Wikia

The Disney Wiki

Grim Grinning Ghosts

38,737pages on
this wiki
Comment1
"Grim Grinning Ghosts" (complete title: "Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song)") is the theme song for the Haunted Mansion attractions at Disney theme parks. It was composed by Buddy Baker, with lyrics written by X Atencio. Its melody has been adapted for numerous uses since its composition in the late 1960s.
Disney Villains 'Grim Grinning Ghosts'02:51

Disney Villains 'Grim Grinning Ghosts'

The sing-along in Disneyland Fun.

Grim Grinning Ghosts-The Haunted Mansion (Sing Along Songs) Better Version01:57

Grim Grinning Ghosts-The Haunted Mansion (Sing Along Songs) Better Version

The sing-along in Happy Haunting.

Disney Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting uses the song's title and tune, but with some of the lyrics changed.

In the House of Mouse episode "House Ghosts", the Haunted Mansion ghosts perform the song after Pete unleashes them in an attempt to scare the guests out of the club.

Lyrics

(Spoken)
When hinges creak in doorless chambers
And strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls
Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still
That is the time when ghosts are present
Practicing their terror with ghoulish delight

(Sung)
When the crypt doors creak, and the tombstones quake
Spooks come out for a swinging wake
Happy haunts materialize
And begin to vocalize
Grim Grinning Ghosts come out to socialize

Now don't close your eyes and don't try to hide
Or a silly spook may sit by your side
Shrouded in a daft disguise
They pretend to terrorize
Grim Grinning Ghosts come out to socialize

As the moon climbs high o'er the dead oak tree
Spooks arrive for the midnight spree
Creepy creeps with eerie eyes
Start to shriek and harmonize
Grim Grinning Ghosts come out to socialize

When you hear the knell of a requiem bell
Weird glows gleam where spirits dwell
Restless bones etherialize
Rise as spooks of every size
Mwahahahahahahahaha!

If you would like to join our jamboree
There's a simple rule that's compulsory
Mortals pay a token fee
Rest in peace, the haunting's free
So hurry back we would like your company

Hurry back...hurry back...
Be sure to bring your death certificate
If you decide to join us
Make final arrangements now
We've been...dying...to have you

Variations

Haunted Mansion

Many different music loops are used throughout the Haunted Mansion attractions at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland. Speakers disguised within the sets allow the music to fade in and out as guests pass through the different areas. The following variations of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" can be heard in these attractions.

