Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Hatbox Ghost

For those that don't know (and for good reason-beacause they're not geeks like me and have a life-whatever...) there was a character in the Disneyland Haunted Mansion when it first opended up called the Hatbpx Ghost. It was nearby wear the bride (with the beating heart) currently is now in the attic. For some reason, mostly because th effect didn't totally work, they removed it from the attraction (not "the ride"-the "attraction"!). Well. it has created lots of talk by haunted Mansion fans alike.

Here's a picture of the actual Hatbox Ghost from the attraction:

So I decided one day to make one!

I gotta tell you this story....So, I make this skull from a photo in 'The 'E-ticket' fanzine out of Sculpey.

I want to make a transluscent, hollow cast from it. I look in the phone book under model makers, etc. and call around asking if they can do it. Most of them say that they could but I would have to order/make hundreds of them to make it worth their time. "But I only need two", I said. Finally I got in contact with someone who said "bring it by, we'll take a look at it." I did. and tis gu lokked at it and said,"You know where you need to go? There's a place about a mle from here. You go up the street, make left, over the train tracks and then make a right. You go about 3-4 blocks. There'll be a big billboard sign. There shop is under it." "Could you be any more vague", I said. So, I hopped back in the car and folowed his "directions" and miraculously, I found it!!! It happened to be lunch time and the crew were at the lunch truck. I took my ghost head (in a plastic bag, and asked one of them if they knew someone that could help me. They didn't speak english but they summoned me to follow them into the warehouse building. I could tell that I was at the right place based upon all the creatures and Halloween products. They sat me inan office and told me to wait here. A few moments later, a guy walks in and I tell heim what I need. I take out my ghost head and he recognized it right away. He agreed to make a mold and cast. Long story made short, we eventually became good friends.

So, here's how it turned out. I made a solid fugure and hatbox and put a mylon "scrimm" over both heads. I also place a light behind the figure to plunge it into silhouette which made it harder to see the heads. It was a cool effect.


chris chua said...

Yeah, Jamie!!! This is awesome!! How's yer new roommate? don't take any crap from him!

Bruce said...

Well, you bested the Mansion folks... got that Hatbox fellow to work.

Hey, Jamie. Long time no talk. Bruce Wright from Southside.

disneyfreak said...

hey this is really cool. im trying to make my own changing portrait effect but cant seem to find where to buy the scrimm material thats used in the effect. i saw how you used it for the hatbox trick, and was hoping that you would know where to get some. Thanks! my email is

fantaMAX films said...

Hi you probably get this alot but is there anyway you could get another one of these made and sent to me because im a HUGE haunted mansion fan and for Halloween im making a hitchhiking ghost animatronic and i know that the hat box ghost and ezra the middle HHG had almost identical heads and im 14 so im not to good with clay and i want it to look perfect so please e-mail me at thank you

Kim Wilson said...

This is so fabulous! I am new to your blog and its truly inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing with everyone! I am hoping to make a VERY simple HM themed graveyard for Halloween and I just love your designs! You should really think about making molds and selling forms of your designs! I would LOVE to find forms of the busts from the ride that follow you when you first go in and many other sculptures and things you have made! TOO COOL! :)