We are hearing about the Disneyland urban legend that people scattering human ashes around Disneyland and Walt Disney World on rides like The Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. Well, now we found out that it is all true and it might happen a lot more than you think it does!
The Wall Street Journal revealed the truth and this sort of thing happens on a monthly basis. It occurs so much in fact that there’s a team of people who are called in to clean it up when someone scatter the ashes. There’s even a unique code that Disney employees have to tell when it happens.
The code is “HEPA cleanup” and HEPA refers to a special kind of filter that is used to suck up very fine particles such as human ashes. The WSJ interviewed the custodians who work at the parks that have had to clean up human remains. They also interviewed a few people that brought in the ashes to spread them. The report says:
Current and former custodians at Disney parks say identifying and vacuuming up human ashes is a signature and secret part of working at the Happiest Place on Earth. It is grisly work for them, but a cathartic release for the bereaved, who say treating Disney parks as a final resting place is the ultimate tribute to ardent fans.
The WSJ then goes into some of the specific details, like where the ashes are scattered:
Human ashes have been spread in flower beds, on bushes and on Magic Kingdom lawns; outside the park gates and during fireworks displays; on Pirates of the Caribbean and in the moat underneath the flying elephants of the Dumbo ride. Most frequently of all, according to custodians and park workers, they’ve been dispersed throughout the Haunted Mansion, the 49-year-old attraction featuring an eerie old estate full of imaginary ghosts.
This next quote is my favorite:
“The Haunted Mansion probably has so much human ashes in it that it’s not even funny,” said one Disneyland custodian.
This is insane! Now, next time you get on that ride you will know for sure that there are human ashes are scattered all over the place. It’s certainly not hard for people to take ashes into the park.
Some people told the WSJ that they hide the ashes in by putting them in prescription pill bottles, makeup compacts, and Ziploc bags that are hidden at the bottom of a purse. At that point, they just hope that they don’t get caught. If they are caught, they will get kicked out of the park.
Back in 2007, Disney disputed that this kind of thing happens at the park. After a woman was caught dumping a “powdery substance” out on Pirates of the Caribbean, a spokesman said, “The problem I have with blogs is they don’t necessarily have to have validated information.”
Well, now there is validated information.