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Jumpscare

The Knight of the Living Dead is the semi-official name given to a removed character from the Haunted Mansion.

Description

The Knight was played by a live cast member dressed in a suit of armour and their job was to sneak up on ghost's Doombuggies in order to jumpscare them as the heads of WED became worried that the scares in the Haunted Mansion were becoming too predictable.

The Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary

During the Haunted Mansion's 50th anniversary in 2019, the Knight was temporarily re-added into the attraction during the Endless Corridor sequence. Here rather than jumping out and scaring guests, the knight marched back and forth nearby the other suit of armour and would also fake being static before moving to startle guests.

Removal

The Knight's addition proved to cause more problems then it was worth due to guests often impulsively punching the knights when they pop out, the knights sometimes catching couples performing intimate acts inside of their Doombuggies, and the general cheapness of the effect harming a lot of the constructed creepiness and pacing of the attraction.

A live knight would briefly come back to the Mansion in 2019 for the attraction's 50th Anniversary after-hours events. This knight, however, was located at the entrance of the Endless Hallway. Here, he would march from one wall of the hallway to the next with halberd in hand, occasionally stopping to strike a defensive pose as Doom Buggies glided past.

Trivia

  • According to Jason Surrell's book "The Haunted Mansion Imagineering a Disney Classic" there was a similar cast-member played character based on the Phantom of the Opera who would roam the ride's queue.
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