Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts

Hitchhiking Ghosts

The hitchhiking ghosts of Disney’s Haunted Mansion are some of the attraction’s most memorable characters.  The ghosts, now known as Ezra, Phineas, and Gus, were originally created to be known as “The Skeleton,” “The Traveler,” and “The Prisoner.”  Their names first appeared in fan fiction written by cast members who worked at the Haunted Mansion.  The names took off and apparently Disney approved, as these names have appeared on Haunted Mansion merchandise, as well as licensed media for the Haunted Mansion.

Ezra is the skeleton ghost.  He is the tall grinning ghost who attempts to hitch a ride home with you.  Ezra holds his bowler hat up while thumbing for a ride.  When Disneyland opened, the skeleton ghost was bald, but he has since been seen with various lengths of hair.  Interestingly enough, Ezra shares the same face with the Hatbox Ghost, although the two are not intended to be the same character.  Marc Davis originally designed the skeleton ghost to be your typical ghost in a sheet with the addition of a bowler hat.  By the time the Haunted Mansion opened, this character had evolved into the fully clothed skeleton ghost seen in the attraction today.

Phineas is the traveler ghost.  He is the rotund ghost with a hunched back, and he holds a carpetbag.  Similar to Ezra, the traveler wears a hat and holds out his thumb to guests passing in their doom buggies.  As with all of the other ghosts, Phineas can be seen grinning as he thumbs for a ride.

Gus is the prisoner ghost.  He is the shortest of the three hitchhiking ghosts and  is seen wearing a ball and chain attached to his ankle.  The prisoner also has a long beard which has been known to be either brown or white at times.  Gus has  also been seen in the graveyard scene standing next to the executioner.  In this scene, he held a file which he planned on using to remove the ball and chain.

Over the years, Ezra, Phineas, and Gus have become three of the most beloved characters from the Haunted Mansion.  Disney’s recent refurbishment of the hitchhiking ghost scene has added even more magic to the guests’ experience of the Haunted Mansion.  The ghosts now look even more realistic as they hitch a ride on your doom buggy, making this a truly fabulous attraction scene.

photo credit: Express Monorail via photopin cc

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

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