We’re back with the next edition of the Haunted Mansion tombstones. The focus this time will be on the crypts located around the mansion. Before we delve into the underworld, let’s learn a bit more about how the Haunted Mansion came about.
Disney Legend Harper Goff was the original brain behind Haunted Mansion. Goff contributed to the early drawings and concept art for Disneyland and several areas of Walt Disney World. In what is now known as the first illustration of Disneyland, he drew a black-and-white sketch of a crooked street off of Main Street that went by a church with a graveyard with a run-down manor home at the end that loomed over the street. Walt assigned Ken Anderson, an Imagineer, to create a story based on the drawing.
There was some controversy regarding the look of the manor home however. The initial drawings had the home overgrown with weeds, boarded up windows, and dead trees. Walt did not like that idea, and was quoted as saying, “We’ll take care of the outside, the ghosts can take care of the inside.” On a visit to Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, Walt was mesmerized by the design that included doors that opened to walls and holes and stairs that led to nowhere. When Walt described it to Ken Anderson, he wrote a story that went along with the mansion. Hence, the birth of the Haunted Mansion! Now onto the crypts!
Here floats Captain Culpepper Clyne, Allergic to dirt so he’s pickled in brine.
He braved the sea and all her wrath, But drowned on land while taking a bath
Although this doesn’t represent a Legend or Imagineer, the Captain has his own story. He was a sea captain who apparently drowned while his ship was docked. How ironic!
Fun fact: Captain Clyne is also located in the graveyard scene inside the mansion. Have you spotted him before?
The Pun Crypt
Located at the exit of the Haunted Mansion is the Pun Crypt. It’s full of fantastic names with tongue-in-cheek pronunciations, all written by Francies Xavier!
Hal Lucinashun (hallucination)
Bea Witch (be a witch)
Hap A Rition (apparition)
Manny Festation (manifestation)
Metta Fisiks (metaphysics)
Clare Voince (clairvoyance)
Wee G Bord (Ouija board)
I Emma Spook (I am a spook)
Paul Targyst (poltergeist)
You will also walk by Bluebeard along with his loving wives…..
Here Lyeth his Loving Wives
Penelope Died 1434
Seven Winsome Wives
Some fat, some thin
Six of them were faithful
But the seventh did him in
Now, onto my favorite crypt of the bunch!
The last crypt is actually the newest and appeared after the queue renovation. This is the Imagineer crypt that pays homage to Paul Frees, Ken Anderson, Rolly Crump, and Blaine Gibson.
Farewell Forever, Mister Frees, Your voice will carry, on the breeze
This refers to Paul Frees, better known as your Ghost Host. Admit it, you read that in his voice, didn’t you? Mr. Frees was a character and voice actor who voiced Professor Von Drake in the Disney anthology series. He is the host in both Disneyland and Disney World Haunted Mansion and is also the voice of the auctioneer in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Drink a toast to our friend Ken, fill your glass and don’t say ‘when’
Ken Anderson was an art director and writer for Disney and was behind most of the concepts for Haunted Mansion. This Disney Legend was also a key player in films such as Pinocchio, Jungle Book, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
While Brother Roland here reposes, his soul’s above, one supposes
Better known as Disney’s Da Vinci, Roland ‘Rolly’ Crump was involved in everything that was Disney. He assisted on Peter Pan and several other ride constructions. He left Disney for a short time and returned to assist with Epcot on projects such as the Land Pavilion and Wonders of Life.
A train, made a stain, of absent-minded Uncle Blaine. Rest in Pieces
A Disney Legend since 1993, Blaine Gibson specialized in animation and Imagineering. He is best known for his audio-animatronic work that included 41 presidents for Hall of Presidents (up to Bill Clinton was done by him). He also worked on Pirates of the Caribbean, Tiki Room, and of course, Haunted Mansion.