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  1. #4816

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Ah, good point. I read most of these while I was cropping them, so some of the articles just kind of ran together. I remember the article that starts with "Walt dearly loved to scare people..." and seeing it at least 10 times before realizing I was just re-reading the same article over and over!

    If you could get a copy of the press release from Jeff Baham, that would be awesome. Meanwhile, I will sift through some of my WED records and see if I can come up with anything of note concerning the Haunted Mansion.

  2. #4817

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    SmellyOrangutan here with another wacky theory.
    More speculation on the master of the house/Master Gracey/Phineas Pock stuff, so if you're not into that, disregard this.

    Here's something no one has pointed out:

    The foyer portrait at WDW depicts the master of the mansion.
    The rumored "Phineas Pock, lord and master" tombstone was for WDW.

    Meet Phineas.
    http://www.magicandtechnology.com/Ma...y1_300x300.jpg
    Last edited by dland_lover; 09-18-2011 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Removed hotlinked picture, per MiceChat policy.

  3. #4818

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    I like it! Isn't Phineas Pock mentioned like 999 times in all the Mansion literature? Makes sense for him to be the Master... Master Pock

    @HBG2: I hope this isn't delving too far into fanfic. I don't know of any other way this can be corroborated, though.

  4. #4819

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    So far we have no evidence for an original, intended name for the portrait one way or another, but since then WDI does seem to have tacitly accepted "Master Gracey," so until some hard evidence emerges that says otherwise, that's the best identification.

    Smelly is a hardcore Platonist. I'm a very softcore Aristotelian. That probably clarifies things for .001% of you.

    The Chef got back to me. No, he doesn't have a '69 press release. He has surmised its basic contents the same way as us: verbatim repetitions of chunks of material in multiple sources.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

    The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.

  5. #4820

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    Smelly is a hardcore Platonist. I'm a very softcore Aristotelian. That probably clarifies things for .001% of you.
    Ah, that makes sense. Count me in that .001% group - I knew that logic course would come in handy one day...

    Too bad about Jeff not having the press release. I wonder how much of a Herculean task it would be to reconstruct it?

  6. #4821

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Quote Originally Posted by ww12345 View Post
    Ah, that makes sense. Count me in that .001% group - I knew that logic course would come in handy one day...

    Too bad about Jeff not having the press release. I wonder how much of a Herculean task it would be to reconstruct it?
    The way to do it, obviously, it to copy down anything verbatim the same from one report to another, then see if the items tend to come in a certain order, then write it out and see if it's coherent. You may have to guess at a few things to fill in blanks, or you may suspect that a one-off in this or that report is in fact from the release if it neatly fills that gap. You could write up the recovered press release with the items that are certain in boldface and the items that are guesswork in italics, or something like that. There are documents from antiquity that have in fact been recovered in just that way.

    The Chef's quick attempt looks like this, but it's conservative and minimal. There's probably more that could be recovered:



    For one thing, you can find further descriptions of specific effects, like "demonized doors," which must go back to the release. It could be a fun project.

    WW, I'm still hoping you can scratch up some more reviews!

    Now.


    Maybe we can expand that .001%. We're going to get all theoretical. Yes, I realize that's an intimidating-looking block of text below. Bail out whenever you want. No, really, it's okay, I won't take it personally.

    My favorite American author is Wm Faulkner (1962). He invented an entire fictional county in Mississippi ("Yoknapatawpha County"), right down to its buildings and RR tracks, with local history and established families. It was as if it all really existed. When you picked up a new Faulkner novel or short story you would be plopped into Y County anytime between the 1820's and the 1940's. The grandfather who was the main character in the previous novel might be a boy and a minor character in this one. A house long since burned down may not even have been built yet. Overall, Faulkner was remarkably consistent in this, although the list of errors and anachronisms (yes, they have been catalogued) is not inconsequential. There are, I believe, 14 Yok novels, and it's hard to count how many short stories. It's been said that Faulkner readers sometime feel like there isn't a building in the county that hasn't been described somewhere in that massive corpus.

    Given the nature of the artistic creation, one feels comfortable in telling Faulkner that he has made an "error" in his own fiction! That building was made of brick in this novel, so it shouldn't have burned to the ground in that one; that character seemed about 40 in this story, so he should be over 100 in that one, but he's obviously not, etc.

    It's possible to do the same thing with the HM, connecting characters and postulating when this one or that must have lived there. Since we have no overall plot, it's a matter of piecing together scattered bits of data in most cases. What's the problem with this approach? The problem is, the HM is the product of more than one imagination. It's a group project over a long period, still unfinished (since new characters are being added). So far as we know, none of them felt compelled to make all the parts fit into a single reality. Can the HM be treated like Yoknapatawpha County?

