List of Haunted Mansion characters
The Ghost Host is one of the first characters guests to the Mansion meet, so to speak. He remains invisible throughout the tour, guiding "foolish mortals" with an ominous Mid-Atlantic accented voice (provided by Paul Frees). His gleefully sardonic narration often features death-related puns and maniacal laughter. In the Stretch Room scene near the beginning of the tour, it is revealed that he committed suicide by hanging himself from the rafters in the ceiling. During Haunted Mansion Holiday, the Ghost Host is voiced by Corey Burton. In the Tokyo Disneyland Haunted Mansion, the character is voiced in Japanese by Teichiro Hori.
Contrary to popular belief, he is not the character Master Gracey. The Ghost Host as Gracey meme was first spread via fan fiction written by Walt Disney World Cast Members that circulated widely online, and eventually made its way into licensed media adaptations, such as the 2003 film and the comics. This was based on the faulty assumption that the Ghost Host is the master of the house, and the "Master Gracey" tombstone, which in actuality was using an entirely different definition of "master." In a recorded demo of Paul Frees as the Ghost Host using an early version of the script, he was attributed as the "lord and master" of the mansion, but it was an aspect of the character that is unknown in the finished attraction and possibly didn't make the final cut. In the second edition of his book, The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, Imagineer Jason Surrell states, in a correction from the first edition, that "the Ghost Host is not the master of the house—Gracey or otherwise—but merely one of 999 happy haunts." In official press material from around the time of the attraction's opening in 1969, the Ghost Host is referred to as the "majordomo of the Mansion's skeleton staff," which would make him a high-ranking servant rather than the master.
A similar character, known as the Phantom, narrates Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris. He was originally voiced (in English) by horror movie icon Vincent Price, but was replaced by French actor Gérard Chevalier soon after the attraction opened. Price's performance is still used however, for the Phantom's evil laughter.
In the 1969 record album The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion, the Ghost Host was voiced by Pete Renaday, using an accent and manner of speaking inspired by English actor and horror movie icon Boris Karloff.
The Ghost Host's famous line "Welcome, foolish mortals" was reproduced by Corey Burton in the opening titles of the 2003 film.
The following characters are depicted in the portraits of the Stretching Room:
- A balding man with a brown mustache and beard, dressed in a black tailcoat, a white shirt, a red sash, and a black bowtie. When the portrait stretches, it is revealed that he is not wearing pants (only red and white striped boxer shorts), and he is standing atop a lit keg of dynamite. In an early attraction script, which gave the names of the characters in the stretching portraits, he was an ambassador named Alexander Nitrokoff, who came to the Mansion one night "with a bang." In the comics, he was a visually impaired man named Steven who was invited to a party at Gracey Manor. Once Steven arrived at the Manor (sans pants), his glasses were flicked off by the Hatbox Ghost. Due to his poor eyesight, he wandered the house completely oblivious to the ghosts, and ended up lighting a keg of dynamite with a candle. The game Epic Mickey features a similar painting of a man standing on a barrel of TNT.
- An old woman holding a rose and smiling. When the portrait stretches, it is revealed that she is seated on top of the tombstone of her late husband, George Hightower, who is depicted as a marble bust with his head split by an ax.
- A brown-haired man with his arms crossed, dressed in a brown suit and wearing a brown derby hat. When the portrait stretches, it is revealed that he is sitting on the shoulders of another man, who is sitting on the shoulders of another man who is waist-deep in quicksand. In the comics, the three men were gamblers known as Hobbs, Big Hobbs, and Skinny Hobbs.
- A pretty young brunette holding a pink parasol. When the portrait stretches, it is revealed that she is balancing on a fraying tightrope above the gaping jaws of an alligator. This Ghost has had many names attributed to her. WDW cast members call her "Lillian Gracey" and say she strung her rope across to Tom Sawyer's Island from the Mansion grounds where she met her fate. In the comics, the girl was a witch named Daisy de la Cruz, who turned men into alligators. This was also her name in the 2014 Haunt Your Disney Side event.
