Imagine being banned for life from Walt Disney World. While it would no doubt save Disney parks fans a fair bit of money, it’s ultimately a prospect more horrifying than anything you’d find in the Haunted Mansion or at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. But that seems like it is surely the inescapable fate of one former Disney World employee who stole Haunted Mansion costumes.
Earlier this year, before Disney’s busy Halloween season began, things started mysteriously disappearing from the Haunted Mansion ride in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. Like the ghosts themselves, props and costumes were vanishing without a trace. This dismaying observation led to an investigation, and it was found that despite the 999 happy haunts in the Haunted Mansion, this vanishing act was the work of the living.
The person accused of stealing the items is 24-year-old Patrick Spikes, who is a former employee of the theme park. According to ABC7 News, detectives say that this foolish mortal ran a website that showed the public backstage and off-limits areas of the park. Patrick Spikes is alleged to have trespassed and stolen items that would be valuable to Disney collectors with the intent to sell them.
These items include wigs, costumes and jewelry worn by the grim grinning ghosts of the Haunted Mansion. It is believed that Patrick Spikes sold one of the costumes he allegedly stole from the Haunted Mansion for almost $9,000. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, this Florida Man is currently behind bars and faces charges of burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property.
If convicted on all counts, Patrick Spikes could face up to 30 years in prison, which sounds considerably worse than retiring to the Haunted Mansion. He has pleaded not guilty, which seems to be an especially bold strategy considering that many images of the stolen items were found on his phone.
The authorities even released a video of the interrogation where detectives tell him that they are going to keep his phone. A cadaverous pallor comes over Spikes who then reaches for the phone. He is subsequently subdued and his phone is taken from him. So, this former Disney employee has got to be banned for life, right?
Allegedly stealing items from a ride and selling them seems like a guaranteed way to get your picture put up under a sign that reads ‘Do Not Allow In.’ And so stealing from the Haunted Mansion can get added to the list of all the other crazy ways that people have gotten banned from Walt Disney World and Disneyland, which have also ranged from punching people to climbing things you shouldn’t to venturing backstage.
That doesn’t seem worth it to me, but hey, he allegedly got $9,000 out of it. Good lawyers aren’t expensive, right?
While this Haunted Mansion news is of the unfortunate variety, hopefully we’ll one day get the Haunted Mansion movie reboot that has been long discussed. Maybe that'll happen if Jungle Cruise delivers another great ride-to-movie adaptation next year.
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Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.