The Ghost Post was a limited time 2016 interactive mystery game which was based on the legends and lore of the Haunted Mansion. The first 999 people to subscribe to the Ghost Post via the Ghost Relations Department would receive three mysterious packages over the course of three months, each one containing strange and haunted items supposedly from the mansion itself. Using the Phantom Radio app on their phones, subscribers could interact with the objects to uncover clues and unlock more of the story.
An event known as the Great Unraveling has come to the Haunted Mansion, and is becoming an increasingly dangerous problem for the ghosts and ghouls. Usually able to travel freely away from the mansion when following mortals home, the spirits find themselves trapped within the grounds by a spectral fog that prevents souls from leaving or arriving, a fog that only the ghosts can witness. With their ability to haunt increasingly diminished and the mists growing ever more oppressive, and with many phantoms lost to an unknown fate, a concerned group of shades known as the Committee of Wandering Ghosts contacts the GRD in a bid to find mortals particularly attuned to the spirit world to help them with their predicament.
These parcels were the core aspect of the experience, sent out one at a time to 999 recipients.
The first package began to be sent to subscribers at the end of March 2016. Contained within were the following items:
- A letter from the Ghost Relations Department explaining the situation
- A copy of the Grim Gazette newspaper
- A moth-eaten advertisement for Bloodmere and Broom's Re-dusting Service
- A wedding invitation for the marriage of Constance Hatchaway and the Marquis de Doome
- A kit to build a radio housing for a smart phone
- A small replica bat stanchion, used as a dial for the radio
- A teacup with a reflective surface
- Ten divination cards, depicting several ghosts and "corruptible" mortal states
All of these items could be scanned in various states with the Phantom Radio app to unlock hidden audio messages from the mansion's ghostly residents. Many of the items themselves could be changed or altered depending on certain conditions: for example, the letter from the GRD could be dampened with water to reveal hidden instructions from the ghosts, and the wedding invitation would change into a funeral notice when the paper was chilled.
Eventually, the constant scanning and listening in would catch the attention of Madame Leota, who is aggravated that mortals are meddling in the affairs of the dead. She contacts the player with the Phantom Radio and tests the strength of their connection to the spirit world by having them perform a series of tricks with the ten divination cards. Upon proving their worth, Leota admits that the player might be able to help after all, and offers them a new task: to find souls lost in the fog in Disneyland and return them to the mansion.
The Scavenger Hunt
Players who were able to go to the park could interact with Esmeralda the Fortune-Teller at the Main Street Penny Arcade with their Phantom Radio app, and would receive special cards with instructions on where the missing ghosts were and how to free them. This scavenger hunt lead to more interactive elements and uncovered more dialogue:
- Abigail, a noisy knocking poltergeist, found herself stuck in Fargo's Palm Parlor on Main Street. Players who knocked on the door would hear knocking back from the other side, and matching the patterns of knocks allowed the player to release Abigail and guide her back to the mansion.
- Ernst, a musical ghost, was trapped in the band organ at Silver Spur Supplies in Frontierland. Players made hand motions in front of the organ like a conductor to trigger it playing a rendition of Grim Grinning Ghosts, which freed Ernst.
- The Captain's spirit was lost and bound to a binnacle in Fowler's Harbor on the border of Critter Country and New Orleans Square, unable to get the compass needle to point true north again so he could be guided home. Players needed to use a brass ring to turn the spinning needle so it pointed north again, giving the Captain the direction homeward (ironically, Fowler's Harbor is right across the way from the Haunted Mansion, making the Captain the closest ghost to his haunting grounds).
In addition, players who visited the Haunted Mansion and showed their progress to one of the maids or butlers would get a spooky surprise in the form of the grateful ghosts communicating with them trough their doom buggy, thanking them for their help thus far.
The Ghost Relations Department began sending the next set of packages at the end of April 2016. The following items were delivered to subscribers:
- A follow-up letter from the GRD with a progress report and list of items
- The most recent edition of the Grim Gazette
- A music box
- A phenakistoscope
- A blueprint of several floors and rooms of the Haunted Mansion
- A piece of stylized artwork depicting the Corridor of Doors
- Ten additional divination cards, depicting various mansion rooms
Much like the items in the previous package, the objects could be modified and scanned to help reveal more clues. The purpose of the objects, as revealed by the ghosts in hidden notes and through the Phantom Radio, was to get the attuned player to measure certain spectral wavelengths to pinpoint the source of a solution; in particular, the music box would need to be fed with strips from the moth-eaten ad for Bloodmere and Broom's that came in the first package, each strip producing a different tune.
Upon discovering the correct measurements, the player is once more contacted by Madame Leota, who gives further instructions with the ten divination cards included. This task helps reveal a hidden door in the mansion that the ghosts could not originally find - the so-called Forgotten Room. Leota once more commends the player for their aid, and says that it will take time for the spirits to explore and makes sense of the mysterious room, and that they will be contacted soon with another task...
The third package began arriving at the end of May 2016. This package held the following:
- A third letter from the Ghost Relations Department with news of the situation
- The most recent edition of the Grim Gazette
- A saucer (discovered in the Forgotten Room)
- A thaumatrope (from the Forgotten Room)
- A spirit board
- A "portal"
- A large deck of playing cards
With items recovered from the Forgotten Room, it falls on the player to find a way to utilize them to either dispel the fog or allow the ghosts a new method of travel. The scanning and manipulation of various items would uncover the parts of a mystical incantation that was "forgotten" in the room, due to the effect it has on the memory of the mansion's haunts, culminating in a ritual conducted with the user's phone, the bat stanchion from the first package and the spirit board. Once revealed, the incantation - sung to the the tune of Grim Grinning Ghosts - restores the ghosts haunting and dispels the fog of mortal doubt surrounding the mansion.
However, to make sure all is well, three of the Singing Busts volunteer to be the first to attempt to leave for a haunting, and the player must then assemble their portal to allow them passage through for a spirited performance of a familiar tune.
All is well, and Madame Leota thanks the player for their aid in returning the mansion to normal once again. She offers one final reading of the cards in celebration, proving once and for all that the player is a powerful medium. Leota says that a token of appreciation will be sent by her fellow ghosts, hinting that there may be one final surprise in store...