The Haunted Mansion tells a lot of stories throughout the ride. This was intentional. But at first, figuring out which storylines they wanted to use for the final cut of the overall plot of the Haunted Mansion was very confusing for Imagineers. While many of these stories made it into the final product and some even evolved into more in-depth stories, a lot of the former ideas were scratched. Here are these unused Haunted Mansion storylines.

Funny or Scary?

Fans of the attraction may already know about the tension between Imagineers after Walt’s death while designing the Haunted Mansion. Before Walt always had the final say but his death meant power struggles and creative differences.

There were two main opinions among Imagineers: some thought that the Haunted Mansion ride should be scary/spooky/creepy, while others thought that the ride should be lighthearted and humorous–as it was in Disneyland after all. Eventually, for those in favour of a softer-thrills, the lighthearted attraction won out. But some of the spookier elements made the final cut too, like floating lanterns and Knight’s armour that moves of its own accord.

The Headless Horseman

If Imagineers had decided to make the attraction scary, the Mansion might have revolved around the Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

Captain Gore

Probably the most well-known abandoned storyline of The Haunted Mansion was centred around Captain Gideon Gorelieu aka “Captain Gore” for short and yes, the pun is likely intended. Gore was a retired sea pirate who decided to marry an eighteen-year-old woman named Priscilla. His oblivious bride-to-be discovers his old pirate things in the attic of the mansion on the day of their wedding and confronts the Captain. He becomes enraged and throws her out the attic window while she is still wearing her wedding dress. She dies and comes back to haunt him until he hangs himself in the stretching room.

Museum of the Weird

Even though he sadly passed away before he could see it come to life, Walt Disney wanted to build a haunted house-style attraction at Disneyland even before the park’s opening. Regardless, the project might not have begun without Imagineer Rolly Crump’s random, unsolicited designs of the Museum of the Weird. It consisted of creepy miniatures like a candleman whose body is melting from the flame and a gipsy hearse. It was not a specific assignment from Walt. It seems like it was more of a passion project for Rolly.

At first, when Walt saw Rolly’s small sculptures, he seemed almost repulsed–describing it all as “too weird.” However, when Rolly Crump came into work the next day, Walt was sitting in his chair wearing the same clothes he had worn the night before. Walt claimed he couldn’t sleep that previous night thinking about Rolly’s designs. Walt now wanted to incorporate them into a creepy-ish walkthrough attraction. Eventually though, as other stories and designs began to take shape, the Museum of the Weird idea was scratched. Despite this, Rolly Crump still had a major influence on what would eventually become the Haunted Mansion.

Bloodmere Manor

Another abandoned story was that of the Blood family. It was created by Imagineer Ken Anderson. According to his story, Bloodmere Manor was built in 1800. It was deserted until restored by Disney and brought to the park. However, strange occurrences started to scare the night watchmen and other cast members. Disney would then conduct an investigation, only to find that the home had a history of violent deaths of all who found themselves inside it. Of course, Disney would want to fix it, but it would be too late.

Lonesome Ghosts, Weddings, & More

Some other early ideas included a wedding guided by a Lonesome Ghost and construction workers who go missing and/or bury themselves alive in their work on the mansion; there is a nod to this in the graveyard scene.