Haunted Mansion Stretching Room Portraits (Disney Parks)
in Disneyland Resort , Walt Disney World
Filled with grim grinning ghosts, singing busts, wall-to-wall creeps, hot and cold running chills, and of course, the Ghost Host, the Haunted Mansion draws in Disney Guests as they visit the 999 happy haunts at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
One of the most iconic aspects of the Haunted Mansion is the stretching room, which acts as the pre-show and sets the tone for Guests as they enter the mansion. But as with any Disney Parks attraction, the backstory and small hidden details are what interests many. So what exactly is the backstory to the stretching room? Who is featured in the stretching room portraits?
Here is a complete guide to everything you should know about the stretching room and the portraits prior to your next visit to the Haunted Mansion.
Haunted Mansion Stretching Room
The Haunted Mansion is a popular attraction located in both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. The popular dark ride takes Guests through a mansion of haunted characters while riding aboard a Doom Buggy. But prior to entering the Doom Buggy, Guests will be immersed into the storyline thanks to the pre-show, also known as the stretching room.
What is the Haunted Mansion stretching room?
“Our tour begins here in this gallery, here where you see paintings of some of our guests as they appeared in their corruptible mortal state. Kindly step all the way in, please, and make room for everyone. There’s no turning back now.”
When visiting Haunted Mansion, prior to boarding your Doom Buggy, you will enter the stretching room — filled with the iconic portraits and gargoyles as the Ghost Host welcomes you into the Mansion. Once this scene is over, Guests leave and head to the loading area to take the tour of the Haunted Mansion.
What can be seen inside the stretching room?
The stretching room is filled with iconic gargoyles, “wall to wall creeps” and, of course, the four stretching room portraits.
Should Disney remove the hanging body scene from Haunted Mansion?
The stretching room in Haunted Mansion has been gathering a lot of conversation due to the hanging body scene. On a Reddit thread, one Disney fan sparked the conversation of this scene which takes place in the stretching room inside the Haunted Mansion at both Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and in New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park:
No seriously. If we’re talking about the most overtly offensive scene in a Park attraction that could pretty easily be changed, it’s this scene in the stretching room. You all know it. The one where the ghost host says “Of course, there’s always my way” and flashes to a hanging body. Why is this problematic? A) It trivializes Suicide as a joke. B) It’s gruesome C) It features a noose, which ties in to lynching. I’m not joking here. I do think this should at least be up for consideration, as it would only take a small script rework and a removal of the lighting flash that makes the body visible.
Fans quickly came to its defense saying that is is an iconic part of the rid e and they would hate to see it go. And though Disney has heard these complaints, they confirmed that the scene will remain unchanged, for now.
Haunted Mansion Stretching Room Portraits
How many stretching room portraits are there?
There are a total of four stretching room portraits, which you can see in the photo above. When the Haunted Mansion room stretches, the walls reveal the rest of the portrait, such as the alligator or the tombstone as seen in the two middle portraits above.
Who is included in the stretching room portraits?
There are a few fan theories regarding the backstory for the stretching room portraits, but per Haunted Mansion Fandom , The Ghost Gallery was the unofficial backstory created by Walt Disney World Cast Members. This. backstory states that the four portraits are titled The Dynamite Gentleman, The Tightrope Walker, The Black Widow, and The Quicksand Men.
Here is a bit more about each portrait, according to Haunted Mansion Fandom :
The Dynamite Gentleman : This character was given the name of Ambassador Edward Gracey, a wealthy diplomat in Burma who was the paternal uncle to the mansion’s Ghost Host (made into a composite character with Master Gracey), George Gracey Jr. Edward died during a revolutionary attack in Rangoon where the embassy he was in got blown up.
The Tightrope Walker : The Tightrope Walker is given the name of Mistress Lillian Gracey (née O’Malley) and is identified as the Ghost Host’s first wife. Lillian was born into a wealthy and doting family but ran away from home at the age of 15 to pursue a relationship with her true love, who was a circus performer. Before she could reunite with him, Lillian’s lover died in a freak accident involving a lion and Lillian joined the circus as a tightrope walker as it made her feel closer to her lost love. Despite still being consumed by grief, Lillian married the wealthy George Gracey Jr. only for him to frequently cheat on her with his clairvoyant Madame Leota who killed Lillian out of jealousy by convincing the woman to do a tightrope act for the family then summoning an alligator to kill her.
The Black Widow : The black widow was made into the Ghost Host’s mother Mary Gracey née Gilbert who was manipulated into marrying his father George Gracey Sr., who was a lackluster lover and absent husband that left his wife to effectively be a single parent. Eventually Mary sent George Jr. away to Yale and George Sr. returned to their home. George Sr. revealed to Mary that he had cheated on her with a woman named Mrs. Patterson, which Mary happily took as an opportunity to murder her husband with a hatchet and legally get away with it by claiming it was a crime of passion. Using her inheritance, Mary fled the country to never be heard from again, leaving George Jr. as the new master of the Gracey Estate.
The Quicksand Men : Each of the three quicksand men in this story is revealed to be an illegitimate member of the Gracey Family who was kept around as a servant by the Ghost Host but who prior to that worked as a cast member at the same circus as Lillian O’Malley. The man on top was the mansion’s liveryman Daniel Patterson and was the illegitimate half-brother of the Ghost Host, born to the Host’s late father and his mistress. The man in the middle was mansion handyman Asa Gilbert who was the half-brother of the Ghost Host’s mother, the Black Widow, who had chased him away with death threats. The man at the bottom was mansion gardner Eddie Foster, the illegitimate son of the Ghost Host’s uncle Ambassador Edward Gracey. All three men were in love with Mistress Gracey and after her death they all became melancholy. George Jr.’s illegitimate daughter with Madame Leota, Little Leota, attempted to seduce the men, but after they rebuked her affections she tricked them into getting trapped in the mansion’s “quicksand” pit where they all died.
More on Haunted Mansion
The spirited Haunted Mansion adventure will be guided by the “disembodied voice of the Ghost Host” as he is your private tour guide “through the cadaverous realm of an eerie haunted estate, home to ghosts, ghouls and supernatural surprises.” Beware of hitchhiking ghosts!
Disney World describes this attraction as:
The disembodied voice of the Ghost Host is your private guide through the cadaverous realm of an eerie haunted estate, home to ghosts, ghouls and supernatural surprises. Glide past a casket-filled conservatory, Madame Leota’s chilling séance room and a ghostly graveyard of singing specters as you attempt to find your way out. Beware of hitchhikers—these phantom pranksters may follow you home. Happy haunting!
The official description of the Disneyland ride reads:
Dearly depart into a foreboding estate, drag your body to the dead center of the Portrait Chamber and watch as the walls begin to stretch before your eyes. Climb into your waiting Doom Buggy and embark on a shivering journey into an unearthly realm. The disembodied voice of the Ghost Host is your private guide through the cadaverous dwelling—home to grinning ghosts and other spectral surprises. Glide past a rattling casket in the conservatory. Head off to Madame Leota’s spooky séance room. Float by the Grand Ballroom and its waltzing apparitions. Take a spin through a cemetery where the spirited residents regale you with song. Beware of lurking hitchhikers—these phantom pranksters may try to follow you home!
Ready to visit the Disney Parks and ride Haunted Mansion?
If you need help planning your next Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation to experience the stretching room at Haunted Mansion, the Authorized Planners at Academy Travel have you covered! Academy Travel has earned the highest designation that Disney can bestow upon a travel agency, EarMarked Diamond.
As long as you book your trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can rest assured that you will be working with an agency that Disney has vetted and is willing to associate their brand with that agency due to the knowledge and service level you will find at that particular agency.
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"Haunted Spirit Portraits"
Make Me Into a GHOST!
Would you like to become a grim, grinning ghost and join the other 999 spooky spirits haunting everyone's favorite eerie estate? For those customers seeking to become a spooky specter spectacle, we offer the option of a Custom Spirit Portrait. These possessed portraits are based on your personal pictures, but with our signature dark twist and inspired by The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney theme parks. When you order a Dark Imaginings Custom Haunted Spirit Portrait, you will receive one unframed portrait in the 8” x 10” size.
Due to the unique nature of these portraits that are custom-made just for you, the cost to create your portrait will be determined after our artist has evaluated your photo and project.
Spirit Portraits may only consist of one person in the photo (and must be a headshot only). Want to turn the entire family into ghosts? Sure, we can do that! But each person must be in their own portrait. If you would like to request a group photo or a different style of custom monster and artwork, please submit your request for a Full Service Custom Portrait here .
