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  1. #301

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    There's a very full, rich obituary for

    Jay Meyer

    reproduced in a post at DB.com by a lady who administers a site dealing with obits and genealogies in the midwest. (Jay will be buried in Missouri on the 21st.) There's an electronic guestbook and everything. Check it out.

    Last Surviving Singing Bust has Died: RIP Jay Meyer - Where Hinges Creak in Doorless Chambers - Hot and Cold Running Chills - Disney's Haunted Mansion - Message Board - Yuku



  2. #302

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Back near the beginning of T3, I remarked that there is a correlation between Mdm Leota's incantations and the actual musical instruments floating around: Revenge of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 3

    The inner circle consists of horn, bell, and tambourine. The outer circle consists of table, drum, harp, long horn, cymbals, table-and-lamp, another drum [so WDW, but DL's 2nd drum is missing], and gong.

    The bell and tambourine are explicitly mentioned in Leota's incantations. If we add in the two additional incantations that were recorded but never used, we get the horn, plus a drum and some kind of stringed instruments:

    Horned toads and lizards, fiddle and strum.
    Please answer the roll by beating a drum!

    Harpies and Furies, old friends and new,
    Blow on a horn, so we'll know that it's you!


    I suggested that the harp counted as a "fiddle and strum" instrument. But actually, "fiddle and strum" would most naturally refer to a violin and/or a guitar (or a guitar-like instrument, like a lute, ukulele, or mandolin).

    Okay, so much for review.

    I'm beginning to wonder whether the Imagineers may have been directly inspired by the Davenport Brothers. They were extremely popular performers in the mid-19th century. They straddled the fence between being stage magicians and mediums. They invented the "spirit cabinet" as a piece of wooden furniture (rather than a makeshift tent of heavy drapery). In their act, they would be tied up securely in the open cabinet. Close the cabinet, dim the lights, and an impressive sťance ensued, with musical instruments floating about and playing themselves. Ghostly hands touching people and stuff like that, too. Afterwards, the cabinet would be open, revealing the brothers still securely bound. Audience members would examine them, and sometimes sit in the cabinet between them in the closed cabinet. The brothers always insisted the ghostly phenomena were real, and yet they never claimed to be spiritualist mediums. It was a fun show.

    Okay, now, if there is indeed a deliberate correlation between Leota's script and the floating props, it may be that the Imagineers were considering a fiddle and/or a guitar along with the horn, trumpet, and tambourine of the inner circle (plus the drum, which was used in the outer circle). These are all the instruments mentioned or alluded to in the incantations.

    Okay, stick with me here. If you look at the Davenport Brothers flyers and advertisements, you see their famous spirit cabinet and...guess what? horn, tambourine, bell, guitar. Not ironclad, but it makes you wonder.







    The Sťance circle "spirit cabinet" is vaguely reminiscent of the Davenport Brothers' version. It's actually a much taller piece of furniture than most people realize:



    Last edited by HBG2; 02-18-2009 at 12:17 PM. Reason: better pic

  3. #303

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Looks like they put Leotas spell book in Phantom Manor.

  4. #304

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Yeah, it looks like PM just came back online from a major refurb. Replaced the antiquated interior-projection Leota, for one thing.

    A postscript to my Davenport Brothers post. Here's a review of one of their shows, published in the London Post. They didn't use the spirit cabinet for this performance:

    "The musical instruments, bells, etc., were placed on the table; the Davenport Brothers were then manacled, hands and feet, and securely bound to the chairs by ropes. A chain of communication (though not a circular one) was formed, and the instant the lights were extinguished the musical instruments appeared to be carried about the room. The current of air, which they occasioned in their rapid transit was felt upon the faces of all present.

    "The bells were loudly rung; the trumpets made knocks upon the floor, and the tambourine appeared running around the room, jingling with all its might. At the same time sparks were observed as if passing from south to west. Several persons exclaimed that they were touched by the instruments, which on occasion became so demonstrative that one gentleman received a knock on the nasal organ which broke the skin and caused a few drops of blood to flow."
    Bell, horn, tambourine: the inner circle of floating instruments in the HM. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but I suspect not. We know that Yale, Rolly, Marc, etc. did a lot of research into exactly this sort of stuff when they were working on ideas for the HM. In the HM movie, the floating instruments give Eddie Murphy a knock on the nasal organ. That probably IS a coincidence!

    When Eddie comes into the discussion, things always turn snarky around here. So as long as we're going in that direction, here's a random, anonymous photo of a typical early 20th c. sťance, with the medium's face covered in "ectoplasm" (or chewed up paper, if you're given to skepticism). What's funny is that the photographer has inadvertently shown the strings suspending the floating bell. Epic fail, as the kids say.


  5. #305

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    FYI, the horn in the inner circle is a cornet.
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  6. #306

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Great posts and info, HBG2...I particularly enjoy old spiritualism/magic photos anyway, so those are awesome...and very interesting the way the correlations line up between well-known performers and occult material and what got put into the Mansion.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  7. #307

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    There were/are a lot of phonies getting rich from the occult. I'll say it again, Madame Leota is the only real deal!

