Friday, October 19, 2012

The Haunting's Free!

alloween is my favorite time of the year. It’s a time to celebrate and respect all things dark, strange, dead, and… undead. Being the devote fan of Mr. Disney’s park that I am, for me Halloween and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion (super)naturally go boney hand in boney hand. Woefully, for the past 10+ years visiting said Mansion in October means regaling a certain Tim Burton movie and Christmas more than it means paying homage to All Hallow’s Eve.

During these dismal, Mansionless times, we fans of the truly macabre (and truly Marc Davis) do what we can to – if you’ll pardon the expression – carry on the spirit of the ‘ghostly retreat’ in our own dwellings. I see, read, smell, and hear of people decorating their own homes to resemble the Mansion’s interior quite frequently. Recently a home in Duluth, Georgia went on sale, boasting a remarkable recreation of the original exterior, with a couple of extra goodies on the inside as well. (And note, no sleighs and Christmas wreaths adorning the house…)

The drawing wasn't too paneful.

Back in 2008, I set to bring a little bit of the Haunted Mansion back to my own home, as Paul Frees’ ‘Ghost Host’ had so often suggested. Inspired by a slew of make-your-own window decals that I had seen in magazines, I decided to craft a few aperture aberrations of my own. I have three tall windows facing out from the front of my home; I figured this would be the perfect spot for our beloved hitchhiking ghosts to haunt until their spot in the Mansion was once again available to occupy. Referring to attraction poster art, I quickly sketched the three wayfarers on paper, broken into the pieces that would fit into each window pane. I then re-drew each individual window pane on fitted pieces of black cardboard. The rest was easy as pumpkin pie! I cut out each ghostly feature and slapped on the remaining black cardboard to its respective window pane. The whole process was essentially like carving a giant, flat Jack-o-Lantern. White blinds are enough to “backlight” the figures during the day, but the glow of Halloween lights gives the ghosts an ‘eerie luminescence’ after dark!

Don't be too scared to try this at home.

Quite a few hours of labor were involved, but the pay-off was well worth it. Phineas, Ezra, and Gus have been giving the thumb to my neighbors every Halloween season since, and they never fail to crowd-please! I only wish I could give them a ride to where they’re going. I know they’re dying to get back home...

The Hauntings Three!

For good measure, a complimentary Jack-o-Lantern can't hurt. Or can she?!


  1. How ghoulishly creative! Marc Davis would be proud!

  2. Why thank you, KAD! Those are sweet words to my oozing ears.

  3. Did you do the Jack O Laturn? OMG want. Both the things you posted. WANT! :) Disney Fan Les G.

  4. What talent! And the slow panning to the left in the video makes it appear as if you have an Omnimover in your home that you can ride past your Madame Leota Jack-o-Lantern!

  5. That's why I panned! :-D Note that my Jack-o-Lantern didn't float.