“People DIED on this ride!”
It’s a phrase I would say to the camera over and over again on our Disney Adventures. Apparently I’m rather macabre because death at Disney, ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ fascinates me.
And just to start this off, this is meant in no way to be disrespectful of the people who have died at Disney. RIP.
Did you know you can’t actually be declared dead on Disney grounds? Okay,that’s not wholly true, it’s more of an urban legend… but the fact such a legend exists is a testament to the almost cultish life that Disney embodies. As with many places of note in the world, there are always rumors of hauntings, ghosts wandering the corridors, and weird happenings. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is no exception.
So next on our Disney Adventures, Alston and I explored a bit of haunted Disneyland. If you’re easily spooked… you’re in good company.
I’m actually a wimp when it comes to scary things. I don’t watch horror movies, I routinely get freaked out by people sneaking up behind me or just appearing suddenly, and I have the uncanny ability to convince myself I’m about to die a horrible death because I heard a random sound twenty minutes ago. Yet, for some reason, hauntings at Disneyland and Disney World give me great joy. Perhaps I shouldn’t say joy… I find them interesting, that’s all.
Alston does not.
He gets scared even easier than I do.
Matterhorn Bobsleds was one of the first rides at the park, built in 1959, just a few years after it opened. It’s got a pair of intertwining coasters and you ride in these tiny little bobsleds as you zip and clunk your way down the mountain. It definitely still feels like you’re riding something built in the 50s.
In 1984 a woman named Dolly was killed when she was thrown from one of the bobsleds. Ever since, Cast Members who are required to walk the tracks when the ride shuts down say they can hear her. They call the section of track where Dolly died “Dolly’s Dip.”
Space Mountain aka Hyperspace Mountain
Easily one of the most popular rides at the park, Space Mountain is a roller coaster in the dark. Prime for a ghost or two, am I right?
Riding in the single riders lane is a great way to get on a ride quickly, as not many people head to Disney on their own. If you ride Space Mountain solo though, you may have a thrill junkie ghost as a passenger. Mr. ‘One Way Rider’ is a rumored ghost that rides with single riders on Space Mountain. He’s described as a large red-haired gentleman and has been seen starting the ride, but never finishing it. He’s also been known to frequent the Cast Member locker room.
Space Mountain is currently Hyperspace Mountain now since Disney bought Lucas and Tomorrowland has turned into Star Wars Land. The ride now has you in an X-Fighter battling The Dark Side. No word yet if the ghost has donned Jedi garb.
It’s A Small World
Anyone who has suffered through the endless repetition of ‘It’s A Small World’ has probably wanted to die on this ride. I personally hate it. I don’t know why, but it’s just always creeped me out… and it turns out with good reason!
There’s multiple paranormal activities that have happened at Disneyland’s happiest cruise on earth. For starters, Cast Members have said that the dolls move during the night and will be in different locations. Also, a woman was taking photos with a disposable camera (back in the day, whew I feel old) and when she developed them she saw a child hanging from the ceiling.
So just think about that next time you hear that song.
The Haunted Mansion
It should come as no surprise that The Haunted Mansion has a haunting. One of the more popular things to do is to sprinkle ashes along the ride. No, you read that right. Multiple people have spread beloved one’s ashes on The Haunted Mansion ride. One woman sprinkled her son’s ashes in the ride as his dying wish was to be one of the Haunted Mansion ghosts. She was told she couldn’t do it, but naturally did anyway. Multiple people have reported seeing the ghost of a small crying boy in the ride.
The Haunted Mansion really lives up to its name to the point there’s an entire site devoted to ghost stories about it. Freak yourself out at Doom Buggies (the name of the ‘vehicles’ you ride).
Dear old Walt is rumored to still be inhabiting his apartment over the Main Street fire station. Once upon a time a Cast Member turned off the light only for it to come back on. Ever since it’s been kept on. Walt likes it that way.
The Monorail is also apparently haunted by the ghost of a teenage boy who was struck by it in 1966 after running away from a security guard after he’d jumped the fence into the park. Cast Members say they can see him running along the tracks at the back of park at night.
In 1974 a woman greeter at America Sings was crushed between the rotating theater wall and the stationary stage. People say they can hear a woman’s voice say “Be careful.” to this day.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you have to wonder how many of these are true. So think about that tonight… in your bed… in the dark. Don’t worry, I’m sure the door moves on it’s own.
Photos by Noriko Sugiura.