George Hightower was a California wealthy man in the 19th century, known for travelling the world and collecting exotic artifacts. In 1877, George Hightower met up with Constance Hatchaway in Pleasant Lake, California. George proposed to and married Constance, unaware that she was a notorious "black widow bride". Some time after the wedding, Constance brutally murdered George with a hatchet and inherited his fortune and (presumably) the Mansion, where she apparently met her end.
Though George Hightower doesn't physically appear in the ride itself, he makes two appearances: first as a bust on one of the stretching portraits, and then again in his wedding photo in the mansion's attic.
Main Street Penny Arcade
George and Constance's stretching-room portrait can be seen on a tarot card owned by the fortune-teller Esmeralda in Main Street, U.S.A.'s Penny Arcade in Disneyland.
The Ghost Gallery
The Ghost Gallery was a series of character biographies created by Disney World cast-members during the 1980s in an effort to give the ride more backstory. In this backstory, George is reimagined as being George Gracey, Sr., who was an incredibly successful businessman during the late 19th century.
This George was the one who originally purchased the Haunted Mansion for his family to live in, namely his wife, Mary Gracey (Constance Hatchaway) and his son, George Gracey, Jr. (composite of Ghost Host and Master Gracey). Due to his business, George spent little time with his family and most of his time out at work, eventually having an affair behind his wife's back with a woman named Ms. Patterson and together they had a child named Daniel Patterson. After learning of the affair, Mary murdered George by burying a hatchet into his skull and fleeing the country after having been acquitted from her crime.
- George Hightower was portrayed in the wedding photo by Imagineer Rick Rothschild.
- George is possibly related to Harrison Hightower III, the millionaire who built the Hotel Hightower and mysteriously vanished on December 31, 1899. Similarly, the hotel is now considered haunted, under the name of Tower of Terror.
- Surrell, Jason. The Haunted Mansion Imagineering a Disney Classic. Disney Books. 2015.