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Creepy Disney Conspiracy Theories

Posted in Horror Attractions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

For the majority of us, Disney is one of the earliest forms of media we are exposed to. From the dynamic and colourful films to a range of spectacular theme parks all around the world, Disney is universal and has tapped into our subconscious from an early age. A subject that completely fascinates me is the notion that Disney has a dark side. There’s a creepy aspect to a medium that on the surface is associated with happiness and positivity but possesses a sinister underbelly and speculated subliminal messages. Unclear of where these myths and urban legends began, they have certainly grown in interest due to the power of the internet and the frequency of the creation of YouTube videos, Buzzfeed Articles etc. that explore these chilling tales from the Land of the Mouse and bring them to the forefront.

Mickey Mouse

In this article, I am going to discuss what I consider some of the weirdest, creepiest Disney conspiracy theories that have resonated with me. These include both Disney movies and spooky occurrences from the parks themselves. Please bear in mind that these theories may or may not be true or are somewhat based in truth.

Creepy Disney Princesses

**Disclaimer Warning** There will be discussion of unsettling subjects such as death and suicide so please do not continue reading if this is triggering in any way. This article is created to shed light on these fascinating conspiracies and to share opinions on them.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts. In the comments below tell me which Disney conspiracy theories have gotten under your skin to an unsettling effect.

So… Let’s get down to it, wish upon a star and discover why Disney really is the place where nightmares come true!

The Small World Supposed ‘Suicide’

‘It’s a Small World’ is Disney’s most infectious ride. Built originally in its Californian theme park back in the 1960’s, the ride consists of a gazillion audio-animatronic dolls representing nationalities from all over the world while the rider is directed through the scenery in a small boat. The ride is situated in Fantasyland and exhibits a positive and uniting message of the whole world standing together as one.

small world

The supposed urban legend allegedly occurred back in 1999. A guest at the park was riding the ‘Small World’, when suddenly the ride had to be evacuated under unknown circumstances. As the guest was vacating the ride she decided to use up the last of the film on her camera and unintentionally captured a very disturbing image.

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Allegedly, a small child can be seen hanging from the ceiling as passengers make their way to the exit. The image itself is fairly blurred however there does appear to be a human-like figure dangling from the ceiling. Disney of course never confirmed the incident; hopefully it is just a misunderstanding and a trick of the camera. This mysterious myth is deeply chilling as well as shudder-inducing and is not a pleasant thought to associate with the wonderful world of Disney! On a less serious note but creepy in a whole other light, cast members have claimed that late at night, the pesky dolls come alive on their own accord and switch places with each other, this myth is totally horror movie plot worthy!

The Tragic Death of Debbie Stone

This next Disneyland ‘myth’ is deeply disturbing and tragically true. That said the second part of this legend, which involves a ‘ghost story’, is disrespectful to the family and the memory of the deceased as it is based purely in the fantastical. The unfortunate fact is that this incident quickly became fodder for elaborate urban legends and remains one of Disney’s most infamous tragedies.

America-Sings

In 1974, a high school graduate, named Debbie Stone bagged her dream job at Disneyland for the summer in order to save up for college that same year. She was assigned to work on a brand new, musical extravaganza attraction called ‘America Sings’. The attraction involved rotating stages that showcased a selection of sequences depicting the evolution of American musical history. ‘America Sings’ featured expertly, uncanny animated audio-animatronic animals throughout the show.

Debbie’s role was the ‘hostess’, she was to stand at the side of the stage while the attraction was in progress and greet guests at the beginning and wave them goodbye once the show had finished. It was like any normal shift for Debbie when the most tragic and unfortunate accident occurred.

According to an article on Buzzle.com, “The only glitch was that in the previous ride ‘Carousel of Progress’, the theaters moved around the nucleus in a clockwise direction. This meant that the walls on the left-hand side of the stage moved away from each other. But in ‘America Sings’, the rotation was reversed, which meant that the walls moved towards each other on the left-hand side of the stage and closed in place to separate each theater from the other.”

