"Have you ever seen a haunted house? You know the kind I mean. That old, dark house that's usually at the end of a dimly lit street. The owners haven't been seen for years; no one really knows why. The windows are broken and boarded, and the shutters hang loose on their hinges. The trees have grown wild; their branches brush against the sides of the weathering house, making strange noises in the night. There's a high, vine-covered fence around the property... is it there to keep somebody out? Or is it there to keep someTHING inside? It's a house that people avoid walking past at night. Strange sounds come from within the walls, and it's said that eerie lights have been seen both in the attic windows, and in the graveyard at the side of the house. Our story revolves around this mysterious mansion."
—Narrator at the beginning
One night, during a violent thunderstorm, two teenagers, Karen and Mike, were heading home from a date. As they were walking past a dilapidated, old mansion it began to rain down. Seeking shelter from the storm, they ran inside the mansion’s front porch. Mike was eager to go inside. Karen, despite wanting further shelter, was reluctant to do so. However, Mike managed to open the front door.
Once inside, they were greeted by a marble bust that came to life. Frightened, the teens tried to flee, but the door had closed behind them. The bust introduced himself as their Ghost Host, and invited them to take a tour of his home. The teens, too frightened to run, entered the Stretching Room.
As the room began to stretch, lightning revealed the Ghost Host’s fate. In the rafters of the Cupola, the host’s corpse dangled from the rafters. A Raven swooped in, squawking “He took the cowards way out!” A hidden panel opened, revealing a corridor with changing portraits and marble busts. As Karen and Mike walked down the corridor, they entered an “eerie lit limbo of boundless mist and decay”, with only a few cobwebs and a Grand Staircase visible.
As Karen and Mike walked up to the top of the staircase, they were greeted by hot and cold running chills. After running down a seemingly endless hallway, they found a door at the end. As they ran, a ghost ran towards, and past, them down the hallway. Opening the door, they entered a dimly lit conservatory. The same raven from before flew in and perched on a seemingly rectangular box. Lighting a candelabra, they came to realize that the box was really a coffin, and that the body inside was trying to get out. The raven squawked that they have “disturbed the guest,” and that they’ll be sorry.
Passing through a Corridor of Doors, the Ghost Host warned them not scream. Using his voice, the Host led the teens to Madame Leota’s Chambers, where a séance was about to begin. After Leota, recited her incantation, Karen and Mike were led upstairs to the Dining Room balcony. Seeing the ghosts materialize in the dining room, they fled to a door at the end of the balcony. The door opened to an attic where the teens were trapped between a ghostly Bride, and her groom, the Hatbox Ghost.
The teens escaped through an open window, onto a balcony. It is from there they descended down a staircase that led them to the graveyard. There, Karen and Mike witnessed a spooky sight; a ghostly jamboree was taking place. Making their way through the swinging wake, they found a crypt that led to the street. Before entering they met the raven once more, who warned them that the ghosts may try following them home. Inside the crypt they were greeted by the Ghost Host again for the last time. Before they left, he asked them to hurry back, and perhaps bring some friends, if they'll even believe the stories.
- This was still before the ride was completely finished, so some things heard on the record were removed from the final ride; this includes the marble bust being the Ghost Host at the beginning, the raven's speaking role throughout the attraction, and most notably the presence of the Hatbox Ghost (until his 2015 return).
- The Midnight Marinara podcast produced a tribute to this album - using their own voices, music and sound effects - on August 9th, 2014, commemorating the Haunted Mansion's 45th anniversary.