The Caretaker is the groundskeeper for the Haunted Mansion and/or its adjacent cemetery. He does a nightly job with his dog with both master and pet being terrified of the manor's undead residents.
Many names have been put forward for the Caretaker over the years but the closest to an official one is Silas Crump. This name coming from a crate which could once be found in Liberty Square which was addressed to him.
All the figures share the same face mold and basic costume (barring variations in the length of his scarf). The hairstyle of the Caretaker varies considerably however; for example when Walt Disney World first opened, he sported red hair with a Lincoln beard, something still displayed in the Tokyo Disneyland attraction, meanwhile the Disneyland version is clean-shaven with white hair.
The Haunted Mansion
The Caretaker appears in all mainstream versions of the Haunted Mansion. He and his dog stand at the gates of the cemetery right after the guests fall from the attic. The caretaker and dog are seen cowering at the sight of the ghosts.
The Caretaker has made a handful of meet 'n' greet appearances as a face character, where he gives his dog's name to be "Bones". He notably opened the opening show to the Mansion's 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2019, warning the audience that he was feeling, down into his bones, that more supernatural activity would be afoot tonight than there had been ever since the Mansion first opened five decades earlier.
The caretaker and his dog make a brief cameo as ghosts during the graveyard sequence.
Early script drafts gave him a speaking role warning the Evers about the hauntings with the intent of casting Don Knotts.
The Caretaker, under the name of Clyde, is briefly seen in Episode 4 of the TV series, Spooks and Magic, now being the caretaker of "Diller's Midnight Manor" (the Mansion as renamed and taken over by host Phyllis Diller).
The Ghost Gallery
In the 1990s, cast-members of the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World created a backstory for the attraction as a means of answering guest questions. All of this backstory was recorded on paper and while unofficial, has since influenced both the original Haunted Mansion's official and semi-official features as-well as adaptations based on the Haunted Mansion.
In this story he is a Walt Disney World cast-member named Dick O'Dell who was given a room in the Haunted Mansion to live in after the manor was moved to Florida from New York as an attraction. His dog is the child of Loki, the ghost dog seen in the ride who itself is the child of the Hellhound in the ride which once belonged to Master Gracey.
The Caretaker is named Horace Fusselbottom in the comics. While depicted as incredibly nervous and easy to frighten, Horace actually has a courageous spirit beneath his frightened facade, with the ghosts enjoying his company so much that they frighten away a replacement in "The New Groundskeeper".
In "The Groundskeeper's Secret", his motivation for taking the job of watching over a haunted house and graveyard is revealed. A widower, Horace buried his deceased wife in the graveyard adjacent to the Mansion, allowing him to meet her spirit every night while on the job.
Main Article: Zeke Holloway
The protagonist of Ezekiel "Zeke" Holloway in this video-game is an adaptation of the Caretaker.
The Caretaker is a playable character in the Haunted Mansion levels of this mobile-game.
- In Phantom Manor, the Phantom serves to fill in the Caretaker's niche, being found holding a shoulder with his own undead dog outside the mansion following the bride scene.