Portraits can be done in color, black and white, or sepia tone, although the final ghostly image is usually in full color even if the regular image is not. We prefer high resolution digital photographs for source material, and we favor color photos even if your finished product will not be in color.
Here's a customer submitted video of their Custom Changing Spirit Portraits:
Video courtesy of Monica at ThemeParkBackyard on Instagram
We allot approximately 2-3 weeks to complete your Spirit Portrait after we have received your source photos. Depending on current workloads, the time of year, and other time-constraints, we can often complete the portraits in much less time. However, if you absolutely need a rush service, we can bump your order to a higher priority for an additional fee. Naturally, many customers request such portraits for around the Halloween season, so please make sure that you have placed your order by August 30th to guarantee delivery in time for Halloween.
Ready? Then click here:
Or click here to contact Craig with your questions.
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EVERY Ghost In Disney’s Haunted Mansion And Their Story
For well over 60 years, The Haunted Mansion has been one of Disney’s most beloved — and studied — attractions. Many of us have long been fascinated with the backstories of the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” featured in the ride.
You’re in luck. We’ve assembled a complete guide to nearly every one of the major happy haunts who appear in the iconic attraction .
Haunted Mansion Ghosts
Arguably the most developed character on the attraction who utters the famous “Welcome, foolish mortals” line, the Ghost Host serves as the Haunted Mansion’s narrator. That’s of course in addition to his hanging corpse appearing in the stretching room, arguably the singular most iconic visual in the attraction.
Victor Geist is the cape and top hat-wearing pianist who played the grand piano located in the Mansion’s grand hall.
Constance Hatchaway is the murderous bride who inhabits the Haunted Mansion’s attic, wielding her hatchet and waiting for another groom she can marry and then, well, separate their head from their body.
The tallest of the three hitchhiking ghosts, who lives his afterlife as a vagabond.
Professor Phineas Plump
The most rotund of the three Hitchhiking Ghosts, Phineas was a snake oil salesman who “traveled the country hocking snake oil at train depots. He crossed over to the spirit realm while experimenting with a new miracle concoction and still keeps his trusty carpet bag by his side, eager to make another sale.”
The third and shortest of the three Hitchhiking Ghosts, Gus was a prisoner who “committed no crimes” in life, but was still cursed to wear a ball and chain in death.
One of the singing busts who serenades guests with “Grim Grinning Ghosts” in the graveyard, Rolo Rumkin’s name is a tribute to legendary Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump.
Uncle Theodore is another of the busts in the Haunted Mansion graveyard, with vocals and performance provided by Thurl Ravenscroft. His bust is notably the only broken one of the group, a story choice that developed as a way to fix a technical issue with the footage of Ravesncroft.
Another of the singing busts, Cousin Algernon is recognizable as he’s the only of the busts to be wearing a hat.
The fourth singing bust, Ned Nub’s vocal and projected acting performance is provided by Jay Meyer.
The fifth of the singing busts, Pock is notable for having a tombstone that reads “Here Lies Phineas Pock. Laid to Rest Beneath this Rock” outside the Disneyland version of the attraction. A character of the same name appeared on a Haunted Mansion radio ad voiced by Paul Frees.
The iconic Hatbox Ghost was long been an urban legend amongst Disney fans, as the original animatronic was removed from the Mansion’s attic scene very shortly after opening. After decades of rumor, a new version of the figure was added back into the Disneyland version of the attraction in 2015. A backstory for the character has never been confirmed, though many speculate that he is either one of Constance’s victims or her accomplice. Given the casting of Jared Leto in the upcoming film, it’s likely that the character will be getting a backstory pretty soon.
Madame Leota – AKA the floating head in the crystal ball — is one of the most recognizable and merchandised Haunted Mansion characters. Leota has had several backstories, with the Disneyland version having been a medium who performed seances, brewed potions, and cast magic spells while the Walt Disney World version presents her as a witch who served the infamous Salem Witch Trials. In addition, the Memento Mori gift shop is themed to have been her home during corporeal life.
Graves/Busts in the Haunted Mansion Cemetery
Captain culpepper clyne.
Captain Clyne is a sea captain whose tub-shaped crypt sits outside the Walt Disney World version of Haunted Mansion, with an inscription that proclaims he “braved the seas and all her wrath, but drowned on land while taking a bath.” The character is loosely based on the painting of The Mariner that has long hung in the Mansion, which itself was based loosely on the character of Captain Gore, a holdover from Ken Anderson’s original blue sky version of the attraction known as Bloodmere Manor.
Master Gracey, named after Imagineer Yale Gracey, is one of the best known names amongst Haunted Mansion characters thanks to a tombstone outside the attraction which reads “Master Gracey laid to rest. No mourning please at his request.” While fan speculation — and the 2003 film — name Gracey as the master of the house, it’s never been canonically established in the attraction.
The patriarch of the Dread family, whose poisoning at the hands of Bertie led to the deaths of the whole family. His epitaph reads, “Greed was the poison he had swallowed. He went first, the others followed.”
Bertie Dread is one of the members of the Dread family whose tombstones are located in the crypts outside the Magic Kingdom Mansion. Big game hunter Bertie was shot to death by Florence Dread in retaliation for his use of venom from his prized snake — which is featured on his tombstone — to poison her husband Jacob Dread.
Florence Dread, whose epitaph read that she “Never did a dishonorable deed, yet found face down in canary seed” was the matriarch of the Dread family. She murdered Bertie in relation for his murder of her husband, Jacob. Florence herself was killed by the young twins Wellington and Forsythia Dread .
Wellington and Forsythia Dread are the young twins of the Dread family who murdered Florence Dread in order to steal her inheritance. However, they themselves would be murdered by Cousin Maude.
The final surviving member of the Dread family, Cousin Maude murdered the twins with a hammer in order to acquire the inheritance of every one of her deceased family members. She herself would perish when her home burned down — due to the matches she used as hair-pins. Maude is notable for being the only Dread family member to appear inside the Mansion, as a painting of her surrounded by flames is seen in Phineas’s bag during the Hitchhiking Ghost scene.
The epitaph for Francis Xavier reads, “Requiescat Francis Xavier. No time off for good behavior “R.I.P.” which is a tribute to Xavier “X” Atencio who wrote the script for the Haunted Mansion, and the lyrics for “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”
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So, which of these Haunted Mansion spirits is your favorite? Let us known the comments below.
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3 Replies to “EVERY Ghost In Disney’s Haunted Mansion And Their Story”
I’ve been listening to the original recording of the Haunted Mansion since I was very little. I was born in 1969 so it’s close to my heart. Even though I have tattoos of Madame Leota and the Hat Box Ghost, I have to say the Ghost Host is my favorite. The voice will forever be imbedded in my fondest memories. Still to this day, I play the original story for all the neighborhood kids every Halloween.
I love them all, but always in awe at Madame Leota and the Hat Box Ghost. Another favorite is the little ghost above you as you area almost to the end that talks and says “come back, come back”. What is her story?
Hi Janelle! Fun fact, the little ghost (or as we like to call her “Little Leota”) over the exit that says “Hurry back” is Leota Toombs, who was a Disney Imagineer. It’s her face they used for Madame Leota in the seance room, but because her voice was a bit higher they chose to use Eleanor Audley’s voice (who also provided the voices for Lady Tremaine in Cinderella and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, but it’s Leota Toomb’s real voice that you hear from Little Leota. 🙂
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Meet the Haunted Mansion Ghosts: Who Are They?
Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is a classic attraction that has been entertaining visitors for over 50 years. Its spooky facade and eerie ambiance immediately draw guests in, but it's the Haunted Mansion ghosts that make the experience truly memorable.
The Haunted Mansion is home to 999 happy haunts, each with their own story and personality. From the ghostly bride who haunts the attic to the hitchhiking ghosts who join you in your doom buggy, each ghost adds to the charm and spookiness of the ride.
The Ghost Host
One of the most iconic ghosts in the Haunted Mansion is the Ghost Host. He welcomes guests and guides them through the various rooms and scenes, including the Portrait Chamber—informally referred to by many as the "stretching room"—and the Grand Ballroom. His voice, a blend of ominous and whimsical, sets the tone for the attraction and adds to the overall atmosphere.
The Ghost Bride: Constance Hatchaway
Another memorable Haunted Mansion ghost is the ghost bride, Constance Hatchaway. Her tragic story is told through a series of portraits in the mansion's attic. She was a wealthy woman who married for money and murdered each of her husbands. Her portrait changes each time she finds a new wealthy suitor, with her previous husbands' heads appearing in a small heap at her feet.
Perhaps the most interactive ghosts in the Haunted Mansion are the Hitchhiking Ghosts. As guests exit the attraction, they may find a ghostly apparition sitting next to them in their Doom Buggy. These mischievous ghosts will follow guests home if they're not careful.
