Review: Ghost Train

It’s always a nerve-racking experience going on a ride that’s designed to be scary for the first time. You never really know what to expect, and unless you’re a particular fan of horror as a genre you’re just hoping it’s not going to be too scary and that you will at least enjoy the experience. Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Ghost Train has been operating in one form or another since 1930, and although it has gone through several revisions and changes over the last 86 years, it still remains as one of the park’s most iconic and popular dark rides.

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The Ghost Train is an interesting ride, because for the most part, it really isn’t very scary. This ride relies mainly on techniques that have been around for decades for example, like blacklight and UV paint and traditional horror imagery and characters like vampires, skeletons and a banshee. But what makes it interesting is the fact that, even today, new scenes and rooms are always being added meaning there is now quite a variety of scenes both old and new.

In essence, it is these new scenes that help to make what would otherwise be a fairly tame ghost train ride a little more unnerving, as you never know each time you ride it if something new and scarier will have been added. In the last few years we’ve seen the addition of a demonic¬†painting, a Walking Dead tribute gate, a possessed fireplace (new for this year), and my personal least favourite, the dreaded bug room complete with trapdoor above the track. Admittedly this is still a family ride so these scenes are probably nowhere near as scary as they could be, but it’s still enough to leave you vaguely concerned that something horrendous is going to jump out at you from somewhere.

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I guess the overall charm of the Ghost Train is the way the scenes are interspersed. Yes, you have these more modern scenes, but then you also have hugely iconic and not very scary moments like the cycling skeletons and the rather anticlimatic banshee finale. All in all, this is what makes the Ghost Train enjoyable- it’s not too scary, but it’s all in good fun, and the fact that it is reputedly haunted as well adds another dimension which would make the ride appeal to those interested in the paranormal as well as those who like dark rides or a fright. There’s even a roller coaster-like dip midway through the ride, further broadening its appeal. And like I said, most importantly, it’s fun.

I can see this ride being frightening to particularly young children, or maybe if it’s your first time and you really don’t know what to expect. But overall, I’m a bit of a wuss, and I don’t find this scary at all. I still go on it every time I visit the Pleasure Beach because I enjoy the experience, and how iconic it is, and I would thoroughly recommend first time visitors to do the same. It’s a laugh, and will keep you out of the rain, if nothing else.

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Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your stay here at Along for the Ride.

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