The Coffin Occupant is a character appearing in the Haunted Mansion.
The Haunted Mansion
The Coffin Occupant appears in the conservatory scene of the Haunted Mansion. He is shown to be a man nailed and sealed inside of a coffin, apparently being used as a table.
As guests pass by, his gnarled hands desperately try to escape the coffin while crying out for help. Much to his dismay, a raven caws at guests to pass them by and the mansion's residents show nothing but ambivalence to his situation.
During Haunted Mansion Holiday, the coffin that the character is sealed in is wrapped up in a bow with a tag reading, "Do not open till Xmas". The Vampire Teddy-Bear from the Nightmare Before Christmas sits on the coffin holding a hammer, giggling at the Occupant's misery.
In addition to this, several vines throughout the conservatory have small carnivorous plants singing a rendition of, "Kidnap the Sandy Claws". It is later found that these vines are attached to the Man-Eating Wreath from the film.
A recreation of the Coffin Occupant appears in Phantom Manor, albeit likely a different character meant as an easter-egg to the original ride. As guests descend into the caverns and catacombs beneath of Phantom Manor, they see several corpses and skeletons emerging from their tombs. Of these, one of the coffins is a recreation of the Coffin Occupant's coffin and has him pushing open his lid in a similar fashion to in the Haunted Mansion.
This incarnation of the character would have been a resident of Thunder Mesa during the 19th century who died and was buried in Boot Hill. Based off of his ornate coffin, it can be assumed that they were fairly wealthy.
The raven and the coffin occupant appear on one of the gondolas in Walt Disney World.
The coffin occupant is the basis and inspiration for the mausoleum scene in the 2003 film. In this adaption, the character is condensed as one of the zombies. This zombie being found within a stone sarcophagus in the mausoleum, is in possession of a key needed by Jim Evers. When the corpse comes to life, it mirrors the distinctive lid opening of the Coffin Occupant albeit here to actual success before proceeding to attack the Evers.
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 was identified as Jamie Padgett, a man who inherited a plantation in New Orleans at some point in the 1930s/1940s. He would later be seduced by a young woman called Little Leota who he married, knowing that she wished to come into ownership of his property. During their marriage, Little Leota had an extra-marital affair with a man named Nicholas Crown and the two schemed together on how to take Padgett's inheritance.
Nicholas posed as a vampire and bit Jamie's neck before the two convinced him that he was a vampire now as-well. During day-time when Jamie hid inside of an open coffin, his wife took a hammer and nails to seal him within the coffin. This was repeated until he starved to death, so Little Leota and Nicholas Crown could inherit his plantation.
In the Slave Labour Graphic comics, the Coffin Occupant is reimagined as a man named Mr. Davis. He was explained to have been an architect behind Gracey Manor who would later be murdered by fellow architect Mr. Coats by sealing him in the coffin.
Haunted Mansion Pop-Up Book
In this children's book, there is a portrait of Master Gracey found adjacent to the coffin which seems to imply that the book's occupant is the aging man himself.
A variant cover by Jody Daily for the Disney Kingdoms' Haunted Mansion comic line showed the Brother Claude tombstone character from the Family Plot lifting his grave's stone, mirroring the Coffin Occupant.
The Haunted Mansion: The Black Widow Bride
In this video-game, the Coffin Occupant is identified as Frank Banks, the second husband-turned-victim of Constance Hatchaway.
In Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, the Coffin Occupant briefly appears in the centre of the conservatory. The conservatory is considerably larger in this game and much more resembling a green-house with the coffin being ran around as the player attempts to escape a ghost knight chasing them.
- The name of Davis in the comics is an allusion to animator Marc Davis who designed several of the characters within the Haunted Mansion.
- Live performances by the characters of Madame Carlotta and Madame Renatta have infrequently referred to the Coffin Occupant as having been Carlotta's late-lover, Billy Bob.
- The plantation owned by Jamie Padgett in the Ghost Gallery is inferred to be a counterpart to the original Disneyland Haunted Mansion.