  • Entrance Foyer: As guests enter the dimly-lit foyer, a distant organ can be heard. "Grim Grinning Ghosts," played in the slow cadence of a funeral dirge, rumbles through the mansion. This simple arrangement is intended to set the spooky tone for the attraction. It features melody and bass line on a theater organ and an almost inaudible countermelody on tubular bells.
  • Loading Area: Guests leave the "stretching room" and proceed down a hall of morphing portraits. One of the ride's most unconventional musical selections plays in the background. An alto flute plays a low rendition of Baker's composition, with tubular bells doubling the melody. There is also a wind-like sound effect that follows the pitches of the song.
  • Piano Parlor: In the Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland versions, guests pass by a decrepit music parlor. A shadowy phantom sits at the piano, playing "Grim Grinning Ghosts" as block chords with heavy rubato. This rendition isn't heard in the original Disneyland mansion, but it was recorded during the production of the original attraction. Many sources claim that Buddy Baker himself performed this piece.
  • Seance Room: Guests pass through the ominous Corridor of Doors (while the foyer organ plays again) and enter Madame Leota's seance room. A variety of instruments float through the room, including a harp, a tambourine, and a trumpet. The song's melody hums softly on organ in the background, while the other instruments fade in and out.
  • Ballroom: A long mezzanine overlooks the mansion's ballroom, which is swarming with translucent ghosts. On the far left, spirits pour from the pipes of an organ prop as "Grim Grinning Ghosts" howls through the ballroom, this time as a waltz. This piece makes use of unusual chords, including minor/major sevenths and cluster chords. Baker originally approached organist Gaylord B. Carter, who had recorded the other organ tracks for the mansion, for this ballroom waltz. But Carter was taking too sensible an approach for Baker's tastes, so he took a transcription of Carter's improvisations to William Sabransky. Sabransky then improvised from Carter's attempts.
  • Attic: A phantom pianist, similar to the one in the Walt Disney World piano parlor, is seen. He is laboring over a grim refrain of Richard Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" instead of "Grim Grinning Ghosts." This music loop, which was added to the Disneyland attraction several decades after it opened, is actually synchronized with the music in the next area. The piece has been transposed into the keys of A minor, A♭ minor, and B minor, with the chords and key changes mimicking those used in "Grim Grinning Ghosts." The piece's structure has also been modified to integrate seamlessly with the graveyard jamboree, which becomes more and more audible as the guests leave the attic.
  • Graveyard Jamboree: X Atencio's lyrics are first heard in the graveyard scene. A large number of different music loops play throughout area. Most of them are ghosts singing the lyrics over a background loop that provides the 1960s style bass line and rhythm section. One of the tracks features a harp, trumpet, oboe, flute, and set of stones. All four verses are present, with first two in A minor, the third in B♭ minor, and the fourth in B minor. This presentation of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" is by far the loudest and most noticeable in the ride.
  • Exit Crypt: Guests exit their Doom Buggies and proceed through the exit crypt, which leads back up to New Orleans Square. A final, somber a capella refrain can be faintly heard with different lyrics.

Grim Grinning Ghosts has been covered by the Canadian rock group Barenaked Ladies. A variation of this song is also used at Disney World's Magic Kingdom HalloWishes fireworks show and Disneyland's Halloween Screams fireworks show. It's also used in parades at Disneyland Paris Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland during the Halloween season.

The seasonal "Haunted Mansion Holiday" overlay at the original Anaheim attraction mixes the tune with Danny Elfman's melody lines from The Nightmare Before Christmas together with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Jingle Bells. One of the most prominent instances of this is a straight orchestral statement of the "Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize" melody line that plays at the end of the cue for the stretching room.

Phantom Manor

On April 12, 1992, Phantom Manor opened at Disneyland Paris. Based on the original Disneyland ride but with a new backstory tied into Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain and Thunder Mesa, Phantom Manor featured a more coherent storyline and an all-new orchestral soundtrack by composer John Debney.

Phantom Manor takes a different approach to the same concept as the previous Haunted Mansion attractions. The intended mood is one of corrupted elegance, rather than morbid kookiness. As a result, the soundtrack is different as well. The traditional Haunted Mansion attractions feature music that is usually played or sung by characters in the scenery: an organist's waltz, a graveyard band jamboree and so on. Phantom Manor, however, has a full orchestral soundtrack that takes a more cinematic approach, although all of the music is based on "Grim Grinning Ghosts". A variety of instrumentations are used. At various moments, guests hear piano, organ, alto flute, a boy's choir, a jazz band and a female voice soloist who symbolizes the character of Melanie Ravenswood, all in addition to the ordinary orchestral complement.

The Haunted Mansion

When Walt Disney Pictures released a Haunted Mansion movie, composer Mark Mancina was asked to write the film's music. Like Phantom Manor's soundtrack, the movie score is orchestral and uses "Grim Grinning Ghosts" frequently. However, Mancina used "Grim Grinning Ghosts" in somewhat different ways from Debney, focusing more on relatively light-hearted background music and ominous crescendos of orchestra and organ than on waltz-like passion. Cues such as the film's overture allowed Mancina to work with both "Grim Grinning Ghosts" and a theme of his own invention. A scene in the mansion's graveyard also features the attraction's singing busts, whose musical selections include a few lines from the song. The vast majority of the film's music, though, was never officially released as a soundtrack, though copies of a complete album given to staff and orchestra members can occasionally be found for sale. Four minutes of the score did make it onto the "Haunted Hits" CD release, which groups "Sara Passes Out," the overture, and "Going to Heaven" into one track entitled "Overture from The Haunted Mansion." However, none of the orchestral and/or organ statements of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" are heard on this album.

