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The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is a ghost which has connections to the Haunted Mansion.

History

Origins

The Brown Lady is a ghost which supposedly haunts Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, being named for the brown brocade gown which she is said to wear. The ghost gained notoriety in 1936 due to an alleged photograph of it circling in the Country Life Magazine. Said portrait supposedly showing the transparent ghost of the brown-lady floating down stairs while dressed in a shroud and gown.

According to local legend, the brown lady is the ghost of one Dorothy Townshend AKA Lady Dorothy Walpole (1686–1726). She was the sister of one Robert Walpole (1676-1745) who is regarded as having been the first prime-minister of Britain. According to stories, Dorothy had an extra-marital affair with one Lord Wharton and was punished by her husband by being locked in a chamber in Raynham Hall until she died of smallpox. In another version of the story, her imprisonment was enacted by Lord Wharton's wife Lady Wharton as opposed to her husband.

Haunted Mansion Connections

Development History

Ken Anderson made concept art of the Haunted Mansion featuring a ghost clearly modelled after the Brown Lady. It is known that Ken Anderson frequently attempted to integrate famous ghosts and villains from pop-culture but it is unknown if the Brown Lady was intended to be one of them or merely a source of inspiration for the mansion's original characters. Anderson's artwork would serve as one of the inspirations behind the bride of the Mansion's attic, namely in her Beating-Heart incarnation created by Marc Davis. The art might have also inspired the design of Little Leota seen in the exit crypt.[1]

References

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