My favorite character from the Haunted Mansion (who's not even in the Haunted Mansion) is the Hatbox Ghost. I've been wanting to make my own for years. I actually started this fellow back in 2007 and have been slow to figure out how I wanted to do him up. I finally got off my arse and sculpted his head last spring and made his pants and hat. They are made from clear shower curtain giving him that "see though" appearance. His coat is store bought on a Halloween clearance rack. Like the old man I used Sculpey to make the head. He's also an animatronic. Nothing too complex. He head just moves from side to side, but he moves non the less and freaked some folks out on Halloween night.
James Lopez of the blog "The Haunted Mansion Northside" was the creative drive behind these two figures. As a matter of fact, I never even realized these two were in the Haunted Mansion ride until reading James' posts. They appear in the graveyard scene and you really have to be paying attention to catch them. Check out some older posts from a few years back on his blog and you can see he was the first the make such creatures. I thought it was so great that someone would create actual characters from the Haunted Mansion and would like to thank James for introducing me to these characters! After seeing James' I just had to make my own. The photos show the evolution. The first year I used a mask on a dummy head for the old man. Then decided to sculpt my own as James did. The mummy's head is carved from foam. His body is made from 1 inch PVC pipe, foam insulation tubes, and lots of gauze wrap and cheesecloth. The old man's head is made from a foam wig head, aluminum foil, and Sculpey modeling clay. His hands and arms are made from Sculpey as well. His body is the same design I use for all my "dummies" which I'll talk about on down the road.
So yes, I am a "Yard Haunter" as they are so typically called. Folks say I'm creative but I'll be the first to admit I draw many ideas from other great yard haunters. I'm proud to say this is one I did on my own. Of course most of the credit goes to Disney's original Haunted Mansion imagineers. They provided the idea... I just completed my own version. For years I have been trying to re-create some of the more fabulous "Haunted Mansion" props. This past year I worked long and hard on the Madame Leota as well as the Singing Bust. Attached is the final product of Madame Leota that was displayed in my yard for the 2010 haunt.
The name......Hawkeye Haunted Mansion is derived from inspiration provided by "The Haunted Mansion Northside" which represents California, more specifically the north side of LA I'm just guessing. The guy who runs it, James Lopez is a genius. I've enjoyed his marvelous posts for a few years now. After years of travel and lots of moving I am finally where I want to be. In Iowa...."the hawkeye state". I thought about calling this the "Haunted Mansion Midwest" but the other had a better ring to it. This photo depicts the legendary Iowa Hawkeye Football coach Hayden Fry at my annual Halloween party. Fun fact of the day......Craig T. Nelson's character Hayden Fox on the 80's TV sitcom "Coach" was based on Hayden Fry and all of the shots of the campus where from the University of Iowa. The University in the TV show was a fictitious school in Minnesota.