|“||It appears everyone is doomed at Phantom Manor... even you! And notice this: this chamber has no windows and no doors. Which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out!||„|
|~ The Phantom|
Henry Ravenswood, or also better known as the Phantom, is the main antagonist of the Disneyland Paris attraction Phantom Manor, which is that park's version of the Haunted Mansion. He is an evil and sadistic spirit bent on tormenting the living.
He was voiced by Gérard Chevalier, while his English voice and evil laugh were provided by the late Vincent Price.
In the mid-1800s, Henry Ravenswood struck gold in Big Thunder Mountain, and founded the Big Thunder Mountain Company to mine the gold and found Thunder Mesa (later known as Frontierland). Using his wealth, he built a massive Victorian manor on top of what he called Boot Hill. Despite being unfaithful to his wife Martha, she and Henry gave birth to and raised a beautiful girl named Mélanie, whom Henry was extremely protective of.
Though he continued his mining company, local native tribes warned him that the land was the sacred home of the Thunderbird, and that his operation could disturb and anger it. Ravenswood disregarded such stories.
Later, when Mélanie was grown up, Henry became increasingly possessive of his daughter and resented the strings of suitors that pined for her attention. Believing no man was suitable for his daughter, Ravenswood arranged the deaths of four of her suitors: Barry Claude was mauled by a bear and sealed in a wall, Captain Rowland Falls was sent off a waterfall in a rowboat, Sawyer Bottom was bifurcated with an industrial buzz-saw, and Ignatius "Iggy" Knight was blown up with a large amount of dynamite. At another point, Henry engaged in a gun duel with another man (possibly another suitor) and cheated by turning around early and shooting the opponent in the back, killing him.
Despite Henry's best efforts, Mélanie eventually met and fell in love with a train engineer working for her father's company. The two quickly became engaged and had plans to leave the Mesa. Henry tried to stop the wedding in order to keep his beloved Melanie at home, but in 1860, an earthquake stuck the Mesa, killing Henry and Martha. Some said it was the wrath of the awakened Thunderbird.
Shortly after Henry's death, the mysterious Phantom appeared in the manor. Though just a passing spook at first, things took a turn for the worst when, on Melanie's wedding night, the Phantom lured her groom up to the rafters and hung him from a readied noose.
With the groom never showing up, guests abandoned the wedding, and Mélanie fell into deep delusions. She believed that her intended would return to her one day, so she stayed locked inside the manor, never removing her wedding dress, and singing sad love songs.
However, the Phantom laughs constantly at her devotion, and used both his powers and the powers of Madame Leota to summon ghosts and demons from all over the world into the manor to party forever, constantly tormenting Mélanie with the image of a wedding she would never have. Even the trench that had split the house in two during the earthquake was home to an abandoned ghost town, filled with spirits and zombies.
Tales claim Mélanie died in the house and that one can still hear her singing, the Phantom laughing, and the spectral guests partying in the decrepit manor to this day.
The Phantom serves a similar role as the Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion: he greets guests and tells them that a beauty used to live in the house. He scares guests and is seen showing off the hanging corpse of the groom, tugging at the rope and making it swing, but then vanishes.
He is later seen standing over a ghostly reenactment of Melanie's failed wedding, cackling evilly. He then appears in a small graveyard out back, holding a shovel and standing over an open grave, once again laughing sadistically.
At the end of the ride, the Phantom is seen again, laughing and gesturing towards a coffin. As guests pass mirrors, Mélanie appears in their buggies following them out.
The Phantom is a dark sadist who revels in pain and sorrow. He kills without thinking twice, and flaunts his kills like they are sport. He loves tormenting the innocent and destroying their lives, and is completely unstoppable in his evil. However, considering how much Ravenswood loved his daughter in life, it is unclear why he would ceaselessly torment her after his death, other than for the sole purpose of keeping her in the Manor forever.
- The Phantom was originally voiced completely by the late Vincent Price. However, prior to the 2019 refurbishment, due to a deal with French officials, the attraction's audio had to be primarily in French; thus the narration was re-recorded by Gérard Chevalier who dubbed for Price in several films that we translated in French. However, Price's evil laughter was kept.
- Prior to the 2019 refurbishment, the Phantom's identity was kept a mystery with Henry Ravenswood only speculated to be the Phantom. However, after the 2019 refurbishment, it was confirmed that Henry Ravenswood is indeed the Phantom.