Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

After what seems like months of anticipation and early celebrating (for some), Halloween is finally here! I remember when October 31st was a fun little day, with some cheap costumes purchased at Sears (acetate clothing and plastic masks), some paper skeletons and black cats on the walls of the classroom, jack o'lantern carving, and trick-or-treating. And that was about it! Now it has grown and been commercialized to an incredible degree. Who woulda thunk it.

Anyway, I wasn't sure what to post today; so I finally decided to share some photos relating to the Haunted Mansion shortly after it opened. They're not anything amazing (no Hatbox Ghost, darn it), but still, who doesn't love the Haunted Mansion?

Let's start with this one, taken from outside the Mansion's beautifully manicured grounds. The line apparently snakes on and on, but our photographer was now close enough to snap his first real picture of the building, even though it is mostly hidden by stately magnolia trees. Mr. Plaid Pants looks ready to play a round of golf. Notice two men standing nearby in sport coats  - it seems odd that they would dress that way in August, unless they had to. Could they be park employees?

Zooming in on the famous bronze plaque on that brick column, you can see that it is still quite shiny, like a new penny. It wouldn't look like that for very long. Now it is practically black, with some greenish-gray verdigris.

Closer and closer, ever so slowly… the Imagineers did such an incredible job with the exterior of the Mansion, with so much detail. Everything just feels right, as if the building had been there for 100 years.

Looking through some of the shrubbery we can just see the crypt that serves as the exit to the attraction. I don't remember noticing that bird bath before, I thought there was a sundial. Maybe there's both?  

The next two are reposts (originally shared in 2010), with the photos also from August of 1969. This is a view from Tom Sawyer Island looking toward the opposite shore. It is absolutely jam-packed! Granted, some of those folks might be in line for "Pirates", which is right in front of us. But I would wager (based on what I've heard and read) that most of those folks are waiting hours to see Disneyland's newest and (arguably) most-anticipated attraction. It looks like the line easily passes the River Belle Terrace, and continues on almost to the Golden Horseshoe.

Sacre Bleu! Of course, now it looks like that many evenings after the fireworks and the second showing of "Fantasmic!".

I hope that you all have a spooktacular Halloween!


Nanook said...


My vote for who the two, overdressed gentlemen might be goes to FBI agents. Well - you never know-?

And you ain't kidding about the "brand-spanking-new look" every part of the Mansion seems to be sporting. Why, even the brass finials topping the fencing are all a-glow.

Thanks, Major for these images. And here's to a night of great costume sightings-!

Nancy said...

Look at all those lucky spooksters...Wish I could be visiting Haunted Mansion today!

Halloween is a favorite time of year here in the zombie capital, Pittsurgh - Rachel and I are going to Monroeville Mall today, where they filmed the George Romero zombie classic "Dawn of the Dead" from 1978.

Hope everyone has a great Halloween!!

Chuck said...

Happy Hallowe'en, everybody!

Great set today, Major. I can almost smell the "new-attraction" smell on the Mansion...and the "sweaty August guest" smell in the jam-packed line.

Is that guy in the gray sportcoat Dick Nunis?

I hope you all have a fantastic day, and remember to brush your teeth after eating all that candy or your teeth will look like a two-week-old jack-o-lantern's. See you with Linus in the pumpkin patch!

K. Martinez said...

The Haunted Mansion is perfect for today.

Nancy -

I've always wanted to go to the Monroeville Mall as I'm a huge fan of George Romero. The mall is also mentioned several times in my favorite living author Stephen King's novel "Christine" from 1983. I hope you and Rachel have a blast today!

Happy Halloween to All!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I always imagine that undercover FBI agents would look something like Agent Smith from The Matrix. Black suits, skinny ties, shades. I sure wish I had some more interiors of the Mansion, but these exteriors will have to do.

Nancy, I think it's funny (and kind of cool) that Pittsburgh embraces its zombie past! I still remember seeing "Night of the Living Dead" when I was a young kid and it really scared me.

Chuck, that guy certainly looks like a Dick Nunis type, anyway! Whenever I think of the Charlie Brown Halloween special, I can hear Linus in the pumpkin patch saying, "What that?! WHAT'S THAT??". (Spoiler: it's only Snoopy).

K. Martinez, I have missed about half of George Romero's zombie series… I still think the original is the best, though "Dawn of the Dead" is good too. I would love to know what they do at the Monroeville Mall for Halloween!

JG said...

Happy Halloween to Major and the GDB crowd.

Thanks for the pics.


HBG2 said...

Oh these are great! Many thanks.

The birdbath has been there since day one and is still there today (used as a planter). You mostly can't see it because the view is blocked by the hearse. If you're standing at the big bend in the queue, directly in front of and facing the portico, the sundial is in the grass on your left and the birdbath is on your right (behind the hearse).

This is the only early photo of that area that I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Well, we DID experience overwhelming attendance in that month. Even closed the turnstiles at the park entrance for a few afternoons as we exceeded our authorized guest counts (fire requirements).