Have you been to the one of the most famous theme parks on the planet – Disneyland? While this massive park offers a variety of games and fun rides, there are scary stories that mar the lands surrounding Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Haunting legends and myths of the super-natural have been circulating there for many years now. In this article, we will dig deeper into the eerie sightings and mysterious events of one of the happiest place on earth!
Ten haunting stories of Disneyland
Who says that sneaking into some place has no consequences? For a teenage boy who tried sneaking into Disneyland, the result was his life.
In June of 1966, Thomas Cleveland, 19 years old tried to sneak into Disneyland during Grad Night – an event sponsored every June whereas Disneyland honors high school graduates by staying open late.
With pronounced enthusiasm, the unfortunate youngster made his way into the park illegally by climbing a fence. A guard warned him to get down, but Cleveland did not listen and attempted to escape on to the train tracts below. As he ran away, he was struck by the monorail and was dragged approximately 40 feet before the train halted.
Soon after scary stories about the accident were reported. People have described a ghost of a teenager apparently running along the monorail train at night. Others claim that they could see the figure of a young man in the spot where he died. The most unusual report states Cleveland’s silhouette would appear for a moment, and then vanish into thin air. Cleveland’s spirit has been seen running along the train, but no one knows the reason, Some suggest his soul continues to linger in the place where he died.
Walt Disney Ghost?
The founder of Disneyland, Walt Disney himself is one of the more famous ghosts in the park. When he was alive, he kept an apartment over the fire station on Main Street. It was said that he and his family used the apartment to enjoy the park, as well an office for Mr. Disney to get some work done. Numerous patrons can remember seeing the apartment’s window lighted every evening, meaning Mr. Disney was working late at his desk. When he died in 1966, as a tribute to Walt Disney, the park has kept a light on in the apartment.
In one occasion, a cast member turned off the light in Disney’s apartment only to find the light turned on again. As soon as she returned to the apartment’s room, she heard a voice that said, “I am still here.”
In another version of Walt Disney’s ghost, it was a maid who turned off the apartment light at the end of her nightly cleaning. After leaving the apartment and heading to Main Street she turned around to see the light was still on. Thinking perhaps somehow she forgot to turn it off, she went back, turned the lights off again and returned on her way via Main Street. Once more she checked from a distance to see the apartment lights still on. Thinking it was a short in the lamp, the maid returned to the building shut off the light again and went downstairs. Looking backwards for a last time on Main Street, she saw the light blink and this time the drapes in the window pulled tight as if someone was still in the apartment.
Another haunting story of Disneyland involves the Matterhorn, a roller coaster that resembles the bobsled’s of Switzerland. On Jan 3, 1984, a woman named Dolly Young had an unfortunate accident on this very ride. According to the story, she was alone in the back seat and a child was alone in the seat in front of her. At some point of the ride, Dolly was assisting the child causing her to lose balance and hit the cross track overhead just before a dip. She was catapulted into the air and was struck by an oncoming bobsled.
Based on the reports at that time, inspectors had to dismantle the track to dislodge Dolly’s body. In another version of Dolly’s story, the investigators didn’t see any blood on the track, only her legs and feet were sticking out from under the bobsled.
After Dolly’s accident, the cast members and other patrons in Disneyland had experienced cold spots, and feelings of someone behind them watching over them. Others claimed hearing a woman’s voice, which they believed was Dolly’s.
An employee claims not far from Dolly’s death spot, famously known as “Dolly’s Dip,” are the burned out lights in the tunnel. For some reason the tunnel lights have been continuously out for extended periods of time.
Space Mountain Ghosts
The Space Mountain in Disneyland seemed to house ghosts of people who died while riding or near the building of the ride. One well known spirit in Space Mountain is known as “Mr. One Way.” According to ghost stories, an Imagineer stood up on the Space Mountain ride and was beheaded. This incident happened when the coaster was still for test runs during the 1970s.
These days, the beheaded man was described as a tall with red hair and red face. Some believe to see his ghost in the seat next to a single rider, mysteriously the phantom would disappear when the ride ended. Mr. One Way’s specter has been spotted in multiple areas adjoining Space Mountain. Cast members in the locker room the main building sometimes glimpse him too.
Another ghost of the Space Mountain is Disco Debbie. She was a Disney cast member that died because of an aneurysm. Her death occurred in the backstage of the Space Mountain building.
Disco Debbie has been described as a green and flying spirit. Guests and cast members saw her phantom many times during their visit to the Space Mountain.
Today, both Mr. One Way and Disco Debbie haunt Space Mountain, and many still feel they’ve seen them lurking on either the ride or within the building.
The Haunted Mansion
Like the space mountain ride, the Mansion is one of the attractions in Disneyland that has a sinister reputation. Stories like the crying boy, the music from the séance room, the disappearing spellbook, the ghost of the man with a cane and the infamous spreading of cremated remains are all part of the mansion history and current ghostly condition.
The crying boy incident is just one of the many people who sneakily spread their loved ones cremated ashes in the Haunted Mansion. Despite the illegalities of the said act, visitors continue to sprinkle cremated remains in the mansion as a attempt to give the ride its infamous 1,000th ghost. The story goes that a mother placed the ashes of her dying son there at his request to become one of the Haunted Mansions ghosts. His ghost they say, has been seen crying at the entrance of the mansion. The same little boy is also reputedly spotted on the Pirated of the Caribbean ride.
