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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Haunted Mansion inspires "Cirque du Soliel"-style show

Circus Juventas, the St. Paul-based award-winning performing arts circus school, is presenting a ghostly tale called "Ravens Manor," which was inspired by Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion attraction.

"Ravens Manor is inspired by Disney's Haunted Mansion ride and also by the legends and folklore of New Orleans," said Betty Butler, Circus Juventas Co-Founder and Artistic Director. "We wanted to tell a classic story of eternal love and the ultimate triumph over good and evil. By giving the production a ghostly setting, we are able to incorporate our thrilling new act – a wall trampoline – which allows our gymnasts to somersault in and out of the windows of our two-story haunted mansion."

Further following a theme suggested by Disney's attraction, Ravens Manor is described as a "once magnificent estate that is doomed by a terrible curse: any daughter of Ravens Manor who dares to marry for love commits her groom to death at the hands of three malicious spirits."

The Circus Juventas website calls the performance "a Cirque du Soleil-style production drawn from the legends of New Orleans, with daring dives from the mansion windows of our all-new haunted house trampoline act, plus a ghostly bride who flies from the attic high above the audience bringing a ghostly tale to frightful life."

Tickets to the show range from $15 to $25. Performances are being held from July 31 through August 17 at the Circus Juventas Big Top, 1270 Montreal, Saint Paul, MN 55116. Visit their website for more information.


Hellboy / Hobbit helmer hoards Haunted Mansion memorabilia

In an interview with, director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy I/II, Pan's Labyrinth, The Lovely Bones, the Hobbit) speaks briefly about his "only vice," which is collecting old horror memorablia, including Haunted Mansion collectibles. In fact, he has dedicated an entire room in his new (and as-of-yet unlived in) home to the Haunted Mansion.

"I was just finishing my house and when I mean my house, I mean my house. I’m doing a man cave of epic proportions," del Toro told Moviehole. "My collection of crap was getting so big that my wife said, “Dude, you or us...” I put a secret book shelf door, I put a Haunted Mansion room, I am moving all my stuff there and I was planning on having that as my office for the next five years and then I got the call" (to move to New Zealand to work on "The Hobbit.")

del Toro continues: "I have many iterations of Disney’s the Nautilus. I collect Haunted Mansion memorabilia; I collect any iteration of Chernabog the demon from Fantasia. I own two of the original sketches that Kay Nielsen and the other artist pitched to Disney. I am an obsessive collector and I’ve said in the past, mercifully I do dress like s**t and I drive a really old car, so the only vice I have is collecting this stuff."

Read the full article here.