The original pet cemetery at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion began in the 1980s with just a few grave statues tucked away on a small patch of lawn on the side of the queue, out of sight for most guests.
After a few years, Disney Imagineers realized there were more ghost stories to tell from Mansion‘s animal inhabitants. And in 1993, the gravesite was expanded into the section along the queue that guests visit today.
Recently, there have been some changes afoot in the small graveyard. Amid the decor and grandeur of Jack Skellington’s decorations for Haunted Mansion Holiday, those with a sharp eye may be able to spot a new and shocking addition to the pet cemetery: the upturned grave of Sparky from Disney’s film Frankenweenie.
Working in tandem with Walt Disney Studios, Imagineering added Sparky’s tombstone and freshly disturbed plot to the queue-side resting place. Yet unlike the other, more restful graves of the animal afterlife abode, Sparky’s is freshly disturbed and not exactly filled with the dearly departed.
Sparky had a few canine companions during his brief stay in the cemetery, including Buddy and Fifi. While not much is known about Fifi, Buddy was clearly a “friend until the end” and deserved a prominent place in the plot.
While those loyal pooches seem pretty innocuous, other arrangements seem a bit more questionable. The first tableau in the cemetery seems to indicate that the resident feline had a hand (or paw) in the fates of several feathered friends.
Not all tombstones in the pet cemetery reflect “traditional” pets. Some, including Rosie the pig, appear to have “bought the farm” a little early.
One of the graveyard’s most notable residents croaked on a very auspicious date. Old Flybait, the departed amphibian, actually died 100 years to the day before the grand opening of Haunted Mansion. Perhaps he could help Madame Leota with her predictions?
While we don’t know how all these animals met their demise,
for some the writing was—and remains—on the wall. Four more interred individuals grace the brick facade of the queue, including a fish, rat, spider, and snake. While the bones of the fish have been picked clean leaving us nary a fateful clue, death came for the serpent at the hand of the gardener, and poor spider Jeb was unfortunately tangled up in his own web.
In addition to those above, there are grave markers for a squirrel and a rabbit without inscriptions. You can come to your own conclusions regarding their fates and personalities. While these happy and hairy haunts can’t go home with you, some pin traders have gathered the Haunted Mansion Pet Cemetery collection. Released in 2009, this grouping commemorates the design of each headstone, so be on the lookout this Halloween to see if you can trade for any of these tombstones. And for those in the Disneyland area, throw our subjects a bone and stop by on your next visit and say “hello” to these four-legged friends.