Let’s talk about a name. Maybe you’re wondering why a blog based out of western North Carolina, focused on mountains and cities and art and adventure, would have the title of Grim Grinning. It isn’t because I find delight in the macabre…it’s really quite the opposite. I enjoy living life. I enjoy adventure. I enjoy making the most out of every day. I also love Disney’s Haunted Mansion. I love the eerie campiness, the effects, the open endedness of the story, but most of all, I love the way it makes me feel. I don’t feel scared or afraid…I feel rejuvenated and, most importantly, creative. And that’s because of the Haunted Mansion’s ambiguity. I’m forced to come up with my own narrative about the ride, and about the inhabitants within. And almost every story I come up with has intrigue and adventure. Sure, they’re all ghosts now…but they’re not letting that get in the way of their happiness. And that brings us to name of this blog. The main song heard throughout the Haunted Mansion is titled Grim Grinning Ghosts. First as a somber, slow number…and as you explore deeper into the ride, the pace of the song starts to pick up. And in the final scene, the climax of the ride, it’s a declaration of pure happiness…sung by each and every ghost and ghoul. It’s also a reminder that even when things seem dark, there’s always hope and adventure right around the corner. And possibly hitchhiking ghosts….