Here's a FIRST LOOK at the second in the WONDERLENS animated series!
The Hotel Underspell
The Hotel Underspell is a place of magical surprises and ghostly thrills. And it's closer than you can imagine. You can be there in the wink of an eye...but only by stepping through the Wonderlens.
Perched atop a steep cliff, high above the ocean, the hotel was once a magical seaside resort. Alas, the hotel has seen better days. Days when the tall turrets weren't crumbling into the sea below, days when the enchanted fountains sparkled, the golden ballroom glittered and the halls were filled with the world's happiest ghosts, vampires, werewolves and ghouls.
Perhaps we should explain.
The Hotel Underspell has a long and unlovely history. It was once the notoriously haunted Castle del Magicke, home to King Louie the Thirteenth. Sadly, the kingdom of Louie the Luckless was attacked by a festering plague, swarmed by locusts, struck repeatedly by lightning, overrun with rats and finally went up in flames. It was a very bad month.
Not surprisingly, the castle sat idle and greatly avoided for a very long time. But finally, in the late 1800's the Castle del Magicke was purchased by eccentric entrepreneur, Ridley Underspell Nervis.
R. U. Nervis knew the castle was haunted, of course. That's why he paid extra. Nervis was not afraid of ghosts, though perhaps he ought to have been. But Ridley was fearless, as fools so often are. He had the castle dismantled and shipped, brick by brick, from its original site in Europe. Back in America, he found a secluded cove, far from towns and curious neighbors. Nervis rebuilt his castle there, atop a perilous cliff overlooking the ocean. He surrounded it with tropical gardens and lagoons and beautiful, endless beaches. He placed the hotel and grounds under a powerful spell, so that none but invited guests could ever find it.
The Hotel Underspell was intended to offer the world's most unusual - and expensive vacation - the ultimate adventure for the jaded world traveler. For rich and spoiled tourists, bored with African safaris, Egyptian tomb raiding and Artic expeditions, this resort would offer something new - the chance to experience a truly haunted house.
The castle came with its share of ghosts, but Nervis didn't stop there. Just as the hotel guests would be of the highest quality, Nervis expected no less of his staff. He invited the ghosts of history's most famous artists and inventors, notorious villains and cursed celebrities. He brought back exotic creatures from every part of the globe. Vampyres from Transylvania, witches from Salem, werewolves from the darkest forests of Bavaria, ghouls, mummies, sea serpents, trolls and countless more were soon roaming the halls and vast grounds of the Hotel Underspell.
How Nervis accomplished this remains a mystery, but one thing is know. Each ghost, ghoul and ghastly creature signed an unbreakable pact. They agreed to frighten 666,666,666 guests before they were free to leave. Nervis may have been a fool, but fools can be oddly persuasive.
Soon, the Hotel Underspell was ready for its unveiling. The castle was ready and the ghouls were eager. The rich and famous were invited to a masquerade ball, to be held on opening night. Each guest received a mysterious invitation inscribed on a silver disk. On opening night, excited and mystified guests arrived, as if by magic, to experience the haunted hotel.
R.U. Nervis had succeeded in gathering the world's most terrifying creatures, but alas, he could not control them. Guests fled in panic. If they were lucky. Many more met mysterious demises. By dawn, not a living soul remained.
Nervis himself disappeared that night. The Hotel Underspell sat abandoned, unfindable and unlivable for over a century.
But at the turn of the 21st century, the deed to the hotel showed up in the mailbox of R.U. Nervis' last remaining heirs, along with a mysterious silver disk. The baffled Underspells searched maps, atlases and the internet for the location of the hotel, but were unable to pinpoint its location. They gave up, assuming the deed was a hoax or scam or the hotel simply no longer existed.
But their thirteen-year old daughter Emily discovered the truth. The disk was a Wonderlens. She placed it into her dvd player and a portal opened. The family stepped through and began their new life, as the new owners of the Hotel Underspell.
The Underspells soon discover their hotel is far from empty. Bound by their contract of 666,666,666 frights, the original ghosts and ghouls (and the spirits of a few unlucky guests) still roam the halls and haunted grounds.
Emily becomes our Spirit Guide at the Hotel Underspell, just as Poly-256 was our Tour Guide at the Aquarium of the Aliens.
