October 26th, 2014

pearly whites.

Author Event: Jeff Baham and The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion

Spooktacular Sunday with Jeff Baham
at Village House of Books in Los Gatos

As you know, I love Disneyland and everything related to it. So it probably won't surprise you that one of the first events I organized at my bookstore was for a Disneyland book. Since I knew a new book about Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction had been released in August, we had a author talk and book signing with Jeff Baham, creator of Doombuggies.com and author of The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion.

Jeff was great. He read some excerpts from his book that illustrated the development of the Mansion concept in the 1950s and 1960s, and highlighted some of the major changes that came along the way. He showed a picture of a house in New England that had served as the model for the Disneyland Mansion building, which was really cool. After he finished his talk, he answered questions about the Hatbox Ghost, some of the special effects, differences in the Mansion attractions in different Disney parks, and other questions about Disney history. When there were no more questions, Jeff chatted with people one-on-one as he signed books.

I wish that I had better notes, but one of the unfortunate side effects of working a bookstore event that you've organized is this: even though you are totally into the talk and want to listen with all of your might, you are also a customer service representative and you have to help anyone who walks in off the street with their shopping. As a result, I only caught about half of Jeff's talk.

Author Jeff and Disneyland Conductor Chad

Disney fans are the best. When I say, “Dress up in a costume!” because it's the Sunday before Halloween, they go all out. We had one guy come in dressed in a totally awesome looking Disneyland Railroad Conductor outfit. It looked really good; at first I thought he might be a former cast member who smuggled one of his costumes out of the park. Another Disney fan brought a homemade Doom Buggy, the black vehicle visitors climb into when they ride through the Haunted Mansion. It was SO COOL! She was so sweet that she even let me and Jeans take a picture inside the Doom Buggy.

Jeff and Jenn.
Note Jenn's Doom Buggies Spook Show shirt.  That's Jeff's awesome Haunted Mansion podcast.

Me 'n' Jeans, your resident bookstore ghost hosts!

It was a really fun event. I would love to do something like this at the store again.

PS: If you want a peek behind the scenes, I wrote a much longer post in my personal journal that talks a bit about the planning and set-up of the event and the various ways that I screwed up that process.  Good times.

Peeking into the archives...today in:
2013: The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
2012: The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F. G. Haghenbeck
2011: Rin-Ne Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
2010: The Age of Comfort by Joan DeJean
2009: 10 Comic Book Series You Need To Check Out, Part II
2008: Book Group Expo 2008: Day Two