The Scary Side of Disneyland

Disneyland, opened in 1955 at Anaheim, California is considered as the Happiest Place on Earth. But behind the walls of the Walt Disney World are supernatural stories that are hard to ignore.

The following are stories shared by Cast Members and visitors of the place.

haunted Disneyland

The Haunted Mansion (dadlogic.net).

The Boy at the Haunted Mansion

Well, for background, rumor has it that years ago, a woman approached Disney saying that her sons had been killed, and that he had absolutely loved the Haunted Mansion, so she had wanted to spread his ashes in the Mansion. Disneyland, of course, said NO. So the woman got on the ride herself, and at some point turned and dumped the ashes on the ride herself. Whether this part is true or not, I can only guess. But that’s the story.

Once, as guests were getting off the ride, they reported to the CM at unload that there was a little kid running around the ballroom scene. So the CM sends security in to look: nothing. They never found any clue that the kid had ever even been there. Similarly, guests have reported coming off the ride, late at night when it’s quiet, and seeing a little boy standing alone at the exit (at the top of the moving ramp) and crying. Some have said that when they asked him if he needed help, he acted like they weren’t there. Some have even said he disappeared. Of course, by the time they tell a CM about him and the CM goes to check it out, he’s long gone.

This part of the story I have confirmed with a friend who worked at the Mansion. I mentioned these haunting stories and he freaked out, saying this had actually happened to him. Late at night, they often only run one stretch room because it gets so quiet. That means that between groups of guests, the CM at load is all by themselves, just waiting for people. One CM was waiting for the next group, thought she heard a child laughing. She figured the next group had arrived, and kids were coming but no one ever showed up. Then, she saw something move out of the corner of her eye. Turning to look, she saw no one there, so she put it off as her imagination. About this time she starts feeling a cold chill, and is getting freaked out. All of a sudden, she feels someone put a hand on her shoulder – but there’s no one there. She screamed and ran out. – –Kirsten

 

The Man Beside Me

I was at Disney with my Aunt in 2008, my second-last trip, when something a little odd happened on the Dinosaur ride in the animal kingdom. I got on, I was in the second seat in from the left, and an old man sat next to me. Pretty nondescript old guy–nothing fancy about his clothes, had grey hair and a short beard, and was wearing a ball cap, which he didn’t take off. What was weird from the get go is throughout the whole ride he did NOT react to anything. Dinosaur is a pretty shaky, loud ride, and usually there’s laughing and shouting and …reactions to stuff. This guy hung on, but kept the same bland look on his face the entire time, didn’t react, smile, or anything.

When we got off the ride I went to check the ride photos they snap of you partway through, and when ours came up, it looked like the old man had no eyes. He did NOT have sunglasses on during the ride, or even normal glasses, and there was NOTHING wrong with his eyes when he got on, but in that photo, there was nothing but black all around where his eyes should’ve been. Also, he was looking straight ahead in the photo–not at the dinosaur/camera–and again, bland expression. My aunt saw the photo too, and agreed it was way weird and way spooky. Also, she says she never saw him getting off the ride–he didn’t pass us, and wasn’t behind us. — Silverhaze

haunted Disneyland
A little kid was claimed to be seen running around the ballroom scene (youtube grab).

I Can’t See Them

In the summer of 1994, after graduating from Anaheim Community College, I landed a job as a ride operator at Disneyland. I was offered a great paycheck, and had the benefits of working in a familiar place of childhood nostalgia. The work itself was pretty simple: loading guests onto the rides, making sure that all the riders are secure, and then controlling the attraction from the “dashboard”. Disney had just implemented a new ride control system, using a computerized panel and video cameras to keep watch over the ride.

In the spring of 1995, Disney made all the park employees sign a somewhat disconcerting contract, barring us from discussing park operations with members of the public.

It was also at the same time, in April or May of 1995 that “anomalies” started to occur. These were minor but somewhat disturbing events that confused me and my fellow ride operators. For example, while running the Matterhorn bobsleds once, I strapped in two young brothers, probably five or six years old. I next sat down at the “dashboard” to keep track of the ride. The thing is I never saw the brothers’ bobsled on any of the monitors. It’s as if they had vanished! Naturally, I was somewhat disturbed, and assumed that their car had broken down at some point on the track, and thus was unable to continue to the other sections of the track that were monitored by the video cameras. However, the other cars continued to move along the track. About seven minutes after I had sent off the two young kids, their car mysteriously arrived back at the station, despite apparently not traveling through any of the monitored sections of rail. Even stranger, the ride typically takes only a couple minutes to complete, and seven minutes is almost unheard of. The two kids, upon stepping out of the ride, seemed somehow “disturbed”; while not seeming afraid or traumatized in any way, they just seemed somehow confused or disorientated. — JacobZhompson

 

Don’t Turn Off the Light

My favorite ghost story and one I told to The Disneyland Line for the Halloween edition is about Walt’s apartment above the firehouse. There was a new custodian who was assigned to clean Walt’s apartment. Being a new CM she didn’t know that the lamp in the window is never turned off. We keep that lamp on to remind everyone that Walt’s spirit still lives in the park. Any way after she gets done cleaning up she turned off the lamp and locked up the apartment. As she crossed the square she looks up and the lamp is on. She goes back upstairs and opens the locked door and turns the light off. As she leaves town square she looks up again and the light is on. She goes back to the apartment and thinking that there must be a short in that old lamp decides to unplug it. She locks up the apartment and as she is leaving the park looks up one more time. Suddenly that lamp blinks on and she sees the curtains pull back like someone is looking out at her. She drops all of her stuff and runs out of Harbor Point never to return again! —Disnerd

haunted Disneyland
A ghost was said to be captured by a security camera in Disneyland (strangify.com)

My Encounter with Disco Debbie

It all started in 1982 when I was quite frankly scared out of my mind waiting in the dark, then TV-less halls of Space Mountain. I peered out into the black glass dividing me from the darkest realms of simulated 1970s era space. I saw a strange silhouette, a woman, glow a brilliant green, it appeared to fly right up to where my face was. For a brief second the silhouette was what appeared to be a transparent woman. What’s worse is that “she” appeared to be a very beautiful woman who was bleeding and mutilated. I told my parents what I saw who hastily wrote it off as a fright-induced hallucination, I was convinced.

Tying this up, the memory of the ’82 encounter was long repressed, when another CM who I still am great friends with told me of her encounter with “Disco Debbie”. She started off telling me about this High School Girl named Debbie who used to “get people in the mood” to dance at the old Space Stage during the summer of 1979. Apparently she was a very sweet girl, immensely popular with just about everyone she met.

After work one evening she left the Stage like always, but she wouldn’t make it out of the park alive. Expecting to pick her daughter up at around 12:15 AM, Debbie’s mom was understandably frantic when 2:00 AM rolled around and her daughter was nowhere to be found. At 5:00 AM after a lengthy search by security, Debbie was found dead in the backstage behind Space Mountain, cause of death was a brain aneurism.

What jarred back the memory was when my friend told me that she saw “Disco Debbie” flying around Space Mountain. She described “her” exactly the same way I did… Anyone who has ever had a repressed memory sparked knows how emotionally jarring it can be.– Toady The Eighth

Related Readings

The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland’s Haunted Kingdom

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic

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