On this darkly Disney episode of After Hours AM/America’s Most Haunted Radio –– Thursdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen — we explore Foolish Mortals, the new documentary about the Haunted Mansion and its fandom, with director James H. Carter II. We will also delve into lore about the Mansion itself and dark Disney legends James in the 10pE hour. In the 9pE hour, our own resident forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole will pry open the mind of another horrifying serial killer.
Does any amusement park attraction elicit the kind of fanatical affection and devotion of Disney’s Haunted Mansion? As a native Southern Californian who spent many a childhood day and night at the Magic Kingdom, the mere thought of the jaunty, spooky, almost delirious feel of the ride still gives me Halloween tingles. We went when the ride first opened in 1969 and were stunned: convincing and scary on the actualization level, it was also funny and engrossing conceptually – a perfect frisson. The hologram “ghosts” seemed utterly real, as was the narrated story behind their exploits. The ride has inspired horror filmmakers, haunted house creators, costume designers and artists, as well as millions of fans who just love the vibe and never get tired of its self-contained world.
Filmmaker James H. Carter II is deep into work on a documentary that explores the fan culture surrounding the Mansion, with interview subjects that include actors, artists, home haunters, cosplayers and even some of the Imagineers themselves. Carter is currently seeking a final round of funding to finish the film, and if all goes well, anticipates finishing it by March of 2017. And Carter is the right guy, in 2013, he began the Creepy Kingdom podcast, which explores the rich, dark underground of urban myths and legends that have grown up around the Happiest Place on Earth and other assorted Disneyana.