Disney's Haunted Mansion Gravestones

There are many funny and witty gravestones around Disney's Haunted Mansion.  I remember even the Boy Scouts making up similar phrases for the graveyard outside their fund-raising haunted house.  That has carried through to my own where I borrowed "Here lies Fred; he still isn't dead!"  I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the source of all the inspiration.

The Gravestones

Francis Xavier,
no time off for
good behavior

Francis Xavier "X" Atencio developed the storyline for the Mansion, wrote the lyrics for its theme song "Grim Grinning Ghosts," and also wrote the inscriptions on the tombstones.

Dear departed
Brother Dave,
he chased a bear
into a cave

Dave Burkhart built the model of the Haunted Mansion.

At peaceful rest
lies Brother Claude,
planted here
beneath this sod

Claude Coats was a show designer who created a number of concept sketches, and also designed the track layout for the attraction.

In memory of
our patriarch,
dear departed
Grandpa Marc

Disney Legend Marc Davis did most of the concept design for the attraction, starting back when the Mansion was to be a walk-through attraction housing the Museum of the Weird.

Master Gracey
laid to rest,
no mourning please
at his request

Yale Gracey was WED's resident special effects wizard, and designed such Mansion effects as the dancing ghosts, changing portraits, and the séance room.

Rest in peace
Cousin Huet,
we all know
you didn't do it

Cliff Huet was one of the lead interior designers, and also worked on some of the Mansion's architecture.

Here lies
good old Fred,
a great big rock
fell on his head

Fred Joerger was an art director who specialized in special finishes: rockwork, distressed timbers, etc.  He created special plaster work effects for the Mansion.

Here lies a man
named Martin,
the lights went out
on this old Spartan

Bud Martin was a lighting designer who later served as head of WDI Special Effects Department.

In memoriam
Uncle Myall,
here you'll lie
for quite a while

Chuck Myall was a designer at WED Enterprises who also helped in the overall design of the Magic Kingdom.

Here rests
Wathel R. Bender,
he rode to glory
on a fender
Peaceful rest

Wathel Rogers was the grandfather of Audio-Animatronics, and he designed and programmed many of the A-A figures in the Mansion.

Mister Sewell,
the victim of
a dirty duel
Peaceful rest

Bob Sewell of the WED model shop did a lot of modeling work on the Mansion.

Good friend Gordon,
now you've crossed
the River Jordan

Gordon Williams was one of the resident Audio-Animatronics experts. He also helped design the sound effects for the Mansion.

Dear sweet Leota,
beloved by all
In regions beyond now,
but having a ball

Leota Toombs was an artist at WED who served as a stand-in model for the head in the crystal ball during concept testing of the Mansion. She did such an excellent job that the test performance was used in the final version, and the character was named "Madame Leota" in her honor. The voice for the head was done by Disney voice veteran Eleanor Audley.


The above was a portion of an article about hidden tributes within Disney rides found here and since reposted on other web pages and forums:

Good virtual tour:


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