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999 Happy Haunts: Meet The Hatbox Ghost

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

This week’s look at the ghosts of The Haunted Mansion focuses on the Hatbox Ghost – aren’t familiar with him? That’s because he was originally planned as a part of the attraction but never, well, materialized.


(Art by Austin Hillebrecht)

According to Jason Surrell’s book “The Haunted Mansion: From The Magic Kingdom To The Movies,” this ghostly apparition was supposed to appear across from the Bride in the attic scene, holding a hatbox. With every beat of the Bride’s heart, the Hatbox Ghost’s head was supposed to disappear and reappear in the hatbox he was holding. Alas, the Hatbox ghost was eventually cut from the plan due to technical difficulties.

Which Haunted Mansion ghost would you like to see featured here next week? Tell us in the comments section below!

For more about the ghosts from The Haunted Mansion, visit the post below:


  • I second the vote for the bride! I am putting together a HM Bride/Constance costume for Halloween, would love hear more about her hauntings!

  • I would like to see information on the graveyard caretaker and his cringing dog!

  • The Hatbox Ghost was in the Disneyland attraction briefly, before they pulled him and put the Bride in his original spot.

  • Feature the Ghost Host (the REAL Ghost Host: the creepy guy with the rope around his neck and holding a hatchet, not the Dorian Gray/”Master Gracey” guy.)

  • My vote for the next Haunt would be the Ghost Host himself. Or in lieu (in case he’s being saved for Halloween week, say), then I would vote for the bride. Excellent series Jennifer!

  • This is super cute, poor guy has to embroider his own hat. And to be a bit nitpicky, why is Cinderella’s castle outside his window? He wasn’t ever at WDW was he? Unless you’re hinting that he will be?

  • I LOVE that picture!! Is that print for sale at WDW or DLR? And if so, do you know what it cost and when it will be available? Thanks in advance!

  • Ally Girl!
    With some history to her many faces,
    and the original art by the Great Marc Davis
    -I’m Partial to this work considering
    I’ve got her tattooed on my arm.

  • someone last time mentioned the coffin in the conservatory, but what about either the quartet of singers at the end of the graveyard scene or the mummy and old man ghost with the hearing problem, also in the graveyard. When you listen to the entire attraction soundtrack its funny to hear the mummy become frustrated with the old man’s complaints of “louder”.

  • The Hatbox Ghost DID materialize – in Disneyland, during the first year of operation. There is much evidence about this online.

  • Hatbox most certainly did appear in the attraction. I saw him with my own eyes, and it gave my preschooler self nightmares for years afterward. He was removed because due to his position near the Doombuggy track, Yale Gracey’s head effect didn’t work right. The E-Ticket Magazine had a piece about him, he’s figured prominently in the Storyteller Album and Doombuggies has video of him in the attraction shortly after its opening.

  • Love!

  • Does the tightrope walker in the stretching room count?? She’s my favorite!

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