Eerie Events at Disney
By M.P. Pellicer | Stranger Than Fiction Stories
Everyone is familiar with hitchhiking ghosts at Disney's Haunted Mansion. There are many urban myths about horrible deaths at this theme park, and in truth there have been employees and visitors who really have at died at the park.
George & The Pirates of the Caribbean
It's these events that have caused stories of "real ghosts" at Disney to circulate over the years. Some of them have little or no truth to them, but there is a handful which most definitely will have you watching over your shoulder the next time you visit Mickey.
At the Magic Kingdom, cast members working on Pirates of the Caribbean warn newcomers about the ghost of George, which supposedly haunts the attraction. George is said to have been killed during the construction of the ride, either by electrocution or by a falling beam. Cast members claim to have seen a figure roaming around the attraction on security cameras, but find that there is nobody there when they go to check. They even say "good morning" and "good night" to George, who is said to have a mischievous streak that causes him to shut down the ride or play other tricks when he is not shown sufficient respect.
The reality is that there was no George, and that nobody died during the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean. There is speculation that he is probably an amalgamation of Disney workers who have met their end while on the job. (See the end of the article for possible candidates for who is "George").
Ghost Dolls of It's A Small World
It's A Small World is popular with tourists and it appears that it's a favorite with former employees who have gone into the hereafter, and who have come back to enjoy the ride.
The dolls are said to come to life at night, but if that's not creepy enough, perhaps there's a paranormal reason for the super-cold spots on the boats.
In 2014, a 22-year-old woman with a pre-existing condition, lost consciousness after riding the attraction and later passed away.
Tom Sawyer Island Haunted by Ghost Children
After dark, Disneyland's Tom Sawyer's Island has an unofficial rat roundup in the form of feral cats. But that's not the only thing seen scurrying around.
Employees claim to see children running around long after the park closes, but when they go looking for them, none are found.
On June 24, 1973, the Independent reported the following:
The body of an 18-year-old New York tourist was recovered Saturday from a river in Disneyland's Frontierland area, eight hours after he apparently drowned trying to swim the watercourse with his younger brother, police reported.
In 1983, 18-year-old Phillip Straughan climbed into a restricted area in Disneyland's Frontierland. He, along with another teenager took a small raft with an outboard motor into the pond near Tom Sawyer Island. Heading back to shore, they hit a rock and both got thrown into the water. The other boy made it to shore and notified security. Phillip's body was found in an area with only 3 feet of water.
The Mansion That's Really Haunted
What could be more haunted, than Disney's Haunted Mansion? Rumors are that some family members, perhaps in a bid to fulfill last wishes, have tried to spread the ashes of deceased family members. This supposedly has been attempted around the world in different parks.
There is a boy who is said to come out to play when the attraction is closed for the night, with employees claiming to have heard laughter when there is nobody else around. This is a rare case of a ghost who is said to move from attraction to attraction - the boy is also claimed to have been spotted towards the end of the Haunted Mansion. According to a blog entry on San Diego Haunted, the boy's been nicknamed "Timmy", and employees are aware that people scatter ashes all the time and the custodian comes and vacuums them up.
Ghost Boy of Pirates of the Caribbean
We all know that stories can be lost in translation, or in the retelling and somewhere inside the different versions are threads of truth.
Rumors are that Pirates of the Caribbean, It's A Small World and The Haunted Mansion are haunted by a child. He's been sighted usually by the ride operator when the ride is closed. The story told is that these were the child's favorite and the mother decided to scatter his ashes at Disneyland, but the park refused her request, and she went ahead and decided to do it anyway. This most possibly is the source of this sighting.
In 2007, the LA Times reported where workers at Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean saw a woman sprinkle some substance into the waters as it made its way through the attraction. The ride was closed and the police called.
A witness described it as baby powder, and police didn't take a report because the woman had disappeared, and whatever was dumped had disappeared into the swirling waters that push the boats along.