    Well, yes, if you're a hardcore Platonist. Plato thought that the physical table in front of you was less "real" than the idea of tableness in the mind of the artisan who created it. We literally invent nothing. We only glimpse with the mind "forms" that exist beyond our sensory world, and our creations are poor-ish copies of those, "shadows." The quantity of "forms" is practically infinite, but anything imagined and/or created is only possible because the thing already exists in the non-sensory world. Aristotle (Plato's pupil) thought this was nonsense, that "tableness" only comes into existence with actual, physical tables. There's no ghostly table floating around out there waiting for an artisan to "see" it and copy it.

    Lest you think this is a settled matter, allow me to point out that the western mind has never resolved this argument, although we tend to be heavily Aristotelian these days. When you speak of Walt Disney, do you say he was a "creative genius" with a "fertile imagination" (Aristotle) or do you tend to say he was a "visionary" who "saw things others could not see" (Plato)?

    If you're a hardcore Platonist, it makes perfect sense to see the idea of the HM, including its occupants and its entire history, as something "real" that various artisans working on the same project saw with their mind's eye (and that's a Platonic metaphor right there; if the essence of something doesn't come into existence until it's out of the brain and a created reality on the ground, then what is there for the "mind's eye" to "see"?) The Imagineers are naturally going to shoot for a certain degree of coherence, otherwise you wouldn't be able to pretend it's real at all. Okay, well, whether it's a concrete piece of dialogue in the finished GH script or a trivial detail in a radio ad or on a tombstone somethere in the ride that no one can possibly even see, it does not matter. All of it was imagined before it was made. It hangs together well enough to make you think (with Plato) that they all saw the same "reality" out there and attempted to copy it down here with wood and paint and plastic.

    We tend to establish a pecking order between "important" things that obviously were intended to be taken as an integral part of the HM world at one end of the scale and inconsequential trifles like radio ad scripts at the other end. That's sensible. Clearly there were times when the Imagineers were getting serious and trying to come up with something together that could end up being built into the finished attraction, and other times they knew they were coming up with unimportant throw-aways. In the former case they instinctively focused their mind's eye on the real thing (to speak Platonically), and in the latter case such concentration was unnecessary. But here's the deal. It's not always clear when some niggling detail really is the random bit of forgettable fluff it appears to be or was inspired by a quick, sidelong glance at the actual HM "form." So the Platonic mind is looking for unexpected consistencies. Maybe Marc poked his head above the cloud for a moment and happened to take that bit of a joke from a look at the "real thing" rather than from one of his favorite boxes of gags "up there" (nothing is utterly invented ex nihilo, remember?). Unused concept art is not necessarily "unreal." It depends on whether the Imagineer saw it clearly in the same place where the other guys are snooping around. Individual stylistic differences, even interpretations of the whole, are merely the inevitable consequence of the same object being filtered through the perceptions of different artists. No two people copy the same thing identically, and the fuzzier the original, the more differences you're likely to see. Absolute contradictions, however, mean that someone is not looking at the "real" thing.

    The "real" HM is the one that jibes best with the largest quantity of the entire creative output of literally everyone involved in the project. And if some theory about its history happens to fit precisely with a piece of concept art by Ken Anderson over here and one by Claude Coats over there, plus an incidental detail in the "Story and Song" script, whoa, the antennae go up, the red light goes on. We may be dealing with three quick sketches of some part of the "real" HM.

    I love to read Mike's theories, even when I don't fully agree with them. I grant the possibility of a Platonic universe, so it's fun to have someone who naturally thinks in that direction sharing observations. If, like many, you've gone the next step or two past Aristotle and think nothing at all is "real" beyond the physical universe that presents itself to the senses, well, I suppose you think he's nuts, with me not that far behind. But you can't explain everything about the creative process either.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

    The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.

  7. #4822

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    @HBG2: Not to worry, I am still hard at work sifting through various newspapers and WED material from the time. I know of a few paragraphs that can be definitely added to the reconstructed press release, so I'll start on that, too.

    On the topic of the changing portrait, I seem to remember it being titled (somewhere) as a figure who "ages, Dorian Gray-style." I also vaguely remember the portrait being referred to as the Master of the House, or Our Lord and Master, or something similar at WDW. I'll have to look into that.

    ---------- Post added 09-16-2011 at 10:27 AM ----------

    Oh, by the way, I came across a copy of the SOP for the Haunted Mansion yesterday. I downloaded the pages; should I post them here? I think it is 24 or 25 pages, as a heads up.

