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Saturday, January 19, 2002

I'm in the process of gathering information for what I hope to be one of the most entertaining and informative articles yet published about the Haunted Mansion (to be printed in a Fall 2002 issue of Haunted Attraction Magazine), and in the process, I took a moment to ask a few questions of Corey Burton, the voice of the Ghost Host in Disneyland's HM Holiday.

Corey (the OTHER Mr. Burton) gave me a few interesting bits of information. He was actually first inspired to go into the VO line of work (character voices and voice-overs) by a childhood experience with the Mansion, and Paul Frees is his "idol." Most interestingly, he claimed that recording the vocal work for HMH was a complete surprise! He didn't rehearse, study, or prepare for the role so to speak; he just thought he was going in to do a demo of the Ghost Host's voice for a "presentation." Apparently things went so well that he recorded the whole thing on the spot.

"(It's) probably just as well; if I'd known ahead of time that I'd be standing in for my 'idol' (if you ask me, Paul Frees remains the greatest voice
Genius ever), I might have been paralyzed by nerves," Mr. Burton said. "But his voice still constantly resonates in my head, so I just plowed ahead as with any normal session."

They DID constantly refer to the original Haunted Mansion vocal track throughout the process, and there was a bit of sound processing thrown in to keep the ambience the same between Mr. Burton's version and the original recording sessions with Mr. Frees. But when you hear the end result, it is indisputable that Corey Burton has provided perhaps the ultimate tribute to Paul Frees and the enduring appeal of the Haunted Mansion.

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