The Los Angeles Live Steamers have brought their incredibly fun and spooky Ghost Train back again for the 2015 Halloween season. This fundraising haunt has been going strong for 15 seasons now and it is one of the only kid-friendly haunted events in Southern California that offers an equal amount of fun for adults as well. Guests will straddle and ride incredibly small-scale recreations of full-size trains – not models, mind you, but actual, working trains. These babies run on gas, electric, and steam power! The attention to detail put into their construction is an awe-inspiring sight to behold in the daytime – but the trains become your spooky conveyance for the run on the Ghost Train and that is half the fun of the event.
Tickets cost $15 a rider and the proceeds go into keeping these little trains working as well as the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum operational. Walking up to the train station, you will be treated to a fun display of Halloween decorations, fire effects, and spooky songs playing to ring in the Halloween spirit. Once you straddle your box car and the conductor has everything squared away, your train will embark on its journey around the grounds. An interesting aside: The grounds are also the present-day home of Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn, where Disney himself used to house his mini steam train fleet.
You will pass by a huge assortment of spooky vignettes during your ride on the rails and the amount of decoration put into the experience is staggering. Everyone volunteering their time to help bring the LA Ghost Train to life should be very proud of themselves. The ride is outstanding and I couldn’t believe some of the practical effects and gimmicks employed by the event – it’s “shocking” really (you’ll see)… This is thanks to a number of the members of the Live Steamers being in, or close to, the film industry – having access to some Hollywood level props and effects. Additionally, there are a ton of projector-driven effects thanks to digital horror effects house, Spectral Illusions, which helps add a lot of “wow” factor to the sets you travel through.
One of the most amazing things to take into account while making your choice to trek out to the Ghost Train is that the train ride itself takes about 25 minutes to complete. So, you are getting a lot of proverbial bang for your $15 dollars. Some haunted houses cost more and give much less. The ride is completely kid and adult-friendly and does not feature any live monsters hiding in the dark – it’s all animatronics and statues. Just be sure to keep your hands and arms at your side during the run and not flailing about. As this is a working, small-scale railroad, their are small lights dotting the track and you don’t want to get smacked. The one thing I would love to see the LA Ghost Train implement is asking some food vendors or trucks to setup camp in the park outside the main gates. The line queue goes out into the park and people can get hungry while they wait.
Overall, the LA Ghost Train is an amazing, family-friendly haunted event with tons of spooky fun to go around. Make sure you line up early, however, as there can be quite the wait – especially on a Saturday night. On the Saturday night we went, the event estimated the line at around two hours long. Also, there is only one bathroom at the event and it opens at 7pm along with the gates, so be sure to have your little ones take care of that prior to arrival. We’d like to thank the Ghost Train’s Gary Baker for helping us get the access to come out and review this event. We had a terrific time and can’t wait for Ghost Train 2016!
Ghost Train 2015 Dates:
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday October 16,17,18 and 23,24,25
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday October 29-31 and November 1
The event runs from 7-10 pm and is located at: