Sunday 27 October 2013

East Lancs Railway Halloween Ghost Train

For the last 2 years our highlight of Halloween has been going on the Halloween Ghost Train at East Lancs Railway in Bury. It's been so good that this year I bought our tickets as soon as they became available.

We went last night and for the first time took two of our bigger children as well as the little ones. We couldn't find the little boys, so we took the Grim Reaper and a Skeleton with us...

Our train was booked for 6.30pm, so we arrived when it was still light at 5.30pm and as usual the volunteers had done a smashing job of decorating and lighting the entire station.

A train was waiting to set off as we arrived on the platform...

We all had something to eat from the special food on offer - Eyeballs (Black Peas), Devils Fingers (Hot Dogs), Ghoul Hash and Fiery Pumpkin Soup (which was the best I've ever tasted!).
A brilliant Zombie Bride came over through the smoke to tell us how delicious and tasty we all smelled!

There were gingerbread skeletons and hot drinks in the buffet car ~ the prices are really reasonable and the food is great. I spent £21 on food and drink in total for 6 of us and we were all satisfied with our tea.

Halloween Skeleton Gingerbread

Then our train was in!

Halloween Special Train Service

When you book you choose your seats, so we were all sat together and near to the loo in case we needed it!

 The trains are all decorated and you have a sheet of paper on the table with local ghostly stories to set the boys practised their most terrified (terrifying) faces....

Throughout the train journey to Rawtenstall and back, which lasts over an hour, each carriage is looked after by a specific person who is there in case you need anything. They're always volunteers who make themselves known and chat to you, are really easy to spot and frankly lovely.

There are a series of visits from different characters inside and outside the train. The train stops several times and people bang on the windows or shout and try to make you jump, they walk past carrying a coffin and stay in character mainly despite the best efforts of some of the older children! They seldom take it too far though, they're pretty good at reading the children.

A Zombie Convict decided I shouldn't be taking his photo and turned the camera on me! Obviously I was terrified...

Every child over 3 is given a goodie bag about a third of the way through the trip with some great little Halloween goodies. In previous years this has included a glow stick and I'm not sure why they changed it this time ~ hopefully not because of 'health & safety'.

East Lancs Railway Halloween Ghost Train

One of the more surprising visitors, and beautifully costumed ~ Gandalf!

The character above was the most surprising for us. When he appeared carrying a severed limb was the only time that our youngest got genuinely scared. Boy no.4 wasn't happy until he'd gone, although he refused to move seats and come for a hug.

One of the last visitors to our carriage was a familiar face from the start of the evening...

We had an excellent time, I love the ghost train. The volunteers do a fantastic job and make it a really exciting experience for everyone. It's a terrific laugh and very well worth the money.

At times the Guards switch off all of the lights, there is a lot of noise and the costumes are brilliant. If your children are easily frightened then it may not be the thing for you, but if they get a thrill from being a little bit scared then it's perfect.

Our next planned visit to the East Lancs Railway will be in December....

We bought and paid for our tickets. The East Lancs Railway is a charity staffed in the main by volunteers. It relies on visitors and donations and has a massive programme of events throughout the year for children and adults including Thomas The Tank Engine days, Footplate Experiences, Real Ale Trails and Murder Mystery Evenings - Click this link to find out more.

Please excuse the fact that a lot of these photo's are a bit blurry - obviously it wasn't very well lit and I didn't want to use flash as it would spoil the atmosphere for everyone!


  1. That looks so much fun! I bet it is fantastic at Christmas too

    1. It really is. They have a brass band playing carols walking down the train and all the grown ups get a mince pie and a sherry - and Santa even makes his way down the train to visit all of the children :)

  2. Wow, that looks so much fun! Love the idea of Christmas one too. I love the Polar Express!

    1. It is brilliant fun!
      My other half hates The polar Express - but he does love the Santa Special! :D

  3. I would genuinely be terrified!!! lol. such a wimp! but i like the idea of a xmas one! I've never really heard of anything like this,it is a great idea for those who are not easily scared

    1. Hahaha...they're really not that scary. Everyone is laughing most of the time :D

  4. Great idea. I don't think there's anything like that near us.

    1. We are really lucky. I had no idea about it until we moved up here :)


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