Book Review: Tales From the Haunted Mansion: Volume I The Fearsome Foursome As Told By Amicus Arcane

Haunted Mansion
Cover is copyright of Disney Press and is pending final approval

As a grown-up Disney kid, it is my duty to keep a current list of my favorite rides and attractions at Disney Parks. The Haunted Mansion has long been a favorite of mine, and I was thrilled to receive an early copy of this new book from Disney Press!

As a book addict, my favorite room in the Haunted Mansion attraction is of course the library with the spooky, empty rocking chair and the assurance that the library is full of works by “ghost writers.” Well, in this book, I got to stop into the library and have the head librarian, Amicus Arcane, share some spooky tales with me. The Haunted Mansion is famous for welcoming “foolish mortals” through its doors and in the opening of this book, Amicus Arcane extends that invitation to “foolish readers.” Anyone who has visited the Haunted Mansion has probably been curious about the 999 Happy Haunts who are the mansion’s ghosts. In this first volume of tales, we get to read about how four of those happy haunts came to be permanent residents of the Haunted Mansion.

This book is broken up into four stories, those of Tim, Willa, Noah, and Steve, or the Fearsome Foursome as they like to call themselves. These four friends love to get together and scare each other with their own creative spooky stories. But things take an interesting turn when they find themselves inside the Haunted Mansion’s library with Amicus Arcane as he reads each member of the Fearsome Foursome a familiar story – the story of how each of them came to…pass into the haunted realm shall we say? Each story is unique and not your typical ghost story. There are not traditional “ghosts” but unexpected ones like a possessed baseball glove and a sea monster that lives in a backyard pool.

A word of caution to parents of younger children: some of the descriptions in the book are pretty vivid and might frighten younger children, such as Willa’s dead animals coming back to life. If your children are easily scared by “bad guys” or monsters, they may not be quite ready to listen to Amicus Arcane’s stories, especially since there are detailed illustrations throughout the book to help readers envision these creepy creatures. Fans of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps or those like myself who are nostalgic for Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? TV series will enjoy this book as well as Disney and Haunted Mansion fans.

Tales from the Haunted Mansion is recommended for readers, ages 8-12, and will be available for purchase on July 19, 2016.

One of my favorite passages from the book: “Every spirit has a story, you see: a haunted history dying to get out…so it can follow you home. But heed this warning: we’re always on the lookout for one more tale.” – Amicus Arcane Tales From the Haunted Mansion

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