Disney is known as "the happiest place on Earth," and that may very well be true. But in a theme park that covers as much ground as the city of San Francisco and hosts tens of millions of guests a year, it can't possibly be all sunshine and rainbows. Some really weird things are bound to happen...and have, according to the the following freaky urban legends...
A DEAD BELLHOP HAUNTS THE TOWER OF TERROR
I actually experienced this one myself as a former Cast Member for Walt Disney World while in college. At the Tower of Terror attraction, we "bellhops" rotated our positions throughout our shift. Wherever you ended up when the park shut down, you were responsible for the closing duties of that section. It was always creepy walking around the gothic grounds of the ride by yourself when the haunting, tinny music was playing, but the worst was whichever poor employee was working the Delta loading platform at the time the park closed (The ride has 4 loading platforms: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and 2 drop shafts: Echo and Foxtrot), because the person on each platform was responsible for riding through by him- or herself to check that things like lighting, music, and special effects were running smoothly.
Supposedly, a bellhop had a heart attack while loading people onto the ride on Platform D and died on the spot. His ghost reportedly haunts the ride now, causing all sorts of freaky unexplained things to happen.
We bellhops made a point to never let the person on Delta ride through alone. They'd wait until we were all finished with our duties and then we'd ride through together, or at least with one other person. Strange things happened every time: Lights would go off, leaving us in blackness. The people in the control room, who could see us via video camera, would swear the lights were on the entire time and nothing ever malfunctioned. The music would waver in and out. And occasionally, a dark, human-shaped figure would be spotted lurking around behind the machinery, but when you turned your head, it would be gone.
Don't believe me? Take a look...
Weird camera glitch or ghost? You decide.
SOMEONE HANGED HIMSELF ON THE SMALL WORLD RIDE...AND A GUEST GOT IT ON CAMERA
This urban legend is a fairly new one, having started to circulate in 1999. According to the legend, one day at Disneyland, the It's A Small World ride was suddenly shut down without warning. The lights came on, the music stopped, and an announcement came over the intercom asking guests to please vacate the ride immediately. When guests asked what was happening, they were only given evasive answers and hurriedly moved outside.
But a guest on the ride happened to have her camera with her at the time and she snapped a few pictures on her way out of the ride to use up the last of the roll. She thought nothing more of it until weeks later when her developed pictures came back to her...because this was the last picture on the roll (CLICK HERE - NSFW).
Yeah...that's exactly what you think it is. A child hanging from the rafters of the ride. He apparently committed suicide when no one was looking, and no one noticed until much later that a dead body was swinging above them as they passed below on the ride.
A BOY'S GHOST LURKS IN THE HAUNTED MANSION
We've all heard the stories about well-meaning, but none-too-bright guests dumping the ashes of their cremated loved ones in various Disney rides. Seriously, the Haunted Mansion even sells urns to dissuade guests from leaving human remains behind. But unfortunately, the spirits in those ashes don't always remain at rest. The ghosts of two little boys haunt the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the Haunted Mansion, one crying, one laughing. A guest supposedly accidentally snapped a shot of one of the ghosts, swearing that no one was there when he took the picture.
Said the picture taker
As you’ll see in the photo, it appears as though a child is peeking his head out of the doombuggy and looking directly at me. Not only was he not there when I took the pic, there wasn’t a child of this age within 20 people in front of me in line, and as you can see, he’s only a few doombuggies in front of me. Not only that, what’s he doing looking at me? There is NO flash and NO visible light coming from me [nightshot]. It’s all infrared and invisible to the naked eye.
I think it’s an incredibly spooky photo, and I have no idea where that kid came from.
WALT DISNEY'S GHOST STILL LEAVES THE LIGHT ON
When you enter Disneyland, not long after you pass through the entrance on Main Street, you will see the Fire House to your left. Walt Disney himself used to have an apartment on the second floor of the Fire House, and he would stay there often, hosting various VIPs and celebrities as his personal guests. Whenever he was staying at the apartment, he'd light the lamp in the second story window to let people know he was in residence.
Apparently, it became his permanent residence as his spirit never left.
The story says that a member of the custodial staff was cleaning the apartment shortly after Walt Disney had passed away, and turned the lamp off as she left and locked up. When she got outside, she looked up to see that the lamp was still on. Thinking she might have forgotten, she went back inside and turned it off a second time. When she looked up at the window, the same thing happened - the lamp was on again. So she returned to the apartment one more time, but didn't leave after turning off the lamp. Immediately, she heard a clicking sound and the lamp turned itself back on right in front of her. She ran out of the apartment screaming, and ever since, the park has kept the lamp burning as a tribute to Walt Disney, still watching over his life's work that he loved.
To this day, cast members report they can hear footsteps and knocking coming from inside the apartment, and occasionally from the corner of their eye, they'll see the curtains twitch and a brief flash of someone stepping back from the window.
THE "LOST" MICKEY MOUSE IN HELL CARTOON
This last one has nothing to do with any of the Disney parks themselves, but it might be the eeriest one on this list. It certainly creeped me out, and it's the middle of the day as I type this.
According to the urban legend, there is a "lost" black and white Mickey Mouse cartoon that, well, appears to depict Mickey in Hell. The first two minutes or so are nothing special. Just a sad-looking Mickey in the early animation style walking back and forth across a city landscape with random piano noises playing in the background. After that, the screen goes black for a few more minutes. Up until a few years ago, that's all anyone thought it was, a nonsense cartoon featuring a loop of Mickey doing nothing. But an employee named Leonard Maltin was sorting through the old cartoons of the 30s to transfer to digital copies and he noticed the cartoon was actually 9 minutes and 4 seconds long. So he decided to keep watching past the first two minutes.
And it's after the first two minutes when things get weird. Real weird.
In the sixth minute, the cartoon suddenly reappeared, but this time, the noise in the background was more like a strangled cry, gurgling and it grew louder over the next minute. The picture started to warp and distort, with the buildings and sidewalks stretching out into all sorts of impossible angles. And Mickey's sad face curved up into a sinister smile bit by bit.
By the 7th minute, the gurgles turned into a bloodcurdling scream and even stranger things started to happen. The picture distorted further, and colors that weren't possible with the technology of the time bled into the screen. And Mickey's face...Mickey's face fell apart. His eyeballs fell out and rolled down to his chin, his smile started to distort and stretch upward on the left side of his face like a demonic stroke victim. The scenery continued to stretch and break away in ways that human physics just does not work, while the buildings became nothing more than rubble floating in midair.
Maltin got too disturbed after that to watch the rest so he sent an employee into the room to finish the video with instructions they were to take notes on the last two minutes of the film.
Unfortunately, they never got that far.
The distorted screaming on the tape kept up, louder and louder, until 8 minutes and a few seconds into the video, then abruptly stopped as the image cut away to the normal Mickey Mouse face you see at the end of every cartoon. The music of a broken music box accompanied the new face. This kept up for the next 30 seconds.
Whatever is in the very last 30 seconds, no one except that poor employee ever found out. The employee supposedly stumbled from the room feverishly muttering "Real suffering is not known" seven times in a row, then grabbed a security guard's pistol and killed himself.
The only thing known about those last 30 seconds was from the scribbled notes of the dead employee: A Russian phrase that roughly translated to "the sights of Hell bring its viewers back in".
In other words, if you ever see a video floating around on the internet titled suicidemouse.avi...it's probably best you don't watch it.