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The Gracey Family Crest as found in merchandise and paraphernalia

The Gracey Family is a semi-official/unofficial familial house found in the lore, adaptations, merchandise and stories surrounding the Haunted Mansion. It is traditionally affiliated as being the most notable (and sometimes original) family which owned the estate which would become the Haunted Mansion.

History

The concept of the Gracey Family goes back to the guest and cast-member assumption which was made (particularly in the Magic Kingdom), that the tombstone of Master Gracey was referring to the mortal state of the mansion's former master. The tombstone was named after the late-imagineer and special-effects whiz Yale Gracey as most the tombstones in the Family Plot were homages to imagineers.

The honorific of, "Master" here was intended to infer that the character of Master Gracey was simply too young at death to have been given the more mature honorific of, "Master". Furthermore, guests would assume that Gracey was the head of the family buried in the family-plot rather than simply being a younger member/close-friend of said family. Guests and cast-members would also come to assume that the Dorian Gray inspired portrait in the foyer was of Master Gracey who was by extension, the Ghost Host. It should be noted that the assumption the aging man is the Ghost Host is disproven by the text of the Mansion itself as the Ghost Host has his own portrait which is clearly of a separate character than that of, "Master Gracey"'s.

Regardless of imagineer and author intentionality, the idea of Lord-and-Master Gracey, the aging Master, and the Gracey Family would come to be accepted in as a given element of the ride's mythology. The Gracey Family would become a staple of the mansion's lore in several adaptations and assorted paraphernalia of semi-official and official-nature throughout the parks with said collective interpretation even guiding changes made to the attraction.

Incarnations

The Haunted Mansion (Walt Disney World)

The crate identifying Gracey Manor in the Hudson River Valley

Development

Liberty Square's Haunted Mansion is where the Gracey Family theming is most prolific, in-part as it is where the concept originated. From 2012-2014, the ride's mansion even had the canonical name of Gracey Manor as a crate marked for the estate could be found, addressed to the Caretaker. This crate has since been removed and it should be noted that a removed sign also addressed the mansion as Gastley Mansion though this could fairly easily be explained as a separate family at a different time.

The servant's quarters within the attraction also address Master Gracey's bed-chamber, placing the character in a position of heightened importance.

One of the tasks of the servants in the attraction is to take a red rose and place it on Master Gracey's tombstone in the morning. In 2011, Master Gracey's tombstone was moved to a more private plot within the queue as a means of making it easier for guests to observe. This new position does however imply a grandiose to his entity.

The post-2011 tombstone of Master Gracey

Backstory

The Gracey Family would have owned the mansion sometime during the late 17th century, with the estate being located in the Hudson River Valley of upstate New York. Circa the 1690s they would be affiliated with the witch Madame Leota who owned the nearby shop of Memento Mori.

By the time of Leota's death, she would be buried within the family plot of Gracey Manor with an epitaph declaring how she was beloved by all of them. It is likely that in life she performed clairvoyant rituals for them as evidenced by her Séance Chamber within the mansion.

For unknown reasons, the family began dying off like flies with a great number of sudden and violent deaths. Most if-not all of them would be laid to rest on the grounds of Gracey Manor which would come to be known as the Haunted Mansion.

The tombstone of Madame Leota as seen within the Family Plot.

Potential Members

These are those who are buried within the Family Plot of the mansion.

Crypt

These individuals are all buried within a wall-crypt near the family plot. It is possible they were members of the Gracey Clan but it could also be inferred there was a separation from them evidenced by them being found in crypts. It could be thought that they were a different family which owned the mansion, or that they were affiliates of the Gracey family which was laid to rest in a private area.

Servant's Quarters

The servants quarters of the mansion mentions several individuals who could potentially be different members of the family. As they are also all homages to imagineers, some of them could be shared characters with those found in the Family Plot (E.G. Ambassador Xavier & Francis Xavier or Prof. Wathel and Wathel R. Bender).

