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Memento Mori (D23)

Memento Mori as shown in a photograph from D23.com.

Memento Mori is a Haunted Mansion themed gift shop at Walt Disney World's Liberty Square.

Background

The backstory of the shop is that it was the abode of the medium Madame Leota until either her death or her moving into Gracey Manor. The shop is located in a small village found along the Hudson Valley in upstate New York state and was originally built at some point during the early 1690s after Madame Leota fled her original home in Salem, Massachusetts due to the notorious witch trials rising from the area.

The shop was built a short distance away from Gracey Manor and was stocked with occult relics from regions beyond such as a Daguerreotype Camera capable of "Spirit Photography", an enchanted mirror, potions, bottled spirits, and spell books.
Memento

Description

Memento Mori serves as the Haunted Mansion's gift-shop and sells one-of-a-kind memorabilia themed around the Haunted Mansion. The shop also features "Spirit Photography" in which guests can have their pictures taken and the resulting photograph will switch in-between a mortal and ghoulish form. In 2019, Spirit Photography would be discontinued and the space was turned into a space for new "Host a Ghost" jars inspired by the Bottled Spirit props on display in the store.

Several supernatural details are included in the shop such as:

  • A portrait of Madame Leota changes under an ultraviolet light, with eyes glowing in the background taken from the Corridor of Doors. The changes also show a Black Cat at her feet, a Raven on her shoulder, green lights coming from her crystal ball, and glowing from the eye-sockets of the skull in her hand.
  • "Bottled Spirits" are seen on higher shelves.
  • A mirror where the apparition of Madame Leota materializes, accompanied by music, then vanishing after a few seconds.
  • Some cast members seem to disregard the paranormal happenings and seem to only take attention to the bottled spirits. Asking about anything else will most likely give the response "I don't know what you're talking about." As if nothing happened.

Memento Mori replaced the "Yankee Trader" shop which had previously taken up that space.

Other Appearances

Mori

The shop as it appeared in Once Upon a Time

The shop briefly appeared in the tenth episode of the seventh season of the ABC television drama Once Upon a Time. The shop was shown to be the abode of Madame Leota who in this show is a member of a group of sorceresses known as the Coven of Witches.

Trivia

  • It's name comes from the Latin expression "Memento Mori" which means "Remember you will die" and is also a play on the word memento which can be used to refer to souvenirs.
  • The shop's slogan being, "Relics from Regions Beyond" is an allusion to Madame Leota's incantation, "Let there be music from regions beyond" from the attraction.
  • In Liberty Square, the arrangement of the buildings are made to be analogous to the progression of architectural styles over the years (often being directly referenced in the numbers of the buildings). Due to this, it can be inferred that the building dates back to the late 17th-early/mid 18th century from its positioning in the park.
    • This matches up with Leota having started the shop following the Salem Witch trials.
  • The sign for the shop is an eye with the pupil featuring a carving of Madame Leota, it is also designed in such a way that it's pupil always appears to be watching you.
  • The "Bottled Spirits" are likely a pun on how alcoholic beverages can also be referred to as "spirits" and are kept in bottles.
  • Cast-Members wear pendents with the design of Madame Leota's face on it taken from her tombstone in the Family Plot.
  • The mirror which Leota's face appears in has the same design as the pendents which cast-members wear.
  • Leota's portrait doesn't only show her with her crystal ball, but also with her Spellbook.
  • The shop's backstory connects to the historic Witch Trials of Salem in which several woman were put on trial and executed for suspected "witchcraft".
  • Some merchandise dates the shop as being "Est. 1879" as a reference to Disney World's (and the Haunted Mansion's) opening date but considering how Liberty Square's Madame Leota lived through the Salem Witch trials in the 1690s, this makes little-to-no sense.
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