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Victor Geist, better known as the Organist, was a human man who is now a ghost.
Victor Geist was a human man and an organist of Germanic origins in life. It is unknown how he died, but when he did he ended up in the Haunted Mansion, playing the large and ominous pipe organ in the Ballroom, in which a choir of screaming heads known as the Organ Banshees nest like so many bizarre bats.
When playing his organ, he is a stern, foreboding, crazed-looking figure remindful of Captain Nemo or the Phantom of the Opera — but when he consents to getting away from his instrument, he is actually a surprisingly amicable and friendly spook with an endearing nasal voice. Geist is a founding member of the Committee of Wandering Ghosts. He seems to be in a relationship of some sort with the Tightrope Girl (whether a flirtatious crush or a real romance, it's hard to tell).
Behind the scenes
The Organist was first seen in 1969 in the Disneyland ride The Haunted Mansion.
In fan lore, he was often called Thaddeus Morgan and characterized as permanently gloomy and severe, despising anything that cuts him off from his music. In a rare case in Haunted Mansion lore of fan lore being outright denied, the Ghost Post contradicted these ideas, calling him Victor Geist and characterizing him as pleasant and carefree. In reaction, some fans have theorized Victor Geist to be a younger apprentice to the original, mean Thaddeus, although that is non-canonical.
The Ravenscroft Crypt in the 2011 Walt Disney World expansion of the Family Plot is sometimes thought to be the Organist's because of the large rendition of a carved organ, although in truth the intention is that Ravenscroft was the man who originally composed Grim Grinning Ghosts, later played on the organ by Geist, and on the other instruments pictured on the crypt. Of course, again, fanlore often had the Organist be the original composer of the tune rather than one of its interprets, thus conflating Ravenscroft with Geist rather than truly mistaking one for the other.