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Haunted Mansion - Enter if You Dare!: Scary…
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Haunted Mansion - Enter if You Dare!: Scary Tales from the Haunted Mansion

by Nicholas Stephens

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Five stories, with illustrations, that center on an old house with an adjoining graveyard. The location of the house could be in any town, but the local children know the place is haunted. In one, two boys are invited inside to meet creepy Madame Blackheart and have their fortunes told. In another, a young clarinet student is thrilled to be invited to join a band for his first public performance, but the audience turns out to be exceptionally demanding, and the last story provides a history for the ghostly bride with the beating heart.
These stories are much better than I expected them to be. 3.8 stars ( )
  mstrust | Sep 10, 2016 |
I am a huge fan of the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland. When I found out that there was actually a collection of short stories themed around the ride, I immediately set about getting a copy.

Unfortunately, the book reads like the author(s) never actually visited the Haunted Mansion! Or, perhaps, the author simply wrote a collection of stories without bothering to consult the preexisting folklore and traditions surrounding the Mansion. As a result, the story presented here does not match the Disneyland attraction!

For example, the first story in the collection, "The Fortuneteller", revolves around the predictions of Madame Blackheart, a medium who always comes out a-head with her prophecies. However, the medium in the ride is named Madame Leota - as far as I know she's never been given a last name, but Blackheart certainly comes out of nowhere!

The second story, "The Face in the Mirror", plays with the idea presented by the Hitchhiking Ghosts at the end of the ride - a ghost follows a young woman around, visible only in her reflection. While the story itself is decent, it again has nothing to do with the ride - the description of the phantom doesn't match any of the characters found in the Mansion - and a picture of the ghost's tombstone that is meant to be included in the book is missing, ruining the punchline/conclusion.

"Music to Their Ears" is truest to the Mansion - a boy meets a trio of musicians who play music beautifully to wake the dead, which of course references the great graveyard party that closes out the ride. In that graveyard scene there is a trio of musicians performing, so this is the first story that I would comfortably say actually takes place within the Mansion of the Disney parks.

"The Eyes Have It" was entertaining as a ghost story, about a pair of sisters who stumble across a mysterious photographer who somehow captures the older sister's soul in a photograph. The plot/characters, again, have NOTHING to do with the Haunted Mansion.

The last story, "Late to the Wedding", contradicts established the Mansion folklore. For this one, I can cut author Nicholas Stephens a little slack - when he wrote the tale in the early 1990s, Constance and her ax-murdering story had not yet been added to the attic. (That addition didn't arrive for another ten years.) His bride actually correlates fairly well to Constance's predecessor, a rather mournful bride with a red beating heart that could be seen through her ghostly body.

This really reads like a bunch of ghost stories someone wrote for kids, but since it was published by Disney someone decided to slap the label of 'Haunted Mansion' on it. It's really disappointing - I expect better from the Walt Disney Company! ( )
  makaiju | Sep 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 078684003X, Paperback)

Using one of Disney's most popular theme-park attractions as the backdrop, this spooky collection of six original stories is a heart-pounding, spine-tingling read, just right for horror fans. With plenty of tombstones, eerie portraits, and dancing corpses, this compilation is a scary, creepy delight.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:08 -0400)

A collection of spooky tales highlights such characters as the fortuneteller Madame Blackheart and a teenaged clarinet player who has a gig of a lifetime.

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