THE TERRIFYING TALE OF GRACEY MANOR
The manor you know as the Haunted Mansion has gone through many names -- Gastley Mansion, the Dread Domain, Hightower House, the list goes on, each owner (and there were many, since most didn't live long, for some reason…) renaming the large Antebellum mansion after himself. However, one specific family owned the manor for longer than all the others combined: the Graceys of New Orleans. Under their rule, the Mansion was called Gracey Manor, and the name stuck.
No one quite knows when the manor-house was really built. Reports testify of its presence since the XVIIIth century at the very least, and ghostly manifestations have always been associated with the imposing mansion, although the spooks seemed to come more from the neighbouring graveyard than from inside the house at the time. The Graceys already lived in New Orleans at the time, but that can only be confirmed by half-rotten civil status reports, which do not mention whether or not the Gracey built the house or even already lived there at this point.
The first confirmed Gracey owner of the house was William Gracey, great-grandfather of Vincent and Dorian, a notorious sea merchant suspected of secretly being a pirate, who allegedly hung himself in the octogonal Cupola of the Mansion after the untimely death of his bride, Emily. It seems however that William had a son, Marc, who inherited the Mansion before bequeathing it to his own son, George, who later passed it to his son Vincent, your Ghost Host, who also hung himself from the cupola. Over the span of these three generations, the Mansion came to be haunted by its first prominent ghosts.
After Dorian Gracey died without any known heir, the Mansion was sold by the city of New Orleans and bought by the greedy Dread family, whose members killed each other off in a matter of years, under the Ghost Host's amused eyes. The once-more abandoned manor then went to the wealthy George Hightower, a rich businessman and collector of the bizarre who had the misfortune of marrying Constance Hatchaway. After George's disappearance, Constance became the lady of the house, where she grew old and died unpunished for her crimes, and (for obvious reasons) without any heir. After that, the manor fell into permanent abandon and disrepair.
Eventually, it was found by the Disney Imagineers who bought it from the state and had it brought to Disneyland. They made some adjustments and finally turned it into the ride you know today, but not before inviting hundreds of homeless ghosts to come to the Mansion.