Fanfic / The Mansionverse
, is a Fan Verse
about Disneyland's Haunted Mansion
. On top of "core" authors, it also inglomerates standalone fanworks sometimes even predating
the birth of the fanverse.
Spawned by artful comic strips by user KellyM-Mortal on DeviantArt, it grew through other comics and stories. Since early 2017, there is also a wiki
, which you can visit here
; it indexes all the comics and expands on the lore and characters (including some extras from concept art, which are now given full names and personalities
Be prepared for fun, adventures, and loads
of World Building
The series in general provides examples of:
- Abominable Snowman: Just like the ghosts of the Mansion, the Yetis of the Expedition Everest and Matterhorn Bobsleds rides are real in this continuity instead of mere animatronics. The Ghost Host really wants to adopt them as pets, too.
- Ancient Evil: The One-Eyed Black Cat appears to have been around since ancient times.
- Artifact Collection Agency: Walt Disney Imagineering itself has elements of this, finding and bringing back supernatural creatures, objects and even buildings (the Mansion chief among them), all in order to make Disneyland more realistic.
- And I Must Scream: In the end, Gideon Gorelieu suffers such a fate, as his soul is sent in a black featureless vacuum, stripped of any physicality whatsoever, even his ectoplasmic body. Gorelieu even lets out a silent scream, as per the trope name.
- A Wizard Did It: How does the Hatbox Ghost's hat not fall when his head has disappeared? MAGIC.
- Badass Long Coat: The Hatbox Ghost sports one, and an Ominous Opera Cape, and a High Collar of Doom (both details are already present in the canon design, but are notably stressed, especially the collar).
- Beware Of Hitch Hiking Ghosts: Given the presence of a trio Hitchhiking Ghosts in the original ride, they are of course in the fics. One of the plot points in "Mystery of the Vanishing Hatbox" is that the Ghost Host one day forgets to warn the guests about the Hitchhiking Ghosts and that they eventually manage to be taken out of the mansion by one of the guests.
- Big Labyrinthine Building: The Mansion isn't exactly small, but it really becomes this because it's Bigger on the Inside. See Bizarrchitecture below for more details.
- The rooms the guests are allowed to visit might appear to make sense on the surface, but the Mansion is really absurdly Bigger on the Inside with a maze of corridors in which even the ghosts sometimes get lost.
- The Endless Staircases are Escher-like stairs that throw sensicality out the window altogehter. They exist in their own limbo-like dimension and connect all haunted locations in the world together. They're even worse than the Corridors, and only the Hatbox Ghost knows how to navigate them in the regular cast.
- Canon Welding: The fanverse includes several properties (fanmade and official alike) welded together into a single continuity, even when no continuity was intended from the authors:
- The ride;
- The Ghost Post;
- The Disney Kingdoms comic arc;
- Every single piece of concept art produced by the likes of Marc Davis and Claude Coats;
- The SLG comic line (to an extent);
- Various fancomics and fanfics that were not written with the Fan Verse in mind.
- Cartoon Bomb: Zany Azalea has a large supply of those.
- Composite Character: The Ghost Host as used in the fanfics is combined with the Hatchet Man from the "Corridor of Doors" portrait. This link was already present in various Head Canons.
- Contemplative Boss: The Phantom does it in this comic.
- Creator Cameo: In "An interview with the Hatbox Ghost", the Hatbox Ghost complains about the fact that one of the authors of the comics never draws his hatbox well. The name of the comics author in question is not cited, but the Hatbox Ghost gives enough clues to conclude that it is supposed to be user Benthehyena, one of the primary members of the team that developed the Fan Verse.
- Crossover: Several:
- Cryptic Background Reference:
- Where did the Mansion actually come from? Only the vaguest of rumors exist.
- The Ancient Gods whom the One-Eyed Black Cat and Medusa used to serve aren't around anymore. Did they die? Leave? Vanish mysteriously? Who knows.
- Deal with the Devil: Used in one story where the Hatbox Ghost actually summons a slew of infernal demons who insist a deal be made to justify the Inconvenient Summons. The Ghost Host manages to trick them on Hatty's behalf with some clever Loophole Abuse: when the time comes to seal the deal, he hands them the standard form for a damnation contract… the one that states the demons will take possession of the soul "once the contractor is dead". Since Hatty's already a ghost, the contract is in fact null and void.
- Depending on the Writer: Some authors, such as Benthehyena, Sidisney and even Emma Mosier, have a "personal continuity" with different backstories from the norm, forcing the comics that closely reference them to be Exiled from Continuity. Also, purely on the subject of characterization, Sidisney's Hatbox Ghost is more youthful and mischievous than practically everybody else's Grumpy Old Man characterization.
