Oct 24, 2016

Mansion Monday - Tales from the Haunted Mansion Review

When I was at DisneyWorld a few weeks back, I found this book that had somehow slipped under my radar. I picked up the Kindle version and gave it a read. The actual physical book is gorgeous and is almost worth the price just to have it sitting on your shelf.

From Amazon:
"Welcome, foolish mortals, to Disney Press' spookiest chapter book series yet: Tales from the Haunted Mansion! Based on the attractions from the Disney Parks, each new book tells the story of one of the Haunted Mansion's 999 ghosts. With eerie illustrations throughout and a beautiful three-piece cloth cover, the books are designed to look like they came straight from the library in the Haunted Mansion."

First off, the main thing you need to be aware of is that this is aimed at the grade school set. If you still enjoy Goosebumps, you should find this entertaining. The second thing to know is that although the summary states these are tales of the Mansion's 999 ghosts, they are not any ghosts you've seen on the ride. No Bride, no Hatbox Ghost, not even Hitchhiking Ghosts. Maybe they'll get to the more "famous" ghosts in future volumes.

The book is about four grade school kids who like to tell spooky stories and call themselves The Fearsome Foursome, sort of like The Midnight Society. One day, they receive invitations to the Caribbean and become Pirates. Kidding, I'm just checking to see if you're actually reading! No, they are invited to a dilapidated old mansion. After venturing inside, they encounter a ghostly librarian who traps them in a room with no windows and no doors. He insists on reading them tales from one of the library's books. Tales that feature each of them!

The first 20 pages or so when the kids go into the Mansion are like you're going on the ride. There's plenty of description and dialog lifted directly from the attraction. Unfortunately, they only get as far as the library. I mean, if you need a room to tell stories in, there you go, but I wanted more Mansion in my Haunted Mansion book! If you're a big Mansion fan, you'll find a few Easter Eggs, mostly in the form of characters names that are in tribute to the Imagineers.

Amicus Arcane, the spirited librarian telling the tales, acts as a classic horror comic anthology host. Some people will find him annoying as he interjects his own comments while tells the stories. And some of the puns are as groan worthy as the Cryptkeeper.

I don't want to get into the stories, I'll save that surprise for you. Fans expecting to uncover the history of their favorite attraction characters will no doubt be disappointed. I think as long as you're okay with a few short Goosebumps-type stories sprinkled with a little Mansion flavor, you'll be fine.

You can get Tales from the Haunted Mansion Vol 1 from Amazon.

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