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There are many "ghost stories" about Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, and some concern the rarely seen pet cemetery on the west side of the building.


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Said to have been added some time in the 1980s by Imagineer Kim Irvine (daughter of Leota Toombs, who provided the face and voice for Madame Leota in the ride), the pet cemetery was generally only visible to those who used the wheelchair-accessible side entrance to the mansion's foyer.


The original Haunted Mansion pet cemetery is on the west side of the building adjacent to Critter Country. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

At some point (some say in the 1990s, while others say it was after Disney built the Mansion's new wheelchair ramp in 2003), Imagineers added another pet cemetery, this time in the front of the Haunted Mansion, along the main queue, where park guests could see tombstones for "Beloved Lilac" the skunk, "Rosie" the pig, and "Old Fly Bait" the frog. They left the original pet cemetery in place, although the only people who see it most days now are cast members.


The concrete structure at the back of the pet cemetery is the roof of the exit from the Haunted Mansion. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

There are four tombstones in the original cemetery, with a planter atop a fifth, unmarked pedestal in the center of the lawn. Cast members say they often discover planter toppled over during the night, whether due playful spooks or just a poorly timed landing by one of the ducks who sleep in the cemetery.


Cast members often find the planter in the center of the pet cemetery toppled over. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Inscriptions

Stripey


Skunks seem to be a popular pet at the Haunted Mansion; another one is "buried" in front of the mansion. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

IN LOVING
MEMORY
OF OUR PET
STRIPEY
YOU MAY BE
DEPARTED BUT
YOUR PRESENCE
WILL ALWAYS
LINGER ON

Bully


Cast members say they occasionally find a cigarette placed in Bully's mouth, a reference to his tombstone inscription. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

R.I.P.
BULLY
YOU DIDN'T
DRINK
YOU DIDN'T
SMOKE
I JUST CAN'T
FIGURE WHAT
MADE YOU
CROAK

Miss Kitty


Some claim that Miss Kitty's tombstone marks the real grave of an Imagineer's pet cat, but cast members insist there are no animal remains in the cemetery. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

IN MEMORIAM
MISS KITTY
AFTER LOSING
EIGHT LIVES YOU
STILL HAD NO FEAR
YOU CAUGHT A
SNAKE IN YOUR
NINTH AND THAT'S
WHY YOU'RE HERE

Big Jake


Poor Jake just couldn't resist chasing that toad. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

BIG
JAKE

HERE LIES
MY GOOD DOG
JAKE CHASED
A TOAD DOWN
A WELL WAS HIS
ONE MISTAKE

If you'd like a peek at the original pet cemetery. the only way to see it is to ask a cast member to take you back for a visit. Most cast members are happy to oblige a quick look if it's a slow day and there are enough people working, but please be courteous if they have to ask you to try another time.



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(Send an email to Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix)

Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (@MousePlanetAVP) is an original MousePlanet staffer and manages to find time for all of this while running two retail stores, MouseShoppe and CharmingShoppe.