You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance.
Of things and ideas.
You just crossed over into…
Al Dente Creepypasta, horror stories cooked to perfection with a splash of red sauce.
My name is CZ, and I will be your server this episode.
Amid the flash and the flare of a bustling young amusement park at the peak of it’s
growth, the Hollywood Tower Hotel was a star in it’s own right.
But like all shining stars, there came a time it would be eclipsed by a newer franchise.
With the Tower on it’s death bed, people flocked to go experience it, before it was
Let's dig right in.
When I heard that The Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure was being remodeled into
a Guardians of the Galaxy ride, I immediately made plans with my friends, Joey and Matt,
to go pay the ride one last visit.
We all decided to take a Monday off, and visit the park on the last day of the ride’s operation,
in hopes that there might be some kind of special send off.
If you’ve never been to Disney, Tower of Terror was a part dark-ride part free-fall
ride themed around an abandoned Hollywood Hotel.
Guests are told they are entering a special episode of The Twilight Zone.
Five people riding in an elevator on one Halloween night in the 30s were struck by lightning,
causing them, and an entire section of the hotel to disappear into another dimension.
Let me make one thing clear: I was never the type of guy who believes in ghosts.
That’s part of what made me love The Tower of Terror though.
The theming and effects were so well done that you really did feel like you were stepping
into a dimension where ghosts do exist, and it was a lot of fun.
As we walked through the Hollywood Blvd area of the park towards Hollywood Tower, I couldn’t
I was disappointed to see that they had already stripped off the walls, leaving behind a tower of scaffolding
construction workers were already at work transforming the outside appearance of the ride.
As we turned the corner to the street where the tower was located, we were met with a
huge line, pouring way outside of the ordinary queue area.
Understandably, it seemed that lots of other Disney fans had the same idea that we did,
and wanted to give the ride a proper send off.
We decided to hit up some of the other rides first and return to Tower of Terror once the
sun had gone down.
This turned out to be a great idea… or so it seemed at the time... because most of the
rest of the park was relatively empty in comparison.
We ended getting on just about everything else that we wanted to do before returning
to The Tower of Terror that evening.
The tower was lit with those ominous glowing blue lights as we approached it for the final
There was still a very long line when we got there, which we expected, so it was getting
pretty late by the time we even hit the front gates to the attraction’s official queue.
Joey was starting to get nervous about us making it in before the park closed, even
though they were open late that night.
We were actually one of the last groups to get through before they started turning people
After welcoming us to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, a man in a bellhop uniform with dark
circles under his eyes closed up the giant metal gates behind us, presumably never to
be opened again.
At first, I was feeling relieved to have made it in time to go on the ride, but I was quickly
overcome with an uneasy feeling…
Something was off.
Before entering the building, the line winds through the main level terrace leading up
to the building’s entrance.
I know the area is supposed to look worn down by the elements, but it looked even shabbier
The plants were all overgrown, and some of the lamp posts were broken, making it very
difficult to see.
I even came close to stepping on some broken glass on the ground!
But the strangest part, was the screaming.
These were no ordinary theme park screams though, they sounded like screams of agony,
like someone was being tortured.
We were wondering what was getting such violent sounding reactions out of the riders, but
eventually came to find that the screaming was coming from the speakers hidden around
I’m not sure if that made me feel any better to be honest, why would they be playing such
disturbing audio for their guests?
It all just seemed so weird.
When we got to the covered area just outside the building, it seemed like the pillars holding
up the structure had some considerable decay… and all the windows were broken.
I couldn’t remember exactly what this area looked like last time I was here, but I was
fairly certain it was at least a little bit more put together than this.
After what seemed like forever, we finally made it into the hotel.
This when things really got weird.
Normally, the hotel lobby is made to look like it was abandoned in the 30s.
Which it still was.
Only this time, the room was filled with 15-20 Disney employees, all wearing the same Hollywood
Tower Hotel bellhop uniform.
They were standing straight up like soldiers around all the major set pieces in the room,
and every single one of them was just staring at us.
It was almost as if they were guarding something, but none of them said one word the entire
Matt even tried asking one of the employees how much longer it would be until we reached
the front of the line… to which… the guy made eye contact with him and just stared
into his soul with a completely straight face.
I’ll never forget the look of those blue eyes with the dark bags underneath piercing
at us from his pale, almost greyish skin.
At this point, I was thinking that this all must be part of the park’s special going
away present to the fans of this ride and they were really going all out to make the
last night as creepy as possible.
I let myself think that they were really outdoing themselves, and I was really enjoying the
I also noticed that the iconic owl statue in the center of the lobby was gone
and it was replaced with a sign that said "The Silverlake Sisters. Live at the Tip Top Club."
Only Tip-Top Club was crossed out in red ink and replaced with the word lobby.
