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SPINE CHILLING
January 16, 2014 1:19 PM   Subscribe

BRITISH "GHOST TRAIN" FACADES FROM THE 1970s AND 80s
(from the National Fairground Archive digital collection)
posted by timshel (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
A wet day out at Morecambe Pleasure Beach in the early 1980s. More fun than it looks.
posted by biffa at 1:32 PM on January 16


Chilling.

Not the pictures, the Comic Sans that briefly flashed before the web font kicked in.
posted by davelog at 1:38 PM on January 16


Not my Geister Hole!
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Not British enough to know what "Ghost Train" means, but I get it from the pictures. Never spent that much time in cheap carnivals and amusement parks either. So my closest experience would be "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" at Disney World in Florida.

While a bunch of us (like age 25 or so) are waiting in line for it, one of my friends goes, "you know, you die and go to hell in this ride."

And I'd never been on the ride before but we're in Disney World, for God's sake, and I knew damn well the Disney Corp. was not going to have a children's ride where you die and go to hell.

Well fuck me if you don't actually die and go to hell on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Driving down the railroad tracks turned out to be a really bad idea, and we were apparently not saved.

Ever since then that particular friend can get away with murder with me. Because, shit, what if he's right? Remember Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?
posted by Naberius at 1:58 PM on January 16 [5 favorites]


I think both of those haunted houses in Blackpool Pleasure Beach look exactly the same now.

But I freaking love things like this. Here are some photos I've taken.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:25 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


I love the artwork on the facades. It's this fantastic combination of naive and lurid. Great, great stuff.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:46 PM on January 16


If you're down in the southwest (UK, that is), you can't go wrong with a visit to the Fairground Heritage Centre.

The highlight for my kids was riding the dodgems, where they bumped the hell out of the car driven by the poor old attendant, who was desperately trying to eat his lunch. Happy times!
posted by pipeski at 2:46 PM on January 16


I haven't been to Blackpool in nearly 25 years, I occasionally threaten to take my SO but its about an 8 hour trip and I suspect would be utterly crap. I think the pics show a haunted house which was a walk around thing, and a proper Ghost Train, where you sat in a carriage that went along a track. Just behind the ghost train was the Gold Mine, which was similar but with animatronic old time miners instead of cobwebs, skeletons and stuff. The ghost train wasn't a bad effort by the standards of NW England in the 1980s. (Which is to say, I had been in others and they were crap.)
posted by biffa at 2:50 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Photographs of Richard Shufflebottom, daughter Florence and her son Garry ➡
posted by unliteral at 6:45 PM on January 16


Now I can mentally combine two "UK" things, and picture an expanse of well-manicured hedge maze garden, in which the pathways are ghost train tracks and various scary things happen as you ride through.
posted by davejay at 8:44 PM on January 16


It's a sad moment in your life when the fair arrives in your town and it's stopped being a magical exciting wonderland and become basically a tawdry rip-off and it's time to put away childish things.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:13 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Not British enough to know what "Ghost Train" means,

I'm sorry for you. As a kid they were the only ride I would go on.

It is (as I understand it) exactly the same as "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride", but the ride is less wild. And, while there may be toads, there are more ghosts and skeletons and there appears to be several videos on YouTube so you can experience it from home.
posted by Mezentian at 6:19 PM on January 18


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