The Attic Bats are a group of five or six non-anthropomorphic, possibly supernatural bats.
Ever since 1969 at least, five vampire bats have resided in the Haunted Mansion's Attic; though their red eyes and astonishingly long lifespans may hint otherwise, they appear, at face value, to be normal bats who took up residence in the Attic after the house was abandoned. In the early days of the Mansion as a ride, the Bats were content to flutter by passing guests in their Doombuggies, scaring them. In the mid-2000's, the arrival of Constance Hatchaway to the Attic seemingly scared them away, but they returned to the Attic alongside the Hatbox Ghost in 2015, taking up residence in a doorframe just behind him — by this point, there were six of them, for unknown reasons.
Behind the scenes Edit
The Attic Bats first appeared as a part of the Haunted Mansion attraction in Disneyland, which opened in 1969.
The Bats have a rather complex behind-the-scenes history. The idea of "fluttering bats" in the Attic goes back to Ken Anderson's earliest concept art therefor, where their presence is clearly marked; and a bat mobile was created by Yale Gracey to realize this concept and featured in all versions of the Haunted Mansion from opening day. However, in 2006 and 2007 (for the Disneyland and Walt Disney World versions respectively), the mobiles were removed to make room for the new effects contingent to the addition of Constance Hatchaway to the Attic scene.
When the Bats were reintroduced in 2015 as part of the new Hatbox Ghost tableau just outside the Attic, inspiration was taken from two unrelated pieces of bat-featuring concept art by Marc Davis. One showed a Man-Eating Bat with glowing red eyes inside a cage, gnawing on a bone; the other was one of the original pieces featuring the Hatbox Ghost, and showed three bats flying through a doorway right behind him.
Due to their proximity to Hattie in this reimagined tableau, there has been speculation among fans that the Bats serve as "pets" for the hatbox-bearing spectre. This led to the official creation of Hattie's pet Batty — although whether Batty is one of the Attic Bats or a different animal altogether was left ambiguous.