Disturbing fake footage has been created ‘depicting’ Debbie’s shocking death and is available on YouTube. The audience members were said to have heard a blood-curdling scream which has been chillingly re-created in this video that I wouldn’t recommend watching. What happened to Debbie is exceptionally frightening.

debbie stone

The poor young woman had been crushed between the revolving walls and the worst aspect is no one fully knows how it could even have happened. It would be in poor taste to speculate when the matter of fact is that a young woman with her whole life ahead of her was tragically killed in a freak accident that no one could foresee happening. Unnervingly, ‘America Sings’ closed for a mere two days and then re-opened to the public with new staff safety measures in place until it’s closure in 1988. Returning to the ‘ghost story’ rumor, cast members have alleged that the voice of Debbie Stone can be heard near the site, heeding the warning of ‘be careful’ to those who approach the area.

The story of Debbie Stone is one of the most haunting and grim incidents to come out of ‘the happiest place on earth’ and what is most terrifying is the unexplained nature of her death.

Subliminal Messages in Disney Films

Subliminal Messages in Disney films has been a hot topic of discussion for eons. Are Disney really adding in sexual symbolism into their movies as part of a sinister plot by the Illuminati? or are animators just joking around? Could we as an audience be reading too much into it and believing what we want to believe?

Aladdin Subliminal

In an article conducted by the Huffington Post, former Disney animator Tom Sito debunked the myths, from the priest in The Little Mermaid’s supposed ‘erection’ to the word ‘SEX’ on full display in the sky during ‘The Lion King’. What is noticeable is when comparing the remastered Disney DVD’s to the original VHS versions, the subliminal messages have been removed.

After being made aware of the ‘inappropriate proposition” Aladdin makes in the 1992 film when he is seen sneaking up to Princess Jasmine’s balcony on the magic carpet, I dug out my original VHS tape out of curiosity to see if there was any truth to the rumor. As Aladdin is confronted by Raja the tiger he is heard uttering the dialogue “good children, take off your clothes”. The suggestive language could be heard plain as day on the UK 90’s VHS tape I owned. Both myself and my best friend heard the same thing yet when I eventually bought the film on DVD in the 2000’s, the weird whispers were no longer included during the scene.

Disney clearly encompasses an awareness of the conspiracies that have been drawn from their films so instead of simply debunking them and leaving the ‘faux-messages’ in they have edited them out as if they’re naughty school children who have been caught out being up to no good! It’s no secret that Disney is conscious about it’s family friendly image and will go to any lengths to ensure that remains intact. The thought of the company deliberately trying to sexualize children through subliminal messaging is creepy as hell but it’s more curious as to why they would make it look as if it never happened by erasing the bizarre messages from the remastered versions of their classic films.

Suicide Mouse

Mickey Mouse Hell

‘suicidemouse.avi’ is a creepypasta, the internet phenomenon that is the modern day equivalent of  traditional ‘campfire tales’. Evidently, this urban legend is just exactly that, an eerie story created for the internet generation in order to freak out it’s conspiracy hungry readers. This one centers on a ‘lost cartoon’ from the 1930’s featuring Mickey Mouse. Created in black and white, the cartoon begins as standard fare, it shows Mickey walking through the city streets on a loop. He appears distressed which is where this story takes a dark turn. Allegedly the cartoon was very short and nothing much was thought of it. Then a Disney employee named Leonard Maltin accidentally stumbled across the cartoon and discovered a longer version. Mickey Mouse was depicted in hell and sinister events followed, including Mickey’s eyeballs falling out of his face, unsettling piano music, distorted sounds and colour schemes that wouldn’t have been made available to the technology of it’s time. The terrifying tale ends with Maltin uttering the words “real suffering is not known” before taking his own life. This creepypasta is an example of an effective urban legend, subverting something familiar into something grotesque and nightmarish. The full CreepyPasta can be read here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Suicide_mouse

Haunted Disneyland

Disney Haunting

There is a rumor circulating the internet that Disneyland guests have sneakily scattered their loved ones ashes throughout the park namely on Disney’s flagship rides, The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.  These acts of grief have caused rumors of ghostly sightings and eerie incidents at Disneyland. At the end of The Haunted Mansion ride, cries of a little boy can be heard, the same little boy is said to also haunt Pirates after his mother scattered his ashes on the site without Disney’s permission. There’s a mystery passenger known as ‘Mr One Way‘ who rides Space Mountain then vanishes into thin air. Mr One Way always joins the ride next to a passenger who is in a vehicle, alone. An unexplained entity was caught on CCTV late at night at the park, drifting through main street and a former worker named George is said to haunt Pirates of the Carribbean and if employees don’t wish him a good morning or good night then the ride will malfunction throughout the day. It’s fair to say that imaginations can run wild and while these stories are goosebumps-inducing and heart stoppingly scary, there’s no real evidence to back them up. Disney however sure could capitalize on it. Taking the portrayal of some of their villains into account and bold, audacious 80’s movies such as Return to Oz and The Watcher in the Woods, Disney can do scary and do it well. A film focusing on a haunted theme park with a family friendly twist could be a promising idea.

Thank you for reading and check out my Social Media links for more of that Horror good stuff-
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Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

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Hayley’s Top 5 Disturbing Moments in Horror!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Being a seasoned horror fan you think you’ve seen it all, therefore when you discover a film that unexpectedly gets under the skin, infiltrating the mind and completely disturbing you then you’ve found something truly effective. Being scared by a horror movie is completely subjective and mine may be a little more obscure than most. Here is my top 5 personal list of moments in movies (and one television show) that have utterly freaked me out since childhood and beyond.

WARNING: There will be spoilers.

me

 

5. Trust (2010): Rape Scene plus End Credits.

trust-trailer-header

Positioned at number 5 due to being the most recent and inspiration for this list, Trust is directed by David Schwimmer, best known as Ross Gellar in hit sitcom Friends. Trust is a cautionary tale about the dangers of online relationships. The premise centres around naive fourteen year old girl, Annie (Liana Liberato) who develops an online relationship with a boy named ‘Charlie’. ‘Charlie’ turns out to be a man in his 30’s and lures Annie back to a seedy motel room where he goes on to rape and molest her. Its harrowing viewing as Annie pleads with him to stop and we hear everything while the camera fixates on the ugly, garish wall paper creating a somewhat nauseating feeling, we see that ‘Charlie’ has placed a camera discreetly in order to capture the ordeal. While not even a horror film and more of a crime drama, Trust is an eye-opening film experience that all should see, parents and children alike. It goes to a dark place with how much it portrays and the devastating effects on both Annie and her family. Without revealing too much the end credits provide some heartbreaking revelations with an unnerving final shot. The film led me to read about a found-footage horror with similar thematics titled Megan is Missing (2011). From what I’ve been told about the film its not very well made and there’s some brutal images associated with it related to fetish torture, however the final 22 minutes are gut punching and highly disturbing taking the online predator concept to all kinds of depraved levels. For at least the time being, Megan is Missing is a film I’ll avoid. Forget the boogeyman, this is realistic horror.

4. Pet Sematary (1989): Zelda.

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Forget Freddy and Jason, this creepy character from the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is one of the scariest elements of 80s horror. Within a flashback segment, we are told a traumatic childhood tale from Rachel Creed (Denise Crosby) of how her gravely ill sister Zelda was locked away until her final days. Zelda is skeletal and inhuman in appearance, the scene is both sad and frightening, especially viewing it at a young age as many of us did, my recollection being late night on Channel 5 watching it alone in the dark. We see a young Rachel reluctantly feed Zelda in disgust and choking noises are heard. She is played by a male actor Andrew Hubatsek who does an exceptional job at freaking the audience out with his portrayal. Hearing her call Rachel’s name sends chills down the spine. Rachel speaks of her hopes of Zelda’s death and her fears that she’ll be held responsible, an absolutely disturbing notion for a child to contend with. A later scene shows Zelda menacingly address the camera screaming at Rachel that she’ll “Never get out of bed again”. If you grew up in the 80s or 90s no doubt the idea of Zelda being at the end of your bed was a terrifying thought.

3. Frighteners (1997): If You Meet a Fairy…

CITV-Logo

This one was discussed on the Ghostface Girls podcast episode of Childhood Horror and is pretty much an obscure choice. Not many will remember the seemingly forgotten CITV Horror anthology series, Frighteners. Apparently airing between 1996 and 1997 Frighteners showed four episodes in total, the final one being “If You Meet a Fairy…” I recall viewing it one afternoon after school, if memory serves me correct the episode was about a young girl in the Victorian era who discovers fairies at the bottom of the garden. At first the creatures are nice but soon turn sinister as they torment the girl and her family. Its explained on this old 2006 forum, Vault of Evil:

“During the 90’s i remeber seeing a episode from some horror anthology series which creeped the hell out of me as a kid. Ive looked high and low but i cant remeber what it was called and its driving me mad.

