The Hidden Details You MISSED In the ‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie Trailer

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies & TV

Haunted Mansion movie, Hatbox Ghost closeup

Credit: Disney

Haunted Mansion aficionados and frequent Guests of the Disney Parks might have picked up on some of these references and hidden, secret details — but we bet you didn’t catch all of these referential haunts! Check the new Haunted Mansion (2023) trailer here:

Disney’s new Haunted Mansion movie

Related: Disney Debuts New Haunted Mansion Mystery For Park Guests to Solve

The Walt Disney Company has been known for groundbreaking entertainment and quality for many years. As of late, the House of Mouse has been increasingly preoccupied with producing reboots or remakes of classic Disney films, such as the upcoming Peter Pan reboot (that’s being called a “woke disaster” by certain groups). However, Disney are going to run out of animated movies to reboot at some point — so why not get ahead of the curve and start turning their other popular intellectual properties (IPs) into bankable film franchises? With Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars works dominating popular culture, it’s no wonder that Disney are searching for the “next big thing” — which is distinctly their own.

The Hitchhiking Ghosts at The Haunted Mansion, Ezra Beane, Professor Phineas Plump and Gus
Credit: Disney

Their theme parks are the next largest asset — with its own lore and history, the globally renowned Parks encompass Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California, “The Happiest Place On Earth”, the Walt Disney World Resort and the Magic Kingdom, as well as international Parks like the Disneyland Paris Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, and the Tokyo Disney Resort (including Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea). What better than to create a Disney Parks cinematic universe, likely with 2021’s the Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson/The Rock AKA Frank Wolff, Emily Blunt as Lily Houghton, and Jack Whitehall’s McGregor Houghton?

Who is in the new Haunted Mansion movie?

Tokyo Disneyland Disney Story Beyond Constance Hatchaway Heart Bride Haunted Mansion
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Will Introduce New Augmented Reality Experience to Haunted Mansion Ride

Haunted Mansion (2023) is directed by Justin Simien with a screenplay by Katie Dippold. Rosario Dawson stars as single mom Gabbie, while LaKeith Stanfield is paranormal investigator Ben Matthias. Joining them are Chase W. Dillon as Travis, Gabbie’s son, Owen Wilson as a priest named Kent, Tiffany Haddish the psychic as Harriet, Danny DeVito as Bruce, a college history professor, Jared Leto as Alistair Crump/Hatbox Ghost, and Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota. Currently undisclosed roles include those for Hasan Minhaj, Dan Levy, and Winona Ryder.

All the hidden references in the Haunted Mansion teaser trailer

Constance Hatchaway/The Attic Bride

“Till death do us part… ”

Constance Hatchaway, Ghost Bride in Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

Sometimes also referred to as the Black Widow Bride, Constance Hatchaway is perhaps the most famous ghost to grace the Haunted Mansion as one of its 999 haunts. She (or some variant of her) features heavily in the ride at nearly all the Parks, and she is tied intrinsically to the lore of the Mansion itself.

This “Black Widow” resides in the Attic, and is frequently shown with a hatchet — having harbored murderous intent on all her (ex) husbands, whom she eventually dispatched with swift swings of her hatchet. In the new trailer for the movie, Constance is shown at the (0:09) timestamp, and in her full ghostly apparition-form at (0:15) and in the dusty mirror at (0:28), scaring the daylights out of young Travis and Ben. She also features prominently at (0:14), descending with her infamous hatchet dragging down the stairs, from what is presumably the Attic to terrorize the Haunted Mansion’s newest guests.

The Hatbox Ghost

Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto) in Haunted Mansion movie 2023
Credit: Disney

Ah, the elusive Hatbox Ghost! An equally mysterious and infamous haunt of the Mansion and resident of the Attic, the Hatbox Ghost gained its notoriety by… not originally being a ghost in the Mansion! That is to say, the Hatbox Ghost was “lost” or “missing” for years — having been an animatronic whose failed special effect meant that it was removed from the attraction after only several days of service in the Haunted Mansion’s opening year of 1969. Its head was originally meant to disappear and reappear within its own hatbox, but issues with lighting led to his early retirement. In 2015 the Hatbox Ghost was reinstated with updated effects, and is now clearly seen with the guise of one Jared Leto, wandering the halls and preying on the unfortunate guests in the 2023 film, in the hallway at (0:23), flashing for a split second outside the window at (1:03), removing the entrances and exits so that the Mortals are in a “chamber [that] has no windows and no doors”, and again more clearly with his head in the Hatbox at (1:09).

Haunted Armor/Knight of the Living Dead

Gabbie and Travis running from Haunted Armor Knight of Living Dead, Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

The Knights of the Living Dead are suits of haunted armor that seemingly, inexplicably, come to life, glimpsed at () chasing Travis and Gabbie. Ever wondered why you don’t recall seeing them at the Parks? Well, these “living suits of armor” are not permanent fixtures of the Haunted Mansion, but in fact, a reference to a lost phenomenon of the 1980s. Back then, The Walt Disney Company tasked several real Cast Members to don these suits of armor and move around while the ride was functioning, live. Needless to say, this isn’t done today, but it’s a cool reference, nonetheless!

