The Haunted Mansion Raven

The Haunted Mansion Raven

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Hey everyone this week I wanted to talk
about the Haunted Mansion… again but before we do, do me a big favor and hit
that subscribe button down below and maybe give this video a like if
you’re so inclined. Alright, here we go! so if you’ve been to the Haunted Mansion,
and if you’re watching this video I imagine you probably have, you may have
noticed an interesting quirk about the ride I’m talking about that raven that
follows you around the whole ride. Oh, you didn’t know about this?You know, the one
that follows you here, here, here, here, and here.
Well if you didn’t know about that you’re probably pretty freaked out right
now. But is there really any significance to this raven? Well, sort of. You see when
the Imagineers were first designing this attraction the idea of the ghost host,
which we all know and love, wasn’t totally set in stone yet. As I mentioned
in my other video, “The Haunted Mansion Secret Tombstones,” which is a great video
that you should totally check out, Walt died before the ride was finished
leaving the Imagineers with a bunch of miscellaneous ideas and nobody around to
have the final say. To help with this Imagineer X Atencio was brought on as a
show writer to put it all together. Besides the idea of the ghost host which
made it into the finished ride, some of the other ideas included a ghost hostess,
a one-eyed cat, and the talking Raven. Here’s Imagineer Tony Baxter discussing
one idea where the dialogue would be shared between the disembodied ghost
host and the Raven. “And I have found very early soundtracks that have the Raven as
narrator… well it’s really obnoxious whoever did the voicing it it was almost
as though it was a human voicing a raven so it was as though you’re reading and it
said ‘CAW CAW, he took the coward’s way out
CAW’ and that was the original recording that you heard at the end of the
stretching room. And then my assumption is that the Raven was to narrate the
rest of the way through well fortunately they got Paul Frees who became the voice
of the Ghost Host and narrates through the show and it’s our belief that he’s
also kind of the Phantom of the Manor.” Here’s an early clip of the Raven voiced
by Eleanor Audley, who also did the voice of Madame Leota.
Needless to say this did not make it into the ride. “Forevermore, forevermore, beware the Raven evermore!” I think they made the right move and if you know Edgar Allan Poe, it’s fairly
apparent that this Raven took heavy influence from his famous poem. I guess
they liked the idea so much that it became ingrained in the ride even after
its narration was discarded. But if all this is true and the Raven was going to
narrate, why does it appear so late in the ride? Well in Disney World it takes a
good 6 minutes or so until you see it for the first time but in Disneyland the
ride is a little bit shorter and this is one of the first things to happen once
you board the Doom Buggy. There’s also significant evidence that the Raven
would have appeared earlier in the ride and for some reason or another it just
never made it in. Fun facts there’s this really cheesy promotional record that was made for the attraction in the 60s called:
“The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion.” It’s pretty cheesy but it’s a
good listen so go check it out. (laughs) In the record The Raven is said to be possessed
by a spirit in search of a new body to better itself… So now you know and you
can impress all your friends and family about this wonderful fact while you’re
waiting a line for this ride. I hope you enjoyed this video and let me know in
the comments: What’s your favorite Disney theme park Easter egg? Thanks for
watching and I’ll see you all a little later…

3 comments

  1. I figured that the raven was the ghost host because of his appearances when he talks. I looked it up and went on Reddit forums and they were mostly confused to if it was or not, thanks for clearing it up. Your vids seem so professional I was like, how many subs does this dude have, you deserve more

  2. As a child conceived in 89, I can tell you the Ghost Host had far more lines for twelve years of this rides' operation that weren't used prior or since. In all the videos of the ride I have seen from 1995 to 2007 (and I was on the ride myself quite a few times in this period) the Ghost Host mentions the ghosts trying to communicate with the guests unsuccessfully and needing Madame Leota's help.

    You may notice when these lines are spoken, the Raven is always visible. "Let me out!" Then it's visible when he tells us it was a success and "I'll see you all a little later", which has never been out of use. Then it's visible that final time in the graveyard scene "Ah, there you are…!"

    I think these early lines were removed due to the intrusion of the bilingual safety warnings, which cut into time for them.

  3. Much like the Hatbox Ghost, who appeared for a very short time only to disappear for decades, the Raven did have a narration for a very short time.
    Perhaps Disney engineers deemed Walt's idea of the guests "dying" in the mansion, to be too morbid for such a family oriented park. Nonetheless, it the Raven narration did manifest for a short time.
    The raven is meant to represent you crossing over supernatural planes. The raven appears in four areas-
    1st at the top of the coffin, as he is awakening the dead.
    2nd Madame Leota's seance room, where she calls the spirits to appear. Before that, the ghosts are invisible and the raven now opens the doorway for you to now see them.
    3rd You fall out of the attic window into the cemetery and become a ghost yourself. The raven opens the spiritual doorway for you to experience death first hand.
    4th The raven says goodbye at the end of the cemetery scene and returns your spirit to your body, so that you may go on living your life.
    The original mansion soundtrack had the Ghost Host explaining the role of the mansion raven during the portrait hallway. But for whatever reason, Disney removed it in the early 70's.
    I distinctly remember the story, and have always wondered about the new silence in the hallway, where the raven narration could once be heard.

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