As the last of the Underspells, Emily has a strange connection to the hotel and its odd occupants. With Emily as their Spirit Guide, and with your permission, the creatures can find their way through the Wonderlens to YOUR home.
Creatures may only pass through the Wonderlens into your home if you invite them. Why invite a ghost or ghoul into your life? You'd be surprised how very helpful some of them can be. Imagine having a werewolf for a watchdog or a ghoul to guard your room. Witches can cast useful spells on your behalf and even pitiful sea serpents come in handy for unclogging stubborn drains.
Troubled by nightmares? Vampires can enter your dreams and protect you while you sleep. And as long as you're staying up late, why not listen to ghost stories told by real ghosts!
You can borrow any ghost, ghoul or supernatural creature of your choice for one night. The spirit you choose will help you and in return, part of the contract of 666,666,666 frights will be repaid.
Think of it as Help Haunted.
The Castle / The Creatures
The Lobby / The Sphinx, King Louie
Once the height of elegance, the lobby is now a nightmare. Snakes slither through the carpet. The curtains are nothing but cobwebs. Bewitched suits of armor clank through the courtyard and trolls hired as bellboys trample your luggage. Could things get any worse? Of course!
Just ask the ghosts of these former guests. They'd all dearly love to depart but now they find they cannot leave. Not while the legendary Sphinx guards the check-out desk.
No guest may pass beyond the Hotel gates until they solve the riddle of the Sphinx.
The Sphinx may be an annoying know-it-all, but she's very clever and not above cheating. Few can outwit her and none can get past her, unless she admits defeat. Good luck. Your only hope is to uncover the ancient secrets of the Pharos. The Sphinx was their magical creation and only their wisdom can help you.
These secrets lie in magical objects hidden throughout the hotel. But beware. These objects are guarded by ancient spells and deadly traps. Yes, we know....
Why on earth the Pharos boobytrap everything is beyond us. But, this, we do know.
Far more frightening things than the Sphinx lurk beyond these walls.
The Scroll of the Pharos
The Hourglass of Merlin
The Map of the Argonauts
The Mirror of the Undead
The Shield of the Dragon World
The Sword of King Arthur
The Key to the Castle
Each object holds a clue to solve the Riddle of the Sphinx and gain the freedom of the trapped guests.
Louie, the Concierge
Attempting to maintain control and occasionally coming to your aid is Louie, the Hotel's Concierge. In life, Louie the Thirteenth was a powerful (but fantastically unlucky) king who ruled over the Castle del Magicke. In death, he's just trying to get rid of all the unnatural creatures and annoying visitors. Perhaps then he can finally rest in peace.
The Parlor / The Brothers Grimm / ghosts of fairytale characters
Come gather round the fire...it's time to tell ghost stories! Think you've heard them all before? Perhaps...but this time the stories will be told by real ghosts.
Tonight we're in for a devilish treat - creepy fairytales told by the famous Brothers Grimm. Oh, these aren't your average bedtime stories. Not unless your bed happens to be in a graveyard.
And don't expect a happily ever afterlife. The ghosts of Snow White, Cinderella, and their Wicked Stepmothers have a few bones to pick. Over the centuries, the Brothers Grimm have grown famous for their fables. But our sleepless beauties are none too happy about the tales these dead men tell. After all, everyone, from Little Red Riding Hood to the Big Bad Wolf has his own story of what REALLY happened, once upon a time.
Storytelling with a ghostly twist:
Snow White and the Seven Mummies
Hauntsel and Grrrretel
Little Red Writhing Hood
The Attic / Evil Toys in the Attic, The Tin Toy Circus
The toys in the attic want you to play.
The toys in the attic want you to stay.
In the attic resides the TinToy Circus, Ltd. This clever troupe of circus toys has kept generations of children spellbound.
Listen as the Circus Train pulls round the bend. Hear the trumpeting of Tiny, the Tin Elephant and the clanking of the Wind-Up Monkey. But before you stop to play, there's something you ought to know.
Ridley Underspell Nervis often said it was his childhood dream to run off and join the circus. If only he'd done that instead of build this cursed hotel, we might all sleep easier. But Ridley's dream got derailed...until he found this magical set of toys in a curio shop. The moment he saw the TinToy Circus, he knew children would be enchanted. Of course, Nervis had no idea how dangerous that enchantment would be.