Inside Out

The Otherworldly Concerto section of the song can be heard in Inside Out as the background music for one of Riley's dreams early on in the film.

Graveyard Singers

The Phantom Five

The Phantom Five

L-R: Meyer, Ravrenscroft, Schroeder, Rowe, Ebright

Played by Jay Meyer, Thurl Ravenscroft, Verne Rowe, Bob Ebright, and Chuck Schroeder. Originally, the busts were to be portrayed by five actors but the decision was made to use the singers after they showed a good deal of emotion during the recording session. They sing the majority of the song and, like many of the ghosts, each bust has an official character name. They are: Ned Nub (Meyer), Uncle Theodore (Ravenscroft), Rollo Rumkin (Rowe), Phineas Pock (Ebright), and Cousin Al (Schroeder). Ravenscroft's bust is often misidentified as being Walt Disney himself.

The Opera Singers

The Opera Singers

The Opera Singers

Voiced by Loulie Jean Norman (soprano) and Bill Reeve (tenor). The pair alternate between verses for a full repetition of the main song. Buddy Baker directed this recording session himself and spoke of having to record several takes. According to him the classically trained Norman had a difficult time straying from the actual melody line, which she had perfected prior to recording.

The Ghost Hostess

The Ghost Hostess

"Live shot" of the Ghost Hostess

Played by WED Imagineer Leota "Toombs" Thomas, who is also the face of Madame Leota. Because of this many fans refer to this ghost "Little Leota" but the name is not official. She stands just before the exit and pleads for guests to hurry back and join the party.

References

 


v - e - d
1000px-Disneyland Park Logo svg
Main Street, U.S.A.

Disneyland Railroad | Main Street Cinema | The Disney Gallery | Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln | Dapper Dans | Main Street Vehicles

Fantasyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle | Alice in Wonderland | Casey Jr. Circus Train | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | It's a Small World | King Arthur Carrousel | Mad Tea Party | Matterhorn Bobsleds | Mr. Toad's Wild Ride | Peter Pan's Flight | Pinocchio's Daring Journey | Snow White's Scary Adventures | Storybook Land Canal Boats | Pixie Hollow | Sword in the Stone

Adventureland

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room | Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye | Jungle Cruise | Tarzan's Treehouse

Tomorrowland

Astro Orbitor | Autopia | Space Mountain | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Disneyland Monorail | Captain EO | Innoventions | Starcade | Star Tours: The Adventures Continue | Push the Talking Trash Can

Mickey's Toontown

Chip 'n' Dale's Treehouse | Donald's Boat | Gadget's Go Coaster | Goofy's Playhouse | Mickey's House and Meet Mickey | Minnie's House | Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island | Mark Twain Riverboat | Sailing Ship Columbia | Big Thunder Ranch | Golden Horseshoe Saloon | Fantasmic!

Critter Country

Splash Mountain | Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion | Pirates of the Caribbean

Resorts

Disneyland Hotel

Former Attractions

Country Bear Jamboree | Star Tours | Honey, I Shrunk the Audience | Ariel's Grotto | PeopleMover | Skyway | Carousel of Progress | Submarine Voyage | Mike Fink Keel Boats | Swiss Family Treehouse | Adventure Thru Inner Space | Home of the Future | Magic Journeys | Rocket Jets | Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland | Midget Autopia | The Party Gras Parade | Space Station X-1 | Flying Saucers | Aladdin's Royal Caravan | One Man's Dream | Mickey Mouse Club Theater | Fantasy Waters | Fantasyland Autopia | Rocket Rods | Snow White: An Enchanting Musical | The Lion King Celebration | America Sings | The Walt Disney Story | Country Bear Vacation Hoedown | Fantasy in the Sky

Other

List of Disneyland attractions


v - e - d
Disneyland Paris.svg
Main Street, U.S.A.

