- “Non Omnis Moriar”
- ―Ravenswood Credo
Ravenswood Manor is a mansion created in the town of Thunder Mesa in Arizona. This town was established in 1849 by several men including Henry Ravenswood, the evil founder of the Big Thunder Mining Company which extorted gold from the stolen land of Big Thunder Mountain. The mansion was constructed atop the town's Boot Hill, a form of cemetery common in the old west.
Henry lived in Ravenswood Manor with his wife Martha Ravenswood, daughter Mélanie Ravenswood and their servants, the siblings Anna and Jasper Jones. Henry was an evil man who was highly possessive of his daughter and refused to let her leave the mansion's grounds for much of her life. Henry and Martha also had a dysfunctional relationship and Henry often slept with the maid Anna. At some point, Henry had a duel outside of the manor during which event he cheated and shot his opponent in the spine, killing him.
In the 1850s, Mélanie was considered the town belle but Henry refused to have any man have her. Henry would function as a sadistic early serial-killer who targeted four men that sought after his daughter and violently murdered them. Amongst these men were Captain Rowan D. Falls of the Mark Twain Riverboat who he sent off a waterfall in a rowboat, oil-field owner Barry Claude who had had mauled by grizzly bears, lumber-mill owner Sawyer Bottom who he sliced in half with his own industrial buzz-saw, and the Big Thunder Mining Company's explosives supplier Ignatius "Iggy" Knight who he lured into the mountain and blew up.
Each of Mélanie's lost loves contributed to her growing mental-illness while the townsfolk believed the deaths to all be accidents. Mélanie's final suitor was a foreman of the Big Thunder Mining Company named Jake who wished to marry her and take her away from Thunder Mesa. Before Henry had the chance to kill him, a massive earthquake hit Thunder Mesa in the year 1860 and collapsed a portion of the town near Ravenswood Manor into a canyon. It is said that the earthquake was the result of the angered spirit of Big Thunder Mountain, the Thunderbird.
In the fallout of this event, Mélanie and Jake planned on marrying in Ravenswood Manor before fleeing the town. However, on their wedding day Jake found himself in the mansion's rafters here he was hanged to death by the undead spirit of Henry Ravenswood. Most believed Mélanie was simply abandoned on her wedding day but the melancholic Mélanie refused to leave the ceremony. Mélanie was never seen outside of the mansion again and died within, becoming a ghostly bride.
The portion of town that collapsed in the earthquake would become known as Phantom Canyon due to it reportedly being haunted by those who had died in the earthquake. Ravenswood Manor too fell into disrepair and became better known as, "Phantom Manor" and was considered haunted by the locals. Many of the locals also had no indication that their founding-father Henry Ravenswood was indeed the murderous, "Phantom". Within, Mélanie was forever tormented by her cruel father who also hosted a Romani clairvoyant named Madame Leota who would summon spirits to haunt the grounds.
Many went missing within the dreaded estate as such was the case with Milo "One-Eye" Jones, an outlaw who robbed the Big Thunder Mining Company before disappearing in the manor. In 1884, Sheriff Will Ketchum and the Town Council of Thunder Mesa indefinitely cut off access to Ravenswood Manor due to the sheer amount of missing-persons cases surrounding it. The town hired three groups of investigators to study the mansion with the first having fled screaming, the second having disappeared within, and the third being composed of east-coasts sceptics who explained the events off as illusions and hallucinations. During this time, many spirits of Ravenswood Manor began leaving the grounds and encountering townsfolk of Thunder Mesa.
Ketchum and mayor Artemus L. Hector reopened Ravenswood Manor around the night of April 30. The reopening event was attended by Henry Ravenswood in an assumed human form, resembling an elderly man. Claiming to be an affiliate of the Big Thunder Mining Company, Henry brought a tour-group into the mansion to torment and make into new victims.
Points of interest
- Boot Hill:
- Bride's boudoir:
- Corridor of Doors:
- Great hall:
- Music room:
- Séance chamber:
- Sortie Uniquement:
Ravenswood Manor is the setting for this attraction.
The Mark Twain Riverboat and Molly Brown pass by Boot Hill and Ravenswood Manor on their tour of the Rivers of the Far West.
Ravenswood Manor made a cameo in this comic as being amongst the many paranormal locations connected to the Haunted Mansion via the endless staircase.
- The mansion bares a strong resemblance to the Bates house from Psycho (1960) however according to designers and imagineers, this is a coincidence.
- The Thunder Mesa Daily Messenger seemingly implied that a party representing the Society of Explorers and Adventurers investigated the mansion in 1884 and were killed within. This is a fictional organization of colonial aristocrats originating from the attraction Fortress Explorations and which is heavily affiliated with the Hong Kong Disneyland version of the Haunted Mansion, Mystic Manor.
- In the music room are photographs of historic gunslingers John "Doc" Holliday and "Big Nose" Kate Horony. Incidentally, Holliday is also referenced as a resident of Thunder Mesa with an apartment at the Last Chance Cafe.