  8. #308

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Interesting sidenote, but while Houdini did go around exposing other mediums, he was also very much a spiritualist himself, and he hosted as many seances as he attended. If you go to the Magic Castle's Houdini room, it contains many pieces from seances, I've been told. He told his wife to hold a yearly seance after his death and he would contact her in some specific way, and I guess at one point she got the response she was looking for but was never sure that it was her former husband who gave it to her.
    dreams. come. true.

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by BassBone View Post
    FYI, the horn in the inner circle is a cornet.
    You would be our go-to guy for that info. But do they have valveless cornets? I always thought the HM horn looked like a bugle, but I'm no expert. Actually, it's varied a little over the years. These two shots are both from WDW, and the second, more recent one looks like a simpler horn with one less loop. (It's also a nice pic because it catches all three of the inner circle instruments.)





    When props are replaced, the old ones go various ways. Sometimes storage, sometimes to another showplace, sometimes to the trash. Mdm Leota's old tiffany-style lampshade, for example, went from the WDW Sťance circle into the WDW attic. I wonder if the horn on the right in this 2000 pic of the DL attic is a recycled Sťance circle prop? It looks right.



    =======================

    Okay, almost off-topic, but not entirely. As we have seen, the HM draws on a rich and truly enormous reservoir of ghostly things within the popular culture. Practically every gag and prop has some familiar background that makes it an instant "fit" in a haunted house.

    If those old, ghostly things are of interest to you, then this will probably make you smile. The very first English book that discussed the poltergeist phenomenon and other such ghostly things was actually an English translation of a French translation of a Latin original. The English edition was printed in 1572.




    You just gotta love that title:

    Of ghostes and spirites walking by nyght, and of strange noyses, crackes, and sundry forewarnynges, whiche commonly happen before the death of menne, great slaughters, & alterations of kyngdomes

  10. #310

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post


    OK a quick question I am pretty sure that mirror next to the Bride is now in the Reginald tableau' However it looks a lot taller. Is it the same mirror and the height is an optical illusion or is it a different mirror?

  11. #311

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    OK a quick question I am pretty sure that mirror next to the Bride is now in the Reginald tableau' However it looks a lot taller. Is it the same mirror and the height is an optical illusion or is it a different mirror?
    Yeah, it's one of my favorite pieces of attic furniture, actually. It's a very beautiful hall tree. It sat right there behind and to the side of the bride for many years, and now it's in the Reginald tableau. I don't think they did anything to it. It looks shorter next to the bride because she's on a little platform.




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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    Yeah, it's one of my favorite pieces of attic furniture, actually. It's a very beautiful hall tree. It sat right there behind and to the side of the bride for many years, and now it's in the Reginald tableau. I don't think they did anything to it. It looks shorter next to the bride because she's on a little platform.


    And it stayed there through almost the entire Middle Bride's carrer. Was that white curtain thing there prior to 95? BTW. I seem to have found the "link" to GRD's mystery project.
    ghostrelationsdept.com. Im' excited.
    Last edited by HMF; 02-17-2009 at 03:01 PM.

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Whoops, it is a bugle in that picture. I could swear the one at DL is a shepherd's crook cornet very similar to this one:
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  14. #314

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by BellhopPrincess View Post
    Interesting sidenote, but while Houdini did go around exposing other mediums, he was also very much a spiritualist himself, and he hosted as many seances as he attended. If you go to the Magic Castle's Houdini room, it contains many pieces from seances, I've been told. He told his wife to hold a yearly seance after his death and he would contact her in some specific way, and I guess at one point she got the response she was looking for but was never sure that it was her former husband who gave it to her.
    True. Houdini believed in the occult -- or wanted to believe in it. He went to lots of mediums, but because he was a magician, he could see right through their tricks, and was angry that he only came across phonies. That was why he launched his crusade to expose them.

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Episode 4 A New Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    True. Houdini believed in the occult -- or wanted to believe in it. He went to lots of mediums, but because he was a magician, he could see right through their tricks, and was angry that he only came across phonies. That was why he launched his crusade to expose them.
    When I was 14, I was way into the occult but still attending religious education classes. I was asking questions about the church's view on things like tarot and runes and other common forms of divination. They held a small "intervention" for me and singled me out (though they masked it as something for the entire class and not just me) and the guest speaker twisted around the story of Houdini to say that he wasn't into the occult at all and that he just wanted to show that everything was fake and etc. Needless to say, I stopped attending that church because of how I had been treated after my 'intervention', and a year or so later I dabbled in Wicca. (I gave that up too eventually, though I still really admire a number of things that form the basis of the religion.)
    Totally off topic, haha, but just an interesting tidbit. I still wish I could go back and correct the guest speaker for lying by omitting details the way he did.
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