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Amicus Arcane is a character introduced in the Tales from the Haunted Mansion book series, also credited as the author of the tomes and who has subsequently appeared in different Haunted Mansion merchandise. He is one of the 999 happy haunts that inhabit the Haunted Mansion and serves as the resident librarian.

Description

Biography

Very little is actually known about Amicus. His role of librarian was carried over from his life, which implies he was one of the mortal residents of the mansion prior to his afterlife; he remarks in the first volume that President Abraham Lincoln once complimented him on his spats, which if true would mean he lived during the 1860s.

He is an avid reader and lover of all books, but has always had a penchant for horror and ghostly works above all others, and especially enjoys collecting new tales of terror. The biography of John Esposito states that he encountered Amicus while on a midnight walk through New Orleans Square and transcribed the stories, which is why Amicus is credited as the author.

In Volume II, a crypt bearing the surname "Arcane" appears in the Eternal Grace Cemetery, the graveyard adjacent to the Haunted Mansion. This crypt seems to missing its corpse but does have a secret underground passage leading into the mansion, further implying Amicus' lifetime connection with the manor. The second volume also shows that Arcane has an interest in film as part of his collection of tales, seeing celluloid as an extension of the written word, and maintains a collection of film reels and a projection booth for the Mansion's theater.

In Volume IV, Arcane finally retires from his position, intending to leave it to whoever writes the best creepy story at a competition with several prominent (and deceased) horror writers. Prudence Pock is among the participants. When Pock wins the competition, but rejects the offer to continue haunting her murderer, she suggests Willa Gaines for the job, which Arcane agrees to.

Appearance

Amicus appears as a thin, tall man dressed in an old black suit with a wilted carnation at his lapel. His face is described as being skull-like, with pale and craggy features and wispy white hairs on his head. Rarely is he seen in any environment but the shadowy confines of the library, where often carries a candelabrum for illumination, further emphasizing the gauntness.

Merchandise would feature a somewhat different design for Amicus, looking more elderly and wearing spectacles.

Personality

Amicus seems to take great delight in being a source of chills, unease and terror, and peppers much of his writing and speech with macabre puns and gallows humor. He is polite and cordial to some extent, often presenting himself as a host or guide to outsiders - so far, he has not shown any truly evil or nefarious tendencies, despite his ghoulish interests. Amicus likewise keeps many secrets, and only offers them when he sees fit.

Appearances

Tales from the Haunted Mansion (Book series)

Amicus' character originates from this book series as the transcriptionist of the ghost stories found in the series as-well as often being the narrator of the tales themselves.

Disney Kingdoms

While not appearing in the comics, his face was seen on an illustration within one of the books in the library on a variant cover for Haunted Mansion #4.

Amicus's "Host a Ghost" jar design.

Merchandise

Amicus Arcane would appear in the Host a Ghost merchandise line as one of the ghosts featured in jars where he was referred to as the Mansion Librarian. Here his description read:

Our mansion librarian is quite the book lover/He read every one, cover to cover/Catalogued every title in our collection/Tends to them all with care and affection/Every first edition his own memento mori/He’ll even help you finish your personal own ghost story”.

Trivia

  • The term amicus means friend, while the term arcane means mysterious: so the librarian's name literally means "Friend of the Mysterious".
  • Amicus Arcane is similar to Phineas J. Pock from Magic From The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland in being an undead character created to be the fictional, in-world author for the book from whence they originate.
  • In the books he is strongly hinted to be the Ghost Host (and bears a clear resemblance to him in his speech patterns), and even introduces himself as "ghost host" on a couple of occasion, but the relationship is never explicitly confirmed.
  • Amicus mentioning Abraham Lincoln could more than likely be not just a historic allusion, but a reference to the Abraham Lincoln animatronics found in the Disney parks and their history. Disney attractions such as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln from the 1964 world's fair which was later recreated in Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A., and its sequel attraction The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square of the Magic Kingdom. The animatronic of Abe Lincoln is notable for being the first completed human audio-animatronic in history.
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