Ready for Spooky Fun? All Aboard the Stanley Park Ghost Train

Stanley Park Ghost Train
Stanley Park Ghost Train

When it comes to celebrating the Halloween season, kids in Vancouver have a lot to look forward to: trick-or-treating, Fright Nights at the PNE, and—especially perfect for younger kids—the annual Stanley Park Ghost Train.

Each year, the Ghost Train thrills kids and families with evening and nighttime rides through a world filled with haunting set pieces. This year, courtesy of the remarkable Mortal Coil Performance Society, Ghost Train riders meet creatures like the Wild Woman of the Woods, the voodoo god Obatal, and the Goddess of Death Kali on their journey.

One of the Ghost Train tableaux: An eerie "underworld" figure dances through a graveyard

One of the Ghost Train tableaux: An eerie "underworld" figure dances through a graveyard

Kids can also participate in an interactive search for Georgie, a mischievous, red-caped “child” on the run from the sinister child-napper, Gentleman Jack. Gentleman Jack keeps asking all the Ghost Train riders to help him find Georgie, who’s often hidden in plain sight, encouraging choruses of “He’s there! He’s right behind you!” from kids on and off the train.

Gentleman Jack urges kids on the Ghost Train to help him find the missing Georgie

Gentleman Jack urges kids on the Ghost Train to help him find the missing Georgie

Georgie and Gentleman Jack’s antics were a big hit the night I went; even the two supposedly cynical nine-year-olds who sat behind me on the train—and declared the ride a “three out of ten” for not being authentically scary enough—got in on the action, yelling out Georgie’s hiding place and trying to get Gentleman Jack’s attention as soon as the train returned to the station. (I have to say, those kids sure did seem to enjoy complaining about the ride; perhaps they doth protest too much?)

Hiding-in-plain-sight Georgie poses with fans on the Ghost Train platform

Hiding-in-plain-sight Georgie poses with fans on the Ghost Train platform

The Stanley Park Ghost Train doesn’t just change the usually bucolic miniature train into a spooky Halloween ride, it transforms the Children’s Farmyard into the Haunted Farmyard (making it more like a haunted house), and adds kids’ Halloween activities, too, including free face painting and a workshop and theatre for shadow puppets.

Face painting at the train station, Stanley Park Ghost Train

Face painting at the train station, Stanley Park Ghost Train

Kids can make shadow puppets, perform at this theatre, or watch outside

Kids can make shadow puppets, perform at this theatre, or watch outside

The Stanley Park Ghost Train runs nightly from 6pm – 10pm, October 9 – November 1, 2009. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for kids.

If you’ve been before with your family, please share your reviews! From what I’ve seen, kids 3 – 9 seem to enjoy the ride the most, but I’d love to hear what parents and other adults think.

Tagged: ,

Comments are closed for this post

One Response to Ready for Spooky Fun? All Aboard the Stanley Park Ghost Train