In case you haven’t noticed, it’s spooky season at Disney World. The fall and Halloween decorations are up, you can now buy Halloween costumes online, and Boo Bash After Hours Parties are well underway!
So how about some spooky stories to get you in the right mood for the holiday? Even better — how about some spooky stories from Disney World?
So light your Jack ‘o Lantern, turn out the lights, and get ready for some hair-raising stories from Disney World sure to keep you up at night.
George, the Pirates Ghost
According to Disney World lore, a worker named George was killed during the construction of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Magic Kingdom. Some stories say he fell off of something while working on the attraction, while others state he was crushed by a set piece in the burning city scene. Many Cast Members have said they’ve seen George’s ghost, but he’s more mischievous than evil.
But superstition means that Cast Members MUST tell George “good morning” at the beginning of the day and “goodbye” at the end of the day or he will make their lives difficult by causing the ride to malfunction. So the next time you hop into a Pirates of the Caribbean boat, you should probably whisper a quick “hello” to George — just in case you don’t want to get stuck on the ride.
Caesar, the malevolent ventriloquist dummy, was originally the star of his very own episode of The Twilight Zone. Somehow, though, he ended up at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, AKA the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (Funny how that seems to happen, eh?) And if you’ve been on the attraction, you’ve probably seen him in the basement — he’s on the right-hand side of the elevators when the lights of the room turn on before you exit.
Like George, Cast Members have claimed they must say hello and good night to Caesar every day or he will cause mischief around the ride. So when you see him (and get over your initial scare), be sure to give him a little wave, lest your elevator has more than the usual amount of problems…
Ashes of Loved Ones Eeeeverywhere
We’re sure you’ve heard the stories of how people will take the ashes of their Disney-loving family members and try to spread them at Disney World, and here’s the thing — those stories are 100% true! Not only is this unsanitary, but it’s also gross, and well, illegal.
But just know that people have tried to dump their loved one’s ashes all over the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, the pond beneath the Dumbo ride, and more. According to The Wall Street Journal, this happens at least once a month! But those ashes generally get vacuumed up and thrown out with the trash, so please…please…don’t do this.
If you’ve ever stayed at the Boardwalk Inn Resort at Disney World, you’ll have seen those creepy Nanny Chairs with the weird faces that no one would ever want to sit on (they totally look like they’re going to grab you, right?)! But those chairs are not just something Disney came up with — they’re actually based on chairs that existed in the 1880s.
Here’s the deal: at the time, Many more well-to-do kids back then had nannies. Nannies that would also take kids to the park or for a ride on a carousel. But the nannies didn’t necessarily want to ride the flying horses like the kids. Nanny Chairs were for adults to sit on while their kids rode on the horses. The chairs at the Boardwalk are replicas of those very real chairs. They even have names on the backs. You’ll find them scattered throughout the resort — and even creepier — they move. Not like the chairs levitate or anything, but Cast Members move the chairs around occasionally. Maybe you could have a spooky Nanny Chair scavenger hunt the next time you’re there?
Living With The Land
Wait, you might think. How could you POSSIBLY have a spooky story about Living With The Land at EPCOT? Well, we went down the rabbit hole over on Reddit, and found a very disturbing story about how the farmhouse on the ride is not what it seems! Granted this story is found under a very conspiracy theory-filled thread, so you can imagine how far-fetched it is — but it’s still scary!
Basically, someone claiming to be an undercover security officer at Disney World noticed that people were disappearing on that part of the ride. The story continues to get fantastical as the security officer talks about noticing a Masonic symbol on the farmhouse, and once he went inside, he ended up in an elaborate room with a marble altar (we told you it got weird). And there was also, apparently, a door that he couldn’t access because there was no key for it.
So there you have it, there is at least someone out there who thinks Disney is hiding the evil headquarters in Living with the Land. But we think it certainly makes the ride a bit more interesting now, don’t you?
If you’ve been on the Haunted Mansion, you’ve noticed the bride in the attic scene, but do you know her full story? In 2006, Disney Imagineers revamped her and turned her into Constance Hatchaway. The next time you’re on the ride, take a look around at the current bride, Constance — there are scattered wedding gifts, along with portraits of her with her husbands — but the husbands heads disappear in the photos.
Yes, she admits to beheading ALL of her husbands for their inheritances, and you can see how she did it when a hatchet materializes in her hands while she grins evilly at guests as they drift by in their Doom Buggies. Of all the happy haunts within the Haunted Mansion, Constance’s tale is probably the darkest. Eep. 😱
BTW, if you think the current ghost bride is creepy, you should have seen past versions of her! Older versions of the attic bride were, in many ways, CREEPIER. Just look:
Yeah, sweet dreams.