The Haunted Mansion is full of small details that add to the overall experience. From the ghostly organ player in the Grand Ballroom to the singing busts in the cemetery, each detail is carefully crafted to add to the haunted ambiance. The use of lighting and sound effects also plays a significant role in creating a spooky atmosphere.
Over the years, the Haunted Mansion has become a fan favorite among Disney enthusiasts. Its timeless appeal and attention to detail have made it a must-visit attraction for visitors to Disneyland. The ghosts of the Haunted Mansion continue to enchant and spook guests of all ages, and their presence is sure to be felt for many years to come.
Imagineering the Haunted Mansion with Rolly Crump
For a more intimate look at the making of the Haunted Mansion , check out our exclusive interview with Disney Legend and Imagineer Rolly Crump . In the interview, Crump shares his story about his involvement with developing the Haunted Mansion , and what it was like to work with Walt Disney.
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Review: Haunted Mansion Portraits From Spirit Halloween
In case you haven’t guessed yet, I have a huge Haunted Mansion problem. This year, Spirit Halloween is offering even more Haunted Mansion merchandise, including these new Haunted Mansion portraits.
These two pieces have been on the Spirit Halloween website, but they are hit-and-miss. You can find them in the store, which is where I got mine from (thanks to my parents.)
Both “signs” are smaller than I expected in person, but they are made well and have good weight to them.
Spirit Halloween Old Woman Ghost Portrait- $17.99
This piece measures 7.5″ X 9″
For the old woman ghost, you can hang it from a metal piece at the top of the frame.
The image is pretty static, but it’s fantastic, with excellent detailing in both the image and the frame.
Spirit Halloween Crowned Ghost (King) Portrait – $22.99
The King portrait is larger, measuring 12″x 10″.
Like the Old Woman Ghost “sign,” it has a great weight to it and fantastic detailing.
I love this one because it seems more lifelike, and the eyes seem to move with you.
Overall, I rate these a 9.5/10. I’m knocking off .5 because I think the smaller portrait is a bit pricey for its size, but they are definitely worth the money if you can find them! I love the “Crowned Ghost” portrait and the fantastic detailing.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company , NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.
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Haunted Mansion: 10 Ghosts from the Disney Ride that Need to Appear in the Live-Action Movie
With 999 happy haunts spending their afterlife in the Haunted Mansion, these are the 10 we need to see in the 2023 film.
Since August 9, 1969, the Haunted Mansion has been a staple ride of the Disney Theme Parks. Nearly every park has their own version, with France sporting the Phantom Manor and Hong Kong featuring the Mystic Manor. No matter which Haunted Mansion you go to, though, there are always 999 Happy Haunts spending their afterlives within its walls.
With so many potential guests to choose from, the upcoming Haunted Mansion film has a big job. While we have seen a number of the more well-known spirits featured in the trailers, there are some we have yet to see. Others appear in the trailers, but only as cameos, making their roles in the film uncertain. These 10 ghosts in particular are some of the biggest characters from the Haunted Mansion ride, and as such, they deserve a spot in the upcoming film .
10 Madame Leota
"Serpents and Spiders, tail of a rat; call in the spirits, wherever they're at." Madame Leota is one of the most famous ghosts from the Haunted Mansion ride. A spectral head in a crystal ball, Leota floats above a séance table in the center of one of the Mansion's rooms. From this vantage point, she calls on the spirits, asking them to present themselves to the viewer as you leave for the ballroom.
Madame Leota is already confirmed to be in the film, played by the incredible Jamie Lee Curtis . Leota is seen speaking with the group of exorcists and investigators, saying that she will help them for three dollars. However, we have also seen Curtis' character in another form. Alive and well, Madame Leota seems to come to the Mansion early in the film.
This seems to match the story told in the Disney Kingdoms' Haunted Mansion comic. In that story, Leota's great supernatural power comes from her dying inside the powerful supernatural building. Given Curtis' pedigree and Leota's role as guide and summoner of the spirits, we are almost guaranteed that this character will play a major role in the film.
Related: Jamie Lee Curtis' 15 Best Movies, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes
9 Hitchhiking Ghosts
In one of the final scenes of the ride, just after visiting the Mansion's graveyard, guests are given a warning by the Ghost Host. "Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts! They have chosen you to fill our quota, and they'll haunt you until you return." As the guests' Doom Buggies pass by a series of mirrors, they find that they have been joined by these horrifying passengers.
Chained Gus, top-hatted Phineas, and skeletal Ezra are three of the most famous and marketed characters from the Haunted Mansion ride, so it only makes sense for them to make a big appearance in the film. Luckily, we have seen a brief glimpse of these three in some of the trailers but only as a passing cameo. We don't know what role, if any, these characters will play in the film, but they have made only minor appearances in Muppets Haunted Mansion and The Haunted Mansion films. Maybe the 2023 reboot will bring these characters into that spectral spotlight.
8 The Changing Portraits
In one scene from the Haunted Mansion trailer, we see LaKeith Stanfield's Ben walking through a hallway. A painting is constantly repeated, each iteration more and more macabre. This is but one example of the Haunted Mansion's famous Changing Portraits. The ride takes a detour through the Mansion's Portrait Gallery, and in the flashes of lightning, the paintings change. A knight on horseback becomes the Headless Horseman; a beautiful woman sprawled on a couch shape-shifts into a monstrous were-cat. While these and several others look like simple paintings, these portraits are actually members of the ghostly gang that spends their afterlife in the Mansion.
The Changing Portraits themselves would be fairly simple to include in the film, and given that we have seen the Ghost Host's portrait featured in the trailer, there's a good chance that the rest of the paintings from the ride will make an appearance. We have also seen the Portrait Gallery from the ride featured in posters and other marketing materials. While the paintings themselves might not play a big role in the film, the place where they hang most certainly will.
7 The Sinister 11
Another group of haunted portraits, the Sinister 11 don't actually exist as a group in any of the rides anymore. Some of these dark, macabre portraits still appear in the queue and in the Portrait Gallery, but they likely were too dangerous to keep together. For you see, the Sinister 11 were a group of murderers and monsters, their spirits staring at guests with glowing eyes as they pass through into the Mansion's library.
Again, the Portrait Gallery has been seen in many marketing materials for Haunted Mansion, so these paintings will likely make at least a cameo appearance. However, there is one character from the Sinister 11 that seems guaranteed to play a major role. In one scene from the first trailer, Ben is attempting to sleep in the Mansion, but as he opens a door in his bedroom, he finds an ocean behind it. A harpoon comes flying at him, one that is eerily similar to the harpoon wielded by the Mariner. This sea drenched, and coral-encrusted monster is a notable member of the Sinister 11, so it is possible that the other members might step free of their portraits in the film.
6 The Singing Busts
Uncle Theodore, Phineas P. Pock, Rollo Rumkin, Cousin Algernon, and Ned Nub are some of the most famous characters from the Haunted Mansion ride, though chances are you've never heard their names. Known as the Singing Busts, every adaptation of the ride has brought these characters to life. The Busts are known for singing the title song "Grim, Grinning Ghosts" in the graveyard sequence, showcasing some of the best holographic technology in the parks. They all also make a second appearance in the ride, their names found amidst the pun-filled tombstones outside in the queue.
While their famous song will likely make it into the film in some way, there are other opportunities for these beloved characters. In 2003's The Haunted Mansion, they were responsible for one of the film's funniest moments. As Eddie Murphy's Jim Evers tries to find his way around the Mansion's grounds, he stumbles upon the group and asks for directions. In true barbershop fashion, the group sings their directions in perfect a cappella. While it is unlikely the 2023 reboot will repeat the same joke, there is still a good chance for these characters to make another big screen appearance.
Related: The 20 Most Streamed Disney Songs on Spotify
5 The Ballroom Dancers
Swinging through the air to the song of the ghostly Organist, the ballroom dancers are an example of one of the Disney company's oldest and most famous optical illusions . While the Dancers don't necessarily have any major backstory, their appearance in the ride is iconic. The first time you see the glowing ghosts of animatronics spinning in the air is unforgettable. While Madame Leota is by far the most recognizable name on this list, few other characters from the ride are as beloved by theme park goers as the Ballroom Dancers. As such, they deserve a large role in the movie.
Admittedly, we have seen the Ballroom Dancers shown in the trailers for the film, with the scene itself seeming to move beyond the waltzes we see in the ride to other cultural dances. In one sequence from the trailer, we even see some Spanish flamenco dancing portrayed by a massive group of dead dancers. The chance to push the limits with the CGI in this dance sequence is exciting, as the large cast and the subsequent effects will likely play a big role in the film.
