This post is a sequel of sorts to our earlier post about the stretching gallery gargoyles. There, we discussed some of the plans once laid for the foyer, that all-important first room. In the Anaheim HM, there is nothing supernatural in the foyer other than the disembodied voice of the Ghost Host. Not so elsewhere. Orlando and Tokyo have the "Master Gracey" changing portrait . . .
We mentioned also the concept of a talking bust that preceded the raven. We knew about the bust because of (1) this Marc Davis concept art . . .
. . . and because (2) the HM "Story and Song" record album has Mike and Karen first encountering the Ghost Host in the foyer as a voice coming from a marble statue, and we know that the S&S narrative is based on a 1968 show script.
So much by way of review.
"Dick, Here's the Latest, Hot off the Xerox"
Since that earlier post, further information has come to light about the talking bust effect originally planned for the foyer. Last year the D23 website posted an unpublished memo from show writer X Atencio to his boss Dick Irvine, dated July 19, 1968. In it, X provides a "continuity and narrative concept" for the foyer and stretching room(s):
The patrons enter the foyer of the Haunted Mansion to the dismal tolling of a church bell. A ghostly voice is heard from a talking marble bust (projection) in a niche high in the corner of the room opposite the entrance. This would be designed to attract those in the front of the line to the far corner making room for those at the rear of the queue. This opening statement would have no pertinent relation to the show so those who might miss the first part would not be slighted.
One thing I like to do from time to time around here is try to supply some sort of visual image of unused concepts, like this one. Here's my attempt, complete with the "opening statement" X scripted for the talking bust.