Under the spell of these mischievous toys, children really do join the circus. In fact, children join this very circus, as wind-up toys. Look closer and you'll see that many of these tiny circus folk are really the children of the hotel's guests.
But over the years, the circus has grown a bit rusty. The old magic grows weak. The children are beginning to look a bit...disenchanted. Perhaps the days of the TinToy Circus really are Limited.
Now that the children of the TinToy Circus are breaking free of their spell, they'd like to help you, too. If you have any toys that are evil, haunted, or just plain scary, these tin soldiers will come to your rescue. Don't put up with creepy clowns, haunted dollhouses or possessed puppets. Just let your troublesome toys know that the TinToy Circus is coming to town.
The Bell Tower / Bats in the Belfry, Molosing the Music Teacher
When it came time to find bats for the hotel's belfry, R.U. Nervis would settle for nothing but the best. He set out for Indonesia and after a month-long trek through treacherous jungles, he found the legendary Giant Fruit Bats of Bali.
The bats had taken over the ruins of an ancient temple. They seemed unwilling to leave. Nervis tried bribing them with tropical fruits, exotic flowers and even sticks of bubblegum. He tried loud noises, bright lights and even large sums of cash, but they refused to budge. Luckily, the local villagers came to Nervis' aid.
"The bats follow the bells," the villagers cried as they disappeared into the deep jungle. Nervis quickly had the 100 temple bells crated and loaded onto his ship, headed back to the states. The villagers would accept no payment. In fact, they could not be found at all. The only living soul remaining was a pretty, young music teacher named Molosing. Not too surprisingly, Molosing turned out to be a vampire. Nervis took this as a good omen and invited her to join the staff of the Hotel Underspell.
Much to Nervis' surprise, the bats did not need to be caged for travel. By day, they slept in the darkest corners of the ship. By night, they flew overhead as Molosing sang to them. But as the ship docked in the bay below the Hotel Underspell, the clear blue sky turned suddenly black with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of giant bats.
The temple bells were hastily unpacked and hung from every tower, turret and belfry in the castle. Within seconds, the bats scattered and disappeared into the quiet darkness of the bell towers.
But late that night, Nervis awoke to a flutter of wind and a sound like distant wind chimes. Curious, Nervis followed the music. By the time he reached the nearest bell tower, the noise was deafening. Windows rattled and walls cracked. Chunks of the stone castle crumbled into the raging sea below. The100 bells rang madly under the frantic beating wings of the giant bats. Nervis now understood why the villagers were so happy to be rid of them.
Luckily, Molosing came to the rescue before the castle was destroyed. She spoke to the bats. She sang to them. She calmed them. By the next evening, the sound of the bells was almost pleasant. Within a week, simple tunes could be heard drifting on the night air. Now, the sweet chiming of the bells echoes softly from the Hotel's towers each evening at midnight. The hauntingly melodies can be heard for miles, drawing in weary travelers and ships lost at sea.
And Molosing, the music teacher, is always there to greet them.
But Molosing has vowed to never harm a Wonderlens guest. And vampires, though fearsome, never break their vows. In fact, they can be quite helpful. Like many vampires, Molosing can enter a person's dreams. She can chase away pesky Night Frights and protect you while you sleep. No boogeyman or poltergeist will ever dare come to you in the night - not while Molosing is standing guard.
To invite Molosing into your dreams, just ring a bell before you go to sleep. Molosing doesn't mind watching over us as we slumber. After all, she is a night person.
The Ballroom / the Gorgon Sisters
The masquerade ball might have been the greatest party of all time. Famous ghosts from the past mingled with the era's richest and most celebrated guests. The costumes were breathtaking, the food exquisite and the champagne flowed freely. The party was lively...until the band began to play.
Perhaps R.U. Nervis should have studied his Greek Mythology a bit closer. For when the Gorgon Sisters stepped onstage, the partygoers froze. Literally. With a single glance, the lead singer, Medusa had turned everyone in the ballroom to stone.
Luckily for us, the party has come back to life. So to speak. The guests may be stiff as statues, but their ghosts are having the time of their afterlife.
