Just down the street from my place stands a recreation center with an ominous past, Pickwick Bowling Alley and Gardens.
"The recreation center known today as The Pickwick Bowl, in the 1940's, was just a trailer park with a community swimming pool. Despite the innocuous slogan "For 'fun in the sun' meet me at the Pickwick Pool," this small body of water had more than its share of scandal and urban legends. Not only did a "squeaky clean" teen-age celebrity reputedly get caught exposing himself to the other swimmers (leading to his firing at Disney Studios, and essentially the end of his career), but for some strange reason the pool area seemed to attract fatal injuries as children died from drownings and diving board accidents. Safety concerns were most likely the reason the pool was eventually filled in with dirt (creating the Pickwick Gardens).
In 1958, construction began on the bowling alleys and adjacent ice rink. However, they may have built over the old "death magnet" at that site, but apparently they didn't get rid out it. Employees have told GHOULA confidentially that the management doesn't want it known (and denies) that many people have died (accidentally) on the ice rink. Strangely, all the death that seems to swarm around the premises has nothing to do with Pickwick's ghost story. The employees claim (and the management denies) that the ghost of a former manager haunts the upstairs office. Papers and other objects have been seen sliding forcefully across the desk for no apparent reason, as well as the door to that office seems to close by itself."-ghoula
"That said, this recreation center has another claim to fame in the local ghost culture. Pickwick Bowl was the inspiration for one of the audio-animatronic "happy haunts" from Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. There used to be a sign in front of this leisure complex that featured a caricature of "Pickwick," the Dickens character (and this establishment's mascot). It seems that Imagineers that would commute to work at WED enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) just a few blocks away decided to pay tribute to the cheerful fellow on the sign they past everyday. Thus, in the ballroom scene of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, a ghost hanging from a chandelier (also known by the name "Pickwick") was created to match the one at Pickwick Bowl."-ghoula
The Pickwick Pool before being filled in in 1960's