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Role in The Haunted Mansion
Danny is a fifteen-year-old boy from New Orleans who lived by the guidance of his grandfather, an explorer who has traveled to many places around the globe. Because of his grandfather's feats, Danny feels like he could never be brave as him, as his grandfather was always the person to help Danny with his fears of life's dangers and struggles. Before his trip to Matterhorn, Danny's grandfather promises Danny that he will take Danny with him to investigate the mysterious mansion the residents claim is haunted. The promise would not come to pass however, as Danny's grandfather gets caught in an avalanche in Matterhorn and dies afterwards. The loss changes Danny's life from then on; in the wake of his grandfather's death, Danny's parents and other kids begin to neglect him. A month after his grandfather's funeral, Danny visits his grandfather's grave nearby the old mansion and hears a whisper calling to him, which he dismisses. That night, Danny is visited by the specter of Madame Leota, contacting him for help. Instructing him to travel to the old mansion, Danny ventures to the mansion.
After an ordeal with a group of hostile ghosts, Danny is saved by Leota, who explains the situation to him: the ghosts of the old mansion are trapped, including the spirit of his late grandfather, and they need a living person to help them leave the mansion. With a magic spell, Leota grants Danny the ability to see the ghosts to guide him through the mansion. The chance of reuniting with his grandfather motivates Danny, and he sets off to free the deceased residents.
The journey into the mansion proves to be more fatal than expected; the culprit behind the ghosts' imprisonment, the Pirate Captain, intercepts Danny's efforts in freeing the ghosts by sending hostile spirits and monsters after the boy, until Danny enters the Grand Hall, a place enclosed by the Captain. One of the ghosts of the ballroom, Pickwick, agrees to let Danny leave the ballroom if he stays for the party. Danny agrees to the deal, unaware that the ballroom is cursed to make its party goers lose themselves to pleasure. Sure enough, Danny falls victim to the curse, not only forgetting why he had come to the mansion but also memories of his life and grandfather as well.
Although Danny is incapacitated, the Captain realizes that he needs Danny active if he wants his plans to succeed. As the Captain arrives to force the ghosts to release Danny, Danny is thrown out of the ballroom and into the Grand Hall, freeing him from the curse. Before the Captain can claim him, Danny is whisked away by the Hatbox Ghost as his guide through the Endless Staircase, a network connecting the Haunted Mansion to haunted locations around the world. The Hatbox Ghost explains that the Sea Captain's curse has not only trapped the resident ghosts, but the magic that allows the ghosts freedom to travel to the other locations offered by the Endless Staircase. After the Hatbox Ghost drops Danny off in the Library, Danny is confronted by the Captain who has taken hold of her crystal ball. Once the Captain threatens to smash her, Leota is forced to reveal the truth to Danny: his grandfather's spirit is not in the mansion at all, but Leota lied to Danny to get him to come to the mansion. Before Danny can even respond to Leota's deceit, the Captain shatters Leota's crystal ball and forces Danny to join him.
During the trip, the Captain advises Danny that he must go to the attic to reclaim the Captain's lost treasure, the key to the Captain's freedom, guarded by Constance Hatchaway, the twisted bride. Suddenly, Pickwick and the other ghosts appear, having been freed from the ballroom's curse, to buy Danny time to escape. However, the Captain summons a wave that washes Danny down the halls and into a foyer. There, Danny finds a opening to the attic across the ceiling where a hanged corpse resides. Although intimidated by the height of the foyer, Danny is able to jump onto the corpse and use the momentum from swinging on it to reach the entrance.
Once inside the attic, Danny sneaks around Constance and comes across the treasure chest at last, but discovers it to be empty upon opening it. However, he does spot a window right above the treasure chest and realizes the window to be the true gateway out of the mansion. Just as Danny sees this, Constance strikes at Danny, believing he is another suitor for her and her next victim. Danny evades Constance but falls from the window to the ground below.
To his luck, Danny miraculously survives the fall and lands inside the cemetery. A grave caretaker finds Danny but quickly runs away in fear, as it turns out the ghosts are now appearing outside the mansion. Because of Danny's bravery in venturing to find the exit, the Captain's curse is lifted, giving the ghosts their freedom at last. However, the Captain is freed as well, and demands to know where his treasure is. Standing up to the villain, Danny tries to tell him that there was no treasure, but the Captain is incredulous and tries to attack him. But to his surprise, he is stopped by the ghost of Danny's grandfather, who fights off the Captain. After the scuffle, Danny's grandfather explains that he was always with Danny, but could not enter the mansion due to the curse. Just as the Captain tries to attack them again, Constance appears and beheads him, ending the Captain's threat for good. As the ghosts celebrate, Leota reappears and reveals that there was a treasure - the treasure was the mansion, a place where ghosts could find peace in the afterlife. Danny's grandfather also reveals he has reunited with Danny's deceased grandfather, and that they are planning to travel the world together. But they encourage Danny to live his life to the fullest while he still has one.
Some time later, Danny has reconnected with his parents and has even made some friends from his experiences. With the ghosts, he decides to become the new caretaker for the mansion's ghosts, as the mansion has also started receiving more ghosts every day. Thanks to the spell Leota placed on him, some ghosts have even started to catch on to Danny.