Over the years, cast members (and more than a few guests) have mistakenly believed that “Master Gracey” was the master of the haunted house—thanks to a tombstone in the graveyard written by X. Atencio, Imagineer and show writer for the attraction, that declares: “Master Gracey, laid to rest, no mourning please, at his request.”
Here’s is another example of how even good intentioned, well-meaning people can make bad decisions based on not understanding the story.
The belief that Gracey is the master of the mansion is so beguiling that it has retroactively been taken as fact so that even the live-action film starring Eddie Murphy, and based on the Disney attraction, tried to make it officially part of the story.
As X. Atencio has continually pointed out, at the turn of the century, the term “master” meant a boy too young to be called “mister.” There are many examples in literature including “Master Lord Fauntleroy." His fellow Imagineer was trying to offer a tribute to the boyish Yale, not make him the owner and master of the house. Some cast members have even gone so far as to indicate that the aging “Dorian Grey” style portrait is a representation of “Master Gracey” or that the hanging man in the stretching gallery is the “master.” None of those assumptions were intended by the original Imagineers.