Wednesday, October 31, 2018

All Hallow's Eve

I wasn't sure what to post for Halloween, so I just chose an odd selection of stuff. That's how I roll!

The first two scans are from our mutual friend, good ol' Mr. X, from some Instamatic negatives. These are undated, but I would guess that X took the pictures when the Mansion was still pretty new.

No haunted house is complete without a graveyard; the Haunted Mansion famously looks neat and tidy from the outside, so this graveyard is not especially spooky. Still, the Dearly Departed have been buried there, so... yikes. I wonder if X knew that these tombstones paid tribute to many notable Imagineers, or if he just liked the composition? "Rolo Rumkin" (Rolly Crump), "Francis Xavier" (X. Atencio), and "Master Gracey" (Yale Gracey). 

"Phineas Pock" could be heard in a vintage radio commercial for the Mansion!

I still love the beautiful and impressive exterior of the Anaheim Mansion, with its ornate cast iron filigree, stately columns (not visible in this photo), twin chimneys, and the cupola topped by a weathervane in the shape of a sailing ship (a brig? a sloop?). 

Moving to the other side of the country, here's the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion when it was brand-new. I've always wondered about the red windows, and the latest post over at "Passport to Dreams Old & New" had this info: The glass windows were originally red, but they were changed at some point early on. When the facade was rebuilt in 2016, they brought the red panes back, which I thought was a great touch. (I had no idea that the fa├žade was rebuilt).

OK, I don't know what possessed me (pun not intended), but I wanted to see if I could take the previous photo and make it feel like a plausible night image. I'm not very happy with it, to be honest - at some point I just stopped working on it. I wanted the silhouette of the Hatbox Ghost to appear in the upper window, but it just looks like the Hatbox Blob.

Next is this flyer for a private party at Disneyland for members of "Local 324" - your friendly neighborhood retail clerks. The lucky ducks get to go to a private party at Disneyland on Halloween! How cool is that? These were the days when Halloween was merely a fun night (mostly for children), and not the gigantic behemoth of a holiday that it has become. Jiminy Cricket is wearing a pretty measly disguise.

Tickets were a mere TWO DOLLARS per person, and 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM is plenty of time to get into all kinds of trouble. Imagine how much a person would be able to do in five hours at a relatively uncrowded park? "Dancing plus Tiki Room", it's all I ever wanted.

Here's a photo of a classic Disneyland souvenir - one of my favorites! A portrait (similar to what might be found in the Haunted Mansion's portrait gallery) is mounted to a piece of cardboard. There's good old "Uncle William", he seems like a nice fellow. I'll bet he gave the best Christmas presents, and was always happy to see his nieces and nephews.

BUT... hold the item up to a bright light (or expose it to a blacklight, as in this photo), and Uncle William turns into a hideous demon, with horns and fangs and beady little eyes! The glow effect is simple, but effective. There is also an "Aunt Elizabeth" portrait for California, while Florida has its own unique glow portraits.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Nanook said...


Only $2.00 for an evening of haunted fun - in 1964-? Please sign me up NOW-! I think I'll go as Uncle William.

And I'm thinking that's a clipper ship atop the Haunted Mansion.

Thanks, Major - and don't partake of too much candy.

TokyoMagic! said...

Happy HalloWHEEEEn, Major! I love these images. I had never seen one of those glow in the dark portraits before. Does "Plus Tiki Room" mean that guests didn't have to pay extra for it that night? In the early days of the attraction, guests had to purchase a separate Enchanted Tiki Room ticket, right?

So THAT is where those tombstones sat! I remember the tombstones, but couldn't remember exactly where they were located originally. I only remember them being up on the hill above that wall. Then at some point, they were removed altogether. But now I forget, have they recently brought back a few new ones on the hillside again? I specifically remember that "Phineas Pock" one, because it was shown in an issue of Disney News Magazine with a little kid peeking out from behind it. That lawn that the tombstones were sitting on is now part of the queue. I wonder when they removed it?

K. Martinez said...

I dig the Florida Haunted Mansion shot from that unique angle. Also, I've never seen those classic Disneyland portrait souvenirs for the Haunted Mansion before. Very cool! Thanks, Major.