  • Ambassador Xavier:
  • Grandfather McKim:
  • Colonel Coats:
  • Professor Wathel:
Other
  • Little Leota: If Madame Leota was a member of the Gracey family, it is more than likely that Little Leota was as-well as she likely has some form of familial relationship with the madame.

The Haunted Mansion (Disneyland)

"Master Gracey"'s portrait added to the Portrait Corridor.

Development

Elements of the Gracey family concept would be integrated retroactively to the original Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square. For example, in 2005 the portrait of Ms. April December was removed in favour of the more popular portrait of, "Master Gracey" in the portrait corridor.

Backstory

This New Orleans family (which shall be from here referred to as the Gracey family for simplicity) would have likely owned the Mansion in the late-18th century or early-19th century based off of the architecture. There is little in the ride's text to be inferred of this Gracey family but it is possible they had affiliations with an often referenced Sea Captain, the caravan fortune-teller Madame Leota, or even the Ghost Host himself.

Potential Members

Other Iterations

Ghost Gallery

This cast-member created piece of fiction was largely responsible for the shared understanding of the Gracey Family becoming as prolific a piece of Haunted Mansion mythology as it did. It was made as a proposed backstory to the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World, being set in the upstate New York mansion.

In this proposed backstory, the Graceys were a wealthy Franco-American family which came into ownership of Gracey Manor circa 1914 when George Gracey Sr. purchased it from the trustees American Spiritualist Society. George Sr. used the estate as a winter home for him and his distant wife Mary in-addition to his estranged son George Jr. (a hybrid of Master Gracey and the Ghost Host).

Eventually, Mary murdered George Sr. when she learned he had an affair and illegitimate child. She was acquitted for the crime and abandoned George Jr. who thus became the head of the Gracey Estate. Master Gracey became an occultist and brought his lover Madame Leota to live in the mansion where she performed rituals to turn the house into a portal to the land of the dead.

Gracey Family Members

  • George Gracey Sr.: The former patriarch of the family and father of Master Gracey. He was murdered by his wife Mary when she learned of his extra-marital affair.
  • Edward Gracey (1877-1937): Edward Gracey was the brother of George Gracey Sr. and was Master Gracey's paternal uncle. He was a foreign diplomat who assisted his nephew with certain imports until the two of them had a falling out. He died in a revolutionary eco-terrorism attack where he was blown up with a keg of dynamite.
  • Mary Gilbert Gracey (1859-): Mary Gracey (née. Gilbert) was the estranged wife of George Sr. and mother of Master Gracey. After being acquitted for matricide, she took her inheritance and fled the family.
  • Asa Gilbert (18XX-1942): Asa Gilbert was the younger-brother of Mary Gracey but was chased out of the family by her with the threat of death. He was the uncle of Master Gracey who also came to become Gracey Manor's handyman. He died when he was lured out into a quicksand pit with two other servants.
  • Victoria Abigail Boufont (1851-1932): Victoria Abigail Boufont or, "Mme. Tangerine" was Master Gracey's great-aunt, most likely being the sister of George Sr.'s mother. She was known for throwing grand parties in the mansion and died in her sleep following her 13th.
  • Elma Belle (1858-1920): Elma Belle is described as having been Master Gracey's aunt although her place on the family-tree is unknown. It is most likely she was George Sr.'s sister who changed her name upon marriage but this is unconfirmed. She is the woman who painted most of the portraits within the Haunted Mansion and that she died of unknown causes, screaming in her bed-chamber.
  • Richard Belle (18XX-1891): Richard Belle would have been Master Gracey's uncle, having been married to Elma Belle and died in 1891 of unknown causes. Following his death, Elma became convinced that his spirit possessed her pet raven which seemed to outlive every inhabitant of the manor.
  • George Gracey Jr. (1890-1943): George Gracey Jr. was the master of the house and was an eccentric occultist. He died in 1943 when he commit suicide by hanging himself in the manor's cupola to avoid the magic of Madame Leota.
  • Daniel Patterson (-1942): Daniel Patterson was the secret half-brother of Master Gracey who was born from the union of George Gracey Sr. and his mistress. Daniel came to be the mansion's liveryman until he was lured into the quicksand pits on the manor's grounds and died.
  • Eddy Foster (-1942): Eddy Foster was the illegitimate son of Edward Gracey, making him Master Gracey's cousin. He worked as the Mansion's gardener until he was killed in the manor's quicksand pits.
  • Gus Gracey (1850-1939): Gus Gracey was George Gracey Sr.'s 2nd cousin from the Ohio branch of the Gracey Family, making him Master Gracey's 2nd cousin once removed. He was a deranged murderer who tried to murder the primary Gracey Family, only to be imprisoned on the grounds. He died when he dropped his ball and chain into a well outside the manor.
  • Lillian O'Malley Gracey (1896-1937): Lillian Gracey (née. O'Malley) was Master Gracey's first-wife and was considered to be the Mistress of the Mansion. She was a former tightrope-walker who died during a performance for the family, falling into alligator infested waters.
  • Emily Cavenaugh Gracey (1925-1941): Emily Gracey (née. Cavenaugh) was Master Gracey's second-wife who he married for her money when she was only 16. She was murdered on her wedding night when Madame Leota locked her in a chest in the attic where she suffocated.
  • Madame Leota (1881-1943): Madame Leota was Master Gracey's occultist-turned-lover. They remained romantic partners throughout both of his marriages and even had a daughter together. She died in 1943 when she tried to trap George's soul in a crystal ball only for the spell to bind her instead as George commit suicide.
  • Little Leota (1919-1942): Little Leota was the name given to the illegitimate daughter of Master Gracey and Madame Leota. She died by drowning when a tree-branch she was sitting on snapped, plunging her into a nearby river.
  • Jamie Padgett (1818-1936): Little Leota's husband who she tricked into believing was a vampire as a plot to exploit his land and fortune until his death.
  • Nicholas Crown: Little Leota's lover who she inherited Jamie Padgett's plantation with.

