Haunted Mansion Records Part 1

308 Days Until Dragon*Con 2012…

I cannot believe that Halloween is so close and that I haven’t been posting like a madman. There’s just so much great stuff to talk about and do during Halloween.

I feel really guilty that I haven’t been posting much lately, but I also feel guilty because, even the posts that I have made haven’t had anything to do with getting fit for Dragon*Con. It’s really a problem because I don’t know anything about fitness, but I do have a lot of useless knowledge about stupid pop culture.

I guess I should talk about what I’ve been eating lately also. I still pretty much eat yogurt and granola for breakfast. Then lunch lately has been tons of rice, sometimes with beans. I have no clue how good rice is for me, but it’s not fried chicken so: good. Then dinner will oftentimes be at Subway, but lately I’ve been eating a FOOTLONG sandwich. This is not good. I make it as good for me as possible, but there’s no way that eating a foot of bread (not to mention the turkey or whatever on it) is a good idea when you’re trying to lose weight. Subway is close to work, and it’s so cheap that I feel like a sucker if I don’t take advantage of “$5 footlongs” and “free chips with drink purchase”. Subway, your cheap pricing causes me to buy more food than I need! But it’s not Subway’s fault. It’s my fault because, ultimately, I’m the one who buys the sandwich and wolfs the whole thing down in like a minute flat. I always think, “Well, it’s so cheap, I’ll go ahead and get this footlong and eat half now and the other half later, or maybe even take the other half home with me.” That goes out the window as my inner wolfhound takes over after the first half and before I even realize what I’m doing, inches 7 through 12 are in my belly.

I know you may be thinking, “Well, Subway isn’t too bad for you, at least it’s not pizza!” But it is precisely that kind of thinking that leads me to overeating. I think, “It’s better than pizza!” and that gives me mental license to eat 10 pounds of spicy rice with hot sauce.

The good news is that my workouts are progressing slowly but surely. I still do the same workout at the JFZ 4 days a week, but I am steadily upping the difficulty. Where once I had to work out with 50 and 70 pounds on the “simulate a pushup” machine, now I work out with 70 and 90. Where once I worked out with 90 pounds on the “taking something heavy out of the closet” machine, now it’s 110 and 130. You get the idea. Same amount of time spent, but increased intensity, just like someone recommended in the comments what seems like ages ago now. Thursdays are hit or miss. It really just depends on how much sleep I get the night/morning before. I was doing my other exercises every Thursday (sit ups, push ups, treadmill, kettlebell), but I hafta be honest (otherwise, this blog would be even more pointless than it already is), I’ve been taking Thursdays off for like 2 or 3 weeks now. I just don’t ever really get any sleep on Wednesday nights, so doing anything on Thursdays feels like a huge pain in the ass.


Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, it’s on to the fun Halloween stuff…

Haunted Mansion Records!!!

I don’t know how old I was the first time I heard the record “Chilling, Thrilling, Sounds of the Haunted House” but I know that I was in elementary school. I’m thinking it may have even been Kindergarten (does Kindergarten count as elementary school? no idea). However old I was, it made an impression. I know that there were several years when my elementary school teachers, right around Halloween times, would tell us to put our heads down and she would put this record on for us to picture in our mind what was going on.

I have mentioned before that, as a kid, my imagination was like a 400lb. gorilla and that, just like in the classic joke, it did whatever it wanted to, reigning supreme in my mind like Caligula over Rome.

There were a lot of records like “Chilling, Thrilling, Sounds of the Haunted House” when I was a kid. Records that were a story, but the story wasn’t just told to you like an audiobook, it was related through a series of sound effects and talking, more like a radio drama. In fact, a lot of these records were just the audio from either a cartoon or tv show that already existed (we’ll look at one example of this today).

The first one to discuss is, of course, the one and only, the classic, the one we all remember from our childhood…

Chilling, Thrilling, Sounds from the Haunted House

All of these records are from my personal collection, so I’m sure there are some that I have missed. One that I know, for a fact, that I do not have is the “orange” edition of this record. This white one came out first (1964, Disneyland Records) and it was such a hit that it went out of print! The second pressing of this hot wax was released with the same cover, but the white part was now orange, and it included some “spooky party hints”. Personally, I think this white cover is more iconic, but that may just be because I’m a bit bitter that I don’t have the orange one.