The Gorgon Sisters are available to play at your next gathering. As long as you don't look directly at them, you probably won't be turned to stone. If you must stare, we recommend you do so only through the Wonderlens, which will prevent you from the ladies' deadly gaze.
The Gorgon Sisters have other talents that might interest you. They are powerful fortune tellers, after all. In between songs, feel free to ask them a question. They will each give you an answer. Just remember this:
Stheno speaks only the truth.
Euryale tells only lies.
Medusa will say whatever you wish to hear...whether it is true or not.
Unfortunately, these three sisters are identical, so who holds your fortune? It's so difficult to tell...
The Lagoon/ Dame Margot LaFeete
Dame Margot was the toast of Europe - the most dazzling ballerina to ever grace the stage. Sadly, she was even more famous for her nasty temper and selfish ways. At the opening night gala of the Hotel Underspell, Dame Margot danced her famous "Duet of the Swan Queen and Goblin King", performed for the first time with a real goblin.
The goblin stood eight feet tall. He also had eight feet, which is not unusual for a goblin. He was also quite a good dancer and not surprisingly, drew a lot of stares. Furious that her dance partner was receiving all the attention, Dame Margot took every opportunity to stomp on the goblin's many feet. In return, the goblin made sure Dame Margot got plenty of attention.
Forever more, each time Dame Margot tries to dance, she grows a set of eight very large, webbed, swan's feet.
But even in this awkward state, Dame Margot Lafeete can help you. She has a magical gift for curing stage fright. If you're nervous about a play to perform, a recital to give, or book report to read, Dame Margot can help with this simple spell.
Speak these words into an empty drinking glass:
Fright take flight.
Everything will be alright.
Then pour water into the glass to drown your fears.
If you still feel a bit nervous, pour the water out and the rest of your fears will go down the drain.
Although this spell works very well for stage fright, if you are cursed with swan's feet, you'll need to find a different spell. Or a sympathetic goblin.
The Dungeon Maze / The Rat People
R.U. Nervis had so many ideas. It's a pity most of them were bad. But one of the very worst of his twisted plans lies right below your feet.
R.U. thought his guests might enjoy a thrilling challenge and a bit of exercise. So in the dungeon, he built a gigantic maze, full of twists and turns and fun-house thrills. As an extra incentive, R.U. set a fabulous prize at the center of the maze, for the first person to reach the finish.
But the maze was so difficult, that none could find their way through. As time went on, the guests began to feel trapped like rats. In time, they began to turn into rats.
Luckily, this story has a happy finish. Sort of. The Rat People eventually all made their way to the center of the maze, where they found a mountain of treasure - gold coins lying in drifts like glittering sand dunes, silver platters heaped with emeralds, rubies and sapphires, ropes of shimmering pearls and boulders of fiery opal.
Unfortunately, Rat People have little use for gold or jewels. They would gladly trade it all for some nice cheese. If only they could find their way OUT of the maze!
This is where you can help. Guide the Rat People out of the maze and to the Pantry and you'll win their undying thanks. Not to mention a very nice treasure. It's yours fair and square. After all, the rules state that the treasure belongs to the first person to reach the center. Technically, all those who've gone before you are now rats.
But that reminds me...you'd better hurry. If you spend too much time in the maze, you might find yourself joining the rat race.
The Grotto / Mer-maids
Who tidies the rooms at the Hotel Underspell? Mer-maids, of course.
R.U. unearthed a clever spell to allow these spirits of the sea to walk among us by day.
Of course, this sort of magic comes with a price.
Many unlucky souls have heard the mer-maids singing, and felt the sudden urge to go for a moonlight swim. If only they'd read this simple rule: Do not linger in the Mer-maid Grotto after the sun has set...no matter how sweetly the maidens may ask you to stay for dinner.
Mer-maids always sing TO their supper.
Luckily, you know better.
But you need not fear the mer-maids. They will only attack if they are very hungry and even then, only if you are foolish enough to be found swimming in their Mer-maid Grotto after the sun has set.
By day, mer-maids are charming and helpful. They won't make your bed or do your laundry, but mer-maids will keep your room clean...of unwanted guests.
Pesky imps, pixies, sprites and gnomes all love to live in children's rooms. They pull clothes off hangers, steal socks, hide homework, tease the cat and generally cause mischief while you're away.
