Daniel Fandino's picture

Welcome to the Halloween edition of "It Came From the Internet."  Each week the intrepid crew of the H-PCAACA will venture boldly into the farthest reaches of the internet to find interesting and offbeat sites relating to American, world, and popular culture.

The name Disney may not immediately conjour up images of ghosts, ghouls, and spectral brides.  Fans of the Haunted Mansion attraction, which is present in one form or another at four Disney parks around the world, will beg to differ. The spookier content of the Haunted Mansion, mysterious backstory, and connection to a legacy of dark rides have garnered it fans worldwide, attracted by the Disney stamp on the classic notion of the haunted house. Founded on Halloween 1997 by an aspiring web designer and fan who goes under the moniker Chef Mayhem, is a web site dedicated to all aspects the Haunted Mansion ride. In case you are curious, the site is named for the ride vehicles, the Doom Buggies. 

Boasting a history of the Haunted Mansion, complete with detailed references to changes over the years, schematics, copies of employee manuals, photographs and sounds, the Doombuggies site is part reference, part fan work.  Of particular interest on the site are examples of the ways fans interact with the objects of their devotion. Accounts of collecting memorabilia, fan stories of attending special events at the Haunted Mansion, and interviews with Disney engineers abound. A forum allows for additional fan interaction and discussion.

Doombuggies also chronicles the way fans and the fan theories they create has impacted the Haunted Mansion itself. Some of the background and names for the ghosts in the Haunted Mansions have been invented by fans and incorporated in different way into the attraction by Disney. The careful attention to the attraction has led Disney to partner with the site when promoting special events, and the site has been used as a reference by the producers of the 2003 film. Doombuggies is a prime example of the fandom Disney inspires, and the Mouse's ability to cater to all varieties of people. If you doubt this, count the number of Elsa's from Frozen you see this Halloween.

So keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times, and hold on to the safety bar. This is a dark ride.

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Dan Fandino is a history graduate student at the University of Central Florida. While traveling abroad, whenever he is asked where Orlando is located, he has gotten used to simply saying, "Disney World." It works about 90% of the time. His favorite Disney attractions are the coincidentally the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain.

It Came From the Internet is an H-PCAACA feature on interesting web sites relating to American, world, and popular culture. Feel free to comment by clicking on “Discussions” in the right side panel. If you are interested in contributing a post or if you would like to create your own blog or feature, let us know through the email link.

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