2003 Film Continuity

The 2003 film, like the comics, set their Mansion as being located in New Orleans within the bayou. Like Walt Disney World's mansion and the SLG comics mansion, the estate is known as Gracey Manor. Much of the backstory for this version of the mansion is predominately found within the tie-in story, The Legend of Gracey Manor.

In this cannon, the Gracey Family made their fortune from Master Gracey's grandfather Captain Ambrose Gracey. Ambrose was a sailor merchant in New Orleans who achieved success by making black-market connections with the smuggler/pirate Jean Lafitte. He came to marry a woman named Juliet Desmoulins who came from a ruling-class family which fled Paris as a result of the French Revolution.

Together, Ambrose and Juliet had a son named George Gracey who would come to expand the family's shipping empire following his father's untimely death in a carriage accident. George eventually married a woman named Abigail who was the daughter of a powerful state-senator which earned the family heightened status. These two came to have several children, one of whom they named Edward who would be the only surviving Gracey child as all the others died of scarlet fever.

Abigail became a recluse after the death of her children, became obsessed with the supernatural and later died before having her séance chambers sealed off. George would become fixated on turning Edward into a wealthy and powerful man which he filled his close-friend and loyal butler Ramsley in on the mission of. Following George's death, Edward fell in-love with a black woman named Elizabeth Henshaw which Ramsley disapproved of throughly due to his own racism.

At a masquerade party one night, Ramsley poisoned Elizabeth and faked the death as a suicide. Following this, Edward commit suicide by hanging himself in the mansion's cupola and the house became haunted since.

Gracey Family Members

Merchandise

Merchandise found at the Disney Parks such as pins, clothing and cutlery will often make direct reference to the Gracey Family. One of the most recurring instances is of the Gracey Family Crest which is a shield symbol with the letters MG, the raven from the attraction, and the devil head from the ride's plaque.

Another instance would be the Gracey Family Reunion t-shirt/pin design which refers to the family holding celebrations for their grandness in the mansion.

Trivia

  • In Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, many of the names on the tombstones are changed albeit with the same structure. If what is true for the Gracey Family is true for their respective family, it is possible that they are known as "The West Family" as their counterpart to Master Gracey is one Mister West.

See Also