- Dogs Are Dumb: The (self-styled) "Fabulous" Dog is a canine counterpart to über-villain the One-Eyed Black Cat. In contrast to the cunning, dangerous Cat, Dog is a blabbering lunatic who never does anything to assess his status as the same class of being as the Cat. The Cat is actually embarassed when Dog is brought up in his presence, and we're talking about as literal a devil as there is in the Mansionverse.
- Eye Beams: The One-Eyed Black Cat can project a laser-like red beam from his "missing" eye, which can destroy, reshape, mind-control, and a dozen other things.
- Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: The bulk of Emma Mosier's comic output is this. Scrooge Mac Duck, Ben-The-Hyena and Kelly Green also did them (or still do).
- Fan Verse: The stories are all set in the same continuity based on a personal interpretation of Disney's Haunted Mansion.
- Fluffy Tamer: The Ghost Host was one when he was alive, having such Pet Monstrosities as a man-eating bat, an elephant and a giant octopus.
- Ghost Pirate: Admiral Gorelieu, Bartholomew Gore, and the numerous ghosts in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: For all that the Phantom is a superpowered evil mastermind who wishes to enslave all the ghosts in the world, he's often just hangin' out in Gracey Manor.
- Grumpy Old Man: The Hatbox Ghost, one of the first ghosts in the Mansion, is frequently complaining about all the changes made to the mansion since 1969, such as the addition of Constance the Black Widow Bride.
- Haunted House: For a group of stories set in Disney's Haunted Mansion, where ELSE could it take place than in a haunted house ?
- Head Canon: The Head Canon of the creators of the fanfics pretty much becomes the canon of the Fan Verse in question.
- Insane Troll Logic: In the Witch of Walpurgis's bio, Madame Leota's justification for not freeing the Witch from her Phantom Zone Picture state was that if she was as powerful a witch as Leota, she could easily free herself, and if she wasn't as powerful a witch, she wasn't worthy of her attention.
- Knight of Cerebus: While the backstories can be pretty dark, "present-day" shenanigans taking place when the cast had already left their corruptible mortal states are usually fun and games. Not so whenever the One-Eyed Black Cat is present, however.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: 999 Happy Haunts in Gracey Manor alone (as is well-known), and that's not even counting the mortal characters and the spooks from Phantom Manor.
- Magical Eye: The One-Eyed Black Cat's "missing" eye is actually the focus of his power, and the gleaming red pupil in the middle of the cavity can actually shoot multi-purpose Eye Beams that can hurt even ghosts.
- May–December Romance: Quite common. Vincent Beauregard Gracey, the Ghost Host, was well into his fifties when he met his bride-to-be Emily De Claire, who was probably around 18; the Hatbox Ghost was around the same age (possibly slightly older), and his bride was a little over 20. Less strikingly, 20-something Priscilla married 40-something Captain Gore.
- Meta Fiction: In Real Life, the animatronic of the Hatbox Ghost didn't work well when it was first installed, and he was removed after a few weeks. He was eventually brought back with a new animatronic… more than 40 years after his failed debut. The stories acknowledge that he was indeed missing during these years, and imagine an explanation.
- Museum of the Strange and Unusual: Philidore Gastley's Museum ofthe Weird is one.
- Mystical White Hair: The Ghost Host is sometimes depicted with white hair rather than his usual platinum blond.
- No Biological Sex: The Flatwoods Monster, as far as anyone can determine, though he's referred to with male pronouns for simplicity's sake. Pragmatically, the Hatbox Ghost uses this as an opportunity to have Flatty try on both men and women's hat (not that either seem to really fit him).
- Nostalgia Filter: The Hatbox Ghost has one the size of the planet Jupiter when it comes to the Haunted Mansion. He cannot accept any of the changes that were made to it after 1969, especially not Constance.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most of the ghosts go by post-mortem nicknames rather than their mortal civil names. Nobody goes around calling the Hatbox Ghost "Thomas Topper" anymore, nor the Ghost Host "Vincent Beauregard Gracey".note
- Original Characters: Numerous, of varying importance. They include, among others, Emma Gohst, a mischievous child ghost (named after one of the Verse's most prolific and defining authors, Emma Mosier), and Phillidore Gastley, owner of the Museum of the Weird. Moreover, many characters (such as Azalea or Lady Persilla) were basically O.C. Stand-ins who were only known by their appearance in the official media, and might as well be OCs themselves.
