When it comes to family Halloween costumes, nobody does it better than the Burtka-Harris family. And while they've executed some pretty impressive themes in the past, their 2018 costume just might be their spookiest — and their most magical — of all. This year, Neil Patrick Harris and his family's annual Halloween costume took inspiration from Disneyland. More specifically, they dressed as the hitchhiking ghosts from Disney's iconic Haunted Mansion ride, which Harris' husband, David Burtka, unveiled in a creative, vintage-inspired social media post.
In the photo, which was distressed and discolored in to look as much like an old family photo as possible, the Burtka-Harris family posed in a cemetery, with 8-year-old Harper in the foreground, dressed as the ride's infamous bride, staring intensely into the camera while holding a bloody axe. Her twin brother, Gideon, along with Harris and Burtka, haunted the background of the family portrait, dressed as the three hitchhiking ghosts who appear at the very end of the Haunted Mansion ride.
Burtka posed with his thumb out, as the group's Traveler, Phineas, while Harris was unrecognizable in his ghoulish makeup as the Skeleton, Ezra. 8-year-old Gideon rounded out the trio as the spectral Prisoner, Gus.
"Welcome, foolish mortals," Burtka captioned the Instagram post, channeling the iconic greeting that the ride's famous Ghost Host uses to welcome Disney fans on their spooky journey. "We hope your Halloween is happily haunted, but heed this warning: beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts!"
Harris also gave a closer look at his own costumer, sharing a close-up look at the Skeleton's cadaverous face on his own Instagram account. "Our Family Halloween Picture is live - well, relatively speaking..." Harris captioned the snapshot.
The Burtka-Harris family's Haunted Mansion-themed group look is just the latest in a long line of creative, unexpected family costumes. In 2017, the foursome channeled American Horror Story for their creepy, carnival looks, with Harris taking center stage as the Ringmaster and Burtka adding a good dose of terror as a murderous clown. The year before, the family paid tribute to some of the most iconic figures of classic Hollywood, with Harper as a Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-era Marilyn Monroe, Gideon as James Dean, and Burtka and Harris as comedy icons Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx, respectively.
And that's truly just the scratching the surface of their legendary Halloween costumes — the Burtka-Harris family has channeled everything from Batman villains to Alice in Wonderland characters and even classic horror movie monsters, when Harris rocked Frankenstein's famous neck bolts, while Burtka haunted up the holiday as a menacing Dracula. They've even dressed up as a family from a galaxy far, far away.
Disney's Haunted Mansion ride first opened in the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland park back in 1969, and four years later, it became one of the opening day attractions on the East Coast, when Disney World opened its gates in 1971. Though the ride has gone through many different updates and revisions over the decades, it has remained a beloved and unmissable part of any Disney visit, thanks to its goofy and unconventional sense of humor. After all, what better to contrast the glitter and magic of most Disney rides than a touch of the macabre?
The Hitchhiking Ghosts were one of the last elements added to the Haunted Mansion ride, according to the Disney Parks Blog. Though they originally appeared only briefly at the end of the ride, the trio became fan favorites very quickly, and in 2011, they were "brought to life" at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, which allowed the characters to interact with guests during their journey through the Gracey Mansion.
By choosing such a beloved Disney institution as the inspiration this year, it's clear that the Burtka-Harris family are planning to have the most spooktacular Halloween yet.