Notes about Ken Anderson added, July-August, 2017.
A Silly Spook May Sit Bayou Side
The first thing that needs to be said is that the concept is not ridiculous. The high water table in New Orleans makes the idea of an old plantation house partially submerged in a bayou a plausible enough setting. In fact, the ride's graveyard scene was originally going to be a swampier affair, with bogs and frogs and trickling streams. (A trace of this remains in the tea party tableau, where a hearse is supposedly stuck in the mud.)
The problem is that practically nothing has been published in the way of artwork, whereby we may satisfy our curiosity. But hey, since when has lack of evidence slowed us down? At Long-Forgotten we laugh at lack of evidence. Ha ha, laugh we. Anyway, it turns out there are clues to be found in various crooked fannies, and these clues will allow us to at least raise our guesswork to the level of informed speculation, even if a goal as modest as simple probability remains out of reach.
bayou below the foundation of the house" (The "E" Ticket 13 [Summer 1992] 5; our emphasis).
Elsewhere Anderson describes the scene in more detail. Once the guide was taken out of the way (by a hairy arm), the "haunted house ghost" would express his delight with now being in charge of the tour, telling the guests, "I'm going to take you down and show you the way it really is. We'll go into the place where it is just a bayou." The guests would sink down on the conveyance device Anderson had devised, and there would be muddy water all around, although there would be no boat ride (Paul Anderson, Jack of All Trades: Conversations with Disney Legend Ken Anderson [Theme Park Press, 2017] 217; our emphasis).
Only in the Movies
A partially flooded Mansion was realized at least once—on film. The 2003 Haunted Mansion movie makes use of a concept similar to Joerger's. After a heavy rain, a huge underground crypt is flooded and serves as the locale for a major scene in the film. Presumably, the basement levels of the house itself would also be flooded, although you never see this in the movie.