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CaptainGorePriscilla

Concept art by Ken Anderson of a portrait of Captain Gore and Priscilla

Captain Gore also referred to as Captain Gideon Gorelieu, Captain Bartholomew Gore, and sometimes Bartholomew Roberts is an unused character that originated from early concepts for the Haunted Mansion by Imagineer Ken Anderson, involving a ghostly sea captain.

History

In Anderson's proposed backstory, Captain Gore married a young woman named Priscilla and murdered her after she discovered he was a bloodthirsty pirate. In one version, Priscilla's ghost haunted and tormented him until he finally hanged himself from the rafters. The suicide by hanging became an aspect of the Ghost Host character in the final attraction, many years later.

In some variations of early scripts for the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Gore would have also appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as the historic pirate captain Bartholomew Roberts.

Roberts

Unused Marc Davis concept art of Captain Bartholomew Roberts for Pirates of the Caribbean who was at one point intended to be the same character as Gore.

In another version of Anderson's backstory, the captain drowned at sea—an idea that carried over to the "Mariner" character, who himself served as inspiration for Captain Culpepper Clyne.

Legacy

Gore tombstone

Bartholomew Gore's tombstone

Despite being an ultimately unused concept, the character of Captain Gore has persisted as an inspiration and reference, both in the parks and in other media.

Walt Disney World

On the hillside near the entrance to the Mansion in Liberty Square is an epitaphless tombstone with the name Bartholomew Gore. This tombstone debuted in 2011 outside of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion as part of the interactive queue installation.

Slave Labor Graphics Comics

In the SLG comics, the ongoing Mystery of the Manse saga was inspired by the Captain Gore backstory, though the character was called Captain Blood, a pseudonym used by William Gracey. The main differences in the storyline was that in this version the bride figure was killed by the Hatbox Ghost (the ghost of one of the Captain's victims) rather than the captain himself and the ghost who summoned the ghosts of his victims in the first place were Madame Leota rather than the bride.

Disney Kingdoms Comics

The major antagonist of the comics, a spirit known only as The Captain, is heavily inspired by the character of Captain Gore, if not outright the same character. When Madame Leota first tells Danny about the Captain, the first panel to reveal his appearance shows a painting directly drawn from the Ken Anderson portrait of Gore and Priscilla.

The Captain is one of the few souls that actually died on the property: a pirate who came to the mansion on the rumor of an immense treasure hidden there, only to drown in the flooded basement before he could finish his search. His soul cannot rest until he has found the treasure, and he is embittered that he cannot leave the mansion while many of the other ghosts can. Using dark magic that he recently discovered he could wield, the Captain robbed the ghosts of their ability to haunt and trapped them within the confines of the mansion, as well as placing a curse on the Grand Hall that causes all who enter to eventually lose their memories and want nothing but to party. He also carries an enchanted cutlass that can seemingly cut through the ghostly forms of the other haunts, and has demonstrated the power to transform other ghosts into monstrous phantasms and summon torrents of water.

The Captain has several spirits that do his bidding, including the ghouls that occupy the Morphing Portraits and the pair of Duelists. He does not appear to fear Madame Leota - and in fact went as far as to smash her crystal ball and presumably destroy the medium - but he is leery of Constance, who also has some sinister powers over the house.

At the end of the final issue, the Captain is defeated when Constance decapitates him, and his head is sealed inside the Hatbox Ghost's hatbox before he can reconstitute his ghostly form.

Trivia

  • In the deleted scripts he was referred to as Gideon Gorelieu but his tombstone refers to him as Bartholomew, likely as a reference to how at one point he would have been melded with historic pirate Bartholomew Roberts.
  • There used to be a nautical spyglass and a barometer found on one of the second floor porches of the Haunted Mansion but they were removed in 2001.