The Dead Center of the Room: Inside Brad's Haunted Mansion

For 35 year-old urban Chicagoan, Brad Kalmikoff, there is nothing more relaxing than staying home and hanging out in his Haunted Mansion inspired home theatre room.

A salesman by day, Brad enjoys Disney, particularly the Haunted Mansion, when he is at home.


“I turned my home theater into the Haunted Mansion. I feel more at home now that the haunted mansion is a part of my life every day.”


Haunted Mansion is an eerie, dark ride, located in three of the Disney Parks across the world. The well-renowned ride takes passengers through a haunted manor which is inhabited by ‘999 happy haunts. Inside the attraction, riders enter by foot and are shut inside a room which appears to have no door, before walking down a creepy corridor of photos and busts that appear to change appearance as you pass them. At the end of the corridor, riders mount ‘doom buggies’ which take them through the manor, past a ballroom of ghosts, inside a séance room, up into the attic of the house before leaving through the hall of mirrors.


Brad’s passion for the Haunted Mansion led him to bring the attraction into his own home.


“I'm into all things creepy and weird. I appreciate great taxidermy or vintage medical equipment for instance. I hate the sun and I'm in my best mood when it's spooky outside and storming. I'm a horror film fanatic and I typically gravitate towards things that make others sick. Having my own home and a home theater was always my goal and I recently thought of making it a themed room. After a recent trip to LA visiting some oddity shops, I knew right away I need to make my theater creepy, but still fun. I used the haunted mansion as inspiration.”


Brad has done a fantastic job of recreating this famed attraction in his own living room by fitting it out with dark antique furniture, a coffin shaped bookshelf and chairs which serve as ‘doom buggies’. The room even boasts a front door area with an antique window and ‘graveyard’ fencing. The room is completed by a collection of spooky props including bones, old books, a Ouija board and a pair of spine-chilling busts, sitting atop two columns. Everything down to the wallpaper is reminiscent of the Haunted Mansion.


“I went antiquing to find some cool old creepy artifacts. Everything else came from Amazon or my own construction. I did some drawings and planned it out and was able to put it all together in a few days. I will for sure expand upon it in the rest of my house.”



Brad’s first memory of Disney was as a child, when his boss took him to Disney World, Florida. 


“I was 14, my first job was at a hot dog place called "Wiener Take All". My boss's son was five at the time and we stayed at the beach and yacht club at Epcot. It was such a great experience being on the boardwalk every morning.”



This trip planted a seed within Brad that has continued to grow. Brad recently took another trip to a Disney Park, this time to Disneyland in California.


“Haunted Mansion was and will always be my favorite. There’s nothing like just being there and forgetting the rest of the world.”



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