The Skeleton, also known as by the semi-official name Ezra, is one of the ghosts haunting the Haunted Mansion.
- 1 Description
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Other Appearances
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Gallery
The Skeleton is one of the three Hitchhiking Ghosts alongside the Traveler Phineas and the Prisoner Gus. He wears a hat, a large bow tie, and has a very skeletal appearance. The original animatronics for the character are bald while the Walt Disney World version has messy white hair. It is implied in the Walt Disney World version of the attraction that in the afterlife he has traveled all over the world, almost like a macabre undead tourist.
The original concept sketch for the character was done by Marc Davis, depicting a smiling “sheet ghost” with no clothing aside from a bowler hat. The character evolved, from sketch and miniature model form, to a fully-clothed ghost that resembles a dessicated, emaciated corpse, with a different style of hat (although he is still depicted wearing the bowler hat in merchandise items).
Blaine Gibson sculpted the figure and it was costumed by Alice Davis. The figure's head mould is known as the Leering Head and is used for several characters in the Haunted Mansion, notably the Hatbox Ghost. In cartoons, posters and merchandise he is shown to have a round bowler hat which is replaced with a different kind in the final attraction.
In the Magic Kingdom's 2011 enhancement of the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World the Hitchhiking Ghosts were given new effects and figures. This new (but now fairly dated) effect used a CGI projection of the Hitchhiking Ghosts in the mirror rather than animatronics and had them be given new characterization. It was stated in Jason Surrell's book The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic that the reference for Ezra's personality in this appearance were actors Jim Carrey (likely in his role as the paranormal anti-hero, The Mask in the 1994 film of the same name), John Cleese and Michael Keaton (namely as the titular character in Tim Burton's 1988 dark-comedy Beetlejuice).
The Haunted Mansion
The Skeleton Hitchhiker appears at the very end of the Haunted Mansion in the Mausoleum where he is shown hitchhiking alongside the Traveler and the Prisoner and directly following he can be seen in the reflection of the guest's Doom-Buggy preparing to follow them home until they return to help fill the Mansion's quota.
Walt Disney World
A tombstone dedicated to Ezra can be seen outside of the Haunted Mansion alongside those for Phineas and Gus. As previously stated, he has a different design in this attraction and interacts with guests in their doom buggies' mirrors.
Main Article: Ticket Seller
A counterpart to the Skeleton with the same head mould as Ezra shows up as a ticket-master in Phantom Canyon, offering passes for the local ghost train. Fans and cast members have frequently dubbed this character "Ezra" as well.
One of the three ghosts will appear in photographs taken by Walt Disney World photographers in-front of the Haunted Mansion.
Other Park Appearances
In the Ghost Post interactive game, he is referred to as Ezra and can be heard on the Phantom Radio along with Phineas and Gus. He is voiced by Pete Renoudet, who played the Ghost Host in the album The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion.
The Hitchhiking Ghosts appear on the artwork for one of the gondolas in Walt Disney World's Disney Skyliners.
Ezra and the rest of the hitchhikers are recurring characters in the comic.
His backstory is given in the 7th issue in a story entitled "Laugh? I Thought I'd Die!". Here, he is given the name Ezra Gasser. In life, Ezra was a mischievous prankster who started Gasser Novelties, a successful business selling practical joke novelties that ran from 1907 to 1924. With sales in a decline, Ezra traveled to seek out new product ideas and eventually came across Chinese finger traps in a mysterious little shop. As he found himself unable to free himself, the shopkeeper disappeared and Ezra laughed himself to death. His spirit eventually found his way to the Mansion where his practical jokes earned the scorn of the other residents, leading him to start taking up hitchhiking.
Ezra is one of the common enemies in the Haunted Mansion levels of this game.
In the mobile game Disney Crossy Road, he is given the name Ezra Beane.
- Depicted on this page is a merchandise item released along with the tombstone, featuring the Skeleton hitchhiking while behind the Ezra tombstone. This is likely one more confirmation of the connection between the Skeleton and that name.
- In Disney's line of Host a Ghost Spirit Jars, he is given the name Ezra Beane.
- In Walt Disney World he was given a suitcase which has luggage stickers for Florida (where Walt Disney World is found), Hong Kong (where Mystic Manor is found), and Anaheim with a giant number 13 on it (where the original Haunted Mansion is, Disneyland's address is 1313 Disneyland Drive as a reference to Mickey Mouse).
- Another Haunted Mansion haunt named Ezra was featured in the 2003 live-action feature. Although the name was inspired by the Skeleton's popular nickname, he is quite a separate character, being plump and alive-looking, whereas the Skeleton also appears in the movie, depicted very close to his park self.