Monday, April 2, 2012

The Legend of the Hat Box Ghost

I'm sure most of you know that the Hatbox Ghost was a character that originally was part of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion but was removed after the attraction's debut. It was located formerly in the rides attic scene, the figure is described as "an elderly ghost in a cloak and top hat, leaning on a cane with a wavering hand and clutching a hatbox in the other." Continue after the page break for some more info and a intriguing video!

I stumbled upon this very informative video about the Hatbox Ghost that even features a part with Imagineer Tony Baxter, who use to be a ride attendant for The Haunted Mansion. Have a look:

Pretty good stuff! Rumors suggested that the figure was eliminated due to its frightening appearance.
While it is unknown what became of The Hatbox Ghost, there are speculations as to what became of him. One report claims that its parts were reused in one of the Eagle Sam audio-animatronics used in the America Sings attraction which opened at Disneyland in 1974. This seems unlikely, in view of the simplicity of the design and construction of The Hatbox Ghost. A second Hatbox Ghost was created but never installed in Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion. The whereabouts of this figure remain a mystery as well. However, the head on the pop-up ghoul that is seen as guests depart the Disneyland Haunted Mansion's interior cemetery scene is identical to that of the original Hatbox Ghost.

A few interesting facts:

  • In July 2010, director Guillermo del Toro, participating in a panel discussion at Comic-Con, announced his involvement as co-writer and producer in a new film based on The Haunted Mansion attraction. He stated that, in his version of the rides story, The Hatbox Ghost will be a pivotal character.

  • On September 24, 2010, live from D23 (Disney)'s "Destination D: Disneyland '55" event in Anaheim, California, MiceChat Correspondent Dustysage reported that the Hatbox Ghost will be returning to The Haunted Mansion attraction. The news was obtained from a conversation between Imagineers.

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