Luckily, mer-maids are excellent at sweeping these unwanted pests from your life. To summon a mer-maid, we've provided you with a magical sign. Just leave it hanging from your bedroom door while you're away. By the time you return, your room will be free of all these annoying pests. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that this will work against pesky brothers and sisters.
The Kitchens / Chef Wulfmann
Chef Wulfmann always was a little...peculiar. Jumpy, jittery, timid and tense, he's finally outgrowing some that...now that he's a full-grown werewolf!
Our Chef may be a bit distemperamental, but he's a once-in-a-blue-moon friend.
Like a loyal dog, once Chef Wulfmann befriends you, he will protect you with his last breath. In fact, Chef's shockingly bad breath is his worst weapon - far more frightening than his bite. (And if you've ever been bitten by a werewolf, you know that isn't pleasant!)
You never know what sort of Odor de Jour Chef Wulfmann will cook up. One night it might be a scramble of rotten eggs and limburger cheese, the next day sardines on a bed of stinky socks. Although Chef only turns into a werewolf during the full moon, his smelly services are available year round.
All of Chef's scary smells are terror-tested and guaranteed to frighten away your worst enemies. Chef's special stinky garlic stench also works very well against vampires.
Speak of the devil...
The Dining Room / Count Dracul, the Three Sisters, the Food Critic
Sure, they dress nicely, but perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to hire vampires as waiters?
Count Vladamir Dracul takes his job very seriously. Of course, thousand-year-old vampires tend to take everything a bit seriously. But that doesn't mean the Count doesn't know how to have a bit of fun at the dinner table. Count Dracul charms our guests each night with his hypnotic good looks and his mystifying magic tricks. The Count does love to play with his food.
Although magicians rarely reveal their secrets, the Count has agreed to teach us how to conjure up some of his famous feats of magic. Impress your family and astonish your friends...unless of course, they're vampires, too.
Your Waitresses: The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters may not be the fastest waitresses you'll ever see, but vampires do have time to kill. Besides being monstrous creatures of the night, they each have their own, unusual talents.
Delphyne, part dragon, has breath of fire. We guarantee your dinner will never arrive cold.
Arachnia, part spider, has plenty of extra hands to help carry your food.
Stymphali has the wings of a bird, but a brain to match. We suggest you order something simple.
The Food Critic
Phinneas Q. Finnachey was a noted food critic, known for his snobbish tastes and scathing reviews. Finnachey's last words were found scrawled onto a hotel napkin:
"The Underspell's Dining Room is dark as a crypt. The food is beastly. The Chef stinks. The fellow doing magic tricks gives me the creeps and I think my waitress tried to bite me. I would not dine here again to save my soul."
Finnachey's review never saw the light of day. Nor did Finnachey himself. If only he hadn't insulted Chef Wulfmann. If only he'd been able to outrun the waitresses. If only he'd understood more about vampires, he might have struck Count Dracul with a wooden stake, not a well-done steak.
Sadly, the critic did not survive long enough to see his review printed. But Phinneas Q. Finnachey did find fame. He will be known forever as the first person ever to be bitten by both Werewolf and Vampires.
The Whine Cellar / Bottled Spirits
If you hear moans and wails late at night, don't worry. You're probably just hearing the Whine Cellar. Here, our most notorious ghosts are kept tightly sealed in corked bottles to keep them from causing trouble. We have some very rare vintage ghosts, including Attila the Hun, Blackbeard and Helga the Headless She-Troll.
Bottled ghosts make excellent gifts (for some one you don't like.) All ghosts are guaranteed to haunt in the general vicinity of their bottle, although their scariness will vary. As always, please be extremely careful when handling ghosts or spirits of any kind.
The Endless Hallway / Major Buford Payne
A famous big-game hunter in his day, Major Payne led hundreds of safari hunting expeditions through deepest Africa. When the Hotel Underspell opened, the Major was there on opening night, hoping to bring down a werewolf or vampire to add to his grim Hall of Trophies.
But the hotel had its own game plan. It conjured up the ghost of every elephant, lion, hippo and rhino the Major ever killed. Now in the afterlife, the hunter is the hunted.
Major Payne is doomed to wander forever down an endless hallway lined with the biting, snarling heads of the animals he's made trophies of.
