Saturday, February 04, 2012

Haunted Mansion Hearse

Today I have a fun bit of Disneyland trivia for you!

Last week I posted this photo, from the Last Frontier casino in Las Vegas. Remember?

Well, just a day or two later, I received a message from reader Rick West, and here's what he said:

My co-workers and I were just looking over your additional Last Frontier images, when we came across the one of the General Store Museum and the white hearse in front of it.

We're almost certain that hearse is the one that years later, would find a home in front of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Bob Baranick, who purchased the hearse from Dale Rickards, who had purchased it from Dobie Doc, brought the hearse to Disneyland and installed it at the Mansion in 1995. The wheels in the image are larger than the ones that would be on the hearse that Bob bought, and the lamps appear to be better quality in the image than on the hearse when it was purchased.

At the end of the day, we're all sitting here in agreement that your image may definitely contain the now-famous Disneyland Haunted Mansion hearse in one of its earlier "resting places" right there in Las Vegas!

Isn't that COOL? Here's a closer look:

It's amazing that this photo was taken 40 years before the hearse would find its way to Disneyland. Dave over at the excellent Daveland Blog was kind enough to let me share a couple of his more recent photos of the hearse as it looks these days. One additional obvious difference is that, in the older photo, at the base of the front corner "columns", there are round ornamental carvings on the underside of the vehicle; these are not present in the Disneyland photos, but I imagine they could have been removed when the wheels were changed.

One more photo from Daveland...

Many thanks to Rick West (founder and editor of, and a Creative Show Writer over at Thinkwell in Burbank) for letting me know about this fascinating bit of Disneyland history!


walterworld said...

When I saw the New Frontier post and saw the picture of the Hearse, I naturally thought about the one in front of the Mansion... but I never entertained the idea that they were actually one and the same!

Connie Moreno said...

Well son of a gun, that is uber cool!

Davelandweb said...

I love stuff like this! Great find!

Smee said...

I heard a unsubstatiated rumor, that the hearse once carried Brigham Young. This may be "urban myth" so don't take as fact. Anyone know?

HBG2 said...

Smee, that is indeed an urban legend. It was not used for Brigham Yound.

Anyway, very nice find!

Grinning Ghost said...

From what I understand, this hearse is not old enough to have transported Brigham Young.

Melissa said...

That story's just hears-ay!