The Aging Man is a character from a changing portrait in the various Haunted Mansions.
The portrait initially represents a healthy, handsome young man. However, as the guests look at it, it progressively begins to age in front of their very eyes. In about a minute, the young man is dead, and all that is left is a still-decaying corpse with blazing, haunting eyes.
In the RideEdit
Walt Disney WorldEdit
Ever since opening day, the portrait has hung in the Foyer, where it slowly morphs through its four phases while the Ghost Host delivers his pre-show spiel.
As most things in the Tokyo Mansion, the Aging Man's role is copied directly from the Walt Disney World version.
Although initially absent from the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, where its purpose was essentially fulfilled by Miss April-December's portrait, the portrait was eventually added in the 2000's, next to the other Changing Portraits in the gallery, taking the spot formerly occupied by April-December. This decision was presumably a homage to the prominent place the "Aging Man = Master Gracey" concept had taken in the fans' mind (see "Trivia"). This version flashes between young and skeletal like the other Portraits, rather than shifting progressively as did its Walt Disney World counterpart.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Aging Man portrait was inspired by the Portrait of Dorian Gray, as in the novel of the same name by Oscar Wilde (some fans believe the character to actually be Dorian Gray himself, though that is unconfirmed). Its prominent position in the Foyer (coupled with the information that in original concepts, the Ghost Host was supposed to talk from a bust of himself located above the fireplace, and introducing himself as "the Master of the House") has led to many fans believing that this portrait was that of the former "Master of the House", and very likely of the Ghost Host himself.
Fans have also associated this composite character with "Master Gracey," a name on a Tombstone in the family plot, based on an incorrect interpretation of the term "master", which was meant to be the 19th century usage of the term for a male too young to be called "mister". In spite of its uncanonicity, the dual link found its way into various merchandising items, and the Aging Man was used as the basis for the appearance of "Master Gracey" when he officially appeared, in the SLG comics and in the 2003 film.