The Coffin Occupant is the undead corpse trapped in a coffin in the Conservatory.
The ghost is trapped in a long, black coffin. Gnarled hands grasp the end, pushing the lid up in an attempt to escape. Several jagged nails protrude from the coffin's lid.
As the guests arrive in the Conservatory through their Doombuggies, the Ghost Host warns them that "unfortunately, they [the happy haunts] all seem to have trouble getting through. Perhaps Madame Leota can establish contact; she has a remarkable head for materializing the disembodied."
The Coffin Occupant's inability to leave his mortal remains and wander free from the coffin demonstrates this, as he desperately calls the guests for help: "Lemme out of here! Lemme out! Lemme out! Lemme out of here!" Following which, the guests move on to the Séance Room, where their presence and "sympathetic vibrations" allow the ghosts to finally materialize. By this point, the Coffin Occupant is presumably freed.
In Haunted Mansion Holiday, a Scary Teddy can be seen on top pf the coffin, trying to hammer the nails back into the coffin.
In the Ghost Gallery, he was a wealthy plantation owner named Jamie Padgett who became engaged to Little Leota however was deluded into thinking he was a vampire by her secret lover Nicholas Crown, so that he willingly hid inside a coffin from the sunlight. One evening his bride then nailed the lid shut over the poor man, causing him to spend seven days trying to escape only to die of starvation.
It is implied that the plantation he owned was the Ghost Gallery version of the Antebellum Mansion.
The character inspired the Mausoleum Crypt scene from the 2003 film adaption wherein the protagonists are attacked by its undead residents. The key-bearing corpse lying in a coffin located at the center of the crypt is a nod to the Coffin Occupant.
The Coffin Occupant appears on the artwork of the Haunted Mansion themed sky gondola
He cameos in the Conservatory sequence of the video game Kinect Disneyland Adventures where his coffin is raised on a pedestal in a much larger version of the Conservatory as the player is chased by the Knight.
- At Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party which is a seasonal Halloween event at the Magic Kingdom, two characters named Lady Carlotta and Lady Renata make appearances and tell stories to the guests. In one of their stories they claim that the man in the Coffin is their ex-lover Billy Bob who died when the two ladies plummeted off of a balcony to their deaths and landed on him.
- In the Haunted Mansion Pop-Up Book, the Aging Man portrait is located next to the Coffin, clearly implying that the corpse is that of the man pictured in the portrait.
- A variant cover by Jody Daily for the Disney Kingdoms Haunted Mansion comic line showed Brother Claude lifting his grave's stone, as if about to come out, in a scene extremely reminiscent of the Coffin Occupant — with the hand and sleeve nearly identical to the Occupant's.
- The Coffin Occupant was voiced by Imagineer X. Atencio, who gave an elderly, sympathetic tone to his plea. In the Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion record, on the other hand, he sounds much creepier and more low-pitched, almost monstrous.
- The coffin-occupant is briefly referenced in Phantom Manor during the underworld scene where one coffin similar to his is being opened in the catacombs.