Today we take a look at pieces of Rolly Crump's Museum of the Weird that are still inside the Haunted Mansion.
Inspired by Rolly's sketch of a plant man for the Museum of the Weird, are the faces Claude Coats came up with for the final design of the wallpaper, still used in the Mansion to this day.
The chair to the left of the Endless hallway scene, obscured by darkness but is another hidden face. This chair is a reference to the Living Chair that was going to be featured in the Museum of the Weird. It was actually going to be an animatronic and would speak to people as they walked past it or tried to sit on him.
The demon clock is the most obvious of Rolly Crump's created face within the entire attraction. The point of the clock is for it to look like a demon which is why it's called the demon clock. It's not really hidden, but it is a face on an inanimate object that did stem from the Museum of the Weird.
Here is the earliest form that the demon clock takes in this concept art and a piece known as the grandfather coffin clock.
In this image, from the TV special, Walt is showing off the concepts for the Haunted Mansion. Rolly holds a slightly different version of the clock, it's more of a zombie ghoul head. Other things meant for the Museum of the Weird pictured below includes the candle man and the chair.
When we fall, or are pushed out of the attic window, we arrive at the graveyard scene. But before we go too deep into it, just above you at the gates next to the caretaker, there's a face peering out at you from the darkness.
And let's take notice of the amazing wall sconces as you exit back to New Orleans Square.
Let's explore the story of Captain Gore the first resident of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion. After the World's Fair had concluded Walt Disney had a pretty good idea that he wanted to do something New Orleans related with the old mansion that they had built on the riverside. The Mansion had already been here for years years and they still didn't have an idea of what they were doing. Ken Anderson and a group of Walt Disney imagineers were tasked to go to New Orleans to figure out what the local stories and legends were to bring back home Disneyland.
Who Is Captain Gore? It wouldn't stay this way forever, but for a while imagineer Ken Anderson was in charge of creating the backstory for the Haunted Mansion. He wouldn't be the imagineering team that would finish it but he was where it started and some of the original pieces and storylines that he crafted are still a part of the Mansion over 50 years later!
Off of the side of New Orleans Square not too far away from the Pirates of the Caribbean, Walt wanted to build a house for a famous pirate Bartholomew Roberts AKA black Bart and he wanted it to be a home that had a legend or rumor that it was haunted by the wickedness of its owner. However Ken Anderson thought Bartholomew Roberts just was too plain of a name so he came up with the idea of Bartholomew Gore AKA Captain Gore who as Legend would have it would be the cruelest meanest pirate to ever sail. This would begin in the relationship between the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean because after all it would be a pirate Captain Gore there would be the resident of Walt's Haunted Mansion.
Let's look at Ken Anderson's best version of the story. Captain Gore dreamed of retiring and he wouldn't retire to this quiet Seaside Community where he could maybe escape from being a fearsome pirate and just live out the rest of his years as a regular guy. He changed his name, moved to the seaside community and created a new identity and he funded it all with the blood money that he had made as a pirate. After he turned himself into a respectful Citizen and purchased a house, having it built perfectly positioned on the river's edge. The mansion had a sailing ship as a weather vein, a spy glass on the balcony and an attic full of all kinds of treasures.
Captain Gore wanted to bring on a young bride so she could bear him lots of children and he could live out the rest of his life not like a pirate but like a normal man. In an attempt to make his life feel more complete he took on a young bride by the name of Priscilla and he would share with her his wealth and beautiful mansion all based on one small agreement. She was never to step into his attic! This was the only part of the mansion that was off limits. Of course the bride on her wedding day, in her wedding dress was far too curious and she went into the attic. She opened up a large chest and inside she found all of Captain Gore's secrets. She learned that he was a bloodthirsty pirate! Once Gore had realized that she had betrayed his wishes, he fell into a rage, lost his mind and she lost her life. He threw her out the window. When we go through the attic scene our doom buggy turns as we are falling out of the attic just like Priscilla his bride fell out the window.
She however got revenge on him, haunting him until he lost his mind and eventually he hung himself. As the attraction begins, the man hanging in the stretching room from the rafters is Captain Gore the original resident of the Haunted Mansion. And we hear that woman scream that's Priscilla laughing and shrieking knowing that she finally got revenge on the man that killed her. The man that threw her out of the window of the Haunted Mansion.
More Pirates of the Caribbean discoveries inside of the Haunted Mansion include Mark Davis character sketches. He based the auctioneer off of the idea of Captain Gore. Also when you go through the ballroom scene in The Haunted Mansion that same animatronic comes out through the graveyard and is chased by a bride. The fact that that character is in both Pirates and in the Haunted Mansion means that Captain Gore truly was the original resident of the Haunted Mansion.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".