Madame Leota is one of the iconic characters of the ride. She is the spirit of a psychic medium, conducting an otherworldly séance in an attempt to summon spirits and assist them in materializing. Her ghostly head appears within a crystal ball on a table in the middle of her dark chamber, from which she speaks her incantations. Musical instruments and furniture levitate and make noises in response. She was played by Leota Toombs (face) and Eleanor Audley (voice). Before Leota Toombs was chosen for the face of the medium in the crystal ball, Imagineer Harriet Burns was tested for the part. Leota Toombs also played the Ghost Hostess who appears at the end of the attraction.
In 2002, a tombstone for Madame Leota debuted at Walt Disney World's Mansion. The epitaph reads: "Dear sweet Leota, beloved by all. In regions beyond now, but having a ball." The face on the tombstone periodically shifts and opens its eyes. In 2006, Disneyland's Madame Leota was given the ability to float above the table in mid-air, via wires. This effect, along with the spell-book, was installed into the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion during the 2007 refurbishment. In the Servants Quarters (Walt Disney World), there is a bell for Madame Leota's Boudoir. Also at Walt Disney World nearby the Mansion in Liberty Square is a merchandise cart themed as Madame Leota's gypsy wagon.
In Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris, Madame Leota was played by Oona Lind. Her incantations are different from those of The Haunted Mansion, and they alternate between English and French.
In the comics, Leota was killed mid-trance by William Gracey, and doesn't realize that she's dead.
In the Haunted Mansion level of the Xbox 360 game Kinect Disneyland Adventures, a malevolent Madame Leota (voiced by Suzanne Blakeslee) is encountered upon entering the Mansion, in the Stretching Room.
The video game Epic Mickey has its own version of the character, named Madame Leona, who is the librarian of Lonesome Manor.
The Bride, one of the Mansion's most enigmatic characters, haunts the Attic. Inspiration for the character can be traced back to legends such as the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. The Bride has been altered several times over the years, appearing now at Disneyland and Walt Disney World as Constance Hatchaway—the "Black Widow Bride," using a digital projection effect.
The original incarnation of the Bride was a skeletal corpse with glowing eyes, clutching a candle in one hand and a bouquet in the other. The sound of her thumping heart filled the attic, and it could be seen glowing red within her chest. Her groom (according to the Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion album), the Hatbox Ghost, was removed shortly after the attraction opened, as his "disappearing head" effect was unconvincing under the scene's lighting conditions. Several "blast-up" and "pop-up" ghosts were also featured in the attic until they were removed with the "Black Widow Bride" update.
At one point a story circulated that the Bride's ring was embedded in the exterior exit path of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion. The object was actually what remained of a crowd-control stanchion that had been cut down. It was removed during 2007's Re-Haunting. In 2011, when the new interactive queue was added, an "official" Bride's ring was embedded in the path to honor the popular legend.
A candle-holding bride appears in the 2003 video game, though she is not the character from the movie.
In the comics, the bride is named Emily De Claire.
The storyline of Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris revolves around a bride named Melanie Ravenswood who is tormented by the sinister Phantom.
During the 2006 upgrades at Disneyland, the Bride was given a name, a new look, and a backstory. In the late 19th century, Constance married—and murdered—at least five wealthy men and inherited their fortunes. Her ghost utters sinister variations on classic wedding vows as a hatchet materializes in her hands. The visible beating heart of the previous versions of the Bride was not carried over to Constance, but its audio remains on the soundtrack. While much of Constance's story is left to the imagination, there are some hints in the newly decorated attic that give guests some insight into the character. A series of wedding photographs can be seen among various gifts and ceremonial trappings, and as guests pass each photo the heads of Constance's former grooms disappear. In the last photo, Constance holds a rose while posing next to her groom George Hightower. This echoes the portrait (in the stretching room) of a much older Constance holding a rose as she sits atop the tombstone of her late husband George, whose stone bust has a hatchet lodged in its head. (In an early attraction script, the widow in the stretching portrait was named Abigale Patecleaver.) Though Constance's ghost manifests as a young woman, she apparently lived to see old age.
