Friday, October 10, 2008

Haunted Mansion model (video)


video
On display at the Magic Castle in Hollywood (the very cool, very exclusive member's only club for professional magicians) is the original model for the Haunted Mansion's famous ballroom scene. Built by Imagineer Yale Gracey (also a Castle member), this unassuming plywood box with a small viewing window was created to demonstrate the Pepper's Ghost illusion for Walt Disney himself. (According to Milt Larsen's Magic Castle Tour book, "Believe it or not, Yale developed the principle of the illusion totally separate from the magical effect that dates back about 100 years.") Push a button on the front of the device and one ghost rises from his coffin, another floats through the room and a flash of lightning reveals an ax-wielding silhouette in the portrait above the fireplace.

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