However, within hours of the incident bloggers said they began receiving emails from Disney employees claiming that the unknown substance was "human ashes", and that it's a recurring problem at the park.
Officials DAK'd any knowledge regarding this type of practice, and much less that it was a problem. If anyone approaches the park for permission to scatter ashes on the premises they are denied.
And Disney is not the only place human ashes are scattered at the deceased's favorite spot, inspectors with the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau get calls from golf courses and other outdoor spots, where people are seen spreading ashes without an OK from management.
David Koenig an ex-Disney employee wrote the book Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland. In it he recounts where an unnamed employee saw a group of visitors at the Haunted Mansion, who asked for a little extra time in order to hold a memorial service for a 7-year-old child who had died. Later another ride operator saw one of them throwing a powdery substance while riding the "Doom Buggy." The ride was shut down and a "gray, like ash" was found.
Dolly's Dip at the Matterhorn
In January 1984, Dolly Regina Young, 48, was seated alone in the rear seat of the bobsled that is part of the Matterhorn ride. Those seated in the front could not see what happened, and how she ended up getting thrown from the bobsled. She had the belt on when the ride began, but it was open when police detectives were called to the scene of where this woman fell off the ride, and was hit by another sled and trapped beneath it. She died at the scene.
The Matterhorn side B (The side on the right as you are looking at it from loading station) is said to be haunted by the ghost of “Dolly.”
The Ghost of Big Thunder Mountain
In 2003, Marcelo Torres, 22, was one of 11 people riding Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction. As the car decorated like a small red engine sped uphill into a tunnel, the cars separated and the locomotive derailed. Some of the passengers were able to climb out, but others were hurt and trapped. Marcelo Torres was dead. He was in the first car behind the locomotive, and his body had to be extricated by paramedics.
The story describes the ghost of a man sitting on a bench along the path of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Employees try to avoid the area at night.
What's Happened in Florida
In 1975, a 16-year-old girl drowned in the Seven Seas Lagoon. She was staying at Fort Wilderness campground. She drowned in 6 feet of water in the swimming area by the Polynesian Hotel.
In 1987, a 27-year-old Disney employee was killed when his ultra-light aircraft nose-dived into an open field south of Epcot. The parachute on the plane didn't open. He was practicing for a show at Epcot Center.
In 1989, a 33-year-old woman was killed when she collided with a ferry at the Seven Seas Lagoon. She drove in front of the boat while trying to videotape family members water skiing in the lagoon.
In 1992, a 24-year-old off duty employee was startled by a swam of wasps, and fell 110 feet to his death from the Contemporary Hotel's observation decks.
In 1999, a 65-year-old Disney World custodian plunged 40 feet to his death, after clinging to the outside of a rising 4 person gondola that had swept him from a platform when the ride was turned on when the park was opened.
In 2004, a 38-year-old costumed Disney World employee was run over and killed by a parade float at the Magic Kingdom. The accident occurred near the Splash Mountain ride. The woman had worked as the Pluto character since 1995.
In 2007, a 60-year-old woman who was a ride attendant on the Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom. stepped onto a prohibited area on the platform and was hit by a moving car.
In 2008, an electrical power technician who worked for Disney World died from injuries sustained while he worked at a substation near the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort.
In July 2009, a 21-year-old part time employee died when another monorail back into his on Disney's Epcot line.
In August 10, 2009, a 47 year-old Disney employee died from complications after a bad on-stage fall at the Magic Kingdom, while performing a mock sword fight during Captain Jack's Pirate Tutorial.
In August 19, 2009, a Disney stunt performer,30, died following an accident at the Hollywood Studio where he received a fatal head injury. It occurred during a rehearsal for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
So whether it's employees, park workers or those whose ashes have been scattered in the place where perhaps they were the happiest, no doubt there is a cast of many who could cause a cold shiver up your spine, even if you're sitting on a park bench in the middle of a summer day.
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Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer