Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train takes Mother Goose to artfully creepy new heights

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      You know pretty much from the beginning, when your locomotive smashes through a towering storybook, that this year’s Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train is going to be a special one.

      And believe us, the show titled Mother Goose’s Ghastly Garden delivers, with a darkly inspired, unified artistic vision and many more live theatrical performers than you’re used to seeing at the annual event.

      Just prepare for the fact that you’re never going to look at those innocent nursery rhymes you read as a kid in the same way.

      Think a goth Miss Muffet perched on a forest-filling web, a 10-foot-tall arachnid creeping up for a bite; a deranged Little Bo Peep who keeps popping up in the dark, hollering for her sheep; and a busted-up London Bridge in the mini-train's lake, complete with corpses floating in the water.

      Yes, this is Mother Goose by way of the Brothers Grimm and F.W. Murnau, all linked together with an artful storybook-come-to-life (or would that be death?) aesthetic. The standouts? A high-concept interpretation of “Ring Around the Rosie”, with eerie projections on a graveyard and the grim reaper beckoning (you knew the rumour that the playground song had its origin in the Great Plague, didn't you?), and a peek-a-boo old-lady’s shoe with a brood of sinister, scarlet-haired imps running wild.

      We don’t even want to tell you what fates befall Jack Sprat, Jack and Jill, and a small army of creepy doll rock-a-bye babies.

      The Ghost Train rolls until November 1 (it’s closed on October 13 for Thanksgiving), and comes with the added draws of a skeleton-filled Spooky Barn, lantern-lit nature walks, and a pumpkin patch. 



      martin kent

      Oct 11, 2014 at 4:20am

      Wowee! The fabulous freewheeling family phenomenon! Every Halloween we give families fireworks and see if they survive. These freewheeling parents don't bother with traffic laws with their kids in the car or on the street, jaywalking with their kids or riding bikes illegally with their kids and teach the kids to break the same traffic laws when they are old enough to know better. When families come off the Trans-Canada Highway and go to 50 kph they experience Velocitization, a slow motion effect, caused by the inner ear. When they drive around Stanley Park later, they experience a slow-motion effect that is very intense, like driving through molasses. So anyway have a fun time at Halloween and ask your parents to obey all traffic laws always. If they keep breaking traffic laws,then tell your relatives that your parents are not law abiding parents and you would like a family intervention. They will all come for a visit and a good explanation. After, keep in contact with your kin and soon things will work out. If this doesn't work drop their toothbrush in the toilet! Scary enough? (The Emily Car effect molasses drive is best at sunset for the full effect!)


      Oct 22, 2014 at 1:10pm

      Umm there was nothing awesome about this train ride. It sucked. There was nothing scary or gory about it at all. Why would a nursery rhyme theme be scary? Ya I get that they had an "evil" twist but it was boring & uneventful. I went on this train a few years ago & that was good but this was really bad. Do not waste your $ unless you are going with children. Not for adults at all-- stick to Fright nights @ PnE. When u goto a Halloween event, you expect a little spook & fright. Don't expect that here.