Corridor of Doors

Corridor of Doors' door, Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

The Corridor of Doors initiates many a mortal’s journey through the Haunted Mansion. This scene is alluded to at (0:07) with the ornate design on the wooden panels. Though you may not find John Stamos and Pepe the King Prawn behind one of these doors in Disney’s significantly spookier 2023 film, a la Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021) — something is definitely behind that closed, rattling door at (1:25) with its flashing lights.

Madame Leota

“Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat, call in the spirits, wherever they’re at!”

Another stellar spook subtly referenced, you might be surprised to find the iconic Madame Leota, on this list, as she was not made particularly obvious. But trust and believe, she is absolutely present!

Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota, Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

Originally portrayed by Leota Toombs (yes, her real name!) and voiced by Eleanor Audley in the Parks, she is now being played by Jamie Lee Curtis. This strangely living figure of Madame Leota shows up in the trailer, and is no doubt a version of the Madame from a bygone time — she isn’t in her iconic crystal ball yet — the corner of which can actually be glimpsed at (1:20)! Perhaps we’ll be getting a prequel flashback explaining her background? Or perhaps this version of Leota is just that much more mysterious.

The Ghost Host

“Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.”

Ghost Host portrait comparison edit, ride and Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

This reference was perhaps less subtle — if you were familiar with the Ghost Host’s true visage, of course. Not many are familiar with what the Ghost Host looks like, being better acquainted with his voice. The Ghost Host of the Haunted Mansion is famously voiced by the Disney legend Paul Frees, whose haunting baritone welcomes every mortal to step into the accursed Mansion. Indicting every Guest into the pre-show Stretching Room, his hanging corpse can be glimpsed from the cupola above. In the trailer, the Ghost Host’s portrait is in fact what can be seen repeatedly — the creepy Hatchet Man at (0:37-0:56) follows Ben, slowly changing to hold up the axe as he walks by.

Portraits

Stretching Room, Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

Beyond just the Ghost Host himself, the Haunted Mansion is filled with portraits of an ominous nature — whether they be “Tightrope Girl” Sally Slater and Ambassador Alexander Nitrokoff in the Stretching Room (1:11), or the Changing Portraits alluded to at (1:05), with the ghostly individual shifting from young to old, a little like the Aging Man or “Master Gracey”. There’s also another subtle hint at (0:18), when the portrait behind the Knight’s shoulder looks to be Miss April-December, another Changing Portrait that ages — well, from young-to-old — and April-through-December.

Grand Hall/Ballroom

Haunted Mansion Trailer Dropped today
Credit: Disney

Famous usage of the “Pepper’s Ghost” effect has led to this particular section of the Haunted Mansion to go down in history. Indeed, its semi-translucent specters hauntingly sway to the lilting tunes created by the Ballroom scene’s unmissable Organist, one more recently termed Herr Victor Geist, who makes his daunting appearance at (1:17). Sections of the Ballroom and its grand table can be seen at (0:23).

The Staring Busts

These Staring Busts are yet another classic haunt of the Mansion! They are always staring, and always have their eyes following unsuspecting, foolish mortals. They are definitely foreshadowed along the hallway at (0:23), while also visible briefly at (1:22), on the left hand side of the screen. Spooky!

The Grandfather Clock

It’s always 13 o’ clock somewhere!

Grandfather Clock in Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

This Grandfather Clock iconically stands with its hour hand forever pointing at the number 13, while its minute hand spins wildly. It’s a broken clock that’s telling the right time in the Haunted Mansion, and can be seen referenced at (1:16).

Endless Hallway

A very quick but effective moment is when the trailer showcases the Endless Hallway scene that is a fixture of every single iteration of the Haunted Mansion, including Disneyland Paris’ Phantom Manor. It’s… well, an Endless Hallways that appears to disappear into itself.

The poster art from Haunted Mansion (2023)
Credit: Disney

Stretching Room and Haunted Mansion Wallpaper

You can’t talk about the Stretching Room (1:11) without talking about that iconic striped wallpaper. Of course, this pre-show room not only houses the Ghost Host debut appearance (and his corpse), but the abovementioned Sally Slater and Ambassador Alexander Nitrokoff portraits.

Several famous patterns have also made it into the Haunted Mansion movie apparently — with (0:23) showcasing the Grand Hall/Ballroom’s iconic beige toned wallpaper, and (0:37-0:56) clearly showcasing the classic purple interior wallpaper.

Gabbie and Travis in Grand Hall Ballroom scene, Haunted Mansion movie
Credit: Disney

Whether we see more of these Disney Park-related movies seems to be only a matter of time. As promising as this new trailer is, only time will tell if the movie actually proves successful. If it does, we can likely expect to “hurry back” with a Disney Parks Cinematic Universe featuring all these characters — and more.

What do you think about all these hidden secrets of the Haunted Mansion trailer? Are there any that we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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