I obviously got this one offa ebay, because it has someone’s name scrawled across the top, to protect from thievery. Carole Scott, wherever you are, I gotcho rekkid. I wonder where Carole Scott is now, because I don’t think that is who sold me this gem on ebay. And why would she want to get rid of this wonderful record? She’s probably one of those people who thinks vinyl is worthless now.

The “A Side” of this record is of the “radio drama” ilk that we mentioned earlier. It is a story of you, going into a haunted house, narrated by a woman whose voice gives me chills to this day.

The “B Side” is just a series of weird, vaguely Halloween-y, sounds and sound effects. Screeching cats, howling wolves, rattling chains, moans, etc.

It’s really the “A Side” that you are after though, as that is the side that your teacher played for you during break and “imagination time”.

This was the first “haunted mansion” record that Disney put out, and it was put out as a promotion for their upcoming “Haunted House” ride (which may have been known then as the upcoming “Museum of the Weird” attraction. I’m not sure of when, exactly, that name change came about). The reason the house on the cover of the record looks nothing like the Haunted Mansion ride facade at Disneyland or WDW is because no one knew what the ride was going to look like, not even Disney! They actually put out a lot of collectibles like this, as promotion for the Haunted Mansion ride, that featured a house that looks nothing like the Haunted Mansion ended up actually looking like. These collectibles are highly valued today, but this record isn’t that valuable because they pressed like a gajillion of them.

I don’t know if this record was ever released on anything other than vinyl, but someone did upload both sides of it to youtube:

You are a bold and courageous person…

One thing of interest here is that a lot of these sound effects were taken from the Disney short “Lonesome Ghosts” which features Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy Dog as ghostbusters…

Also, some of the sound effects that were not in Lonesome Ghosts actually made it into the Haunted Mansion ride! You may recognize the cawing crow from the vignette in the Mansion where a skeleton is trying to get out of his coffin. The crow was originally intended to be a part of the story of the Haunted Mansion, but he never really materialized that way in the finished product, but we see him several times in the ride and in the early Mansion artwork and collectibles.

Tomorrow we will look at several other Haunted Mansion records, but I need to go get ready right now because Shonen Knife is playing here tonight and I must attend that or die trying. If you think you like Japanese culture (I know there are some self-proclaimed “otakus” out there amongst the D*C crowd) and don’t know who Shonen Knife is, you should be ashamed of yourself. Really.

Check this shit out:


See you tomorrow!



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8 Responses to Haunted Mansion Records Part 1

  1. C says:

    Japanese Go-Go’s!

    I am curious about the raven storyline that was never developed, do you know what it was supposed to be?

    • The raven was just originally going to be the narrator, and he’d be somewhere in every scene. Eventually they went with the Ghost Host, whom you never really see (or do you? mwa ha ha). But the raven still exists in the finished ride and, like I said, on a lot of the original artwork and collectibles.

  2. Chilling and Thrilling! I’m off to celebrate for the weekend. Hope you and the Mrs. have a stellar party! Happy Halloween!

    • Tonight’s the night for yall!!! I’m sure your party will rule and I wish I could attend. We still have tomorrow to get ready for it. Our mutual friend, B.M. (not bowel movement), is coming over early to help us set up and “pre-game”. I start my Halloween mix at 3:30pm! Hope yall are more ready than we are, because we haven’t even really started yet.

  3. Caroline says:

    The Ghost Host is pretty cool, indeed. I remember a few years ago where they had faulty audio on the ride and it sounded like the Ghost Host was popping out a Chupa Chups lollipop out of his mouth before every sentence. That was kinda of a funny visual. I guess he had gone out trick or treating already.

    • He probably trick-or-treats in the graveyard scene, since he can’t really leave the Mansion. I’m just wondering what sort of treats the Opera Singer or that little shriveled Mummy give out.

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