At some point some construction workers came in and started to remove the
sign and some of the other furniture.
This was the first time I saw one of the bellhops react and speak up.
He grabbed the construction worker’s hand and said, “sir, please.
The hour is not yet upon us.”
I assumed that this was also part of the show…
I mean, they wouldn’t really be clearing the place out minutes after the closure, right?
At this point, riders are taken in groups to the Hotel Library for a briefing video.
Matt and Joey walked ahead into the library, but when I tried to pass through, the bellhop
stopped me and told me to wait for the next group.
I tried to explain that I was with those two guys, but the bellhop wouldn’t let me pass.
Matt and Joey didn’t seem to notice I was gone, but I figured I would catch up with
them before they boarded the elevator.
When it was my turn to go see the briefing video, there were only a couple of a people
left in line behind me, so the three of us went in.
We get into the orientation room and the lights go out.
We sit there in the dark for what seems like ages.
That's when I hear someone shuffle around behind me…
I could SWEAR, it was just me and those two other guests who had come into the library.
I was positive they were the only ones behind me in line.
I had to to think that whoever was behind me was just one of the employees, but then,
seemingly just to disprove that theory, they guy moves closer to me, and starts breathing
down my neck.
I was getting very uncomfortable, but then just as I was about to say something…
The orientation video starts, so I just take a step forward, away from that creep behind
“You unlock this door with the key of imagination.
Behind it, is another dimension.
A dimension of sound.
A dimension of sight.
A dimension of mind.”
I wasn’t sure if there was something weird going on with Rod Serling’s voice, almost
like it was off pitch or something…
“You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas you just
crossed over into…
The Twilight Zone.”
The rest of the introduction video went on as it normally does…
That is, until it got to the part where Rod addresses the audience.
“Tonight’s story of the Twilight Zone will be your last.”
Now that was definitely not normal.
They must have changed up the intro video for the final night or something.
“This, as you may recognize, is a maintenance service elevator.
Still in operation, but not for long.
At midnight tonight, normal operation of this machine will cease and at that moment
Will come out to play.
When this happens, you will have to fend for yourself and your safety is not guaranteed.
You are about to embark on a ride through history, and your destination?
The Twilight Zone.”
This is exactly why we wanted to come on the last day!
I was so excited.
I couldn't wait to find Joey and Matt and get on this ride.
The doors opened and we continued onto the boiler room, the last part of the hotel before
we get into the elevator.
The creep who was standing behind me didn't join us however.
I looked back and saw him just standing there in the dark.
I couldn’t see him that well, he was basically just a silhouette in this lighting, but
I think was an outline of a bellhop uniform…
I scanned the boiler room for my friends, but didn't see them anywhere.
I hoped they hadn't gotten on the ride without me.
The more I searched around for them, the more I realized that the entire room felt kind
of empty, at least considering how many people had just been ahead of us.
It was also freezing cold down here.
I was getting goosebumps.
I know it was January, but we were inside and it was Southern California after all.
It doesn’t usually get this cold.
The two other guys from the library and I were directed past the usual boarding stations
to a creaky stairway leading up.
This was completely new to me…
I mean, I remembered seeing these stairs before but I always thought they were just a decoration
to make the hotel feel more fleshed out than it really is.
Or maybe one of those secret entrances for the cast members to access their changing
rooms and whatnot.
Apparently, I was wrong, and there are more elevator entrances up above, as well as more
pipes, machinery and theming.
The only thing that wasn’t wasn’t up there was people.
I tried to text my friends to see where they were at, but my phone was dead from a long
day at the park.
One of the employees led us to a station that was completely empty.
We didn’t have to wait long for the car to arrive.
The elevator shaft doors parted, and we entered the ride.
I chose a seat towards the middle, and the other two guys filled in on either side of
The Tower of Terror starts by traveling up to the first floor, where the doors open and
the guests see a mirror.
The narrator then asks them to wave goodbye to the real world.
When the doors opened for our ride I saw a man sitting directly behind me with what appeared
to be a hunting rifle!
This REALLY startled me!
Thinking it might have been some kind of effect, like the hitchhiking ghosts in the Haunted
Mansion, I turned back to see that there really was someone there!
It was the creepy bellhop guy again!
At this point I started to freak out.
Not only was this the second time this guy inexplicably appeared behind me, but he was
carrying a weapon?!
I know Disney can have a dark side at times, but this is still Disney we’re talking about
A family company.
I was truly getting scared that something was very wrong here… but what could I do?
I was strapped into the seat.
So I start to scream and panic, I don’t really remember exactly what I said, but I
do remember the ride violently jolting down a floor.
The next scene is the hallway full of guest rooms where riders are shown the ghosts of
the five hotel guests who disappeared years ago.
Only this time, the holograms look shockingly realistic and they don’t seem to notice
They are just standing in the hotel talking.