To make matters worse, the ghosts of all the headless animals are also hunting the Major. And frankly, they're making quite a mess of the Hotel. Ghostly or not, it isn't easy to housetrain a headless hippo. But perhaps there is something we can do.
If we can help the animals find their long-lost heads, the haunting may stop. Major Payne isn't likely to be much help, but he's left behind some magical weapons of ghostly power.
The Nightmare Net is spun from the web of a monstrous spider who guards the gates between the World of the Living and the World of the Dead. No spirit can pass through this net, so it's the perfect tool for catching ghosts. (note: The Nightmare Net does NOT work on humans, so please stop chasing your little brother with it)
The Unsevering Sword is one of Merlin's most useful inventions. Back in his day, every castle was full of ghosts. They were usually knights who'd died in bloody sword fights. As a result, the castles were a mess, with ghostly arms, legs and heads everywhere. So Merlin made an enchanted sword that does not cut - it repairs. Once you've matched a head to its headless body, use the Unsevering Sword to patch them back together. (note: Please try not lose your own head, as the Unsevering Sword only works its spell on ghosts.)
The Crossbone Bow shoots an arrow that never misses its target. But it does not kill its victim, which is why the Major rarely used it. In fact, this weapon does the opposite of kill. It brings a ghost back to life. After you've re-attached head to headless, shoot the animal with the Crossbone Bow to restore him to life. (note: after shooting the animal, you might want to RUN! Although the Crossbone Bow restores life, it also stings quite a bit.)
After you have restored all the animals, you are free to keep these three magical weapons. You may also keep the animals, if you wish.
(note: before adopting a full grown elephant, hippo or rhino, please check with your parents and see how they feel about...large pets.)
The Thirteenth Bathroom / Sea Serpent
As we've all suspected, there really ARE sea monsters lurking just below the bathtub drain. But who knew they'd be so miserable down there? Sea Serpents are often lured from the ocean into bathrooms by the tasty drain clogs they love to eat. But once inside the pipes, they can become stuck and trapped. To make matters worse, sea serpents are claustrophobic and most are terribly allergic to soap.
Usually, the only way to get rid of your sea serpent, is to send in another sea serpent to free him. We have plenty of sea creatures for you to choose from and all are trained for bathtub rescue missions.
The Greenhouse / The Greenery
Hothouse tomatoes and fresh flowers for the tables - the greenhouse once pampered the most delicate of plants. But unattended, things have grown a bit wild. The tomatoes are now monstrously bloodthirsty, the tiger lilies, more tiger than lily. What has R.U. Nervis been feeding his plants?
If you'd like to try growing your own frightening flowers and venomous vegetables, come visit the Greenhouse. Just try not to arrive during feeding time.
The Oubliette / Bone Head & Bone Apart
A long-forgotten room - No living soul can remember what is was for and what (or who) was inside. The secret of the Oubliette is kept by the two skeletons who live within. If only they could remember...
The Labyrinth / The Miniotaur
Not satisfied with the maze in the dungeon, Nervis built another maze, a vast labyrinth out in the gardens. He filled it with magical creatures and cast spells on every twist and turn. But Nervis became so enchanted with his own creation, he decided to keep it all to himself and forbid all others from entering his masterpiece. To keep everyone out, Nervis decided to place a dreaded Minotaur within the labyrinth, to scare off the curious and devour trespassers.
The Minotaur was a legendary monster from ancient Greece. Half man and half bull, with razor sharp horns and teeth that could crush bones, it was a giant beast feared by all.
Perhaps Nervis shouldn't have bought his monster from a haunted auction on e-Boo.
Perhaps he ought to have read the fine print before he placed his winning bid.
In any event, what R.U.Nervis bought was not a Minotaur, but a Miniotaur, the world's teensy-weensiest man-eating beast. Actually, the Miniotaur doesn't eat men at all. Standing about six inches high, it's lucky if it can bring down a sow bug.
So feel free to enjoy the enchanted labyrinth of R. U. Nervis. And for a small fee, you can buy puppy treats to feed to the Miniotaur.
Miniotaurs can make excellent pets. They have an uncanny sense of direction and will prevent you from ever getting lost. Before adopting a Miniotaur, always read the fine print and make sure you are NOT getting a Minotaur. These are gigantic man-eating beasts and do not make good pets at all.