The haunted house at Disneyland Paris, famously known as the Phantom Manor, was witness to real-life tragedy when an employee was found dead by his colleagues this past weekend.
The 45-year-old technician, whose identity has not been released by the police, had been working at Disneyland Paris since 2002. On Saturday morning, he was asked to fix a light fixture before the theme park opened its gates to visitors. But when the technician did not come back after a lengthy period of time, his colleagues went to check on him, only to find him dead inside the premises of Disneyland’s haunted house.
Police believe the man’s death was the result of an accidental electrocution, but have refused to shed further light on the tragedy with the autopsy not yet completed. The ride was shut down in the wake of the employee’s death and is expected to remain closed till at least Wednesday, French newspaper Le Parisien reports.
Patrick Maldidier, a Disneyland union representative, said the unnamed employee was a very popular figure and “always had a smile on his face.”
Disneyland Paris released the following statement after the technician’s body was discovered by his fellow employees.
“We are truly saddened to learn of the passing of one of our Cast Members, and our hearts go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.”
The Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris is one of the theme park’s biggest attractions, drawing thousands of visitors to its kitschy world of caricature ghosts and cobweb-draped candelabras. Styled in the contours of Disneyland California’s Haunted Mansion, the Phantom Manor is the franchise’s fifth haunted house, and one of its most successful ones.
Variety describes the Phantom Manor as mimicking the plot of the The Phantom of the Opera and “offering park visitors a special effects-filled experience that combines a walk-through with an Omnimover ride.”
The death of the technician, moreover, acquires a particularly grim complexion because the background story of the haunted house ride at Disneyland Paris revolves around a fictional woman who died inside the house after being visited by a mysterious phantom, reports the Daily Beast.
As it turns out, Disneyland Paris has not been immune to safety incidents over the years. According to the Telegraph, a 5-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries in 2013 when he fell from a boat on the park’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride and ended up being trapped between the moving boats and the ride platform.
A year before, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Paris was witness to a couple of major accidents, with two of the roller coaster’s cars derailing with passengers inside.
But perhaps the worst safety incident of the lot was the death of a 53-year-old subcontractor hired to clean the It’s A Small World ride in 2010, when he got trapped under a boat with the ride machinery still switched on.
Now with the death of the electrician in unexpected circumstances, the haunted house at Disneyland Paris will never be the same.
[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]