Teacup

IMG_3416

The Haunted Mansion teacup is probably the coolest part of this first box. Of course, it is more than it seems as is revealed when scanned:

PEARL E. GATES: Pardon me. The Grim Gazette is conducting a poll, to see how the typical spirit feels about the current difficulties.

GUS: Fantastic!

PEARL E. GATES: May I ask how you feel about the situation?

GUS: Yes!

PEARL E. GATES: Right, so how do you feel about the situation?

GUS: It's safe to say I'm a bit spooked.

PEARL E. GATES: I understand. And you are not unique in your opinions. Are you doing anything to cope with the situation?

GUS: Like what?

PEARL E. GATES: For instance, do you consult the Gazette's Tasseomancy column?

GUS: Tasseomancy. Reading tea leaves? I don't know, isn't that just a superstition?

PEARL E. GATES: Oh, not at all. No. It's a very powerful form of divination.

GUS: I dunno, I never quite saw how that's supposed to work.

PEARL E. GATES: I don't claim to be an expert. But we do have a regular tasseomancy column in the Gazette, and so I've had quite a few chats with some experts in the field. Apparently, you don't even need to drink the tea.

GUS: Well that's good. Every thing just goes right through me these days, you know? No flesh... How does it even work, then?

PEARL E. GATES: They say it has something to do with the cup you use. The glazing, the reflections can give you a glimpse of the unseen.

GUS: The reflections?

PEARL E. GATES: Yes. And they say you can get an even more perceptive reading by turning the cup upside down. Something about the multiplicative powers of inverting a reflection. It's all highly arcane.

GUS: Huh. Whodathunkit?

PEARL E. GATES: Indeed. So the next time you're feeling frightened about what's to come, may I suggest consulting the Gazette's tea leaves column? 

GUS: Maybe I will -- if I can scare up a cup, that is.

GUS LAUGHS, PEARL LAUGHS POLITELY

IMG_3423

Put the teacup upside down on the Today's Tea Leaves page of The Grim Gazette to see the message "Beware Madame Leota"

Leota's Cards Month 1

IMG_3414

Next, we have a series of cards featuring iconic scenes from the Haunted Mansion. Scan them to hear an interaction between Pearl E. Gates and Madame Leota.

PEARL E. GATES: -- tell the readers of the Grim Gazette your reaction to the Committee contacting mortals for assistance?

MADAME LEOTA: Tell your readership that we will find a solution. Ourselves. Without a committee! This revealing of our secrets to outsiders is ill-advised. I'm sure you agree.

PEARL E. GATES: As editrix of the Gazette, I must remain neutral. But I have several ghostly sources who say - off the record - that they've sensed a peculiar resonance with our--

MADAME LEOTA: -- WAIT! QUIET!

SOUND OF STATIC

PEARL E. GATES [chastened, whispering]: May I speak yet?

MADAME LEOTA: No. Someone is listening. Someone who should not be.

PEARL E. GATES: Where? Here?

MADAME LEOTA: No! From regions beyond our Mansion.

PEARL E. GATES: A shocking development! Who could it be?

MADAME LEOTA: I don't know who. But I'll bet that I know how.

PEARL E. GATES: How? I might be able to hold the next issue for a scoop--

MADAME LEOTA: Sssssh! I am trying to find them. I can't quite focus on them with this infernal spectral fog. This interloper must be far, very far from the Mansion.

THEY ARE CUT OFF BY STATIC

Leota's Challenge

Once all the items have been scanned, Madame Leota takes over the Phantom Radio app and has you use the tarot cards to perform a magic trick.

MADAME LEOTA: STOP! Just what do you think you are doing? You are meddling with forces that are beyond your comprehension. HALT! Put down those things.

How did you get your hands on them?

Oh. Of course. When I get hold of those doghearted members from the Committee of Wandering Spirits, they will know what it is to awaken the wrath of a real Medium.

For uncountable years, this Haunted Mansion has flourished under my scrupulous guardianship. But now this... this... COMMITTEE!... thinks it knows better than me? It really believes it can simply vote itself the solution to greatest peril the spirit realm has ever faced?! The arrogance! The impudence! The sheer, inconceivable hubris! Bringing FOOLISH MORTALS like you into private spectral affairs, honestly.

Do you think you have aught to contribute to our great troubles? You are without talents, without abilities, without wisdom. But somehow the other ghosts seem to think you have some special talents - some connection to the spirit world. That you are some sort of medium, but I highly doubt it.

...The stakes are too high. Don't you understand? Our ability to haunt beyond the Mansion could be obliterated FOREVER. It would be our doom. There cannot be any failure. We simply cannot afford it. And in that light, we cannot afford to turn away assistance. Even if it comes from the mortal world.

So! The spirits tell me they have sent you ten cards from my private deck. A futile gesture, really. But... what's done is done. Are you ready? You best be. Now...

So that we may communicate, set your device - the one through which you hear me speaking - set that device upon the box that traveled to you from our most Haunted Mansion. Now should you knock on this box - like you mortals would knock on a door, I may hear your knocks and respond. Set your device on the box and try out a single knock. Yes. Knock once on the box now. I will hear you.

MADAME LEOTA: Good, that's loud and clear. Now to the cards. First, turn the cards face up, and order them by number from the smallest to the largest, with the smallest number on top. When you are finished, knock once on the box to continue. Yes, knock, I will hear you.

MADAME LEOTA: Mmm Hmm.

