Henry Ravenswood was a Western settler that struck gold in Big Thunder Mountain and founded the Thunder Mesa Mining Company, thus creating the city of Thunder Mesa. Ravenswood became rich and built himself a Victorian manor high on a hill overlooking Big Thunder Mountain where he raised a family and had a daughter, Melanie Ravenswood. Time went by and the gold in Thunder Mesa ran out and Melanie grew from a young girl into a beautiful young woman, and the time came for her to get married. She became engaged to an intelligent train engineer who planned to take her far away from Thunder Mesa, much to the dismay of Henry. Henry did everything he could to stop the wedding but his useless attempts were put to a stop when a terrible earthquake killed him and his wife Martha (Born 1802), and Melanie was never heard from again. After several years, the story of what really happened came out from underneath the rubble. On Melanie's wedding day, a mysterious phantom unknown to anyone in the house appeared in the manor. While Melanie was preparing in her room the phantom lured her suitor up to the attic where he hung him by the neck from the rafters.
In the ballroom the bride sat alone. Hours went by with no sign of the groom. The guests slowly filed away, leaving Melanie alone in the house with the staff of maids and butlers. "Some day", she told herself, "he will come". And so, having never taken off her wedding dress or dropped her bouquet in preparation of her loved one's return, she wandered the house aimlessly, singing melancholy songs of lost love.
The phantom was still in the house, laughing at her humanly devotion to her intended husband. One by one he invited his dead, demonic friends from the afterlife to fill the house in an eternal party. The shape of the house was slowly transformed surreality by the evil forces.
Inside and outside, the house was decaying. Dusty cobwebs cover every inch, the disheartened staff caring not, for it was rumored that Melanie had lost her mind. She wandered the house for years and years, singing softly to her groom while all around her demons and ghosts reveled and danced. Everywhere she went she was reminded of the wedding. The phantom's eternal laughter still carried through the walls of the house. Outside, the once beautiful grounds were falling apart and crumbling. The gilded staircase and structure was dotted with mold and trees and every plant on the grounds died. As if sensing the evil inherent in the house, nothing living tread there.
As Disneyland Paris took on a great level of sophistication and detail, Imagineers chose to place the Haunted Mansion in Frontierland and taking cues from the European love of the old American West, constructed an elaborate storyline connecting all of Frontierland, particularly the newly christened Phantom Manor and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The attraction itself would center around the popular bride character of other Haunted Mansions. The Phantom, who only narrates the walking portions of the attraction, would be voiced by Vincent Price, but the Parisian demands for a French audio track lead to an early replacement of the narration by one recorded by Gérard Chevalier, who had done French dubwork over Price before.
Its queue, A large mansion confronting Frontierland, Is much based on the mansion in Alfred Hichcoc´s Psycho. Compare both mansions and take your conclusions.
The attraction, along with the rest of Paris' Frontierland, would serve as a large homage to the unbuilt Western River Expedition, with Phantom Manor using a ghost town take on the attraction's western town scenes.