Emily Cavanaugh Gracey, better known as the Beating Heart Bride or simply Beating Heart, is a female ghost currently haunting the Haunted Mansion.
Appearing either as a skeletal woman, a living shadow, or a glowing-eyed version of her mortal self, Emily is always beautiful, and always wears her wedding gown. Her beating heart glows withing her chest. Emily is the sweet, soft-spoken Bride of the Hatbox Ghost and niece of the Ghost Host; she used to haunt the Attic but has since retired from the tours, though she still dwells there offscreen.
The daughter of George Gracey and Dorothea Cavanaugh, Emily was taught to draw and paint by her mother and hat an overall extremely happy childhood in Gracey Manor, where her parents lived on Vincent Gracey's generosity. Unfortunately, she was orphaned in her early teens when both her parents perished in a carriage accident. From then on, Emily lived a more sheltered life, Vincent acting as her surrogate father.
As a young woman, Emily began to visit Horatio Thomas Ernest Topper's haberdashery along with the rest of her family. She revealed a great interest and taste in hats, very much unlike her uncle Vincent — so much so that her frequent visits and talks with the hatter ended with her falling in love with Topper, in spite of their great age difference.
Engagement and DeathEdit
When Emily came to his shop in tears one day, announcing that she was being forced into marriage with a banker's son, Horatio tried to comfort her in spite of his own sorrow at losing her. Much to his surprise, Emily eventually confessed her love to him. Once both knew of the other's feelings, they decided to get married. There was little Vincent could do, and the wedding was set to be held at Gracey Manor. However, on their wedding day, both Emily and Topper were done in by an unknown malevolent character — Topper beheaded, his head hastily hidden in a hatbox he was carrying, and Emily pushed out the Attic's window.
When she woke up as a ghost, Emily had been reduced to a mere material shadow still wearing her wedding gown and forever holding her bouquet and wedding candle, her heart glowing red from within her ectoplasmic chest with her broken love. Although their first years of afterlife were not easy, Thomas, who’d come to be known as the Hatbox Ghost, and Emily, the Beating Heart Bride, eventually learnt to accept their fate and have fun in the afterlife with the other ghosts who haunted the walls of Gracey Manor. She eventually got better at controlling her appearance, allowing her to switch between her 'natural' ghost appearance, a form almost identical to her living self except for bright golden eyes, and a more horrific, corpselike self.
Friendship with the Other BridesEdit
Emily, thanks to her easy friend-making, soon gathered the other ghost brides of the Attic (Millie, "Spinster", Emily De Claire, Emily De Claire II, Madeline) into a close-knit group of friends who, realising that haunting the Attic together would not look very scary, decided on a decade-spanning schedule where they would pass along Attic duty every few years. The Brides are often found having tea with each other or having fun in their designated graveyard crypt, recognizable at the heart carved on the front door. Over the years, the 'main five' have also greeted Melanie Ravenswood, the Tokyo Bride and even Constance Hatchaway as part of their own, though the latter has been known to make trouble.
After the Ghost Council banished Hattie from the Mansion, Emily only saw her beloved sporadically, whenever he would use the Endless Staircases to sneak back into the Attic. These were hard times for them both, as Emily could not afford to leave her position for too long to visit him herself, as she was still of Attic duty.
When Constance Hatchaway barged into the Attic in spite of all the schedules, claiming it was her turn to haunt the room, she carelessly threw the other Brides out of the Mansion. Emily took it worse than the others and decided to leave for Tokyo Disneyland, where her friendship with the local ghost bride would guarantee her a quiet place to stay. In her confusion, she neglected to warn the absent Hatbox Ghost of this, or even leave so much as a message. It was, therefore, one long year after Hattie's grand return that the two were truly reunited.