The following article was mirrored from the Disneyland Paris web site. It was originally published in 1997.
Mirrored from the Official Disneyland Paris Web Site
ominous presence looms high on the hill overlooking the banks of
the Rivers of the Far West. The eerie estate of Phantom Manor teems
with ghosts and ghouls from the Old West, daring you to explore
its haunted hallways.
Pass through the Manor gates and walk upwards past a dilapidated, vine-covered gazebo. From within the gazebo, a faint light flickers and the sound of an old music box can be heard. Climb the carriage road leading to the main house towards the Manor's garden pavilion, an open air structure with a metal roof. Listen for the whistling of the whispering wind around the iron railings.
As you approach the house, watch out for a candle inside the Manor that appears to be floating from one window to another. You might also spot the dark spectre of the Phantom or the silhouette of the ill-fated Bride.
Atop the roof two brick chimneys belch mysterious smoke. Ominous sounds emanate from the environs of the Manor: a baying hound, a raven's squawk…or something never heard before. A shutter flaps eerily in the wind...
As you enter Phantom Manor, the haunting voice of the "Ghost Host" welcomes you and the front doors creak shut…
In a corner of the room a hanging mirror reveals the dim image of a fading portrait of the beautiful young Bride.
A secret panel slides open, revealing an ornate, candle-lit chamber.
Suddenly a panel glides shut behind you, sealing you into a doorless chamber! The walls begin to move and the portraits stretch downwards. Innocent paintings elongate to reveal a series of unexpected and bizarre circumstances...
Relief comes when secret panel silently glides open and the way is clear to proceed down a dimly-lit hallway lined with a vast array of photos and portraits. As you walk past their expressions and attitudes suddenly change! The macabre ambience hurries you on towards the end of the hall and a full-length portrait of the young woman as the Bride.
The hallway twists around into an endless moving carpet with a never-ending procession of "Doombuggies".
The Bride's Welcome
You pass under a balcony and into a curtained archway. A welcoming bow from the Bride beckons you further into the gloom.
The Endless Hallway
Turning a bend, you suddenly come to a misty, cobweb-draped hallway that seems to go on forever.
The Bride reappears holding a candelabra, gesturing you on down the hall. She appears and disappears intermittently, leaving you to wonder if the pretty young woman is real, or perhaps a woeful, vaporous apparition...
An ornate piano mysteriously plays on its own. A raven is perched on the music holder, and through the open windows behind the piano a gloomy landscape enshrouded by fog can be seen.
Corridor of Doors
Doors leading from the Music Room suddenly come under the influence of frightful, unforeseen forces, who make themselves known through the contortions of the doors and horrendous pounding sounds.
At the end of the corridor, a grandfather clock that solemnly tolls the hour of "13," as eyes of the grotesque figures in the wallpaper pattern glow ominously.
Moving into a circular chamber, your Doom Buggy turns to reveal a centre table and the bluish light of a crystal ball. The head of fortune teller Madam Leota appears in the ball, chanting ancient incantations from surrounding tarot cards. Could she be invoking spirits to attend the wedding reception in the Grand Hall? Your Doombuggy carries you onwards to find out...
Grand Hall/Wedding Reception
The Bride, standing midway up the staircase, woefully greets arriving guests disembarking from a hearse at the entrance doors to the hall. Spirits clad in formal wear enjoy a champagne feast, while others waltz. A cloaked figure plays the organ as ghostly skulls fly out of the organ pipes.
As the wind of a howling storm blows the curtains in windows overhead, lightning flashes reveal the silhouette of the Phantom in the window above the staircase. His menacing laughter rings out above the merriment.
The Bride's Boudoir
Without hesitation, your Doom Buggy pushes forward to invade the Bride's sanctuary. You notice a portrait on the wall of the Bride as a young woman and see an age-bent crone peering into the mirror at her reflection—a giant fleshless skull.
The Garden Graveyard
You glimpse the Manor's gloomy exterior half hidden in the trees and discover the Phantom again, leaning wearily on his shovel beside a freshly dug open grave. On the other side of the pathway, in the shadows of a sarcophagus, a snarling demon dog with eyes that glow in the darkness adds to the terror...
Tipped suddenly backwards, you descend into the freshly dug grave opening and enter a subterranean tunnel of root-infested caverns filled with decaying coffins. Muffled sounds emanate from the shadows. Skeletons seem to be trying to reassemble themselves while others appear to be disintegrating. Macabre Music Makers
You move on past musically inclined spirits, noticing one inventive soul who has lined up a skeletal music maker. In the distance, a quartet of marble busts suddenly springs to life in song.
Ghost Train & Hearse
A lonely train depot appears where a skeletal stationmaster attempts to entice you with a pair of tickets for a "one-way" trip to Phantom Canyon.
The Phantom's hideous laughter heralds a change of scene as your Doom Buggy winds its way out of the catacombs and into the Old West ghost town of Phantom Canyon. A violent earthquake shakes the crumbling walls. A welcoming committee of a rotund spirit mayor and his raven companion are on hand. In a friendly gesture, the mayor tips not only his top hat but his head as well!
Signs of the Quake
You roll toward the Central Street of the ghost town, past the assay office and pharmacy. Smoke and an eerie glow come from another crevice as storm clouds drift over the peaks of Big Thunder Mountain, transforming into ghost riders across a twilight sky.