4 The Executioner
The Executioner is as his name suggests: a hooded, medieval executioner with a giant axe. He appears in the graveyard party scene alongside Gus, one of the hitchhiking ghosts mentioned earlier, and a headless knight. The knight is a reminder that while the group stands singing the title track jovially, the Executioner is likely responsible for many of the spirits trapped in the Mansion.
While most of the characters featured in this list are well-known names to fans, most have probably overlooked the Executioner. More than his obscurity, though, his existence in the film would likely rely on what role the Hitchhiking Ghosts play. Gus is also known as the Prisoner, captured and awaiting execution by this character. If Gus and the other hitchhikers play even a remotely major role, then the Executioner should as well. We at least need to see him cameo alongside some of the other more obscure spirits in the bigger group scenes.
3 Madames Renatta and Carlotta
Renatta and Carlotta are wholly unique on this list. While the other characters introduced in the Haunted Mansion ride are paintings, animatronics, or holograms, these illustrious Madames are living, breathing people (playing unliving, ghostly characters). Madame Renatta and Madame Carlotta are a pair of sisters that appear once a year during the Halloween events at the Disney World park. Played by cast members, these spirits are a fun Easter egg for fans of the parks visiting during the spookiest time of the year.
While these twin sisters have yet to appear in any other media outside the ride itself, Renatta and Carlotta would be perfect for the Haunted Mansion film. After all, if Disney wants to draw in fans of the ride, packing in as many Easter eggs as possible makes sense. Renatta and Carlotta, while incredibly obscure characters, are also two of the only characters that can appear outside the Mansion. This could give the filmmakers plentiful opportunities to inject some scares or silliness into the film by having the twins follow the characters out of the mansion.
This pudgy, Dickensian gentleman has been a part of the ride since the very beginning. Pickwick can be seen above the Ballroom Dancers, swinging from the chandelier, long before singer Sia ever got the idea. While the ride version of the character is rather "blink-and-you'll-miss-it," other media gives Pickwick his proper due. In the Disney Kingdoms Haunted Mansion comic book series, Pickwick acts as a guide for the young protagonist, taking him deeper into the Mansion and defending him from the villainous Captain.
While we do see Pickwick briefly in the ballroom sequences in the trailers, he is like so many of the other characters on this list in that we don't know what role if any he will play in the film. Given that he is little more than a small detail in the ride, chances are that we will only see him for the brief cameo from the trailers. However, for those who have read the Disney Kingdoms' comics, it would be a great reference to see Pickwick have a bigger role in the film. After all, other than Madame Leota, Pickwick is one of the few named members of the Happy Haunts, suggesting that he has some importance to the story of the ride.
1 Captain Gore
The pirate Captain Gore is singularly unique on this list because, unlike even Renatta and Carlotta, he doesn't actually appear in any of the Haunted Mansion rides around the world. In fact, Gore never made it past the concept art stage. Conceived by Imagineer Ken Anderson, Gore's only appearance outside Anderson's paintings is in the Disney Kingdoms comic book. Here, the Captain is transformed into the main villain of the series, trapping and manipulating the spirits of the Mansion with his dark magic. Like Madame Leota, he died in the Mansion walls, giving him great control over its dark energies.
The inclusion of Captain Gore in Haunted Mansion is unlikely beyond a cameo appearance. Given that Jared Leto's Hatbox Ghost is acting as the villain of this movie, Gore's inclusion may confuse matters. Nevertheless, paying tribute to Ken Anderson's creations, responsible for so much of the ride's aesthetic and so many of its characters, would be satisfying for fans of the ride. While Gore himself may not make his big screen debut, perhaps others of Anderson's unused concept art will make it into the film.
Welcome to Edward Allen's "Haunted Memories." Here in this ghostly gallery you will find all of his adopted family. New "relatives" materialize whenever he is able to channel them and reveal what became of their corruptible mortal remains! Feel free to look around and get to know them better - they are literally DYING to meet you! Simply scroll down to view the entire character selection below. Click on each one to see their "before" and "after" images. They all change when you walk past them! No batteries, electricity, or special lighting is required! Create your very own "Haunted Mansion" atmosphere with "Haunted Memories Changing Portraits!" (Portraits are all sold UNFRAMED only).
Copyright notice: copyright 2003 - 2020 by edward allen. all rights reserved all artwork contained on this website is original work created by edward allen and is protected by u.s. and international copyright laws. use, reproduction or distribution of any content herein in any form, can be made only with the explicit, written permission of edward allen..
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The Haunted Mansion Ghost Portraits Mystery Pin Set at Disney Parks
- Disneyland and Walt Disney World Pins
- The Haunted Mansion Ghost Portraits…
A new mystery pin set featuring The Haunted Mansion Ghost Portraits has released at Disney Parks! It is open edition and the retail price is $17.99 per box of two pins. Available starting in July 2022 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Each blind box contains two randomly selected pins from a possibility of 10 different designs. Here is a closer look:
In case you missed it, view the new single Haunted Mansion pin releases as well!
View the latest pin releases in our Disneyland & Walt Disney World pin category.
Do these pins glow in the dark?
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WDW News Today
Unwrap These Haunted Mansion Books During the 2023 Holidays
Posted: December 8, 2023 | Last updated: December 9, 2023
WDWNT, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Read behind-the-scenes stories and expanded backstory of The Haunted Mansion in these books available on Amazon. These Haunted Mansion books make the perfect gift for any Disney fan — including yourself — this gift-giving season.
‘The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic’
“The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic” explores how the attraction’s “999 happy haunts” were brought to life. Rare early concept sketches, detailed architectural drawings, and stunning still photography illustrate the Mansion’s evolution as it was designed and built at each Magic Kingdom park around the world — including Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Our tour begins here with a twistedly thorough third edition. Based on the retired title “The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies,” this newly updated volume confirms or debunks longstanding urban legends, shares fascinating behind-the-screams stories, and reveals how concepts move from inspiration to reality. Readers will discover the latest show enhancements to this classic attraction and find even more artwork depicting the happy haunting grounds in California and Florida as well as Tokyo, Paris, and now Hong Kong.
This is one book you’ll be dying to have on your shelf!
Disney Parks Presents The Haunted Mansion
The song “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” composed in the late 1960s, continues to reside in the dark corridors and spooky cemetery of the Haunted Mansion. Millions of guests leave the mansion with not only a hitchhiking ghost but also this jaunty tune catching a ride all the way home.
In this hardcover jacketed picture book, James Gilleard’s shadowy, textured illustrations accompany the lyrics of the classic song, and together they take readers on a guided tour deeper and deeper into the mansion, from the portrait gallery and seance room to the grand hall, the creepy attic, and more.
Tales from the Haunted Mansion Series Volume 1 – 3 Books Collection Set
This set includes three “Tales From the Haunted Mansion” volumes: “The Fearsome Foursome,” “Midnight at Madame Leota’s,” and “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Each book contains a selection of scary stories about the Haunted Mansion. They are also available to purchase individually.
Tales From the Haunted Mansion: The Fearsome Foursome
Welcome, foolish mortals, to the lonesome library of the Haunted Mansion. In this bone-chilling book, you will read the terrifying tales of the Fearsome Foursome – four kids who try to out-scare each other with frightening fictions of their own.
But just wait until they hear my spooky stories. Who am I? I am Amicus Arcane, your librarian and host. Your Ghost Host. So read on… if you dare!
The Haunted Mansion: Storm & Shade
Welcome, foolish mortals, to an original and eerie novel inspired by the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney Parks!
When high school student Audrey Perez moves to a town that’s supposedly home to a haunted mansion, she and a few of her new friends decide to investigate. Audrey is quickly swept up in a macabre mystery and eerie adventure that holds the fate of the Haunted Mansion’s 999 happy haunts in the balance. A storm is coming — both literally and figuratively — and it’ll be up to Audrey and her friends to save the Mansion — and its ghosts — before it’s too late. But can Audrey do so while dealing with her own anxieties and while caught in a love triangle between her boyfriend and the enigmatic Sterling — who just might be a ghost?
Read on, foolish mortal, if you dare…
The Unauthori zed Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mans ion: Second Edition
Chill to the creepy but captivating history of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Come experience the mansion with the “lights on” and learn its ghostly history, its sinister secrets, and its ghoulish special effects. There’s room for one more — and this time you’re it!
Noted mansion authority Jeff Baham lifts the shroud and tells the stories of Disney’s original plans for a “haunted house” attraction, why the mansion is there, who built it, how it became haunted, and the dastardly deeds done by some of its residents in their corruptible, mortal states.
