The name Disney is synonymous with childhood storytelling. Fewer companies are more deeply ingrained in the social consciousness as Disney, most people have at least a few memories of their favorite animated characters while growing up and perhaps even as adults. The epicenter for storytelling and imagination has gained more than a few stories about itself over the years though, some not so in character for the creators of the Happiest Place on Earth. Rumors of deaths, suicides, and even a few hauntings have managed to attach themselves to the Disney story despite the company’s best efforts.

10 – The Haunted Mansion Once Scared a Man to Death

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

Disneyland’s famously spooky attraction can be a bit frightening for younger guests as trips through ghoul filled graveyards are not every child’s favorite pastime but a popular rumor exists that the ride is responsible for one real life ghost. The Haunted Mansion in its original incarnation was allegedly so scary it caused a park patron to have a heart attack and later pass away forcing the company to overhaul the entire experience to make it safer and noticeable less frightening.

09 – No One Dies at Disneyland

Disney World

Disney World – By Flickr user: Gerard McGovern :en:London [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Accidents and unforeseen circumstances are a natural part of our word but one that Disney has effectively stamped out from its parks according to this myth. It is said Disney will delay calling the official time of death until a patron or employee is completely off company property, keeping the Happiest Place on Earth also the only place to be free from dying.

08 – Walt Disney is Frozen in a Disney Vault

Walt Disney

Walt Disney – Agence de presse Meurisse [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Walt’s tendency to live a rather private life gave birth to the rumor that upon his death he was cryogenically frozen and placed in a secret Disney vault. Although the technology to successfully freeze the beloved creator was not fully developed, nor is it still, and despite Walt’s family stating he was cremated the rumor still persists.

07 – Several Rides at the Disneyland Theme Park are Haunted


Disneyland – Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

Stories of ghostly passengers being caught on camera are so common cast members have begun to call some of the apparitions by name giving more credence to the rumors.

06 – Donald Duck was Banned in Finland

Donald Duck

Donald Duck

Citing the character’s lack of pants as the reason for his denial of residence in Finland, rumor has it that the government deemed the under clothed duck to be too inappropriate for children.

05 – A Child Hung Himself in the Small World Attraction

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

A popular story began circulating online that during a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth a woman captured an apparent suicide on film. Complete with a copy of the picture the rumor was passed along various sites gaining more traction each time as people were curious to discover the truth behind the eerie photo.

04 – Walt Disney Serenades Guest in the Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion Door

Haunted Mansion Door – By SolarSurfer (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This rumor begin circulating after a guest noticed a singing bust bore an uncanny resemblance to the late creator giving rise to the belief Walt was immortalized in the famously haunted attraction.

03 – Walt Disney Created a Film to be Watched Upon His Death

Promotional still for Make Mine Music

Promotional still for Make Mine Music – By Walt Disney Productions [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ever the perfectionist and at times micro manager rumor has it Walt Disney aimed to control his kingdom beyond the grave. He created a film for the heads of each department of Disney to lay out his intended plan for the company continuing past his demise.

02 – Mothers are Noticeably Absent from Disney Movies Because Of Walt’s Guilt

Mickey Donald and Goofy

Mickey Donald and Goofy

Disney movies are famously unkind to lead character’s mothers as they are killed off very early in almost every film. This is said to represent Walt’s own guilt for the death of his mother.

01 – Real Human Bones are Used within the Pirates of Caribbean Ride

Pirates of Caribbean

Pirates of Caribbean

This rumor is actually true as a few Imagineers have come forward to say the original bones created for the ride looked unbelievable so real human remains were sourced from the UCLA medical department to be used instead. After becoming common knowledge it said the company removed all human remains with the exception of the skull and crossbones in the entrance to the ride.