Constance was later installed at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion during the 2007 refurbishment, though considerable work was done on her Floridian counterpart (including utilizing different video footage and switching to a single projector instead of two at Disneyland).
Constance is voiced by Kat Cressida.
In the Wii game Epic Mickey, Horace Horsecollar (who runs the Detective Agency in the Wasteland) sends Mickey Mouse on a quest to find Constance's murder weapon. As Horace explains to Mickey, "Constance Hatchaway was once the Lady of Lonesome Manor. Several of her husbands... expired. There were suspicions but no evidence. Mrs. Hatchaway hid a hatchet in the house."
In the Xbox 360 game Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Constance haunts the Ballroom and serves as a boss. Her appearance is based on the pre-2006 version of the character, complete with candle and bouquet.
The Hatbox Ghost was a character who originally appeared in the attic, on the opposite side of the room from the Bride. He was a cloaked figure with a grinning skeletal face, clutching a cane with a trembling hand. His head would disappear from his body and reappear from within the hat box he held in his other hand. He was removed shortly after the attraction opened at Disneyland due to the effect not working as intended, and returned on April 10, 2015. In the Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion album, he is identified as the Bride's groom ("with each beat of his bride's heart..."). The headless groom theme was re-introduced into the attic scene in 2006, as part of the "Black Widow Bride" storyline.
Guillermo del Toro has stated that his upcoming Haunted Mansion film will feature the Hatbox Ghost as a pivotal figure in the story, and that the mythology of the Mansion will be centered around the character. Del Toro analogized his version of the Hatbox Ghost to a spider sitting in the middle of a "web" of Haunted Mansions.
On April 10, 2015, it was officially confirmed that the Hatbox Ghost would return to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion in May 2015. The first day of the character's return was May 9, 2015.
A quintet of marble busts sing Grim Grinning Ghosts amidst the revelry in the graveyard. Their names are (from left to right): Rollo Rumkin, Uncle Theodore, Cousin Algernon, Ned Nub, and Phineas P. Pock. The original concept art for talking or singing busts by Marc Davis included a female, Aunt Lucretia. The busts can also be seen in Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris, minus Cousin Algernon.
- Rollo Rumkin: "Lived and died a friendly bumpkin," according to his tombstone (spelled Rolo on the stone), which was originally located in the family plot outside of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion. His name is a tribute to Imagineer Rolly Crump. He was played by Verne Rowe. In 2011 at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, an epitaphless tombstone with the name Rollo Rumkin debuted on the hillside adjacent to the queue.
- Uncle Theodore: The lead singing bust, whose head is broken off, was played by the deep-voiced Thurl Ravenscroft (known for singing You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch and providing the voice of Tony the Tiger). He is often incorrectly identified as Walt Disney. Ravenscroft also narrated the 1969 record The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion. In the comics, Uncle Theodore narrates Doom of the Diva, the tale of Baronessa Elda. In the 2003 film (like in the attraction), Thurl Ravenscroft's likeness was used for one of the singing busts. In 2011 at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, an epitaphless tombstone that reads "In memory of Uncle Theodore" debuted on the hillside adjacent to the queue. In Phantom Manor, his head has not broken off of the bust, but it is leaning over to the side a little, mimicking the broken head in the American mansions and in Tokyo.
- Cousin Algernon: Distinguishable from the other busts by his derby hat. He was played by Chuck Schroeder. In 2011 at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, an epitaphless tombstone with the name Cousin Algernon debuted on the hillside adjacent to the queue.
- Ned Nub: The only bust without a necktie. He was played by Jay Meyer. In 2011 at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, an epitaphless tombstone with the name Ned Nub debuted on the hillside adjacent to the queue.
