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Priscilla was the name of a character from early concepts for a Disneyland haunted house attraction by

Imagineer Ken Anderson.

History

Gore Mansion

The most solid part of her backstory was that she had married to a wealthy sea captain, Gideon Gorelieu (or Bartholomew Roberts, depending on versions of the story). While the captain was away on a voyage, Priscilla opened an old sea chest in the mansion's attic and found her husband's true colors: that he was in reality a notorious and bloodthirsty pirate. Upon confronting her husband with the truth, Priscilla met a gruesome end at his hand; from that point onward, the story is split in several versions.

Beauregard's story

In one of the walkthrough versions of the ride hosted by Beauregard the Butler, the guests' attention is at that point of the attraction called to a well in the Mansion's backyard. He says (or suggests) that rumors have it that Gore drowned Priscilla in the well. The guests are then invited to look down the well: the water is, indeed, blood red.

Room Effect

In a later version of the story, Gore walled Priscilla up in a chimney, and then went on with his piracing career, albeit haunted by Priscilla's vengeful spirit. He then drowned at sea. At one point of the ride, the guests would wind up in the captain's room: the pirate's ghost would appear, soaked up with sea water and covered in shellfish and seaweed (the visual concept was later reused for the Mariner portrait), laughing mad; Priscilla, a few minutes later, would emerge from the chimney in a skeletal form, screaming. The moment she made contact with Gore, they would both disappear. This version of the tale was very seriously considered, and the room was actually built by Yale Gracey and shown to Walt Disney, complete with all the special effects. However, the room eventually could not be incorporated in the ride because it was designed for a "walkthrough" type of attraction, and took too long for a ride.

Hanged Man

In a possibly apocryphal but often-reproduced version of the tale, Priscilla's haunting of Gore eventually drove Gore mad; the pirate captain hung himself in his Mansion's cupola. In this version, Gore would be the Hanged Man of the final attraction, and quite possibly the Ghost Host himself.

Legacy

Some of Priscilla's character was retained for the Bride in the finished attraction.

Printed-Materials

The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion

In the attic in this book, an illustration shows a corpse-hand sticking out from a chest nearby the bride.

Ghost Gallery

While never appearing within the story itself, two characters within the cast-member made Ghost Gallery storyline share deaths similar to that of Priscilla's. The character of Gus Gracey died by drowning in a well and after water was taken from that same well for a Tea Party, most of those attending the party died of poisoning. More directly, the character of Emily Cavenaugh dies by travelling to the attic on her wedding-night and being locked inside of a chest where she suffocates; although here she was locked up by Madame Leota rather than her groom.

SLG Comics

Emily de Claire from the Mystery of the Manse comics is a hybrid of Priscilla and the Beating-Heart Bride where she married the sea-captain William Gracey (an adaptation of the Ghost Host and Master Gracey) who was secretly the pirate Captain Blood. She died in the attic when the ghost of his victim Randall Pace (the Hatbox Ghost) appeared before her and scared her to death after being summoned by Madame Leota.

Disney Kingdoms

She also made a cameo in the Marvel comics, appearing next to her husband Captain Gore in a portrait of Gore shown to Danny Crowe. However, even though Priscilla might still have been Gore's doomed bride in this version of the tale, the rest of the backstory can probably no longer apply; in this version, Gore never owned the Mansion, and drowned in the flooded basement in a quest totally unrelated to Priscilla. 

Other Appearances

Nuptial Doom

In the Nuptial Doom audio-book, Kat Cressida narrates a story adapted from that of Gore and Priscilla.

Trivia

  • The story of Gore and Priscilla seems to be inspired by and/or based on the fairy-tale of "Le Barbe Bleu" which is homaged in Liberty Square's mansion with a crypt for Bluebeard and his wives.
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