I was so. stinking. excited. when I found out that this book series was coming out. I bought Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome the first day it was out and read it in one night. I have so many thoughts on this series, but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.
They are so creepy. There were multiple times during both books when I was thinking, “how on earth is this geared for eight to eleven year olds?!” I’m 28 and some of the chapters were freaking me out. Maybe I scare easy, or maybe kids or braver these days, but I am so glad that they are the way they are, because that’s what the Haunted Mansion attraction is all about.
During the ride, you get to read tombstones in the queue line and when you walk into the Stretching Room, you see the walls adorned with strange beings. In these books, you get to learn just a little bit about each person as they play sporadically into the stories. These aren’t like the Villain Series that I previously reviewed where all their backstories seem made up and a little far fetched; these seem like they could actually be the backstories of the ghosts you’ve learned to love from riding the attraction. It’s great for fans!
Volume I is about four grade school kids: Willa, Tim, Noah, and Steve who in theory wouldn’t typically run in the same crowd, but their love of horror stories bonds them together. They form a storytelling club, The Fearsome Four, where they can gather together and basically try to freak one another out. Their “headquarters” gets torn apart in a out of the blue storm and while going through the wreckage, they find four invitations addressed to them that takes them to a gothic styled mansion, ran by a librarian, Amicus Arcane, who happens to know a lot of scary stories. Surprisingly to them, the librarian has scary stories to tell about each one of them and tells them they’ll be dying to know how the stories end. And then… well, I won’t tell you what happens. The ending is quite the fright, though, and it really is worth the quick read.
Volume II features one protagonist, William, throughout the story, who quickly finds himself at the same Mansion, meeting the librarian again, who is anxious to tell him some tales. William has not been himself, missing his sister who died, and partially blaming himself for it. He’s desperate to find her and wants to seek out the mysterious Madame Leota who he’s heard legends about, but doesn’t believe really exists. That is, until he stumbles upon the mansion and Mr. Arcane. I can’t go into more than that, because the ending shocked me, and I’ll say is that these two books tie in together quite nicely.
Like many of the books that focus on attractions by Disney Parks, these are great for any collector. They’re worth looking into buying and reading and a nice addition to any Disney collection you may have. If you’d like to take my word for it, you can buy Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome here and Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume II: Midnight at Madame Leota’s here. The third book, Tales from the Haunted Mansion Volume III: Grim Grinning Ghosts is also available for pre-order right here!