- Phineas P. Pock: Relative of the poet Prudence Pock. He was played by Bob Ebright. The name Phineas Pock has appeared elsewhere in Haunted Mansion lore. A tombstone with the name Phineas Pock was featured in the original family plot at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, but it may not have been the same character as the singing bust. In 2011 at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, an epitaphless tombstone with the name Phineas Pock debuted on the hillside adjacent to the queue.
They were voiced by the Dapper Dans in the video game.
In the Wii game Epic Mickey, the original five busts make an appearance in a stretching portrait inside Lonesome Manor. In the Xbox 360 game Kinect Disneyland Adventures, four of the busts appear in the queue area outside of the Mansion, and can be conducted.
The Disney animated film Hercules features an homage during the song I Won't Say (I'm in Love), in which the Muses appear as singing busts and are arranged in the same way as the Haunted Mansion characters.
The Hitchhiking Ghosts are a tongue-in-cheek send-up of urban legends involving phantom hitchhikers. They are seen standing together inside a crypt, thumbs extended. They hitch a ride with guests traveling in Doom Buggies and appear alongside them in mirrors. "They have selected you to fill our quota, and they'll haunt you until you return," says the Ghost Host. In 2011 at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion, the mirror scene was updated with digital effects that enable the ghosts to interact with the guests. The vocals for Walt Disney World's computer-generated ghosts were provided by actor Kurt von Schmittou.
The Prisoner is a hairy little ghost with a ball and chain shackled to his ankle.
The Skeleton is a tall, dapper, grinning ghost. When the attraction first opened at Disneyland, he was completely bald, but has since had hair of varying lengths. Although the Skeleton figure has the same face mold as the Hatbox Ghost, they are not meant to be the same character. In Marc Davis' original concept art, the character was a stereotypical "sheet ghost" with no clothes, save for the bowler hat he lifted above his head. By the time the attraction opened, the character had evolved into the fully clothed skeletal ghost seen in the Mansion today.
The Hitchhiking Ghosts are often referred to as "Gus" (Prisoner), "Ezra" (Skeleton), and "Phineas" (Traveler). These names are thought to have originated from and popularised by Cast Members who worked at the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion, and further spread by fans. Since then, the names have appeared on merchandise for the characters and in various media licensed by Disney. When the subject was brought up in a 2006 interview, Imagineer Jason Surrell said, "Their names are not Ezra, Phineas, and Gus. I don't know where it came from. I know at one point, Cast Members contributed to this website that names all the ghosts and gives them backstories. None of those have any basis in Imagineering story, or anything like that. But somehow Ezra, Phineas, and Gus in particular managed to stick, so in the book about the only thing I could do is acknowledge that and say it's not official, but acknowledge it at the same time." When the interactive queue was installed outside of the Walt Disney World attraction in 2011, tombstones with the names Gus and Ezra were added. Also added was a tombstone for Phineas Pock, though this is a reference to the singing bust character, and not the Traveler hitchhiking ghost.
The Hitchhiking Ghosts make a brief appearance in the film.
The Hitchhiking Ghosts made cameo appearances in multiple episodes of Disney's House of Mouse.
The queue of Tokyo Disneyland's Star Tours: The Adventures Continue features three Audio-Animatronic hitchhiking droids: a former RX pilot droid and two former F-series droids from the attraction's original 1989 incarnation, all posed in the same manner as the Hitchhiking Ghosts.
Also known as the 'Ghost Hostess', this miniature "lady in white" type ghost beckons guests to hurry back at the end of the attraction. She was played (face and voice) by Leota Toombs. The character is said to have been inspired by the "arrangement hostesses" from the 1965 film The Loved One. The character was conceived as being separate to the character of Madame Leota, however due to being played by the same woman, the two characters are sometimes combined in related media.
- Glover, Erin (April 10, 2015). "Legendary Hatbox Ghost Comes Out to Socialize in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park in May". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved April 10, 2015.