Based on the popular Disney classic THE JUNGLE BOOK, the $30 million park named “Mowgli’s Palace” would have recreated many key locations from the animated film (and the Rudyard Kipling story it was based on), transforming the island into a lush, tropical paradise filled with exotic flora and fauna.
According to most accounts, the project itself seemed cursed from the start: townspeople objected to Disney’s alleged means of obtaining of a large swath of prime real estate via eminent domain, and local residents were concerned about the disruption of their quiet community by construction crews and eventual hordes of tourists. Despite this controversy, construction began in the late 1990s, and the park was reportedly completed within a year of its groundbreaking.
Then, just as Mowgli’s Palace was set for its Grand Opening, the entire project was abruptly shut down.
All staff and management were dismissed, doors and gates were chained up, and in a matter of days the entire park was completely abandoned. No reason was given for the sudden closure, no announcements were made to the public, and all records of the park’s design and construction were expunged.
This is where Christopher Wolf’s own story begins: in the years following the park’s closure, and after hearing friends’ accounts of the outrageous vandalism perpetrated on the site (allegedly by its own disgruntled staff), he decided to investigate the site for himself, locating it on a promotional map Disney had mass-mailed just prior to the park’s planned opening.
By then, the park was so overgrown with local foliage it was barely visible from a distance. With most of the gates breached and locks broken by looters, it was a relatively simple matter to enter the property unobserved — but shortly after Wolf made it onto the grounds, camera in hand, he began to sense something was off about it.
It began with the ominous graffiti scrawled across every exposed surface… always the same three-word phrase:
ABANDONED BY DISNEY
It continued as he took in the mass destruction of virtually every square inch of the property.
That’s when he began to hear the whispers.
Tiny fragments of conversation seemed to echo around every corner, particularly inside the central “Palace” structure, itself. Just handfuls of words, but seemingly from two different people… “I didn’t believe it… I didn’t know… your father told you…”
Then, venturing deeper into the palace lobby, he encountered something even stranger: a stairwell leading down to a small, closed white door. The door was the only surface not defaced or damaged in the entire building; the only markings were neatly stenciled black letters, spelling out the words MASCOTS ONLY.
Despite his unease, Wolf’s curiosity provoked him to try the lock on the door… which was surprisingly easy to pry off.
He expected to find the interior of the room completely ransacked and picked over by looters, but amazingly, it appeared to be more or less intact, despite evidence it had been abandoned for many years: lights were still on; clocks still worked; long-rotted food clung to dishes in what looked like an employee break room; miscellaneous paperwork and office supplies arranged on a desk; clothes were still hanging in lockers. It appeared as if the entire facility had been abruptly evacuated.
The main room branched off into a narrow corridor, and as Wolf ventured further down that hall, he sensed that he was moving at a slight downward slope, descending further beneath the palace. He rounded a turn, and saw signs that some kind of disruption had taken place — chairs tossed crazily into the corridor, large puddles of stagnant water, and papers strewn across the floor. The fluorescent lights overhead, which had been mostly functioning in the break room, were only flickering sporadically here.
When he tried to touch any object in the corridor, it felt weirdly soft and porous, as if it was in the process of dissolving.
He then reports finding another closed door… this time a metal door painted with black and yellow stripes, bearing a metal plaque stamped with the words CHARACTER PREP 1.
Assuming that some abandoned Disney character costumes might be stored there, and hoping to get some pictures of them, Wolf tried the door… but this one was sealed tight.
Reluctantly, he turned to go back up the corridor and return to ground level… and apparently that’s when he heard a faint popping sound. He turned to look at the door again, and saw that it was slightly ajar.
He pushed the door gently inward, and saw only darkness beyond. He used his camera flash to illuminate the room, but it revealed almost no detail. He tried in vain to locate a lightswitch… until the lights flickered on by themselves.
Wolf was surrounded by giant-sized costumes of several classic Disney characters, most hung on wall hooks with their oversized heads attached. Thrilled at his discovery, he began to snap pictures of everything he saw.
That’s when he noticed one particular costume was different from the others.
Slumped to the floor, it looked like Mickey Mouse… but the familiar colors of the Disney mascot were all wrong. It looked like a photo-negative of Mickey, with the black and white coloring inverted, and the familiar red overalls were an eerie blue.
Wolf then noticed something unusual about a Donald Duck costume hanging from its hook; the headpiece seemed to be more decomposed than the others. He decided to stage a shot of the head, and tried to lift it from the costume’s body… then something large dropped out of the headpiece and shattered at his feet.
It didn’t take him long to realize that the object had been a human skull.
Dropping the Donald head in horror, Wolf turned to make a beeline for the door… but found his way blocked by the Mickey costume, which was now standing up and facing him.
Nearly paralyzed with fear, he tried to snap one quick picture of the room’s nightmarish tenant, but his viewfinder showed only black pixels where the figure stood. That’s when it spoke to him.
“Hey,” Mickey said in a hushed, whispery version of his familiar high-pitched voice. “Wanna see my head come off?”
The author’s account of his frantic escape from the room and the island becomes erratic at this point, but he describes in gruesome detail what he heard as he ran away from the creature… the horrible sound of a head being yanked from a spinal column, accompanied by the grotesque squishing of fluids splattering to the floor.
He also recalls seeing a ragged sign above the door on his way out of that hellish room. The words were not printed, but clawed into the concrete wall, as if by human fingernails… or bones.
ABANDONED BY GOD
Christopher Howard Wolf never posted his photographs of Mowgli’s Palace, nor did he blog about the incident any further.
His claims have been widely dismissed as a hoax, as there is no documented evidence that Disney ever planned or built a resort on Emerald Isle… but some people have come forward with their own stories, including this Google Earth image which allegedly depicts the abandoned resort still standing.
Categorised in: Paranormal
This post was written by Nadia Vella