Board your Doom Buggy for:
- Exclusive photos and commentary by Disney Imagineers, including Haunted Mansion “architect” Rolly Crump
- Insider accounts of the creative clashes over whether the mansion’s haunts should be humorous or horrific, and the internal workflow behind each mansion rehab or addition
- An analysis of the ride, scene by scene, with insight into how the effects work, delightfully eerie trivia, and anecdotes from Imagineers and cast members
- The stories behind some of the mansion’s many denizens, including the Hatbox Ghost, the Knight, the Sea Captain, the Raven, the unhappy couple Constance and George, and the Ghost Host himself
- A discussion of the most notable mansion collectibles released by Disney over the years
Boundless Realm: Deep Explorations Inside Disney’s Haunted Mansion
“And now, a carriage approaches, to take you into the boundless realm of the supernatural…”
Since its opening at Walt Disney World in 1971, more people from more places have experienced The Haunted Mansion than perhaps any piece of horror media ever created. This ride has legions of devoted fans and influenced tributes, spinoffs, and an entire entertainment genre: the seasonal haunted house. Why is this?
“Boundless Realm” is a wry tour of the creaky old house on the hill, brushing aside cobwebs, uncovering obscure corners, and prying up the floorboards in search of the answer. Not just an attraction history, this critical appreciation – written with a connoisseur’s eye for detail – encompasses American history, popular culture and folklore, and a sharp understanding of design to make a case for The Haunted Mansion as the 20th century’s definitive haunted house. Entertaining and opinionated, Boundless Realm will give you a new appreciation for Disney’s ultimate cult attraction.
What Haunted Mansion book will you cozy up with this winter? Let us know in the comments.
For the latest Disney Parks news and info, follow WDW News Today on Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram .
The post Unwrap These Haunted Mansion Books During the 2023 Holidays appeared first on WDW News Today .
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Haunted and supernatural Moscow
Khovrinskaya Abandoned Hospital. Source : Wikipedia
Khovrinskaya Abandoned Hospital (KZB)
The Khovrinskaya abandoned hospital is on a list of “creepiest places on the planet.” Chernobyl ranks only a few slots ahead of it. Large-scale construction on KZB started in 1981.
The structure was originally to include 1,500 beds, a polyclinic, laboratories and helicopter landing pads. However, it turned out that the site was a poor choice.
The pavement did not hold up, and the nearly completed hospital the size of a city started slowly sinking into the groundwater. Consequently, construction was halted.
An introductory guide to Moscow’s graveyards
The city authorities still have not been able to decide what to do with all of this. On the other hand, Satanists quickly started gravitating to the site.
One sect claimed responsibility for the disappearance of people and animals in Khovrin. Cult followers allegedly used dogs and beggars for blood rituals.
A legend arose in Moscow saying that the police launched a raid on sect members and chased them into a tunnel and then shot the Satanists, who were unspeakably glad about this, for they went straight from the tunnel into the arms of the prince of darkness. To this day, on dark winter nights one can hear a chorus of them singing in the tunnel.
Every year, dozens drawn to the place in search of adventures inevitably break legs, arms and necks. It has become a pilgrimage destination for goths, punks, emos and others.
The hospital is full of holes, depressions, open elevator shafts and protruding fittings. The police regularly pull adventure seekers out of air shafts in the basement or from the attics, where they hide from security guards.
The main ghost of the hospital is considered to be Alexey Krayushkin, who jumped off the roof because of an unrequited love. One floor of the building houses a sort of memorial: an entire wall is covered with graffiti whose overall message (in both poetry and prose) is, “We will remember and mourn.”
Source: Lori / Legion Media
The name of this district comes from the word “ostanki” (remains): the television station building was erected here on the site of an old cemetery.
About 500 years ago, the notorious Old Woman of Ostankino first appeared here, when she came to the ruler of the Ostankino village, the boyar Satin, and forbade him to till the land because it agitated the dead. The old woman was chased out and the villagers tilled the land; after this, the boyar fell into disgrace and was executed.
How to spend a perfect day in Moscow
The Old Woman of Ostankino also appeared to:
The Tsar Paul, who came to Ostankino. She said that Paul would not survive until spring, and she was telling the truth—he did not survive.
Alexander II, who was passing through Ostankino. She said he would perish at the hands of an infidel. The emperor was killed by a member of the leftist group, Narodnaya Volya.
In October 1993, a few days before the assault on the TV station , the old woman again appeared in Ostankino and said that it would smell of blood there. Soon after that, it did indeed smell of blood.
The old woman was also spotted before the 2000 fire at the Ostankino television tower, when four people were killed.
28 Malaya Nikitskaya St., Beria’s Mansion
Urban legend has it that Stalin’s chief of the secret police, Lavrentiy Beria, would snatch pretty women up from Moscow’s streets at night and take them home.
In the morning, having dishonored the beauties, he would shoot them. Now, this tainted house is the site of the Tunisian embassy, and in it someone scatters papers from a safe around a room, and footsteps echo in the hallways at night.
So far, no one has been able to catch a glimpse of a person. Diplomats have supposedly requested a new building, but their request has been denied.
Maly Ivanovsky Lane. John the Baptist Convent
Darya Saltykova, who is popularly known as Saltychikha, spent 30 years in confinement here for the particularly gruesome murder of 74 serfs (counting only the proven cases!). Catherine II said that Saltychikha did not deserve to be called a woman and could be called only a monstrosity of humanity.
Even in prison, Saltychikha held on to her wicked tastes, and being unable to torture, burn and kill living people, she yelled at and spit on them from behind bars.
She died in prison. People say that Saltychikha’s ghost still appears in the vicinity of the convent. Encountering her presages an impending death.
Pushkin Theater on Tverskaya Boulevard
Source: Vladimir Fedorenko / RIA Novosti
Created by the director Tairov, the Chamber Theater was rebuilt in the 1950s. As a result, the new part of the building ended up on the site of the cemetery of the John the Apostle church.
Tairov did not grasp this, but it is said that his widow, the leading lady Alisa Koonen, cursed the theater in her heart and died in 1974. Then it was as if a tornado hit: Productions were failures and the audience either hissed at shows or did not attend them. Koonen’s ghost still wandered the halls.
In 1991, the site was sanctified and the ghost disappeared. According to legend, before that, during a performance, a tropical butterfly of unearthly beauty suddenly appeared, circled around the stage and then flew away. Rumors started soon after that, saying Koonen’s soul was bidding farewell to the theater.
Golosov Ravine in Kolomensky Park
Some people think that the name “Golosov” comes from Volos (Veles)—a pagan deity that ruled over the world of the afterlife. According to another version, the Golosov ravine has this name because the voices (“golosa”) of people who have entered the ravine and not returned can be heard from there.
During excavations in the vicinity of the ravine, workers uncovered the remains of ancient settlements. After that, the ravine became even more popular among enthusiasts of the afterlife and the occult.
The ravine has always been considered a wicked place. In the 17th century, according to some sources, an entire squadron of Tatar horsemen came out of the ravine and went to the gates of the Kolomensky palace.
Discovering Gothic Moscow: A tour of architectural masterpieces
The riders were arrested and interrogated. The Tatars demonstrated that they belonged to the army of the khan Devlet Girey. There was just one problem: This khan had gone to Moscow around a hundred years earlier, in the mid-16th century.
In the 19th century, newspapers wrote about numerous citizens who had mysteriously disappeared around the ravine.
In 1832, Moskovskie Vedomosti reported on a peasant who at the bottom of the ravine had encountered uncommonly tall people dressed in hides, who emerged from the deep fog and then quickly disappeared.
First published in Russian in Moskovskie Novosti .
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
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Mark Kermode on… director Joanna Hogg: ‘Her films have always been haunted by ghosts’
From her striking debut to The Souvenir and new release The Eternal Daughter, the British film-maker circles around loss, memory and rebirth in dramas of piercing intensity
J oanna Hogg’s latest film, The Eternal Daughter (in cinemas now), is a ghost story; a tale of a mother and daughter – both played by Hogg’s longtime collaborator Tilda Swinton – who stay in a remote hotel where the spectres of the past are everywhere. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric piece, imbued with Hogg’s signature understated strength, and inflected with the same matter-of-fact eeriness that defined Jonathan Miller’s timeless 1968 MR James TV adaptation Whistle and I’ll Come to You .
It was Hogg’s executive producer Martin Scorsese who encouraged her to make a ghost story, believing that she was at the right point in her life and career to do so. But Hogg’s films have always been haunted by ghosts, and while The Eternal Daughter may be the first of her movies to explicitly declare itself to be part of this genre, it builds upon familiar themes and ideas that make up her cinematic soul.
Having cut her teeth in television, Hogg’s first two features presented arrestingly acute portraits of awkward human relationships, drawing comparisons with the works of Ozu and Chabrol. Critic Sukhdev Sandhu hit the nail on the head when he wrote that Unrelated (2007) “looks and feels and sounds like few other British films”, while reviewer Anthony Quinn called Hogg’s feature debut a film about “a class of people that may get on your nerves” that was “still likely to get under your skin”.
At the centre of this tale of monied Brits summering in Tuscany is Kathryn Worth’s Anna, a fortysomething discontent who’s partner, Alex, should be there with her, but who has instead become an absence – a fading signal on the end of a mobile phone. There’s a similar sense of presence/absence in Archipelago (2010), another critical hit that, like Unrelated , showcased star in the making Tom Hiddleston (Hogg’s casting has always been adventurous and astute). Hiddleston plays Edward, a troubled young man on a tense family holiday on Tresco, where the characters (like Scilly itself) are islands, separated by stretches of treacherous emotional water. Edward’s mother, Patricia, has invited her estranged husband to join them, but once again fraught, one-ended phone calls evoke a Godot -like void – accentuated by the absence of incidental music, and by static shots that seem less like tableaux-vivants than tableaux- mordants .
While Hogg’s first two features play out around the edges of semi-absurdist tragedy (it’s what the characters don’t say that speaks volumes), her third film, Exhibition (2013), takes us inside the haunted house – an up-for-sale modernist home that seems designed to keep its fractious inhabitants apart. Former Slits guitarist Viv Albertine is D, wrestling with the contortions of performance art while her husband, H (artist Liam Gillick), pootles away on his computer in the room above. They communicate through an intercom system (“Shall we have sex?”; “Can you fix the boiler?”) and are linked by a spiral staircase that resembles a gigantic helix of DNA, adding to the sense that the house is an organic object – living, breathing, dying.
Outside, the street is being noisily torn up; inside, the hard surfaces of these alleged “living spaces” create an ambient clatter that evokes unquiet spirits in a creaky mansion. Add to this an element of surreal invention (past and present intertwine, personalities fracture) and Exhibition can perhaps best be described as a ghost story posing as a relationship drama – or vice versa.
All of which brings us to Hogg’s most celebrated work, The Souvenir , an autobiographically inspired diptych revisiting a relationship that haunted Hogg in real life. Honor Swinton Byrne plays the young film student who falls for Tom Burke’s enigmatic roué in the first film, and who then attempts to make peace with the ghosts of their relationship in the second. Reviewing Part II for the Observer , I called it “ a memory of a memory (or a dream of a dream?)… a portrait of the artist as a young woman discovering her own voice”. But it is also a heartbreaking and uplifting portrait of loss, grief, memory and rebirth – the key ingredients of so many classic ghost stories.
Over the years I’ve interviewed Hogg (b.1960) several times, and knowing the piercing intensity of her work I’ve always been surprised by her own viewing habits. A fan of films such as Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity (she longs to make a musical one day), she is also a diehard devotee of disaster movies that both terrify and reassure her (grand-scale cinematic catastrophes make our own problems seem small). Meanwhile, the anarchic animated series Rick and Morty makes her laugh like a drain, particularly the snakes-from-space episode Rattlestar Ricklactica.
As for Hogg’s own ghosts, they are seemingly exorcised on screen – transfigured through the medium she was born to practise.
All titles are available to rent on multiple platforms unless otherwise specified.
What else I’m enjoying
Party Lines Subtitled “Dance Music and the Making of Modern Britain”, Ed Gillett’s self-read audiobook has been my constant companion recently, brilliantly exploring how the UK establishment has variously banned, vilified and co-opted potent dance culture.
One Night This glossy Paramount+ TV drama may be narratively contrived, but Jodie Whittaker leads a fine ensemble cast who breathe convincing life into a twisty tale of consent, authorship and more.
Secret Gardens of Cornwall Tim Hubbard’s ravishingly illustrated walk through Cornwall’s paradisal gardens with the people who made them is the perfect antidote to the bleak midwinter blues. A delight.
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" Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion. I am your host...your 'ghost host.' Kindly step all the way in, please, and make room for everyone. There's no turning back now... " ―The Ghost Host
The Ghost Host , whose visual depiction is sometimes referred to by fans as the Hatchet Man or the Hanged Man , is one of the most prominent ghosts haunting The Haunted Mansion .
- 1.1 Background
- 1.2 History
- 2.1 The Haunted Mansion
- 3.1.1 The Haunted Mansion (2003 film)
- 3.1.2 Muppets Haunted Mansion
- 3.1.3 Unproduced Haunted Mansion Film (Guillermo del Toro)
- 3.1.4 Haunted Mansion (2023 film)
- 3.2.1 The Ghost Gallery
- 3.2.2 SLG comics
- 3.2.3 Enter if You Dare!: Scary Tales from the Haunted Mansion
- 3.2.4 Disney Kingdoms comics
- 3.3.1 Cancelled Game Boy Advance Game
- 3.3.2 The Haunted Mansion (video game)
- 3.3.3 Kinect Disneyland Adventures
- 3.3.4 Haunted Holidays
- 3.3.5 Disney Crossy Road
- 3.4.1 Happy HalloWishes
- 4.1 Master Gracey, Ghost Host and tangled-up knots
- 4.2 Other identifications
Description [ ]
Background [ ].
The Ghost Host is a disembodied spirit who speaks in a deep, resonant voice with a transatlantic accent. Although his character's history is mostly shrouded in mystery it is known that he died by being hanged in the cupola of the mansion. On his death he refers to it as having been his way out, implying that he took his own life by suicide. In the portraits shown of the host, he is commonly depicted as a tall, Caucasian, skinny man with unkept white/pale blonde hair, a crooked nose, and his right eye is shown to be wide and yellow with either a green or red iris. It is also implied that he might have been a murderer as some portraits show his hatchet dripping with blood.
It is unknown what his affiliation with the mansion was in life, but Disney has officially described him as, "The head man of the Mansion's skeleton crew" or "the majordomo of the Mansion's skeletal staff". The Ghost Host serves as an invisible tour guide to mortal visitors of the Haunted Mansion. He has also been shown to hold some affiliations with Madame Leota , Little Leota , the Raven , and possibly even the Hitchhiking Ghosts .
History [ ]
The image of a hanged suicide as an element of The Haunted Mansion originates from the earliest concepts proposed by Imagineer Ken Anderson in the late 1950s. His first attempts at a story revolved around Captain Gore , a secret pirate who murdered his young wife Priscilla (after she discovered the truth about him). In some versions (albeit not all of them), Captain Gore had been haunted by Priscilla and ended up hanging himself. The tour guide in this version wasn't a ghost, but a live butler character named Beauregard .
In a later concept by Anderson, the butler was joined in tour guide duties by a friendly spook known as the Lonesome Ghost . In this version, the hanged body was of a guest to a wedding gone awry. "The best man seems to be all tied up," the Lonesome Ghost would joke. After Ken Anderson left the project, many of his ideas carried over to the other Imagineers who were put in charge of its development.
One version of the Host, sketched by Marc Davis , had him introduce the guests to a gallery of paintings, among which was one where only the silhouette of a stout sitting man could be seen. The Host would explain that this portrait housed "the most dangerous ghost in the Mansion", and that he had now escaped. Despite this warning, the guests would encounter the spook in question, only for him to reveal him and the Ghost Host to be one and the same; moreover, he would explain that he was the murderer of the Bride and her Groom.
One concept by Dick Irvine told the story of Mr. Meaker , a man who murdered his several wives for their money, via a lowering bed canopy. After he accidentally killed his beloved pet cat in the contraption, he hanged himself.
Early on in the project's development, Paul Frees was brought in to record various demos for a "Ghost Guide" spoken in Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre impressions, although these Ghost Guides might not have yet been intended to be the Hanged Man at that point. Frees would go on to become the voice of the Ghost Host for the final attraction.
One proposed concept for the Ghost Host was that he and the Raven would turn out to be the same character. This idea eventually changed to the Raven retaining a speaking role, but as a foil to the Ghost Host. In the final attraction, the Raven does not speak, and there is no overt relation between him and the Ghost Host.
And yet another concept had the Ghost Host first talk to the guests in the Foyer through a bust, presumably representing him, with the date “1835” written on it. As the Host talked, the bust would morph into a devilish figure. This design would later be recycled for the devil head found on the plaque outside of the Haunted Mansion on its gates.
Appearances [ ]
The haunted mansion [ ].
