It’s been 15 long years since Disneyland guests have enjoyed the original headstones that graced the landscape of the Haunted Mansion attraction but they’re finally back to their original (and final?) resting place.
Beyond the delightful gags on each of them, Disneyland went deeper into the inspiration behind each of these poor unfortunate souls named on the headstones that have presumably returned to the ranks of the 999 happy haunts that inhabit the Haunted Mansion as well as why they went missing for so long.
In a new video posted on the official Disney Parks Blog, Walt Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine explains that the original headstones were lost back in 2001 when the theme park replaced them with pumpkins for the “Nightmare Before Christmas” overlay at the popular attraction. This year they finally restored them to their original location and added new ones to honor more Imagineers who worked on the project. There’s also some neat behind-the-scenes footage of the Imagineers testing out familiar locations within the mansion.
As detailed by the Disney Parks Blog, the original headstones and the Imagineers they represent are:
- Claude Coats (lead designer – specializing in backgrounds and environments, he also developed the Omnimover layout)
At Peaceful Rest Lies Brother Claude
Planted Here Beneath This Sod
- Marc Davis (lead designer – specializing in character design and sight gags)
In memory of our Patriarch
Dear Departed Grandpa Marc
- X Atencio (script and song)
Requiescat Francis Xavier
No time off for good behavior R.I.P.
- Bill Martin (concept architect)
Here Lies A Man Named Martin
The Lights Went Out on this Old Spartan
- Dave Burkhart (models)
Dear Departed Brother Dave
He Chased a Bear into A Cave
- Yale Gracey (special effects and illusions)
Master Gracey Laid to Rest
No Mourning Please, at His Request. Farewell
- Bob Sewell (models)
R.I.P. Mister Sewell
The victim of a dirty duel, Peaceful rest
- Chuck Myall (show designer)
R.I.P., in memoriam Uncle Myall,
Here you’ll lie for quite a while
- Gordon Williams (sound and Audio-Animatronics system)
Good Friend Gordon
Now you’ve Crossed the River Jordan
- Cliff Huet (architecture/interiors)
Rest in Peace Cousin Huet
We All Know You Didn’t Do It
- Wathel Rogers (figure animation)
Here Rests Wathel R. Bender
He Rode to Glory on a Fender
- Fred Joerger (models/effect modeling)
Here Lies Good Old Fred
A Great Big Rock Fell on His Head, R.I.P.