Happy Halloween To All!


Melissa said...

Two dollar Disneyland tickets and unionized retail workers? What kind of parallel universe is this? Where is Rod Serling hidden?

P.S. I love your spooky Mansion shop!

JC Shannon said...

Great job with the night time Mansion shot. Next time, try putting Jamie Lee Curtis in the window. Spooky. Both Mansions have their charms, but I like the Anaheim version best. It never ceases to amaze me the prices park goers paid in the 60s. The scariest thing about the park today is the price of admission. I never got to go to Disneyland at Halloween, but I heard from others it was great. Thanks Major for the spooky start to Halloween. Boo!

DrGoat said...

I'll echo everyone's sentiments. $2.00, 1964. basically my version of heaven. I'm going as Paul Drake, something I've always wanted to do.
Happy Halloween Major and thanks.

Anonymous said...

Major, this is a fun post for the holiday. Lots of new information to me.

I've never seen the WDW HM, but it is a fascinating building, modeled on a Hudson River mansion from New York state. I think your rendering looks just fine.

I remember being fascinated by the DL HM before it opened, imagining what wonders lay in store. There was an animated light effect in the upstairs windows which was visible from the train station and the French Market patio, but at some point, this was stopped. It probably wore out, or there was no reason to draw attention to the silent house after the attraction opened.

I've never been much of a fan of the current Halloween craze, or the overlay on the HM. The original show is fine with me.

Thanks for these fun images.


Anonymous said...

@Tokyo, the Blog "Long Forgotten" has an extensive research series on the graveyard(s), their ebb and flow, the tombstones, and the people represented, including dates of removal, reconfiguring, etc. Fascinating stuff.

JG said...

@Dr. Goat-

A “Perry Mason” reference. I certainly hope there’s no ‘run’ on trench coats-!

Matthew said...

Happy Halloween everyone! Holy smokes, I had almost forgotten that during Private Parties at the Park, there were no need for tickets. My father was a fireman, and ever fall (September I think), brought, "Firemen's Night." I remember we would go with other families and the kids would all take off and meet back at the end of the night at... you guessed, the Main Street Firehouse.

Major, what a GREAT, AMAZING< FANTASTIC< night version of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion using the same photo??? Your skills are pretty amazing and I love the moon rising behind the tree! Well done

@TokyoMagic! - You are correct that Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room was a separate ticket when it opened.

@JG that animated light effect you are referring to was so simple... yet so effective. The "candle" being carried by someone actually passed through several windows. The effect was wax paper against the window. A tin can, painted black, turned upside down with a square cut out piece. A light under the can and motor to rotate the can would then give the appearance of someone carrying a candle through the mansion.

Always your boo!

Anonymous said...

@Matthew. Wow, thanks for that information. I was so fascinated by that effect. I remember sitting with the family at dinner on the French Market patio and watching that light. Had to be 1967 or 68, since NOS was open, but not the HM. Long time.

Also for Tokyo, I forgot (ha) to mention, Long Forgotten has several fascinating posts on the graveyards of Disneyland. There are more than you think and not all in the HM. Really amazing research.


Chuck said...

Love the night-time effect; it gets the mood across beautifully. That's all that matters to me.

Had never seen that DL souvenir before. Thanks for the blacklight comparison shot.

TM, to add on to JG's comments above, some of the Good Major's photos (as well as the VMH Coffee Club's daily discussions here) have contributed to HBG2's ongoing research on those graveyards. Here's a sampling of links below, although it's really well worth your time to read every post and every comment from the beginning. Go ahead. We'll be waiting right here for you when you're done.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know, why would anybody NOT go, for a mere 2 bucks? Clipper ships brought thousands of barbers to America back in the mid-1800’s.

TokyoMagic!, I wish I had the other glow portrait, but I’ve never even seen one for sale. Somehow I got my example for a reasonable price. Yes, I assume that “plus Tiki Room” meant that it was free with admission. Thanks for your memories about the tombstones… I never paid enough attention to them, though I know they’ve moved (and even disappeared at times) around over the years.

