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TftHMVol2

Tales from the Haunted Mansion: Volume II: Midnight at Madame Leota's is the second volume in the collection of short stories told by the Haunted Mansion's librarian, Amicus Arcane (who is credited as the author) and "transcribed" by John Esposito, with illustrations by Kelley Jones. The book tells the tales of four of the mansion's residents, as their stories are shared with a foolish mortal who comes to the property seeking the services of Madame Leota.

Summary Edit

William Gaines, a writer and noted skeptic, is used to debunking stories of the supernatural and exposing hoaxes and frauds, even though he ultimately wants to believe in the paranormal. His quest for proof is motivated by the need to speak to his departed sister, whose tragic death eight years prior weighs on his conscience. On what would have been her 20th birthday, William visits her grave and unexpectedly meets another cemetery visitor: Amicus Arcane. The librarian offers William a chance to speak with the fabled medium Madame Leota, if he is willing to listen to his tales. Tantalized but hesitant, William follows the stranger back to the mysterious mansion adjoining the cemetery, where in the midst for his disbelief and quest for answers, he is given ghoulish accounts from one of Arcane's storied tomes:

  • In "Remain Seated Please," set in 1965, best friends Jane and Connie travel to the local pier to see a traveling carnival. The pair could not be more inseparable, but Connie bears a strong and secret jealousy for Jane and the perceived beauty everyone seems to give her. And she has some sinister plans for her friend - plans that involve a rickety old haunted house ride and an urban legend about a girl who disappeared there the last time the carnival was in town...
  • In "Blood Relatives," Ernie Looper feels his boring family could not possibly have an interesting history when a class project forces him to explore his Romanian heritage. However, a little digging reveals that his family has in fact descended from nobility, including a family crest he remembers seeing printed on a box in his attic. Opening the box reveals nothing but old clothes and dust, though an accidental cut on Ernie's finger causes a drop of blood to hit the contents. Soon, Ernie sees a shadowy figure crawling out of his attic window at night, and a few people around town are being sent to the hospital, drained of blood...
  • In "Uncle Rory's Late Show," Mark and his Uncle Rory are both avid lovers of classic film, so much so that the latter invested everything he had into restoring and operating an old movie palace, the Bijou Theater. When the bank repossesses the struggling theater, it's too much for Uncle Rory to bear and he passes away shortly thereafter. But Mark is bequeathed a storage key by his uncle for Unit 1939, and upon opening it discovers the ghosts of old Hollywood are not merely limited to the silver screen. And like any good movie, the audience demands a proper ending...
  • In "The Roaches," Camille, a mute since the death of her mother in an insane asylum, is taken in by her cruel and condescending Aunt Rue after her father dies and brought to live in the Holloway House, a historic (and supposedly haunted) bed-and-breakfast in Maine. Aunt Rue resents her new ward and prepares her for work when the business reopens, but the silent Camille has bigger things to worry about; like the skittering she hears behind the wallpaper, quieter at first but growing louder as the darkness closes in. And when the lights go out, Camille will meet a multitude of the house's current inhabitants...

As the stories progress, William's impatience grows and he periodically sets out on his own to explore the mansion to seek Leota, only to stumble from one terror to the next - from a maze of endless staircases to an encounter with Constance. Yet only at the stroke of midnight and with a bit of self-discovery will William be granted an audience with the Madame and finally learn the truth about his sister...

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