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What is the worst ghost train you’ve ever ridden?

Boo!



(Spooky, am I right?)

Ghost trains are somewhat of a staple at parks and whilst they might not always deliver on the scares, they’re usually always a welcome attraction at any park we visit. Like other dark rides, they provide a much needed escape from the chaos in motion that coasters and flats surround us with during a park visit, entering us into a world with a sinister and sometimes (more often than not) campy edge.

They’re an attraction that I’m always excited to ride and something that really gives parks a chance to express their individuality. A good ghost train can really encapsulate the personality of a park.

You need look no further than Blackpool Pleasure Beach or Europe Park for examples of their ghost trains mirror the atmosphere a park is trying to convey; drawing you into their world and having a good bit of fun with it in the process.

Sadly though, not all ghost trains are able to make us CFers utter the infamous F word (Fab 😉) and instead provide an experience where the lack of care or effort is so apparent, that no castle-esque façade can hide it. Which leads me to the very question of this topic.

What is the worst ghost train you’ve ever had the misfortune of riding?

What broken effect made your blood curl? What empty hallway made you terrified speechless? What rotting animatronic made you say “No more! Let me out!”?

The current top of the list for me and inspiration for this topic is the tired, dire and guilty of all the traits mentioned above; Dr. Umboto’s Catacombs at West Midlands Safari Park.

From the uncomfortable trains, to the neglected effects inside it was a downright miserable experience. I would write more about it, but honestly with only 3 "corridors" to traverse down, there is nothing else to say. Hopefully you can describe your worst ghost trains with more immersive poeticness than I can haha.
 

Will

Strata Poster
I remember riding WMSP's when I was 7 or 8 and it scared the hell out of me, as a sensitive child (My Mum skipped the T-Rex page in my dinosaur book!)

Since then, I'm thinking Southport's old one and the rather pointless one at Energylandia belong here.
I've done a few on coastal cred runs, some of which are great, some of which not so much.

Tivoli Friheden's is pretty good though - and of course Brean's!
 
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Can we include travelling ghost trains or is that cheating? Because of I have been on plenty of poundland decorated rides that smell of weed and oil at several funfairs across the country.

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Hahaha what an intoxicating atmosphere ;) They can absolutely count though, which was your worst?
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Haven't ridden myself, but surely this must be the reigning champion of 💩 ghost trains?
Does it even count? Surely you have to make just the tiniest bit of effort to make the list? :D

That's like saying I'm the worst shot-putter at the Olympics because I never bothered to turn up :)

I remember there was a dark ride of some kind at Camelot that was awful - but I can't remember if it was a ride, or a walkthrough. Proper bin bag and candy floss PoS. To be fair, it was in competition with the rest of the park, close to the medieval plague pit - so it was always going to come out worse.

Brighton Pier's Ghost Train was dreadful. Very similar to "Terminus" - only the did have a Poundland plastic skeleton on a door somewhere. Maybe two.

I can't remember Southport's old Ghost Train - that must be how bad it was. It used to be a space ride though, that was... Still ****.
 

Howie

Strata Poster
I knew exactly where this thread was going as soon as I saw the title and yep, I'm down with the 'Core on this one. That thing at West Midlands Safari Park is truly terrible, and was the first one that sprang to mind.
The one at Southport - which a bunch of us rode recently on the 'Coastal Cred Run O' Shame' - was also laughably bad. Naff, static theming, no sound effects whatsoever, just a couple of crappy corridors of random props.
But then I watched a couple of those POV's posted above... and boy, the Southport and WMSP efforts look positively lavish in comparison. Got a feeling there'll be plenty more hilarious videos posted here in the coming days, I bet there's loads of these things dotted all over the place! 😁

As for the best one, well, that would have to be the original Haunted House at Alton Towers, before they overhauled it with all that interactive shooting nonsense. Genuinely quite an intense ride back in the day.
Here I go, showing my age again... 😐
 

Ellie

Roller Poster
Haven't ridden myself, but surely this must be the reigning champion of 💩 ghost trains?
That has to be the winner surely 🤣 The frontage looks quite promising haha, and then.... literally nothing! Absolutely nothing! How can they take peoples money for that 🙈🤣
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Does the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom count?

It's the only ghost train I've ridden.
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
A good ghost train can really encapsulate the personality of a park.

You need look no further than Blackpool Pleasure Beach or Europe Park for examples of their ghost trains mirror the atmosphere a park is trying to convey; drawing you into their world and having a good bit of fun with it in the process.

Ohhh Alex, if Geisterschloss at Europa Park 'encapsulates the personality of the park' you're going to be so crestfallen when we ride Haunted Mansion! 😅 The ghost train at Europa is nothing but a Disney rip off, scene for scene. Which tbh, does actually capture the personality of some of Europas rides tbf haha!

I think if any ghost train showcases the personality of the park, it's quirky yet terrifying Blå Taget at Grona Lund. So weird!

I'm going to start with some of the best Ghost Trains I've ridden:

- Endless Mine at Fuji Q Highland. You sit in the little ghost train car. They restrain you with a big belt strap type thing. You can't move your arms at all. They put headphones on you. The cart trundles into a disused mine shaft and all sorts of terrifying animatronics and actors leap out at you.

