Disney World shares new Hatbox Ghost details as ‘Haunted Mansion’ hits theaters
Disney’s new “ Haunted Mansion ” movie arrived in theaters this week, but fans of its namesake park attraction will have to wait a little longer for an iconic character to appear at Walt Disney World.
Disney revealed at its D23 Expo last year that the Hatbox Ghost would be coming to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion this year.
The fabled character has been captivating Disneyland guests regularly since 2015 , but his history goes back to Walt Disney’s days.
Here’s what fans should know about the Hatbox Ghost, including new details on where he’ll be located at the Florida resort.
Who is the Hatbox Ghost?
The Hatbox Ghost was the brainchild of late Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend Yale Gracey , whom Disney picked to design Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion with fellow Imagineer and Disney legend Rolly Crump .
The ghost was intended to be an opening day character whose head disappeared before guests’ eyes then reappeared in a hatbox in his hand. But there was one problem.
“The lighting conditions were different between where they had tested it and where it was installed, and that difference in lightning condition ruined the effect,” Disney Imagineer Victoria Thomas explained on the Disney+ documentary series “ Behind the Attraction .” ”You could see both faces simultaneously.”
That wouldn’t cut it for Gracey, so the Hatbox Ghost was removed after just a few days.
Decades later, he was resurrected at Disneyland by another Imagineer, Daniel Joseph , who idolized Gracey and his work.
“The Hatbox Ghost was something that I loved since I was like 10,” Joseph said on “Behind the Attraction.” He took great care to stay true to Gracey’s design while incorporating new technology.“I’d like to say he would dig it.”
Is Hatbox Ghost at Disney World?
The Hatbox Ghost will arrive in Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion later this year, though he’s already appearing on merchandise.
No debut date has been announced yet, but Disney said Friday, “Guests will soon see temporary barriers materialize as we await his apparition.”
Where will the Hatbox Ghost be?
“The Hatbox Ghost will appear to guests as they pass the Endless Hallway, welcoming himself inside from the swinging wake in the cemetery and grinning at the Doom Buggies as they set off deeper into the mansion,” Disney revealed Friday.
Haunted Mansion's Villain Has an Even Wilder Real Life History
Haunted Mansion's Hatbox Ghost is a remarkable villain for the 2023 Disney film, but the story of how he got there is even more impressive.
The following contains spoilers for Haunted Mansion , in theaters now.
Haunted Mansion reinvents many elements of the ride of the same name. Many aspects of the original Haunted Mansion attraction from the Disney Parks fit neatly into the 2023 movie, including characters even getting their own version of the signature Doom Buggy. Much of the film's actual plot is also rooted in the established lore and characters of the ride -- including the primary antagonist, the Hatbox Ghost.
The Hatbox Ghost (played by Jared Leto) is a consistent threat, working to break the spirits of the film's principal characters. Yet the intimidating character also has a surprisingly twisty real-life history, from being an infamously removed element of the ride to becoming a fan-favorite. The film expands on that by making him a key part of the Haunted Mansion's mythology, and highlights his true purpose -- and potential -- within the attraction's lore.
RELATED: Haunted Mansion 'Definitely' Leaves the Door Open for a Sequel
Who Is the Hatbox Ghost in Haunted Mansion?
The Hatbox Ghost serves as the primary antagonist of Haunted Mansion , so dangerous and deadly force that even the other spirits in Gracey Manor fear him. He's shown to be a monstrous entity, even compared to overtly murderous figures like the Bride. Thanks to the psychic skills of Harriet , the group is able to send Ben across the material plane and into a supernatural realm. There he discovers that the Hatbox Ghost is the real malevolent force in the manor -- capable of ordering around the others and terrorizing them into his service.
The group eventually learns he was once a wealthy man named Alistair Crump. Crump had been a wealthy aristocrat with a cruel streak, indulging his worst impulses with murderous acts and dark magic. Although Crump's servants eventually turned against him and beheaded him, Crump's spirit survived within Gracey Manor. His mission became to trap a thousand souls inside -- as that would allow him to break loose and spread his evil around the world.
In a movie that often straddles the line between goofy comedy, dramatic character beats and genuine horror, the Hatbox Ghost is never played as anything less than frightening. Crumb is always portrayed with a creepy layer of menace, even if his final form in Haunted Mansion 's familiar third act lacks some of the inherent malice from earlier in the picture. But it's a clever way to elevate him beyond the rest of the spirits, which is even more important since the Hatbox Ghost spent decades out of focus before the release of the film.
RELATED: Haunted Mansion's Big Cameos, Explained
How the Hatbox Ghost Took Years to Return in Real Life
The Haunted Mansion opened in 1969, and became one of Disneyland's many iconic attractions . Among the original ghosts in the ride was the Hatbox Ghost: an animatronic creation with a unique physical appearance. The concept was that his head would disappear from atop his shoulders and appear inside a hatbox in his hands. The effect was created by clever lighting and well-placed shadows -- but proved difficult in practice. Nearby natural light ruined the scare, and the Hatbox Ghost was removed after only a few months.
However, the character remained infamous, steadily gaining more popularity over the years -- in part due to his absence and the mystery it added. The Hatbox Ghost appeared in more and more material, such as the Haunted Mansion comic series, video games like Disney Crossy Road and parodies like Muppets Haunted Mansion . When The Haunted Mansion went through renovations ahead of its 60th anniversary in 2015, the Hatbox Ghost was reinstalled. Modern technology allowed a new version of the character to work, with a small piece of animation creating the illusion of the disappearing and reappearing head.
The Hatbox Ghost spent decades as The Haunted Mansion's biggest example of what could have been. His creepy design only gained more power once he was removed from the ride. It therefore makes perfect sense to bring him back in the biggest way possible, with Haunted Mansion highlighting how much the character has added to the franchise. The movie's story also gives yet another layer of intrigue to the character, because his continued appearance in the Haunted Mansion ride is now even more chilling thanks to the scares and challenges he presents in the film.
Haunted Mansion is in theaters now.
The Hatbox Ghost: A Re-Materializing Story
in Disneyland Resort
Described as “a cloaked figure with an evil, grinning face” in The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion , Hatbox Ghost stands alone just outside the Bride’s attic. Holding a knotty walking stick in one hand and an extremely large hatbox in the other, Hatbox was quite a legend despite his spooky disappearance and celebrated reappearance at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.
Finally reinstated into Disneyland’s New Orleans Square Haunted Mansion a few years back, The Hatbox Ghost is a bone-chilling reminder of Disney’s ability to materialize a ghost…but does this spooky specter work alone?
Disneyland’s Hatbox Ghost
Once Disney Fans and “tour” guests at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride past Constance Hatchaway (more about her proximity to Hatbox later), they will have the Doom Buggy in front pass to the left and suddenly, the Hatbox Ghost will appear. Brilliantly lit in blue, Hatbox appears whole, with skeletal arms outstretched.
As riders pass on the Omnimover, his head vanishes from his shoulders and reappears inside the hatbox, with his top hat floating above the space where his head should be. As if by true magic, Hatbox’s head wispily fades back into its original position a second later. An uncredited Corey Burton provided the sinister laugh, according to Haunted Mansion Fandom .
In 1969, the original animatronic was similar to the ballroom ghosts seen in the dining room, as Pepper’s Ghost method was utilized to bring Hatbox to life (after death?). While Hatbox was featured in press photos, on merchandise and in books, he was hastily removed and was feared to never return. It was rumored that he too scary for Guests, but that wasn’t the case at all, as shared by the Hatbox Superfan site, theHatboxghost.com :
One rumor circulated that he as so scary, Disney received so many complaints they had to remove him from the attraction. While this makes for a great story, sadly, that was not the case. The real truth was that the disappearing/reappearing head effect just didn’t work well enough. The Imagineers tinkered with his effect over the course of a few weeks, or even months, but could never acheive their desired result. Because of this, the Hatbox Ghost was taken out of the mansion for good.
The Hatbox Ghost’s unannounced and seemingly mysterious vanishing made him an instant favorite of Mansion fans everywhere. Doom Buggy riders were ecstatic to see the grim grinning ghost return in 2015, with the help of new technology and lighting.
Disney Parks took to TikTok to share just a tidbit of Hatbox’s history, from his original 1969 self to his newer 2015 high-tech reincarnation.
The Hatbox Ghost. A legend here at the Haunted Mansion. His own head vanishes from his body and mysteriously reappears in his hatbox. F irst seen in 1969, on the opening day of the attraction, the technology wasn’t quite ready for this bone-chilling effect. In 2015 Imagineers were able to bring this phantom back to life.
@disneyparks The Hatbox ghost is a legend here at the Haunted Mansion ? #Disney #Disneyland #HauntedMansion #HatBoxGhost #HalfwayToHalloween ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
The Hatbox Ghost and Constance Hatchaway
Today, Hatbox Ghost stands on the balcony just outside the attic (some believe you are plummeting to your death, as Constance Hatchaway and Hatbox are the first ghosts to acknowledge your presence). While Constance hacked her husband’s heads off for years without Hatbox, there seems to be an eerie connection between the two of them.
@disneyparks Step kindly into the attic, for better or for worse ? ##Disney ##DisneyParks ##Disneyland ##HauntedMansion ##Bride ##HalfwayToHalloween ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
Next to the Hatbox Ghost are several hatboxes that very well may hold the remains of Constance’s husbands’ heads! Occasionally littered throughout the attic scene, hatboxes may hold the heads of previous lovers. Another theory? That Hatbox is indeed one of the husbands! Lastly, perhaps the Hatbox Ghost is just an assistant of Constance’s…we just hope we see him helping out at Magic Kingdom one day!
What do you love about The Hatbox Ghost? Leave us a comment about one of the 999 happy haunts below!
Yes, That’s Jared Leto in ‘Haunted Mansion’
- Share on Facebook
- Share to Flipboard
- Share on LinkedIn
- Show more sharing options
- Submit to Reddit
- Post to Tumblr
- Print This Page
- Share on WhatsApp
When it came to finding a villain for Disney ‘s “Haunted Mansion” horror comedy, the obvious choice was the legendary 19th-century Hatbox Ghost from the popular Disneyland /Disney World attraction. Director Justin Simien (“Dear White People”) and screenwriter Katie Dippold (the all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot) even invented a spooky New Orleans backstory for him.
“And I think the realization was that he made for a great bad guy,” he continued, “and we wanna see a lot more of him. So we had to create a character that was indicative of the ride and people’s memory of [him] and also scary and dangerous. But not too scary to have the kids unable to sleep at night.” Related Stories Turns Out, the ‘Mean Girls’ Cast Reunion Is a Walmart Ad — Watch Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning’ Inspired President Biden to Bolster Security Against AI Threats
The VFX design process consisted of combining the skeletal look of the animatronic Hatbox Ghost (which Imagineering finally perfected in 2015) with Leto’s physical foundation (courtesy of a digital scan).
While the head was CG, the digital body double was courtesy of stunt coordinator Colin Follenweider. “The challenge was trying to get the vocal performance from Jared to convey his attitude and his panache that he brings,” Rivera said. “And then making sure the facial features, which are so disparate from Jared’s, connect to the performance.”
Meanwhile, capturing the overall ghostly effect (with the supporting actors in makeup) was inspired by bioluminescent algae. “That’s where, if you had your hand in the water, you don’t really see much, but as you move it, it’s the agitation of that water that creates the effect,” added Rivera. “And our characters, as they move through space, generate these ghost particles that come off them that allow you to see that there’s an ethereal nature to them.”
“Anything and everything in the ghost room can move or be alive at any given time,” Rivera said. “So there’s a point in the ghost room when the Hatbox Ghost first reveals himself, that even the busts on the wall are terrified and are hoping that he doesn’t notice them and turn away from him.
“And one of our ghosts tries to hide in the candle and be inconspicuous, but Ben picks it up to use it as a lighting device. And it blows itself out just to try to blend into the background. So it was trying to use all of those seemingly practical elements and give them life and allow them to be more animated in this ghostly realm.”
You may also like.
- Deceased Characters
- Beheaded Characters
- Disney Kingdoms
- View history
- 1.2 Character Identification
- 2.1 The Original
- 2.2 The Updated Ghoul
- 2.3 Other Ride Appearances
- 3 Removal and Return
- 4.1.1 Autopia
- 4.2.1 Haunted Mansion
- 4.3.1 House of Mouse
- 4.3.2 Muppets Haunted Mansion
- 4.4 Tales from the Haunted Mansion
- 4.5.1 SLG Comics
- 4.5.2 Disney Kingdoms Comics
- 7 References
Description [ ]
Described as "a cloaked figure with an evil, grinning face" in The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion , the Hatbox Ghost stands by with an old, kobby walking stick in his right hand and his namesake hatbox in his left. As riders look on, his head vanishes from his shoulders and reappears inside the hatbox, his top hat floating above the space where his head should be, only to have the head fade back into its original position moments later.
He has a similar face mold as the Skeleton hitchhiking ghost, Ezra. On the original figure, this happened to be an exact sculpt. Certain parts of his current animatronic have been coloured in such a way that it appears as if he is semi transparent. Some identify his cane as being a shillelagh .
Character Identification [ ]
- One popular theory is that he was the lover of the Bride and was killed by either the Bride herself or a jealous suitor.
- In the new version of the attic, many assume the Hatbox Ghost is one of Constance Hatchaway 's deceased husbands , or, at the very least, another one of her victims. The evidence of this is based on the fact that he was decapitated and had his head placed in a hatbox (as all of Constance's husbands were) and the close association shown between the two characters,
- Another possibility is that he was an accomplice of Constance as evidenced by his possession of the hatboxes she used to store her victims' heads.
Appearances [ ]
The original [ ].
In 1969, the Hatbox Ghost was briefly in a corner of the attic opposite the Bride where he was implied to have been a suitor to her, his head supposedly fading and returning with each beat of the Bride's glowing, thudding heart.
The Updated Ghoul [ ]
Today, at Disneyland, the Hatbox Ghost stands on the balcony alongside seven hatboxes as guests exit the attic before they descend to the graveyard . His head vanishes with a sinister chuckle or an occasional hiss and appears again in the hatbox, blinking and moving its eyes. An uncredited Corey Burton provided the chuckles.
Other Ride Appearances [ ]
While not yet appearing within Magic Kingdom 's Haunted Mansion , his presence is not completely absent. The ghost's face can be seen within several of the " Family Portraits " in the Corridor of Doors . The most evident of these is of a black & white photograph of the original Hatbox Ghost figure though there are two other photos of the same head-mould, showing the Hatbox Ghost in different hats. One of these has him wearing a bowler-hat and another having him wear a crown with the latter photo being nicknamed, "King Leer" as an allusion to the Shakespeare play King Lear and his leering head mould.
Also, in 2019 a Disney Photo-Pass addition was put in the attraction which took photos of guests in the ride during Walt Disney World's Portrait Hall sequence; when observed, these photos show the Hatbox Ghost looming overtop of the guest's Doom Buggies .
Removal and Return [ ]
Though the Hatbox Ghost was briefly in the attraction when it first opened, the intended effect of the vanishing head did not work out as planned. Rumor had speculated that the old parts for the Hatbox Ghost were used for the Sam the Eagle animatronic at the now defunct ride America Sings . This was later disproved when a manual for The Haunted Mansion was auctioned off showing that the HBG was too simple to have any moving parts to end up in the Sam the Eagle figures. Some speculate that he was removed because he was "too scary for a family attraction."
Early promotional material for the Haunted Mansion likewise heavily featured the character and, coupled with the fact that most never even saw him or the intended effect, he was not easily forgotten. The mystery of the character would persist for nearly 45 years, with all sorts of rumors and speculation floating around.
An A-100 animatronic, redressed to resemble the Hatbox Ghost, at D23.
This legacy has been reflected by both the company and the fans. The Hatbox Ghost continues to appear on merchandise, memorabilia and other Mansion-related items throughout the years, as well as making several cameos in various Disney media. In 2010, it was announced at San Diego Comic Con that Guillermo Del Toro's planned Haunted Mansion film would prominently feature the Hatbox Ghost. At the D23 Expo in 2013, a large animatronic figure was present at the show that was dressed to resemble the Hatbox Ghost.
In early January of 2015, following the take down of the seasonal Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, a strange wall with a holographic window depicting one of the bat stanchions appeared on the balcony in the attraction. Many assumed this masked an upcoming addition to the attraction, and most surmised that it would be the Hatbox Ghost. Disney teased this by putting the Hatbox Ghost on much of their merchandise for the Haunted Mansion's 45th anniversary, and finally confirmed in late April that the Hatbox Ghost was indeed coming back to the attraction. On May 9th, following a week-long closure, the Mansion reopened with an updated Hatbox Ghost figure in the spot where the "mystery wall" had been, using a combination of sophisticated video projection and old-fashioned stage magic to create the illusion of the ghost's vanishing head.
At D23 Expo 2022, it was announced that Magic Kingdom would be receiving a Hatbox Ghost in 2023. He will appear in the Endless Hallway instead of the Attic.
Other Appearances [ ]
Attractions [ ], autopia [ ].
The Hatbox Ghost makes a cameo in the pre-show videos of Disneyland's Autopia. While the robots ASIMO and Bird go on a, "Haunted New Orleans" tour looking for ghosts, the Hatbox Ghost's silhouette appears behind them. 
Haunted Mansion [ ]
The Hatbox Ghost, played by Jared Leto , serves as the film's main villain. He is given the name Alistair Crump.
In this incarnation, the character has a tragic backstory wherein he was born to an overbearing tycoon father and loving mother. The Crumps owned a Dutch colonial revival gothic mansion. Alistair's mother later died he was only nine; distraught with grief, Alistair was unable to cope with the situation and was often abused by his father, who later expelled him from their home. Shunned and ostracised by society, Alistair left for an unknown place and worked hard to rise through the ranks, eventually becoming a wealthy socialite and heir to a fortune. When his father died, Alistair returned and repurchased his old mansion, where it later became the site of lavish balls, of which most of the guests were socialites who shunned him. The balls served as traps for his enemies, whom he murdered out of revenge. Alistair was later beheaded by his mutinous servants.
Sometime later, William Gracey purchases an antebellum mansion, where he hired Madame Leota to try and contact the spirit of his dead wife every night for a full year. This ritual released hundreds of ghosts, mostly benevolent spirits, into the mansion. However, a mishap causes Alistair, now an evil entity called Hatbox Ghost, to arrive and trick Gracey into taking his own life, before killing Leota and trapping her inside her crystal ball. Crump later trapped the ghosts in the antebellum mansion and must find the 1000th soul.
Given the backstory of the character, this incarnation of the Hatbox Ghost is a tragic villain. The harsh upbringing and expulsion from his home caused his cruel nature and shunning, wherein he later murders his enemies in a fit of rage.
Television [ ]
House of mouse [ ].
The Hatbox Ghost makes a cameo appearance in an episode of House of Mouse when he's about to turn at Pete .
Muppets Haunted Mansion [ ]
Gauzey the Hatbox Bear in Muppets Haunted Mansion
The Hatbox Ghost is portrayed by Fozzie Bear , using the name Gauzey the Hatbox Bear , with his head disappearing and reappearing being a part of his comedy act in "The Mansion Show" and being heckled by Statler and Waldorf from a Doombuggy. Despite his head related talents, Gauzey doesn't seem to realize he's actually dead. Gauzey's head appears later in the special's climax when Gonzo races down the Endless Hallway to find a way to the Attic.
Tales from the Haunted Mansion [ ]
The Hatbox Ghost makes a brief cameo in Volume II 's story "Uncle Rory's Late Show", welcoming Uncle Rory and Diana Durwin to the Mansion and placing the severed head of a bank manager that the undead Rory killed in his posthumous revenge spree into a hatbox.
SLG Comics [ ]
In the Mystery of the Manse storyline, the Hatbox Ghost is the spirit of Randall Pace , a gunrunner decapitated by William Gracey during a mutiny. He is one of the spirits summoned by Madame Leota to torment Emily de Claire on the day of her wedding to Gracey, and seems to lead the ghosts of Gracey's murdered crew in frightening her to death. The Hatbox Ghost makes several minor appearances throughout the comic as well.
Disney Kingdoms Comics [ ]
The Hatbox Ghost first appears in a cameo in The Haunted Mansion #2 alongside the Captain , Madame Leota and Constance as the nature of the mansion's ghosts and their powers is explained by Pickwick . It is revealed that these four ghosts are among the few that actually died on the grounds of the mansion, thus leading to them having more supernatural power.
In the following issue, he appears to help Danny escape from the Captain in the Grand Hall . It is revealed that he has only recently returned to the Mansion after a long time traveling to different haunted places around the world magically connected together by the Endless Staircase and Ghostly Materials Gallery , a vast labyrinth that only he has figured out how to properly use. Though insisting he's staying out of the fight, he urges Danny to continue on his adventure to undo the Captain's curse on the Mansion, free the Haunted Mansion's magic, and allow all the ghosts the freedom to travel. The end of the story reveals the Hatbox Ghost as the new keeper of the Captain's disembodied head, kept in one of his hatboxes, away from his ghostly body so he cannot reform and return to his evil ways.
Compared to the rest of the four, the Hatbox Ghost has a more relaxed personality, believing that the dead should learn to celebrate life in their afterlife, noting that it'd be impossible for Constance or the Captain to move on because of their respective unbridled rage and insatiable greed.
Strangely, he does not perform or refer to his "head-in-the-hatbox" trick even once in the Disney Kingdoms comics.
- Although he does not physically appear in the Disney World Version of the attic, his hatboxes do. If you look to the side of the room opposite to Constance, near the picture of her and the Marquis you will see five hatboxes stacked atop one another looking nearly identical to those on the Disneyland Balcony
- After he was initially removed, he continued to be featured in Haunted Mansion merchandise and promotional content such as Vinylmation and House of Mouse .
- His dark chuckle was performed by Corey Burton who also voices the Ghost Host during Haunted Mansion Holiday .
- A Christopher Merritt sketch from a 2006-2007 proposal to bring back the Hatbox Ghost had business signage for an "S. Ezra Haberdashery" among the set dressing.
- It is possible that the Hatbox Ghost's design was inspired by Lon Chaney's character "The Man in the Beaver Hat" from the 1927 horror-film, London After Midnight .
- In merchandise he is sometimes referred to as being " The Maddest Hatter of them all " as a reference to the Mad Hatter character from Alice in Wonderland.
- After he was removed, a popular myth arose which was that he was removed due to how scary he was and that he gave one guest a heart attack, in reality his effect just didn't work
- One popular theory was that his parts were reused for the Sam the Eagle animatronic at America Sings which was later turned into the Br'er Fox animatronic in the soon-to-be-defunct Disneyland attraction, Splash Mountain . Upon inspection of his blueprints it can be seen that his figure wouldn't have had enough moving parts for this.
- Although unlikely, if not thrown away completely, the original Hatbox Ghost animatronic may possibly be in the Disney Warehouse somewhere that is off-limits to guests.
Gallery [ ]
References [ ]
- ↑ https://www.endorexpress.net/parks/disneyparks/disneyland-disneyland/2017/04/an-asimo-topia-disneyland-photo-update/
- 1 Alistair Crump
- 2 Madame Leota
- 3 Constance Hatchaway
- Disney Cruise Line
- Disney Genie
- Disney History
- Dining Reviews
- Resort Guides
- Resort Reviews
- Disney News
- Disney World
- Magic Kingdom
NEW: Disney Shares Timeline and Details for the Hatbox Ghost Addition on Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion fans: it’s a good day! Not only is the film in theaters, but Disney has shared more details about the Hatbox Ghost addition on the classic attraction.
The Haunted Mansion is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World. It combines both “spooky” and “funny” elements to create a “haunted” experience that is uniquely Disney.
This attraction combines the work of some of the best Disney Imagineers in the company’s history to create illusions and tricks that bring guests back again and again.
Some of the attraction’s best tricks, like those in the ballroom scene, rely upon fairly old “technology” to create memorable illusions that still entertain guests each and every day! Take a look at some of the spooky secrets found on The Haunted Mansion HERE.
At the opening of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost was located in the attic scene. This character had a special effect: his head would disappear and show up in his hatbox and then would pop back to the top of his head.
Imagineer Yale Gracey designed this addition, but the original Hatbox Ghost only lasted but a few days. The effect wasn’t up to the standard that Gracey wanted for the attraction because at that time the technology wasn’t able to make the trick correctly.
Since that time, however, the Hatbox Ghost has had a cult-like following. A year ago, much to fans delight, we announced HERE that the Hatbox Ghost would be coming to Disney World!
Disney’s announcement reads:
Later this year at the Walt Disney World Resort, one of our most iconic specters will set up residence in the Haunted Mansion of Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom Park. The Hatbox Ghost will appear to guests as they pass the Endless Hallway , welcoming himself inside from the swinging wake in the cemetery and grinning at the Doom Buggies as they set off deeper into the mansion.
Guests will soon see temporary barriers materialize as we await his apparition.
This is not the same location as the Hatbox Ghost in Disneyland Park’s version of Haunted Mansion. If you can’t get enough Hatbox Ghost, be sure to head over HERE to see the new sipper Disney just released!
Are you excited for the addition of Hatbox Ghost? Let us know in the comments below and share this post with a friend.
From what it seems it sounds like we are going to not only see the Hatbox Ghost in the attic but also in other places on the ride. Probably inspired by his increased presence in the film. I think this should be added in as well.
What do you think? Cancel reply
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .
EVEN MORE NEWS
We Are Thankful For Amazing New Disney Treats this November
Disney is Spending How Many Billions Now?
Attention: Jungle Cruise Changes This Month at Disney World
- Disney World 9863
- Disney News 7712
- Disney Planning Tips 1419
- Disney Entertainment 1125
- Magic Kingdom 1000
- Disneyland 963
the disney food blog
food IS a theme park
Read the Latest Posts
Looking for something?
Get the dfb newsletter, stay connected.
NEW Hatbox Ghost Details Announced for the Haunted Mansion in Disney World
By Kelly Oliveros 6 Comments
Something NEW is coming to the Haunted Mansion in Disney World and now we’ve got more details about it!
The Haunted Mansion
Back in September of 2022, Disney announced that the ICONIC Hatbox Ghost would be making his way over to Disney World’s version of the Haunted Mansion ride . Since then, we’ve been waiting for more details…and now we FINALLY have some!
Disney has shared that later this year, the Hatbox Ghost will pop up in the Haunted Mansion, specifically as guests pass the Endless Hallway.
Disney notes, “The Hatbox Ghost will appear to guests as they pass the Endless Hallway , welcoming himself inside from the swinging wake in the cemetery and grinning at the Doom Buggies as they set off deeper in.”
We knew that the Hatbox Ghost would be appearing in the ride in 2023, but Disney hadn’t previously shared his exact location. What’s interesting is that the Hatbox Ghost’s location in Disney World will differ greatly from his location in Disneyland . In Disneyland, you’ll find him at the end of the attic scene, while in Disney World he will (as we noted above) be located in the Endless Hallway (where you typically see the floating candelabra).
Hatbox Ghost at Disneyland
Be aware that you’ll see some changes in the Haunted Mansion as this new addition takes its place. Specifically, Disney has said that guests will soon see “temporary barriers materialize” as we wait for the Hatbox Ghost to arrive.
We had previously shared that the Haunted Mansion will temporarily CLOSE from August 7th through August 9th, 2023, but Disney has not indicated whether this is at all related to preparation for the Hatbox Ghost’s arrival. Thus far, we only know that he’ll fully materialize within the ride “later this year.”
Hatbox Ghost in Disneyland
For those not familiar with the Hatbox Ghost, as D23 explains, the character was originally part of the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland when it opened in 1969. But he was almost immediately taken out when the illusion didn’t work correctly. The illusion here is meant to make it appear as if the Ghost’s head goes from his body to his hatbox.
The Ghost returned during Disneyland Diamond Celebration in May of 2015, and now years later he’ll finally arrive at Disney World.
Disneyland Hatbox Ghost
Looking for more Haunted Mansion fun? Disney has announced that for a limited time those who visit Disneyland Park can go to the Opera House inside The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to “ see a collection of concept art, props and costumes from the ‘Haunted Mansion,’ including the ornate dress worn by Madame Leota (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) in the film.”
A similar display of costumes and props from the live-action movie is set to come to Disney World soon as well. It’ll be located in the Walt Disney Presents Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
For more Haunted Mansion news, see our posts below:
- We Just Ate Disney’s New CANDLE (And It Was Delish)
- “Your Soul” Is the Price on This Disney Zillow Listing (And That’s Not Even the Worst Part!)
- Proof That Disney Celebrities Can Truly Show Up ANYWHERE in the Parks
We’re on the lookout for more details about the Hatbox Ghost, the Haunted Mansion movie, and more — so stay tuned!
Click here to see what new Haunted Mansion treats have arrived in Disney World!
Join the dfb newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox click here to subscribe, we know disney. you can, too..
Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.
Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!
Save 25% on the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining with code WDW2023.
GET YOUR GUIDE NOW
Are you excited about the Hatbox Ghost’s arrival in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!
See the NEW Disney 100th Anniversary Happy Meal toys available at McDonald's NOW!
We took your word for which Disney restaurant was the worst, but would we agree?
Here's where to find EXCLUSIVE 'Star Wars' merchandise in Hollywood Studios.
Disney World Monorail passengers were evacuated today!
Disney announced that these gingerbread creations will be returning to six hotels this year, and...
Here are the 2024 dates you need to book your hotel reservations for ASAP!
NEW Disney Happy Meal Toys have landed at McDonald's!
There's a danger with leaving EPCOT late at night, so let's talk about it!
A big-name retailer is offering their annual military discount! Get the details here!
Here are 5 reasons you might want to SKIP this Disney World ticket upgrade!
We have learned of the passing of a wonderful sitar player from Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Let's check out these Amazon Disney Loungeflys on sale right now!
Just HOW controversial is this Disney World hotel change?
Did Disney's new pizza actually pull off a sweet AND savory flavor?
Imagine getting stuck on the Jungle Cruise and having to be towed away!
A new addition is coming to a Disney World ride soon!
Disney shared a NEW look at its new show inspired by the Main Street Electrical...
This could be the first date you'll be able to ride the world festive Jingle...
Here's a Disney Visa card perk you might NOT know about.
Come with us to meet Asha at EPCOT.
July 28, 2023 at 11:33 am
I’m actually not happy about the placement of Hatbox here. It doesn’t make sense, since it’s before the seance, which is what causes the ghosts and spirits to become visible.
July 28, 2023 at 4:12 pm
I don’t know about this. I’m looking forward to seeing the Hatbox Ghost in Disney World, but the way the ride is currently set up you don’t actually see any ghosts until Madam Leota calls them up during the seance. Putting the Hatbox Ghost in the hall would mess up the plot point. Am I being to finicky?
July 29, 2023 at 3:02 pm
Whereas the ride extends to a building behind the mansion, is there anything in the mansion itself, above the entrance floor? Just curious.
July 29, 2023 at 5:59 pm
The Hat Box Ghost should be placed on the balcony after the bride when we fall off the roof (turn backwards) this is the only place that makes sense.
July 30, 2023 at 5:52 pm
We aren’t supposed to be able to see they ghosts until after the seance with Madame Leota. (When they materialize) Imagineers have spoken extensively of this in the past, and the intentionality of this in the story telling. This feels like a lazy call IMO
July 30, 2023 at 7:45 pm
I have no quibbles with where they are putting him. I’m sure they thought long and hard about where it could be placed engineering wise. It’s still gonna be a great ride!
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.
CHECK OUT OUR OTHER EBOOKS
Subscribe to our feed.
The Real Reason Disney Removed The Hatbox Ghost From The Haunted Mansion Ride
With the release of Disney's "Haunted Mansion" fast approaching, it's understandable that the original, classic Disneyland ride is also receiving a bit of extra attention. Frequently held up as one of the best and most popular attractions at Disneyland, Haunted Mansion originally opened in 1969 and takes attendees through several rooms of ghosts, a levitating psychic medium, a demonic clock, and other spooky fare.
Given the ride's enduring popularity, it is perhaps inevitable that the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland would end up accumulating its own myths and legends. One involves the ghost of a little boy named Timmy, whose mother scattered his ashes around the Haunted Mansion after he died in the 1990s. Guests have reported seeing Timmy's apparition many times over the past 30 or so years.
Then there are the legends that are of a far more mundane variety. Enter the Hatbox Ghost. Appearing toward the ride's end, the Hatbox Ghost is characteristically dressed in vaguely Victorian garb, wears a top hat, and carries a hatbox in one hand. As guests roll by, they see the ghost's smiling visage disappear and reappear in the hatbox itself, all while his top hat continues to float above where his head once was.
Originally one of the many ghostly characters that inhabit the Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost disappeared not long after the attraction opened. Though he eventually returned to the Haunted Mansion — nearly 50 years later, in 2015 — rumors still swirl about what was behind his disappearance, prime among them being that the character was just too scary, prompting complaints from attendees.
The original technology of the Hatbox Ghost wasn't up to snuff
Alas, the actual story is far less titillating. As it turns out, the Hatbox Ghost was so quickly removed because, within days of the Haunted Mansion's opening, it became very apparent that the technology behind him wasn't working correctly. In order to understand why, readers will need a tiny bit of background on the concept that the Disney Imagineers were trying to pull off.
Many of the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion are rendered with an effect known as Pepper's Ghost, which essentially requires a mirror and lights to project the reflection of an animatronic figure into an attendee's sight line as it moves or speaks, hence how the ghosts appear eerily translucent. After the opening of the Haunted Mansion, it was discovered that the ambient light in the attic scene was preventing the Hatbox Ghost's head from completely disappearing from his shoulders.
Meanwhile, rumors took root regarding what had become of the figure used for the Hatbox Ghost, including that it had been used for another animatronic attraction. None were ever really confirmed or denied until the 2015 return of the Hatbox Ghost , whose disappearing and reappearing head could now be aided by better technology and precise lighting.
It has also been confirmed that the Hatbox Ghost, played by Jared Leto , will appear in Disney's "Haunted Mansion," out July 28.
- Search Search Please fill out this field.
Haunted Mansion director teases Jared Leto's 'menacing and terrifying' Hatbox Ghost
Justin Simien exclusively previews the Oscar-winning actor's take on a fan-favorite character from the beloved Disneyland ride for the new Haunted Mansion movie.
Entertainment Weekly's Oscars expert, 'RuPaul's Drag Race' beat reporter, host of 'Quick Drag' Twitter Spaces, and cohost of 'EW's BINGE' podcast. Almost all of the drag content on this site is my fault (you're welcome).
From "Boof!" to "Boo!" Jared Leto is still startling audiences with his transformative performances/ The director behind Haunted Mansion , the Oscar-winning star's latest acting opus, says fans will be appropriately blown away by his creepy work.
"It's very surprising. You'd be shocked to know who it was until you're told," filmmaker Justin Simien — creator of Dear White People — exclusively tells EW of Leto's metamorphosis into the Hatbox Ghost, a fan-favorite character lifted directly from the Disneyland ride upon which the upcoming family horror film is based.
"The character itself, it's part digital, part physical performance. We're trying to go for something scary that feels like it could exist physically in the real world, on the ride, but pushes the scare a lot further than the ride does. He knocked it out of the park. He's very menacing and terrifying."
The Hatbox Ghost who appears in the ride has a complicated history. The character served as an original animatronic inside the California version of the attraction that opened in 1969. It then quickly became a popular addition to the experience, thanks to a special effect that made it appear as if the happy haunt's head disappeared from his shoulders and sprung up inside a box in his hand. He was temporarily removed from the ride, only to return in 2015. Disney World in Florida later announced that the Orlando iteration of the ride would also receive a Hatbox Ghost at some point in the future.
Before that, though, Simien's film will see the Hatbox Ghost stalk the halls of the titular abode. He can be seen using his signature cane to creep through the mansion, where a single mother ( Rosario Dawson ) and her young son enlist the help of a team of spiritual specialists ( LaKeith Stanfield , Owen Wilson , Tiffany Haddish , as well as Jamie Lee Curtis as the iconic Madame Leota) to rid their New Orleans home of ghosts. Along the way, they encounter several scenes meticulously modeled after the rides. Those include the stretching room, the "Ghost Host," and the legendary "Grim Grinning Ghosts" tune interpolated throughout the film's score, Simien says.
"We got down to the point where we were obsessing over the angle you first see the mansion when you walk onto the ride in Disneyland, when we see it through the gates and we see the pillars," he explains. "That angle has to hit. That's how specific we were. When you first glide through the dining hall and you see the waltzing dancers, that angle had to be right, because that's the one where you gasp on the ride."
When asked about Leto's widely known brand of Method acting, Simien says the 51-year-old didn't inhabit the character the entire time on set. The actor was, however, convincing enough to send a chill down Simien's spine, anyway.
"When I was with him [filming], yeah, he was full-on Hatbox Ghost. A lot of that is voice performance, a lot of that is voice capture. It's a little bit of a different animal," Simien explains, "but it gave us time to craft it and gave us quiet moments between the performance."
Haunted Mansion opens July 28 in theaters.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly 's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.
- Disney World Imagineer addresses fan interest in hypothetical villains land from D23: 'We took note'
- Disneyland removes Song of the South tune 'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah' from Magic Happens parade
- Jenifer Lewis to reprise Princess and the Frog role in Disney's Splash Mountain replacement
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Hi. This is Thesecret1070. I am an admin of this site. Edit as much as you wish, but one little thing... If you are going to edit a lot, then make yourself a user and login. Other than that, enjoy Villains Wiki!!!
- Movie Villains
- Live Action Villains
- Dark Fantasy Villains
- Horror Villains
- Deal Makers
- Collectors of Souls
- Adaptational Villainy
- Serial Killers
- Destroyer of Innocence
- Type Dependent on Version
- Damned Souls
- Faux Affably Evil
- Immortality Seekers
- God Wannabe
- Bond Destroyers
- Cult Leaders
- Comedy Villains
- Chaotic Evil
Hatbox Ghost (2023)
- View history
NOTE: This article is about the 2023 version for the attraction's version see: Hatbox Ghost (Original)
Alistair Crump , later known as the Hatbox Ghost , is the main antagonist of the 2023 supernatural horror comedy film Haunted Mansion , based on the Walt Disney World's theme park attraction of the same name .
He is one of the several spectral spooks sealed in the Haunted Mansion, a haunted house located in New Orleans, Louisana. It turns out he was actually the original owner of the house before his death. Having haunted the building for years, the Hatbox Ghost quickly joins all of the mansion's ghosts in scaring out its newest owners, a single mother called Gabbie and her young son Travis, prompting them to gather a team of ghost exterminators led by Benjamin "Ben" Matthias.
He was portrayed by the Academy Award winning Jared Leto , who also played Angel Face in Fight Club , Harry Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream , Junior in Panic Room , the Joker in the DC Extended Universe, Niander Wallace, Jr. in Blade Runner 2049 and Michael Morbius in Morbius . While possessing Bruce Davis, he was portrayed by Danny DeVito ,
- 1 Personality
- 2.2 Summoned by Gracey
- 2.3 Events of the Haunted Mansion
- 4 Navigation
Personality [ ]
Alistair Crump was considered incredibly petty in life, having disdain for everyone. Such examples of this involved how he would forbid having chairs in the foyer of his mansion, as he didn't like the idea of people being seated when he entered the room. He had all the chairs in the dining room shortened, while piling pillows onto his own, so he could be the tallest person in the room. He also demonstrated womanizer and misogynistic qualities, when his second wife found out about his third wife, then-mistress, when he put a portrait of her in their living room, and insulted her for being able to read it.
As the Hatbox Ghost, Alistair was also very manipulative, and would prey on those suffering grief, using this to manipulate their pain to get them to commit suicide under the guise of their deceased loved one.
History [ ]
Alistair Crump was born to a wealthy, albeit cruel and overbearing Louisiana socialite and his good-natured wife in the 1800s. The family owned Crump Manor, a large Dutch gothic revival home in Louisiana. At the age of nine, Alistair's mother died, and his father disowned him for crying too much at her funeral. Shunned by society, Alistair was left with nothing and disappeared, rumored to be traveling the world learning about mysticism and dark arts. He worked his way to rise up the ranks and, upon reaching adulthood, soon became a renowned wealthy tycoon.
Later, Alistair returned to Louisiana wherein he repurchased his old home, regaining entire control of it when his father passed away "under mysterious circumstances." He became famous for throwing lavish parties and invited all of the guests he felt poisoned his father against him, ending each one in a murder spree and burying them underneath the mansion with mocking effigys on their headstones. Eventually, his own horrified staff—who he abused often—caught up to him and beheaded him, but not before he vowed vengeance from beyond the grave. They then left his head to rot underneath his top hat in the same place he buried his victims.
At this point, he became the Hatbox Ghost.
Summoned by Gracey [ ]
Years later, William Gracey purchased a grand estate near the bayous of New Orleans. To help get over his grief of losing his wife, he hired a famed medium named Madame Leota to help him contact her. The pair ended up holding a seance every day for an entire year, which released many ghosts into the mansion (the majority of whom are benevolent). However, a mishap causes the spirit of Crump, now taking on the form of the Hatbox Ghost, to be brought back. Alastair impersonated Gracey’s wife and convinced Gracey to take his own life, and trapped Leota in her crystal ball when she attempted to identify him.
