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The Haunted Mansion Vol. 1: Welcome Foolish Mortals
by Jennifer de Guzman (editor)

When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls…when candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!

This anthology of ghost stories finds its genesis in the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. All the stories use the different spooks and creeps found inside the attraction as characters – so if you’ve never been on the ride, I don’t know if the graphic novel will make any sense as it jumps from one random, episodic adventure to the next. The only thread that really ties the different short stories together is that this is a house where ghosts gather for an eternal party. In one story, the ghost of a pet dog struggles to reunite with its master; the dog cannot enter the house while the owner cannot leave it. In another, two living boys fall for the same ghost girl, and each boy races to kill himself to be with her while simultaneously preventing his rival from dying first. Some of the stories are silly, like the frustrated attempts of a beheaded knight to talk to Madame Leota, a ghost medium who refuses to believe that she’s dead, even though all that remains of her is a head trapped inside a crystal ball. Others are dead serious, like the tale of Captain Blood and how he ended up in the mansion.

The lack of cohesion between the stories – originally published as a series of single issue comic books – makes me wonder if any of the authors ever talked with each other, or collaborated as they created backgrounds for the ghosts who appear so briefly in the theme park ride. I didn’t catch any outright contradictions, but if a character happened to appear in two or three stories, his or her personality didn’t always stay consistent. I mean, part of the fun of the Haunted Mansion ride is that there is no overriding story, so you can make up any personality you want for its denizens. But when these little stories get gathered into a single anthology, it really stands out when they don’t ‘click’ together.

3 out of 5 stars

To read more about The Haunted Mansion Vol. 1, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.

Photo of the Haunted Mansion I took in February 2012

Peeking into the archives...today in:
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
2010: n/a
2009: Random Ranting: Magazine Subscriptions
2008: n/a


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