Neil Patrick Harris and his family channeled a spooky Disney tale for their annual Halloween family costume.
The How I Met Your Mother actor, husband David Burtka, and their 8-year-old twins, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace, portrayed Disney‘s hitchhiking ghosts from The Haunted Mansion ride in Walt Disney World and Disneyland, Burtka making the big reveal on his Instagram account on All Hallow’s Eve.
“Welcome, foolish mortals. We hope your Halloween is happily haunted, but heed this warning: beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts,” Burtka captioned the image.
In the spooky photo, the family can be seen posing in a graveyard, with Harper posing as the main focus of the shot dressed as the iconic ride’s bride, her costume complete with a white dress and bloody axe. Harris and Burtka, meanwhile, stand in the background near headstones, and Gideon can be seen fading away as a specter.
Harris had teased the big reveal earlier in the day in an Instagram live video in which he dubbed Burtka “Mr. Halloween Pants.”
“We’re very excited. We have taken our Halloween family photo this year. I’m excited by it,” Harris said in the video.
The Disney Parks Blog has offered some insight into the ghoulish Haunted Mansion residents, explaining their origin and even giving them names.
“The Hitchhiking Ghosts were actually some of the final ghoulish ‘residents’ that were added into the plans for The Haunted Mansion,” the blog explains. “Not only that, but their look (designed by Imagineer Marc Davis) and their location within the attraction changed throughout the development process.
“In the end, the three hitchhikers were designed as a traveler with a top hat and carpetbag, a tall skeletal figure and a fuzzy bearded fellow carrying a ball and chain. The three were later dubbed Ezra, Gus and Phineas by fans.”
It has become something of a tradition for Harris and Burtka’s family to go all-out with their Halloween costumes, each year building up the anticipation surrounding what they’ll be before eventually making the big debut.
In 2011, they took a trip to Neverland and dressed as characters from Peter Pan, with the family channeling The Wizard of Oz the following year. That whimsical family costume was followed by Alice in Wonderland and monsters in 2013 and Star Wars in 2015. In 2016, the family took inspiration from their favorite Hollywood icons, including Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean. Last year, the family donned carnival-themed costumes.