L.A.'s Best Family-Friendly Haunt
What You Need to Know
Are you a parent looking for a family-friendly way to enjoy Halloween in Los Angeles? Then the Ghost Train is for you!
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.
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5202 Zoo Drive - Los Angeles, CA 90027
Update: For Halloween 2018, the Ghost Train will be joined by the Boney Island Halloween Haunt. The two attractions will be separately ticketed, with different but overlapping schedules.
Read our Griffith Park Ghost Train archive:
Los Angeles 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, the ride 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.
Over the years, the Los Angeles Live Steamers have gradually expanded, adding more decorations, mechanical props, and other special effects. Starting in 2011, the Live Steamers began using digital video projection to create wonderfully elaborate displays of supernatural activity. With its ever more elaborate presentation, The Ghost Train eventually morphed into something resembling a demented Disneyland, filled with with more than enough Halloween magic to appeal to haunt-goers of all ages. The attraction earned Hollywood Gothique's pick for best Halloween-themed ride in our 2013 Halloween Haunt Awards.
In 2016, the Ghost Train went on hiatus but returned in 2017.
Los Angeles 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.
Los Angeles Ghost Train Parking
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 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.