderful pop-up book, "Haunted House".
I feel very complimented to have been added to his list of "Pop-up Links"!

July 19, 2005

Ghostly Sounds

I found this while rummaging through stuff at my parent's house. (Yes, even after 20 years in my own house, I STILL have not moved out all of my things from their house!) Anyway, I never owned my own copy of the famous Disney album "Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House", but I did own this one, "Ghostly Sounds" by Peter Pan Records. I probably bought it in the early 70's, primarily because I thought the wrap-around cover art, by former Disney artist George Peed, was"wicked". (George Peed, huh, huh, I said peed!) And judging by the adhesive tape along the top and bottom edges, at some point I sliced the cover open to see the entire painting unfolded.
Those vampire skeletons were too cool, and the haunted mansion was excellent! But that goofy, grinning, green monster on the front cover, and that sappy frog on the back cover always bugged me!
Click on the image to see an enlargement.

The album has a series of narrated, and unnarrated scenerios. Whispering witches, dancing goblins, and very interesting, eerie synthesized music and sounds. I can still hear it in my memories, but considering I no longer own an LP turntable, memories are all I can rely on.

July 13, 2005

Alfred Hitchcock's Haunted Houseful!

In Elementary School, I used to love to look at the art on the covers and end sheets of a couple of the Alfred Hitchcock books they had in our small school library.

Does anyone else remember this one from "Alfred Hitchcock's Haunted Houseful"?

I LOVED that haunted house!!

I would borrow the book just so I could take it home and trace the house. The original painting is by artist Josh Kirby, who has illustrated hundreds of book covers. 

Did I ever read any of the stories in the book?
Of course not!

I wish I had those books now!

June 12, 2005


The Liberty Square prototype line-up.

May 31, 2005

Thanks Cory!

I want to thank Cory Doctorow, via, for a terrific blog about the paper mansion model.

"This may be the coolest free thing
to appear on the Internet this year."

Wow! Thanks Cory!!! 

April 13, 2005

The Servant's Quarters

Did you know that the WDW mansion has a "secret" entrance?
OK, so it's not exactly a secret, but it's not well known.
Near the mansions exit, you will find a door marked "Servants Quarters".

This is actually the entrance used by people with disabilities, or by people who take part in special "behind the scenes" tours of the park. It leads to the stretch rooms.

March 21, 2005

The Map Police

I LOVE amusement park maps! I love looking at them, making them, and following them.
And I guess it is no secret that I am a tad bit obsessive about haunted mansion details.
Well, while examining an old map of the WDW Magic Kingdom, I spotted THIS!
Click image to enlarge!
Look what they did to my mansion! They turned the conservatory into a front yard gazebo, instead of attaching it to the East side facade where it belongs! And what's up with those steps leading to the terrace?! Eve rything is mixed up! Somebody call the authorities!
Yes, I'm kidding. Usually the artists who make these things have never visited the parks they map, and the map itself is only meant to represent the layout of the park. (otherwise each of our maps would need to be life sized! I wonder how small one could fold a 100 acre map?)
I just thought this was an interesting Observation.

March 14, 2005

The Gastley Mansion?

An interesting observation here. If you are in Frontierland in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, look for this sign post. It indicates the directions to Liberty Square, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but at the bottom is an unusual addition. The sign reads "Haunted Mansion", with the word "Haunted" scrawled by hand. A closer look reveals that the sign originally read "Gastley Mansion", but the Gastley name has been crossed out. Was this the original name of the Haunted Mansion? Is there a story related to this little scene which was never shared with the public?

March 10, 2005

A Ghost Toast!

I have a great photo of one of the ballroom ghosts holding "my" glass goblet, thanks to some great detective work from my pal Dale! Here is the original ghost photo, and beside it is an enhanced enlargement of the goblet. And then, beside that, I inserted a new photo of my goblet, trying to imitate the lighting conditions of the ghost photo, and the match is amazing! Thanks Dale!

  It's looking like we have a set of haunted mansion banquet goblets! Cool! 

March 6, 2005

My Haunted Goblets

My folks have a set of 18 glass goblets they received as a gift, probably some time in the late 60s, which would only come out once a year for Thanksgiving dinner. I recently noticed that they resemble the goblets used on the banquet table of at least one of the haunted mansions. I swiped one and took a pic of it. Here is my goblet pic, and a close up shot of the banquet table from the attraction (from

I doubt that anyone could confirm whether my set of glasses are the same as the ones used in mansion, but I thought they looked pretty darned close! If you are a mansion CM, I'd love to hear what you think

January 18, 2005

The Blue Lady

Last week, while visiting San Francisco, we wandered down the coast to Moss Beach on Half Moon Bay. There we had lunch at the infamous Moss Beach Distillery. It is a 20s era building perched on the cliffs above the bay, with a beautiful view, and a resident ghost...The Blue Lady!

We didn't see the ghost, but in the corner of the bar, near the ceiling, is a bust of The Blue Lady, created in the same manner as the library busts, in Disney Haunted Mansions. Her face is actually a negative impression, which the eye sees as a positive 3D bust. So as you move about the room, The Blue Lady's head and eyes will always follow you. She is very well done. with a ghostly blue light illuminating her features. At night she must look pretty spooky! I didn't have my camera, so you'll have to see her for yourself.