In the centre of the Old West ghost town is all that remains of Cattlemen's Bank, blown apart in a bandit raid. Bricks are scattered along the roadway amid the smoky aftermath. The bandit—his loot aboard a stubborn mule—desperately tries to pull the animal across a crevice. The mule on the other side of the chasm wants no part of it. Gold ore bulges heavily from his saddlebags.
Attempting to thwart the bandit's escape, a dedicated but cowardly lawman takes wild shots at the determined bandit from behind a shaky street lamp. You suddenly find yourself caught in the ghostly crossfire, as the bandit takes careful aim at the lawman.
A mild-mannered pharmacist is seen drinking one of his own concoctions, only to slowly turn into a grotesque image of his former self. Saloon Comes Apart at the Seams
At the end of the main street of the ghost town lies the earthquake-stricken saloon. Four invisible gamblers play a lively hand of poker in the casino across the street.
Finally, the Phantom puts in another appearance, making one last effort to entice you to take up residence, as he gestures towards an open coffin.
This Way Out, Maybe
Your Doombuggy returns to Phantom Manor Garden with the mansion visible off in the distance atop a rocky pinnacle. Moving past a vortex of whirling light, the Bride reappears, floating in skeletal form clad in tattered bridal attire and pointing toward a possible escape route.
Danger Surrounds You
You descend into the final danger-filled passage, moving past mirror-lined walls. Suddenly the menacing outstretched arms of the Phantom reach over from behind you! With a flash of light, the Phantom disappears and you find yourself back to near reality in the wine cellar. A sinister Manor host helps disembark onto another moving walkway.
As you walk back toward daylight, the Bride makes a farewell appearance, eerie, yet horrifyingly real. "Hurry baaack!"
Phantom Manor Mythology
Legend has it that decrepit and dilapidated Phantom Manor, tucked
away in a lonesome corner of Frontierland, was once home to one
of Thunder Mesa's founding families. Among the first settlers to
strike it rich during the town's Gold Rush heyday, the family built
the best house in town, high up on a hill overlooking the river
below and out to a private cemetery on the grounds. On the day of
her wedding, the daughter of the Manor was jilted, never to be seen
The house, once the showplace of Thunder Mesa, fell into decay and ruin, becoming the sinister-looking residence that we know today as Phantom Manor. Haunted by a host of ghosts—predominantly by the evil "Phantom" and the benevolent "Bride," these restless spirits are constantly at odds within the confines of the house. Daringly curious Disneyland Paris Guests are invited inside to experience frightful encounters with various ghouls, banshees and the resident "Phantom" himself.
The Disneyland Paris version of the Haunted Mansion features even more realistic special effects than previous attractions, as well as different theme music. Walt Disney himself supervised the plans for the original Disneyland Anaheim attraction but he never lived to see it open in 1969. According to persistent rumour, you can still see Walt's face among the singing busts inside the attraction...
Phantom Manor contains 92 Audio-Animatronics® characters, 54 animated props, 58 individual special effects and more than 400 special show props, making it one of the most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney Theme Park.
Macabre Music of the Manor
Like its predecessors at Disneyland,the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, Phantom Manor's main musical theme is "Grim Grinning Ghosts" by X. Atencio and Buddy Baker. The Phantom Manor music is unique. Recorded in an entirely new arrangement and orchestrations, principal performers were drawn from the London Chamber Orchestra and supplemented by 60 of the finest studio musicians in London. Rhythms range from a gloomy funeral march, to a ballroom waltz, to a honky-tonk saloon piano version and ultimately, to a rollicking vocal rendition by a quartet of singing statues!
The ride through Phantom Manor is provided by "Doom Buggies" — two-passenger carriages of the continuously-moving WEDway "OmniMover" Transportation System, developed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Each of the 131 cars is capable of 180-degree turns, to the left and right, and are pre-programmed to turn in the direction of each scene.
The musical skeletons found in Phantom Manor were inspired by the 1929 Disney short animated film, The Skeleton Dance. The film, produced in black and white, was the first in a series of films entitled Silly Symphonies. A total of 75 "Symphonies" were produced by the Walt Disney Studio from 1929 to 1939, with each Symphony showcasing a new set of cartoon characters and music.
The Bride's Boudoir scene in the attraction was inspired by macabre Victorian lithographs of the late 1800s.
After leaving Phantom Manor, turn left towards the decaying wrought-iron fence to linger a little longer among the crumbling crypts of Boot Hill cemetery. Situated on a small hillside overlooking the Rivers of the Far West, this desolate graveyard was originally built as a final resting place for the Manor dynasty. Take a look at the tumble-down tombstones and you could read: Sacred to the memory of
REV. JARED BATES
August the Sixth
Erected by the girls of the Lucky Nugget Saloon:
Brigitte, Caroline, Lotte, Anna, Lulu, Fifi and Sue
"His Flock shall sorely miss him"
A NEAR-SIGHTED MINER
IN SHAFT 39
LIT HIS CIGAR
AND BLEW UP THE MINE
1805 - 1861
BY APRIL SHOWERS,
HERE SHE LIES
BENEATH THE FLOWERS"
THE RIVER PIRATE
Walked the plank,
"Kept the Master happy"
Faithful Chamber Maid
"Kept the Master happier"
THAN ALL OF US
Cold is my bed, but oh, I love it,
for colder are my friends above it.
Red Hot Harry
"He got hot
but he was slow
so he got put
six feet below"
"Danced too slow
and now he's dead"
1802 - 1866
REST IN PEACE
Seems he took one drink too many