The fabled ‘Hatbox’ Ghost is in fact returning to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland! Disney began teasing the potential announcement on their blog in January, and confirmed the return on May 9, 2015.

The ‘Hatbox’ Ghost is an animatronic first installed in the Haunted Mansion in 1969. In the story of the Haunted Mansion, the estate hosts 999 “happy haunts” with room for 1,000 if anyone so volunteered. The infamous Hatbox Ghost lived in the attic space, standing tall holding a hatbox. As your doom buggy exited the attic to make it’s way down to the graveyard, the Hatbox Ghost’s head would disappear and re-appear inside the box. The animatronic was quickly removed once it was determined the effect didn’t work as planed, and ever since the story of the Hatbox Ghost has lived on in an almost mythical way.

Those who have visited the Haunted Mansion over the first few months of 2015 have noticed a strange temporary wall in the attic. It has been widely speculated that Disney has been up to something behind the wall, and most of the speculation has circled around the return of the Hatbox Ghost. The speculation and rumors have been especially strong with this development considering the wall is located in the same spot as where the Hatbox Ghost briefly stood in 1969.

Hatbox Ghost Construction Wall Disneyland

Is the Hatbox Ghost hiding behind this temporary wall inside the Haunted Mansion? Photo used with permission, ©Andy Castro of Dateline Disney

Walt Disney Imagineering showed off a mock up animatronic of the Hatbox Ghost at the 2013 D23 Expo. The display was part of the Imagineering exhibit and again stirred up speculation that the Hatbox Ghost was nearing a return.

Journey into Imagineering 2013 D23 Expo - All photos ©Bryan Pugh for

Journey into Imagineering 2013 D23 Expo – All photos ©Bryan Pugh for

Disneyland has remained quite for an official unveiling date of the Hatbox Ghost. Although an upcoming four day closure of the Haunted Mansion in May could give us the answer. The hype isn’t over yet and the announcement will most likely be tied into the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Anniversary, beginning May 22, 2015 at the Disneyland Resort.

Your Thoughts on the Return of the Hatbox Ghost?

Are you excited for the return of the Hatbox Ghost? Or is the mystery of the Hatbox Ghost best kept in lore? Share your thoughts in the comments below!