The Tombstones and Creepy Old Crypts of Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion

Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion

Dear Lou…

We just love the Haunted Mansion! Every time we go, we just love looking at the graves in front of the entrance, and we just noticed the mausoleum at the exit. Were they always there (I don’t remember the mausoleum)? And are the names on the graves of real people or just made-up?

OK, first things first. I love the Haunted Mansion as well! To me, there is nothing else quite like it in any park in WDW. The nostalgia, the effects… it’s great.

Now, on to the questions (posed to me by someone during a recent trip to WDW, but asked of me more than once).

The mausoleum at the end of the attraction was always there, but may be overlooked by people who are still shaking, laughing, or running as they exit the Haunted Mansion. As far as the tombstones, they have always been there… and always will be, I believe.

The Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion

The tombstones at the entrance to the Dutch Gothic home of the Graceys are there not just for show, but are a silent, standing tribute to many of Walt Disney World’s (and especially the Haunted Mansion’s) contributors. As is often done in attractions throughout the parks, Imagineers honor those men and women who have helped create some of the true magic of WDW. Sometimes they are hidden, while other times, as here, they are more obvious.

After you pass through the menacing wrought-iron gates surrounding the Haunted Mansion, you will encounter the home’s cemetery, (conveniently located right outside the entrance). Here you will find a number of witty headstones with epitaphs (written by Disney Legend Xavier Atencio), not to the “dearly departed”, but in tribute to the many Imagineers who helped develop the Haunted Mansion.

Here is a list of the tombstone inscriptions and the Imagineers who inspired them:

Requiescat

Francis Xavier,

no time off for

good behavior

R.I.P.

Legendary Imagineer Francis Xavier “X” Atencio helped develop the Haunted Mansion story line, wrote the theme song’s lyrics, and helped come up with the tombstone inscriptions.

Dear departed

Brother Dave,

he chased a bear

into a cave

This stone was named after Dave Burkhart, who was the model builder for the Haunted Mansion.

WDW Haunted Mansion Tombstones | James Kirkikis

At peaceful rest

lies Brother Claude,

planted here

beneath this sod

Claude Coats was the Imagineer who came up with the layout of the OmniMover ride track for the Haunted Mansion, as well as numerous concept sketches.

Haunted Mansion Omnimover | Haunted Mansion Fandom

Some of the “Dearly Departed”

In memory of

our patriarch,

dear departed

Grandpa Marc

Marc Davis, a legendary designer and artist for Disney, as responsible for almost all of the concept art for the Haunted Mansion, including many of the humorous characters and scenes.

Master Gracey

laid to rest,

no mourning please

at his request

Farewell

Yale Gracey was responsible for many of the special effects seen in the Haunted Mansion , including the stretching portraits and the séance room, as well as for a number of attractions throughout Walt Disney World.

Rest in peace

Cousin Huet,

we all know

you didn’t do it

Cliff Huet was an architect and lead interior designer.

Here lies

good old Fred,

a great big rock

fell on his head

R.I.P.

WDW Haunted Mansion Tombstones | James Kirkikis

This inscription is a tribute to Disney Legend Fred Joerger, an art director that created numerous plaster effects for the Haunted Mansion. He is also honored with his name on a window above Main Street, USA.

Here lies a man

named Martin,

the lights went out

on this old Spartan

Bud Martin was the director of the Imagineering special effects department.

R.I.P.

In memoriam

Uncle Myall,

here you’ll lie

for quite a while

Chuck Myall was a designer at WED Enterprises who aided in the overall planning of the Magic Kingdom.

Wathel R. Bender,

he rode to glory

on a fender

Peaceful rest

An innovator in the area of Audio-Animatronics, Wathel Rogers also helped program many of the figures in the Haunted Mansion.

R.I.P.

Mister Sewell,

the victim of

a dirty duel

Peaceful rest

Bob Sewell was one of the head modelers at WED Enterprises.

Good friend Gordon,

now you’ve crossed

the River Jordan

Gordon Williams designed much of the sound effects for the Mansion and assisted with the Audio-Animatronics programming.

Madame Leota from Disney’s Haunted Mansion Séance

Dear sweet Leota,

beloved by all

In regions beyond now,

but having a ball

Leota Toombs | Disney Parks Blog

The most recent addition to the “family plot”, how could we forget “little” Leota Toombs? She was an artist at WED whose face was used as the model for the head in the crystal ball for the séance scene, and so the character was named “Madame Leota” in her honor. Keep your “eyes” on the headstone for a little surprise – it opens its eyes every so often to see who’s coming over, then closes them again in silent vigilance.https://www.youtube.com/embed/zy9vTq8iEvc

As you exit the Haunted Mansion, you will also find a crypt on the left hand side. The names found on the two crypts (with their tongue-in-cheek pronunciations in parentheses) are:

Asher T. Ashes (ashes to ashes)

Wee G. Bord (ouija board)

I. Trudy Dew (I truly do)

Dustin T. Dust (dust to dust)

Manny Festation (manifestation)

Metta Fisiks (metaphysics)

Pearl E. Gates (pearly gates)

Rusty Gates (rusty gates)

Hail N. Harty (hail and hearty)

C.U. Later (see you later)

Hal Lucinashun (hallucination)

Rustin Peese (rest in peace)

I.M. Ready (I am ready)

Hap A. Rition (apparition)

I. Emma Spook (I am a spook)

Paul Tergyst (poltergeist)

M.T. Tomb (empty tomb)

Love U. Trudy (love you truly)

Clare Voince (clairvoyance)

Bea Witch (be a witch)

In Spiritual Repose…

Lastly, there is poor Bluebeard’s final resting place. Maybe he was a good pirate, but he was not the luckiest guy when it comes to picking the ladies, it seems…

1440

BLUEBEARD

here lieth his loving wives

Penelope – died 1434

Abigail – 1435

Anastasia – 1436

Prudence – 1437

Pheobe – 1438

Eugenia – 1439

Lucretia –

Seven winsome wives

Some fat, some thin

Six of them were faithful

But the seventh did him in

Hope you enjoy the Haunted Mansion as much as I do.. and remember…

Hurry baaaaacccck…. hurry baaaaccckkk…. be sure to bring your “Death Certificate”, if you decide to join us!

Louis Mongello has been fascinated by Walt Disney World throughout his more than 40 visits, and in the process learned everything he could about the history, secrets and inner workings of the resort. He is also the author of the Walt Disney World Trivia Book: Secrets, History and Fun Facts Behind the Magic.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: