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Jake, sometimes known as Jake Evans, Jake Lockheart or Jonathan Jake, was a human man.
A trained engineer, handsome, friendly and unassuming Jake was a foreman in Henry Ravenswood's gold mine in Thunder Mesa in the middle of the 19th century. He fell in love with his boss's daughter Melanie, and vice-versa, but tried to hide this relationship from Henry, who did not want his daughter to marry anyone (let alone someone of lower social status like Jake) and has previous murdered several other grooms of Melanie's in secret.
After Henry Ravenswood was killed in the 1860 earthquake, however, Jake and Melanie were able to go forward with their plan to elope and get married. This moment of hope was short-lived, however, as Henry turned out to have returned from the dead as a vengeful spirit called the Phantom. Before Jake could meet up with Melanie at the Manor, the Phantom intercepted him and murdered him, hanging him from the rafters of the Manor's cupola, where his corpse still dangles, the Phantom delighting in scaring guests to his home with its ghoulish sight.
Behind the scenes
Jake was the Disneyland Paris ride Phantom Manor, which opened in 1992. He was seen in one of the original portraits in the Stretching Room, prior to the 2019 refurbishments, and as a corpse hanging in the cupola. The 2019 updates to the ride added four new doomed grooms to the backstory before Melanie's romance with Jake, who is dropped from the ride.
Jake's physical appearance varies greatly across his various appearances, even within Phantom Manor itself — the old Stretching Portrait depicts him as clean-shaven with a thin mustache, whereas his hanging corpse is clean-shaven. The Phantom Manor Short Film presents a take on Jake clearly based on the corpse's look, with short black hair and no mustache. In the animated webcast The Phantom Manor however, he is instead depicted with light brown hair, stubble and slight mutton-chops.
Curiously, Jake is not observed to have become a ghost in any Phantom Manor media surrounding him.