Hatbox Ghost is Back in the Haunted Mansion

The legendary Hatbox Ghost, one of the 999 happy haunts in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park, is coming back after hiding for decades. Check out the videos below.

Hatbox Ghost
Hatbox Ghost

Hatbox Ghost

The Hatbox Ghost is a character that appeared originally in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland but was removed shortly after the attraction’s debut. Located formerly in the ride’s 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.”

The idea behind The Hatbox Ghost was for his head to vanish from atop his shoulders and reappear alternately inside his hatbox, in time with an adjacent bride figure’s beating heart. According to Imagineer Chris Merritt in an interview with DoomBuggies.com, the effect was never completely successful due to the illusion’s close proximity to the ride vehicles:

The gag was based purely on lighting. The ghost’s head was illuminated by black lighting. A light inside the hatbox he held would rhythmically illuminate and hide the head in the hatbox, while, in tandem, the actual head on the ghost’s shoulders would be hidden by extinguishing the black lighting. – Wikipedia

Video I Shot While Paused on the Ride

Video Provided by Disney Parks

Haunted Mansion at Disneyland

Edge into a dimly lit foyer and climb into a gloomy Doom Buggy for a supernatural journey through a tangle of frightful chambers. Blending giggling ghouls with things that go bump in the night, this classic attraction promises to send chills up and down your shivering spine.

Ethereal Inhabitants – Once an abandoned residence in the center of New Orleans Square, the Mansion has been home to 999 unearthly specters since August 9, 1969, including:

The Ghost Host – The disembodied voice of this helpful ghoul is your private guide through the cadaverous realm of the estate, directing you from room to room. Just try to find your way out!

Madame Leota – Amid flickering candlelight, take part in a séance hosted by the otherworldly spiritualist, Madame Leota. As apparitions materialize and make their ghostly presences known around you, sit tight and pray for light.

Hitchhiking Ghosts – Assuming you make it through the mansion, be warned that 3 mischievous phantoms may be lurking for you at the exit in the hopes of following you home.

Happy Haunting Grounds – Over 15 rooms are waiting to be explored within the darkened, spirit-infested abode, including:

The Portrait Chamber – Is this room actually stretching? You won’t believe your eyes here, where secrets are revealed on the walls and an unseen horror high overhead comes to light.

Grand Ballroom – You’re the Guest of Honor at this haunted party! Behold shadowy revelers waltzing to and fro, banshee heads floating out of a nearby organ and 2 haunted men in a duel from the great beyond.

The Graveyard – Gravitate through a midnight cemetery overflowing with spooks and specters joyously singing the haunting anthem “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” as a cemetery watchman and his bony dog quiver in fear. – Haunted Mansion

Jeremy Womack

Jeremy loves to travel. He wants to virtually take you with him to all of his favorite cities, by knowing the local news, as well as the best hotels, dining, and activities for each city. Want to learn about those secret local spots? Follow him on twitter, @jeremywomack.