Crypt doors creaked and tombstones quaked around our house tonight as goblins, and ghoulies ascended for a swinging wake. We always turn our yard into a miniature Haunted Mansion, and I'm now exhausted! Tomorrow we start packing it all up for next year.
Our homemade haunt is too big to fit into this wonderful old Disneyland souvenir, but that doesn't make the Secret Panel Chest anything less fun. Inside its sliding pieces lurked an early spirit from a New Orleans Square that had yet to hear of Jack Skellington and company. The little wooden puzzle box comes from a time when things "could only happen at Disneyland." The era may have been Imagineering's pinnacle.
The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were both still relatively new when I got my Secret Panel Chest sometime in the mid-seventies. The thought of a "secret panel" evoked memories of walking fearfully into the portrait gallery with "no windows and no doors." Finding a way into the hidden compartment wasn't quite as thrilling as having "to find—a way out" of the gallery. But the chest is still a treasure.
If you haven't explored it, you can get a detailed look at the Secret Panel Chest here. Happy Halloween!