San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The "Park" After Dark:
Tales of the Lonesome Ghost!
This is a live show created by Captured Aural Phantasy Theater.
This August represents the 45th anniversary of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. We just couldn't let this milestone slip by without a proper celebration to honor our favorite dark ride. So, for ONE NIGHT ONLY we will pay our last respects to one of the Mansion's most under-appreciated ghosts and its ties to Los Angeles with a tribute to "The Lonesome Ghost."
Captured Aural Phantasy Theater will resurrect the original (unused) script for Disneyland's Haunted Mansion for a unique site-specific performance in a haunted venue.
Come join us for a spooktacular show in a haunted historic cafe as we try to recreate the imagined "Lonesome Ghost" that never was (from the never built 1950's version of the Haunted Manson) while conjuring up the real "Lonesome Ghost" that possibly is (from the former home of the possible inspiration for that Haunted Mansion character). Also, as a nod to Disneyland's proposed, but never built, "haunted" restaurant (like the restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction), there will be themed food/drink service (available for purchase) before the show. This is your chance to glimpse a Mansion that never materialized.
The idea of a classic "Haunted House" attraction at Disneyland seems to have always been a part of Disney's land, even if it wasn't fully realized until 14 years after the park's opening (and 3 years after Disney's death).
The original concept for this attraction was that guests would be led through the house by a tour guide like the Winchester Mystery House in Northern California. Along the way, the guests would encounter a disembodied voice that would speak directly to them called "The Lonesome Ghost." As this walk-thru evolved into a dark ride, the human guide was eliminated and the idea of the ghostly voice was expanded (or possibly the two parts were merged), and eventually given the new name the "Ghost Host."
While Disney's designers were working on the early version of this now famous ride, were they influenced by something happening in a small North Hollywood studio a couple of miles away? Was the "Lonesome Ghost" a reference to the local radio personality, who went by the on-air alias of "The Lonesome Gal?"
One has to remember that in the 1950's, "The Lonesome Gal" was a wildly popular late-night radio show that was heard on over 400 radio stations across the country. The secret to the show's success was a simple gimmick. Between musical interludes, the nameless "Lonesome Gal" (portrayed by actress Jean King) would whisper sexy/suggestive non-sequiturs, speaking into the microphone as if she were talking to her lover. Lonely males would listen to her program and daydream that she was talking directly to them. During the Korean War, soldiers listened (and re-listened) to boot-leg episodes that they brought with them. To avoid lonely men stalking her (and to create a little mystery), Jean King wore a black mask when appearing in public to promote the show or the show's sponsor (a local downtown brewery that made "Brew 102").
Given that the early "Lonesome Ghost" version of the Haunted Mansion was developed during the height of her "Lonesome Gal" fame, the "lonesome" moniker for the mostly voice-only character (who addressed the tour directly) seems more than coincidental. Although there have been many reasons given for the elimination of the "Lonesome Ghost," one little discussed possibility is the very litigious nature of Jean King, who would threaten lawsuits to anyone trying to capitalize off the character she created.
The building where those historic radio programs were recorded (as well as the upstairs apartment used by Jean King) still exists today, and its said to be haunted. Just about any paranormal phenomena one can think of from disembodied voices to phantom footsteps to moving objects, have been seen/experienced by the current (and past) tenants.
In a strange case of the after-life imitating art imitating life, could the "Lonesome Gal" now be a "Lonesome Ghost" like the one she inspired?
When & Where
Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles (GHOULA)
GHOST HUNTERS OF URBAN LOS ANGELES is a social club dedicated to the preservation of greater L.A.'s rich haunted history, and the promotion and celebration of this local lore through ghostly gatherings, events, and publications.