Another unusual story happened in the 1960s, when the mansion was still being built. A sound designer in the Séance room one morning heard music coming from the wall. At first, he thought it was a radio, but the sound was all about music, no typical radio conversation, and no commercials. Despite his best attempts he could not isolate where the music was coming from. As days passed by, the music didn’t stop, so the designer decided to place a public speaker beside the wall where the sound was coming from, to mask out and hide the mysterious, unknown music .
Another scary legend is the spell book in the séance circle was a real sorcerer’s book and the host Madame Leota was reciting spells from it. For some reason the spell book would mysteriously move during the night. Each morning cast members of Disneyland would arrive at the mansion to open it, and they would find the spellbook in a different place than it was the previous night.
Lastly, the story of the shadowy man with a cane dates back in the 1940’s before the land for the park was purchased. A man piloting a small plane crashed into the lake where Disneyland would eventually be built. The man who from the accident was said to have settled in the haunted mansion. Both visitors and staff purport that they have seen a shadowy man with a cane in the ride and after closing hours.
The Main Street’s White Lady
Seeing a lady dressed in a white gown is a well-known ghostly encounter in different parts of the world and Disneyland too has such a specter. It was believed that a woman died in the 1900s and her spirit still wanders about the park. Based on what is said, the soul is good-natured, and dressed in white Victorian clothing. She has been reported meandering Main Street and at times helping lost children find their way back to their parents or to a safe haven.
Some Disneyland employees presume that the old-timey feel of the Main Street is possibly the reason her spirit still lingers . If other ghosts in Disneyland were like this lady in white policing the park, young visitors may actually have a true guardian angel to protect and help them.
Seeing a lady dressed in a white gown is a well-known ghostly encounter in different parts of the world and Disneyland too has such a specter. It was believed that a woman died in the 1900’s and her spirit still wanders about the park. Based on what is said, the soul is good-natured, and dressed in white Victorian clothing. She has been reported meandering Main Street and at times helping lost children find their way back to their parents or to a safe haven.
Some Disneyland employees presume that the old-world feel of Main Street is possibly the reason her spirit still lingers . If other ghosts in Disneyland were like this lady in white policing the park, young visitors may actually have a true guardian angel to protect and help them.
The River Spirit
In 1973, two brothers decided to stay on Tom Sawyer’s Island after the park closed. They tried to swim across the “Rivers of America”, but the older brother drowned. This story was believed to be the origin of the shadowy figure in the river attraction.
Over time, visitors have witnessed unexplained splashing in the waters of Tom Sawyer’s Island often at the end of the evening ride. Employees never can find what causes the disturbance, but secretly suggest it’s related to the death of the drowned older brother.
In 1974, “America Sings” was launched in Disneyland. It was a musical of the first 200 years of the United States of America. Just about a week after the opening, one of the cast members Deborah Stone died behind the scenes. She was crushed between the wall of the rotating section of the audience and the stationary stage during the show.
No one saw the grueling accident, but people reported hearing screams coming from someone who’s in pain. After the performance, they found the dead body of Deborah. The incident led to the temporary closure of America Sings and installation of safety measures in the show.
After this accident and to this day, even though America Sings no longer exists, people still hear a woman’s haunting voice saying, “Be Careful,” at the site where Deborah died.
Another accident related to America Sings attraction is of a teenage boy who died in the Speed Tunnel Section of the People Mower at the outer edge of the building. Patrons tell stories of a teenage boy lurking in the area and startling people then vanishing into thin air.
The Small World ride is strange in itself but eerie stories make it scarier than ever. According to some visitors and a Disney employees, the small world dolls change positions, disappear and reappear when they want and even come to life much resembling real humans in a little body. It has been said that on some occasions the toys keep on dancing and singing after hours when the electricity had been shut off.
Apart from the dancing and singing dolls, Disney personnel have heard little footsteps and laughing especially in the dark in the complex. According to the crews, it was as if someone was watching them. The lights in the small world reputably world turn on and off without human manipulation.
Pirates of the Caribbean
If you’re not afraid of ghosts then what about real skulls from the dead? The Pirates of Caribbean is one of the most famous rides in all of Disneyland. It is said that Disney used real bones back in 1967 when the Imagineers had a hard time producing fake ones. Apparently the bones were obtained from the medical school in UCLA. Today the bones in the Pirates of Caribbean are replicas only, but some believe that real bones still are hidden within the structure of the ride.
According to crew members and visitors, they’ve seen the bones and puppets mysteriously changing position. They also claimed to hear footsteps and breathing especially at night. Others claimed seeing ghosts and even Walt Disney himself.
Another ghost story in the Pirates of Caribbean involved a boy who was seen in camera smiling, laughing and looking like he’s enjoying the ride, but when the boat comes back to the station, the boy wasn’t there.
We can never really feel secure in the thought that specters and hauntings may exist unless we withness a ghostly apparition ourselves. If you want to experience haunting phenomena, then perhaps Disneyland is the place to be. Although it is the happiest place on earth, it also has a dark mysterious side – being that of a haunted park.