Disney’s River Country
Disney opened its first water park, Disney’s River Country, in 1976, but the park closed indefinitely in 2001. It wasn’t until 2005 that Disney finally announced that it wouldn’t reopen. Of course, there were many rumors surrounding its closure, including an incident involving the rare, but deadly amoebic meningoencephalitis, which resulted in the death of a child, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Granted, others just assumed it was a Disney World business decision to permanently shut the water park down, and eventually, the land was initially set to be used for the Reflections — A Disney Lakeside Lodge Resort, that, ironically, has also seemingly been abandoned by Disney. Perhaps that land is just cursed… . Regardless, the water park sat empty and largely abandoned for over a decade. An abandoned water park a stone’s throw from guests. Spoooooky.
The Bellhop Ghost
We’ve got another spooky story to share from the Tower of Terror. There’s an ongoing rumor (that hasn’t been substantiated) that a Tower of Terror bellhop had a heart attack on the ride. He died and the rumor says that his ghost can now be seen haunting the attraction. First the dummy, and now a ghost? Maybe it really is in The Twilight Zone?
Cast Members have reported witnessed ghostly mischief like seeing shadowy figures when no one else is around, lights randomly turning on and off, and the like. And many believe it’s the ghost of the bellhop who died there. It might possibly be the effect of the crazy creepy vibe in the attraction though — you never know!
Discovery Island Scandal
Discovery Island was no stranger to scandal before it shut down in 1999. Originally intended as a place to allow guests to observe wildlife (something similar to Disney’s Animal Kingdom), Disney was accused of mistreating the vultures that lived there. Disney was charged with animal cruelty, but the charges were dropped after Disney made improvements to the experience.
However, Discovery Island became a hot topic again after a man was arrested in May 2020 for sneaking in and trying to live there. Seriously. He had been camping on the island for several days despite police telling him to leave over a loudspeaker system. He was eventually apprehended. A random guy hiding out on the abandoned island near Fort Wilderness Resort. What could go wrong?
The Death of Buzzy
If you’re old enough to remember Cranium Command in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion at EPCOT, you might remember an adorable animatronic named Buzzy. The ride closed in 2007, but in 2019, reports began to surface that Buzzy’s clothing had gone missing and then that Buzzy himself was gone! Reports spoke about pools of leaked hydraulic fluid left where he once sat.
But wait, because the story gets MORE horrifying — a photo turned up online of Buzzy’s head. YIKES! Police tracked down the poster, who was a Cast Member, who had not just stolen Buzzy and his clothing, but also other costume pieces as well as other animatronics from Disney World, in an attempt to sell them on eBay. The former Cast Member was arrested in conjunction with the thefts.
The Tower of Terror Backstory
Disney LOVES a good story, and almost every attraction at Disney World has an elaborate story attached to it. But one of our creepiest stories is The Twilight Zone-inspired tale of the Tower of Terror. Here’s how it goes — in 1939, on a stormy night (HALLOWEEN NIGHT!), several guests checked into the Hollywood Tower Hotel, the grandest hotel in the city.
Five of these guests chose not to wait for the passenger elevator and entered the service elevator instead. As they rode up, lightning struck the hotel. When the elevator doors opened, the people had disappeared never to be seen again. CREEEPPPYYY! And you, too, can take that same service elevator straight into…THE TWILIGHT ZONE. (dun dun DUN!) Another creepy layer to this story — so many props and bobbles in the ride are from REAL Twilight Zone episodes. THIS ride, THIS story is supposed to be a “lost” episode that YOU now get to star in!
Spaceship Earth Ghosts
Spaceship Earth might seem like an innocuous kind of ride, but did you know it has two ghosts haunting it? Cast Members and guests have both reported seeing two children, a boy and a girl, playing near the entrance of the ride and even inside it!
As it stands, though, no one seems to know why — or how — they ended up there. But we’re sure you can use your imagination… (Oh, wait, wrong attraction!).
Zombies in World Showcase
We’ve seen our share of interactive games at World Showcase over the years. From 2009 through 2012, though, you could pick up a flip phone and participate in Kim Possible’s World Showcase Adventure. The game would send you on missions to select country pavilions that had interactive components.
In Germany, guests had to help defeat the villain, Professor Dementor. Part of the mission led to Germany’s miniature train village. But when you arrived at the train village, something horrifying happened – mini zombies would appear and take over. 🧟 There were zombies at Disney World! No better way to send you off than picturing teeny tiny zombies terrorizing the Norway Pavilion. 😂
So are you in the spooky spirit yet? We certainly hope so! And stay tuned because we’ll be covering all things Halloween at Disney World!
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Do you have any favorite spooky stories from Disney World? Share them with us in the comments!