We hadn’t planned to visit William Faulkner’s home on our visit to Mississippi. We didn’t think we had enough time. But really, the temptation was too great: It seemed sacrilegious to leave Oxford without making even a brief pilgrimage.
So before we headed out to the Mississippi Delta, we stopped by Rowan Oak, the stately antebellum mansion Faulkner bought for $6,000 in 1930. He had just published The Sound and the Fury.
Producer Elissa Nadworny and I lingered outside, looking way up at the towering cedar trees that line the walkway to the pillared entrance. We were skulking around when the front door burst open and curator William Griffith spotted us. “Well, c'mon in!” he called. And in we went.
The Windsor Ruins are in Claiborne County in the state of Mississippi, about 10 miles southwest of Port Gibson near Alcorn State University. The ruins are those of the largest antebellum Greek Revival mansion built in the state.
The Nottoway Plantation, as seen on The Mansions of the Gilded Age, is a magnificent 1850’s Sugar Cane’s estate, the largest Antebellum Southern Mansion, located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana to stand guard over the Mississippi River.
Both sides of Shaggy’s family trace their lineage back to before the Revolutionary War. His mother’s side first got their fortune with French fur trappers in the north, then made even more money in land sales, and have heavy Métis and Ojibwe blood in them, but his Dad’s side of the family is…pretty bad and mostly have their origins in the south. Shaggy has a great Uncle Beauregard who owns an antebellum mansion in South Carolina where Shaggy spent his childhood summers. The place always scared the shit out of Shaggy, who says the place is nothing but ‘bad vibes’ and “I don’t know man, like, horrible things have happened there. You can feel it.” The place probably is actually haunted. As a result, Shaggy is way more sensitive about ghosts and ghouls and the supernatural than most of the group.
While Fred largely concerns himself with the people who are being negatively affected by the ghosts or monsters they encounter, Velma has a scientific interest in the phenomena, and Daphne just wants to fight a ghost, Shaggy is the the one who doesn’t really want to mess with forces they don’t understand and who, along with Scooby, tends to have the best intuition about danger. Shaggy is the member of the group who will get a bad feeling, grab the back of your hoodie and pull you back before you fall through a rotten part of the floor. The main issue is that he has a lot of trouble telling his gut feeling apart from his anxiety.
It’s not really an outright superstition so much as an “I am not going to be a dumb white kid in a horror movie” gut sense. Like, if a group of ‘hip teens’ came up to Shaggy like “We’re going to the abandoned asylum with a Ouija board! Wanna come?” Shaggy would be like, “um, no. If I was like born in 1908 I like probably would have been one of the people they locked up in there. I’m like, not messing with that place.”
Originally conceived in the mid-1950s by Walt Disney as a walk-through ghost house, artist Harper Goff was tapped to conceptually design the attraction of The Haunted Mansion. The house originally had a rural American design and was intended to be at the end of a crooked path that led away from Disneyland’s “Main Street” area. Eventually the decision was made to place it in the New Orleans Square section of the park, and thus the attraction was themed as a haunted antebellum mansion.
The Haunted Mansion’s design went through many changes before its facade was completed in 1963, six years before it would open to the public, delayed by Disney’s involvement in the New York World’s Fair in1964 and 1965. At one point Disney’s concept was to be entirely walk-through and empty out at a restaurant with a theme of “The Museum of the Weird.” (This would be similar to other rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, which is paired with The Blue Bayou restaurant.) Plans were designed for this concept, but then abandoned.