Captain Gore also referred to as Captain Gideon Gorelieu, Captain Bartholomew Gore, and sometimes Bartholomew Roberts is an unused character that originated from early concepts for the Haunted Mansion by Imagineer Ken Anderson, involving a ghostly sea captain.
In Anderson's proposed backstory, Captain Gore married a young woman named Priscilla and murdered her after she discovered he was a bloodthirsty pirate. In one version, Priscilla's ghost haunted and tormented him until he finally hanged himself from the rafters. The suicide by hanging became an aspect of the Ghost Host character in the final attraction, many years later.
In some variations of early scripts for the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Gore would have also appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as the historic pirate captain Bartholomew Roberts (1682-1722). Roberts being considered to be the most successful pirate from the golden age of piracy.
In another version of Anderson's backstory, the captain drowned at sea—an idea that carried over to the "Mariner" character, who himself served as inspiration for the cannon character of Captain Culpepper Clyne.
LegacyDespite being an ultimately unused concept, the character of Captain Gore has persisted as an inspiration and reference, both in the parks and in other media.
Walt Disney World
On the hillside near the entrance to the Mansion in Liberty Square is an epitaphless tombstone with the name Bartholomew Gore. This tombstone debuted in 2011 outside of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion as part of the interactive queue installation.
Three piratical sea-captains appear within this cast-member created backstory for the Haunted Mansion although none are clear parallels to Gore.
Slave Labor Graphics Comics
In the SLG comics, the ongoing Mystery of the Manse saga was inspired by the Captain Gore backstory, though the character was called Captain Blood, a pseudonym used by William Gracey. The main differences in the storyline was that in this version the bride figure was killed by the Hatbox Ghost (the ghost of one of the Captain's victims) rather than the captain himself and the ghost who summoned the ghosts of his victims in the first place were Madame Leota rather than the bride.
The major antagonist of the comics, a spirit known only as The Captain, is heavily inspired by the character of Captain Gore, if not outright the same character. When Madame Leota first tells Danny about the Captain, the first panel to reveal his appearance shows a painting directly drawn from the Ken Anderson portrait of Gore and Priscilla.
The Captain is one of the few souls that actually died on the property: a pirate who came to the mansion on the rumor of an immense treasure hidden there, only to drown in the flooded basement before he could finish his search. His soul cannot rest until he has found the treasure, and he is embittered that he cannot leave the mansion while many of the other ghosts can. Using dark magic that he recently discovered he could wield, the Captain robbed the ghosts of their ability to haunt and trapped them within the confines of the mansion, as well as placing a curse on the Grand Hall that causes all who enter to eventually lose their memories and want nothing but to party. He also carries an enchanted cutlass that can seemingly cut through the ghostly forms of the other haunts, and has demonstrated the power to transform other ghosts into monstrous phantasms and summon torrents of water.
The Captain has several spirits that do his bidding, including the ghouls that occupy the Morphing Portraits and the pair of Duelists. He does not appear to fear Madame Leota - and in fact went as far as to smash her crystal ball and presumably destroy the medium - but he is leery of Constance, who also has some sinister powers over the house.
At the end of the final issue, the Captain is defeated when Constance decapitates him, and his head is sealed inside the Hatbox Ghost's hatbox before he can reconstitute his ghostly form.
Captain Gore appears in Volume IV: Memento Mori in the story "A Pirate's Death for Me." His ghost supposedly wrecked his ship, Bloodmere, on the coast of Displeasure Island, and he hid a considerable treasure there. It's also said that his left hand is actually a lobster's claw, which he used to decapitate his foes.
A portrait of an alternate version of the Mariner can be found in Lonesome Manor, the game world's counterpart to the Haunted Mansion. Unlike the normal Mariner, the one in the painting has a large ginger beard which is reminiscent of that of Captain Gore. The game is set in a fictional world called, "The Wasteland" which is populated by unused characters, scrapped versions of characters and forgotten characters so this can very likely be them homaging the pirate captain's history.
For the Haunted Mansion vynilmation line by Casey Jones, the Sea Captain from the ballroom is named, "Captain Bartholomew Gore". This line was however known for misidentifying characters (E.G., the Traveler with Phineas P. Pock).
- In the deleted scripts he was referred to as Gideon Gorelieu but his tombstone refers to him as Bartholomew, likely as a reference to how at one point he would have been melded with historic pirate Bartholomew Roberts.
- The story of Gore and Priscilla seems to be inspired by and/or based on the fairy-tale of "Le Barbe Bleu" (English: Bluebeard) which is homaged in Liberty Square's mansion with a crypt for Bluebeard and his wives.
- There used to be a nautical spyglass and a barometer found on one of the second floor porches of the Haunted Mansion but they were removed in 2001.
- Gore's apparent lobster-claw in Tales from the Haunted Mansion is an allusion to Davy Jones, the Captain of the Flying Dutchman and a villain from the Pirates of the Caribbean film-series who also came to appear in it's attraction and who had a crustacean claw for a hand. Along with this the island of Displeasure Island is in reference to Pleasure Island, an island from Disney's Pinocchio as-well as a former area of Downtown Disney.
- Marc Davis' sketch of Captain Bartholomew Roberts (above) might have influenced the Auctioneer from Pirates of the Caribbean. They both have bright red hair, long scruffy beards, similar costumes and face shapes, and earrings.
- The mould of the Auctioneer figure would be reused in the Haunted Mansion for one of the Duelists as-well as the Sea Captain in the ballroom.
- The character of Bartholomew Roberts has been homaged and featured in a few Pirates of the Caribbean properties.
- The beached ship-wreck from the classic ride is identified as, "The Royal Fortune" in removed dialogue. The Royal Fortune was the name which Roberts gave to many of his ships, including his flag-ship.
- In the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and its sequels, the pirate's code is said to have been written by the pirate lords, "Morgan and Bartholomew". Morgan here refers to 17th century buccaneer and governor of Jamaica, Sir Henry Morgan while Bartholomew seems to be referring to Bartholomew Roberts who himself installed strict codes amongst his crew.
- In the retconned comic book, "The Buccaneer's Heart!", William Turner wears an enchanted item known as the Buccaneer's Heart which summons the ghost of Bartholomew Roberts in-addition to those of Blackbeard, Sir Henry Morgan, and Mary Reade.
- Roberts appears as a boss fight in the video-game version of At World's End, being found in Davy Jones' Locker.
- In Kinect Disneyland Adventures, the pirate protagonist of Pirates of the Caribbean who can also be met as a meet 'n' greet character in New Orleans Square is named Black Barty (this being Roberts' historic nickname). There is no indication as to if this is intended to be analogous to the historic figure and instead seems to be the game's counterpart to Captain Jack Sparrow.