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Disneyland History 1969 Mystery of the Hatbox Ghost07:04

Disneyland History 1969 Mystery of the Hatbox Ghost

Hatbox ghost c

The Hatbox Ghost is a character that appeared originally in The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland but was removed shortly after the attraction's debut. Located formerly in the ride's attic scene, the figure is described as "an elderly ghost in a cloak and top hat, leaning on a cane with a wavering hand and clutching a hatbox in the other." The idea behind The Hatbox Ghost was for his head to vanish from atop his shoulders and reappear alternately inside his hatbox, in time with an adjacent bride figure's beating heart. According to Imagineer Chris Merritt in an interview with DoomBuggies.com, the effect was never completely successful due to the illusion's close proximity to the ride vehicles: "The gag was based purely on lighting. The ghost's head was illuminated by black lighting. A light inside the hatbox he held would rhythmically illuminate and hide the head in the hatbox, while, in tandem, the actual head on the ghost's shoulders would be hidden by extinguishing the black lighting." The Hatbox Ghost was installed inside The Haunted Mansion and in place for cast member (park employee) 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. A photo of the figure in situ is featured on the Doombuggies.com website.[1] And on the DVD, "Disneyland Resort: Imagineering the Magic," Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering Tony Baxter displays an attraction maintenance slip that lists the original Hatbox Ghost. Rumors suggested that the figure was eliminated due to its frightening appearance. Read more at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatbox_Ghost

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