Every fairground and pleasure park worth its salt has a ghost train of one sort or another but Blackpool has the original. Opened in 1930, this was the world’s first Ghost Train and it is still going strong after over 90 years, providing thrill-seekers with screams aplenty and blood-curdling wails at every turn.
Pretzel rides were becoming very popular in the USA in the 1920s and at the time, Blackpool Pleasure Beach decided to bring one to the UK and named it the ‘Ghost Train’ after a play which was popular at the time. The reason for the name was that Pretzel rides meant nothing outside the USA and so it was that the Ghost Train was born.
The Blackpool version relies on many special effects using luminescent paint throughout, lit by backing-lighting. Many of the scenes throughout the ride are based on well-known horror stories including The Exorcist and Dracula.
The ride starts at an open station which is lavishly decorated with witches, trolls and other associated monsters, before the train takes passengers on a journey of horror with frightening visions including a victim encased in a cog wheel as well as spiders, webs, skeleton cyclists and other ghoulish apparitions. Many of the monsters and beasts have been altered in recent years but this is still a scary ride for kids.
As well as fake ghosts, there is rumoured to be a real ghost lurking somewhere in Blackpool’s Ghost Train. A long deceased former ride operator named ‘Cloggy’ has been sighted at times behind the scenes and there has been some mysterious activity here over the years. That said, if you do come across Cloggy during the ride, he would be hard to spot amongst the other ghosts and monsters!
Our Thrill Verdict
Ghost Trains are supposed to scare and this one does it exceedingly well. The ride itself isn’t scary but the ghouls and monsters may well give little kids a few sleepless nights. This is one for the kids and the big kids, hardly thrilling in the true sense of the word but nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable experience, if you like that sort of thing!
Blackpool’s Ghost Train does its job remarkably well and as such, we give it a thrill rating of 2.8