Legendary Hatbox Ghost Comes Out to Socialize in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park in May

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

UPDATE 5/1/15: The Hatbox Ghost will reappear May 9 in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park.

You may remember our chilling challenge from a few months ago, in which we asked you to guess which spooky specter was preparing to materialize inside the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park. Today, I’m excited to tell you that many of you were correct! The Hatbox Ghost is reappearing in May. Here’s a sneak peek!

Legendary Hatbox Ghost Comes Out to Socialize in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park in May, Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering

The Hatbox Ghost appeared in the Haunted Mansion for a short time around the opening of this classic attraction in 1969. Although brief, his presence sparked a decades-long following, and this reclusive resident of the Haunted Mansion was never forgotten. We’re excited that he will soon materialize once again!


  • So will there now be 1,000 Happy Haunts or will someone else be removed to keep it at 999? 😉

    • Mary – Notice I said “reappearing” not “returning” … maybe he was there the whole time, we just couldn’t see him! 😉

  • NO WAY! This is so awesome! My sister and I (WDW addicts we are) have been planning a DL trip for years, and it’s finally happening in July! And this is the icing on the cake to an already awesome 60th celebration! I can’t wait!!

  • Will this be happening someday at Walt Disney World too? 🙁

  • He was a cloaked figure with an evil grin.A hatbox hung from his hand.With each of his bride’s heart his head would disappear and reappear in the hatbox.

  • Haha Mary I thought the same thing. But technically, he’s already counted in the 999 cause his photo appears on the wall multiple times in the hall of doors 🙂 So I guess he’s just finally materialized 😉

  • I was there for the opening weekend it was there but the next time I was there it was gone. So it was one of original 999 happy haunts.

  • Looks like my trip in May will be even more frightening. Plus it’s always good to have a new friend join all the grim grinning ghosts!

  • That is exciting news

  • Will he still be there in September? Is HMH overlay not happening this year with Diamond happening?

  • Great to hear it. Any chance he’ll also be appearing in Florida?

  • No, I’m pretty sure he’s always been there… in spirit. 😉

  • Mary, he’s been in the mansion all this time, just hiding.

  • How long will he be there? Visiting in November.

  • For the love of ghouls, PLEASE bring him to Orlando! He’s all over the merchandise in the Magic Kingdom, and it’s silly that he has yet to make an appearance for Florida tourists. Help us out, guys!

  • Heck Yeah! So Awesome and hopefully only Disneyland gets him, WDW doesn’t need him, they have ‘Other’ enhancements. Please Skip NBC so I can see this when I come later this year!

  • Is this what the Haunted Mansion refurb is for from May 4-8? Meaning the Hatbox Ghost will be reappearing on May 9? I hope so, that is the last day of our trip!

  • Will he be there for the holidays?? I am hoping so! I was just wondering if he would be there during Haunted Mansion Holiday.

  • Perhaps a Blog Meet Up to mark the occasion?

  • After all the teasing they were doing putting the HBG on shirts the past 6 months I’m very glad he’s rematerializing. Let’s hope his stay is LONG! 😀

  • I am thrilled that the Hatbox Ghost has received our sympathetic vibrations for the past 46 years and will materialize once again. Now I really need to get to Disneyland for the Diamond Celebration!

  • Thank you for confirming this old rumor.

    But why would they add a Hatbox Ghost to the Mansion out in Florida? There was never a Hatbox Ghost figure in that clone of the Disneyland attraction, so no need for him to “reappear” in a theme park he never existed in to begin with. The Hatbox Ghost is a Californian, born and bred.

    Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration is shaping up to be something special!

  • Excellent; this will now have more meaning on our next visit when wearing my Hatbox Ghost T-shirt that Disney sold a while back.

  • So cool!

    And Thor– I agree, the hatbox ghost is a Californian. 🙂

  • How exciting!! I was just telling my niece about the Hatbox Ghost! Will he be there to stay?

  • Yep, he’s always been there, just not seen. YES, so excited to finally see him in person, so to speak.

  • Please don’t put Hatbox Ghost in WDW. He was never there, therefore why would it make sense for him to return? He should remain a Disneyland exclusive! Is the scheduled closure at Haunted Mansion in the beginning of May in relation to him reappearing?

  • His smiling ‘face’ has always been in the Haunted Mansion in WDW. (The photos that are around the doors. Would love to see him in the attic…Would Love to see the original bride return.

  • We will be there May 1-8. Will he be there then? 🙂

  • Awesome! The Hatbox Ghost is definitely welcome to come home (or make his presence noticed again!) What a wonderful surprise for the celebrations this year! Can’t say enough how much I love Disneyland. OK, I really love Disney World too. Mickey rules!

  • The Hatbox Ghost belongs in both parks! Disney even used his likeness for the East Coast March Magic Ghouls logo. Maybe it’s a message from beyond!

  • I always chuckle when I think about the Hatbox Ghost. When Imagineers installed the figure, they couldn’t get the effect to work convincingly because of technical limitations, but just three weeks earlier Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

  • Did the Hatbox Ghost want to reappear for the Diamond Celebration…or did Guillermo del Toro sent a message to the Somewhere Beyond??

  • YAY i am so happy that he is returning it’s about time i love hatbox ghost why did he go away in 1969 ?

    *lots of screaming excitement*

  • Brett– From what I understand, the hatbox ghost was removed shortly after the attraction’s opening because the effect (the character’s head disappearing from his body and reappearing inside the hatbox) simply did not work very well.

  • Erin– I assume that the Hatbox Ghost will be a permanent addition to the mansion?

  • The Hatbox Ghost was going to be at WDW as well but, they had the same technical error that they had at DL so he was left out, but he belongs in both parks,so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, put him in WDW as well!!!!!;)

  • My fiance are staying one extra day on our honeymoon vacation just to meet him. He BETTER be there May 9th!!!! Lol.

  • I hope it’s not the one from D23.

  • Keep it in California! Some things need to stay exclusive so there’s a reason to visit every Disney theme park. My family and I have never been to Disney World but we want to go there in the next few years (as soon as my baby cousin is tall enough to go on all the rides) because they have stuff over there that we don’t. 😉

  • How long will he be making an appearance? Want to make sure to plan a trip in that time… is it only May?

  • When in May?! I will be there in May and want to see him! When will dates and times to posted?

  • A second Hatbox Ghost was made for WDW some time ago, just never installed. Rumor has it he’ll make his appearance in Florida as well in the future.

  • When in May? I’ll be there the 1-4th. Will he be there those days? I saw the ride is closed on May 4th.

  • What about the death certificates at the mansion? They did not have them a couple months ago?

  • For all of us UK and worldwide Disney and Haunted Mansion fans, please include the Hatbox Ghost at WDW! I’ve been hoping he might return for years but we only get as far as the east coast!

  • The magic that is Disney never ceases to amaze me. I am looking forward to being frightened prematurely by the Hatbox Ghost on my next visit to my favorite Haunted Mansion.

  • Please God, don’t let it be the one from D23. He should be as he was in 1969. Afterall, ghosts don’t change or age! =)

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