House of mirrors  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
A house of mirrors or hall of mirrors is a traditional attraction at funfairs (carnivals) and amusement parks. The basic concept behind a house of mirrors is to be a maze-like puzzle, but in addition to confounding the spatial senses with a labyrinth element, the visual senses are also confounded by the construction of the walls of the maze of optically reflective material, most often glass mirrors. Sometimes each mirror may be distorted into different curved, convex or concave shapes to give the participants unusual and confusing reflections of themselves.

In fiction, battles sometimes take place within a hall of mirrors, where one person's image is broadcast on many mirrors whilst their stalker is firing at several images of their target. Perhaps the first instance of this was at the climax of the film The Lady from Shanghai. Other notable examples include the show Macgyver, where Jack Dalton is brainwashed and is forced to fire on Macgyver, and the Teen Titans series episode 'Betrayal'. Francisco Scaramanga's "Fun House" in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun has a House of mirrors.

History

The origins of the house of mirrors stems from the hall of mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.

Upon a visit to France to discuss colonial land agreements, Peter Stuyvesant arrived at the Palace of Versailles and gazed upon the hall of mirrors present in the palace. Peter (or Petris) became determined to bring this amazement to the newly founded colonial city of New Amsterdam, of which he was governor. Peter Stuyvesant's House of Mirrors was founded in 1651 and he charged one Dutch gulden for admission into his house of mirrors.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "House of mirrors" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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