K. Martinez, I love the haunted portrait souvenir because it is so simple, yet packs a lot of punch. I wonder if I saw them for sale at the park but was unaware of their “secret”? Glow in the dark stuff was my jam.

Melissa, Rod Serling is over there in the corner, trying to explain that his last name is “Serling”, and not “Sterling”.

DrGoat, I don’t know who Paul Drake is! Did he invent Drake’s Cakes?

JG, I’ve always been intrigued by the description of that moving light in the upstairs windows of the Mansion. I’m unclear as to whether it has periodically worked and then NOT worked, or what. They should bring it back, it’s another one of those simple effects that would be so evocative. And I agree about the Halloween craze… it’s like the difference between eating a piece of pie, and eating five entire pies.

JG, “Long Forgotten” is one of my favorite blogs.

Nanook, ah, of course you would get that reference!

Matthew, my family enjoyed “Navy NIght”, it was a highlight of our year. For one thing, my mom and dad allowed us to stay up past 1 AM, which seemed crazy. Thanks for the compliments about the spooky Florida Mansion shot! Thanks also for the description of how that moving candle flame effect was achieved… it sounds so low budget, and yet I’m sure it worked wonderfully. Did Yale Gracey have anything to do with that effect? It sounds like his sort of thing.

JG, I know that “Long Forgotten” has an essay about that moving light, but I have forgotten (!) the details. I could easily go back and reread every post and enjoy myself very much.

Chuck, thanks! It was a lot more work than people probably imagine. I should have read ahead, but it is clear that your opinion of “Long Forgotten” is just like mine! One of the best. I hope that Dan manages to add new posts every once in a while, even though he announced that the blog was essentially on hiatus (or whatever the proper term is).

HBG2 said...

Wowza! I'm loving those old DL HM shots. You have no idea. That is the ONLY decent shot I have ever seen of the original "Master Gracey" tombstone, which matters to me because the WDW duplicate is not identical. So a photo like that one was on my wishlist. Same with the one showing the porch area. At the bottom you can see something of how the brick- and wall- work was, originally. That's rare. Also rare: a pretty clear shot of the green birdcage that hung on the second floor originally. Plus, good shots of that porch area from the early days are scarce.

Knocked it out of the park this time. (Oh, and thanks for all the nice shout-outs, everybody.)

DrGoat said...

Major, Paul Drake was Perry Mason's private detective. He was in every episode and really was a big part of the show. Always with a new natty suit and new car. Extremely cool.

Major Pepperidge said...

HBG2 I am very glad that today’s post provided some useful reference for you! By now I would have thought that you’ve seen it all, but I know that there is no such thing as too many details. The photos are humble Instamatics taken by a teenager - I only wish that my friend had a nice 35mm camera instead!

DrGoat, I didn’t watch Perry Mason (it would have been in repeats), because it was too grown up for my feeble young mind. If you dress as Paul Drake for Halloween, be sure to wear a badge that says, “Hello! My name is Paul Drake!”. It’s a deep cut.

Melissa said...

I always thought Paul was a Watson figure to Perry's Sherlock - he did all the leg work and got to flirt with all the pretty girls while Perry was more detached and analytical.

Matthew said...

@ Major... "Navy Night" That is wonderful!!! I loved staying up until 1:00 AM too. I remember one family would drive their motor home so the kids could fall asleep on the "long ride" back to Downey, about 17 miles away.

@JG and @Major, I found this at Long-Forgotten regarding our moving candle. About a 3rd of the way down under, "How Do They Do That?" shows a schematic and says it was probably Yale Gracey... which I would have to agree.

Always your pal,

Melissa said...

That's one of the things I love best about the Haunted Mansion: it's simple, old-fashioned stagecraft done on a grand scale.

Anonymous said...

@Matthew, thank you!

I've tried to read all of Long Forgotten, but it's easy to miss things because the blogger goes back to edit posts instead of making new ones.

I'm not complaining, it's his blog and he can do as he likes. I'm grateful to have access to reading it.

A very cool post, Major, especially now hearing HBG2 explaining the pics further.

Thanks all.