The Haunted Mansion has inspired numerous myths and legends . . .
STORY: The original ride was so scary that it gave a man a heart attack. Walt ordered the ride changed to its current less serious version. This story is FALSE. It was most likely inspired by the fact that the house appeared on the riverbank several years before it officially opened as an attraction. DISNEYLAND needed to fill in the spot, but Walt was still struggling with what the Haunted Mansion should be. The house appeared before the ride, so guests created a story to explain why the house was vacant for so long.
STORY: The Haunted Mansion used to feature a "Hatbox Ghost" who was eventually removed. DISNEYLAND originally claimed that while the hatbox ghost was pictured in a popular Disney Storyteller book released at the time, it never appeared in the attraction. This story is TRUE, but DISNEYLAND's original explanation is FALSE. The hatbox ghost was in the ride when it was first built; his original location was opposite the ghostly bride. His head would "disappear" and reappear in his hatbox. Unfortunately, the effect was very fake looking, so Imagineering quickly removed the figure to adjust it. It wasn't successful so he was never returned to the ride. Since this all happened during the first week that the attraction was open, he was quickly forgotten, even by DISNEYLAND's press relations department who frequently answered questions about the ghost with denials. Now, he is not only remembered, but has been the subject of many pieces of merchandise and rumors of his possible return.