Every Disney fan has heard their share of urban legends and spooky stories about Disney World.
In fact, some of us have even imagined our own stories about a few creepy things we’ve seen in the parks, like the former creepy clown slide at the pool at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, or the gigantic evil-grinning Jack-in-the-Box at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. But nothing matches the tales that guests and Cast Members continue to share that revolve around Magic Kingdom.
It IS home to the Haunted Mansion, after all, so it makes sense that guests have found some macabre inspiration to come up with scary stories about the most magical place on Earth. Here are some stories we’ve heard from Cast Members and guests.
Ashes on the Haunted Mansion
So this goes beyond urban legend and is actually fact (as confirmed by The Wall Street Journal) — guests have brought the ashes of their deceased loved ones with them to spread throughout Haunted Mansion. And it happens A LOT. Fortunately, one thing Disney is good at is clean-up: custodians use HEPA filters on industrial-strength vacuums to clean the Haunted Mansion, which means dearly departed Uncle Harold is just going to end up in the trash (so think twice before attempting this. You might have aspirations of sending grandma to rest at her favorite ride but she actually ends up in a vacuum bin in the utilidors!).
But here’s the thing — this is illegal. It’s also pretty gross. Please don’t do this. Please do not scatter human remains in Disney World, including the Haunted Mansion.
The story of George the Ghost is VERY well known amongst Cast Members and goes a little something like this: when Disney World was working on the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean in the 1970s, a welder named George had a tragic death. Some stories have him falling to his death, while others have him crushed by a falling beam (and no one has confirmed that such a death has ever happened). But the story goes that the ride is now haunted by ghostly sightings and strange happenings if Cast Members don’t do one certain thing.
Cast Members have to say “Good morning!” to the ghost of George every morning when they open the ride for the day and “Good night” when they close it down. If they ignore this, George will be upset and make weird things happen: this could mean that the ride malfunctions, doors will open and close themselves, phones might ring randomly in the control room, lights flicker, and more. George is generally regarded as a playful poltergeist looking to make mischief more than, you know, be actually haunt people.
Liberty Square Doll
If you’re wandering around Liberty Square and see an old creepy doll in one of the windows there, just walk on by. Although there isn’t a specific story tied to this Annabelle-wanna’ be, Cast Members do often tell guests that they’ve seen instances where the doll will occasionally move or change positions without anyone touching it.
Needless to say, that’s a nope from us! But if you want to see her, look for the building that has a wheelbarrow and cellar door — she’s in the window there.
The reasoning for this doll is actually quite interesting. Dolls were often placed in windows in colonial times to alert firefighters that children lived in that house, in case there was a fire. Interestingly, there’s also a firemen’s brigade crest on the building, signaling to firemen that the family donated money and thus should be saved in the event of a fire.
Come to think of it, that’s pretty creepy too!
You might remember long ago when the skies above Fantasyland were dotted with colorful little cars — the Skyway cars, to be exact. The Skyway was a simple ride that took guests from Fantasyland (where the Tangled restrooms are now) to Tomorrowland (the area to the right of Space Mountain) and vice versa. This opening day attraction ran until 1999.
Before the Skyway was officially shut down in Magic Kingdom, there were at least two incidents reportedly related to it, including one worker’s death. In 1999, according to the Orlando Sentinel, a custodian was killed when the Skyway unexpectedly started up while he was cleaning it. Disney was eventually fined $4,500 for a “serious” violation of safety standards.
Several months later, the Skyway closed. Disney claimed the attraction was planned to close before the incident occurred. According to the Orlando Sentinal, a Disney rep said, “It’s part of our ongoing efforts to phase out some of the older attractions and introduce new things to keep our parks exciting for our new and repeat visitors,” Walt Disney World spokesman Diane Ledder said Tuesday. “It’s just something whose time has come.” In reality, nothing was built in the spaces that occupied the Skyway stations for many years.
The Truth Of Alien Encounter
This next one is less ghost story and more “might have done some lasting psychological damage.”
Some of us remember the utter terror of Magic Kingdom’s ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (yep, that was the actual full name, kids!). The attraction was born of the idea to create something that appealed to teens and young adults, and yes, originally the ride was supposed to be based on the Ridley Scott Alien franchise of films. The xenomorph attraction never came to be (if you don’t count the ones you saw briefly on the Great movie Ridei n Hollywood Studios!) but what the attraction Imagineers came up with was still a bit much for Disney guests.
When the attraction soft-opened, guests complained that it was just way too dark (thematically AND physically!). After guests were herded into a scientific facility (AKA theater in the round) to witness a new teleportation device, they were informed that one guest in the room would be transported (terrifying if it was YOU they selected!!). A change in plans ultimately leads an off-planet alien to be transported to YOU instead and now you and your theater of trapped guests were basically now guinea pigs being exposed to a captured — and violent — alien. Of course, the alien escapes and terrorizes guests. Not only that, it violently “murders” the technicians running the demonstration. Yikes. Then it comes after you…strapped in a chair unable to escape. In total darkness.
Yeah, maybe that was a biiiit over the top. And anyone who rode it can distinctly remember the fear the attraction created when the alien was — quite literally — breathing down guests’ necks in the dark. Your harness was stomped on, you were drooled on, and you were growled and screamed at in pitch darkness. Warm breath breathed on your neck, tentacles slapped the back of your head (seriously!), and simulated blood spray (warm water) was splattered on guests, simulating your tech’s deaths!
It was a lot to take in and often resulted in hysterically crying children exiting the theater. Those of us here that remember it don’t do so fondly! It was a trip! Eventually, Disney re-vamped the ride, made it all about Stitch for Stitch’s Great Escape, and took all the frightening fun right out of it (although the hot dog burp still sends shivers down our spine). Now, that ride, too, has been closed.
Ghost Boy (and Man?) on Haunted Mansion
And it’s back to the Haunted Mansion for another ghost story. One of the most popular ghost sightings that isn’t a part of the 999 Happy Haunts is of a little ghost boy. Some claim to have seen him while, more commonly, Cast Members and guests have reported hearing crying.
A guest even claimed to see a child staring at him from a doom buggy in front of him when no child was actually there. A similar ghost boy is said to haunt the Disneyland Mansion as well, but there are far more stories out of that mansion than the Florida counterpart. Similarly, some claim to have seen an older man with a cane. He’s said to be seen riding the doom buggies on the stretch of track between the offload and loading area. We get it — even ghosts want a chance to ride the Mansion!
Haunted Mansion Spellbook
It makes sense that so many of the creepiest stories at Magic Kingdom revolve around the Haunted Mansion. What makes these myths extra tricky is that there are TWO Mansions (well, more if you count international parks!) and the stories can get crisscrossed. There’s one story that says that the original spellbook in the Haunted Mansion seance room (supposedly in Disney World) is a real tome of witchcraft from the 14th century. Some believe it has actual spells in it and everything! And because of this, Cast Members have trouble keeping it upright, and sometimes, it just vanishes.
Rumor has it that the spellbook seen now is a replacement because the original caused so much trouble. The truth? It’s always been just a prop created by Disney Imagineering.
So these are some creepy stories about the Magic Kingdom that you can share over a summer nighttime campfire while making S’mores to scare your friends and family with. And we’ll let you know if we hear any other creepy stories around the parks.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Have you heard any creepy stories about Magic Kingdom? Share them with us in the comments!