The audio isn’t that loud, but they seem to be arguing with the employee about something
and the woman is sobbing.
Again, it was difficult to hear over the rain and thunder, but she said something along
the lines of, “don’t make us go”.
She’s crying, begging and pleading, and the employee is just standing there with a
disgusted look on his face.
Before I can gather any more information, a huge flash of lightning fills the room,
This may have been a special effect, but I distinctly remember feeling the heat of this
What I saw then the smoke cleared, completely devastated me!
I saw all five of the the bodies sprawled out on the floor, in a disturbingly realistic
The man seemed to have vomited blood all over himself, and the little girl’s hair was
standing up on end.
But the creepiest part, had to have been her eyes, which had rolled to the back of her
Her eyelids seemed to be sparked open and it was almost as if her blank stare was pointed
right at me.
I was completely at a loss for words, sounds… anything, when the ride jerked upward again
to the top level.
The ride stopped at the top, like it always does.
It was dark, there were only a few main lights left on in the park.
I guess the other major attractions were already shut down for the night.
Instead of the usual audio, the narrator was just laughing like a madman.
After a while, it went quiet and nothing happened.
I was beginning to think the ride was stuck, and to be honest it was almost a relief after
everything I had seen.
The moment of solace however, was short lived, when I felt the man behind me, who I guess
I had temporarily forgotten about in all the chaos, grab onto my shoulder.
At this point, I knew that there was nobody who could help me, but internally I was freaking
out, and I didn’t dare turn around or acknowledge what he was doing.
I know people are going to call me out and say that I made up this story for attention.
And I know people are going to try to prove that most of these occurrences are absolutely
impossible, and I really can’t blame them for that.
But what I saw next… even if it was just for a fraction of a second, has stuck in my
mind perfectly since that night, and I am 100% sure of what I saw.
As the ride started to drop and the man behind me increased pressure on my shoulder, the
on ride photo camera flashed, and for a split second I saw three construction workers hanging
by the neck from the top pole upon which the camera is mounted.
These were not holograms, and even though I only saw them for a split second, I’m
quite sure that they were not props.
After that first drop the elevator continued to bounce up and down at nauseating speeds.
Between the G-Force and the pressure of the man grabbing my shoulder, I felt like I was
about to pass out.
I actually started to black out and closed my eyes when I felt the ride come to a screeching
I was ready for this horrific nightmare to be over, but apparently, the ride had other
Once I opened my eyes and regained my composure I found myself back on the second floor, the
one with all the guest rooms.
The dead bodies were still there, but now they had the ghosts standing over them, motioning
for us to come closer.
This was actually probably the most normal thing I had seen since getting on the ride,
as it resembled the scene that usually takes place on this floor during normal operation.
Then, to my surprise our harnesses came off.
I was essentially frozen in complete shock.
What the hell was going on?
The creepo behind me continued to hold my shoulder, while the other two riders got out
of their seats and casually walked through the door to the right, which to this point
I wasn’t even aware was a real door, I had always just thought it was a facade, much
like the stairs in the boiler room earlier.
After I’m not sure exactly how long, I snapped out of my daze and realized this was my chance
to get out.
I wriggled myself free of the man’s grasp and made a b-line for the right side door.
It was locked.
I banged myself against it but it wouldn’t budge, so I darted across to the left side
door, glancing at the elevator car in passing.
The man in the bellhop uniform was just sitting there, giving me this creepy, sadistic grin.
To my surprise, the door on the left worked and I slammed it shut behind me.
I stumbled down a seedy, narrow staircase at the end of which was another door.
I bursted through, hoping to make it into the lobby or something, but instead found
myself in an abandoned swimming pool.
What in the world?
I mean, how could this possibly exist here?
I know for a fact that the pool has never been part of the ride, the queue, or any of
of the theming surrounding it.
I vaguely remember a sign pointing to a pool in the beginning of the line, but come on,
it was just a sign.
Did I just stumble upon one of those crazy Disney secrets?
Like Walt Disney’s New Orleans square apartment, or the fabled basketball court under the peak
of the Matterhorn?
Perhaps this pool was at one time an employee lounge area of some kind?
All the tiles were cracked and the pool was filled with rust and who knows what else.
There were a couple of dark objects at the bottom of the pool.
I had to force myself not to look and assume that they were pool chairs or something, but
I had a bad feeling in my gut about what they may actually be.
Whatever it was, it looked disgusting and I wanted to get the hell out of there.
I looked around for another exit, but the first thing I noticed, was a lump across the
My first thought was that it was a dead body… until I saw the guy stand up and start wobbling
around like a drunk.
He was wearing a hoodie, and tattered jeans.
My initial impression was that it was a homeless guy, who had somehow snuck in and was living
When he saw me, he started screaming at me.
