The Only Real Skeletons In Disneyland

The rumors are true – there are honest-to-goodness dead people in The Happiest Place On Earth.  However, what every rumor gets wrong is where they are.  After years of wondering this ourselves, we decided to get the details on each location within The Pirates of the Caribbean ride housing a real human skeleton and put the rumors of real skeletons in Disneyland to rest.  We covered this on a show recently, so if you want to have a listen while you look at the photos, you can grab that show here.

Update:  We recently got confirmation that the skull above the headboard in the bedchamber is also real!

Body #1

Real Skull 1This handsome fellow used to be a real person.  He walked and talked and had parents who loved him.  Probably.  But one thing he never did was visit Disneyland.  Now he lives there, positioned for all of us to smile at as we drift by on our pirate boats.  You can find this skull on the little island, right after you take that second drop down the falls.  Just look for the crab, you’ll find him.  Or her.   The skull and some of the bones are 100% real – the rest of the remains have long since rotted away or have been donated to other “people” and were replaced with plastic.


Body #2

Our next friend is a two-parter.  He lives on the same island as his friend above us, but only two parts are real – his skull and his rib-cage.  The rest?  Plastic parts that have been swapped out years ago, or moved to our third friend below.  This ex-person is forever stuck against a rock, his skull that once housed his brains now is home to a seagull.




Body #3

1403492_10202054065656180_403081268_oBeing trapped by a fallen beam is a fear most folks have, and it’s something that came true for the last body on our tour.  The third and final real skeleton is tucked away near the jail scene, towards the end of Pirates.  You can see this mangled mound of bones just as you enter, stuck under one of the burned-out beams, just near the first jail cell.   See him in there?  He still looks confused …


That is the entirety of ghostly dead things within Pirates of the Caribbean – at least things that are in there in purpose.  So next time you cross over into pirate territory, be sure to wave hello at the only three dead bodies in Disneyland.




24 Replies to “The Only Real Skeletons In Disneyland

  1. The only skull and bones that are real are the ones on the head board above the skeleton on the bed. None of the others are real.

    1. Hey Justin – thanks for commenting! We have actually looked at all the skulls and all the bones on display to put this myth to rest once and for all. The skulls we mentioned are 100% real, and have extra details on the inside of the skull around the nose, for example. The bones have evidence of being organic as well – small holes and such.

      I promise you, these are real skulls and real bones. We have seen them with our own eyes and held them in our hands.

    1. They were probably purchased from schools like UCLA as medical research tools, before plastic ones became wide-spread. I imagine in the 1950’s things like this were easier to purchase 🙂 Now it takes a lot of red tape to dispose of human remains, so the skeletons that are there keep decomposing and are replaced with plastic ones.

      1. Jason, skeleton’s don’t “decompose” which is why we have skeletal remains tens of thousands of years old, and older. Neanderthal remains date back 150,000 years. I assure you that the remains are merely being damaged through negligence.

        Justin, cool story bro. I’m all for skepticism and critical thinking, but it wouldn’t surprise me if OP’s claims are correct. I understand not believing random strangers on the internet, but at the same time, let’s just assume for a moment this is true; why do Disneyland still have these remains?

        OP; is there a reason Disneyland haven’t decided to do the right thing and return these remains? Surely with all their assets they could make a television show of putting them to rest, letting Disneyland’s skeletons out the closet, tracking back providence of each remains to it’s original purchase, or using DNA to find relatives and through genealogy find the missing person? Because that’s ultimately what this is, missing people.

        It’s heart breaking to think that these people are being used as an attraction, as a macabre graphical representation of mortality on a children’s ride. Thankfully Disneyland hasn’t bought Auschwitz. This is a travesty and a blemish on Disneyland’s name.

        1. Thanks for the comment! Bones can decompose, they are only preserved when buried in the right conditions. In the case of the bones in the ride, storing them in damp conditions for 60 years causes them to break down. So while maybe “decompose” isn’t the proper term, they are dissolving.

          The point of this article and the attached photos was to prove the bones legitimacy, not to spread more rumors. Those bones are real.

          I agree, thinking about it that way is a bit sad, but these people most likely left their body to science or something, and what better science is there than the science of Disneyland? 🙂 The sheer cost of running DNA samples on all of those bone fragments and such would be massive. Not to mention they won’t find a match unless the donors were in some sort of database already. Which back in the 50’s I doubt.

          I like it. It adds a bit of realism and spookiness to the place.

  2. bonemeal grinder, dumpster or medical skeleton these bones were never headed for a graveyard. these people either freely donated their bodies to science or were john/jane does who are now getting more respect than they did in life by those in the know. id rather be there than the other choices.

    1. We have had not only visual confirmation (real bones look very different up close than fake ones), but these have all been verified physically, by being picked up and examined. You can see the pitting of the real bones, the small sections in the nose cavities, the weight – it’s all there. We are just the first ones to actually prove it.

      1. Sorry, what “proof” are you talking about? Claims of “I saw it no for reals trust me” are not “proof”. Have you done any tests? Do you have any documentation? Were you given access to official records?

        You don’t even have attributable quotes by official personnel. You don’t have “proof”, you have baseless claims. Watch this:

        I saw a leprechaun in my backyard. No really, I examined it UP CLOSE and saw the hairs in his beard!

        There, by your standards, I have proof that leprechauns exist. Nonsense!

        1. Yes, you are correct. I don’t have a quote from official personnel. But what I do have is the up-close photos of the skulls, with the pitting and structures in place. Believe us, don’t believe us. I really don’t care, to be honest. We have concrete proof from a Disney employee, in the form of photos. If you can give me a photo of your leprechaun, we’ll talk.

  3. While I agree this is better than these people being cut open and body parts scattered and used for various reasons or being left in some state of decay at a body farm, such as the one at the University of Tennessee, I do not think this is what these souls had in mind when they donated their bodies to science. The whole point of someone doing so is to benefit mankind through medical research or forensic science HELPING SAVE LIVES. Is young children riding past in a boat pointing and smiling really a respectful way to treat the dead? I am a huge Disney fanatic( so much so that I have Simba abd Nala on my leg), but Walt has seriously disappointed me on this one. These people should of had proper burials. Period end of story. To prove my point, look at the case of Elmer Mecurty whose body ended up in a haunted funhouse( in a theme park nonetheless) after being a sideshow attraction. It’s a very sad story.

    1. If what ive been told about about medical research cadavers is true once they are finished they are creamated and buried in bulk. I cant speak for everyone but id rather end up in disneyland

    2. Btw elmer mccurdy was the victim of an unscrupulous funeral parlor owner who decided to seek an alternative form of payment when he couldnt find a relative to pay for the funeral. He wasnt given the choice to donate his body or not.

  4. What the heck no one would have ever known that there are real ones at Disney land I mean it’s a kid place like really

  5. Do you have close-up pictures of the fake skulls to compare these with? Also, they let you hold the bones, really? How did you get permission to do that?

    1. Thanks for commenting, RB – I do not have the side-by-side, which would have been amazing to get. I cannot comment on how, unfortunately, because there may be jobs at risk if I were.

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