Alistair Crump's main objective was to capture 1000 souls for a ritual, allowing him to leave the mansion and wreak havoc on the living world. Over the decades that he's been causing chaos at the Haunted Mansion, he was able to influence every person who's entered to willingly cross over to the other side and get them to surrender their soul, in hopes of one day being free to use his dark magic on the world of the living without constraint. In the process, he not only torments his victims but also the ghosts who remain in the Haunted Mansion to do his bidding, forever unable to be at rest.
Events of the Haunted Mansion [ ]
Crump continued to torment the new owners of the mansion, a widowed doctor and her son, after they moved in, as well as the people they sought help from: a clergyman, astrophysicist, medium, and professor. With help from Madame Leota, they were able to identify him.
During a fight in the graveyard, Ben gathers the courage to overcome his grief of losing his wife, and with the combined forces of the ghosts, he resists Crump's offer, causing him to return to the afterlife—this time for good.
- In the original The Haunted Mansion mythos, the Hatbox Ghost 's real name was Randall Pace. In this film, the Hatbox Ghost's name is Alistair Crump instead.
- Their backstory mirrors the Beast Prince in the 2017 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast , wherein the titular character faced abuse from their father, following the death of their mother.
- The Hatbox Ghost's major role in the film seems to be a leftover from the project's early drafts by Guillermo del Toro, who was slated to direct and write the film back when a second film based on The Haunted Mansion was announced in July 2010. Though del Toro later departed the project, Disney was noted to really like his drafts and some of del Toro's concepts may have been kept in the finished product, so in that case, maybe the Hatbox Ghost was one of the elements Justin Simien kept due to liking them.
- The exterior of Crump Manor, visited later in the film, is based on the design of the mansion at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. This was to make up for the titular mansion being based entirely on the Disneyland version.
- The Hatbox Ghost is the second main antagonist from a film based on Disney’s theme park attraction The Haunted Mansion . The first one was Ramsley , who appeared in the 2003 eponymous film starring Eddie Murphy.
Navigation [ ]
- 1 Afton Family
- 2 William Afton (2023)
- 3 William Afton (Five Nights at Freddy's)
- House of Mouse characters
- Deceased characters
- Comic characters
- Silent characters
- Disney characters
- Disney Kingdoms characters
- The Haunted Mansion characters
- Disney Crossy Road characters
- Disney Villains
- Animated characters
- TV Animation characters
- Neutral characters
- Characters in video games
- Disney XD characters
- Disney Emoji Blitz
- Disney Magic Kingdoms characters
- Main antagonists
- Português do Brasil
- View history
The Hatbox Ghost is a character from the Haunted Mansion that was removed from the attraction shortly after it opened. Despite this, he has appeared in various media related to the attraction. He officially returned to the attraction on May 9 , 2015 .
- 1.1 Background
- 1.2 Development
- 2.1 The Haunted Mansion
- 2.2 Haunted Mansion Holiday
- 3.1 House of Mouse
- 3.2 Disney XD
- 3.3 Muppets Haunted Mansion
- 3.4 Haunted Mansion (2023)
- 4.1 The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion
- 4.2 The Haunted Mansion comics
- 4.3 Disney Kingdoms: The Haunted Mansion
- 5.1 Disney Crossy Road
- 5.2 Disney Magic Kingdoms
- 5.3 Disney Emoji Blitz
- 5.4 Other Appearances
History [ ]
Background [ ].
The Hatbox Ghost's mortal name and identity are unknown though he is known to have been alive in the latter half of the 19th century. The Hatbox Ghost was active in America and is most often identified as having been a milliner in life though this has yet to be explicit in the attraction itself. He had a golden tooth replacing the central incisor on his left-hand side and also carried a shillelagh in his right hand, potentially implying a walking disability centralized on his right leg.
In life, the hatter had some unknown affiliation to Constance Hatchaway , a serial-killer from California who targeted wealthy men to marry and murder. Hatchaway's modus operandi was to kill men with an ax, decapitate them and keep their severed heads within hatboxes; hatboxes, which at some point, the Hatbox Ghost came in possession of. Constance is known to have killed at least four wealthy men in this fashion between 1869 and 1876; seemingly all in the state of California.
In 1877, Constance married the wealthy George Hightower and moved into his estate in New Orleans which overlooked the Mississippi River. Constance stored away the many trophies of her past four killings within the attic of this manor and killed George with an axe blow to the skull before adding his head to her collection. Through unknown means, the hatter died via decapitation and had his own head stored within a hatbox before becoming a ghost. Constance herself lived in luxury and wealth until her death in the 1920s at which point her own murderous ghost inhabited the attic.
Development [ ]
The Hatbox Ghost was designed as the primary gimmick of the attic scene, appearing just to the right of the exit, across from the Bride. A trick lighting effect would make it appear that his head would disappear off his shoulders and reappear in a hatbox he held in his hand, timed to the beat of the Bride's heart. While this trick worked perfectly during testing, when the ride opened, it became apparent that it was far less effective when viewed from the different angles and lighting that the ride created.
As a result, the Hatbox Ghost was removed from the attraction within a few weeks of opening. The bride was then moved to the spot where he formerly stood, but she was moved back to her original spot in a 2006 update. 46 years later, he returned to the Disneyland attic as part of the Diamond Celebration.
The new Hatbox Ghost figure has more movement than the 1969 version: the original figure's only moving part was his trembling hand holding his cane. The 2015 figure moves all parts of his body due to improvements in technology over the 46 years since the original figure disappeared. His signature gimmick is now achieved by a new means that have proven successful: a face is projected onto a blank head. With a chuckle, the projection vanishes and the head drops into the body. At the same time, the head is projected into the hatbox. After a few seconds, this projection vanishes and his head reappears on top of his shoulders.
Disney Parks [ ]
The haunted mansion [ ].
The Hatbox Ghost appeared in the Attic scene in the first few days of the attraction's run before being removed when the intended effect of the vanishing head did not work out as planned.
In early January of 2015 , following the take down of the seasonal Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, a strange wall with a holographic window depicting one of the bat stanchions appeared on the balcony in the attraction. It was then announced April 10 , on the Disney Parks Blog that the Hatbox Ghost would return to the attraction on May 9 , as part of Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Celebration. The new Hatbox Ghost appears at the end of the Attic scene, just past the location where he originally stood, and lets out an evil chuckle before his head switches places through the use of rear-projected face technology. The set-dressing around him also includes a cart holding four hatboxes with him holding the fifth, possibly suggesting he was an accomplice of Constance's before she "axed" him off, or that he was one of her five unfortunate husbands.
On September 11 , 2022 , during D23 Expo , it was announced the Hatbox Ghost will be added to the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion in 2023.
On July 28, 2023, it was announced that preparations for the figure’s installment would begin the following week. It was also revealed that this version of the character would be located much earlier in the attraction, next to the endless hallway instead of at the exit of the attic. This change was subject to some criticism, as the ghosts do not become visible until after Madame Leota’s seance.
On September 9, 2023, it was confirmed that the figure would be installed by late November. Justification was also given for his appearance before the ghosts materialize, being that the Hatbox Ghost does not follow the same rules as the other “happy haunts” because he is not happy.
Haunted Mansion Holiday [ ]
The Hatbox Ghost appears in the seasonal update to the Haunted Mansion, based on The Nightmare Before Christmas . During the ride, the only changes made to his balcony scene are that mostly unchanged, except for a decorative Halloween pin in his hat, and a giant Santa hat on the nearby pile of Hatboxes.
Television and Film [ ]
House of mouse [ ].
In the episode " House Ghosts ", the Hatbox Ghost joins the Hitchhiking Ghosts , the Bride, and the Executioner in singing " Grim Grinning Ghosts " along with the Lonesome Ghosts and the Skeletons from The Skeleton Dance to scare Pete out of the club.
Disney XD [ ]
In a stop-motion animated Disney XD station ID aired in October 2016 , the Hatbox Ghost appeared to scare off Pickle and Peanut . He also appeared in IDs with Baymax and Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby .
Muppets Haunted Mansion [ ]
Fozzie Bear appears in the role of Gauzey the Hatbox Bear in the special, using his head trick in his comedy act.
Haunted Mansion (2023) [ ]
Hatbox Ghost as he appears in the film.
The Hatbox Ghost appears in this adaptation as the main antagonist, wherein he is given the name Alistair Crump . The son of an overbearing wealthy socialite Addison Crump and his wife. He and his family lived in a Dutch colonial revival gothic manor in Lousiana. When Alistair was nine, his father disowned him for crying too much at his mother's funeral. Alistair was treated as an outcast by other socialites. Alistair traveled the world, learning about mysticism and dark art, until he returned a wealthy tycoon.