  8. #4823

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    My favorite American author is Wm Faulkner (†1962). He invented an entire fictional county in Mississippi ("Yoknapatawpha County"), right down to its buildings and RR tracks, with local history and established families. It was as if it all really existed.
    Totally OT, but I just wanted to share that my cat Missy's full name is Mississippi Yoknapatawpha, because she came to live with me while I was taking a Faulkner course, and was always climbing on whatever book I was trying to read at the moment.

  9. #4824

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    Totally OT, but I just wanted to share that my cat Missy's full name is Mississippi Yoknapatawpha, because she came to live with me while I was taking a Faulkner course, and was always climbing on whatever book I was trying to read at the moment.
    "The cat climbed scratchless onto what it didn't even know was a book, not yet even uncomprehending the annoyance, and the book itself mute, not indifferent but insufficient, incapable of consciousness of the outrage. And the old jungle animal still, as the cat perched looking at the mouseless room, looking for what it didn't even know was prey not aware not even alert but awake with that old blood, that old and unvanquished instinct."


    You read enough Faulkner, kids, and that's how you start to even think.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

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  10. #4825

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Judging from the relative silence, I am going to go ahead and post the SOP. I think it is from 1975.

    @HBG2: Still working on finding articles. I have found about ten or fifteen more that deal with the Haunted Mansion, but loosely. All searches in my archives of WED material came up flat - it deals with the opening of New Tomorrowland, archives of Walt Disney's office, Indiana Jones Adventure, etc. c. 1990's.
    Any ideas on where to get more articles? I saw you had articles from the Pasadena paper, so probably local papers would be better. I have nearly exhausted all of my resources that I know of.

    [IMG] [/IMG]

  11. #4826

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    I pulled up everything I could find on the HM when I subscribed for a year to a newspaper archive searching service. The problem with it is that a lot of papers were not included (I guess maybe they want you to pay them directly for exploring their archives). That's how I got most of it. Other items have just popped up around the Net or been given to me.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

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  12. #4827

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    OK. I got most of mine through Proquest, and some through Google News archives; I am still getting the hang of using the University library system, maybe I will find more. I'll try to post the rest of what I have soon.

  13. #4828

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Here I go griping again. This time, it's about my own post!

    I posted some Disney links for making Haunted Mansion paper crafts, among them a paper model of yours ghoully. But the more I look at it, the more another shining example of Disney's lack of attention to detail annoys me. Do they not even get their own characters???

    In most illustrations and, more importantly, photos of the original animatronic figure, the Hatbox Ghost is depicted as a skeletal, hunchback, old man. So, why is it that this paper model stands perfectly upright and has youthful, very non-bony hands? And what's with the bad case of jaundice? If the color yellow is to appear anywhere on the face, it should be on the upper left incisor, not the eyes. But I get it; they're glowing. The gold tooth might be glowing too, if it were there.

    I guess I should be happy that it's carrying a hatbox and not a basket of daisies. And it has pants.
    Last edited by TheHatboxGhost; 09-18-2011 at 07:37 AM.

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    Here I go griping again. This time, it's about my own post!

    I posted some Disney links for making Haunted Mansion paper crafts, among them a paper model of yours ghoully. But the more I look at it, the more another shining example of Disney's lack of attention to detail annoys me. Do they not even get their own characters???

    In most illustrations and, more importantly, photos of the original animatronic figure, the Hatbox Ghost is depicted as a skeletal, hunchback, old man. So, why is it that this paper model stands perfectly upright and has youthful, very non-bony hands? And what's with the bad case of jaundice? If the color yellow is to appear anywhere on the face, it should be on the upper left incisor, not the eyes. But I get it; they're glowing. The gold tooth might be glowing too, if it were there.

    I guess I should be happy that it's carrying a hatbox and not a basket of daisies. And it has pants.
    Kid friendly.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

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  15. #4830

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    Re: The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    Here I go griping again. This time, it's about my own post!

    I posted some Disney links for making Haunted Mansion paper crafts, among them a paper model of yours ghoully. But the more I look at it, the more another shining example of Disney's lack of attention to detail annoys me. Do they not even get their own characters???

    In most illustrations and, more importantly, photos of the original animatronic figure, the Hatbox Ghost is depicted as a skeletal, hunchback, old man. So, why is it that this paper model stands perfectly upright and has youthful, very non-bony hands? And what's with the bad case of jaundice? If the color yellow is to appear anywhere on the face, it should be on the upper left incisor, not the eyes. But I get it; they're glowing. The gold tooth might be glowing too, if it were there.

    I guess I should be happy that it's carrying a hatbox and not a basket of daisies. And it has pants.
    I'm guessing because they are meant for kids to do as an arts and crafts project.... the hitchhiking ghosts were pretty cartoonish themselves as well.
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