The one episode i can remeber goes like this. I think it was set during early 1900’s and was about a little girl finding a little fairy at the bottom of her garden. She takes it in and keeps it in her dolls house but then things take a sinister turn. Her little sister begins acting strangly and the fairy (which looks more and more evil) It begins folowing her to dinner and stabbing her ankle untill she tosses it some meat to eat. More and more of the evil creatures begin showing up and she resorts to locking them away in her celler and asking her cousins for help. When she shows them the captive fairies in the gloom they mistake them for small animals and let them out. Horrific screams echo through the house as we see the mother, youngest daughter and maid in the nursary. The maid hurries down the hall but sees something terrible offscreen and begins screaming at the unseen horde of giggling/screeching monsters. The mother hears the maids cries and looks at her child which suddenly has the distorted giggling face of one of the fairy/trolls. It then faded to black as the sound of her screams were slowly drowned out by the giggling voices of the fairies. This is the only episode i remeber and i have a nagging feeling that it was part of a kids TV show on CITV or CBBC. I doubt it however as the children were actually eaten alive by the troll/fairies but i cant help shake the feeling.”

It was definitely the fairies giggling and distorted face that I recall which bothered my seven year old former self. There’s barely any information about the anthology or this particular episode online, no youtube footage and no google images. Its as if its faded into obscurity like some sort of creepypasta Candle Cove style!

2. Resurrecting the Street Walker (2009): Snuff Murders.

resurrecting-the-streetwalker

British horror Resurrecting the Street Walker was part of the Abertoir Festival line up back in 2009, the first full year I attended. It was a film I went into completely blind and one of my first experiences of a hard-hitting indie film through the festival circuit. Resurrecting the Street Walker is about an ambitious, low budget filmmaker that comes across an incomplete black and white underground film from the 1980’s. He gradually becomes fascinated with the idea of finishing the film which leads him into the mysterious and sickening world of snuff. The film is presented in a mockumentary style documenting the filmmaker’s downfall toward the dark side as he grows more and more obsessed with the ambiguous Street Walker, evoking the video nasties panic and fear over the existence of snuff films. The performance from James Powell as James Parker and direction were powerful and convincing enough to create an unnerving reaction as he is driven insane by the enigma of the snuff film that he goes to complete it by murdering innocent people, including a pregnant colleague, taking things to a whole other shocking level. Having the film shot in black and white contributed to Street Walker’s grim and gritty tone as it breaks the fourth wall creating something that cuts closely to the bone. The movie undoubtedly upset me with snuff being a disturbing topic and left me speechless as I left the cinema. Resurrecting the Street Walker is available on DVD with some positive reviews over on amazon however its not a film I’ve discussed much since amongst the horror community and seems to have faded into the background despite being utterly effective and quite a nasty, mean-spirited movie.

1. The Witches (1990): Stuck in the painting.

witches

Without a doubt The Witches is a strong contender for most frightening children’s film of all time. Its consistent sinister tone throughout is uncomfortable viewing incorporated with its nightmarish visuals. Its even uneasy re-watching as an adult. Years ago I would have said the moment where the Grand High Witch (the superb Anjelica Huston) reveals her true self by peeling off her own face to be the scariest or possibly the scene at the beginning where Luke (Jansen Fisher) is goaded to come down from his tree house by an evil witch with glowing purple eyes. Intense stuff! However the most nightmare-fuelled moment in Nicholas Roeg’s Children’s chiller is where a young girl is captured down an alley way by a witch in a traumatic flashback told by the Grandmother (Mai Zetterling). The next time the girl is seen she is trapped in a painting forever with no escape until eventually she fades away. Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name, the moment is creative and frightening setting up a dark, twisted and threatening world for children’s imaginations. Its bold and daring in what it does. If you grew up in the 90s this film was responsible for numerous nightmares and was the first film that ever truly scared me. The strangest part was as I got older and began watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser etc. nothing came as close to the fright factor as The Witches, its an exceptionally chilling piece of children’s horror cinema.

Do you agree with the list? Comments & Feedback is appreciated, also tell me what have been your most disturbing on-screen moments in film and television.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.