REVIEW: New Disney theme park-inspired book “Tales from the Haunted Mansion Vol III: Grim Grinning Ghosts”

in Collectibles, Disney, Merchandise

Haunted Mansion librarian Amicus Arcane takes possession of several strange and cryptic crates, setting the stage for “Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume III: Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Fiendishly familiar phantom faces join eerie otherworldly artifacts to reveal intriguing insight into Haunted Mansion history.

Three unsuspecting midnight movers make a disturbing delivery to one cemetery-surrounded haunted house, hidden high on a hilltop in New Orleans Square.  White transferring the creepy cargo, they encounter Haunted Mansion librarian Amicus Arcane.

Playful spooks mischievously materialize.

A devilish delight for Haunted Mansion attraction fans, supernatural surprises, bewitching backstories and boo-loved ghostly guests gleefully greet readers in Volume III.  Arcane weaves Mansion lore, legend and sinister scenes into his terror-ific trio of tales about macabre, mysterious misfortunes.

Targeted towards its grim grinning fan base, “Tales from the Haunted Mansion” gives ghoulish glimpses of gleeful ghosts reciting recognizable renditions of infamous Atencio/Baker lyrics as well as offering appearances from iconic phantoms looking for a lift.

Somewhat spooky spoilers ahead (read at your own risk)

While wonderfully weaving a host of Haunted Mansion references, Volume III relies heavily on its place in the series.  Eerily emphasizing things in threes (three hitchhiking ghosts, three volumes, three cryptic crates, three protagonists), Amicus Arcane peels back the veil on a trio of Haunted Mansion’s ghostly gags: a possessed piano (music room), a tea loving mummy (graveyard), and a breathing door (corridor of doors).

Each eerie anecdote is tied to one the three oversized wooden boxes conveyed to the librarian’s warehouse of animated artifacts.  As Declan, Marge and Pasquale deliver and un-crate these terror-tied treasures to their rightful resting place within the Haunted Mansion, Arcane articulates a sinister backstory.  Haunting recitals, Egyptian curses, and Salem witches weave their stories into the Mansion’s haunted history.

Allow these ghosts to follow you home.

“Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume III: Grim Grinning Ghosts” materialized thanks to the ghost writing efforts of John Esposito (as conveyed by Amicus Arcane) with illustration from Kelley Jones.  All three volumes in this supernatural series of Haunted Mansion books can be found on Amazon.

“Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume III: Grim Grinning Ghosts”

$11.99 from Amazon

“Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume II: Midnight at Madame Leota’s”

$10.49 from Amazon

“Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome”

$9.99 from Amazon

Deliciously delivered with delightfully dark detail, John Esposito (as told to him by Amicus Arcane) takes this third edition expertly into the realm of paranormal perfection.  While aimed at young readers (ages 8-11), “Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume III: Grim Grinning Ghosts” appeals to all who love the Haunted Mansion’s contrasting blend of spooky and silly.  Peppered with illustrations (by Kelley Jones) to accent each tale, well stocked with clever references (for example, a math quiz question bearing a striking resemblance to the opening year of certain Disneyland haunted house), and great ghost stories, “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” might just be the best of all three “Tales from the Haunted Mansion” volumes so far.

Source and images: Amazon, Michael Gavin

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