Many rides at Walt Disney World have rumors surrounding them. Perhaps you’ve heard the one about the person who got decapitated on Space Mountain or that River Country was closed down because deadly amoebas were found in the water (which turned out to be partly true). But no other attraction seems to have as many rumors as the Haunted Mansion.
Perhaps because it is a bit of a more morbid attraction and morbidity tends to fuel a rumor mill. But those 999 ghosts have been telling stories. That’s what we get for putting so many ghost writers together, I guess.
The Bride’s ring was left outside the mansion
Once upon time, the Haunted Mansion got a little update and it required the workers to remove a turnstile, which left a perfect metal circle in the ground. If you looked at it for a bit, it actually looked a lot like a ring and that’s what fans started to say: a ring was left in the grounds of the Haunted Mansion. Walt Disney World for Grown Ups found several stories about the ring, like that Master Gracey threw it over the balcony when his love cheated on him or that the indent was left there when his love “flung herself” to her death. The story that I’d always heard was that it was the bride’s ring and she’d tried to bury it when she buried the bodies of her dead husbands.
All the while, it was just a broken bit of turnstile and the Imagineers had never intended for it to take on a backstory of its own. Nevertheless, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ingrain such an interesting storyline into their attraction so, when the turnstile piece was eventually covered up, they added an actual ring in its place. Still, they never put out an official story about what the ring is.
Master Gracey is the Ghost Host
This rumor actually kind of drives Walt Disney Imagineering nuts. They never intended for Master Gracey to be this big of a deal for them. It’s assumed that people saw the word “master” on Gracey’s tombstone and assumed that meant he was the master of the house. But actually for a man of Gracey’s supposed age in the time period that the mansion depicts, he would have been referred to as master, rather than mister. It has nothing to do with being master of the house.
Another rumor, more fueled in Disneyland than Walt Disney World, is that the “hatchet man” is the Ghost Host. A painting of a man with a noose around his neck in relatively tattered clothes holding in a hatchet hangs in California and was eventually also put into Florida. The painting looks a bit like the man who is hanging when we are first introduced to the Ghost Host. Concept art for the hanging man identifies him as the Ghost Host. So if the hatchet man is the hanging man, then the hatchet man is the Ghost Host.
The Hatbox Ghost was removed for being too scary
The Hatbox Ghost has become a pretty famous character since its creation. It was put into Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion but removed pretty quickly. Still, the character was everywhere, on all of the Haunted Mansion’s merchandise. Rumors were created around the character, one such being that he was one of Constance’s dead husband. She was known for decapitating after all.
The story of why he was removed was fueled by rumors as well. One story told that journalists were invited to turn the mansion before opening and they were so terrified that one of the journalist’s medical conditions was triggered. Either that story is very untrue or Disney got over that since the ghost is back and kicking, this time in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
The Mansion is actually haunted
I mean, I can’t totally disprove this one. The story goes that a family once asked for extra time to hold a memorial for a seven-year-old. They were granted the time, until a cast member spotted that they were pouring a powdery substance off of their doombuggies. Many cast member say this is not an isolated instance. Many people try to pour family or friends’ ashes on the ride, and throughout Disney World or Disneyland as well, although Disney has repeated told them that they are not allowed to. So for all we know, the Haunted Mansion is haunted with a couple of real ghosts.