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Nightmare Fuel / The Haunted Mansion

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0ff0e707_02df_4d93_9a69_bb40e53a7fdb.jpeg
"Of course, there’s always my way!"
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    Rides 
  • Though the Haunted Mansion ride is generally a black comedy, in one of the renovations at Magic Kingdom they added hidden speakers under the stretching room gargoyles, so they whisper and you'll think you're hearing things or get caught up in their conversations. Stick around in the elevator too long and you'll get their Last Note Nightmare, all the speakers around the chamber loudly whispering "GET OUT".
  • "Grim Grinning Ghosts" is a raucous party song sung by gleeful spirits that "pretend to terrorize"... until you get to the much more subdued and foreboding final verse.
    "If you would like to join our jamboree,
    There's a simple rule that's compulsory.
    Mortals pay a token fee,
    Rest in peace, the haunting's free.
    So hurry back, we would like your company."
  • Disneyland Paris has a remixed Mansion called Phantom Manor, which has a continuous storyline where a young bride undergoes Rapid Aging and dies. Fun.
    • Even more, Phantom Manor doesn't have the clean and aesthetically pleasing appearance of the traditional Haunted Mansions. It's clearly derelict, the grounds are overrun with plants and trees that have grown wild. And moreover, it's in a prime position where it's visible to you for most of your ride on Big Thunder Mountain, and from within most of Frontierland, so its presence and the knowledge of what is inside casts an eerie pall over the rest of the land.
    • Also, you're being stalked the whole time by the titular Phantom, who is implied to be Melanie's jealous father, who died in an earthquake but came back to kill Melanie's fiancee on their wedding day and now keeps her trapped in the manor. This is the only Haunted Mansion that has an actual villain who explicitly means to do you harm - the Ghost Host is spooky but usually just seems to be messing with you, Constance is a murderer but seems more interested in showing off to you than attacking, and the magical objects in Mystic Manor are silly enough that you never feel too threatened by them.
    • Also, instead of a fun graveyard party like in the other versions, the post-attic scene has you descending into a crypt underground and going through a demented old west-style ghost town. The skeletal "ghosts" are a lot more realistic and disturbing here.
    • The 2019 refurbishment adds some unhappy details. Like the fact that the Phantom really is Melanie's father and that, unlike before, the stretching portraits show four different men with Melanie, before she fades away and the four men are revealed to be caught in deadly accidents. Now, the Phantom has ensured the deaths of at least four suitors of Melanie's...and the final kicker is that now, she is this version's Hitchhiking Ghost effect, begging passengers to marry her, seemingly driven to madness (including a disturbing laugh) as a ghost rather than aiding riders like before and presumably passing on.
  • The foyer in the Florida Haunted Mansion features the Rapid Aging portrait of who is presumed to be Master Gracey, the owner of the mansion. Somewhat channeling Dorian Gray, he goes from a young man to middle-aged to old...then to a zombie and finally decays into a skeletal corpse. It's rather creepy to say the least.
    • And paintings, revealing that the assumingly happy people are seconds away from gruesome demise (sinking in quicksand, standing on an explosive, tightrope walking above a hungry crocodile)??
      • In the original Phantom Manor, these are seemingly innocent paintings of Melanie that stretch to show her about to go over a waterfall, picking roses above a tombstone as a skeleton crawls out, having a picnic with her fiancee as ants raid their food, and wading through a stream as an aquatic monster prepares to grab her foot.
      • In the refurbished Phantom Manor, the Stretching Portraits are Melanie's suitors being subject to various cruel fates, like being blown up by dynamite, eaten by bears, cut up with a chainsaw, and going over a waterfall.
    • It doesn't help that in that same room, after the Ghost Host implies that there's no way out, he says, "Of course, there's always MY way..." The lights go off, and suddenly lightning flashes above to illuminate his ROTTEN CORPSE HANGING FROM THE RAFTERS. And then a loud scream, and the sound of bones hitting a floor and breaking. Ughhh...
  • The original version of The Hatbox Ghost. While the real reason it was removed was that the effect regularly broke down, it had been rumored for many years that the real reason he was removed was that he was too scary for the riders.
  • Constance, the Black Widow Bride. You ascend into the dusty attic where a tinny piano plays an Ominous Music Box Tune version of "Here Comes the Bride," and you can hear a deep, sepulchral heart beat ever so slowly. You pass by a picture of a married couple, and then another - wait, is that the same girl as before, only now she's got an extra string of pearls and two dead husbands? This repeats TWICE?! And then you round a corner and there she is, in a decrepit wedding dress, smiling sweetly as she says messed-up wedding phrases... Including this very disturbing quote:
    Constance: Till death do us part....
    • What's worse? After each phrase, she materializes her ax, which was used to kill her husbands. Perhaps you really did "escape" the attic after all...
    • The Walt Disney World Constance update adds some new animations, including one where she gives a facetious Aside Glance, and another where she shows off a giant fancy ring, further hammering in her motivations for murder.
    • While Constance was creepy, the unnamed Brides before her were pretty dang frightening themselves (particularly considering, unlike Constance's witty one-liners, they would stand completely silent, staring at riders with the heartbeat pounding...) Just LOOK at them!
      • At that point, spinning around and flying out the attic window is practically a godsend, and as of recent events, the encounter with Ol' Hatbox is an extremely welcome Mood Whiplash.
    • "Hurry baaack...hurry baaack..."
    • The graveyard segment near the end of the ride features disembodied heads that will suddenly leap out from behind tombstones as the Doom Buggies pass by. They have the potential to startle now, but they were originally accompanied by a loud, shrill scream, turning them into full-on Jump Scare machines.
    • For a brief time during the late 90s, there was an actor inside the knight suit in the Corridor of Doors, that would move around and jump out at riders. The idea was eventually abandoned because riders complained he was too scary. That, and some riders kept throwing items at the actor. A video from the 30th anniversary ride can be seen at DoomBuggies.com where the knight actor can be seen briefly.
  • Before the Hatbox Ghost was reinstated, a temporary "attic wall" (which featured an opaque window and a ghostly bat figure) was present at the attic's exit, past the bride. Many park guests have stated that they found this wall very unsettling, and startling (especially since no one was usually expecting it), and the wall was very close to the Doom Buggies. Riders only started taking some solace in the wall when it was discovered that the Hatbox Ghost was behind it.
  • Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland is generally awesome and funny, but it has its nightmarish moments as well.
    • In the "Mediterranean Antiquities" room, a mosaic of a beautiful Medusa changes into the hideous Gorgon with flashing red eyes.
      • Although, you are given a quick forewarning by a rattlesnake noise before she briefly changes. If you know the original Mansion, a different changing Medusa image is used in the Portrait Hallway. If you remember a similar beautiful girl from the Mansion and the fact that it is a Greek painting, you can assume correctly that the gorgon Medusa will be shown, although the effect could be thought of as Visual Effects of Awesome as well.
    • In the "Tribal Arts" room, the lava god is pretty cool, but the original one was terrifying.
    • The samurai trying to execute Albert in the Arms and Armor room. Fortunately, Albert ducks his head back in the cannon before the katana reaches his neck. There's also a suit of Mongolian/Japanese Armor holding up several helmets impaled on a spear and laughing. It's easy to imagine what he's done there.
    • The giant Venus flytrap turning to eat the riders in the Solarium.
    • In the Arms and Armory exhibit, a crossbow comes to life, winding up and pulling back. Your carriage is turned away at the last second, and the bolt is heard hitting the wall behind the space you were just in.
    • The scarabs swarming the sarcophagus in the Egyptian Room. Then dropping on the guests.
      • The sarcophagus's face turns to one of horror once the scarabs emerge.
    • Just seeing Albert's plight throughout the ride is pretty frightening. Fortunately, it's Disney, and he is safe by the end.

     2003 Film 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_haunted_mansion_2003_nightmare_fuel.jpg
The Haunted Mansion film has a couple of scary moments as well.
  • The opening credits can be a bit creepy—with several tarot cards being displayed, showing several things that resemble death. Then we see the woman collapse from drinking the poison, culminating in the brief but still horrifying shot of Gracey's dead body hanging by a rope. Very brief, but still quite a shocker.