He kept saying, “you can’t take my home, and cursing at me.”
He was clearly intoxicated.
As soon as I figured out where the door was, I made a mad dash for the exit, which may
have in fact been an entrance, because it led me into a dimly lit locker room.
I guess if that was at one time a pool for the employees, this must be the corresponding
The lockers were pretty small, and all of them were open, and empty.
The only sound I could hear was that of running water on the far side of the locker room,
in the dark.
After all I had experienced, I thought it might be best to approach the door on the
other side of the room more stealthily.
I was also feeling very sick, and needed to catch my breath.
I still felt like I was going to pass out.
I walk over to the source of the water, keeping my footsteps as quiet as possible.
There are a few shower stalls up ahead.
I poke my head into the first, and it is empty.
I proceed, continuing on to check the second, third and fourth stalls.
But what I see in the fourth stall stops me dead in my tracks.
In the corner of the shower, an old man stands in the water’s stream.
He is naked, senile and borderline deformed and he has his head buried in the corner.
Luckily he doesn’t seem to notice me, so I decide to tip-toe past him to get to the
I make it across safely, but as I grip the door handle, I hear a terrifying cry out from
“I see you.
You’ll never get me out of here.
You’re the one who has to go!”
I hear wet footsteps charging out of the shower stall behind me and waste no time yanking
the door open and fumbling my way through the next room in the dark.
This leads me back to the original mirror room.
The elevator car from the ride is now there, seemingly just waiting for me.
The creepy bellhop guy is in the same seat, continuing to stare me down!
I don’t even bother to stop running across the mirror room and through the door on the
Now I’m in another hotel corridor, but different from the one upstairs.
At the end of the hall, I see a woman, and yet another bellhop character, this one wearing
a red pair of Mickey Mouse ears with an Iron Man logo on it.
The two are having a dispute.
She is screaming and grabbing onto the sides of the doorframe as he violently tries to
pull her out of the room.
She is screaming, “please, don’t make me go.” and he would just methodically respond
by telling her that her stay is up and she is welcome to check into one of their other
He then yanked her hard enough for her to lose her grip on the door and she flew across
the hallway, crashing her head against the wall hard enough to draw to blood.
She collapsed on the floor in front of him.
That’s when he looked up and noticed me, with the same intense stare that the bellhops
down in the lobby had given us.
My vision was starting to get blurry, so I decided to try to go into one of the rooms
if I could to buy myself some time.
I assumed that all the doors were fakes, but was pleasantly surprised when one of them
actually opened, leading to yet another corridor.
I was too tired to try to comprehend how this was possible, given the layout of this ride
and given the fact that these secret rooms have no reason to exist in the first place.
Just then, the room went dark, and the walls, floor and ceiling became projection mapped
with the starry night sky, the same effect used in the 2nd floor of the actual version
of the ride.
At the end, was a single door.
I took this as the metaphorical exit to the Twilight Zone, so I ran to it as fast as I
As I was running I heard the narrator’s booming voice one last time.
“Next time you try to mess with history, make sure you know just what kind of vacancy
you’re filling, or you may find a few nasty surprises coming your way.
You may or may not have made it through tonight, but to close this door is to forever live
on in your head in…
The Twilight Zone.”
And just like that, it was over.
The sound of the 30s soundtrack played in my ears and I was making my way down the exit
stairs, trying to think about if Joey and Matt had a similar experience to what I had.
And what happened to those two strangers?
What if I was the only one to make it out?
Who would believe me?
A light caught my eye.
THE RIDE PHOTO.
At the top of the drop, that guy was grabbing onto my shoulder.
Not to mention the hanging bodies would also probably be in frame.
I ran up to the preview screen.
If I needed proof, this would be it!!
But when I looked at the photo, it was just me and the other two guys.
No creepy bellhop.
Just a regular ride photo...
The gift shop was completely devoid of any gifts or people so, feeling defeated I passed
through and met up with my friends.
As I had feared, they made no mention of anything abnormal and asked if I was OK.
A regular Disney employee in a yellow button down shirt informs us the park is closing
and to make our way to the exits.
We walk out of the park.
I turn back and see the lights coming down on The Tower of Terror one last time.There
are already cranes in place, ready to start ripping off pieces of the structure.
Other than that though, it looks completely normal from the outside.
No hanging bodies at the top.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
Before turning back, I see a window open on one of the floors near the top.
I stop walking.
Joey asks what’s gotten into me as I stare back at the ride for the the final time.
A light shines out of the window, and the silhouette of a bellhop sticks his head out
and waves at me.
I don’t plan on going back to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride when it opens.
I believe in ghosts.
Thanks for listening, to Al Dente Creepypasta.
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Remember to subscribe to CZsWorld for new horrors every other week and I’ll see you
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Assuming, we both survive.