The Los Angeles Live Steamers presented another wonderful version of their annual Ghost Train attraction for Halloween 2014. As you know from our 2013 review, the Ghost Train has grown into quite an impressive ride over the years, loaded with elaborate decorations and special effects. The Live Steamers continue to expand the attraction every year, filling the surfeit of available space with new scenes, and this year was no exception.
Some of the changes were additions to existing scenes. The Western Town (with its projection of a skeletal gunfighter) featured what looked like a Mariachi band made up of Dia De Los Muertos-style skeletons. In a rare break with tradition, the last two days of the event featured a costumed character: a shrouded bride in black, who silently watched the Ghost Train depart for its trip into the netherworld.
Other changes were even bigger: a stationary train with fireballs belching from its smokestack was situated on a parallel track, so that for a brief moment a rider might think a head-on collision was imminent.
Even more impressive was the massive, over-sized séance at the far end of the ride (which replaced the Stonehenge-style setting from 2014). Conceived as an homage to the 45th anniversary of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, this scene featured a disembodied head floating above a spinning table. While lights flashed, and a disco version of the familiar Disney music thumped in the air, Madame Leota intoned the couplets from the well-remembered incantation:
"Rap on a table, it's time to respond,
Send us a message from somewhere beyond!"
"Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween,
Awaken the spirits with your tambourine!"
"Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond,
Let there be music from regions beyond!"
"Wizards and witches wherever you dwell,
Give us a hint by ringing a bell!"
If you missed this year's Ghost Train, you can get a flavor of the attraction from our video clips and photographs. Make sure you add this event to you calendar for next Halloween. The Los Angeles Live Steamers Ghost Train is located in Griffith Park at 5202 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027. It runs 7-10pm in the last half of October. Click here for the Live Steamers website.