The Ghost Host's disembodied voice narrates the entire first half of the attraction, from the Foyer to the immediate aftermath of Madame Leota's séance. At this point, the Ghost Host informs the guests that, as the happy haunts are beginning to materialize and readying for a big party, they'll probably be expecting him, and that he must now temporarily leave them, although he says that he'll “see them all… a little later”. He is nowhere to be heard until the guests begin to exit the Graveyard Jamboree . As they come across the Hitchhiking Ghosts , he warns the mortals that the three spooks are set on “haunting them until they return”, and that they must beware.
The only physical manifestation of the Ghost Host comes in the Stretching Room , where after offering his way out, a flash of lightning reveals his skeletal remains hanging from the rafters of the previously-unseen cupola, dangling from a taut rope.
In Disneyland's Mansion, a full-length portrait of the Ghost Host (derived from concept art by Imagineer Marc Davis ) can be found in the Corridor of Doors , depicting a tall, thin, pale, ghoulish-looking man holding a hatchet, with a noose around his neck. He has long, stringy white hair and appears to be giving the "evil eye". The portrait has been repainted many times over the years, adding and subtracting details such as scarring around his eye and blood on the hatchet blade, or his skin color (which can either be of an uneathly blue, or of approximately natural tone). In 2007, a similar portrait was added to the Corridor of Doors in the Walt Disney World Mansion, in which the shadow the Ghost Host casts behind him raises the hatchet menacingly.
The Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland Mansions feature another portrait of the Ghost Host, in which he appears in a different pose. At Tokyo (as they did until 2007 at Walt Disney World), the eyes of the Ghost Host in the painting follow guests' every move. Walt Disney World's current version of this portrait depicts him with heterochromia (two different iris colors). This portrait is one of the Sinister 11 portraits and can be found at Tokyo in the Sinister 11 Hallway while at Walt Disney World it appears in the loading zone.
According to Imagineer Jason Surrell , in his book The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies , the invisible pianist who casts a shadow in the Music Room (at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland) is none other than the Ghost Host.
Other appearances [ ]
Film & television [ ], the haunted mansion (2003 film) [ ].
The Ghost Host's voice is provided by Corey Burton during the opening credits, giving his famous (although only in the whole movie) line “Welcome, foolish mortals”. Chief makeup artist Rick Baker portrays the Marc Davis-designed Hatchet Man depiction of the Ghost Host in a very brief scene of this film. The character, unlike in the ride portrait, does not wear noose or hold his trademark hatchet, and is seen hiding behind a tombstone (reminiscent of the ride's Pop-up Ghosts ) in the Graveyard scene as the Evers ride the ghost carriage past him.
The Ghost Host character, separate from the Hatchet Man, also served as inspiration for two distinct characters in the film. Ramsley greets the “guests” and is the one to threaten to kill them. Master Edward Gracey , meanwhile, doesn't possess the Host's personality traits, but is the man hanging in the cupola as well as the former Lord and Master of the Mansion, tying his character to the Ghost Host. Towards the end of the movie, Master Gracey briefly disappears and only his voice is heard, in an obvious nod to the Ghost Host.
At one point in the film, the character Ezra ( Wallace Shawn ) says, "There's always my way," one of the Ghost Host's lines from the ride.
Muppets Haunted Mansion [ ]
The Ghost Host sizing up Gonzo and Pepe's coffins
The Ghost Host appears in the special, played by Will Arnett . A century after the legendary stage magician The Great MacGuffin disappeared within the Mansion's walls, the Ghost Host has since hosted The Great MacGuffin Challenge, where daring mortals must survive spending Halloween night within the Mansion or else find themselves joining the Happy Haunts, with Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn taking the challenge. After facing his true fears in Room 999 and rescuing Pepe from Constance , the Ghost Host warmly congratulates the two for surviving while revealing his true identity as the Great MacGuffin.
Unproduced Haunted Mansion Film (Guillermo del Toro) [ ]
In a teaser shown at Comic-Con 2010 for the unproduced Guillermo del Toro film, a brief narration was provided by Ian McShane , quoting a portion of the Ghost Host's Stretching Room dialogue.
Haunted Mansion (2023 film) [ ]
Character poster of the 2023 film's Hatchet Man
The Hatchet Man, played by Ben Bladon (credited as "Hatchet Ghost"), appears in the film as one of the Hatbox Ghost 's minions, frightening Ben Matthias in the Endless Hallway and later briefly possessing his body during the reverse seance. During this scene, the possessed Ben starts quoting the Ghost Host's spiel from the attraction. This version of the Ghost Host is a butler, with Bladon referring to him as Beauregard in interviews. 
Printed Materials [ ]
The ghost gallery [ ].
The Ghost Gallery storyline was created by Walt Disney World cast-members as a backstory for the Haunted Mansion and was the first notable instance of Master Gracey and the Ghost Host being turned into a composite character.
In this story he was named George Gracey Jr. and was the son of George Gracey Sr. ( George Hightower ) and Mary Gracey ( Constance Hatchaway ) with both of his parents having been highly absent and sent him off to Yale University. During his time abroad, Mary murdered George with a hatchet to the skull and disappeared, leaving George Jr. as the master of the family's mansion in New York . Due to his troubled upbringing and father's death, George came to be obsessed with the occult and the arcane while also opening up Gracey Manor for the rest of their family as he squandered the family fortune on curios and curiosities.
George would eventually come to marry a beautiful but melancholy woman named Lillian O'Malley who he had met in the circus while behind her back having an affair with his personal clairvoyant, Madame Leota with whom he had an illegitimate daughter known as Little Leota. Due to being jealous of Lillian, Madame Leota used her magical powers to summon an alligator to kill Lillian when she was doing a tightrope performance for the Gracey Family . Years later, George would remarry to a teenaged girl named Emily Cavenaugh due to her being an orphan who inherited her parents' massive fortune which George needed due to his poor spending habits. Not long after the wedding, Leota murdered Emily by locking her in a chest in the manor's attic and leaving her to suffocate while also allowing for George to inherit her fortune.
Following this, George became completely recluse while Leota worked to turn the mansion into a portal for spirits. George eventually learned of this as-well as Leota having murdered both of his brides. When George threatened to leave, Leota attempted to trap his spirit in her crystal-ball only for George to commit suicide via hanging before she had the chance. Due to this, Madame Leota's curse back-fired and trapped her within her own crystal ball.
SLG comics [ ]
The Ghost Host frequently appears as the narrator of numerous stories in the non-canon SLG comic series. He most notably narrates Mystery of the Manse , where he reveals himself to actually be William Gracey , a former sea captain and pirate under the moniker of Captain Blood . He hung himself over the loss of his bride , Emily de Claire when she was killed by the ghost of his former captain and victim Randall Pace . It should be noted that in this story the Ghost Host might be something of an unreliable narrator, as at least some of the facts he mentions in the story are contradicted in later issues.
Enter if You Dare!: Scary Tales from the Haunted Mansion [ ]
In this story, there is a character named Ezekiel who somewhat resembles the Ghost Host's "Hatchet Man" form. Ezekiel is the assistant of the undead Madame Blackheart (based on Madame Leota) in the Mansion near Sedgwick Park . When some boys accidentally throw their football into the manor's grounds, he invites them in to meet Madame Blackheart and have their fortunes read.
Disney Kingdoms comics [ ]
The Ghost Host oddly does not appear in the comic, in either "Hatchet Man" or disembodied voice form. However, some of his most famous dialogue is performed by other characters in Issue One: Danny Crowe , speaking to himself, and the Black Prince , speaking to Danny, and the Hatbox Ghost briefly takes on the role of a tour guide for Danny in issue 4 using some of his dialogue. In Issue 4, his skeleton hanging from the rafters of the cupola is encountered by Danny, but it is not a ghost, merely an inanimate skeleton, which Danny accidentally shatters to pieces.
Video-Games [ ]
Cancelled game boy advance game [ ].
Screenshots for the cancelled 2003 video game for Gameboy Advance featured the Hitchhiking Ghosts saying, "Welcome, foolish mortal, to the Haunted Mansion. We are your ghost host; Ezra , Gus , and Phineas ."
The Haunted Mansion (video game) [ ]
In the video game , the Ghost Host's portrait adorns the walls of different rooms throughout the mansion. The game's villain is the evil necromancer Atticus Thorn (voiced by Corey Burton), who at times quotes Ghost Host dialogue (e.g. at one point he calls the protagonist "foolish mortal"). Thorn is also capable of disappearing, with his ominous voice the only sign of his presence.
