Let’s go deep into the famous Haunted Mansion ballroom to spy on a few ghosts. Marc Davis designed this part of the ballroom to feature various ghosts entering the party from a coffin and hearse outside the mansion. See Part 1 here.
We go behind the scenes to see some of the process. Some ghost figures in these photos have their paint, clothing, props, and/or hair stripped off. You’ll notice these figures are mounted to a carousel-like structure.
This ship captain (not found in Marc’s concept) has a famous counterpart in Pirates of the Caribbean... the auctioneer!
Legendary Disney sculptor Blaine Gibson sculpted a number of human heads for Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, etc. Many of the same heads were used in multiple places. Blaine is also known for sculpting the Walt and Mickey Partners statue. Before working at W.E.D he did animation and special effects work on many of Disney’s classic animated features.
This fella can also be seen in the graveyard scene. Looks like his twin needs some serious refurbing (at least when this photo was taken). Across the river his same head can be spotted again in the blacksmith shop at Fort Langhorn, Tom Sawyer Island.
My oh my. This nice lady’s head makes another appearance in the very same room... but as a man. Old Caesar’s ghost sitting at the table has the very same headskin. She can also be seen in the line of wenches in pirates and other places.
Nearby grandmother reads a book in her rocking chair.
Look familiar?? Now we know where the Carousel of Progress Grandma ends up after she kicks the bucket.
A few of the ghost figures above got their start in this Marc Davis concept art. Although the horses were never added to this scene, a tipped coffin is clearly visible today. The butler with the guest list and the hearse driver never made scene either.
When lit correctly, the revolving ghosts don't appear to revolve in a complete circle. Only a portion of the circle gets light, leaving the rest of the circle invisible to guests looking down from their Doombuggies. This gives the illusion of a never-ending line of ghosts entering the room.
The Haunted Mansion Like You've Never Seen It [Part 1]
ABANDONED DISNEY: Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts
Pirates of the Caribbean Like You've Never Seen It
Carousel of Progress Like You’ve Never Seen It
THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
I Miss Paul Frees
Little Box of Treasures