- Our Demons Are Different: Demons are similar to ghosts, but were never alive in the first place, being purely ectoplasmic spirits. They take a wide variety of forms (and, indeed, are skilled shapeshifters), and are very magically powerful. Not all demons are evil, although a vast majority of them are (most of those live in the Underworld and can be summoned).
- Our Gods Are Different: Presumed to be similar to, but more powerful than, demons, Gods (at least, but probably not limited to, those of Ancient Greek and Egyptian mythologies) did once exist in the universe, although they all appear to have disappeared at some point… leaving some of their minions like the One-Eyed Black Cat to roam free.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Harking back to early folklore about goblins and ignoring their fleshier, less magical counterparts in modern fantasy. The Mansionverse's Goblins
- Patchwork Fic: …kind of? The Fan Verse fully incoroporates the concept art, ride, Marvel comics, and some of the tie-in materials, without actually altering any of them factually (though Death of the Author is involved on the underlying lore) as the trope would require. On the other hand, the 2003 movie is fair game, with such characters as Ramsley, Edward, Elizabeth and the Fireplace Demon being reintroduced with altered backstories without the movie actually being canon to the Fan Verse (Literary Agent Hypothesis is used to explain it, as the movie was, in this universe, loosely based on the lives of some of some of the happy haunts, with liberties taken for the sake of on-screen coolness).
- Pet Monstrosity: The Ghost Host has a thing for… shall we say, unusual pets, ranging from a man-eating bat called Attila to an equally-dangerous octopus called Octavius. On a less dangerous note, he also had an elephant as a pet. (In Louisiana.) Finally, he really wants to adopt the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride's Yeti, though the Imagineers won't let him.
- Phantom Zone Picture: The Stretching Portraits, the Changing Portraits and the Sinister Eleven portraits are all treated as this. The Witch of Walpurgis's case was the most And I Must Scream-y of them.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: The One-Eyed Black Cat may very well be some kind of demonic entity with no fixed form, but, as his name implies, he usually takes the form of a black one-eyed feline (though its proportions and how real it looks can vary).
- Shipper on Deck: Gus ships his two friends Ezra and Phineas with each other.
- Silly Spook: Most of the ghosts in the ride are supposed to be quite friendly: although they like to scare the guests, they'd never harm them. There are a couple of exceptions, though, such as Constance, but they're kept in check by the others.
- Smug Super: Gideon Gorelieu is utterly convinced that ghosts are superior to mortals and wants to take advantage of it.
- Spell My Name with a "The": The standard form for most of the ghosts, as most are known though their nicknames rather than their mortal, civil names (Constance being something of a notable exception). The Hatbox Ghost, the Ghost Host, the Phantom, the list goes on.
- Spooky Séance: The Haunted Mansion has actually a Séance Room scene featuring the character of Madame Leota. It is frequently used as a setting in the stories.
- Talking Animal: Three of them. Edgar the Raven is technically alive, but talks because he's possessed by "the spirit of an old nag". The One-Eyed Black Cat is a demonic entity who often takes the form of a talking one-eyed black cat. And Dog is a bloody insane canine counterpart to the Cat.
- The Maze: The Haunted Mansion's deeper corridors (which the guests are not allowed to go into, for their own safety) begin to twist and turn abstractly, and that there are many, many more of them than the house could possibly contain from the outside. Wander in too deep and you might even end up in the Endless Staircases, which aren't even part of the Mansion anymore — they're a Escher-style set of stairs that connect haunted locations all over the world and beyond, located in their own pocket dimension. Only the Hatbox Ghost seems to know his way around them.
- Time Abyss: Spirits of all kinds are functionally immortal; Ammit the Devourer (yes, that one) and the One-Eyed Black Cat, two demons, still remember the Egyptian gods of old, and it is theorized some of the bedsheet ghosts in the Mansion are millenia-old ghosts who have, by now, completely forgotten their mortal life, and may have been Neanderthals for all we know.
- Villain Song: User Benthehyena wrote an alternate version of Scar's villain song, "Be Prepared", to fit the Hatbox Ghost, who isn't really a villain but was something of a Wile E. Coyote-esque antagonist in the fanfics until his return to the Mansion.
- Was Once a Man: Mostly non-horror-related examples. Some of the ghosts are so old (and so unlike in appearance to their old selves) that they're indistinguishable from 'natural' spirits like demons, and many have actually forgotten who they were in life.
- Revenge: The main antagonists of Mystery of the Vanishing Hatbox are ghosts that in-universe Disney directors forbid to get inside the Haunted Mansion and plot to take revenge on the ghosts who did make it to inside the ride.