Kinect Disneyland Adventures [ ]
In Kinect Disneyland Adventures , a video game for Xbox 360, the Ghost Host guides the player through the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
Haunted Holidays [ ]
During the Haunted Holidays promotion on Disney.com in 2009, the Hatbox Ghost was referred to as the Ghost Host and voiced by Corey Burton, again providing a tribute to Paul Frees' Ghost Host voice.
Disney Crossy Road [ ]
The Ghost Host is an NPC in this game, delivering a line from the ride at the beginning of every Haunted Mansion level.
Disney Parks Shows [ ]
Happy hallowishes [ ].
The Ghost Host (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson ) narrates the Halloween fireworks show HalloWishes at the Magic Kingdom.
Theories and identifications [ ]
Master gracey, ghost host and tangled-up knots [ ].
Finding an identity to the Ghost Host has always been a problem among the Haunted Mansion's fandom.
Ever since the " Master Gracey " tombstone has been noticed in the graveyard, there have been speculations by fans that Master Gracey is also the "Master of the House" (another erroneous interpretation of the Aging Man character from the changing portrait), due to a misunderstanding of the name ("master", in 19th century Louisiana, referred to a young man not quite a teenager anymore but not yet an "adult", not to the actual "master" of the place).
It had also been separately assumed that the Ghost Host was once the owner of the house, which would explain why he is the one giving the tour. Provided that the decaying man of the foyer's portrait is what he was often made to be, that is the master of the Mansion, people later assumed that the Ghost Host was the master of the house pictured in the portrait (Master Gracey, per these fans).
Consequently, the two headcanons merged together, and it became a common idea that the decaying man is the master of the house, named Gracey, who gives the mortals a tour under the self-given title of "ghost host." This idea became so popular that it made its way into some official Disney merchandise sold at the parks, highly upsetting actual Imagineers who didn't agree with the idea. The 2003 film included the idea that the Master of the House was named Gracey and was the decaying man of the portrait, creating the film version of Master Gracey .
However, a fact often disregarded is that the Ghost Host is also supposed to be ghost of the Hanging Man, as evidenced by the line "There's always… my way" that plays before the hanging corpse is revealed to the audience. The Hanging Man is also made to be the Hatchet Man , and the canonical path would be to consider that Ghost Host = Hatchet Man = Hanging Man. Fans being fans, that didn't stop many people from remarking that "= Master Gracey" could easily be added to the equation, providing that the idea that he was the decaying man was wrong.
It was still possible for fans to go further, and some people noticed similarities between the Decaying Man's suit and the Hanging Man's. They assumed that the Decaying Man was the Hanging Man, the Ghost Host and Master Gracey, while forgetting about the Hatchet Man.
Finally, and though it's slightly less popular, there is still an "ultimate" version of the theory, in which the Hatchet Man is an older Decaying Man, that the Decaying Hatchet Man is named Master Gracey, and that he Hanged himself. This theory is as complete as can be so far, but is somewhat informed by the fact that the Decaying Man's "old" phase in his changing portrait only barely resembles the Hatchet Man. That being said, it is possible that the Hatchet Man portrait was originally a formal portrait and after the house became haunted, ghosts possessed the painting, adding a noose and hatchet, changing his facial features, etc., in the same way as it is suspected by many fans that the " Family Portraits " in the Corridor of Doors would have come to be.
In August 2022, a Christmas ornament based on the Hatchet Man was sold under the name of "Master Gracey Sketchbook Ornament" on the Shop Disney website, with the blurb speaking of him welcoming "foolish mortals" and thus also tacitly acknowledging the Ghost Host identification. A few days after it appeared on the website, the listing was changed to "Ghost Host Sketchbook Ornament."
Other identifications [ ]
Separately from the "Master Gracey-Master of the House-Hanging Man-Hatchet Man" mythos, there have been a few other attempts at creating a backstory for the ghost host, sometimes identifying him with other characters.
- Phineas Pock , proposed Lord and Master of the Haunted Mansion.
- The original plans of the Imagineers during the late fifties was that the "main" ghost of the house and master of the Mansion would be a sea captain with a tragic backstory, named in some concepts Bartholomew Gore (some concepts of this character remained in the character of the Mariner ).
- Some fans have speculated that Beauregard , a name on a tombstone added in 2011 outside the Walt Disney World Mansion, referring to a butler character from early Ken Anderson concepts, is the Ghost Host.
- Mister Frees , a name on a crypt added to the queue of the Walt Disney World Mansion in 2011, is a tribute to Ghost Host voice actor Paul Frees and may be the character's true identity, with his epitaph even saying that his "voice will carry on the breeze."
- In the book Tales from the Haunted Mansion: Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome , the narrator is possibly the Ghost Host. He introduces himself as Amicus Arcane , the Mansion's librarian; the physical description given is consistent with the Hatchet Man portrait.
- The Ghost Host's current voice actor Corey Burton, as previously stated in the Trivia chapter, considers that the Ghost Host is not a ghost in the same sense as the others; for him, it is the voice of the very building, coming from inside the walls (though the possibility that a spirit might be possessing the building is left open).
- The Haunted Holidays webseries (not to be confused with the Christmas re-theming of the real attraction) has the Hatbox Ghost speaking with the Ghost Host's voice (Corey Burton) and being referred to as the “Host” of the show.
- Tony Jay also voices the Ghost Host in another special feature of the film, which is a tour of the film's Gracey Manor. He gives instructions on how to proceed with the tour and also provides information and history.
- The unproduced 1999 movie script identified the hanging man as Clarence Fowler, the father of the bride Kathleen, that hanged himself in grief after Master Jacob Gracey killed the bride upon being exposed as a pirate that stole an important fortune-saving shipment from one of his shipping company vessels.
- Paul Frees: original voice
- Fred Frees (son of Paul Frees): Haunted Mansion's 30th anniversary, the 30th anniversary album and event in 1999. Temporarily took over after his father's death in 1980.
- Pete Renoudet: featured in the 1969 record album The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion . Renoudet uses a "Boris Karloff type" voice for this role.
- Teichiro Hori: Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Hori uses a Japanese dub.
- Corey Burton: Haunted Mansion Holiday , and a majority of of Haunted Mansion-related events, adaptions, and media. Burton had served as a protege to Paul Frees for many years and worked with his son Fred after the latter (Paul)'s death, sharing the role.
- Tony Jay: 2003 film's mansion tour and Halloween promos
- Joe Leahy: new English safety spiel
- Fabio Rodriguez: Spanish-language safety spiel
- In an interview with Corey Burton, he stated, "the Ghost Host, to me, is the voice of the structure itself. It comes from the walls."
- Phantom Manor ' s Ghost Host is the Phantom , who may be the spirit of the murderous Henry Ravenswood , the owner of Ravenswood Manor and Big Thunder Mining Company who perished in an earthquake.
- In Phantom Manor , the man hanging from the cupola above the Stretching Room is Melanie Ravenswood's fiancé , apparently murdered by the Phantom, who can be seen holding the rope and laughing maniacally.
- The Phantom was originally voiced (in English) by horror movie legend Vincent Price , who was/is sometimes mistaken for the voice of the Haunted Mansion' s Ghost Host. Price was replaced by French actor Gérard Chevalier soon after the attraction opened. In the 2019 refurbishment of the attraction, Price's voice was reinstalled.
- In the ghost town sequence in Phantom Manor , the decapitated Mayor's dialogue consists of clips of Paul Frees' Ghost Host.
- There is a proposed reference to the Ghost Host in the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest , itself being based on the Haunted Mansion's sister-attraction. On the island of Isla Cruces, a sword fight transpires in an abandoned church with the fighters passing by the church's cupola where the skeletal corpse of a priest is hanging from a noose. It is believed that this might be an allusion to the Ghost Host's corpse from the Stretching Room.
- In the original Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion rides, Paul Frees voiced Blackbeard and the Ghost Host respectively. In the film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides , Blackbeard was played by Ian McShane who also provided the voice of the Ghost Host for the announcement teaser for Guillermo del Toro's now-cancelled Haunted Mansion film reboot.
- The droid G2-9T imitates the Ghost Host in the queue for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue when luggage containing Madame Leota passes by. He says, "Mmhm. This one offers a chilling challenge…to find out that it is! Of course, there’s always my way".
- In the trailer for the 2023 film, the portrait of the Ghost Host was not shown moving, instead changing whenever it exited and reentered the shot. This was changed in the final film to show a CGI animated Ghost Host moving in the portrait.
Gallery [ ]
- ↑ https://phantommanorlegends.wordpress.com/2023/11/11/interview-with-ben-bladon-the-hatchet-ghost-from-the-haunted-mansion-movie-2023/
- 1 Alistair Crump
- 2 Face Armchair
- 3 Constance Hatchaway