Now - Pick up the cards and turn them face down in your hands.

Next, you will divide the deck in two parts and move the top stack below the bottom stack - what you mortals call cutting the cards, I believe. After cutting the cards once, then you will cut them a second time. Knock once when you are ready to continue.

MADAME LEOTA: Let's continue. Hold the cards in your hands, keeping them face down as if you were ready to deal them out in one of your mortal card games. With the other hand you will perform a ceremonial ritual. Don't be alarmed, it's a simple incantation.

Do the following: Take the top two cards on the deck, turn them over together, and then replace them on top. That's right, face up. Now you should have all the cards face down except for the two cards you turned face up at the top. To you, these should seem totally random, but if you have any connection to the sprits, they will have guided your hands in ways yet unseen.

Next, you will cut the deck once more, the same as you did before. This will relocate the two face up cards to somewhere in the middle of the deck, and give you two new face down cards on top. Do this, and knock once when you are ready to proceed.

Madame Leota: Next, you will take the two new face down cards from the top and repeat the ritual - turn them over together and replace them - face up - on top. Then cut the deck once more. This time depending on where you cut, the cards on top may be face up or face down. The fates will decide. Knock once when you have done so.

Madame Leota: Repeat the ritual a third time: turn over the top two cards together. Depending on how the spirits have guided your hands, you may have a face up card on the top of the deck - that is not your concern. Trust in the spirits and turn over whichever two cards happen to be on top, no matter if they are face up or face down. When you have done so, cut the cards again, and knock once to let me know you are done.

Madame Leota: With all this you have turned over many cards. But if you feel like you need more guidance from the spirits you may repeat the ritual again. You may choose to do this once, twice - or let the cards rest as they are. Whatever your mortal judgment feels is wise. Each and every time, turning the top two cards over together and replacing them, then cutting all the cards. Remember the ritual: turn over the top two cards together, then cut. [beat] Turn two and cut. Do this once more, twice more, or leave the cards as they are. You decide how many more times is sufficient. Let the spirits guide your intuition, if you can. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Knock once when you are ready.

Madame Leota: Alright. After you have completed the ritual, some of your cards will be face up, and some of them still face down.

The cards will appear to be in total chaos - to the uninitiated. But it is here we shall uncover any shred of mediumistic skills you might possess.

Spread the cards out between your hands without changing the order and see how many cards you have face down. Perhaps you see two, or five or nine. Perhaps you don't have any cards turned over, because the spirits did not guide your mortal hands, and you merely turned them all by chance. It makes no difference; the true medium will be able to pluck order from the chaos. Take the cards into your hands and deal all of them, one at a time, into two alternating piles - just as they are, without turning any of them over. Left, right, left, right. Continue in this way until you have no cards left.

Knock once when you are finished.

Madame Leota: Now listen closely. You should have two piles of cards. They may be mixed between face up and face down, or perhaps some of them are all one way or another. No matter what, see if you can feel the spirits guiding your hand to one of the piles. Now, lift that pile off the table, and then - turn it over completely - and put it on top of the pile that is still on the table.

Knock once when you are ready to proceed.

Madame Leota: And now, we shall see. Only a natural medium, as you claim to be, will have been able to maintain the supernatural control of the cards necessary to succeed.

Hold the cards in your hands, and in your mind, silently spell my name, one letter at a time. Here, I will help you. L - E - O - T - A.

Consider this: how many letters does my name contain? Only a moment ago you held a random mixture of face-up and face-down cards mixed by your own mortal hands. Were there two, four, seven cards facing the other way?

Look at the cards now and divide them into two groups, the face-down cards to the left and the face-up cards to the right. Count the number of cards in the piles. Let us see how many you managed to keep face-up. Knock once if you have five cards face up. If you find that you do not have five cards face up, indicate thusly on your device. Go on. I'm waiting.

Madame Leota: What? Five? In each group? Five face-up and five face-down? It's...not...possible...No! How did you manage to...? No ordinary mortal could have managed this, and yet... You don't even see it do you? Any medium with a tiny spark of talent could manage to get the cards to five face-up and five face-down. But only a supremely sensitive or powerful medium could separate the living from the spirits.

Look! All the cards in one pile picture ghosts and ghouls. The other pile contains individuals in their more corruptible, mortal state. I don't understand how this could have happened. But witnessing what I have just seen, it is clear that you possess great powers, even if you do not yet understand them. Your innate abilities seem particularly strong - however, we have a long road ahead. We will soon be in touch with additional tools. Until then, you must ready yourself, fellow Medium. We have important work to do.

Madame Leota: Hmmm...something is not right. Perhaps you are experiencing some of the aetheric interference yourself. Let's try once more, and this time focus on your connection to the spirit realm. Let my voice ring inside your mind. Focus on my instructions and follow closely. Knock once on the box when you are ready to try yet again.

Madame Leota: Ahhh... The interference grows even stronger, as if it's reacting to your presence. Do not worry. We will interpret this as a good sign - an omen you are on the right track. This, plus your skill in divining the haunted properties of the objects we've sent you - shows me that you possess great powers, even if it takes some effort to fully harness them. But harness them you will. You must! Though clearly you have some innate talent and abilities, we have a long road ahead. We will soon be in touch with additional tools. Until then, you must ready yourself, fellow Medium. We have important work to do.


That wraps up this first box. Those near the Disneyland Resort can participate in two in-park experiences. We will have more on those options next week.