Holidays · Replica Props

Turning our house into the Haunted Mansion – Organ update, bat stanchions, and misc.

As we get ever closer to our annual Halloween Haunted Mansion we are putting the finishing touches on some of the larger pieces that require more work.  I thought I would showcase some of the smaller pieces that decorate the walls and shelves and an update on a piece we did last year.


The room is full of little nods to ride.  I bought wallpaper throw pillows and a blanket last year.  I have printed off most of the photos from the ride including the portraits, the changing paintings, and the stretching portraits.  I actually printed off a 4 foot long copy of the balancing ballerina and decoupaged it onto a homemade canvas.


Last year we transformed my daughter’s piano into the haunted mansion organ.  You can read more about that here.  It was basically done by mounting thin plastic tubes into a base and painting them.  I was a nice effect, but it needed some work to be reminiscent of the haunted mansion organ.


The first thing I wanted to add was that iconic bat sheet music stand.  That was done in few minutes by drawing it out on some black foamcore board and drawing the lines on with a silver sharpie.  It was quick, cheap, and just what I wanted.


The organ has a never-ending procession of ghosts coming out of the organ pipes.  This is done with through the Pepper’s Ghost effect we discussed here.  In short guests are looking at the reflection of real world props off of glass.  The animatronics are found below them on the ride.

organ ghosts

The ghosts have a very unique look.  I was not sure if this would work so for this year I used some skulls on bent wire coat hanger with a streamer of tissue paper.  I needed them to be light weight if I wanted them to not tip over the pipes and still hang out over the organ.  When I was done I painted them with a combination of white, light blue, light green, and a glow in the dark paints all out of rattle cans.  I think the effect works nicely and together with the bat stand really make the organ recognizable.

Haunted Mansion Imagine Ears Organ pipe ghost skulls

Haunted Mansion Imagine Ears Organ
Haunted Mansion Imagine Ears Organ

One of the most recognizable pieces on the Haunted Mansion ride is bat stanchions that hold the divider chain in the rides que.  I planned on sculpting these bats out of Sculpey but when I found a smaller version on Etsy in this shop for $10 I could not pass on picking up a pair.  I am a DIY crafter but there they were too perfect.  They even came painted and aged.


I don’t usually buy souvenirs and decorations for the Haunted Mansion party, but we went to Disneyland this summer and I saw this great sand hourglass.  I bought it as a souvenir of our first visit to the original Haunted Mansion.  It is a great piece that looks creepy on our mantle.


Check back next week for our next Halloween Haunted Mansion DIY project.


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Until next time…


The Imagine Ears features the DIY projects, adventures, and thoughts of a father and daughter who use a shared love of all things Disney to create memories together through encouraging her interests in architecture, design, Imagineering, while exploring history and science.



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