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Disney's 2023 Haunted Mansion May Make The Hatbox Ghost Host Of The House

The Haunted Mansion has been a staple of some Disney parks for over 50 years, endearing itself to millions of fans from around the globe with its ride-through tour of the ghost-infested mansion. Led through this tour by the "Ghost Host" (voiced by Paul Frees), visitors are introduced to a wide variety of eccentric ghosts who have taken residents throughout the mansion.

The upcoming film "Haunted Mansion" is set to bring many of the attraction's most popular and iconic ghosts to life on the big screen, including the so-called "Hatbox Ghost" (Jared Leto) – an animatronic character that was removed not long after the ride's launch in 1969, but was re-added in 2015. While the ghost itself doesn't play a major part in the ride, it seems like the film's Hatbox Ghost could be taking over as the host of the Haunted Mansion itself — as its speech in the film's star-studded trailer is eerily similar to the one given by the "Ghost Host" within the attraction.

In the trailer, the Hatbox Ghost delivers the line "This house is dripping with souls, but there's always room for one more," which avid Disney Parks fans will know is very similar to the "Ghost Host's" opening speech: "There are nine-hundred and ninety-nine happy haunts here, but there's room for a thousand. Any volunteers?" This, coupled with the fact that the new Hatbox Ghost seems to be imitating the deep sinister tones of Paul Frees, makes it seem like the Hatbox Ghost will be taking over as host of the Haunted Mansion; at least in this film.

The Hatbox Ghost did not appear in the first film adaptation

Like the ride's version of the Hatbox Ghost, the spirit we see in the film's trailer apparently has the ability to transfer its head into the lantern-like Hatbox that it carries – from which we can hear the deep booming voice that narrates the majority of the trailer. We also catch a glimpse of the Hatbox Ghost's sunken blue face later on in the trailer, and from his sinister warning it certainly seems like this character will play a major role in the upcoming movie.

Although the Hatbox Ghost is one of the most iconic characters from the original attraction (so popular that it was revived four decades later for an entirely new audience), it's worth noting that the Eddie Murphy-ld 2003 adaptation, "The Haunted Mansion," chose to simply keep the bodiless "Ghost Host" within the film. In that movie the "Ghost Host" is played by voice actor Corey Burton, and delivers a monologue in the opening credits that features his iconic line from the ride: "Welcome, foolish mortals."

While the Hatbox Ghost doesn't appear at all in the 2003 adaptation, his monologue throughout the new "Haunted Mansion" trailer suggests that he will be might be taking on the role of the "Ghost Host" in the upcoming film – tormenting all the mortals who find their way inside, and taunting them along the way just as the "Ghost Host" does within the ride.