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Favorite Place To Eat : Favorite Item
Blue Bayou : Monte Cristo
WELCOME, FOOLISH MORTALS
TO THE HAUNTED MANSION . . .
The Walt Disney Imagineers have repeatedly stated that there is no unifying story behind the Haunted Mansion, that it's just a collection of vignette's. This is explained in the fact that the mansion is a "retirement home" for ghosts of the area. But what of the history of the mansion itself?
There once was a man who owned a "merchant ship" called Columbia. By merchant ship, I mean pirate ship. One day while sailing, he meets a young woman and falls in love with her. Of course, he neglects to mention that he is a pirate (typical). In an effort to settle down with her, he purchases a bayou mansion, conveniently located near his ship's dock. It also has a sailing ship weathervane that points to the dock. On the day of their wedding, he goes off on one last pirating expedition. The bride, out of boredom (or curiosity perhaps) visits Madam Leota, a traveling gypsy and fortune teller. When Madame Leota reveals to the newlywed that her husband is actually a pirate, she races back to the mansion and kills herself out of grief . . . in the attic . . . in her wedding dress. When the man returns from his expedition and finds his wife dead, he kills the gypsy woman, decapitates her, places her head in a glass dome and hangs himself in the belfry...located directly above the main gallery. Following the deaths of the owners, the mansion was condemned and boarded up . . . until now.
At least that was the story until they replaced the bride with an axe-wielding gold-digger.
The Spider Story
*NOTE* This is an apocryphal rumor and has never been confirmed to me by anyone with any authority. :-)
At the very end of the ballroom sequence, if you look straight ahead (just below the 2nd dueling portrait), you will see a spider between two columns. This spider covers a hole in the glass from a gun. Apparently somebody got depressed enough to commit suicide (ridiculous, eh?) and decided to kill themselves on the Haunted Mansion. Well they chickened out at the last minute, but the gun went off and punched through the glass. Now the Imagineers had a problem: they couldn't easily replace the glass because it's three stories tall and was lowered into position before the ride was even built. Finally one Imagineer said, "Give me 25¢ and I'll fix it."
Update: I have heard that, in early 2020, an extended maintenance window was allocated for the mansion (whether this was the same window for the removal of the Haunted Mansion Holiday decorations or not is unknown) during which the entire glass pane was replaced, relegating this apocryphal story to the dustbin.