GHOST TRAIN UPDATES: Click Here
2013 GHOST TRAIN DATES: October 12-13, 18-20, 25-27, 30-31.
GHOST TRAIN HOURS: 7:00 to 10:00pm nightly.
GHOST TRAIN TICKETS: $10 (this tax-deductible donation funds the non-profit organization)
GHOST TRAIN PARKING: Free
GHOST TRAIN 2013 UPDATE: For this year, the Los Angeles Live Steamers have added even more decorations, including additional video projection effects, creating a wonderfully elaborate series of enjoyably spooky Halloween displays.
GHOST TRAIN HISTORY: The Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum has been presenting their “Ghost Train” since Halloween 2001. Supported by train enthusiasts, the non-profit corporation runs their 7 1/2-inch gauge model trains on Sundays year-round. Each Halloween, the path around the tracks is decorated with approximately 30 spooky scenes.
Originally, a ride on the Ghost Train was somewhat akin to a twenty-minute drive past a few dozen well decorated yard haunts, featuring decorations, lights, and static props but few effects and little if anything scary: lots of colorful lights, Jack O’Lanterns, skeletons, giant spiders, scarecrows, and a Grim Reaper or two. Starting in 2011, however, the Live Steamers began using digital projection to provide eerie effects. With ever more elaborate mechanical props, The Ghost Train morphed into something resembling a demented Disneyland, filled with with more than enough Halloween magic to appeal to haunt-goers of all ages.
GHOST TRAIN SCARE FACTOR: Is it scary? In the old days, definitely not, but now? Perhaps ever so slightly. The Ghost Train is still more fanciful than frightening, but the newer figures are more lifelike; their movements and voices could invoke a tiny spark of fear in the most easily intimidated trick-or-treaters.
Still, there is nothing really disturbing, nothing that will instill nightmares. There are no costumed actors yelling “Boo!”; though a few props are rigged to pop up unexpectedly, nothing jumps out at you or tries to grab you. You’re safe.
Bottom Line: Parents who want to avoid more intense Halloween attractions should bring their children here. Adult Halloween fans will enjoy the displays as well, even if they do not have children.
GHOST TRAIN REQUIREMENTS: The ride is ideal for child-sized riders, but adults can manage if they do not mind squatting down on the tiny trains for the approximately 20-minute duration. Riders must be at least 34 inches tall and not weigh over 350 pounds. Riders under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
GHOST TRAIN PARKING PROBLEM: Not so much problem as confusion. The official address for the Los Angeles Live Steamers is 5202 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park, but the entrance gate for this address is closed at night. The Ghost Train’s dirt parking lot is perhaps a quarter mile east. This is a dark road in the middle of Griffith Park with few cross streets and almost no street lights, but you will see the lights, artificial fog, and customers when you reach the miniature train area.
VIDEO: Check out our 2008 video of the Los Angeles Live Steamers Ghost Train.
Click here for our archive of the Ghost Train.