Ghost train (folklore)

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An abandoned rail bridge in Poland

In ghostlore, a ghost train is a phantom vehicle in the form of a locomotive or train.


Popular culture[edit]

Ghost Train is the name of numerous plays, films, TV series and episodes, albums, songs, and other creative works. Notable examples are listed at Ghost train.

  • The Ghost Train was written in 1923 by playwright and actor Arnold Ridley. Based on the author's personal experience during a rail journey, it was a popular success.
  • In Enid Blyton's 1948 Famous Five book Five Go Off to Camp, mysterious "spook trains" are exposed as a cover used by criminals.[4] The story was subsequently adapted for television[5] and radio.
  • In the first story of the Railway Series book Tramway Engines (1972) entitled "Ghost Train", and its Thomas & Friends series 2 adaptation (1986), Percy tells Thomas the story of a ghostly engine that he heard from his driver, although later his driver tells him that it was only a pretend ghost he saw on TV. Since the latter, there have been a number of other episodes in which ghost engines have played a part.
  • 1981: Clive Cussler, Night Probe! One of the interesting little plot twists is the "ghost train" (a.k.a. The Manhattan Limited express passenger train), which plunged into the Hudson River on a dark stormy night. However, the train still makes its fated run on stormy nights, charging up the abandoned trackbed and suddenly vanishing on reaching the site of the bridge.
  • The 1989 film Ghostbusters II features the Ghostbusters encountering a ghost train in the subway system of New York City while investigating the paranormal pink ooze underground.
  • The 1991 film Sometimes They Come Back features Southern Pacific 5021 as the Ghost Train with red smoke effects.
  • The Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "The Blue Car Line" first aired in 1992 features Looten Plunder and Argos Bleak using holograms inside railroad cars in Australia to trick people into believing that the train is haunted, so Looten Plunder and Argos Bleak instead can make money on a massive freeway.[6]
  • The Ghost Train is a playable level and a boss in the Final Fantasy VI video game, released in 1994, which transports the souls of the dead to their "final location". The same boss appeared in the most recent remakes of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as a tribute to the sixth chapter of the series.
  • In 1994, Oasis released the song "Bring It On Down" with the lyrics "What was that sound ringing around your brain? Today was just a blur, you've got a head like a ghost train"
  • In The 1995 Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of Train Magic" tell the story of the ghost train of 713.
  • In the 1996 Hey Arnold! episode "Haunted Train". Grandpa Phil tells Arnold and his friends that in 1956, old Engine 25 (a grimy 4-8-2 Mountain-type steam locomotive that worked for the Great Northern Railway) was heading towards the station to pick up passengers when its engineer went 'mad' and drove the locomotive and its passenger cars off the tracks and into the Firery Underworld and on every anniversary of the locomotive's last run, it returns to take unknowing passengers to the Fiery Underworld. (It is later revealed in the episode that Engine 25 was repurposed as a transport for relief workers at a steel mill, although the 'mad' engineer appears on the engine's cowcatcher during the credits.)
  • In the GeoTrax animated series, Brutus and Victor pretend to be the Ghosts of Old Rust and Tex to steal precious cargo from Aero and Eric. They are later chased out by the real Old Rust and Tex pretending to be ghosts.
  • The beginning of the 1997 direct-to-video comedy-drama fantasy film Casper: A Spirited Beginning is set on a "death train" bound for Ghost Central Station.[7]
  • "Miner's Silver Ghost" – Merle Haggard famously wrote and performed this song about a ghost train that fell down a ravine and wrecked while trying to send rescue aid to a cave-in 50 years prior and it appears when a cave-in occurs in a nearby mine.
  • Tweetsie Railroad features ghost train event that is themed to the fictional "Great Train Crash of 1913/1914".
  • Spectral Rails is a board game designed by Morgan Dontanville and was published by Z-Man in 2011. The board game depicts the story of the undead engineers of ghost trains delivering the lonely souls of wandering miners back to their homes.
  • One appears in Red Dead Redemption 2 as an Easter egg.


  1. ^ af Klintberg, Bengt, Råttan i pizzan. Stockholm: Norstedts Förlag, 1992. ISBN 91-1-893831-0
  2. ^ Yanko, Dave. "Mystery Solved?". Virtual Saskatchewan. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
  3. ^ "Abe Lincoln's Ghost Train". HallowFreaks. Archived from the original on October 5, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  4. ^ Five Go Off to Camp by Enid Blyton
  5. ^ The Famous Five – Five Go Off to Camp (TV episode 1996) – IMDb
  6. ^ "The Blue Car Line". TV.Com. January 25, 1992. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  7. ^ Casper: A Spirited Beginning