When his father suspiciously died, Alistair regained all that belonged to him, including the family manor. Alistair became a vengeful person, inviting the very socialites that he felt betrayed him to lavish parties, which all ended with him murdering the guests in horrifying ways, with rumors saying that the murders were blood sacrifices to maintain his wealth and power. He engaged in multiple acts of pettiness, such as having no chairs in the foyer of his mansion because he didn't want anyone seated when he entered the room, had all the dining room chairs shortened while piling pillows on his own so he could be taller than everyone else, and his second wife found out about his third wife and then-mistress when he put up a big portrait of her in the living room and then insulted her for being able to read it. Eventually, this caught up to him and he was beheaded by an angry mob of his servants, but not before declaring that he will get his revenge.
Eventually, Alistair's vengeful spirit, now in the form of the Hatbox Ghost, was accidentally invited into William Gracey's mansion during a seance held by William and Madame Leota to contact Gracey's deceased wife Eleanor. Crump impersonated Gracey's wife and eventually convinced him to commit suicide in order to "join her". When Leota attempted to identify Alistair and banish him, he imprisoned her within her own crystal ball. Alistair then took complete control of the mansion, saturating it with his oppressive energy and forcing the other ghosts to obey him. He used the mansion as a means to harvest souls for a ritual which, upon obtaining 1000 souls, would unbind him from the mansion grounds and enable him to wreak his vengeance upon the realm of the living.
Printed Materials [ ]
The story and song from the haunted mansion [ ].
The Hatbox Ghost appeared in the Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion record, which was published when the ride opened, hence his inclusion in the book's attic scene.
The Haunted Mansion comics [ ]
In the Slave Labor Graphics Haunted Mansion comics, the Hatbox Ghost plays a part in the Mystery of the Manse storyline. He was once Randall Pace , a gunrunner and captain of the ship that William Gracey served on. After discovering what they were shipping, Gracey mutinied and decapitated Pace and became a pirate. When Gracey eventually settled down outside New Orleans , a scorned Madame Leota would call upon the spirit of Pace and the rest of Gracey's long-dead crew, and the Hatbox Ghost and his crew would scare the Bride to death with the truth of his crimes. After murdering the bride he leaves The Mansion, referencing his own removal from the original attraction.
He also makes minor appearances in other stories of the comic usually as a background character.
Disney Kingdoms: The Haunted Mansion [ ]
In Disney Kingdoms: The Haunted Mansion , the Hatbox Ghost appears as a friendly guide character in the third issue of the book. Rescuing Danny from the Sea Captain in the Grand Hall, he takes him through the Endless Staircase, which is revealed to be a network connecting the Haunted Mansion to haunted locations around the world (a detail possibly inspired by Del Toro's "spider at the center of the web" quote); he says that he has spent some time away from the Mansion traveling on these routes. He also reveals to Danny that the Sea Captain's curse has not only trapped the resident ghosts but the magic that allows the ghosts freedom to travel to these other locations. After advising Danny, he leaves him in the Library as this is a fight he is staying out of.
Video Games [ ]
Disney crossy road [ ].
In the now-delisted Disney Crossy Road, the Hatbox Ghost was added as a playable character for the Haunted Mansion level alongside the Nightmare Before Christmas update. The Hatbox Ghost was labelled as a Rare character, initially only available by completing an Attic Ghosts Weekend Challenge to earn both him and Constance the Bride. When playing as the Hatbox Ghost, as he hops through the levels, his head will teleport back and forth between his shoulders and his hatbox, just as it does in the attraction.
Disney Magic Kingdoms [ ]
The Hatbox Ghost appears as an obtainable character in Disney Magic Kingdoms , belonging to the Haunted Mansion collection alongside The Bride and the three Hitchhiking Ghosts. Added during October 2021 as a tie-in to Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary, the Haunted Mansion characters were available only during a limited-time event, before eventually being cycled in and out of the game's legendary chests like other limited-time characters and attractions. In his side quest storyline, the Hatbox Ghost only communicates in grunts and maniacal laughter, and has been absent from the Kingdom for a long time due to "chasing rumors of a haberdasher far more horrible than himself".
Once welcomed into the Kingdom, the Hatbox Ghost can perform various tasks and tricks to entertain guests and earn Tokens to further upgrade other Haunted Mansion characters. Certain tasks require the player to have the other Haunted Mansion characters, as well as both of the Haunted Mansion attractions. In order to further upgrade the Hatbox Ghost, players will need to earn his unique Tokens, Ghostly Hatboxes (earned by Celia and Phineas) and Hatbox Ghost Ears Hats (earned by Ezra, the Bride, and Jack Sparrow ), as well as the Haunted Mansion Collection Tokens (earned by all Haunted Mansion characters and Randall ). Additionally, all of his unique Tokens can be bought in Merlin 's Shop or earned through Silver and Resource Chests.
Disney Emoji Blitz [ ]
Hatbox Ghost appears as a Gold Emoji, initially only available in Gold Boxes before moving to the Series II Box. When using Hatbox Ghost's Power, he appears inside his hatbox at the bottom of the board, and releases several spirits from inside onto the board, each transforming a random emoji into a Hatbox Ghost emoji, making for immediate matches and easier access to powerups. Hatbox Ghost, alongside the Bride and Madame Leota, make up the Haunted Mansion group collection, rewarding players who collect and upgrade each of the three emojis with several prizes.
Aside from the original Hatbox Ghost, Gauzey the Hatbox Bear , as portrayed by Fozzie Bear in Muppets Haunted Mansion , appears as a Story Emoji as part of the cross-promotion Event for Muppets Haunted Mansion. Gauzey is only available through Story Boxes, special Diamond Boxes, or limited-time sales and events. Upon using his Power, a table with an empty hatbox appears at the bottom of the board. Gauzey materializes somewhere on the board before disappearing in a flash, leaving a variety of powerups in his place, and then reappearing inside the hatbox before it leaves the screen.
Other Appearances [ ]
As the Hatbox Ghost's cult following grew, Disney recognized his popularity in various merchandise and media and utilized him in a Haunted Holidays online campaign as the host, with Corey Burton providing his voice using the same voice that he uses for the Ghost Host .
Gallery [ ]
- The Hatbox Ghost, Ezra the Hitchhiking Ghost and the Ticket Seller from Phantom Manor share the same head design, with the face mold also being used for certain pop-up ghosts and photographs in the Corridor of Doors.
- There was an urban myth that the Hatbox Ghost's original animatronic was repurposed for the character of Sam the Eagle in the Tomorrowland attraction America Sings (an animatronic later used for Br'er Fox in Splash Mountain ). However, the blueprints of the Hatbox Ghost's figure disproved this, and the original animatronic's fate is a mystery.
- Guillermo del Toro originally intended to prominently feature the Hatbox Ghost in his take for the Haunted Mansion remake back when del Toro was working on it around the early 2010s. While del Toro eventually left the project, the Hatbox Ghost is still the primary ghost featured in the finished film.
- 1 Once Upon a Studio
- 2 Sanderson Sisters
- 3 Lock, Shock, and Barrel
The Ghastly History of Haunted Mansion’s Hatbox Ghost
The ghost that even other ghosts fear.
The Big Picture
- The Hatbox Ghost was a mysterious and creepy character in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride, but he was absent from the ride for most of its history.
- The Hatbox Ghost's special effects didn't work as intended, which led to his removal from the ride shortly after its opening.
- Despite only existing for a few months, the Hatbox Ghost became an icon and continued to be referenced in other Disney material, and he eventually made a triumphant return to the ride in 2015. He is also the main villain of 2023's Haunted Mansion , which is now available to stream on Disney+.
Of all the 999 happy haunts in Disney's Haunted Mansion , by far one of the most notorious is the dreaded Hatbox Ghost. As illustrated in the legendary amusement park attraction, most of the Mansion's residents are spooky yet harmless. With the exception of the homicidal bride, most of the ghosts present really are happy haunts, like the prophetic Madame Leota, the musical stone head quintet, and the hitchhiking specters looking for a ride.
However, the Hatbox Ghost has been something of an enigma ever since the ride's inception. Not just because his motivations and desires are largely unclear in the ride itself but also because the legendary specter has been absent from the ride he's from for the majority of its lifecycle. Now, not only is ol' Hatbox a major point of said Disneyland attraction, but he's also the main villain of the 2023 feature film . Now that the film is available to stream on Disney+ (just in time for spooky season!), there's no better time to revisit the ghastly history behind the Haunted Mansion's Hatbox Ghost.
The Hatbox Ghost Was a Technical Nightmare for Disneyland's 'Haunted Mansion' Ride
The Haunted Mansion attraction opened its doors for the first time on August 9th, 1969 in Disneyland California, almost 15 years after the park opened in 1955. While the ride would open three months after the passing of company CEO Walt Disney , ideas for the ride began and evolved long before the park even opened. Being a horror attraction in a theme park primarily marketed towards families, Disneyland Imagineers had the admittedly difficult task of making characters and effects that were spooky without being overly frightening to younger theme park attendees.
One of these characters, the Hatbox Ghost, certainly is one of the creepier entities in the popular attraction, looking noticeably more skeletal than most of the other residents of the possessed manor. Greeting guests with a malicious grin on his decomposed face, the Hatbox Ghost was originally placed in the attic section of the ride. Interestingly enough, that's in very close proximity to another infamous character from the ride, The Bride, who is not so subtly implied to have murdered her mortal husband with an ax. Given that the character's whole gimmick is that he can take off his head at will, perhaps Hatbox was The Bride's husband and eventual victim.
As with most if not all amusement park attractions , Haunted Mansion has undergone many updates and changes over the years, but the Hatbox Ghost is one of the original haunts. However, that's really only half true. While yes, the Hatbox Ghost was created for the original rendition of the ride and appeared on opening day, the animatronic ghost suddenly vanished from the ride without a trace. Quite the spooky occurrence on an already spooky ride. Why did this happen? Where did the specter go? Perhaps, was the Hatbox Ghost from the Haunted Mansion actually haunted?
Eh, nothing that exciting we're sorry to say. The truth is the special effects intended to bring the Hatbox Ghost to the afterlife just did not work as intended. The character's initial intent was to have the ghost's head alternate from his body into the hatbox they carried, hence the name. It's an ambitious effect to pull off, especially for the 1960s, but within the months of the attraction's opening, it was clear that the effect wasn't working. As a result, the Hatbox Ghost was removed from the attraction entirely, with the leftover parts being presumably placed into storage or utilized for other rides and experiences.
RELATED: 'Haunted Mansion' Sets Spooky Streaming Date on Disney+
The Hatbox Ghost Still Became an Icon Despite Only Existing for Months
The Haunted Mansion still was a massive success for Disneyland California, becoming one of the most popular and iconic original attractions ever devised by the entertainment company. While the most famous characters became the ones who had always been a part of the attraction, the Hatbox Ghost was still commonly referenced in other Disney material. The most abundant example of that is park merchandise like pins, shirts, etc.
The character appeared in a cameo capacity in the occasional cartoon series, such as briefly appearing in the animated variety show House of Mouse . Several comics have also been made about Disney attractions over the years, occasionally trying to flesh out the world and backstory of the rides and characters, and Hatbox would also appear as a major character in the Marvel-run Disney Kingdoms comics . Finally, the Hatbox Ghost was played by Fozzie Bear in Muppets Haunted Mansion , who is particularly creepy not because he's a ghost, but because the Disney+ Halloween special gives Fozzie teeth. In fact, really that whole special is weirdly scary (Google old man Gonzo from Muppet Haunted Mansion at your own risk).
The Hatbox Ghost Returned to Disneyland in 2015
On April 10, 2015, hardcore Disney parks fans were ecstatic to learn that the elusive Hatbox Ghost would be officially returning to Disneyland California . Technology has come a very long way since 1969, and now the character could finally perform as it was initially intended when the ride first opened. Now located just outside the attic section of the ride, riders can now watch as the Hatbox Ghost seamlessly pulls off its signature trick of placing its disembodied head in a box. It would then be later announced at the D23 Expo in 2022 that Hatbox would also be haunting the Haunted Mansion in Disney World Florida at the ride's location within the Magic Kingdom .
The Hatbox Ghost Is a Shadowy Villain in 'Haunted Mansion' 2023
The marketing for 2023's Haunted Mansion film , which is the second live-action feature adaptation of the ride after 2003's The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy , made it very clear that the main villain of the story is the Hatbox Ghost (played by Jared Leto ). As highlighted by the character of Kent ( Owen Wilson ), this remarkably sinister version of Hatbox is "a ghost that haunts other ghosts." If the various heroes of this new adventure hope to escape this terrifying abode, they'll need to find a way to defeat this mysterious, maniacal, and horrifying foe .
The Haunted Mansion is streaming now on Disney+.
- Magic Kingdom / News / Walt Disney World
Disney Teases Hatbox Ghost’s Arrival in Disney World
by Jess Landers · April 21, 2023
True Haunted Mansion fans know that there’s one character missing from the attraction in Disney World.
We’re talking about the Hatbox Ghost , of course! Not long ago, Disney announced that the Hatbox Ghost would finally arrive at the Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom sometime in 2023 , and now we have another clue that his arrival is coming soon.
Disney Teases Hatbox Ghost’s Arrival
In a short TikTok, Disney Parks just posted about the history of the Hatbox Ghost, reminding viewers that he will be “materializing” in Disney World in 2023.
@disneyparks The legendary Hatbox Ghost will be materializing this year at Walt Disney World 👻✨ #Disney #DisneyParks #HalfwaytoHalloween #Halloween #HauntedMansion #HatboxGhost ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
In case you didn’t know, the Hatbox Ghost appeared originally in the attic of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 1969, but he quickly disappeared due to technical issues.
Photo Credit: Disney
He later “materialized” on the balcony of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland once again in 2015, and we can’t wait to see him in Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.
Keep following MickeyBlog for more Disney news!
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation , please fill out the form below and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Diamond-Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!
Tags: Disney World Hatbox Ghost Haunted Mansion Magic Kingdom
Get a FREE Quote!
Interested in booking a Disney Vacation? Look no further! The award winning agents at MickeyTravels are ready to help you book a truly magical vacation!
- Name * First Last
- Number of Adults *
- Number of Children *
- Ages of Children *
- Select Your Destination * *hold ctrl or shift to select more Walt Disney World Disney Cruise Line Disneyland Adventures by Disney Aulani Hawaii Disney Special Event Tickets Universal Orlando
- Approximate Travel Dates *
You may also like...
The Official Guide Map for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2022
November 8, 2022
VIDEO: This Retro Disney World Commerical Has Us Yearning For The Good Old Days!
March 29, 2021
Insider Secrets to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
February 5, 2019
Celebrate the Season with the Disney Festive Fairytale Brew from Joffrey’s!
A Cozy Cocktail is the Newest Drink at Paddlefish!
Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course To Expand to 18 Holes in November
Sign-up for Our Newsletter
November 1, 2023
Disney Springs / Walt Disney World
Disney Golf / News / Walt Disney World
Marvel / News
Inside the Troubled Production of ‘The Marvels’
Disney Magic Kingdoms Wiki
✨ The Black Cauldron Event Update has arrived! ✨ Visit this page to learn all about what's coming up in Disney Magic Kingdoms!
- Playable Characters
- View history
Hatbox Ghost is a character released with WDW 50th Anniversary, Haunted Mansion Tower Challenge Update on 5th October 2021, and is a part of the Haunted Mansion character collection.
- 2 Interactions
- 3 Hatbox Ghost Storyline
The Hatbox Ghost is a character from the Haunted Mansion that was removed from the attraction shortly after it opened in 1969. Despite this, he has appeared in various media related to the attraction. He officially returned to the attraction on May 9, 2015.
In life, the hatter had some unknown affiliation to Constance Hatchaway , a serial-killer from California who targeted wealthy men to marry and murder. Hatchaway's modus operandi was to kill men with an axe, decapitate them and keep their severed heads within hatboxes; hatboxes which at some point the Hatbox Ghost came in possession of. Constance is known to have killed at-least four wealthy men in this fashion between 1869 and 1876; seemingly all in the state of California. Although the means of his death is never disclosed, it is presumed it is associated with Hatchaway chopping his head off as well. He ultimately appears in the mansion in the same attic as the Bride, where his head appears first on his body before eerily moving to his trademark hatbox in his hand leaving him headless.
Interactions [ ]
Hatbox ghost storyline [ ].
Gallery [ ]
- 1 The Black Cauldron Event Storyline 2023
- 2 The Horned King
- 3 The Black Cauldron Event 2023