The antebellum house known as the Haunted Mansion

The Antebellum Mansion is the titular location of the original Haunted Mansion.

Description

Description

Located in New Orleans Square on Esplenade street, this mansion is built in the antebellum style of architecture which would mean that it was built around the late 18th century or the early 19th century. Through the gateway of the mansion there is a small family cemetery located on a berm above a series of crypts. Closer to the front of the mansion there is a pet cemetery, sundial and white hearse whith no driver or horse. Located at the back of the estate is a large cemetery which can only be accessed via the house itself, or by a flooded mausoleum located outside the mansion's grounds. The mansion also has a garden area filled with statues that serves as an alternate entrance to the grounds.

Features:

1st floor
  • The Foyer: A foyer which resembles a funeral parlour.
  • The Portrait Gallery: An octagonal room decorated with four portraits of some of the mansion's residents as they appeared in their "corruptible, mortal states".
  • The Portrait Corridor: This is a corridor with several windows on one side and on the other, five portraits. At the end of the hall are two marble busts.
  • The Great Hall: The Great Hall is a grand ballroom with a fireplace, crystal chandelier, dining room table, dance floor, and pipe organ. It has gateways to the outside in addition to stairs and balconies leading to different stories of the manor.
2nd floor
3rd floor and 4th floor
  • The Attic: The Mansion's Attic is the home of the ghost of the Victorian gold digging serial killer, Constance Hatchaway aka the Black Widow Bride who married and subsequently murdered five wealthy men for their inheritance. The attic is filled with souvenirs and mementos from her life of crime including a piano being played by a Shadow Pianist.
  • The Attic Balcony: An old derelicte balcony with a broken railing that is where the Hatbox Ghost is found, standing alongside a collection of five Hatboxes.
  • The Cupola: The Cupola is where the Ghost Host hung himself to death and still holds his rotting skeleton.

Background

The Haunted Mansion was a white antebellum mansion of early 19th/late 18th century architecture built on Esplanade Street within the French Quarters of New Orleans, Louisiana while overlooking the Mississippi River. It is likely to have been built c. 1789 due to the French Quarters having only been created by 1789 due to the 1788 fire of New Orleans having destroyed virtually all of the city. If the manor was built prior to this year it would have likely been largely victim to the fire, having been whitewashed afterwards and largely rebuilt. While unconfirmed and typically seen as non-cannon, it is sometimes said by Disney sources and cast-members that the mansion was built by a ruthless and ill-fated sea-captain. It is known that the mansion was once owned by a family which seemed to suffer great tragedies and who all wound up dying from sudden and unnatural causes, being buried within the estate's berm plot.

At some unspecified point in time likely within either the 19th Century or early 20th century, a transatlantic man (who was possibly the manor's owner or a head-of-staff) commit suicide within the Mansion's cupola by hanging himself to death and went on to become the estate's "Ghost Host". At another unknown point there was a clairvoyant Romani woman known as Madame Leota who worked out of a Caravan where she sold her supernatural services. Leota had some affiliation with the Mansion and upon death became it's undead medium.

By 1879, the mansion was owned by a wealthy man named George Hightower. George was engaged to a beautiful and charming woman named Constance Hatchaway but little to George's knowledge, she was secretly a gold-digging serial-killer intent on murdering George after their marriage to inherit his wealth; a scheme which she had already enacted on four different occasions. Constance succeeded in the scheme and used the manor's attic to hide the evidence and twisted "souvenirs" of her criminal-career, going on to live a long and happy life which only ended in her old age.

Constance appears to have had affiliations with a mysterious figure during the Victorian era who was a man that had possession over some of the hatboxes inferred to contain the heads of her grooms. While the nature of their relationship is unknown, he died via decapitation with his own head having been stashed into a hatbox, presumably having been killed by Constance due to it fitting her modus-operandi. This ghost would become the most mysterious phantom in the mansion, coming to be known as The Hatbox Ghost. It can be inferred from Constance's age in her 1879 bridal photos compared to her portrait in the stretching room that she would have likely died at some point in-between 1910 and 1930.

Since Constance's absence from the estate, at-least three families attempted to move into the Haunted Mansion with the price of the mansion continuously decreasing. Around 1936 it became home to the prestigious Johnson family who were subsequently chased out of the mansion by a variety of spirits. Becoming known as "The Haunted Mansion", the estate served as a kind of retirement home for ghosts and spirits from creepy old crypts all over the world who acquired "Post Lifetime Leases" from the mansion's Ghost Relations Department. The Mansion was seemingly run by the Ghost Host and the Ghostess so by the anachronistic time in which the attraction takes place, the manor has 999 happy haunts occupying it. Although, there is always room for a thousand if any mortal guests care to volunteer.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

During the Christmas season, Jack Skellington and the inhabitants of the fantastical Halloween Town come to the mansion as a means of assisting in a macabre celebration of the holidays. Apparently this practice had been happening since the 1930s as the Johnsons reported Jack and Zero's presence in the mansion.

Appearances

The Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The Mark Twain Riverboat

The mansion is brought up in the narration of this attraction where the captain mentions the urban myths and ghost stories surrounding the estate.

Camp Discovery

A newspaper clipping here shows a photo of the Antebellum on a newspaper mentioning the Johnson family's abandoning of the mansion.

Alternate Versions

Ghost Gallery

The Antebellum mansion is alluded to within this cast-member created backstory for the Haunted Mansion, despite it revolving around the Florida incarnation of the attraction. In the Ghost Gallery, we learn of a man named Jamie Padgett who is in ownership of the mansion in the form of a grand plantation in New Orleans.

Padgett comes to be seduced by Little Leota who is fixated on inheriting his plantation for her own goals. She goes about this with her New Orleans lover, Nicholas Crown who manages to convince Jamie that he is a vampire so that they can stuff him in a coffin and suffocate/starve him to death.

Haunted Mansion (Slave Labour Graphics Comics)

See:  Gracey Manor (comics version)

This version of the antebellum mansion is listed as having the 1313 address on its street. It was most notably owned by the pirate captain William Gracey AKA Captain Blood.

The Haunted Mansion (film)

See: Gracey Manor (film version)

Haunted Mansion (Disney Kingdoms comics)

A version of the antebellum mansion serves as the main location of this series. Here, apparently there are only four ghosts who actually died on the manor's ground (even though the series clearly shows us the corpses of ghosts who unequivocally died on the estate) with all the other spirits coming there from across the world. These four ghosts being: The Hatbox Ghost, Constance Hatchaway, Madame Leota, and the Captain.

The spirit of the Captain is apparently obsessed with hunting down a supposed treasure which is stored in the halls of the manor. The manor is also home to the Endless Staircase and Ghostly Materials Gallery which connect it to haunted locations all across the world (such as the comic variant of the Museum of the Weird, Ravenswood Manor, Gracey Manor, and others). Due to the captain's obsession, the manor became engulfed in a cloud of mist which prevented all 999 of the ghosts from leaving.

Trivia

  • The mansion was modeled after the (now-defunct) Shipley-Lydecker House in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Outside of the mansion is a sundial which reads "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be", it is also decorated with the design of a winged hourglass.
  • One of the porches has empty glasses and a lemonade pitcher set on a wicker table set.
  • There used to be a spyglass and a barometer found on one of the second floor balconies but they were removed in 2001. These set-pieces alluded towards a deleted draft from the Haunted Mansion known as Gore Manor in-which the house was originally built and owned by a pirate called "Captain Gore".
  • There also used to be an empty birdcage hanging on the exterior of the house hanging from the southern porch. This referenced the Raven found within the ride who would go on to get it's own bird-house.
  • Both the mansions the comics, and in the 2003 film are visually inspired by the Antabellum Mansion and are set in New Orleans. Oddly enough both the Haunted Mansion from the comics and the Haunted Mansion from the film are referred to officially as, "Gracey Manor" while the only version of the attraction canonically called that is Walt Disney World's Mansion.
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