The Haunted Mansion's Connection to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers

Haunted Mansion Connection to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers

If you are a Disney Parks fanatic, you have likely encountered the Society of Explorers and Adventurers at some point. Even if you are not, you have likely seen remnants of the society without even knowing it, especially as Disney has recently begun adding existing attractions into the lore of the SEA organization. Attractions from Big Thunder Mountain to the Jungle Cruise have become a part of the society decades after they were created. But one of the more loose connections is at the Haunted Mansion.

The connection is through a relative of a character from Tokyo Disney Sea's Tower of Terror (I said it was a loose connection). Not only that, but this relative has been a part of the Haunted Mansion since its opening, decades before Tokyo's Tower of Terror was designed.

One of the portraits in the stretching room features an elderly woman sitting atop a tombstone reading "Dear George" and featuring a bust with an ax in its head. For most of the mansion's history that was just a joke. Then came Constance.

Constance Hatchaway Attic Portrait Haunted Mansion Disneyland

When the new bride, Constance Hatchaway was added to the Haunted Mansion, it was decided that she was the elderly woman and that George was one of her many husbands. George owned the mansion and Constance inherited it upon murdering her husband.

You got that so far?

So, then we found out that George's last name was Hightower. This possibly connected him to the only other Disney character with that last name, Harrison Hightower. Although it has never been confirmed, it is believed that the two are related in some way.

So who is Harrison Hightower and how is he related to the Society of Explorers and Adventurers?

Harrison Hightower was the owner of the Hotel Hightower in the 19th century. He was one of the more malicious members of the society, often stealing artifacts and bringing them back to his hotel. Eventually, this led to his not so unfortunate demise on the last day of the century, as he stole an idol which took control of the elevators in the hotel.

So if all of this is true (which according to all currently released information, as well as a recent Club 33 event, it is) then we have the Haunted Mansion as an extra ride to the larger SEA storyline. It isn't directly connected, but it exists within the same universe.

Now let's get deep into SEA and Disney Parks backstories.

Now, New Orleans Square takes place in the 19th century, before the demise of the other significant Hightower who did not own the mansion.

But Liberty Square's Haunted Mansion takes place in the 18th century, a full century before the original version.

We aren't counting Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion as a Society of Explorers and Adventurers attraction as because Constance Hatchaway was never added to the ride, it never got the George Hightower connection. Also, it is in Fantasyland and who knows when that takes place.

New Orleans Square Disneyland Resort

Now, there are other notable SEA references in New Orleans Square, so we are going to focus mainly on that mansion. Also, the majority of the events we know of regarding the SEA organization takes place roughly in the timeline of New Orleans Square, making it easy to incorporate it into the larger storyline.

Now, that would place the Haunted Mansion before Harrison Hightower's demise, meaning all its owners are dead and the Ghost Host has taken over before Hightower ever steals his idol.

Elderly Constance Hatchaway in the Endless Hallway Haunted Mansion Fan Art

Now, another thing we know about the Hightower family is that Harrison's generation came into money, meaning George likely inherited the mansion from another relative. It then passes to Constance which kept Harrison from getting it, leaving it abandoned, as we see it in the ride upon Constance's own eventual demise. It could also explain the presence of the letters HM throughout the mansion, as they originally meant Hightower Mansion, before referring to the ghostly inhabitants that inhabit it today.

Hatbox Ghost Disneyland Haunted Mansion

From that point any further connections are speculations. We don't know if George Hightower was an actual member of the society, nor if it was something he or a family member did that caused the mansion to become haunted. Some have speculated he may even be the mysterious Hatbox Ghost but we really do not know.

So that's where you come in. Comment your wildest Haunted Mansion theories and they might get featured in a future article. They can have to do with the Hightower family or any other characters from any version of the Haunted Mansion. Also, be sure to check out the other Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary Articles here at Theme Parks and Entertainment.