Welcome, foolish mortals... Disney's Haunted Mansion is without a doubt one of the most iconic and beloved dark rides in the history of theme parks. From the stretching room to the graveyard, the attraction has legions of iconic characters, scenes, and setpieces fans can spot. These are great for casual visitors, but there are some only meant for the eyes of regular guests of Gracey Manor.
The mansion is chock-full of Easter eggs and tidbits, more than most Disney attractions, but some might go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Submitted for your ghoulish delight, we have a selection of spooky symbols and icons every true mansion resident should know.
10 The One-Eyed Cat
We'll start where the attraction officially begins, the queue. The Haunted Mansion has one of the most interactive queues out of any Disney ride. You can solve a murder-mystery, help a dead poet, and even play instruments on a composer's tomb. It's on this musical mausoleum we find a strange cat that yowls and hisses if you touch its stone.
This is the mansion's One-Eyed Cat, and he serves as a nod to an unused concept in the attraction's developmental years. The cat was meant to be the mansion's antagonist, despising the happy haunts and gleeful guests, but was scrapped for a more comical motif.
9 Cline's Bathtub
Yet another queue feature that is a nod to a scrapped Haunted Mansion character is the final resting place of Captain Culpepper Cline (allergic to dirt, so he's pickled in brine). You can find him in a bathtub just before exiting the queue and entering the mansion itself.
The spooky sea captain is meant to represent Captain Gore, who would have been the star of the mansion in a much more terrifying storyline. Captain Gore was a pirate captain who, in the unused storyline, murdered his wife and became the manor's vengeful spirit. Obviously too gruesome for a Disney ride, the idea was tossed and we have Captain Cline in his place.
8 The Face Chair
After boarding the Doom Buggie, guests are taken through different twists and turns through the halls of Gracey Manor. One such turn takes guests towards the Endless Hallway where a suit of armor stands across from an empty chair... With a ghoulish face.
Okay, so it's not exactly the scariest prop on our list, but it was originally supposed to be featured in an attraction all of its own. Imagineer Roly Crump pitched the idea of a Museum of the Weird as an exit attraction to the manor, and various artifacts were presented. The chair is one remaining artifact that was built for the unfinished museum.
7 Floating Candleabra
The mansion's Endless Hallway wouldn't be complete without the candelabra floating eerily on its own. Supposedly inspired by scenes from Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast and Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera, the prop has been an icon of the mansion and the illusion used to create the Endless Hallway.
Through positioning and forced perspective, the candelabra helps establish the fictionalized depth of the chasm-like hallway leading deep into the belly of the house. A simple prop hung on an invisible wire, but it makes for an impressive and effective illusion.
6 Doom Buggies
Much to the dismay of a few Imagineers, the Haunted Mansion did not achieve the status of walk-through attraction. Don't feel too bad though, thanks to the magic of omnimover technology, we have the famous Doom Buggies to take us around the magnificent and macabre manor.
Even the name of the ride vehicle strikes a prominent chord with die-hard Haunted Mansion fans. These creepy carriages have been carrying guests deep into the realms of the supernatural since the attraction opened in 1969. The Doom Buggies have been featured on everything from merchandise to a famous fansite dedicated to the ride.
5 The Raven
Lucifer to Cast Members but Alfred to others. This black-feathered fiend definitely goes under the radar of dozens of visitors every day, but to true fans of the Haunted Mansion, he's as iconic as the Hitchhiking Ghosts themselves. Alfred is the red-eyed raven that can be seen in a number of scenes throughout the mansion.
Whether he's a reincarnation of the Ghost Host, familiar of Madame Leota, or perhaps an otherworldly visitor from a night's Plutonian shore, he can be found all throughout the mansion like an eerie game of Where's Waldo. Fun Fact: During the Haunted Mansion Holiday, the raven is swapped for the Vampire Teddy.
4 Leota's Incantation
"Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat. Call in the spirits wherever they're at." Though not a physical object, Madame Leota's famous incantations during the seance sequence of the ride is easily a favorite feature for many a fan. There's just something hypnotic and eerie about her voice that makes our goosebumps breakdance.
A great deal of her presence and etherial quality comes from the chilling tones of actress Elanore Audley. True Disney-buffs will know her as the voice of Lady Tremaine and Maleficent. Easily a legend in the hallowed halls of Disney, what better voice to summon the spirits than that of the Mistress of All Evil?
Thanks to a certain resident of the Haunted Mansion, Disney fans can never look at hatboxes in antique shops the same way ever again. No Haunted Mansion fan worth their salt can ever forget the Hatbox Ghost, but there might be something more sinister lurking in those boxes than fancy headwear.
Thanks to a theory involving the mansion's resident Black Widow Bride, that collection of boxes behind the famous phantom might contain the severed heads of her dearly departed (and decapitated) husbands. Is the Hatbox Ghost an accomplice to murder, perhaps another victim? You decide.
2 Constance's Hatchet and Pearls
Replacing the now-defunct Beating Heart Bride, Constance Hatchaway took to the manor in 2006 and has since become an icon of the attraction. This is perhaps because she holds the title for the most gruesome backstory out of any of the 999 Happy Haunts.
Known as the Black-Widow Bride, Constance married several wealthy suitors, then promptly murdered them for the inheritance. In the attic, every time her husband's head vanishes in the portrait, hers acquires another string of pearls. Upon an encounter with her ghost, guests can see her bridal bouquet turn into a grisly hatchet. Definitely a darker story for Disney.
1 The Singing Busts
Call them props, call them ghosts, call them vocalists from beyond the grave, but we can't have a list of Haunted Mansion Icons without this fearsome five. Responsible for the attraction's show-stopping theme song, the singing busts are as famous and noticeable as any of their spectral peers.
Portrayed by Disney's famous singing group, The Mellomen, and created through a simple projection effect, the busts carry out a haunting refrain as the Doom Buggy coasts through the graveyard, just in time for the Swinging Wake. Though the graveyard is vastly populated by spirits, their presence is definitely one guests notice first.