• Magic Off the Record - Disneyland's Real-Life Happiest Haunts!

    This episode of Magic Off the Record is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction! I've had quite favorable responses so far to my past articles and I’m glad you folks enjoy hearing about that side of Disney that so few get to experience. For this next article, I thought I would get into the spirit of Halloween Time and share with you some of the more supernatural occurrences at the Disneyland Resort.

    Now, whether or not you believe in ghosts, there is no guess as to why many would like to take their final residence at the Happiest Place on Earth. Spending eternity at Disneyland doesn't sound like half bad a gig for the after life and many a ghost story are passed around the Resort from Cast Member to Cast Member. In my time here, I’ve picked up on lots of stories, and I thought that I would share a just few of them with you.

    “There’s a Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow…”

    Easily, the most haunted corner of the park is Tomorrowland which seemingly seems to e the home of a number of “Happy Haunts”. If you want a real ghostly experience, it seems you should strongly consider getting a job at Innoventions.

    Many believe Innoventions is home to a ghost by the name of Debbie. If you haven't heard her story, Deborah Stone was an 18 year old Cast Member working at the America Sings on its opening summer. When the show debuted, it changed the direction the building spun as it moved the theaters from stage to stage.

    Cast Members had developed a habit during the days of the Carousel of Progress of sticking their head in the next theater to talk to the Cast Member there. When the building was rotating clockwise, this was a fairly safe habit, as the dividing wall was coming toward the seated Cast Member, allowing them to visually see when to sit back in place. When they switched the direction of the building, it made it so that the dividing wall was now coming at you from behind as you stuck out your head.

    Whether it was carelessness or a freak accident was never determined but on July 8th, 1974 Debbie Stone was crushed between two of the walls inside the rotating theater, causing her to be the first Cast Member to pass away on Disney property. While the actual location on the ring (the spinning portion of the building) has been lost with time and refurbishments, the physical location is still marked by a memorial in the basement, which is just to the left of the current day “Tom Morrow” figure.

    Debbie is not a spirit that is disliked by Cast Members, in fact she is almost revered. The things that Debbie does to make herself known are mostly for the benefit of the Cast Members. For example, there was one day when all the show lighting went out in the building, causing an evacuation for the safety of the Guests (and a nice lengthy break for the Cast Members).

    When facilities came out to investigate the source of the lighting issue, they found a few of the cables physically unplugged from the dimmer rack. This wouldn’t have been so unusual had the dimmer rack not been stored in a locked closet which requires two separate keys from two separate facilities Cast Members, as well as requiring the building to be stopped before access with those keys would be possible.

    Indeed, it seems that playful spirits have unavoidably been known to interrupt the magic.

    “A One Way Trip”

    Another haunt you that might have encountered is the ghost of “Mr. One Way”. He can be found in and around the Space Mountain building. While his history seems to be unknown, what is known is that there have been multiple deaths in the area, his included. This area of the park seems to have a high volume of death both from guests passing away on the People Mover to those having a heart attack after riding Space Mountain. Another source fo the high death toll is the building’s close proximity to Disneyland First Aid where many guests have also passed away.

    Whatever his origins, though, Mr. One Way is no secret to the Cast Members who work in and around that building. Besides haunting the actual attraction (getting on for a ride, and disappearing before the ride is over), he has also been seen in the former Women’s Dressing room on the backside of the building. The dressing room has now been converted into offices and conference rooms for Tomorrowland Attractions and Imagineering. To this day, the Cast Members working in those offices will often times see a man walking by out of the corner of their eyes, only to take a closer look and see nothing there.

    Mr. One Way has also been spotted in the former Break Room and current Outdoor Vending Balloon Room. It is not uncommon for doors to open on their own, and foot steps to be heard. Even the former Space Place kitchen (current satellite kitchen for the “Inn Between”, the cast member cafeteria) is not immune from walk-in freezer and refrigerator doors opening wide and padlocks unlocking themselves. The uncertain history and random appearances of Mr. One Way make that whole building a creepy place to be alone and many Cast Members flat out refuse to do it.

    “Cry Baby”

    Our final real-life spook comes from the West Side of the park, and is a very common sight for guests and Cast Members alike. The spirit of a little boy has been seen often around the Haunted Mansion but also in areas near Critter Country and Frontierland. Stories all seem to have similar beginnings where a little boy will be seen crouched down, crying as if he is lost. When approached by a Cast Member or Guest, the child will stand up and run away, only to disappear behind a trashcan or shrub, never to be seen again.

    It is widely believed that this is a spirit of a boy whose ashes were spread in the Haunted Mansion (against Disney Policy, of course). While a HAZMAT team quickly cleaned up the ashy mess and properly disposed of the remains, the boy’s spirit still seems to remains, forever looking for the parents that left him alone at Disneyland.

    Welp, that's it for our Happiest Haunts tour. Next time you find yourself on the dark sides of Disneyland, take a look around and you never know what other-worldly spirits you might encounter! Thanks again everyone for the support with my new series, I hope you are enjoying and we’ll see you next week with another edition of Magic Off the Record!


    Comments 3 Comments
    1. DisneySquirt's Avatar
      Very Creepy and Cool, thanks!
    1. datroglodyte's Avatar
      These are awesome stories! Thanks! Perfect for the time of season
    1. dlfreak's Avatar
      Haha, nice! I imagine ghosts around Disneyland like Harry Potter they are welcome in the kingdom but usually stay to their regular place but sometimes are known to cause some mischeif around the castle. :-D
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