There are few attractions at Disneyland or Walt Disney World that are quite as beloved as the Haunted Mansion. For over 45 years, the mansion has been a sort of home away from home for lovers of all things gothic and spooky. Mansion inhabitants like Madame Leota, the three hitchhiking spooks and, most recently, the Hatbox Ghost have all become Disney icons. Now, Disney Publishing Worldwide is expanding the world of the mansion beyond just the theme parks by introducing a new series of young adult novels titled Tales of the Haunted Mansion.
The first book in the new Tales of the Haunted Mansion series, The Fearsome Foursome, was “written” by mansion librarian Amicus Arcane, described as “an all-new character whom Walt Dinsey Imagineering allowed Disney Publishing to create.” In reality, the novel was written by award-winning TV and animation writer John Esposito (R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, Teen Titans), with art by Kelley Jones (Batman, Swamp Thing, Sandman). The book is designed to look and feel like it came straight out of the Haunted Mansion itself. You can see a preview of the book cover, featuring the mansion’s infamous wallpaper, below:
According to the press release, “Tales of the Haunted Mansion takes readers on a fun, spooky ride, just like the attraction itself. If you’re a devoted fan of the mansion, you’ll find Easter eggs throughout the book, such as the stretching pictures and floating candelabrums, to lyrics from the narration that is heard in each Doom-buggy.” Below you can read the official synopsis of the book:
“The story follows four middle schoolers—the Fearsome Foursome—who constantly try to out-scare each other with tales of terror. One night, after their clubhouse is destroyed, they are all invited to a spooky old mansion to tell their tales, where they are introduced to a mysterious librarian named Amicus Arcane. Amicus asks to join their competition because he has the scariest stories of them all. You see, Amicus’ stories are about each of them. The stories—which have elements of classic horror like Poe and Lovecraft—get creepier and creepier (but never too scary) as the book goes on. And as Amicus tells the kids their own scary stories, our four protagonists eventually realize where they are—they are a part of the 999 ‘happy haunts’ that inhabit the Haunted Mansion.”
Tales of the Haunted Mansion arrives in stores on July 19. You can check out some of the book’s illustrations in our gallery below.
Are you excited for this new journey into the world of the 999 happy haunts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images: The Walt Disney Company