"Not such a long time ago, not so far away, there came to pass a terrible war..."
This not your usual fairground animatronics and cheap effects, but a theatrical event complete with scripted narrative. Beginning it’s undead life at London’s Brick Lane back in 2004 (appropriately, the vicinity of Jack the Ripper’s activities) Marisa Carnesky’s Ghost Train came to make Blackpool its permanent home. Climb aboard if you dare and experience the strange tale it has to tell.
Upon purchasing the ticket to ride, the audience are then ushered into a waiting room, where a disembodied voice relates the tale of two young sisters who, at the outbreak of the Great War, take a train journey and mysteriously disappear. The voice finds a body as you are then confronted by the first ghost who mourns the two missing girls and their lost souls.
Then it is time go out on the platform and take your place on the train. The driver has human form, but no face. Then, the train sets out upon its journey and suddenly you are interacting with ghoulish station keepers and scenes of the two missing youngsters in life; one is evocatively playing in a high swing, the other is reading a book. The undead station mistress initially menaces the passengers as they pass by, before herself becoming trapped and pleading for help. The ride ends with the three protagonists waltzing with skeletons to an eerie violin concerto.
The show totals several minutes, and those minutes do linger long after the ride is over. Apart from the opening narration, there is no dialogue and the story is delivered through a series of unforgettable images steeped in victoriana and burleaque, Eastern European music, lighting and, yes, punctuated with some sudden shocks. This experience is definitely not for the faint hearted, but a must for those with fire in their imagination.... But, hurry. The ride is soon set to close. Let us hope it re materialises in a new home soon.
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