The Nightmare Before Christmas Conspiracy


Image via Encore

Cadynce Harmon, Writer

The Nightmare Before Christmas is considered a classic by our generation. In the list of children’s Halloween movies, this film is definitely in the top three most popular. It is a frightening cinematic experience on its own, but like other cartoons, it has also inspired its fair share of conspiracy theories. Like other movies produced by Tim Burton, the dark theme and display create the perfect canvas on which fans can point out any detail that may be hidden in the background. 

One intriguing conspiracy theory is that the Grinch is Jack Skellington. Fans claim that when the Grinch was a baby he was transported to Christmas Town instead of Halloween Town, which would explain why he’s so different from the Whos of Whoville. After his heart grows and he comes to love Christmas, he lives out his life happily as a Who and dies of old age. They claim that after his death he’s transported back to Halloween Town where he forgets about his past life in Christmas Town. This is the reason why when he stumbles upon Christmas Town again, this time as Jack Skellington, he’s completely fascinated by it and develops an obsession. Also supporting this theory is the fact that both characters have a dog as their companion. Max is the Grinch’s dog, who possibly becomes Zero, Jack Skellington’s dog, in his afterlife. 

Another Theory that ties together multiple Tim Burton movies says that The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie are all made in the same universe. Victor, the owner of the dog in Frankenweenie, supposedly grows up to be the same Victor in Corpse Bride, where the dog appears again as a ghost from Victor’s past. He then marries Victoria, with whom he lives out the rest of his life. He becomes Jack Skellington in his afterlife, still with his dog as his companion. 

The last theories, some of the most interesting, are about how each of the characters died in their past life. Jack Skellington is said to have died by being burned alive, which is symbolized by him bursting into flames at certain points during his movie. This goes against the Grinch theory, but this one seems more believable. In The Nightmare Before Christmas Sally died by dismemberment, which is why she can remove any body part with no trouble. Since none of her poisoning attempts worked on Dr. Finkelstein, it’s said that he died by poison. The Mayor seemed to have died from a broken neck, which is the reason why he can turn his head in a 180-degree turn. 

In The Nightmare Before Christmas Shock, Lock, and Barrel all died tragically, despite being children. Shock being electrocuted, Lock being frozen alive, and Barrel being drowned. Their nicknames also play a part in their deaths, Shock and electrocution are similar words, Lock is said to have been locked in a freezer, and Barrel might’ve been put in a Barrel before he was put into the water. Oogie Boogie might’ve been skinned, which explains why he’s just a burlap sack filled with bugs. 

Every movie has hidden meaning behind it, especially stop motion kids’ films. Since the directors and producers already need to put thought into the creation of everything on set, why not make it interesting? The Nightmare Before Christmas inspired perfect examples of the crazy conspiracy theories horror fans can come up with, and each one is unbelievably creative. With Halloween season just coming to an end, it’s never too late to grab a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket and enjoy a rewatch of The Nightmare Before Christmas.