- Hotel Psycho at Wiener Prater.
Looks quirky and fun from the outside:

20210904_115507.jpg


....TERRIFYING on the inside. The cars have so many effects in them, and they spin quite fast, so one minute you are in the pitch black dark next minute you are face to face with some massive demon. Amazing.

As for the best one, well, that would have to be the original Haunted House at Alton Towers, before they overhauled it with all that interactive shooting nonsense. Genuinely quite an intense ride back in the day.
Here I go, showing my age again... 😐

100% agreed. The classic Alton Towers Haunted House was amazing!

But alas, I should stick to the topic. The worst ones for me are:

Derren Brown's Ghost Train. "This is no ordinary ghost train..." Yeah, you got that right, it's bloody awful.

Haunted Hotel at Brighton Pier. It costs £4 and there's nothing in it!

Dr. Umbatos Catacombs. Again, pure nothingness.

Spoody 3D at Oakwood. See: located in Oakwood.

I'm going to expand this discussion to mention Ghost Trains that I miss:

Transdemonium at Parc Asterix. Very atmospheric, can't believe they got rid of it.

And parks I would love to see build a ghost train:

- Efteling. I imagine the Efteling take on a ghost train would be ethereal, gothic, spirit-based, haunting, almost romantic? No grotesque horror or jump scares, just atmospheric spooks. And imagine what the ride building would look like 😍
 

witchfinder

Hyper Poster
Not even I'm old enough to remember that one I'm afraid. 😉
LIES! I remember Doom & Sons and I'm a spring chicken compared to you... ;)

Anyway, I've been on a few bad Fairground Ghost trains but I think the worst was one that rocked up at my local Park a couple of years ago. We were there for a fun dog show so since I was there anyway I thought "Why not?" I think it was £2 to ride and the whole thing was in a single container truck. You went in one end, down to the end of the truck and back again in a dark but completely empty corridor except for one lonely plastic skeleton hanging half way down! :D
 

Howie

Strata Poster
LIES! I remember Doom & Sons and I'm a spring chicken compared to you... ;)

I'll rephrase then - I didn't visit Alton Towers early enough to remember Doom & Sons, 1985 being the first time I went. It had gone by then, right?

*edit - according to Towers Times, Doom & Sons ran until 1992, so in theory I should have ridden it, or at least seen it, but nope, not a clue. Toyland Tours was the earliest thing I remember in that spot.
While we're on the subject, I don't ever remember seeing the Mini Apple coaster that was around that area too. 🤷‍♂️

Back on topic - shout out to @Serena for mentioning DBGT. Can't believe that hasn't come up more often. Awful thing. Ironic that the worst ghost train in history is also the most expensive.
 

Will

Strata Poster
I'll rephrase then - I didn't visit Alton Towers early enough to remember Doom & Sons, 1985 being the first time I went. It had gone by then, right?

*edit - according to Towers Times, Doom & Sons ran until 1992, so in theory I should have ridden it, or at least seen it, but nope, not a clue. Toyland Tours was the earliest thing I remember in that spot.
Back off topic again :D

That's interesting, because I remember Around the World in 80 Days - and apparently at the age of 4 getting off and remarking... "I'm glad we didn't go to Yugoslavia, Mummy..."
 

davidm

Strata Poster
OT:

Doom & Sons was a spooky walkthru rather than a ghost train, but it was a mainstay of my early years (80s) of visiting the Towers a fair bit. I still find that bit of the park to be a bit weird as there was an entire street area (Doom & Sons being one of the shopfronts in the street) between the burger restaurant and (what is now) The Dungeons. The street area is now all behind a facade (where the elevators for Charlie were put, but the street had all been sealed off before that I think).

Apple coaster (and some other coasters!) were all down the side of the theatre building (Ice Age/dancing water things before that) back in the area towards the Towers, almost ran thru to the far side of where Oblivion is now. They had to shut all that area down because the noise was too close to the village. Was a big slide there too with a ball pit underneath that we must have spent HOURS playing in as a kid.

Ahhh memories / am old.
 
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furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Back on topic - shout out to @Serena for mentioning DBGT. Can't believe that hasn't come up more often. Awful thing. Ironic that the worst ghost train in history is also the most expensive.

I think this is an important point (which I think my mind skimmed across earlier).

Surely, how bad it is considered should be proportional to the amount of money and effort spent on it? If DBGT offers little or no thrill or excitement than a track inside a trailer with a plastic skeleton - then DBGT is proportionally infinitely worse?

Still Off-Topic, but maybe kind of on topic...

Doom & Sons was a spooky walkthru rather than a ghost train, but it was a mainstay of my early years (80s) of visiting the Towers a fair bit.

Agreed. Mostly, I think because the rest of the park was just wall-to-wall bodies queuing for "the big rides".

The question is, though... "was Doom and Sons any good?"

I must have been through the attraction a dozen times and remember very little. It was dark, pretty sure there was a skeleton that fell onto clear glass that looked like it was going to hit you (though this could also have been a walkthrough at Rhyl). I remember very little else though. Maybe through the fog of Aberystwyth - it was also really bad?
 
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