Disneyland Railroad | Liberty Arcade | Discovery Arcade | Main Street Vehicles

Fantasyland

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant | Le Carrousel de Lancelot | Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains | Les Voyages de Pinocchio | Peter Pan's Flight | Alice's Curious Labyrinth | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | It's a Small World | Mad Hatter Tea Party | Le Pays de Contes de Fées | Casey Jr. - Le Petit Train du Cirque | Sword in the Stone

Adventureland

Le Passage Enchanté d'Aladdin | Adventure Isle | La Cabane des Robinson | Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril | Pirates of the Caribbean

Discoveryland

Autopia | Space Mountain: Mission 2 | Orbitron, Machines Volantes | Les Mystères du Nautilus | Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasts | Star Tours | Discoveryland Theatre

Frontierland

Legends of the Wild West | Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Phantom Manor | River Rogue Keel Boats | Rustler Roundup Shooting Gallery | Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing

Current Entertainment

Disney Magic on Parade | Disney Dreams!

Current Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Chantons La Reine des Neiges | Frozen Summer Fun! | La Forêt de l’Enchantement: Une aventure musicale Disney

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage | Captain Eo | Circle-Vision 360° | Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes | Dapper Dans | Disney's Fantillusion | Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade | Disney Toon Circus | Fantasy in the Sky | Honey, I Shrunk the Audience | Main Street Electrical Parade | Mulan, La Légende | Tarzan: The Encounter | The Legend of the Lion King | The Timekeeper | Winnie the Pooh and Friends, too! | Woody's Roundup Village

Former Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Disney's Maleficious Halloween Party | Disney's Showtime Spectacular | Dr. Facilier's Carnival-Loween | Following the Leader with Peter Pan | Le Voeu de Noël de la Princesse Aurore | Mickey's Magical Celebration | Mickey's Winter Wonderland | Mickey and his Magic Halloween Night

Resorts

Disneyland Hotel | Hotel New York | Disney's Sequoia Lodge | Newport Bay Club Hotel | Disney's Hotel Cheyenne | Disney's Hotel Santa Fe


v - e - d
Hong Kong Disneyland logo
Main Street, U.S.A.

Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad | Hong Kong Disneyland Band | Main Street Vehicles | Animation Academy | Ragtime Piano | Art of Animation

Fantasyland

Cinderella Carrousel | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | Fairy Tale Forest | Fantasy Gardens | Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad | It's a Small World | Mad Hatter Tea Cups | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Mickey and the Wondrous Book | Pixie Hollow | Sleeping Beauty Castle | Snow White Grotto | Sword in the Stone

Adventureland

Festival of the Lion King | Jungle Drumming | Jungle River Cruise | Liki Tikis | Tarzan's Treehouse

Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple | Orbitron | Push the Talking Trash Can | Space Mountain | Star Wars: Command Post

Toy Story Land

Barrel of Fun | Cubot | RC Racer | Slinky Dog Spin | Toy Soldier Boot Camp | Toy Soldier Parachute Drop

Grizzly Gulch

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars | Geyser Gulch | Welcome Wagon Show

Mystic Point

Mystic Manor | Garden of Wonders | Freight Depot

Anniversary Celebration

5th Anniversary | 10th Anniversary

Current Entertainment

Disney in the Stars | Flights of Fantasy Parade | Mickey's Rainy Day Express | Paint the Night Parade

Current Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Hyperspace Mountain | Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover | The Nightmare Experiment | The Pavilion | Villains Night Out!

