- “Till death do us part...”
- ―Constance Hatchaway
Constance Hatchaway is a character from The Haunted Mansion attraction. She is the current incarnation of the bride character in the attic and in a retcon, one of the figures depicted in the Stretching Room's portraits.
Constance Hatchaway came from Money County, California, and over the years, she married five different wealthy and powerful men, then murdered them with her hatchet and kept their heads as souvenirs inside of hatboxes. By her fifth husband, she came into possession of the Haunted Mansion (whether it's in New Orleans or upstate New York depends on whether it's Disneyland or Disney World) and she wound up dying in her old age after a lifetime of happily living off of her blood money.
Her husbands, in chronological order, were:
- Ambrose Harper, a naive but well-intentioned son of successful farmers (1869)
- Frank Banks, an eastern banker and community pillar (1872)
- The Marquis de Doome, a foreign diplomat with a military past (1874)
- Reginald Caine, a celebrated railroad baron, gambler, and world-renowned gourmand (1875)
- George Hightower, an aristocrat, and owner of the mansion (1877)
The murderous bride was a concept dating back to some of Marc Davis' stretching portrait concepts. It would serve as inspiration when Disney Imagineers would revamp the Attic scene and its popular Bride character in 2006. Utilizing a similar projection effect to Madame Leota's, Constance would have a filmed body and a separate voice actress. Kat Cressida is the voice actress behind her whereas Julia Lee was the performance model for her.
Constance appears twice on the ride. She is seen in the Stretching Room in the elevator as an elderly black widowed bride looking straight at the guests who step back when the late Paul Frees' voice is heard as the Ghost Host. She sits on the tombstone that reads "Rest in Peace, Dear Beloved George" which is found in the cemetery. She is seen in the Attic where the photo changes while guests see and listen to the silhouette of a pianist playing a ghostly version of the bridal march on the piano. Constance holds her ax in front of her heart while reciting her wedding vows in a menacing tone while staring at the guests. Portraits of her husband and mementos of their unions are littered throughout the room. As guests ride by, her husband's heads disappear from the portraits, signifying their unfortunate fates.
The Ghost Gallery
In the cast member-created Ghost Gallery storyline, the character whom we now identify as the Black Widow Bride was two different characters, one being the Black Widow, the other being the bride.
The Black Widow
The Black Widow portion of Constance's identity was interpreted as having been named Mary Gracey née Gilbert. In this version of the story, Mary was the unhappily married wife of George Gracey Sr. (George Hightower) and the mother of George Gracey Jr. (the composite character based on Master Gracey and the Ghost Host) who she sent away to boarding school for his entire youth so that she didn't have to deal with him. At some point in time, Mary learned that her husband was having an affair behind her back and that he had accidentally impregnated his mistress, which Mary used as an excuse to murder him via hatchet. Due to George's cheating, Mary was acquitted from her sentence and finally freed from her life of domestic servitude she took her portion of the Gracey fortune and fled the country.
The Bride portion of Constance's character in the Ghost Gallery is named Emily Gracey née Cavenaugh. Emily was the sole heir to the wealthy Cavenaugh family of Rhode Island and when she was 16, her parents died in a tragic carriage accident that left Emily with the entire family fortune. During her parents' funeral, the wealthy orphan became seduced and proposed to by George Gracey Jr. who wished to use her fortune to fund his obsession with the occult as he had depleted his own wealth. The night after her wedding to George, the young Emily wanted to play a game of hide-and-seek with her husband. Emily hid in the mansion's attic where she hid inside of a large chest only to be locked inside by her husband's jealous mistress, Madame Leota, causing the young girl to suffocate to death.
Constance is a supporting character and antagonist in Disney Kingdoms The Haunted Mansion, a five-part mini-series published by Marvel. She first appears in chapter 4, when the Captain forces Danny Crowe to go into the attic. She chases him around the attic, demanding that he marry her. At the end of the story, she decapitates the Captain and defeats him for good, lifting his curse. The story revealed that Constance killed her husbands, not out of greed, but because she liked weddings. She was prepared to marry a sixth husband in 1879, but it never took place.
Tales from the Haunted Mansion
Constance is referenced several times throughout the Tales from the Haunted Mansion book series. Amicus Arcane, the librarian, warns mortals not to go to the attic, or else she might get them. In the second book, Midnight at Madame Leota's, the main character wanders into the attic by accident, and she pursues him, looking for her next husband.
The Haunted Mansion: Frights of Fancy
Constance plays the role of the main antagonist in the IDW graphic novel Frights of Fancy. One of the singing busts, Theodore, reveals that he was friends with one of Constance's many husbands.
Constance is mentioned as the former mistress of Lonesome Manor. Horace Horsecollar desires to solve one of the greatest mysteries of Wasteland and prove that she did indeed kill all of her husbands and asks Mickey Mouse to find her hatchet. The hatchet is located in the Library of the Manor.
Constance appears as a boss towards the end of The Haunted Mansion mini-game. While she is, once again, played by Kat Cressida and delivers her famous lines, her design was modeled after the classic attic bride, holding a candlestick instead of a hatchet.
Constance is the antagonist in the web game. The player character must guide the rest of the happy haunts away from her and rescue her five husbands.
Constance is an unlockable emoji in Disney Emoji Blitz, simply called "The Bride". Her power-up clears a row of emojis with her hatchet.
Constance appears as an event character and is part of the Haunted Mansion collection. She is simply known as "The Bride".
- One of her victims is George Hightower, prominently seen in the Stretching Gallery and Attic. George is a relative of Harrison Hightower III, the owner of Hotel Hightower (Tokyo DisneySea's Tower of Terror).
- Her having been a former resident of Wasteland in Epic Mickey actually makes sense; she stayed a forgotten concept until 2006, but then was finally incorporated into the ride.
- Original artwork of the bride is heavily inspired by the real-life ghost "The Lady of Raynham Hall".
- In the Haunted Mansion's attic, there are five to six portraits. In each one, Constance Hatchaway is seen with her husbands and she has strings of pearls on; with each marriage, she adds a string of pearls. The Imagineers put that in to show how each marriage is making her richer.
- Constance's voice-actress Kat Cressida also provided the voice for the ghost of Sally Shine in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.