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Hitchhiking ghosts

It's not hard to track down a ghost at Disney's theme parks. But it will usually be one of the audio-animatronic variety, hanging around in the Haunted Mansion. As we've explained before, there are plenty of urban legends about horrible deaths at Disney theme parks. And, of course, a handful of Cast Members and visitors really have died at the parks in the past. So it's inevitable that myths have circulated over the years about realghosts that haunt Disney attractions. Some of those myths are related to actual deaths in the parks, and we've chosen to ignore those. But there are still plenty of legends about ghostly presences at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to go around. Here are 6 of the most famous (or infamous) spirits that you might encounter on your next visit...

6. George, the dead welder (Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Kingdom)

Pirates of the Caribbean

Image © Disney

At the Magic Kingdom, Cast Members working on Pirates of the Caribbean warn newcomers about the ghost of George, which supposedly haunts the attraction. George is said to have been killed during the construction of the ride, either by electrocution or by a falling beam. Cast Members claim to have seen a figure roaming around the attraction on security cameras, but that there is nobody there when they go to check. They even say "good morning" and "good night" to George, who is said to have a mischievous streak that causes him to shut down the ride or play other tricks when he is not shown sufficient respect. The reality is that there was no George, and that nobody died during the construction of Pirates of the Caribbean. In Realityland(a must-read for Disney fans), author David Koenig speculates that he is probably an amalgamation of two workers who actually died in the years following the attraciton's opening, elsewhere at Walt Disney World (one was killed during the construction of an aluminium boat for the Seven Seas Lagoon, while another was electrocuted while working in a tunnel).

5. The freaky ghost dolls (It's a Small World, Disneyland)

It's a Small World

Image © Disney

There are a number of legends around It's a Small World, including that former Cast Members who loved the ride during life have decided to come back and haunt the attraction after their death. In a myth that's sure to creep out anybody who finds those little dolls just a little scary, they are said to come to life all by themselves at night, despite the ride being shut down. Perhaps that what inspired the unsettling Chinese knock-off of It's a Small World seen in the video below: You can check out the zombie-like dolls for yourself by visiting Suzhou Amusement Land.

4. The ghost children of Tom Sawyer Island (Disneyland)

We all know about the feral cats that come out at night at Disneyland to hunt down rodents. But less well known are the ghostly children that supposedly join them on Tom Sawyer Island. Cast Members claim to have seen kids running around on the island long after the park closes - but when they go to look for them, they are nowhere to be found. Could they simply be mistaking the cats for children, or being hoodwinked by real kids who have hidden themselves away on the island? Or are the spirits of departed Disney-loving children really making themselves at home?

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Hope I win. I'm taking my grandsons there this week.

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