George Hightower was a wealthy man originating from Newport Beach, California. George was exceptionally wealthy and also a fan of travelling to exotic foreign locations and bringing back a wide variety of souvenirs.
Through unknown events, George came into ownership of the estate which could come to be known as the Haunted Mansion; depending on the version of the ride, this manor is located in either New Orleans, Louisiana or a village in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.
At some point in between the years 1875 and 1877 he met a woman named Constance Hatchaway who he would become engaged to and marry in 1877. At some point after their marriage George was murdered by his wife for his inheritance either through beheading, a hatchet blow to the head, or a combination of the two.
The Haunted Mansion
Though George Hightower never physically appears in the ride itself, he makes two appearances. Firstly, his likeness is carved into a bust placed at his tomb, as shown in a Stretching Room portrait where his killer is sitting atop his tombstone after placing a hatchet into his bust. His second appearance is in the attic, where he appears in the form of a wedding portrait which he took with Constance which depicts the two of them together, only for his head to disappear from his shoulders, referencing his ultimate fate.
The Ghost Gallery
In the unofficial Ghost Gallery storyline which was created before the 2006 attic alterations, George was said to have been George Gracey Sr. the father of the Ghost Host (who in this story is also Master Gracey) and that he was murdered by his wife after she learned he had an affair. His illegitimate son Daniel Patterson who he fathered during the affair ultimately became the mansion's liveryman and was killed by George's granddaughter Little Leota who tricked him into falling into a quicksand pit.
2003 film Continuity
In the continuity of the 2003 film, George was named George Gracey. Here George Gracey was the father of Edward Gracey. He was the son of Ambrose Gracey and Juliet Desmoulins. George was married to a woman named Abigail, the daughter of a state senator. He was a friend of Ramsley, and brought him from England to serve as his butler at Gracey Manor. After George died, Ramsley became a father figure to George's son Edward as well as his butler.
Room for one more (40th anniversary event)
Part of the celebrations at this event revolved around the marriage of George Hightower and Constance Hatchaway with the assistance of one Reverend Bloodmere. He later appeared in ghost-form with an axe-wound in his head, inviting the guests into the Haunted Mansion from the estate's balcony.
- Imagineer Rick Rothschild portrayed George Hightower in the changing wedding picture.
- If the bust seen on the Stretching Portrait is to be believed, Constance murdered George by plunging her hatchet into his forehead, rather than by beheading him as was her usual modus operandi. In spite of that, the head of his in the portrait still vanishes when Constance shows her hatchet, as if he had been regularly beheaded. This can be fairly easily explained however as Constance's initial attack as having been a blow to the skull and that following this she severed the head to serve her preferred method of murder.
- George is presumably related to Harrison Hightower III, the millionaire who built the Hotel Hightower in New York that disappeared on December 31st, 1899. Similarly, the hotel is now considered haunted, under the name of Tower of Terror. Harrison would have been 42 years old when George and Constance married.
- George's tombs's bust reveals that he had a large bald-spot underneath of the top hat he wore.
- George Hightower is somewhat similar to the character of Captain Rowan D. Falls from Phantom Manor. This is as both were suitors of the mansion's future ghost bride, are depicted in the stretching room, and share their surnames with members of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. His old Phantom Manor counterpart was the skeleton gardener emerging from a tombstone below Mélanie Ravenswood as she smelled flowers.
- Although the picture's changing might be thanks to George's spirit directly possessing it.