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Autopia | Dapper Dans | Disney on Parade | High School Musical: LIVE! | Jungle Puppet Carnival | Lucky the Dinosaur | Muppet Mobile Lab | Stitch Encounter | The Disneyland Story presenting How Mickey Mouse Came to Hong Kong | The Golden Mickeys | Tinker Bell Castle Illumination | UFO Zone

Former Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Adventureland Oasis Party | Alien Invasion | Demon Jungle | Festival of Family & Friends | “Frozen” Festival Show | “Frozen” Village | Glow in the Park Halloween Parade | Graves Academy | Horrors of the Amazon | Inferno Dance Party | It's a Small World Holiday | 'Let It Snow' Christmas Parade | Lightning McQueen "LIVE"! | Main Street Haunted Hotel | Mickey's House | Mickey's WaterWorks | Nightmare in the Sky | Pirate Takeover | Royal Christmas Ball | Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy | Stitch's Summer Dance Bash | Stitch and Friends Summer Surprise | The Revenge of the Headless Horseman | Tomorrowland Party Zone | Turtle Talk with Crush

Upcoming

Iron Man Experience

Resorts

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel | Disney's Hollywood Hotel | Disney's Explorers Lodge


v - e - d
Inside-Out-Logo
Media

Films: Inside Out | Riley's First Date?
Video Games: Inside Out: Thought Bubbles | Disney INFINITY: 3.0 Edition | Disney Crossy Road
Books: The Art of Inside Out | The Bing Bong Book | Making Memories | Welcome to Headquarters | Journey into the Mind | The Essential Guide | Driven by Emotions | So Many Feelings: Riley's World Inside and Out | Inside My Mind: A Book About Me! | Joy's Journey | Meet The Emotions | Joy's Greatest Joy/Simply Sadness | Rainbow of Emotions | The Emotions' Survival Guide
Music: Soundtrack

Disney Parks

Inside Out Headquarters

Characters

Joy | Sadness | Anger | Disgust | Fear | The Emotions | Mrs. Andersen's Emotions | Mr. Andersen's Emotions | Bing Bong | Rainbow Unicorn | The Forgetters | Jangles the Clown | Riley Andersen | Mrs. Andersen | Mr. Andersen | Meg | Subconscious Guards Frank and Dave | Fritz | Jordan

Locations

Emotions' Headquarters | Long Term Memory | Imagination Land | Dream Productions | Abstract Thought | Personality Islands | Subconscious | Memory Dump | Minnesota | San Francisco | Riley's House

Objects

Memory Orbs | Core Memory Orbs | Train of Thought | Daydreams | Bottomless Bag | Rocket Wagon

Songs

The Bing Bong Song | TripleDent Gum | Itoshi no Riley | Back in Black | Take My Breath Away

See Also

The Science Behind Pixar | Pixar in a Box


v - e - d
Disney Parks - The Haunted Mansion - Transparent Logo
Disney Parks

The Haunted Mansion (Disneyland) | The Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland) | Mystic Manor | Phantom Manor | Memento Mori

Media

Films: The Haunted Mansion (2003 film) | The Haunted Mansion (live-action film remake) | The Haunted Mansion (Animated Special)
Books: Tales from the Haunted Mansion | Haunted Mansion (comic book) | Disney Kingdoms: The Haunted Mansion | Kingdom Keepers
Video games: The Haunted Mansion (video game) | Walt Disney World Explorer | Kinect: Disneyland Adventures | Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition | Disney Crossy Road

Characters

Ghost Host | Madame Leota | The Phantom Five | Caretaker | Hatbox Ghost | Hitchhiking Ghosts | George Hightower | Constance Hatchaway | Raven | Zombies | Edward Gracey | Elizabeth Henshaw | Ramsley | Emma | Ezra | Jim Evers | Sara Evers | Megan Evers | Michael Evers | Zeke Holloway | Friendly Ghosts | Atticus Thorn

Miscellaneous

Grim Grinning Ghosts | Gracey Manor | Tarot Cards | Iocane Powder | Beacon of Souls | Bravery Tonic | Soul Gem | Order of Shadows

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki