List of characters
- April-December: A young lady (April) who morphs into a decrepit old woman (December)
- The Flying Dutchman: A clipper ship, which becomes a ghost ship with tattered sails on a stormy sea.
- Medusa: Morphing from a young woman into a stony Gorgon.
- The Black Prince: A knight on horseback, named on concept art as the Black Prince, where both horse and rider morph into glowing skeletons.
- The Werecat Lady: A beautiful woman reclining on a sofa, transforming into a panther (or, after renovation, into a white tiger).
- The Aging Man: A handsome nobleman who flashes into a skeleton in a rotting suit.
In the rides
At Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, the changing portraits hang in the Portrait Corridor, across from a large set of windows looking out on a stormy night. As lightning flashes outside, the paintings flicker into grotesque and monstrous images.
Originally, the paintings flashed between phases; the effect was later changed to a morphing, and recently back into flashing. The portraits present there were originally 1 to 5, but April-December was removed and replaced with a version of the Aging Man portrait, who was not present in the Disneyland Mansion at all beforehand.
Walt Disney World
In Walt Disney World, the Aging Man's portrait is found hanging above a fireplace in the foyer. Instead of just going back and forth between "Young" and "Skeleton", the portrait goes through several phases as the Ghost Host speaks, growing older and older until he is nothing but a skeleton. The remaining portraits are mounted in the Portrait Corridor like in Disneyland.
Phantom Manor's portraits slowly shifted back and forth from one image to the other, creating the "disquieting metamorphasis" that Marc Davis had originally envisioned. The Aging Man portrait and April-December are not there.
Phantom Manor received a massive refurbishment during 2019 in which all of the original changing portraits were removed and replaced with new ones that had the same flashing effect as the mainstream Haunted Mansion rides. These portraits are:
- Foyer portraits of Henry and Mélanie Ravenswood together in front of Ravenswood Manor which is bleak and ruined only for the portrait to change and show the mansion as the lush beauty it once was.
- A portrait of The Flying Dutchman from the Pirates of the Caribbean film-series which flashes to reveal the ship being on fire.
- A portrait of a desperado riding a horse onlooking a desert mountain range only for the portrait to change and show the man and his horse as skeletons with the night-sky being filled with phantom buffalo. This is an adaption of the Black Prince portrait.
- A portrait of Henry Ravenswood which changes to show him turning into the Phantom. This portrait mirrors the iconic Master Gracey portrait.
- A portrait of Henry Ravenswood and another man in a duel outside of Ravenswood Manor. When the portrait changes it shows Henry cheating by firing before the draw and shooting the other man in the back. This is in reference to the Duelist ghosts.
Haunted Mansion Holiday
The portraits have been changed to new portraits that go back and forth between "Chrismas" and "Halloween". In these portraits, Zero is able to phase through them using his nose to illuminate parts of them:
- Santa in his sleigh in the night with his reindeer/Jack Skellington as "Sandy Claws" in his sleigh with his bonedeer.
- A Snowman with a Santa hat and green and yellow scar/A Pumpkinman with a Jack-o-Lantern head.
- The Haunted Mansion exterior at night/The Haunted Mansion decorated for Christmas and covered in snow.
- Jack Skellington's "Pumpkin King" portrait/Jack in his "Sandy Claws" outfit
- Sally admiring a small Christmas tree/Sally disgusted by the burnt remains of the Christmas tree.
In the Disney Kingdoms Haunted Mansion comics, several of those ghouls emerge from their frames and attack Danny when he first sets foot in the mansion. They all manifest as their transformed states, and all do the bidding of the Captain; they are led by the Black Prince (referred to as "the Horseman" by the Werecat Lady)
The changing portraits also appear in the 2003 film wherein they are different versions of the original ones in the ride. It is noted however, that the portraits are historical paintings with the same effects applied on them.
- The skeletal horse and knight are applied on Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Sir Fredrick Leighton's "Roman Lady" has Caravaggio's "Medusa".
- The Werecat Lady is applied on a portrait of Josephine Bonapart.
- The portrait of the Aging Man is often thought to depict the Master of the House, due to its prominent position in the Walt Disney World version of the ride. This character is also identified to Master Gracey, whose tombstone can be seen outside of the Walt Disney World mansion.
- Originally, when the Mansion opened in Disneyland in 1969, the woman on the couch was dressed in white and turned into a black panther. When the paintings were redone in 2006, she is now dressed in black and turn into a white tiger. Her portrait was added to Walt Disney World in 2007, where she also changes into a tiger. Phantom Manor still has the slow morph effect, and she still changes into a panther.
- In Disneyland, April/December was made first, but then the master of the house took her place in 2005. In Walt Disney World & Tokyo Disneyland, however, both portraits are still there, but not in the thunderstorm hallway; the master is in the entrance over the fireplace aging his face off as usual, while December was part of the Sinister 11. At Walt Disney World, she hangs on the wall of the staircase, next to the Couple, and at Tokyo Disneyland, her eyes still glow and follow Doombuggies down the Portrait Hall.
- They are very similar to Walt Disney World & Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion's Sinister 11 portraits.
Unused Changing Portraits
Portraits that were painted but ultimately not installed include:
- King Henry VIII: A portrait of the notorious British King standing alongside his second-wife Anne Boleyn, referencing real life history when the portrait changed it would have shown Anne to be decapitated and holding her own head.
- The Burning Miser: An old miser burns to death, and is replaced on his armchair by a “SOLD" sign put there by a grinning Devil. It is speculated the tableau was planned to become an animatronic scene as opposed to a portrait, as the "Donald Duck Chair" in the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion's Library Room resembles the portrait closely, complete with the same table, as well as the scale & weights set. If it is not a coincidence or a mere inside-joke, it is probable this incarnation was cut for being too dark, and because artificial fire could not be achieved convincingly.
- Daphne: A beautiful young woman is turned into a tree.
- Dracula: The titular vampire turns into a giant bat.
- Rasputin: The psychic's eyes progressively grow, eventually merge into one giant eye.
- The Witch of Walpurgis: Originally, the witch was going to transform into some kind of humanoid with the head of a goat.
- The Arsonist: The Arsonist was originally going to be a changing portrait, just like the witch, only, the Arsonist would've changed into a werewolf.
- The Wilting Flower: A flower naturally falls apart due to mass neglect.
- The Farm: A lovely looking farm with a crow perched on its fence which is consumed by a sandstorm leaving the farm a wreck and the crow a skeleton
- The Heiress: A beautiful gowned woman holding a feather and leaning on a pillar. The portrait would change to show the heiress holding a hatchet (similar to Constance) and also revealing the ghost of her late lover in the tomb.
- The Couple: An older Married couple who's portrait would change to reveal the woman choking the man to death. This was later reused for the Sinister 11.
- The Lovers: A young couple embracing lovingly only for the portrait to change and show the woman stabbing the man in the heart.
While a majority of these changing portraits did not make it into the Mansion, a few of them, including Dracula, the Couple, Rasputin, and the Arsonist would be reused for the Sinister 11 Portraits found in both Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland's mansions.