  • The climax with the fireplace as Ramsley has his Villainous Breakdown.
  • There is something about the ringing telephone in the middle of the empty secret corridor.
  • The scene where Jim walks through the corridor, and the way some of the portraits change. A woman turning into a tiger, and a portrait of Napoleon on his horse turning into a skeleton, complete with blood and muscles.
  • The split-second shot of Eddie Murphy's face rotting in a mirror.
  • The crypt scene with the zombies. For a comedy, that was a pretty damn horrifying scene.
  • Terence Stamp's portrayal of Ramsley in general is pretty creepy and disturbing with his deep, eerie voice, pale skin, and Icy Blue Eyes. It makes the jump scares he has very effective in an otherwise PG family film.
  • Sara's experiences throughout the film. Picture coming to an extremely isolated house with your family, then having to stay the night due to bad weather, getting into a fight with your spouse, and gradually realising that the owner of the house is not who he claimed to be and that he obsessively believes you're his deceased fiancee — and the butler is not only encouraging him in this delusion, he's captured your children and is fully willing to kill them if you don't cooperate and marry his employer. All this is horrific enough without the fact that Sara's captors are ghosts.

    Video Game 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/haunted_mansion_video_game_nightmare_fuel.jpg
  • The video game carries on its source material's tradition of creeping out those who play it. The whole game has a general air of suspense as you walk down dimly lit hallways with only your lantern to guide you, worrying about enemies leaping out at you, but here are some specifics:
    • The introduction of the banshees, which you see for just a split-second before she disappears around the corner. When you follow and manage to catch her...
    • Atticus Thorn isn't very scary looking at first glance, but when he promises, "I'm watching," he's not lying.
    • The Mausoleum. Going down a very dark passage, hearing several loud sounds before a swarm of bats flies past you and out of the area. Then you go down into near pitch-blackness, which is why you fall into the ankle deep water, leaving you walking around in a dark, ominously quiet area with no visible way out.
    • The knight enemies can be very frightening if you see them running down a dimly lit hallway, wielding a very large ax that they intend to use on you.
    • The Children's Room. It's a long room with a door at the end. After fighting past the usual enemies, you open the door to find a mere closet. After going inside you inspect every wall. Just when you begin to think it's just a closet, the door slams shut, and the back wall recedes back. As you step forward, Madame Leota tells you to run in a panicked voice. Then something starts swinging its scythe at you, which you soon find equals half your health bar.
      • The Children's Room is not the first time you see the Grim Reaper. After you unlock the first door, the Grim Reaper appears just behind you. After you light up the Winter Garden, you see him watching you through the glass before flying off, leaving you with some serious Paranoia Fuel. And it's only when you enter the Children's room when things get personal...

    Other 
  • In Garry's Mod, someone created a map that is a surprisingly accurate recreation of the ride, complete with several working props, an Omnimover track, and sound effects. One thing you can do in the game, however, is jump the barriers keeping you from the front door of the house. Within is a small corridor with another door, but trying to walk down it will trigger you falling through the floor to an instant death, accompanied by a hideous cackle.
    • The mod also includes a few of the "secret passageways" through the mansion, containing control systems for the ride. However, one such passageway features a bloody room with a table and laser that is very much out of place in the Haunted Mansion, which makes it even more eerie.
    • On a similar level, someone managed to recreate the ride in Second Life, and also managed to hybridize the two American and Japanese versions. But what gets creepy is that once you reenter a room after going through it, it is completely empty. And this can get disturbing if you try climbing the grand staircase, only to fall through the floor and end up Buried Alive.
  • Internet filmmakers "The Daws Brothers" made a short film called "Missing in the Mansion", filmed in a style similar to The Blair Witch Project in which a recently engaged couple and their friend go on the ride on July 6th, on the anniversary of an infamous urban legend where a mother spread her ashes of her child in the ride, and it all goes downhill from there. It does an amazing job of making the ride absolutely terrifying and there's even a visit from an old friend at the end...
    • This behind-the-scenes video that explains how they did it helps counter some of the fear...giving you a nice break before you watch the sequel short film "Followed From the Mansion" about a little kid who fears a ghost really has followed them home... Although this film has a much more Disney-like ending.
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