The Haunted Mansion: where hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. It’s also where we spend way too much time nerding out over all the intricate details that make up the attraction.
The thing about Disney rides is that they all tell a story. If you’re a tried and true Disney fan, then chances are, you know most of these stories and follow along throughout the ride. However, there are so many small details (that are typically looked over) that really add to the storyline. The Haunted Manson is roughly seven whole minutes of tiny details — ones you’ll look over if you aren’t looking very closely.
This post is dedicated to 13 of the MOST looked-over details in the Haunted Mansion. Whether you’ve noticed these before, or are learning about them for the first time today, we feel that it’s our responsibility to share the details of the Happy Haunts’ abode with the world. Let’s go!
1. Faces In the Wood Framing
Once you walk into the Haunted Mansion, especially once you exit the Stretch Room, you’ll notice intricate detailing in the wooden door frames. If you look even closer, you’ll realize that the detailing resembles a face.
Each of the doorways look like angry, evil faces! This is something that’s easy to look over because it’s technically in the pre-show area. However, details that contribute to the Mansion’s storyline start as soon as you enter the queue.
2. Faces In the Carpet
Similar to the wood framing in the doorways, take a look at the ground once you enter the Mansion. You’ll see that the carpet is adorned in a vintage print.
If you look even closer, though, you’ll see that the decorations on the carpet also look like scary faces!
3. Murder Mystery Busts
This one could be hard to see unless the line is long enough for Cast Members to open the extended, interactive queue. You’ll see that there are five busts at the side of the queue. These are actually part of a murder mystery!
Take the time during your next trip to see if you can solve the mystery and figure out how each of the people died. Was it murder? Was it natural causes that did them in? You’ll have to find out! Be sure to look ALL around these busts for clues.
They could be hiding something!
4. Ghost Host’s Redemption Story
When you first walk into the Haunted Mansion, Ghost Host introduces himself pretty early on. He’s your tour guide, after all! In the Stretch Room scene, you’ll see that he suffers from a pretty tragic death — he hangs himself to escape the endless chaos of the mansion. But — how did he get down? Why would he choose to stay and become a tour guide after being so desperate to leave?
Well, while you’re in your Doom Buggy and you just pass the Conservatory Scene (where the guy in the casket is begging to be let out), you’ll head backward for a bit. You’ll see all sorts of paintings on the walls, including one of Ghost Host himself. Look closely, and you’ll see that there’s a shadow — Ghost Host’s shadow. He’s holding an ax. He cut himself down from his noose to join the Happy Haunts!
5. Raven in the Conservatory Scene
Speaking of the conservatory scene… you’ll notice that there’s a black raven that sits on the casket. Cast Members have named this fellow Lucifer, and they actually say hello to him every morning. It’s rumored that if Cast Members don’t say hello to Lucifer each day and give him a pat on the head before the park opens, weird things start to happen.
You can spot Lucifer a few times throughout the ride — like when he’s with Madame Leota in the seance scene. He doesn’t contribute a whole lot to the storyline, but he’s a friend of the Haunts of the mansion.
6. Constance’s Wedding Ring In the Queue
If you look closely in the queue right before you enter the holding area before you enter the Mansion, you’ll spot Constance’s wedding ring on the ground.
This detail is so small and subtle that many guests walk right over it without even noticing!
7. Hidden Mickey in the Graveyard Scene
Those who love to hunt down all the Hidden Mickeys in the parks probably already know about this one.
In case you don’t, you can spot a Hidden Mickey in the left hand (it’ll be your right hand) of the Grim Reaper at the end of the Graveyard Scene — right as you’re entering the part of the ride where you see the Hitchhiking Ghosts.
8. The Singing Bust That Sounds Like the Grinch…
“Grim Grinning Ghosts” is the song that plays throughout the ride. As soon as you enter the queue, different versions of the song play! Many guests don’t realize that it is the only song that plays throughout the ride — just at different tempos. However, the graveyard scene is where we hear the better-known version of the song.
If you listen closely to the scene, you’ll hear a voice that’s probably very familiar! Thurl Ravenscroft is one of the voices featured in “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, and he’s also the voice you hear in “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
9. Book In The Ballroom Scene
The ballroom scene is a fan-favorite part of the ride for many! If you look closely, you’ll see a book resting on a side table in the scene. This book is actually a book on taxes with stamps from the UCLA library!
Rumor has it that a Cast Member checked it out of the college library and never returned it, and now it’s just part of the Haunted Mansion. What’s spookier than an overdue library fee?
10. Bat Stanchions In the Queue
These guys don’t get enough credit! The stanchions that you see throughout the queue once you enter the house are actually little bats.
They’re very cute, and we think they deserve more attention! Next time you visit the Mansion, be sure to check them out! Oh, and if you didn’t already know, the Mansion Maids’ bows are actually bats, too. They all name them, so make sure to ask the Maids what they named their bats.
11. Footless Ghosts in the Ballroom
In the ballroom scene, you’ll notice that some of the people floating in a circle by the fireplace are missing their feet.
So, the Haunted Mansion is set in the early 1800s, right? Back then, coffins were kind of a “one size fits all” situation, and if someone was too tall to fit in the coffin… off with their feet!
12. Cake Toppers in the Attic Scene
Next time you’re in the attic of the Mansion, take a close look at the wedding cake area. You’ll see five grooms’ cake toppers, each with a missing head. The first head was very roughly chopped off. The second and third ones are slightly better. The fourth is okay. The fifth? The head was cut CLEAN off.
This is a reference to how Constance killed each of her husbands and got better at doing so each time. The last husband never even made it to the wedding!
13. Chipped Glass in the Attic Scene
Also in the attic scene, you’ll find His&Hers glasses — on the right when you first enter the scene. The groom’s glass is tipped over and chipped.
This insinuates that she poisoned her first husband. It’s something that you’ll miss if you aren’t paying attention!
Bonus: Listen Closely. More Grim Grinning Ghosts After You Leave
This last one is included as a bonus because it’s not exactly something you can see — but something that you’ll hear if you listen closely. Many guests ask what song is playing as they exit the ride.
It’s still “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” but it’s an added verse! Listen closely the next time you exit the ride so that you can hear it for yourself.
What do you think? Have you ever noticed these details? We love analyzing all of the Disney rides, so make sure to follow along for when we write more posts like this!
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Which of these details did you find to be the most interesting? Let us know in the comments!