Each October, we put on our best autumn scarves and trek out to New Hope, PA for a day’s worth of seasonal activities. In 2017, we were excited to tack on a spookier experience to the trip with New Hope & Ivyland Railroad’s Haunted Halloween Train.
With most of the town already transformed for the season through the decor of mums, pumpkins, and cobwebs on each corner, the train station was no different. As darkness fell, we arrived at the platform to find the scene set through different colored lighting amid life-sized skeletons and spiders. We purchased our tickets for our ride on the vintage locomotive through someone dressed up and already in character. Instead of tickets, we were given corpse tags.
Once on the train, we were able to find our seats, purchase drinks, and get settled in as we braced ourselves for what was sure to be a trip out of the ordinary. As our journey began, the lights dimmed and flickered to darkness. Before we knew it, our train we riddled with creatures crawling, climbing, and creeping their way through the aisles and seats to interact with us. While the experience was not over-the-top scary, there were enough startling moments to get a good rise out of us and the entire ambiance really nailed a sort of creepy-fun Halloween experience.
The trip built up to a moment where our train stopped as we came upon a scene of a man flipping an explosive switch to have us sent back to the station. The effects here were great and it was an awesome climax to our journey.
As we arrived back at the station, we were funneled through one exit where the final surprise of the experience was a blacklight clown room complete with 3-D glasses.
Once we made it through, we found ourselves where our night had began. We had survived.
While not a very scary haunt, this experience was enjoyable as it perfected a fun and creepy Halloween vibe. Between the decor and ambiance, the vintage train, and the actors in character and in costume, it felt like a classic haunted house! Being able to board the train in a town with so many other fall activities and given the chance to order some cocktails on our trip were definite pluses.
New for 2018:
This year’s experience has switched gears a bit theme-wise with “The Undead Speakeasy & Bootlegger Express”. Boasting an “undead gang serving up the deadliest embalming cocktails in town”, you’re warned that the crew does not take kindly to outside guests. The experience runs on select dates from 10/11 through Halloween.