This is per request….
Back in the 1960′s, even before the Haunted Mansion opened, Disneyland was busy promoting the upcoming attraction gaining suspense and curiosity from the guests. There were several promotional photos taken of Yale Gracey, head designer and creator for many of the Mansion’s spooks, which featured glimpses of what the ghosts would look like. The most popular picture featured Gracey with what’s known as the Hatbox Ghost. He was a short, hunched over, scary looking little man, holding in his hand, a hat box. More photos emerged and Disney used this frightening little guy for a lot of it’s merchandising at that time.
So, what’s the big deal about this particular ghost? Well, it’s because he simply isn’t in the actual Haunted Mansion attraction.
Hatbox’s claim to fame was to be the illusion of his face disappearing off of his body, and reappearing inside the hat box. When the ghosts were placed into the Mansion, Hatbox was put in the attic scene.
The Hatbox Ghost was installed inside The Haunted Mansion and in place for cast member previews on the nights of August 7 and 8, 1969. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the effect had failed, as ambient light in the attraction’s attic scene prevented the specter’s face from disappearing fully, despite the turning off of its designated spotlight. Attempts were made to remedy technical problems, but the effect wasn’t convincing enough, and the ghost was decommissioned after a few months.
While it is unknown what became of The Hatbox Ghost, there are speculations as to his fate. Because the Hatbox Ghost has been featured prominently in artwork and narration for popular Haunted Mansion record albums sold for many years at Disney parks, and because Disney continues to market the ghost’s image, he has never been forgotten and has become somewhat of a legend, complete with his very own cult following.